Private Matters Today - Winter 2020

Page 8


EACE OF MIND WITH A SUITABLE TITLE INSURANCE POLICY John Rider, Senior Vice President, Retail and Commercial Title Insurance, Chicago Title Insurance Company, Canada

Title insurance is the cheapest and best

homeowner from. It covers matters such

insurance a borrower will ever buy. Period.

as fraud and forgery, survey issues, zoning,

Okay, I know that I am biased given I work

work orders and permit issues where the

for Chicago Title Insurance Company

municipality forces a homeowner to fix such

Canada, but a big part of why I work here

problems. It covers the policyholder if there

is that I believe in the product. I know all

are any actual challenges to the “title” or

the arguments about insurance and how

ownership of the property (or the validity

expensive it is and when one tries to make a

of a mortgage on the property in case of

claim there are issues. I get it. The industry

a lender policy) but it goes well beyond

doesn’t have the best reputation – although,

that to cover many other issues. So, what

on that front, I have to tell you the last two

happens if a client buys a house and their

times I dealt with other insurance companies

neighbour subsequently complains that the

(Car accident and Life insurance policy –

client’s garage is 3 feet on to her property?

not mine thankfully), the service and speed

Well title insurance looks at the issue, tries

was stellar. In any event, Title insurance is

to get the neighbor to be reasonable and

different. Title insurance is the cheapest

settle but if she refuses and wants to be

insurance you will ever buy because it is a

“that” nasty neighbor, we always hear about,

1 TIME PREMIUM. That’s right. You pay the

the title insurer will pay to have the garage

premium, which across Canada the average

moved or the offending portion moved off

is $400 for a homeowner (GTA is higher

of the neighbor’s property. Title insurers see

because values are much higher). One

all sorts of claims around building permits,

only pays that premium once to cover the

unpaid taxes, construction liens, and sadly

entire life of a mortgage (which includes any

and rapidly increasing fraud and forgery

assignments to another lender) or the length

where someone fraudulently discharges

of time one owns the property. So, if one

and/or places a new mortgage on title to a

buys a house today and owns it for 50 years,

property they don’t own. This causes a total

the coverage will still apply. Luckily for title

mess for the homeowners and the lenders

insurance companies, Canadians on average

involved and sorting out the mess can be

own their homes around 5 years, so we

very costly. The beauty of title insurance,

actually get to insure properties more

in this scenario, is that the title insurer pays

than once.

the legal fees to sort it out and if the lender

So, what is title insurance and what does it cover? Title insurance covers a homeowner for a myriad of issues relating to a property that home insurance can’t cover for and a lawyer/clerk/notary can’t protect a


ultimately loses priority or the validity of its mortgage or property, title insurer pays you or the lender the loss without deducting the legal fees incurred to remedy the situation. While no one loves insurance, as one pays for it and usually doesn’t need it, its value is

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