First, home insurance agents want to protect their financial responsibility for a home. Such agents are often willing to assist in resolving title disputes. If an insured customer possesses a faulty title or even no title to the property, the company is potentially out of funds expended to insure the property.
Title disputes can take many forms, the most common of which are when the title to the property is owned by an individual other than the one who sold the property to a new owner, or when the title is marred by a previous improper exchange. Typically, an individual called a title agent is responsible for resolving these problems. A title agent’s job includes researching the previous owners and transfers of a property and ensuring that the seller has the right to sell the property to the purchaser. A title agent that finds problems with the title to the property can either resolve the problem through further research and legal assistance, or call upon an insurance agent to assist in the resolution of title disputes.
An insurance agent will have access to the records about the property’s previous insurance coverage. This means that an insurance agent can provide the title agent and purchaser’s attorney with information about the party that purchased property insurance, including the dates of coverage, for the property in question. Potentially, dates provided by home insurance agents can assist the title agent in creating a clearer time line to property ownership. This time line could help determine who had transfer rights to the property and, therefore, resolve any ownership disputes.
Additionally, prior to agreeing to coverage for a property, home insurance agents will research the chain of title for the property in question. If the agent finds anything unusual in the title, it is not uncommon for him or her to pass that information on to the purchaser’s attorney or title agent. In this way, the agent can assist in identifying potential problems before the sale proceeds further.
Home insurance agents can also help resolve title disputes by providing evidence or testimony about the property’s owners, if necessary. If a title dispute become contentious enough for it to be brought before a mediator or judge, the insurance agent may be called upon to describe the insurance company’s research into the property and any evidence he or she may have about its previous owners.
Insurance agents do not only sell coverage for a property, but also ensure that the coverage is extended to a property with clean title. To ensure a piece of property has a clean title, an agent can provide information about previous transfers through the insurance history.