Although title insurance is technically optional, many would-be buyers of homes in the Rocky Mount, North Carolina, area may have to fork over the money for a policy, usually at the insistence of the bank who is offering the mortgage.

It is actually not always a bad idea to obtain title insurance. While one might not think about it, or even care to, given the way our state determines ownership, it is fairly likely for mistakes or oversights to happen that could mean a person does not legally own all of the property she thinks she purchased.

In the worst-case scenario, one of these so-called title defects can lead to a complete loss of the land, and home, one worked so hard to buy, as well as the money one used to buy it.

Title insurance is there to cover an owner financially in the event that they lose all or part of the value of their property due to a defect.

In practice, though, the bulk of the work the company, or its agent, does entails researching the property to make sure the buyer is not in fact purchasing a property with a title defect and all the legal problems that go with it. Sometimes, minor defects can even be fixed quickly before a sale.

Some find title insurance to be a relatively modest investment in exchange for a great deal of peace of mind. However, even with title insurance, it may still be necessary to have a lawyer experienced with residential real estate help in the event of a problem with title. For instance, filing and then prosecuting a claim with a title insurance company can be a complicated process.