Mark and Kevin are right with their answers but there is also the "profit" factor. Title insurance companies get to sell a brand new policy each time a title transfers to a new buyer, imagine that....
Personally, I think that it would be a fair and reasonable compromise if title policies would carry over on a property for a "transfer fee" or a reduced premium (i.e. the original policy was sold for $1,000 and each subsequent buyer would pay, say, $300 to carry it on).
Or, perhaps the current owner has taken out additional loans against the property.
All of these aspects, and many more, are explored by the title company when a contract on a property is submitted.
It is their job to insure that a new owner takes possession of a property with a clear title. That means no one else has any legal or financial claim on it except the new owner.
Marc Jablon, The Jablon Team
RE/MAX Complete Solutions