About Title Insurance in Virginia

If you're refinancing or buying a home in Virginia, this article will give you VA-specific information to help you better understand and shop for title insurance for your home purchase or refinance. To compare title insurance cost options, use our VA title company comparison tool.

Products and Services

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What title insurance products do consumers usually purchase in VA?

For most transactions, most consumers purchase the following:

Title Insurance Policies

  • ALTA Owner’s Policy (insurance for the buyer/owner of the property)
  • ALTA Loan Policy (insurance for the lender when financing is involved i.e. a refinance or financed home purchase)
Title Services
  • Title Search
  • Title Examination
  • Title Commitment
Title Services
  • Settlement/Closing Services
  • Closing Protection Letter
  • Courier Service
ALTA refers to the American Land Title Association, an organization that provides coverage standards for the title insurance industry.

Title Insurance Providers

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Who selects the title insurance company?

Home Purchase

For purchase transactions in Virginia, it is customary for the buyer to choose the title provider. The buyer’s realtor may suggest a title provider, but it is ultimately the buyer’s right to choose. It is worth noting that most elements of a real estate transaction are negotiable, so who chooses the title provider and pays for title insurance and related services can be negotiated.

Refinance

For refinance transactions in Virginia, the borrower selects the title provider. The lender may suggest a title provider, but it is the borrower’s right to choose.

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Who offers title insurance?

Title insurance is primarily offered by licensed title insurance companies directly, or through licensed title insurance agents that work in conjunction with one or more title insurance companies.

Pricing

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Does pricing vary from one title insurer to another?

Yes. In Virginia, title insurers are free to set their own rates for title insurance policies, and title companies are free to set their own fees for title and settlement services.

Pricing can differ significantly from one provider to another.

Regulation

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Are title insurance providers regulated in Virginia?

All title insurers and title agents must be licensed by the Virginia SCC Bureau of Insurance. Independent attorneys who provide settlement services but do not write title insurance policies are not required to be licensed by the Bureau of Insurance.

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Is title insurance pricing set by the state regulator?

No. Rates for title insurance policies are set by the insurers.

Virginia State Consumer Resources

The Virginia Bureau of Insurance offers helpful resources to consumers shopping for insurance. We have provided links to a few of those resources below that you may find useful as you evaluate different insurance providers and their products: