TITLE INSURANCE IS A MUST: our number 1 recommendation to all parties entering into a conveyancing transaction

Title Insurance Coverage

Title insurance is a crucial yet often overlooked aspect of real estate transactions. While the purchase of property can be an exciting venture, it can come with hidden risks that might not be immediately apparent when inspecting a potential property.  Title insurance serves as a protective shield for purchasers in a conveyancing transaction offering coverage against potential issues that could adversely affect property ownership or lead to financial loss.

Title insurance is an effective means of safeguarding against various risks associated with property ownership. It primarily focuses on protecting against defects or issues related to the property title that may not be easily identifiable during the conveyancing process.  These defects could include undisclosed easements, boundary disputes, illegal building works, fraud, outstanding rates or taxes, or even errors in public records.

One of the critical aspects of title insurance is its coverage of historical issues that may surface long after the property purchase.  For instance, if a previous owner made alterations without obtaining the necessary permits from the local Council, the new owner could potentially face legal and financial consequences.  Title insurance steps in to mitigate such risks, providing coverage for legal expenses and potential loss of the property’s value.

Moreover, it offers peace of mind to buyers by minimizing the financial impact of unforeseen title-related problems. Lenders often require title insurance to protect their financial interest in the property, and there is no reason why a purchaser shouldn’t also be securing their investment and avoid potential legal battles in the future.

While title insurance offers significant benefits, it’s essential to note that it’s not a one-size-fits-all solution.  Policies and coverage can vary widely between different insurers and property types.  Potential buyers should carefully review policy terms, coverage limits, and exclusions to ensure they understand what risks are covered and what is not.

Cost is another consideration, as title insurance typically involves a once-off premium payment, which varies based on factors such as property value and the insurer’s assessment of risk.  However, compared to the potential financial repercussions of unforeseen title issues, the cost of insurance is often relatively minor.

Key reasons

Title insurance is a crucial safeguard for property owners, offering protection against various risks that could jeopardize ownership or financial interests in a property. Here’s a detailed look at the typical coverages provided by title insurance:

  1. Illegal Building Works:
    • Coverage includes protection against structures or renovations carried out by previous owners without necessary approvals or permits. This can include extensions, additional buildings, or significant modifications that might not comply with local building codes or regulations. If such issues are discovered, the insurance may cover the cost of making the necessary corrections or obtaining the required approvals.
  2. Incorrect Boundaries:
    • Title insurance can protect against discrepancies in property boundaries that might arise from inaccurate surveys or records. Such discrepancies could prevent you from accessing or using part of your property as intended. The insurance might cover the cost of legal services needed to resolve boundary disputes or the cost of amending the title to reflect the correct boundaries.
  3. Wrongly Calculated Council Rates, Land Tax, or Strata Levies:
    • Coverage includes protection against errors in the calculation of council rates, land taxes, or strata levies, depending on the property type. If it is found that you have been overcharged or undercharged, the insurance may cover the costs associated with correcting these errors and any back payments or refunds due.
  4. Fraud or Forgery:
    • This protection is crucial in cases where someone might attempt to sell your property or take out a mortgage on it using fraudulent means. Title insurance covers legal expenses and losses incurred in defending your ownership rights against such fraudulent claims. This can include instances of identity theft, where your property is used as collateral for loans or sold without your knowledge or consent.

Overall, title insurance provides peace of mind to property owners by mitigating risks that could otherwise lead to significant financial losses or legal battles.  It ensures that any hidden issues related to the property title are addressed and resolved, safeguarding your investment and ownership rights.

Contact Kennedy Guy

Please discuss title insurance with us when embarking on your next conveyancing transaction.  Kennedy Guy Lawyers offer fixed price and quality conveyancing, backed with decades of experience and legal knowledge that gives peace of mind.

Please contact us if you would like to know more via our ‘Enquire now’ button in the top right-hand corner or via (03) 9311 8511.