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What is title insurance - and do you need it?

When you purchase a property, it’s easy to assume that paperwork and professional inspections will disclose everything about the property. However – even with the expert advice of a conveyancer and building inspector, there can be hidden issues that arise once you take over the title of that property. These issues can include:

  • DIY renovations on the property built without council approval.
  • Planning or zoning laws that determine you can’t live in your property. 
  • Structures built on to your land without your consent or knowledge.
  • Incorrectly calculated land tax, council rates, water rates or strata levies.
  • Identity theft and fraud, which could involve scammers selling your property to another owner or a fraudulent mortgage being taken out against your property.

The fallout and management of these issues can be costly both in time and money, and they can happen to anyone. Fortunately, title insurance exists to provide cover for these types of unknown situations.

What is title insurance?

Title insurance provides cover against a number of property ownership risks. Whether your property is a vacant lot, a house or a strata property, like an apartment or townhouse, title insurance can provide additional peace of mind to property owners. If something in this nature does occur, then title insurance may assist with expenses that can become very costly, very quickly. You can view some examples of previous claims on the First Title Insurance home page.

The cost of obtaining title insurance can be surprisingly affordable. A policy consists of a one-time premium that is valid for the life of home ownership. While caps and exclusions can apply, there’s no excess to pay in the event of a claim. You can obtain an easy quote here, either before you purchase your property or at any time after you take ownership.

“While we carry out meticulous searches regarding our clients' properties, there are certain risks that even a property lawyer may not be able to foresee: for example, if council documentation is not available or if fraud or forgery occurs. Title insurance offers many of our clients peace of mind that those risks are being managed.”          – Jarod Zak, Dott & Crossitt Property Lawyers

How do I know if title insurance is right for me?

If you’re about to purchase a property then it may be worth your while to consider title insurance. This decision is made far easier if you think about the potential costs. Could you (or would you want to) cover the significant costs of any of those listed scenarios occurring?

First Title insurance is available for vacant land, strata properties, residential properties and commercial properties, as well as for lenders.

If you’re ready to explore whether First Title coverage meets your needs, you can request cover now.