Understanding title insurance

Understanding title insurance

Understanding title insuranceAn Ontario real estate lawyer’s job is to assist you in buying, selling or leasing your home. Each of these transactions presents complex legal questions that most laypeople are not able to answer. For instance, what kind of insurance best suits my needs as a new homeowner? Is home insurance sufficient, or should I invest in title insurance, as well?

Rather than relying on your real estate agent or an insurance broker to answer this question, consider turning to an experienced Ontario real estate lawyer. The team at Nanda & Associate has years of experience advising clients on a range of issues in this arena, and would be happy to provide counsel.

Regarding home insurance versus title insurance, the most important thing to remember is that they are distinct products. Title insurance does not cover issues such as fire damage; theft; soil contamination and other environmental issues; indigenous land claims; vandalism; general wear and tear, or many of the other risks that basic home insurance addresses.

Rather, title insurance covers risks affiliated with your ownership of a property. According to Joe Richer, registrar for the Real Estate Council of Ontario, who discussed title insurance in a recent piece for the Toronto Star, these risks include title fraud, wherein an individual steals your identity and transfers ownership of the property to their name; property taxes that you had no prior knowledge of that were left unpaid by the previous homeowner; encroachment issues, wherein a structure on your property has been built too close to a neighbour’s property; and other title issues that impact your ability to sell, lease, or mortgage the home. Encroachment, tax, and title issues that you knew about when you purchased the property are not covered.

Title insurance is not required by the Province of Ontario, and as such you should carefully discuss it with your Ontario real estate lawyer, insurance broker, and insurance company before making a decision. It is generally purchased for a one-time fee and covers you for the duration of your ownership.

Nanda & Associate’s team of Ontario real estate lawyers can help you address and overcome whatever legal issues you face during the purchase, sale, or lease of a new home. We have years of experience navigating the Ontario real estate environment, and are well-versed in issues relating to home sales, condo sales, mortgage amortization, and tax issues, including the land transfer tax. Call us today to find out how we can help.