July 3, 2023


Submitting your claim to your title insurer can be a complex and overwhelming process, but it is essential for protecting your property rights. Title insurance provides financial protection for property owners in the event of unforeseen litigation or title defects that may arise later on.

When such events occur, submitting a claim to your title insurer can help you recover losses and protect your investment. However, understanding the claims process and knowing what to expect can make all the difference in getting the compensation you need. In this article, we will discuss the steps you need to take when submitting a claim to your title insurer.


What is title insurance?

Title insurance protects real estate owners, lenders, and investors against financial loss resulting from title defects, including prior liens, ownership disputes, and improperly recorded documents.

By purchasing title insurance, the policyholder ensures that the title to the property is free and clear of any hidden issues that could affect ownership or create problems when selling the property. Unlike other types of insurance policies, title insurance coverage lasts for as long as the policyholder retains ownership of the property, and the policyholder pays a one-time premium at the time of purchase.

There are two main types of title insurance policies: owner’s policies and lender’s policies. An owner’s policy protects the property owner’s legal ownership and rights to use the property, while a lender’s policy protects the lender’s interest in the property as collateral for the loan. Both policies provide coverage for legal fees, court costs, and other expenses related to defending the policyholder’s title to the property.

In addition to title insurance policies, title companies also provide a range of services, including title search and examination, documentation of title-related matters, and issuance of title commitments, title reports, and title policies. Obtaining title insurance is typically a requirement for real estate transactions involving a mortgage, as lenders want to ensure that their collateral is protected against any unforeseen title defects.

However, even when purchasing real estate with cash, it is advisable to obtain title insurance to protect against any unforeseen title issues that could arise in the future.

Why do you need to submit a claim?

Submitting a claim to your title insurer is an important process that must be followed if you want to protect your investment in a property. Whenever there is a problem with a property title, it can cause significant financial loss to the homeowner. This is where title insurance comes in.

Title insurance is designed to protect property owners and lenders from financial losses that may arise due to liens, encumbrances, or defects on a property title. When something goes wrong with your title, submitting a claim to your title insurer is your best option for resolving the issue and receiving compensation for any losses you may have suffered. Filing a claim should be done in a timely and efficient manner to ensure that you receive the support you need as quickly as possible.

What are the common reasons for submitting a claim?

Submitting a claim to your title insurer is a process that can be necessitated by various factors. These factors’ severity and impact could vary from being minor issues to significant ones that could potentially lead to the loss of property ownership.

One of the most common reasons for submitting a claim is when a title defect exists, such as an unknown lien, improperly executed documents, or undisclosed easements. These issues can lead to problems with legal ownership rights and create obstacles in selling the property.

Another reason for submitting a claim is due to fraudulent activities during the purchase of the property, such as forged documents or undisclosed heirs. This could lead to legal disputes and potentially affect the property’s legal ownership rights.

In some cases, claims may arise due to errors during the recording of legal documents or deeds, leading to discrepancies in the title. Other potential reasons for submitting a claim could be related to zoning and land use issues or disputes over property boundaries. Natural disasters, encroachments, and discrepancies in surveys and inspections could also lead to claims being filed against a title insurer.

The severity and significance of these reasons may vary, but they all lead to a necessity to submit a claim and have your title insurer aid you in addressing the issues and resolving them as soon as possible.

Preparing to Submit Your Claim

Gather necessary documents

Before submitting a claim to your title insurer, it is essential to gather all the necessary documents. These documents include the title insurance policy that you were given when you purchased the property, closing documents, and evidence of loss. The title insurance policy outlines the terms of coverage and any exclusions that may be present.

It is important to review the policy thoroughly to understand the scope of coverage and any limitations. Closing documents provide details of the property transfer and any liens or encumbrances that may be present. Evidence of loss can include invoices, receipts, and other documentation that demonstrates the financial impact of the loss. Collecting all of these documents before contacting your title insurer can expedite the claims process and increase the likelihood of a successful outcome.

When gathering these documents, it is important to keep them organized and readily accessible. This can include setting up a folder or filing system for all relevant documents and notes. It is also important to make copies of all documents before submitting them to your insurer. Keeping a record of all communication with your title insurer is also recommended, including dates, times, and the names of any representatives you speak with.

In addition to these documents, it is important to gather any other relevant information that may support your claim. This can include photographs of the property, witness statements, and police reports if applicable. The more evidence that is available to support your claim, the stronger your case will be.

Overall, gathering all necessary documents and evidence is a crucial step in the claims process. This can help to ensure that the claim is handled efficiently and effectively, and that the outcome meets your expectations as the policy holder.

Review your policy

One of the most vital steps in submitting your claim to your title insurer is to review your policy thoroughly. This step will ensure that you fully understand the coverage provided by your title insurance policy. By reviewing your policy, you will be able to determine whether your claim is within the scope of the coverage provided.

It is essential to review your policy carefully to identify any limitations or exclusions that may exist. This will help you to understand the degree of protection offered by your policy and avoid any surprises during the claim submission process.

During the policy review, it is important to look for several essential details such as the type of policy you purchased, the insured amount, the effective date, and any endorsements or exclusions. The type of policy you have will determine what is covered by the insurance company; therefore, it’s essential to understand all the benefits of your coverage.

It is also advisable to review the policy’s exclusions and endorsements carefully. Endorsements can add specific coverage to the policy, and exclusions can remove coverage for specific risks. Some common exclusions include defects, liens, and encumbrances that existed before the policy’s effective date.

In reviewing your policy, you should also keep in mind that title insurance typically covers loss caused by title defects; however, it does not cover losses resulting from factors beyond the insured property’s title, which is why you should read the policy carefully to know what is covered and what is not.

Reviewing your policy is critical to the success of your claim submission. Doing so will help ensure that you understand the specific coverage you have, what is excluded, and what the insurer is responsible for covering. It will also help you identify any gaps in your coverage and assess whether you have evidence of loss. Therefore, reviewing your policy can increase your chances of being compensated for your losses.

Contact your title insurer

After gathering all the necessary documents and reviewing your policy, the next step in submitting your claim to your title insurer is to contact them directly. It’s important to understand that the claims process can be quite complex, so having a good understanding of your policy and the type of coverage that you have is critical.

Before contacting your insurer, it’s also a good idea to prepare yourself in advance by identifying the specific issue that you are facing and any evidence that you have to support your claim. Be prepared to provide your policy number, a description of the issue, and any supporting documentation when you contact the insurer.

The claims representative will likely ask you a series of questions to determine the severity and nature of the issue and will work with you to begin the claims process. Keep in mind that this process can take some time, so it’s important to be patient and follow up with the insurer regularly to ensure that your claim is being handled appropriately.

By working closely with your title insurer and providing them with all of the necessary information, you can greatly increase your chances of receiving fair compensation for the issue you are facing.

Submitting Your Claim

Provide notice of claim

Providing timely notice of your claim to your title insurer is a crucial step towards getting the compensation you deserve. Most title insurance policies require that you notify the title insurer of your claim within a specified period, usually within 30 to 60 days after discovering the loss or damage covered by the policy.

Failing to provide timely notice may result in a denial of your claim, so it is important to act quickly and follow all the requirements for notice. When providing notice of claim, you should give a detailed description of the loss or damage, provide any relevant documents, and explain why you believe the title insurer is responsible.

The notice should be in writing and sent by certified mail or other means that provide proof of delivery. In some cases, the notice may need to be sent to specific individuals or departments within the title insurer, so it is important to review your policy and follow the notice requirements carefully. Providing notice of your claim in a timely and thorough manner will help ensure that your claim is handled efficiently and fairly.

Complete claim form

After providing notice of your claim to your title insurer, the next step is to complete the claim form. The claim form is a critical document that provides your insurer with the necessary information to investigate and process your claim.

When completing the claim form, it is essential to ensure that all the required information is accurately and completely filled out. This may include your contact information, policy number, a detailed description of the claim, and the amount of your claim.

It is crucial to be as specific as possible when describing the claim in the form. This will help the insurer to thoroughly investigate and assess the validity and extent of your claim. If there are any discrepancies or missing information in the claim form, it may delay the processing of your claim or even lead to a denial of the claim.

Moreover, when completing the claim form, it is essential to be honest and transparent. Any false or misleading information may jeopardize your claim and even result in criminal charges. It is also important to keep a copy of the completed claim form for your records.

In addition to the basic information, the claim form may require supporting documents to be submitted along with the form. These may include evidence of ownership, property deeds, title policies, or any other relevant documents that support your claim.

After completing the claim form and gathering the necessary supporting documents, you should submit your claim to your insurer as soon as possible. It is essential to follow up with your insurer regularly to ensure that your claim is being processed in a timely manner.

Submit supporting documents

The submission of supporting documents is an integral step in the process of submitting a claim to your title insurer. As part of your claim submission, it is important to provide your title insurer with any supporting materials that may be relevant to your claim. These documents could include copies of deeds, contracts, or any other relevant legal documents that may pertain to the issue at hand.

Another key aspect of submitting supporting documents is to ensure that they are submitted in a timely and comprehensive manner. This means that you should aim to provide as much detail as possible to your title insurer when you submit your claim, as this will help to expedite the claims process and ensure that your claim is resolved as quickly and efficiently as possible.

In addition to providing supporting documents, it is also important to work closely with your title insurer to ensure that you are providing them with all of the information and documentation that they need to effectively evaluate your claim. This may include answering any questions that your title insurer may have, providing additional information as needed, and cooperating fully with the claims process as it moves forward.

Overall, the submission of supporting documents is a critical step in the process of submitting a claim to your title insurer. By providing your title insurer with all of the necessary documentation and working closely with them to address any concerns or questions that they may have, you can help to ensure that your claim is resolved as quickly and efficiently as possible, and that you are able to move forward with confidence and peace of mind.

Cooperate with the title insurer

When submitting a claim to your title insurer, it is crucial to cooperate with the insurer to ensure the claim process goes smoothly. This includes responding promptly to any information or documentation requests made by the insurer. It is also important to be forthright and honest when providing information related to the claim. Failure to cooperate with the insurer can result in delays or denials of the claim.

In the event that the insurer requests additional supporting documentation, it is important to provide it as soon as possible. This can include copies of any contracts, deeds, or other documents related to the title of the property in question. It may also include documentation related to any repairs or improvements made to the property since the title insurance policy was issued.

Additionally, it is important to keep a detailed record of all communications with the insurer. This includes saving any emails, letters, or other correspondence related to the claim. It may also include taking notes of phone conversations or in-person meetings. By keeping detailed records, the insured can ensure that they have a full understanding of the claim process and can refer back to previous communications if necessary.

If the insurer requests an inspection of the property, it is important to cooperate and schedule the inspection as soon as possible. During the inspection, it is important to be honest and transparent about any issues related to the property. This may include issues with the title or physical issues related to the property, such as damage or defects.

Finally, it is important to be patient when working with the insurer to resolve the claim. The process can take time, but by cooperating with the insurer and providing the necessary information and documentation, the insured can help to ensure that the claim is resolved as quickly and efficiently as possible.

Title Insurer’s Response

Acknowledgement of claim

The first step in submitting a claim to your title insurer is the acknowledgement of the claim. This involves notifying the title insurer that you have a claim and providing all relevant details and documentation. It is important to provide accurate and complete information, as any discrepancies or omissions can delay the investigation or resolution of your claim.

The title insurer will typically provide a written acknowledgement of your claim, which will include the contact information for the claims department and the assigned claims adjuster. As the investigation of your claim progresses, it is important to stay in communication with the claims adjuster and provide any additional information or documentation as requested.

Investigation of claim

Once the title insurance company has received and acknowledged your claim, they will proceed with an investigation. The purpose of the investigation is to determine the validity of your claim and assess what damages or losses you may have incurred. This process can be done either by the in-house adjuster or through a third-party investigator.

During the investigation process, the title insurer will examine the title records and analyze any relevant documentation relating to your claim. This includes deed records, land surveys, and any other legal documents pertaining to the transaction. The insurer will also conduct interviews with parties involved in the transaction, including the buyer, seller, real estate agents, and any other witnesses who may provide valuable insight.

They will search for any errors or omissions that may have taken place during the transaction, as well as any defects or encumbrances on the title. In some cases, they may even conduct a physical inspection of the property. The investigation process can take several weeks to several months, depending on the complexity of the claim and the amount of documentation involved.

Once the investigation is complete, the insurer will provide you with a detailed report of their findings, which will either grant or deny your claim. If your claim is approved, the insurer may offer a settlement, which could include covering the cost of legal fees, compensating for lost property value, or repairing title defects.

On the other hand, if your claim is denied, the insurer will provide you with a detailed explanation as to why it was denied. At this point, you may choose to pursue legal action with the assistance of an attorney to attempt to resolve your claim.

Resolution of claim

Once the title insurer has completed its investigation, the claim will move into the resolution phase. At this point, the title insurer will typically make a determination as to whether or not to pay the claim. If the title insurer decides to pay the claim, it may do so by paying the homeowner directly or by working with the homeowner’s mortgage lender to pay off any liens or outstanding debts. Alternatively, the title insurer may deny the claim outright.

In this case, the homeowner may choose to pursue legal action against the title insurer or, depending on the circumstances of the claim, against the seller of the property or anyone else who may have been involved in the transaction.

It’s worth noting that the resolution of a title insurance claim can be a lengthy and complex process, particularly if legal action is taken. Homeowners who find themselves in this situation should work closely with their title insurer and/or legal counsel to understand their rights and explore their options.

Appealing a Denial

Review your policy

Before submitting a claim to your title insurer, it is important to review your policy thoroughly. This includes understanding the coverage limits, conditions, and exclusions outlined in your policy. It is also important to review any endorsements or riders that may have been added to your policy since you purchased it.

Understanding the language in your policy can be challenging, but it is necessary to ensure that you are submitting a valid claim that will be covered by your policy. Additionally, reviewing your policy can help you identify any gaps in coverage or areas where you may want to consider purchasing additional coverage.

Contact the title insurer

When it comes to submitting your claim to your title insurer, it is crucial to first review your policy to understand the type of coverage that you have. After reviewing your policy, the next step is to contact the title insurer to initiate the claims process. It is essential to ensure that you have all the relevant documents and details before making the call.

The insurer will need your policy number, the date of the policy, and a description of the problem you are facing. Additionally, you should be prepared to provide any relevant evidence such as copies of contracts, deeds, or other legal documents that support your claim.

When on the call, ensure that you are clear and concise in your explanation of the problem and that you understand the process moving forward. The insurer will assign you a claims adjuster who will be your primary point of contact throughout the process. This adjuster will be responsible for investigating your claim and working with you to resolve the issue.

It is recommended that you maintain regular contact with the adjuster to stay updated on the status of your claim. Remember to keep detailed notes of any conversations or correspondence with the adjuster and the insurer, including dates, times, and any agreements or commitments made. By following these steps, you can increase the likelihood of a successful claims process and a satisfactory resolution to your issue.

File a complaint

When it comes to submitting a claim to your title insurer, it’s essential to know how to file a complaint properly. The process of filing a complaint usually involves submitting a written statement detailing the grounds of your complaint, the damages you’ve incurred, and your preferred resolution outcome.

These complaints are typically reviewed by the Title Insurance Company’s legal department, and if they find evidence of wrongdoing, they may negotiate with you to settle the claim outside of court. It’s critical to provide as much evidence as possible in your complaint to support your claim.

This evidence can include contracts, receipts, and correspondence related to the transaction or dispute. Additionally, you should be sure to keep track of each stage of the complaint process and maintain regular communication with your insurance company regarding its progress.

If you’re unable to come to a resolution, you may wish to seek legal counsel from an attorney experienced in real estate law. However, in most situations, a satisfactory outcome can be reached by submitting a detailed complaint and maintaining good communication with your insurer.


Importance of submitting a claim

Final thoughts

When submitting a claim to your title insurer, it is important to keep in mind that the process can be complex and time-consuming. However, the benefits of doing so outweigh the potential drawbacks of not doing so. By submitting your claim promptly, you can provide your insurer with the necessary information to begin the claim process, which can ultimately save you time, money, and stress. Additionally, by being diligent in your submissions, you can ensure that your claim is handled professionally and efficiently, giving you peace of mind that your investment is protected. Finally, it is important to remember that submitting your claim is only the first step in the process. You must also be willing to work closely with your insurer throughout the claims process to ensure that you receive the compensation you deserve. By following these simple steps, you can ensure that your investment is protected, and that you have the necessary coverage to weather any storm.

Submitting Your Claim to Your Title Insurer FAQs

1. How do I submit a claim to my title insurer?

To submit a claim to your title insurer, you will need to gather all the necessary documents related to the claim, including the title insurance policy, the recorded deed, and any other supporting documents. Once you have all the necessary documents, you can file a claim with your title insurer either online or by mail.

2. What kind of claims can I file with my title insurer?

You can file a claim with your title insurer for any number of issues, including title defects, liens, encumbrances, or other issues that arise after the purchase of your property. However, it’s important to note that not all claims will be approved by your title insurer, as each policy is different and has its own set of exclusions and limitations.

3. How long does it take for my title insurer to respond to my claim?

The length of time it takes for your title insurer to respond to your claim will vary depending on the complexity of your claim, the amount of documentation you submit, and the workload of your title insurer at the time. Generally, it’s best to allow for 30-60 days before following up with your title insurer on the status of your claim.

4. What should I do if my claim is denied by my title insurer?

If your claim is denied by your title insurer, you may want to seek legal advice or discuss your options with a real estate attorney. It may be possible to negotiate with your title insurer or take legal action to resolve the issue.

5. Can I appeal a decision made by my title insurer?

Yes, you can appeal a decision made by your title insurer if you feel that the decision was incorrect or unfair. You will need to review the terms of your title insurance policy to determine the process for appealing a decision and follow those procedures carefully.

About the Author

As a native Washingtonian, Carlos Reyes’ journey in the real estate industry began more than 15 years ago when he started an online real estate company. Since then, he’s helped more than 700 individuals and families as a real estate broker achieve their real estate goals across Virginia, Maryland and Washington, DC.

Carlos now helps real estate agents grow their business by teaching business fundamentals, execution, and leadership.

{"email":"Email address invalid","url":"Website address invalid","required":"Required field missing"}