I often have real estate clients ask me the following questions:
1. What is title insurance and why is it important when purchasing or selling a residential or commercial property?
Title insurance is a onetime insurance policy that protects against future discoveries about the subject property, some title related and some non-title related. Title insurance can benefit the lender and/or the property owner. The benefits of title insurance include the following, among other things:
- The insurer has a duty to defend the insured’s interest in the property (e.g. fraud, forgery);
- It provides coverage for violations of municipal zoning by-laws and other issues of municipal compliance (e.g. building permits);
- It provides coverage for encroachments and easements that would have been disclosed by a new Real Property Report (RPR);
- It provides gap coverage between submission and registration of documents at the land titles office (e.g. liens); and
- It may facilitate the transaction when a current RPR is unavailable or municipal compliance issues cannot be dealt with in a timely manner.