Last updated on April 16th, 2024 at 06:31 am

In Texas, responsibility for title insurance can vary depending on the type of policy and local market norms. Here’s a breakdown:

Lender’s Title Insurance:

  • Always required: Lenders will require the buyer to purchase a lender’s title insurance policy. This protects the lender’s financial interest in the property if there are title defects like liens, fraud, or ownership disputes.
  • Who pays: Typically, the buyer pays for the lender’s title insurance as part of their closing costs. However, in some cases, the seller may choose to contribute or cover it entirely as part of their negotiating strategy.

Owner’s Title Insurance:

  • Optional: Owner’s title insurance protects the buyer’s ownership interest. It covers legal expenses and potential losses if issues arise after closing, like claims against the title by hidden heirs or forged documents.
  • Who pays: Traditionally, the seller pays for the owner’s title insurance in Texas. However, this is negotiable, and the buyer can choose to pay for it themselves if they want extra protection.

What is Title Insurance

Title insurance provides protection against financial loss that could arise from defects or issues with the property’s title.

Understanding the Purpose of Title Insurance: Title insurance is designed to protect individuals and entities involved in real estate transactions from potential risks associated with the property’s title.

It ensures that the buyer and lender have clear and marketable ownership rights over the property.

The Importance of a Clear Title: A clear title is essential for a smooth real estate transaction. It means that there are no legal disputes, liens, or claims on the property that could affect ownership rights.

A clear title provides peace of mind to both buyers and lenders, knowing that they are acquiring a property free from any potential defects or encumbrances.

The Role of Title Companies: Title companies play a vital role in the title insurance process.

They conduct a thorough title search, examining public records to assess the property’s history and identify any potential issues.

The title company then issues a title commitment, which outlines the conditions and requirements for issuing the title insurance policy.

Types of Title Insurance Policies: There are two main types of title insurance policies: owner’s policy and lender’s policy.

An owner’s policy protects the buyer’s interests in the property, while a lender’s policy protects the lender’s investment in case of any title issues. 

The Responsibility for Payment in Texas: It is common for the seller to pay for the owner’s title policy, while the buyer typically covers the cost of the lender’s policy.

However, this practice is subject to negotiation between the parties involved in the real estate transaction.

Understanding Title Insurance

Different Types of Title Policies: There are two primary types of title insurance policies: owner’s policy and lender’s policy.

Owner’s Policy: An owner’s policy is typically purchased by the homebuyer and provides coverage based on the purchase price of the property.

It protects the buyer from any claims or issues arising from past ownership, including forgery, liens, encroachments, or boundary disputes.

This policy remains in effect for as long as the buyer or their heirs own the property.

Lender’s Policy: A lender’s policy, on the other hand, is usually required by the mortgage lender to protect their investment in the property.

This policy focuses on the loan amount and provides coverage against any title defects or issues that may affect the lender’s priority lien position.

The lender’s policy is valid as long as the mortgage is in effect.

Conducting a Title Search: Before issuing a title insurance policy, a thorough title search is conducted by a title insurance company or a title agent.

This search examines the public records to identify any potential issues or defects with the property’s title.

This step is crucial to ensure that the buyer and lender receive a clear title, minimizing the risk of financial loss in the future.

Who Typically Pays 

Texas, much like many other states, has its own practices regarding who typically pays for title insurance. 

The Norm in Texas: It is customary for the seller to pay for the owner’s title policy, also known as the owners title insurance policy, as part of the overall closing costs.

This policy ensures that the buyer receives a clear and marketable title to the property they are purchasing, which means there are no unresolved liens, encumbrances, or other title defects that could affect their ownership rights.

Additional Policies: While the seller generally covers the cost of the owner’s policy, there is another type of title insurance policy involved in real estate transactions the lender’s policy. 

This policy is required by most mortgage lenders to protect their financial interest in the property.

In Texas, it is common for the buyer to pay for the lender’s policy.

Negotiations and Special Conditions: Like any negotiation, the responsibility for paying for title insurance can be subject to contractual agreements between the buyer and seller.

Specific Conditions: In some cases, special conditions may arise that affect the distribution of payment for title insurance.

For example, if the real estate market in Texas is highly competitive and favors sellers (known as a seller’s market), the buyer may choose to take on the expense of the owner’s policy in order to make their offer more appealing.

Consultation and Legal Advice: It is always advisable for both buyers and sellers to consult with a real estate attorney or a title insurance agent to fully understand their rights, obligations, and protections when it comes to title insurance.

How much is title insurance in Texas


Let’s say you’re in the process of buying a property in Texas with a purchase price of $300,000. When it comes to title insurance, the buyer is typically responsible for paying for the owner’s title insurance policy. 

The premium for this policy is usually based on the purchase price of the property. In Texas, the premium is set at $4.75 per $1,000 of the purchase price.

To calculate the premium for your title insurance policy, you would multiply the purchase price ($300,000) by the premium rate ($4.75 per $1,000). 

Premium = Purchase price x Premium rate

Premium = $300,000 x $4.75 per $1,000

Premium = $1,425

So in this example, the premium for the owner’s title insurance policy would be $1,425. This is the main cost associated with title insurance in Texas, and it is a one-time payment made at the closing of the real estate transaction.

In addition to the premium, there may be other potential fees involved in obtaining title insurance. 

These could include search fees, examination fees, and closing or settlement fees. The specific costs may vary depending on the title company or attorney you work with.

Seller’s Responsibility for Owner’s Policy

The responsibility for purchasing an owner’s title insurance policy generally falls on the seller. 

The Importance of an Owner’s Policy: The owner’s title policy is specifically designed to safeguard the buyer’s investment in the property.

It ensures that the buyer obtains clear legal title to the property, free from any unknown or undisclosed defects.

In the event of a title dispute or defect that arises after the purchase, the owner’s policy offers coverage for legal expenses and financial losses.

Why the Seller Is Responsible: In Texas, it’s customary for the seller to bear the cost of the owner’s title insurance policy.

This is because the seller typically has possession and control of the property’s title during the transaction.

By providing the owner’s policy, the seller demonstrates their commitment to providing a property with a good and marketable title.

The Role of the Title Company: The title company conducts a thorough title search, which involves examining public records to identify any potential issues or defects.

Once the search is complete, the title company issues a commitment for title insurance, outlining the conditions and requirements for issuing the policy.

Costs and Additional Services: It is a one-time fee paid at closing. Along with the policy itself, the title company may offer additional services, such as escrow and closing services, to facilitate the smooth transfer of ownership.

Buyer’s Responsibility for Lender’s Policy

Understanding the Lender’s Policy: It ensures that the lender has a valid and enforceable lien against the property in case of any title defects or issues

Who Pays for the Lender’s Policy: In most cases, the buyer is responsible for paying for the lender’s policy.

Cost of the Lender’s Policy: The cost of the lender’s policy is typically a one-time fee paid at the closing of the real estate transaction.

The cost is based on the loan amount and is usually a percentage of the loan.

Buyers can expect to pay anywhere from a few hundred to several thousand dollars for the lender’s policy.

Additional Costs and Fees

While title insurance itself provides essential protection for both buyers and lenders in real estate transactions, there are a few expenses that buyers should be aware of.

Title Search Fee: Before issuing a title insurance policy, a title company conducts a thorough examination of public records to determine the property’s history of ownership and any potential liens or encumbrances.

This process is known as a title search. The cost of a title search is typically borne by the buyer, and it can vary depending on the complexity of the property’s title history.

Title Insurance Premium:  The premium is a one-time payment made by the buyer or the borrower and is based on the purchase price of the property.

The premium amount can vary from one transaction to another and is regulated by the Texas Department of Insurance.

Endorsement Fees: Endorsements are add-ons to the standard title insurance policy and cover matters like zoning issues or survey irregularities.

Each endorsement comes with its own fee, which is typically paid by the party requesting the endorsement.

Closing Fee: The closing fee is the cost associated with the administrative tasks and services provided during the closing process.

It covers activities such as preparing the necessary documents, coordinating with all parties involved, and facilitating the transfer of funds.

The closing fee is typically split between the buyer and the seller, or as negotiated in the sales contract.

Recording Fees: When a real estate transaction is finalized, certain documents need to be recorded in the public records.

These documents include the deed, mortgage, and any other relevant paperwork.

The cost of recording these documents can vary depending on the county and the number of pages involved.

Importance of Professional Guidance

A knowledgeable title company or title insurance agent can provide invaluable assistance throughout the real estate transaction, ensuring that the buyer and lender are protected from potential financial loss due to unforeseen title defects or boundary disputes.

Expertise in Title Search: A skilled title company or agent will conduct a thorough title search, examining the property’s public records to uncover any potential issues that may affect the title. 

Ensuring a Good Title: A title company can identify any outstanding liens, mortgages, or judgments on the property and work towards clearing them prior to the sale. 

Mitigating Risks: An experienced title company or agent can guide both buyers and lenders through the intricate process, reducing the risk of errors or oversights that could lead to detrimental consequences. 

Compliance with Regulations: The Texas Department of Insurance regulates the title insurance industry to protect consumers.

A reputable title insurance company or agent stays up-to-date with the latest regulations and adheres to the guidelines set forth by the state. 

Support during Disputes: In the unfortunate event of a boundary dispute or title defect surfacing after the transaction, having professional guidance becomes invaluable

Final Thoughts

Title insurance serves as a safeguard, protecting buyers and lenders from any unforeseen issues with the property’s title.

While it is generally the buyer who pays for the lender’s policy in Texas and the sellers responsibility to pay for the owner’s policy, it is important to note that negotiations on who bears the cost can vary depending on the circumstances.