Frequently asked questions

1. Who uses Title Insurance?

People purchasing a home or who already own their home.

As the value of property continues to soar, purchasers are faced with growing risks such as fraud or forgery, illegal building works and other title defects that are more likely to have a significant financial impact. Title insurance offers numerous benefits in relation to such risks.

Under the traditional conveyancing process, where a defect in title is discovered, a purchaser’s options can be categorised loosely as follows:

  • if the contract has not been signed by all parties or the purchaser has not lost the right to cool off, the purchaser may choose not to proceed or may try to negotiate a reduction in the purchase price
  • if the contract has been concluded and any right to cool off has passed, the purchaser may have a right to rescind (in limited circumstances) or to claim compensation.

With title insurance, the purchaser has a further option – they can take out insurance cover in respect of a known title defect.

2. What does Title Insurance do?

Title insurance provides a viable solution to numerous issues that might present themselves in a conveyancing transaction: It provides:

  • a wider range of options to find practical, safe and financially efficient ways of managing a transaction, particularly if problems arise
  • protection against disclosed known risks and unknown risks
  • protection against key risks such as illegal building structures
  • a quick and inexpensive way to avoid time consuming legal problems, without the need to prove negligence
  • the cost of defending the title if problems arise, and compensation if the title cannot be defended.

3. What does Title Insurance not do?

It doesn’t replace a competent conveyancer or solicitor. However, it will cover various negligent mistakes made by conveyancers. In addition, title insurance cannot deal with non-title matters such as contamination. The policy wording needs to be carefully read to understand the terms, conditions and exclusions. Read policy wording.

4. How much does a home owner’s Title Insurance policy cost?

The premium is a one-off payment that protects the purchaser for the life of ownership. With no known risks, premiums for a residential property with a purchase price of up to $500,000 for less than $400 (including GST and stamp duty). Find out more about costs

5. How do I purchase a Title Insurance policy?

For a new property purchase, simply contact your conveyancer or solicitor to request a policy from First Title. The policy will then be provided to you, together with an invoice requesting payment which is required within seven days of settlement.

6. I already own my home, can I still be insured?

Yes. Title insurance is available for a property that is already owned. You receive the same types of protection against fraud and forgery, and ownership rights.

7. Does Title Insurance cover pest and building inspections?

No. Title insurance is a policy designed to cover title defects and ownership issues.

8. How long does a policy last?

The policy is valid for as long as you own the insured property.

First Title does not make any representations about the suitability or appropriateness of any specific insurance product for you. Any advice is general in nature and does not take into account your personal objectives, financial situation or needs. Please read all the disclosure documents (especially the policy wording) carefully or get advice from your solicitor or conveyancer before deciding.