Do I Need Home Title Lock Insurance? What You Need To Know

Home title lock insurance is a service that claims to protect homeowners from title theft, which is a type of identity theft where someone fraudulently transfers the ownership of your property to themselves.

Do I Need Home Title Lock Insurance?

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Property

But is this service really necessary or worth the cost? Here are some facts and tips to help you decide.

What Is Title Theft and How Does It Happen?

Title theft occurs when someone uses forged documents or identity information to transfer the ownership of your property to themselves or a third party.

They may then use your property as collateral for loans, sell it to unsuspecting buyers, or even evict you from your own home.

Title theft can happen in several ways, such as:

Phishing

A hacker may send you an email or a text message that looks like it comes from a legitimate source, such as your bank, your mortgage lender, or your title company.

The message may ask you to click on a link or provide personal information, such as your Social Security number, your account number, or your password.

If you do so, the hacker may use this information to access your online accounts and steal your identity.

Hacking

A hacker may breach the security of a company or an agency that has access to your personal or property records, such as a title company, a county recorder, or a credit bureau.

The hacker may then use this information to create fake documents and transfer your property title to themselves or someone else.

Forgery

A fraudster may obtain a copy of your deed or other property documents and alter them to change the ownership information.

They may then file these documents with the county recorder’s office and claim to be the new owner of your property.

Impersonation

A fraudster may pretend to be you or someone related to you, such as a spouse, a child, or an heir.

They may then use fake identification documents and signatures to transfer your property title to themselves or someone else.

How Can I Prevent Title Theft?

The best way to prevent title theft is to be vigilant and proactive about protecting your identity and your property records. Here are some steps you can take:

Monitor your credit reports

You can get a free copy of your credit report from each of the three major credit bureaus (Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion) once a year at [AnnualCreditReport.com](^1^).

You should check your credit reports regularly for any suspicious activity, such as new accounts, inquiries, or debts that you don’t recognize.

If you find any errors or signs of fraud, you should report them immediately to the credit bureau and the creditor involved.

Freeze your credit reports

You can also freeze your credit reports for free at each of the three credit bureaus.

This will prevent anyone from opening new accounts in your name without your permission.

You can unfreeze your credit reports anytime you need to apply for credit yourself.

Review your records

You should also check your property records periodically for any changes or discrepancies.

Do this by visiting the county recorder’s office where your property is located or by searching online on their website.

You should look for any documents that show a transfer of ownership, a lien, an easement, or any other encumbrance on your property that you don’t recognize.

If you find any problems, you should contact the county recorder’s office and the title company immediately.

Protect your personal information

You should also be careful about how you share and store your personal information online and offline.

Avoid clicking on links or attachments in unsolicited emails or texts that ask for your personal or financial information.

You should also use strong passwords and encryption for your online accounts and devices. You should also shred any documents that contain sensitive information before disposing of them.

What Is Home Title Lock Insurance and Do I Need It?

Home title lock insurance is not actually an insurance policy, but rather a monitoring service that alerts you if there is any activity on your property title.

The service claims to scan public records daily and notify you by email, phone, or text if there is any change in the ownership status of your property.

However, home title lock insurance is not necessary or required for most homeowners.

According to some experts and consumer advocates, home title lock insurance does not provide any additional protection that you cannot get yourself by following the steps mentioned above.

Moreover, home title lock insurance can be expensive, ranging from $10 to $25 per month, which adds up to $120 to $300 per year.

Instead of paying for home title lock insurance, you may be better off investing in other types of protection that are more comprehensive and cost-effective, such as:

Title insurance

Title insurance is a one-time fee that you pay when you buy a property or refinance your mortgage.

It protects you and your lender from any defects or claims on your property title that may have existed before you bought the property.

Unlike home title lock insurance, title insurance covers the legal costs and losses if you have to defend your title in court or if you lose your property due to a title defect.

Title insurance is usually required by lenders and is highly recommended by experts for buyers.

Identity theft protection services

Identity theft protection services are subscription-based services that monitor your personal and financial information for any signs of fraud or misuse.

They may also provide alerts, credit monitoring, identity restoration, and insurance coverage if you become a victim of identity theft.

Identity theft protection services are more comprehensive than home title lock insurance, as they cover not only your property title, but also your bank accounts, credit cards, social media accounts, and other aspects of your identity.

Identity theft protection services vary in price and features, but you can find some reputable and affordable options online.

 Conclusion

Home title lock insurance is a service that claims to protect homeowners from title theft, which is a type of identity theft where someone fraudulently transfers the ownership of your property to themselves.

However, home title lock insurance is not necessary or required for most homeowners, as it does not provide any additional protection that you cannot get yourself by being vigilant and proactive about protecting your identity and your property records.

Instead of paying for home title lock insurance, you may be better off investing in other types of protection that are more comprehensive and cost-effective, such as title insurance and identity theft protection services.

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