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  • Mary O'Donnell

Title Insurance Is Vital to Protect the American Dream

To contact the author of this story: Mary O’Donnell at

Based in East Rockaway, New York, Marc Rovner is an attorney who oversees the legal department at Beta Abstract LLC, a multi-million-dollar title insurance company. With over 30 years of experience in the field, Marc Rovner also provides legal education on title insurance and real estate law.

Mary O’Donnell, CEO of Westcor Land Title Insurance Co., explains the importance of protecting your property.

Title insurance is imperative for lenders to ensure the borrower has ownership rights to a property, but it doesn’t just protect against problems affecting title. It plays an essential role in the economics of homeownership, ensuring that credit reaches those who need it and providing safeguards to those who lend it. The capital markets depend on the due diligence, transparency, and protection our industry provides to do its job.

In fact, our industry is so important that throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, title insurance professionals were deemed essential by the federal government. Their hard work kept a major part of the economy running during a challenging time when purchasing a home meant more than ever.

During this same time, our industry helped consumers take advantage of low interest rates to refinance mortgages. In a refinancing, homeowners obtain a new loan and lenders require a new title search and a title insurance policy on that loan to protect their investment. Professionals conduct the search and examine documents, with title companies regularly providing a discount, or “reissue rate” on a refinance.

Discounts also may be available if using the same lender that issued the original loan. And because the home’s ownership remains unchanged, a homeowners’ title insurance “Owner’s Policy” is valid through refinance.

Real estate is a $3 trillion industry in the United States. There has been a great deal of innovation around purchasing homes, making credit available, and closing real estate transactions. This innovation is positive for consumers. However, sometimes innovators can misrepresent products or sow confusion. They point to low claims ratios as evidence that title insurance is unnecessary. Not only is this not true, but it is a fundamental misunderstanding of what title professionals do and how our underwriting protects this work.

Mary O’Donnell is CEO of Westcor Land Title Insurance Co. and a past president of the American Land Title Association.

To contact the author of this story: Mary O’Donnell at

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