A Title Insurance Company Serving Missouri
Monarch Title is a title insurance company serving real estate professionals, consumers, and lenders throughout Mid-Missouri.
Our locations in Columbia, Jefferson City, Boonville, and Brookfield keep us connected and available to our community. When you’re dealing with details as complex as title insurance, meeting face-to-face with a client-committed title insurance professional makes a big difference.
Our goal is for a happy and smooth transaction with everyone who walks through our door. We achieve our goal through client dedication and a responsive and discerning process.
With decades of experience working in title insurance and the real estate transaction process, Monarch Title is ready to assist you.
When it comes to title insurance, our service is second to none.
As title insurers, our team at Monarch Title knows we are placed with a great responsibility. We protect those who need it most. A real estate transaction not only affects the buyer’s chance at a new home, but the livelihoods of lenders and realtors.
Monarch Title has been awarded both as a business and for the individuals who make it all happen.
As graduates of local and statewide leadership programs, we place great emphasis on being leaders in our industry. We try to educate our clients to the best of our abilities. We have even compiled a real estate glossary for buyers so they feel confident in the major financial transactions they are making.
At Monarch Title we know we are a primary partner in often fast-paced real estate transactions. Buyers and sellers don’t interact much with title insurance companies until the end of their real estate transaction.
We stay relationally connected to every part of the real estate transaction, especially with Mid-Missouri real estate professionals and lenders. We attend their conferences and dinners. Our commitment to serving our clients doesn’t stop at the door.
Our company founder, Maureen Dalton, has experience in the real estate industry. Being on every side of a title insurance transaction gives us a unique, well-rounded perspective that we bring into every deal. Our dedication to our client relationships is the backbone of our high-ranking position as Mid-Missouri’s leading title insurance company.
What is Title Insurance
A title insurance policy is a contract between the title insurance company and the insured, which protects the insured, mortgage lenders, and property buyers against problems with a property title during a transfer of property ownership.
Let’s use the example of a home buyer. The ownership of a property is not always clear.
The policy states that the insurance company or the insurer agrees to compensate the insured, meaning the home buyer, the lender, or both, for financial losses sustained because of events leading to title disputes that arise during a sale. These situations could be:
- Mistakes or forgeries in wills, mortgages, or title documents relating to the property.
- Allegations that a past owner or co-owner did not consent to the conveyance. This could be due to an undisclosed divorce, commission of fraud, or an error during the probate of an estate.
- Defects made in the required transfer or conveyance of documents.
- Liens or encumbrances on the real property. This could be based on past debts for taxes, contractor’s work, or child support obligations.
It’s important to note that title insurance relates entirely to past events, not those in the future.
The Importance of Title Insurance
The lender’s portion of a title insurance policy protects them against situations where, for example, the mortgage is unenforceable against the borrower (the home buyer) because the buyer does not have a legal title to the home.
This could be because the seller didn’t own the land “sold” to the buyer. In such a case, the title insurer might have to pay the bank for its loss on the mortgage.
More importantly. if you have already purchased a home, and someone claims and proves they bought part of your property from the original seller, the title insurer would have to pay you for your loss since they failed to discover the sale before purchasing the house.
The Title Insurance Process
- The Preliminary Title Report Is Issued
Soon after both the buyer and seller of a home sign a purchase contract and enter escrow, a title insurer, title company, or attorney will perform a title search. A title search looks into the public records housed in the government land office, also known as the recorder’s office, in the county where the home is located. During the search, the title company is looking for documents that could affect the title to the land, such as deeds and liens.
Once the search is complete, the title company issues a preliminary report. This report lists and details liens, easements, or other encumbrances on the land. These items will be listed as “exceptions” to insurance coverage. This means if the insurance policy was to be issued on the date of the preliminary report, the insurer would not pay the home buyer for any loss they were to sustain as a result of one of the listed items.
The preliminary report serves two purposes for the buyer:
- Gives the buyer an idea of who has any type of interest in the property.
- Gives the buyer and seller a chance to have any clouds on title removed before the sale, if possible.
Example: If the seller failed to pay property taxes and the government put a lien on the property, the buyer will want the seller to pay the tax lien before the closing.
A preliminary report does not give the buyer any insurance coverage. The report simply offers to provide insurance coverage, and lists the various ownership interests in the land and what items will be exempted from coverage if the buyer decides to accept it.
There are a low percentage of title searches that reveal problems needing resolution before closing. Seventy-five percent of homes have no problems with title. One quarter of all residential real estate transactions have issues with title that must be dealt with pre-closing. (Source: American Land Title Association.)
- The Title Company Issues a Commitment
A commitment is a time-delimited agreement made by a title insurer such as Monarch Title, to issue a title insurance policy to a home buyer to cover the home and land, and to sell the buyer a title insurance policy for a specified price or premium.
Almost always, the commitment will contain conditions that have to be met in order for the insurance to take and remain in effect. The commitment also includes exceptions to coverage, that is, as in the preliminary report, a list of items that will not be covered by the policy.
Examples of typical conditions are:
- Payment of the seller’s mortgage
- Payment of all liens against the property and all taxes owed at the time of sale
- Issuance of a valid deed transferring ownership to the buyer-insured
Commonly listed exceptions in title insurance policies include:
- Covenants, conditions, and restrictions (CC&Rs) that were revealed in the public records. CC&Rs are common in new subdivisions and typically restrict use of land, such as what color the owner can paint the house and how many cars the owner can park in the driveway, etc.
- Any claims, liens, and encumbrances against the property that were not part of the public records at the time of the title search. Assuming the buyer accepts the terms of the commitment, they will pay the premium and the title insurance will go into effect on the date of the close of escrow and transfer of ownership.
- Get an Owner’s Title Insurance Policy
In almost all cases where a buyer takes a mortgage, the bank or lender requires the buyer to pay for a mortgagee’s or lender’s title insurance policy that protects the bank against title defects. This policy does not cover the buyer in any way, so be certain to buy an owner’s policy to protect yourself.
Experts in Title Insurance
Operating for almost 20 years, Monarch Title Company can assist anyone in Missouri with their title insurance policy needs or questions. Monarch Title’s signature, the monarch butterfly, signifies change and new opportunities.
Monarch Title’s reputation has spread. Monarch Title has been writing for Fidelity National Title Insurance Company, one of the largest title insurers in the country, for years. Monarch Title continues to hold high service standards and commitment to its Mid-Missouri communities.
Let the experienced team at Monarch Title give your new opportunity the protection it deserves.