Introduction (What is a Defective Title?)
Defective Title Insurance is a ‘catch-all’ phrase that can relate to a broad range of insurance covers. Most of these relate to an attempt by a third party to establish that they have a greater right of ownership although some can relate to matters such as the absence of a documented right to access the property. The legal title to a property should include a clear and unambiguous description of all of the rights to own and enjoy the occupation of the property, together with relevant rights of way, rights of services etc. that the property enjoys. Sometimes there are elements missing (or indeed the whole title deed can be missing) or some elements may not be adequately documented or be ambiguously worded. The cover is available for a wide range of defects. Click here for a more comprehensive list. If you cannot see anything that adequately describes what you are looking to insure then please give us a call.
In what circumstances is the product needed?
Cover is usually needed when buying or selling a house and defects in the title are discovered.
Insurance is also often required to support the development of a Property or of land. This is often the case where the title, rights etc. are adequate for the existing use of the property but inadequate for the changes proposed. Properties that are vacant for 30 days or more may require unoccupied property insurance.
What does a Defective Title Insurance cover?
Risks Covered include any damages or compensation awarded to a claimant, adverse impact on market value, out of court settlements (subject to the agreement of the Insurer), cost of obtaining a legal easement in respect of the access/ services and legal costs and expenses.
Possessory Title Insurance
Possessory Title is the description of a particular form of Defective Title where title to a part of the Property or land cannot be established. Insurance can be available whether the Possessory Title is registered with Land Registry or unregistered.
What does a Defective Title Insurance cost?
The cost varies from policy to policy. Insurances for substantial developments clearly cost more than for the continued use of an existing property.
Terms also tend to vary greatly between insurance providers. There are a wide variety of providers of Defective Title Indemnities from the established companies such as Aviva, Zurich, RSA and Countrywide through to a number of expert insurers who may not be household names. LawSure Insurance, as an independent broker, has access to all the relevant insurers but will only deal with those who we consider to be financially secure (‘A-rated’ insurers).
The cost of cover is a key consideration, but we also take into account the terms and conditions of the policy in order to decide on the best cover, which may not always be the cheapest.