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Occasionally, claims are reported to the Real Estate Errors and Omissions Insurance Corporation (REEOIC) involving complaints by buyers against licensees which might not have been made if those buyers had bought title insurance.
 
Title insurance is an insurance policy provided by title insurance companies that protects residential or commercial property owners and/or their lenders against losses related to a property's title or ownership.
 
While each title insurer may offer slightly different coverage, some of the coverage provided by title insurance companies includes: coverage for unknown title defects; survey errors and errors in public records; losses related to improvements made without the requisite building permits (unless made by you); existing liens against the property's title for unpaid debts by the previous owner (utilities, taxes, mortgages or condominium charges registered against the property); real estate fraud and forgery; invalidity of mortgages; and encroachment and unregistered easement issues.
 
Title insurance will generally not cover known title defects, environmental hazards, native land claims, matters created, allowed or agreed to by the insured, or matters known to the insured but not disclosed to the title insurer prior to closing (e.g. matters identified in a building inspection).
Title insurance is usually purchased by a buyer at the time of purchase, although it may be purchased anytime after. The insurance cost, generally a one time fee or premium, is usually determined by the property's value and depends upon the chosen provider.
 
The advantage to licensees of buyers purchasing title insurance is that it shifts liability from the licensee to the title insurer. Consider this scenario: an elderly seller owns a piece of property in a rural area for many years. After obtaining a variance from the governing authority, the seller constructs outbuildings which encroach upon the adjacent property. No record is kept of the variance by the approving authority.
 
Years later, when selling the property, the seller completes the Property Disclosure Statement indicating that he is unaware of any unregistered encroachments. The buyer discovers the encroachment after purchasing the property and incurs a loss in rectifying the issue. A buyer with title insurance would likely be indemnified by the title insurer for any proven loss associated with the violation. A buyer without title insurance would likely sue the seller and licensees involved in the sale to recover losses associated with the undisclosed encroachment.
 
Here are examples of recent claims paid out to BC homeowners by a major title insurer: 
Buyer received notice from the City that the basement apartment was built without obtaining required development or building permits. A permit was required to remove or to legalize the apartment. Cost of claim: $239,958.
 
 
Buyer had municipality conduct a site inspection of the property after experiencing plumbing problems. The inspector found numerous problems with the dwelling, as well as illegal gas and plumbing lines, and an unpermitted addition to the garage. The municipality issued an Order to Comply. Cost of claim: $270,797.
 
source: Real Estate Errors and Omissions Insurance Corporation
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Property Photo: 1505 788 HAMILTON ST in Vancouver
I have sold a property at 1505 788 HAMILTON ST in Vancouver.
Stunning 930 sf corner unit at TV Tower w/city & mountain VIEWS! This 1 bdrm, 2 bath with a LARGE den (can easily be used as a 2nd bedroom) is fully upgraded with a sleek European design upgrade package & luxury finishings.Located in the heart of Vancouver, it is just steps from Robson & Yaletown shopping! Building features full concierge service, whirlpool, sauna & steam room, yoga & pilates studio, media room & fitness centre. One included secure underground parking stall. MOTIVATED SELLER, bring your offers!
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Property Photo: 302 2851 HEATHER ST in Vancouver
I have sold a property at 302 2851 HEATHER ST in Vancouver.
TAPESTRY - designed by award-winning Concert Properties. Attention to detail & design is evident throughout this stunning 2-Bedroom Home. Open living and dining space with over-height ceilings, contemporary two-tone kitchen, wood flooring,Kitchen Aid stainless steel appliances and stone counters. A generous 21'x6' south and west-facing balcony overlooking a landscaped park, ample insuite storage room that could be a perfect office and generous-sized bedrooms & bathrooms. Tapestry is walking distance everywhere that you want to be - Granville Island, False Creek, the new Olympic Village and the revitalized Cambie Street corridor. Don't miss this one!
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