There have been several instances in my career that an owners title insurance has fixed the problem. The most memorable incidence was for a house built in the 1930â€™s. The first owner lived in the property until 1998 and then the second owner hired me to sell it. The second ownersâ€™ title company never recognized that the house was in-fact built on the wrong lot - according to the deed. The new buyers bank caught the problem and put the brakes on.
This was huge. Fortunately the original owner in his 80â€™s was a local firefighter and we were able to track his son down a few towns over for signatures to fix the problem. All this research, the document preparation and the attorney and registry fees were paid in full by the title company.
My husband has worked in the land surveying industry for the past 8 years. I believe that we have a large turn over rate in MA because of all the subdivisions / property line changes and foreclosures. Among these are deed mistakes and title liens and other various safety checks that has accounted for our need for title insurance.
Understand that until recently we didnâ€™t have a deed template and it can be challenging interpreting a deed even 50 years old for a description of premise. The funniest description called for blue slashes on trees. Those blue slashes are or have turned green along with red and yellow and other various colors on all sorts of trees in that general area. So do we assume the blue turned green or did the owner run out of blue and decide yellow and red should do or were they logging. You get the point.
As far as earthquake insurance. ??? They say the east coast has a big fault line. When it will be active, who really knows? I suppose you might weight the replacement cost of your property to the overall lifetime cost of the insurance. And then consider what the monthly payment in a decent IRA fund might make. It might surpass the replacement cost of your house in less time.
It is a waste of money....Until you need it!
Spend an hour in your local register of deeds and tell me that the likely hood of human error doesn't exist. The only time you have to worry about scary stories is if you don't have it.