Planning to do real estate work? A primer on title insurance and the TitlePLUS program
If you’re planning to do any real estate work when you go into practice, you’ll soon hear about a resource used by many real estate practitioners – title insurance. It’s a type of insurance coverage that lawyers across Canada are telling their clients about to help protect them against some typical problems that might crop up after closing – problems that in the past might have led to the client filing a malpractice claim against the lawyer.
Several companies offer title insurance – including LAWPRO, through its TitlePLUS title insurance program. This article provides a basic overview of the what and why of title insurance, how our TitlePLUS program is different, and where you can find more information.
What is title insurance?
As its name suggests, title insurance is an insurance policy for purchasers, mortgage lenders and existing owners of real property that provides compensation for losses suffered because of problems with title, survey, zoning and other issues with the property – even if they are not discovered until years after the transaction is completed.
Some of these issues are unpredictable or undetectable – such as forgery, fraud, missing heirs, and unregistered easements. Other problems that can affect a property and may be covered under a title insurance policy include issues such as construction liens, access rights and conflicting interests in a property.
When the lawyer in the transaction has secured a title insurance policy for the owner or mortgage lender, it is the title insurer – and not the lawyer or client – who assumes the risk for matters covered under the policy¹ and, if there are losses, pays compensation.
It is important to understand that title insurance replaces the title opinion and not the lawyer in the transaction. The role of the real estate lawyer remains just as important to ensure the client’s interests are properly addressed and protected. In fact, depending on the issue, a client may prefer that the lawyer do a search to determine the status of a matter rather than depend on title insurance and the right to be able to make a claim to an insurer at a later date.
TitlePLUS title insurance is the only wholly Canadian owned title insurance product available in Canada
How can you find out more?
Go to titleplus.ca for information on the TitlePLUS program, including How To videos
¹. Title insurance policies may vary. Refer to the policy for full details, including actual terms and conditions