Canadian Lawyer

March 2021

The most widely read magazine for Canadian lawyers

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36 www.canadianlawyermag.com TITLE INSURANCE SPONSORED CONTENT How residential title insurance can offer your clients — and their heirs — peace of mind Unlike traditional insurance, a residential title insurance policy covers issues that have occurred before the client possessed the home WHEN JERRY and Rita* inherited their home from Rita's late grandmother, they also inherited a raft of problems—a deck, deck addition, deck roof and basement renovation all constructed without the necessary build- ing permits. Although Rita's grandparents had origi- nally purchased the home with the renova- tions complete, soon after settling into their new home, Jerry and Rita were notified of issues with the permits. The unpleasant sur- prise of a letter from the city informed them that the proper permits had to be obtained for the finished basement and that the deck needed to be removed completely to bring everything into compliance. All the required work added up to a whopping $50,000, but, thankfully, Jerry and Rita didn't have to pay a dime because at the time of purchasing their home, Rita's grandparents also pur- chased a residential title insurance policy that covered the entire cost of bringing the home up to code. Although the policy wasn't needed during their lifetime, it provided the safety net their granddaughter needed years later — a pro- tective feature that was important to Rita's grandparents when they thought about their legacy — because, unlike traditional insur- ance, a residential title insurance policy covers issues that have occurred before the client possessed the home and transfers that coverage to future heirs. "When the time comes to talk to your cli- ent about title insurance, knowledge is key," says Lori Sartor, FCT's vice president of res- idential solutions. "Lawyers should be famil- iar with the coverage and the long-term pro- tection it provides to reassure their clients that the policy covers them for as long as they, or their heirs, own the property." Residential title insurance policies offer protection against a number of common issues. As in Jerry and Rita's case, the lack of building permits can bring serious, unplanned financial consequences, and so can other problems such as property encroachments, unpaid tax or utility bills, outstanding work orders and even fraud and forgery that threaten the ownership title to the property. Another important feature is that the policy is also customizable — even if there are known title defects, FCT can add coverage to address them and underwrite a transaction on a case-by-case basis. When it's time to talk title insurance, a lawyer's knowledge and experience makes the difference, Sartor says. "Remember that, for a low, one-time pre- mium, you can ensure your clients get the protection and peace of mind they need." *Names have been changed to protect the privacy of our clients. Insurance by FCT Insurance Company Ltd. Services by First Canadian Title Com- pany Limited. The services company does not provide insurance products. This material is intended to provide general information only. For specific coverage and exclusions, refer to the applicable policy. Copies are available upon request. Some products/services may vary by province. Prices and products/services offered are subject to change without notice. ®Registered Trademark of First American Financial Corporation.

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