Q: Can I buy title insurance for more than what I paid for the property?
A: You can’t arbitrarily overpay for title insurance, according to Glenn Bradley of Westcor, our underwriter.
Title insurance rates 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. The only numbers you can use for those rates are as follows:
1. Sales Price
3. Assessed Value
A guy paid $60,000 cash at a foreclosure sale. He bought title insurance for the property based on the Assessed Value of $100,000. The Certificate of Title shows up, and a month later, the sale is vacated, meaning the buyer lost his property.
Weird things like this happen, which is why it’s good to have title insurance.
But, the guy goes to file his claim and the title insurance company (not mine) tells him they’d make him whole on $60,000, but that he wasn’t going to get a windfall at their expense. The guy wasn’t looking to make a windfall—he’d lost potential value with a buyer in place!
I have a problem with a title insurance company that let the buyer pay a higher premium, but then paid off a lesser amount. That’s bad business.
My underwriters, Fidelity Title Insurance Company and Westcor Title Insurance, have confirmed that they would have paid the title claim of $100,000. It is my belief that when this man fights this in a court of law he will come out on the winning side.