Title Insurance

Why title insurance matters.

Whether you’re buying or selling a home — the process shouldn’t be taken lightly. It’s one of the most important financial decisions you’ll make. That’s why title insurance is critical to all parties. Title insurance:

  • is proof that the seller actually owns the real estate being bought or mortgaged;
  • takes the risk out of purchasing a property whose history is unknown to you by uncovering any previous rights and claims to the property;
  • leads to the resolution of problems before closing;
  • is a guarantee that the buyer(s) owns the property free and clear as long as they or their heirs have an interest in the property;
  • and defends your title and covers all costs of doing so, if necessary.

All this, for a one-time fee. As long as you own your home.

So, who do you trust with the details that back up such an important financial decision? Runkel Abstract & Title Company. We have a century of experience, knowledge, and a reputation for flawless performance. We manage the details, dig deep when researching, perform quickly and precisely and provide solutions for a wide range of title challenges in order to clear the path for your closing.

Experience paired with technology for flawless title insurance performance. Runkel Abstract & Title Company.

How Does Title Insurance Work?

Before a transaction involving a loan on property, or sale of property is completed, the title company searches public land records for matters affecting that title. Many title searches disclose title problems that are resolved before the insurance is issued.

The results of the record examination are then summarized in a preliminary document called a “Commitment for Title Insurance”. This report documents the status of ownership and enables the lender or purchaser to evaluate the legal condition of title to the property before it is acquired.

The commitment also constitutes an agreement by the title company to issue a title insurance policy if certain requirements stated in the commitment are satisfied.

Title Insurance Protection

Owning your property free and clear involves more than having a deed in hand. A deed does not cancel certain prior “rights” and “claims” other people may have to your property – rights whose existence you never suspected; claims that may go back in time months or decades to the earliest owners of your newly acquired property.

An owner’s title insurance policy takes the risk out of acquiring property whose legal history is unknown to you. Occasionally, in spite of an exhaustive title search, hidden hazards can emerge after closing. Among the many risks against which title insurance protects you are:

  • Confusion from similarity of names
  • Forgery and fraud
  • Unpaid taxes
  • Misrepresentation of marital status
  • Invalid divorces
  • Undisclosed or missing heirs
  • Incorrect legal descriptions
  • Conveyance by a minor
  • Clerical errors in public records
  • Mental incompetence of grantors
  • Missed easements
  • Wills not probated

How Much Does Title Insurance Cost?

Generally an Owner’s Policy is issued for the total purchase price of real estate, or for the value of a finished home in the case of new construction. A Loan Policy is generally issued for the mortgage amount. The premiums paid for each policy are based on a per thousand charge of the dollar value of insurance. Of course, the greater the coverage given, the higher the premium.

If policies are issued simultaneously to both the owner and the lender on the same property, a premium discount may be applied. Additionally, if you are refinancing or selling your home, and you have a prior Owner’s or Loan policy, rates may be discounted based on the amount of insurance being reissued. We honor all other title policies, offering customers the benefit of reissue rates.

Please phone or email a Runkel Abstract title agent with questions or for specific quotes.

Is Title Insurance Cost Effective

Most people have fire, automobile, and life insurance. You pay premiums every year to continue your protection. When you purchase an Owner’s Title Insurance Policy, you pay your premium only once for coverage that will protect your initial investment for as long as you own your home.

If a claim is made against your title as insured, Chicago Title protects you by:

  1. Defending your title, in court if necessary, completely at our expense
  2. Bearing the cost of settling the claim to the full value of the policy if the claim proves valid, in order to perfect your title and keep you in possession of your property.

Title insurance assures that every possible cloud on the title to the land you are buying, which can be discovered from the public records, has been called to your attention so that such defects can be corrected before you buy.

What are master policies and take-off policies?

A master policy may be issued to cover an area divided or intended to be divided into condominium units or parcels of real estate for subdivision or resale. A master policy is a convenient alternative to ordering a policy for each individual unit or parcel in a development. The entire development is researched, and a take-off policy is issued as each unit or parcel is sold off. The rate to be charged is computed the same as owner’s policies.

Take-off policies covering said units or parcels are issued at a charge of $50.00 for each take-off policy. The insurance under the master policy is reduced by the same amount of each subsequently issued take-off policy so that the aggregate amount of such take-off policies cannot at any time exceed the amount of insurance purchased for the master policy. Additional insurance increasing the master policy may be purchased at the cumulative applicable rate bracket.

Please call a Runkel Abstract title agent with questions on master policies and take-offs.

What is a Title Plant

To streamline the research process, Runkel Abstract & Title Co. maintains a title plant, or a file system that contains the only complete and privately maintained set of index records in Marathon County

Included in the Title Plant are tract indexes; judgment, lien and tax indexes and copies, maps and all recorded documents, and internet access to state records. Runkel has direct copy access to all plat maps, subdivision maps, and metes and bounds maps.

Additionally, Runkel’s library consists of surrendered abstracts and all prior searches completed throughout company history. All tracts are computerized from 1990 to the current posting date, and all records prior to 1990 are on a paper-based system which have been scanned into electronic files enabling the original record search, dating back to the 1800’s, to be performed quickly and accurately.

The Runkel title plant reduces dependency on the Register of Deeds and other departments, and serves as a duplicate system which is private and meticulously maintained. The staff can perform rapid and accurate searches providing an efficiency that boosts output and diminishes turnaround time. Convenience, accuracy, and minimal time requirements are what lenders, realtors, attorneys, and property owners expect, and the title plant, combined with skilled and experienced Runkel staff, produces just that.