There are title companies and there are title agencies. Title companies are the actual insurance company, and typically you want a national company that is the insurance company insuring the property.
Then there are the title agencies. They are just the agents of that company. It is the agents who are typically doing the closings. If the agent steals your money, it’s the agent you have to go after. There is an exception to that, and the exception is if we get a “closing protection letter” from the title insurance company.
In Ohio, by law, you have to be offered the ability to receive that closing protection letter and we recommend it. The cost is nominal compared to the size of these transactions.
An additional protection you receive from the closing protection letter is that you’re protected from a title agency’s errors. For example, if you give the title agency instructions, (for example, remove those exceptions from the policy), and they don’t follow those instructions, and you’ve got a closing protection letter, then that puts the title company itself with liability, not just the agency.
Unfortunately, we are seeing more and more often, title policies that are issued after the closing that do not follow what the title agencies agreed to issue and that we instructed them to issue. With our instructions in hand and the closing protection letter we are usually able to have the policy corrected promptly.