TitlePLUS: From a simple mission to a great innovation
TitlePLUS may have evolved into a full-service, streamlined online title insurance offering, but some things haven’t changed, says Daniel Pinnington, president and CEO of LAWPRO.
“On top of offering the same unparalleled coverage as always, our mission and our purpose remain the same,” says Pinnington. “TitlePLUS is built for lawyers, and our commitment to keeping them part of the transaction remains paramount in our new product design and portal.”
A strong foundation
From its launch in 1997 to its current revamp, the role of real estate lawyers has always been paramount at TitlePLUS. Developed on the premise that consumers’ interests in a real estate deal are best protected by the independent legal advice provided by a lawyer, TitlePLUS’ mission from inception was to help real estate lawyers succeed in the business of practising law by supporting them in providing services to their clients on real estate matters.
Members of the Canadian real estate bar have been a defining presence from the start, helping to create TitlePLUS from the lawyer’s point of view, and that’s been a differentiator, Pinnington notes. Everything we do starts with a premise of helping lawyers fully understand the risks the homebuyers and lenders face and to protect the lawyer from the risks they face as well. TitlePLUS was first in the marketplace to explicitly cover the legal services provided by the lawyer completing the real estate transaction, with a direct recourse through the insurer.
“That’s been imbedded in the underwriting from the beginning – when people call in to TitlePLUS, they’re often speaking to experienced real estate lawyers,” Pinnington says. “We have the insight, from lawyers to lawyers.”
With technology playing an increasingly vital role in real estate transactions – and with property prices increasing unbelievably across the country, making it even more important for clients to go into a deal fully understanding the implications of it – “it was time for us to upgrade,” says Pinnington.
Within 10 minutes on most deals, lawyers can complete an online application that gets them a client-friendly title insurance policy in plain language and automatically includes legal services coverage. TitlePLUS policies are now also available on Unity, the platform used by the majority of Ontario real estate lawyers. And, when facing a more complex real estate transaction, TitlePLUS has a team of specialists available to ensure lawyers are getting the solutions the client needs.
Overall, the improvements mean TitlePLUS is easier to access and leverages more automation to make getting a policy faster. This helps the lawyer complete their work as effectively and efficiently as possible.
“It’s a one-stop shop to purchasing title insurance that busy legal professionals expect,” Pinnington says, adding the ongoing plan is to make the policies offered by Canadian-owned TitlePLUS more available across the country to lawyers in the other provinces and territories.
While TitlePLUS has always been trusted and had the knowledge lawyers rely on, resting on that reputation was no longer enough. In a world where technology and real estate practice had evolved, “we wanted to make sure we continue to be relevant in how transactions are conducted today,” Pinnington says. “That includes supporting them with technology that’s faster, more efficient and responsive to their general needs. We weren’t moving as fast as we needed to and we rectified that.”
This was the impetus for the sweeping changes to TitlePLUS, building on its conservative and diligent approach to embrace a more agile and flexible model, with a focus on simplicity, automation and real attention to customer service. A leader at the start, Pinnington says they recognize that a spot in the marketplace is earned and they had to make changes to keep up with modern times and “ensure we continue to be a strong option.”
Backed by LAWPRO and built for lawyers, TitlePLUS puts real estate lawyers first with unmatched comprehensive coverage they don’t have to think about – and that’s the foundation of every move the title insurer makes.
“It’s very much baked into our core drive, our mission, our purpose,” says Pinnington. “Supporting lawyers as they provide important advice to clients continues to be key – and we’re hoping the improvements we made make more lawyers consider a TitlePLUS title insurance policy for their clients.”