Although title insurance used to be optional, title insurance has become mandatory in the past few years and a requirement by most lenders. (Including chartered banks)
When we run your preliminary pre-approval figures, we provide you with a breakdown and estimated "closing costs" / "legal fees" to be expected. We are encompassing the full cost of the legal fee, land title costs, and title insurance.
Many law offices will quote with title insurance included, as it is needed often.
The lawyer can explain how title insurance works and why the lender requires it. There is a lender-required portion (coverage) and a consumer/homeowner portion (explained below).
You can pay and top up for a small additional fee (approx. $50-$200) to provide you with the further optional 'homeowners' coverage.
There are two types of title insurance policies:
- Lender's policy (mandatory in most cases)
- Protects the lender from losses if the property mortgage is invalid or unenforceable.
- A lender's policy usually provides coverage for the amount of the property mortgage.
- Homeowners' policy (Residential title insurance) (optional)
- Protects the property from various title-related losses that are listed in the insurance policy, for as long as the property is owned.
To breakdown and outline what (homeowners' policy) title insurance covers:
- Unknown title defects (title issues that prevent you from having clear ownership of the property)
- Existing liens against the property title (e.g.: the previous owner had unpaid debts from utilities, mortgages, property taxes, or condo charges secured against the property)
- Encroachment issues (e.g.: the structure on your property needs to be removed because it's on your neighbor's property)
- Title Fraud
- Error in surveys and public records
- Other title-related issues that can affect your ability to see., mortgage, or lease your property in the future