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Home Insurances: Do I Really Have Everything Covered?

Congratulations, home buyer! You've been navigating the purchase process and looking forward to taking ownership of your new property. You'll probably know how important it is to consider home insurance to protect your new asset, and contents insurance to cover the things you'll be keeping in your home. But there's one important policy you might not have considered.

Title insurance provides cover for common property ownership risks regarding boundaries, illegal builds and more.

Why take out title insurance?

Even with due diligence by yourself and your conveyancer or solicitor, there are a handful of situations that can occur when you own property.

You could discover that structures on your property were built without council permission. As a recent ABC news article shows, this can be a potentially stressful and expensive experience.
Another is if you find out that a boundary fence encroaches onto your neighbour’s property or onto your property. Dividing fences are one of the most common causes of disputes between neighbours, and these can be costly and complex issues to iron out.
The same can also occur with other encroaching structures, such as permanent garden beds or a garden shed.
In some circumstances, a zoning violation or use restriction that you were previously unaware of could prohibit you from using the property as your home.
Rates, charges, or land tax could be calculated incorrectly, leaving you with a surprise invoice.
Someone else could claim an interest in your property due to forgery, fraud or due to a mistake by a land titles office or the local governmental authority.

If you have a title insurance policy in place with First Title, you could be covered for these types of property ownership risks if they arise.

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How do I take out title insurance?

Title insurance is an easy and inexpensive policy to put in place, and it only takes a single payment. This one-off premium is based on your property’s address and purchase price. You can get a quick quote, or request cover now if you have the details of your property purchase handy. It takes just a few minutes to arrange.

You can purchase title insurance at any point after you’ve purchased your property, or you can arrange it before you buy and the policy will be activated as soon as ownership is transferred. Easy!
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OK - but how does title insurance actually help?

In a successful claim, First Title can provide assistance and financial cover up to policy limits to help you manage the sticky situations listed above.

Let’s look at a 2019 example of how title insurance helped one of our clients, who took out a policy for their new home in South Australia. As they prepared to develop their property, a survey report disclosed that boundary fences and neighbours’ sheds actually encroached on both sides of the client’s property – making their usable space smaller. Upon discussion, both neighbours refused to relocate their sheds and fences, so the client made a claim with First Title.

Our team reviewed the purchase file and found that the encroachments had not been disclosed to the client before settlement, so we paid for our client to obtain legal advice, leading to negotiation with the neighbours. It was decided that the sheds would remain and the boundary fences would be relocated. With the successful claim, First Title paid the costs for legal advice and the cost to relocate the boundary fences – a total payment of $26,287.

It can seem like a long process to ensure you have all the right insurance cover for your new property, but an easy, single premium payment for title insurance could save you a heap of grief. If you’re ready to take out a policy, you can request cover right here.
Get peace of mind for your property today