All posts tagged: owner’s title insurance


Owner’s title insurance is like health insurance in that you never want to use it, but you’re glad to have it if you need it. But unlike health insurance, title insurance has a low, one-time premium that gives you a lifetime of coverage for a property.

Owner’s title insurance is different than other types of insurance because it’s not casualty insurance.

Title Insurance fees are regulated by the State of Florida. The base rate is $5.75 per thousand up to $100,000, and $5.00 per thousand thereafter up to $1 million. Check with your title company for specifics on discounts available for some transactions. Proper title endorsements to the policy are also a part of your complete coverage and those vary depending on the property. The base rate and the endorsements don’t come near the legal cost you’d have to pay to defend your ownership rights. And remember, you only have to pay the premium once for owner’s title insurance and you’re good for life.

Title insurance is good for all real estate ownership. If you are unsure whether or not you have title insurance on your inherited or gifted property, contact Land Title of America, Inc. at 1-904-797-9600, and we’ll be glad to check your title insurance status for free.

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Logical Conclusion: Owner’s Title Insurance

This statement is untrue:  the title to your house is clean.

Now, if your home title is clean, then the statement is false, which means your home title has an issue.

…On the other hand, if your home title has an issue, then the statement is true (as being untrue), which means you do not have a title issue.

You could sit there and try to work that out…or you could just get Owner’s Title Insurance.

Owner’s Title Insurance offers financial protection to homeowners in any scenario.

Even if you get a title search, you cannot say conclusively that your property title is clean.  A title search can only see what’s in public records.  It doesn’t account for an old deed in somebody’s sock drawer, or a clerical error, or a previously unknown heir (they happen!!).

While a title search is a necessary precaution to deal with any known problems, Owner’s Title Insurance covers the hidden risk of possible title challenges.

Furthermore, title insurance is low cost, and it’s a premium you pay only once, which covers you for as long as you own the property…and forever after you convey it, covering your financial liability for your link in that chain of title.

Logical Conclusion:  Owner’s Title Insurance is the most cost effective way to financially protect yourself from title issues on your property from now through forever. 


Stephen CollinsLogical Conclusion: Owner’s Title Insurance
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Title Insurance is Champion of Ownership Rights!!

In the never-ending battle for truth, justice, and clean title to real estate, Title Insurance is the champion of your ownership rights!  From easements to inheritance, no claim is too small or too large for an Owner’s Title Insurance Policy—your Title Insurance company is there to fight for you!!


Keepin’ It Real

Title Insurance puts the real in real estate.  Should you have a claim against your deed, Title Insurance will meet the challenge to your ownership, providing the legal fees and the attorney to do battle in court if necessary.  (Even if your court battle loses, you still get the policy amount.)

When you obtain property, don’t walk—fly to make sure you have the proper coverage to fully insure your real estate title!!  It’s a one-time fee, normally paid at closing (but can be acquired at any time), and costs a lot less than hiring an attorney on your own.

Furthermore, Title Insurance is also a proactive measure as well as a defensive strategy.  The cost includes a title search to address any questions in the chain of title that appear in public records.  Once that’s done and any issues dealt with, then the policy insures against any questions that may arise in the future, but aren’t necessarily revealed in public records.

One good deed deserves another!

And later when you convey your property to a new owner, your Title Insurance policy continues to protect you from possible challenges for which a new owner could hold you liable.

Title Insurance – It’s good for now, it’s good for later, it’s good for what happened in the past, and it’s good for you!!

Stephen CollinsTitle Insurance is Champion of Ownership Rights!!
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What You Don’t See Can Really Bug You

In June 2014, my band OE-2-KB (Old Enough-2-Know Better) had a gig along the St. Johns River.  It had rained all day, but Eddie said he had a thousand-foot tarp that we could put over everything.  So we started setting up and we were watching the radar…and wondering if that tarp could really cover all of our band equipment.

There were a few little blind mosquitoes around, but they didn’t bite, so no big deal.  We played our first set, took a break, and came back.  By then it was very obvious the atmosphere had changed—there were blind mosquitoes everywhere!!  At first I thought they were just around the lights, but they were everywhere!!  Still, they didn’t bite, so we started our second set.

It was like the plagues of Moses—the blind mosquitoes were in our mouths, in our ears, and all over the keyboards, the guitars, the drums.  I’ve never seen anything like it before.  My brother, Rusty, had pages of music stuck together with dead bug bodies.  We had been worried about the rain, but what we didn’t see coming that stopped the music.  The same can be true of real estate title claims.

Owner’s Title Insurance addresses not just the title problems you can see in public records, but also the hidden risk.  

Home ownership should be hassle-free.  You should be able to check the radar, have a big tarp handy to cover everything, but even so, challenges to your ownership can happen.

Most property disputes are something small—not a big claim like fraud or forgery on a deed, or someone trying to claim ownership of the entire property.  Usually it’s a matter of feet, an encroachment.  It’s the freak bizarre things, and you just don’t see them coming—that’s why you get title insurance.

Title Insurance provides an initial service when you pay for it—a title search—and provides a secondary service—legal representation and / or compensation of the policy amount—at no additional charge to you should the title come into question.   Title Insurance can’t always prevent an attack on home ownership rights, but it can shield the Homeowner from court costs in a legal defense of property title.

Title Insurance helps keep title claims from bugging you.

(If you’re looking for OE-2-KB, you can keep up with us on Facebook at or our band website at


Stephen CollinsWhat You Don’t See Can Really Bug You
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Sense of Wisdom & Humor

Why are there more jokes about attorneys than about title companies?  Because nobody understands what title companies do, answers my attorney brother, Rusty Collins.  Now that’s funny, but it’s sad too.  You can lose your sense of humor real fast if you lack a sense of wisdom about real estate ownership.  Without knowledge of title insurance, your stake is at stake, the land you own and the money you put into it.

Title Insurance helps to protect your financial investment in real estate.

Title Insurance is a policy that protects the real estate owner from financial loss due to a challenge against his or her real estate ownership.  Without it, you could lose your property and your financial investment.  In simple terms, Title Insurance works in two ways:

  1. Prevention
  2. Protection

Though title insurance works mostly through prevention, it offers security via financial protection from the massive costs of litigation and other legal expenses should a problem, challenge, or complication to a Florida homeowner’s title arise.  No matter how much effort is put into this prevention, bad things can still happen.  It’s expensive to be right when someone thinks you’re wrong.  Owner’s Title Insurance provides and pays for all costs associated with a title claim (whether through settlement, legal defense, and / or reimbursement of the policy amount to the homeowner if that defense does not prevail).

Knowledge is realizing the difference between an acceptable risk and an unacceptable risk.

Wisdom is taking precautions to avoid unacceptable risk.

If you value your land, I encourage you to learn more about Title Insurance, and Land Title offers a variety of free educational resources, including the following:

  • Land Title Blog at
  • “Land Title Talk” radio show every 1st and 3rd Thursday of the month on 102.1 FM WFOY ( from 8 to 9 am. Listeners are encouraged to call in with your real estate-related or legal questions or comments
  • Call or stop by the Land Title Office. If you have questions about a title policy and what it can do for you, or if you need to find out if your property even has a title policy, we’ll be glad to assist you at no charge.  Land Title is located in the Lewis Point Plaza at 2495 US Highway 1 South, St. Augustine, or call us at (904) 797-9600.


Stephen CollinsSense of Wisdom & Humor
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Another True Story of a False Deed

True:  A Mother and Son went to buy property from a Friend.  They made a verbal agreement to pay a certain amount of cash down, and then make regular payments for so many months to the Friend, at the end of which the property would belong to the Mother and Son.

False:  The Friend owned the property.

True:  The Statute of Frauds requires that certain transactions be in writing—real estate transactions have to be in writing in order to be enforceable.

False:  The Mother and Son got all their money back and lived happily ever after.

False.  False.  False.

After the Mother and Son had made this verbal agreement, and after they had paid on the property a while, then they learned that there were judgments against it, the taxes were delinquent, and their “Friend” was incarcerated.

True:  A gentleman’s handshake IS NOT the same as Owner’s Title Insurance on real estate.

True:  Always get Owner’s Title Insurance for every piece of real estate you own.  (Note:  If you inherited property after March 2011 that had an owner’s title policy, then you inherited the policy with it.)

True:  This story.

Unfortunately there are far too many stories of loss due to false deeds like this one.  Owner’s Title Insurance protects against what should not happen in home ownership.  This is story #591 (out of 1001 reasons) of why you should get Owner’s Title Insurance.



Stephen CollinsAnother True Story of a False Deed
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Real Value of Owner’s Title Insurance in Florida

The misconception of Title Insurance is costing Florida homeowners dearly.  I would like to clarify the real value of Owner’s Title Insurance for all those impacted by the Florida real estate market, from the individual homeowner to the State economy.

When an Owner’s Title Insurance is purchased, primarily it is for the prevention of claims against home ownership.  When a company provides title insurance, a title search is part of the risk assessment done before issuing a policy.  The title insurance company’s objective is in lockstep with the consumer’s best interest:  to avoid questions or challenges of the homeowner’s title.  Thus in the examination of public records, the title company has a vested concern to find any and all complications to the ownership title.  We just do not say, as quoted in a famous movie, “This house is clean.”*   You saw how well that went—they should have gotten a policy as their house is being sucked into oblivion!  We put our money where our mouth is and insure it.

Though title insurance works mostly through prevention, it offers security via financial protection from the massive costs of litigation and other legal expenses should a problem, challenge, or complication to a Florida homeowner’s title arise.  No matter how much effort is put into this prevention, bad things still happen.  It’s expensive to be right when someone thinks you’re wrong.  Owner’s Title Insurance provides and pays for all costs associated with a title claim (whether through settlement, legal defense, and / or reimbursement of the policy amount to the homeowner if that defense does not prevail).

The cost of Owner’s Title Insurance is promulgated by the State of Florida, and the current rate has been the same for 20 years.  It is a nominal fee when compared to what litigation costs are.  Furthermore, Owner’s Title insurance is a one-time fee, typically paid at the closing of a real estate transaction.  Once it’s paid, it’s paid—no monthly premiums, no annual fees—no additional charge to the consumer, the homeowner.

With Owner’s Title Insurance, consumers pay a set amount for financial protection against the unknown cost of hidden risk to home ownership. 

Please refer to the numerous posts in my blog for examples of hidden risk to home ownership.  These issues are real and can be devastating to those who are not insured.

Homeowners need Owner’s Title Insurance now more than ever.  Title Insurance plays a vital role in Florida’s recovering housing market.  As a source of financial protection, Owner’s Title Insurance assures potential Florida buyers they can invest in real estate with stable value backing that investment.

Owner’s Title Insurance is good home economics.  It nurtures financial security for the homeowner, the State budget, and the Florida economy.  Owner’s Title Insurance adds real value to real estate rights, thus it benefits every Florida citizen.



Stephen CollinsReal Value of Owner’s Title Insurance in Florida
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Quit Claim Deeds & Bankruptcy

What in the heck did I tell you about Quit Claim Deeds?  Remember, a Quit Claim Deed conveys all interest in a property IF ANY.  How much interest do you have in your rental property if you file Chapter 7 Bankruptcy?

Pop Quiz:  

Question 1:  When you file Chapter 7 Bankruptcy, you keep ownership of all your property until the bankruptcy is complete—true or false?

False.  And if you answer true, please take a hammer, set hand on table, and bring hammer down with such velocity in order to cause great pain.

Question 2:  True or false:  When you file bankruptcy and the trustee assumes your position as owner of all your property*, there’s a document recorded in the public records so that everyone else knows that your trustee has now taken ownership of your property?

False!  If you answer true, please see above.

Trick Question:  What’s the difference between a Quit Claim Deed and a Quick Claim Deed?

Straight Answer:  No such thing as a ‘Quick’ Claim Deed, no matter how fast you write it.

True Story:

‘Adam’ and ‘Kyla’ (so we’ll call them) were two people who bought different properties.  These are real stories that happened in Northeast Florida, but had two very different outcomes.

Adam bought a piece of real estate from Tom.  He paid cash for the property and Tom, the seller, conveyed his interest using a Quit Claim Deed.  It was a fast transaction and Tom was easy to deal with, so why drive up the cost by getting a title insurance policy?  Adam handed him the cashier’s check and Tom signed the Quit Claim Deed.  Adam was no fool, he knew he had to record the deed, so he took it down to the courthouse and had it recorded.  Wow, Adam just saved a lot of money by doing it all himself…so he thought….

Adam fixed up the place and tried to sell it, but guess what?  Tom was in bankruptcy when he sold the property to Adam.  Tom had sold all interest he had in the property IF ANY, and it turns out Tom didn’t have any interest in the property.  Because of the bankruptcy, the trustee was the owner, not Tom.

Adam had paid for the property, put money into fixing it up, and now he was going to have to hire an attorney to straighten out this mess so he could get some return on his investment.  Have you ever dealt with a bankruptcy trustee whose job is to protect the interest of the creditors?  I promise it’ll take more than a smile or a lot of tears to get the bankruptcy trustee just to back down.  Adam had bought the property from Tom using a Quit Claim Deed, which provides NO WARRANTIES.  Does Tom really have any liabilities to Adam?  That’s a question for a judge to decide, and Adam’s going to get the privilege of paying all the court cost to have a judge think about it.


Kyla had a similar experience with a much different outcome.  She bought a fixer-upper that she was going to turn around and sell.  But Kyla was smart enough to buy title insurance.  Maybe she had read my blog, or maybe she was just well informed, and maybe she believed that you make your own fortune (or at least you can protect it!).  Title insurance costs a low, one-time fee to protect your ownership interest into the future from all the title flaws of the past, and it automatically calls for a title search.  Kyla’s title search was done—came back clean—closing was done, seller signed a Warranty Deed and the seller got their money.  Kyla left the closing table, went to Home Depot, and got busy with renovations.

Now Kyla had a mess on her hands:  the day before her closing, her little desperate sellers had filed bankruptcy.  Same situation—different outcome.  The title search had come back clean because when the bankruptcy trustee assumed the ownership position, there was no recorded document in public records that placed all on notice of the bankruptcy.  Yet because Kyla had title insurance, this problem was not something she’d have to pay for out of pocket.  So when the trustee of the bankruptcy demanded the property, Kyla called her title insurance company and her title insurance policy kicked into action.

Like Adam, Kyla had paid for the property and paid to fix it up, but unlike Adam, the bucks stopped there.  With no additional cost to Kyla regarding ownership issues, her Title Insurance took care of the legal fees to sort out the matter (and actually had to pay a lump sum to the bankruptcy trustee).  It was not Kyla’s job to go back to the seller to work it out—it was the title insurance company’s.  Kyla could focus on the condition of her home—not the condition of her ownership.

Title Insurance can make a big difference in real estate and real money. 

This is Story # 453 of 1001 Reasons Why to get Title Insurance.


*Homestead property is excluded.  However, there’s a process for that to take place.  J


Stephen CollinsQuit Claim Deeds & Bankruptcy
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Hugeantic Repartment

“Hugeantic Repartment” is something I used to say as a kid. It means “Huge Apartment.” I’ve been spellbound most of my life (thank goodness for spell-check!) and I’m still making up words. I figure the English language is so messed up anyhow, isn’t that how most words came to be? You take Spanish, French, German and shake them up in a box and let ‘em go like Yahtzee dice—I’m just trying to do my part for the English language! Spelling and pronunciation errors are pretty easy to correct compared with real estate title problems. Title problems can hide then surface and cause financial “devastruction” (again, trying to do my part).

You can make one hundred percent on a spelling test. That means you spelled every word correctly, the grade goes on your report card and it’s not going to change. Real estate, on the other hand, can pass a title search—an inspection of public records—and still have problems.

A deed is the document that says you own your home or land. It comes in many different forms—it comes in the form of a Warranty Deed or a Quit Claim Deed—yuck—or Certificate of Title. It’s supposed to be unique—it has a legal description of the property and gets filed in public records to designate your ownership rights. Unfortunately, mistakes happen. Just like on a spelling test, you can have errors and omissions. Unlike a spelling test, those errors and omissions on a deed can fold into pockets of hidden risk, along with undisclosed heirs, a simple recording mistake, or even forgery.

A clear title search does not rule out possible ownership challenges. No problems found now doesn’t mean there won’t be a big risk later. What you can’t see can cost you unless you have title insurance.

On a spelling test, you’re liable for your own mistakes. In real estate ownership, you’re liable for everybody else’s mistakes who owned that property before you. Title insurance takes the risk of financial loss out of real estate ownership. Title insurance pays claims and litigation costs in the defense of ownership. You get an A Plus on your bank statement no matter what ownership challenges you face.

Stephen CollinsHugeantic Repartment
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Vested Interest

I live here. Your loss is my loss when it comes to real estate. When it comes to title insurance, I have a vested interest beyond my business interest.

When one property in your neighborhood goes into foreclosure, what happens to your property? That’s right.  Your property value goes down.

You have a vested interest in title insurance too. When you buy a home or land, you have a financial interest in that property. You put money into it either through a cash purchase or through a mortgage. Even if you inherited a home or land, that property becomes part of your financial assets. Furthermore, you are liable to defend your ownership for every property you have, and that legal defense is going to draw on your financial resources, unless you have title insurance.

Yes, your home or land should be an asset in your financial profile; however, ownership also comes with liability and liability can be very expensive if you are not prepared for it—it can cost you your house.

Stephen CollinsVested Interest
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