Title Insurance – I Thought That’s What the Real Estate Lawyer Did?
Diane and Rick’s lawyer sent them a letter advising them that he was going to buy a Title Insurance policy to cover their new house. Diane decided to do her own research to find out if this was necessary or just another expense. This is what she found.
Diane learned that title is really just legal ownership, and one of her lawyer’s main jobs was to make sure she and Rick got good title to their new house. One way lawyers in Ontario do this is through Title Insurance.
Before Title Insurance, there were many issues that could only be identified on an up-to-date-survey, which is a very expensive prospect for homebuyers. There were also circumstances in which lawyers had to perform searches that were so time consuming they could delay closing. What’s more, often these searches would come back with a disclaimer that the information provided was not guaranteed. Buyers would also run into problems if the Seller did not pay their share of the property tax or water bill. Title Insurance is able to provide a guarantee where there was none before, expedite a timely closing, and the cost of the policy is offset entirely by foregoing costly searches for items covered by the Insurance policy.
Even more importantly, the policy covers title fraud where the owners are impersonated by fraudsters and a mortgage is placed on the property or the ownership is transferred without the owners’ consent. A Title Insurance policy will protect the true owner and pay the cost of having the title corrected, which can be considerable. As with most insurance coverage, we hope we never need it but are glad it is there when we do.
Title Insurance is a single premium policy which means you pay once and have coverage as long as you own the house, be it 1 year; 10 years; etc.
Bottom line is that Title Insurance is an integral part of buying a house and most real estate lawyers (and virtually all mortgage companies) want it as part of every deal.
Needless to say, Diane and Rick gave their lawyer the “thumbs up” to Title Insurance.