The Law Society of Ontario requires all
lawyers, when acting for purchasers, to inform clients about title insurance
and its advantages.
Title Insurance is an insurance policy covering
the condition of title or ownership of real property at the time the policy
is issued and is used to provide ownership protection for a purchaser
against losses or damages suffered as a result of title problems. Title
insurance is obtained, typically by the purchaser's lawyer prior to closing
a purchase for the benefit of the purchaser.
AVAILABLE IN ONTARIO:
Although title insurance has been standard in American real estate transactions,
such insurance has gained popularity in recent years as part of the typical Ontario residential
real estate purchase transaction.
TYPICAL NON-INSURED TRANSACTION:
Traditionally, Ontario purchasers have relied solely on their lawyer's
"legal opinion" that they have "good and marketable title" in order to
confirm a clean title.
Unfortunately, no lawyer can completely
assure a purchaser that there is absolutely no chance of an error in the
government records, that there are no undisclosed claims, or that what
appears to be the signature of the prior owner or consenting spouse is
a true signature, there having been no prior fraud or forgery on title.
Title Insurance can satisfy such "gaps" in a lawyer's opinion to cover
not only frauds or forgeries prior to closing but also after closing.
TYPICAL INSURED TRANSACTION:
Title insurance does not replace the role of the lawyer. It simply provides
an added level of protection for the purchaser(s). Ontario lawyers still
must search title and certify the status of title before a title insurance
policy can be issued.
THE BOTTOM LINE IS THAT:
Title insurance is golden for the consumer as it can be included in a
purchaser's total legal costs when one considers typical total legal fees
and legal expenses, and since it is a form of NO-FAULT CERTIFICATION
of clean title with (typically) NO DEDUCTIBLE and with more extensive
coverages than the certification of title that has been traditionally
provided by lawyers for real estate transactions.
Although several insurance companies have
title insurance policy programs, the law offices of STEPHEN H. SHUB, LL.B.
are pleased to recommend to all of our client-purchasers, the PLATINUM
TITLE INSURANCE POLICY by FIRST CANADIAN TITLE INSURANCE COMPANY with
its substantial Canadian operations at its Oakville, Ontario, head office.
Our confidence in FIRST CANADIAN'S PLATINUM TITLE POLICY is greatest due
to this company's strong status as one of the largest world-wide title
insuring companies with one of the highest available insurance company
ratings and substantial local Canadian infrastructure for dealing with
efficient processing of issuance of policies as well as processing of
STANDARD IN EVERY TRANSACTION:
The processing of your purchase transaction by our law offices includes
arrangements for issuance to you of a FIRST CANADIAN PLATINUM HOME OWNERSHIP
TITLE INSURANCE POLICY which will provide you with title protection. The
lawyer's role will be to provide purchasers with all required legal services
and advice during the course of the transaction. The title insurance policy
will be issued to purchasers directly from FIRST CANADIAN after completion
of the purchase. Should any purchaser prefer another form or source of
title protection, please inform our office in writing at least seven days
prior to closing.
TYPICAL RESIDENTIAL POLICY COVERAGE
For a one-time premium (included in our quotation for fees and
legal expenses), the policy protects the purchaser(s) and mortgage lender
against losses suffered from matters set out below as well as other matters
more specifically outlined in the policy:
- defects that would have been revealed
by an up-to-date survey
- survey errors or illegibility of survey
- encroachments (before or after closing)
- contravention of municipal zoning by-laws
- unmarketability of title
- defects in the title
- invalidity or unenforceability of the
mortgage on title
- easements (other than usual easements
for utilities, etc.)
- contravention of subdivision, development
and other agreements
- priority of certain construction liens
- priority of unregistered easements and
rights of way
- fraud or forgery (prior to and after
- solicitor error, omission or fraud
- unpaid property taxes or local improvement
charges by a prior owner
In addition to policy coverage, the insured
- indemnity for actual loss or damage for
the amount of the policy (being the price paid for the property) and
automatically increasing coverage (with inflation and rising property
value)overtime to a coverage which can be double the price originally
paid for the property.
- payment of legal fees and costs to address
- a "no-fault" method to resolve title
The new PLATINUM title insurance policy replaces the GOLD
Title Insurance Policy for policies issued after January 30, 2006 with
expanded coverage. Title insurance will not typically cover pre-existing
matters known to a buyer; fence issues; building inadequacies (which should
be checked prior to closing by a home inspector during a home inspection
condition) unless such inadequacies relate to a lack of building permit
or city by-law compliance.
SECURITY: Because buying a home is such an important
investment, you want assurance that title is yours "100%" (except for
any mortgage). You don't want to find out, after closing, that an old
lien was never discharged, that the previous owners didn't pay their property
taxes, their utilities, or that someone has a claim against your land.
TYPICAL COST: For
residential real estate transactions with a purchase price of less than
$500,000.00, a policy can be purchased for $150-$299 (depending on the
type of residential property and whether there is a mortgage). This cost
is largely offset by the cost of certain legal disbursements which are
no longer required in title insured transactions. As municipalities continue
to increase their fees for zoning, subdivision and tax searches, title
insurance is becoming an increasingly competitive option.
When a vendor or purchaser wishes to close a transaction quickly, a policy
of title insurance is often the best option. By eliminating some of the
procedures otherwise required, a policy of title insurance can facilitate
closings on very short notice.
COVERAGE FOR EXISTING HOMEOWNERS : Now all existing homeowners
can obtain the same title insurance protection as a purchaser, including
coverage against title frauds and a variety of other matters affecting
title. Coverage provided is equal to the value of the insured property
at the time title insurance is ordered with the coverage being increased
as property value increases up to double the face amount of the policy
NOTE: All home buyers who have used
the legal services of S. Shub for any purchase file opened in our offices
after January 1, 2000 have automatically been title insured. If you are
an existing home owner who was not provided with title insurance when you
purchased your home and you are concerned about the current reports of real
estate fraud and identity thefts of homeowners, you may now order title
insurance for your existing home by reading the EXISTING
OWNER TITLE INSURANCE page.
Phone FIRST CANADIAN TITLE at: 1-800-663-6777
Based in Oakville, Ontario, First Canadian
Title employs approximately 500 people from coast to coast. Its customers
include more than 11,000 lawyers and notaries nationwide, every major
Canadian chartered bank, other lending institutions, real estate agents,
mortgage brokers and builders.