Title Insurance: Protect your home
against the unexpected
Seagrams Lofts - Waterloo - Carol Rawlings
Title insurance is unlike any other kind of insurance. It is not home insurance, which protects the contents of the house or the structure; it is an insured statement of the condition to the title of the property at the time the policy is issued. Title insurance provides protection against issues like survey defects, unpaid liens, encroachment issues, construction liens, defects in title, costs arising from building code violations, as well as real estate title fraud.
The incidence of real estate title fraud in Canada continues to be on the rise. In spite of recent changes to legislation in Ontario, this type of fraud can have devastating personal and financial effects on its victims, all of which can be prevented with title insurance. As your trusted advisor, we are taking a proactive approach with our members to help protect you from the devastating effects of real estate title fraud.
Real estate title fraud occurs when someone could make a claim against a homeowner’s ownership of the property. Here is one of many stories that illustrate how title insurance can protect you.
Real estate title fraud is widespread across Canada. Real estate industry insiders now peg the average case of real estate fraud at $300,000. In comparison, the RCMP estimates the average credit card fraud case in Canada at $1,200. Industry insiders estimate that real estate fraud costs Canadians between $300 million and $1.5 billion each year. If real estate title fraud occurs, the onus is on the homeowner to prove the crime and it can be very costly, financially and emotionally, to restore title. However, despite the rise in title fraud and a booming real estate market that is pushing housing prices to all-time highs in many communities across the country, a survey commissioned by First Canadian Title in 2005 suggests that one in three Canadian homeowners has no knowledge of one of the most important ways to protect their biggest investment – title insurance.
In 2000, real estate title fraud claims with First Canadian Title accounted for only 6 per cent of total dollars paid in claims. By 2005, that number reached 33 per cent.
Title insurance protects new and existing homeowners, commercial property owners and lenders against losses as a result of title defects and claims against a property not uncovered in a title search. Title insurance provides protection against issues like unpaid liens, encroachment issues, construction liens, defects in title, costs arising from building code violations, as well as real estate title fraud. The Consumers Council of Canada (CCC) recommends the purchase of title insurance for both new homebuyers and existing homeowners, based on findings from a CCC study, which was also released in 2005.
For a one-time premium, title insurance is the most effective and inexpensive way to ensure your property. Title insurance covers all legal expenses related to restoring a title and is also available to existing home owners long after they have purchased their properties.
For more information, please contact your branch.
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