The word “title” is a legal term that means you have legal ownership of property. You obtain title to property when the owner signs the deed (transfer document) over to you. Title is then registered in the government’s land registration system.
What is Title Insurance?
Title insurance protects residential or commercial property owners and their lenders against losses related to the property’s title or ownership.
For a onetime fee, called a premium, a title insurance policy may provide
protection from such losses as:
■ Unknown title defects (title issues that prevent you from having clear ownership of the property);
■ Existing liens against the property’s title (e.g. the previous owner had unpaid debts from utilities, mortgages, property taxes or condominium charges secured against the property);
■ Encroachment issues (e.g. a structure on your property needs to be removed because it is on your neighbour’s property);
■ Title fraud;
■ Errors in surveys and public records
Title insurance is not a requirement in some provinces. The decision on whether or not you should purchase title insurance should be discussed with your lawyer, title insurance company or insurance agent/broker, to fully understand what type of protection title insurance can provide you, and to determine if other options exist.
Once you get all the facts, you can make an informed decision based on your specific situation and needs.
It is important to keep in mind that title insurance does not replace legal advice when purchasing property.
Source: FSCO Financial Services Commission of Ontario https://www.fsco.gov.on.ca/en/Pages/default.aspx