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The home you are planning to buy is spotless both inside and out.

It’s perfect for you – until you find out it has a bit of a checkered past.

We’re talking about a title that isn’t as pristine as the house. And that’s why you need title insurance when you purchase a home in Florida.

When you make such a large investment, as in buying a home, you need to know that no one else has an interest in the property – meaning it has a clean title.

A title is the ownership of real estate and controls your legal right to the use, control and possession of the property. But just like a home, a title can be defective – and that can result in a loss in your investment.

Defects can include the title being transferred by someone underage, by a married person trying to sell the property without their spouse’s permission, undisclosed heirs, false affidavits, invalid divorces and undisclosed money owed on the property such as a contractor’s lien.

By purchasing owner’s title insurance, the title will be checked for defects. Title insurance protects you and/or your lender from others claiming a right to your property or a debt that the previous owner didn’t pay. If your right to the title of the property ever is challenged, the underwriter of your title insurance will defend your title. That underwriter also will pay any losses you incur, up to the limit of your title insurance.

This is just a brief overview of title insurance, which can be complex. When you buy a home, you have a huge investment on the line, and title insurance is essential. A Florida attorney who works with real estate transactions can advise you about title insurance and other legal issues when buying a residential property.