Mom! What’s Title Insurance? And What in the World is an Underwriter?!

27 Jun

Mom! What’s Title Insurance? And What in the World is an Underwriter?!

For those of you that have never bought property (like myself), you’ve probably never heard the term title insurance or underwriter – I hadn’t, but guess what?! I happen to be working for a title insurance underwriting company. Now, what does that mean for me? Other than PCF (permanent-confused-face), I had to learn quickly the role my company plays for our clients.

Essentially, I am the Andy Dwyer of the title insurance world. For those of you that have never seen the amazing show ‘Parks and Recreation,’ Andy Dwyer is the character who knows nothing of what his friends do in local government–he’s the extra comedic relief to best put it. Much like Mr. Dwyer, I know nothing about what my friends/co-workers do here at First National Title Insurance Company (FNTI). However, considering my position as a data entry specialist–it’s not necessary for me to know everything. Then again, I want to know! I want to be the Leslie Knope of title insurance (another “Parks & Rec” character, and I’m going to literally quote this show all the time, you’ve been warned (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_Xjka07o1-0). From the short amount of time I’ve worked with FNTI, I’ve realized how important the service we provide is to the public.

So, what’s title insurance in beginner terminology? Well, it’s an essential piece when buying property. For millennials like myself (who ARE the majority age group of homebuyers at thirty-four percent according to the National Association of Realtors), the process of how to buy property might have crossed your mind, but it’s likely you don’t know the nuances that go along with it. However for future reference, by having title insurance, the buyer and lender will be protected from any prior ownership issues (past property claim, unpaid property taxes, fake deed, etc.). Meaning, your property rights will be defended against any previous owner ties that come back unsettled.

If you don’t have title insurance, and a previous claim of property ownership comes back to haunt you…one of my favorite sit-com scientist, Dr. Hofstadter, put it best, “What would you be if you were attached to another object by an inclined plane wrapped helically around an axis?” The answer: you’re screwed. Without title insurance, there’s the risk you could lose your property and/or house, which would be devastating for anyone. Best fix, get title insurance!

Now, to the underwriter. An underwriter works alongside with the title agent–another fun term, yay! The title agent addresses insurance needs and issue policies for each individual. Then, as the underwriter, we insure these issued policies. To all intents and purpose, the underwriter is the backbone which supports the title insurance company’s promise. That’s why it’s crucial to have a diligent underwriter on a title agent’s side.

The job opportunity in this industry is endless–another reason my generation should take notice. The big-wigs of title insurance are soon looking at retirement, so there will be amazing prospects in this field. There is still so much for me to learn, and I hope to share the lessons I learn to those interested in this great industry. I know with the help of my amazing co-workers, I’ll be Leslie Knope status in no time, and so will you!

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