The various types of insurance are often lumped together to those not “in the know” – leaving many people confused and frustrated when they try to understand different aspects of each kind. Title insurance is one of the last things you need to think about when investing in your home, but that doesn’t mean it is any less important to understand than property tax, for example.
At the law offices of Gary I. Handin, P.A. we believe that knowledge is power, and so we’ve complied the most frequently asked questions surrounding Florida title insurance. We can issue it through the law firm of Gary I. Handin, P.A. or through Florida Home Title Company, a Florida licensed title insurance company owned and operated solely by attorney, Gary I. Handin, since 1993.
What Is Title Insurance?
Title insurance is your protection policy against loss in any case where a claim is made against your ownership. It is a one-time only payment, which is paid at settlement.
In the event that a claim is made against your property, you would rely on title insurance to:
- Assure you of a legal defense
- Pay all court costs and fees
- Reimburse you the loss up to face value of the policy (if the claim is found to be valid)
What Does Title Insurance Cost?
In Florida, the cost differs depending on the property’s purchase price, as well as the contents of the policy. Nearly all other insurance premiums require annual payment, but title insurance is a one time payment which protects you as long as you own the property. The state of Florida sets the price and defines a promulgated rate calculation as follows, which is used to determine the amount it will cost you.
- For purchase prices below $100,000: title insurance fee = $5.75/thousand
- For purchase prices over $100,000: title insurance fee = $5.00/thousand
Who Is Responsible For The Cost?
In your contract you are able to negotiate who will be paying it. Most counties have the seller choose the title company and pay for the property’s title insurance. In the following counties, however, the buyer typically chooses the title company and pays for it:
- Broward County
- Collier County
- Miami-Dade County
- Sarasota County
All costs are contract-specific and usually negotiable with the help of your attorney. We recommend you request a no-obligation, free title insurance quote so you know exactly what fees you are responsible for.
Choosing The Title Company
The title insurance company that works with you will have a major effect on your closing experience. The perfect company will ensure:
- A positive experience;
- No delays in closing
- No title issues following closing
- Surety that your home is secure
Many homebuyers don’t realize how valuable the right title insurance company will be for your closing experience.
A title transfer refers to the transfer of ownership of a property’s title.
Title Insurance: Transferable Or Not?
Title insurance is not transferable, even when the property changes ownership. A new policy needs to be set up for every new owner.
In Florida, transferring a title is a straight forward process if the title has no claims or judgments against the property or the owners and therefore is unencumbered. You can make use of a Quitclaim Deed to transfer a title to the new owner of the property, but we suggest using a Warranty Deed and title insurance to protect yourself from any liens, claims, title fraud, and unauthorized title transfers.
The Cost Of Title Transfer
One cost associated with title transfer is that for documentary tax stamp rates. This cost forms part of the total closing costs. Excluding the Miami-Dade County, all states of Florida have the same documentary tax stamp rate of $0.70 per $100 of the deed’s consideration, which is the property’s purchase price. In Miami-Dade the rate is slightly lower at $0.60 per $100 of the deed’s consideration.
Closing The Deal
Sometimes called settlement, closing refers to the moment all documents are signed and the title, and keys, are officially transferred to the buyer.
Closing costs consist of fees relating to:
- Attorney hire
- Loan points
- Down payment balance
- Property taxes
- And more
At closing, all financial issues (called closing costs) are resolved, money is sent to the seller, and all-important documents are filed in public records. Once you have made it through closing, you will be the proud new owner of the property.
Closing With the Law Offices of Gary I. Handin, P.A.
Purchasing your own home is one of the biggest investments you will make. It is important to us that you are protected while making this investment, and with the expert knowledge possessed by the team at Handin Law, you are sure to have a smooth, professional closing experience. Contact us today at 954-796-9600 for legal services you can count on since 1969.