Title Insurance

Key Elements of a Title Insurance Policy

There are five basic elements of a title insurance policy. It’s important to understand each so that you fully understand your policy and what it does for you. 

Covered Risks

All types of insurance serve to mitigate risk of a range of things occurring, depending on the type of policy. In the case of title insurance, covered risks include things like liens or encumbrances that were not uncovered or remedied in the title clearing process. 

Common covered risks include: 

  • Someone else owns title to your property.
  • Encumbrances or defects arising from fraud or forgery. 
  • Liens from unpaid taxes or assessments. 
  • Defects which make your title unmarketable (i.e. you don’t have the ability to sell or convey your interest in the property. One example would be property that violates municipal zoning laws). 
  • Easements or rights of access to the property. 
  • Records in your chain of title that were incorrectly filed or registered.
  • Right of access to the property (e.g.the land is not accessible by a public road and you have no legal means of accessing the land). 


Basically, your title insurance policy is coverage against any impairment to your right of ownership of the property that you purchased.

There may be other covered risks, which will be enumerated in this section. It is important to read this carefully so that you know what kinds of claims you can make against your policy should the need arise. 

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Every insurance policy has exclusions, or types of risks not specifically covered by the policy. If a risk is excluded, the policyholder’s claim will not be considered by the insurer if that type of risk arises. Make sure you read the exclusions just as carefully as you do the covered risks when evaluating the policy. 

Common exclusions include: 

  • Governmental regulations, including zoning and eminent domain 
  • Matters that may affect title but were agreed to by the insured
  • Defects or encumbrances known to the insured, but not disclosed to the title company prior to the date of the insurance, such as known easements or rights of way 
  • Homestead, community property, or survivorship rights of the insured’s spouse
  • Certain taxes and assessments


Common exclusions are generally matters that either the owner is responsible for or were not discoverable by the title insurance agency.


Schedule A

Schedule A is the description schedule for title insurance. It sets out the name of the insured, the amount of the insurance, the description of the property being insured, and the effective date of the policy.  

Schedule B

Schedule B lays out the exceptions to the policy based on what was found in the title clearing process. Placing these defects, encumbrances, and liens in Schedule B indicates to the insured that, while the issues exist and have not been remedied, the insured will not be able to make claims against the policy for any losses arising from such issues. 


Conditions are a fairly standard element of contracts.  In the case of a title insurance policy, the conditions act as the terms of the policy, setting out important definitions, the process for filing a claim, what is required to prove loss, and how the title company goes about handling the claim.


Understanding these terms is very important in the event that something does arise which affects your title. Knowing exactly what you need to do and what the process is after you make a claim can save a lot of time, money, and heartache. 

The information provided on this site does not, and is not intended to, constitute legal advice. All content is for general informational purposes only and is not intended to provide a complete description of the subject matter. Specific processes will vary based on applicable law. The title and closing process will be handled by a third-party attorney to the extent required by law. Product offerings vary by jurisdiction and are not available or solicited in any state where we are not licensed.