Title Insurance, should you get it or not? Title Insurance is a type of insurance that most homeowners get when they purchase their home. It’s quite different from homeowner insurance or life insurance. Title Insurance protects the ownership of your home for as long as you own your home.
Why is Title Insurance important?
There have been many situations where individuals have lost their title due to theft. Here’s how it works. Let’s say you own your home, and your identity was stolen. Identity theft is when one person pretends to be someone else by assuming that person’s identity. This is most often done to obtain credit in that person’s name. Your identity can be stolen in several different ways. Some of the ways are a lost wallet with all your identification and your credit cards, unshredded mail, and inputting personal information on a fraudulent website.
Check out Susan’s story. What happened to Susan is very unfortunate. Her identity was stolen, and her title for her home was taken without her knowledge. This can happen to anyone. Here are some tips on how to protect yourself:
- Check your title annually to make sure no changes have been made – a real estate lawyer can check this for you
- Check your credit bureau periodically, you can obtain one free credit report at Equifax or Transunion. Look for any inaccuracies. If you discover you are a victim of identity theft, report it to the authorities immediately and to the credit bureaus to add a fraud alert on your file. Also, contact your banks and credit card companies
- Get Title Insurance with identity theft protection
First Canadian Title is one of the more popular title insurance companies in Canada. The price varies depending on the province, value and type of home.
First Canadian Title’s price includes the following:
- Fraud and forgery – protection against fraudulently registered mortgages against your title
- Duty to defend – the legal fees associated with resolving insured title issues will be covered
- Building permit coverage – coverage for renovations completed without a permit that result in a loss
- Zoning coverage – protection should a property not meet municipal zoning requirements
- Competing interests – protection in the case of someone claiming an interest in your land; for example, an easement for a driveway or a builder’s lien
- Problem-solving/facilitates closings – First Canadian Title will frequently provide coverage for known defects such as encroachments, delays in registration and zoning violations (these are directly from FCT’s website)
Title fraud can be a nightmare to deal with if you’re not protected. It is a shame that we have to think of protecting the title to our home. Whatever happened to just buying a home legally and assuming that the house is yours. I guess those days are over.