Real Estate Law 101: What is Title Insurance?

Posted by heritagelawoffices on Sep 15, 2016 in Blog, Real Estate Law

Two storey residential homeSince the turn of the millennium, Alberta property buyers have been able to purchase title insurance. Like any other insurance product, this policy protects and covers the holder from possible costs or damages from a variety of sources. A keystone of the real estate market in modern years, title insurance can and will secure you interests should the worst happen– a crucial detail when a major investment is on the line. Curious about title insurance? Read Heritage Law’s guide below for a brief summary.

WE DIDN’T NEED IT BEFORE, WHY NOW?

As stated above, title insurance is relatively new to Alberta. Prior to its recent evolution title insurance was made redundant by Alberta’s government-back Land Titles system (known as Torrens title). This system guaranteed a Land Title disclosed all relevant information in document known as a Real Property Report. As insurers expanded, they came to a version of title insurance that could be effective for even those in a Torrens title system.

WHAT DOES TITLE INSURANCE COVER?

Modern title insurance covers:

  • Future title fraud (ie: fraudulent paperwork);
  • Buyer and borrower interests before the transaction has officially closed;
  • Deficiencies not otherwise shown on a Real Property Report;
  • Hidden or known defects such as oversized additions, property line disputes or underground features.

IS TITLE INSURANCE WORTH IT?

As of now title insurance is not a legal requirement in Alberta, but realtors and lawyers alike will advise you to purchase the coverage. While it does overlap with some aspects of a Real Property Report, real estate professionals have seen too many transactions to overlook the advantages of title insurance. A modest, one-time cost is a small price to pay for future peace of mind.

If you have any further questions or concerns about title insurance, contact your insurer and then bring your information to Heritage Law! Our legal experts are standing by to offer council during major investments like purchasing a property.