What Is Title Insurance?
Friday Feb 10th, 2023
While not mandatory in Ontario, if you purchased a property sometime in the 1990s onwards and required a mortgage to purchase that property, it is likely that you had to purchase title insurance before ypu could officially take possession. Title insurance protects you against specific actions and issues relating to the legal ownership of a property. Typically, this is offered through your lawyer and arranged through a title insurance company, and it is designed to protect you should there be a title dispute after a sale.
Coverage would include losses against:
- Unpaid property taxes, condo fees, mortgages, utilities or outstanding liens from a previous owner
- Forgery, fraud, and minor errors in the legal description of the property
- Removing existing structures on the property if they violate zoning laws
- Remedying property boundary issues discovered after closing
- Another person claiming interest in the property
- Legal expenses required to defend the title
The policy is a one-time fee that runs with the duration of ownership of the property for the purchaser. The cost of the policy is reasonable compared to the expense to remedy some of the issues listed above. If you were not required to purchase title insurance at the time of your property purchase, it is available to add on at any time you own your property. This may be of particular interest to you, given the recent increase in title fraud making the news. For those who have a title insurance policy, speak to your insurer or lawyer to ensure that identity theft and title fraud are covered under your current policy, or if you need to extend your coverage. Lastly, note that your original policy covered the entire value of the property at the time of purchase. If the value of your property is significantly higher now than when you purchased the home, speak to your insurer about your options to extend your coverage.