TIIAC: Giving the choice of Title Insurance to Quebec Consumers

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MONTREAL, March 24, 2011 – If you ever wondered what Title Insurance was
you are among the vast number of Quebec consumers who haven’t heard of
it or have had issues with their property and wished they had purchased
it after the fact. The need for Quebec consumers to hear about the
benefits of title insurance is timely as the home resale market begins
to heat up in 2011 across the province.

In Quebec, real estate professionals are not mandated to present the
option of title insurance to their customers. Members of the Title
Insurance Industry Association of Canada (TIIAC) Quebec are raising
awareness about giving Quebec home buyers knowledge of the existence
and benefits of title insurance in order for them to make an informed
decision. With this purpose in mind, TIIAC wrote to members of the
National Assembly to raise awareness of the issue and ensure that
Quebec consumers are aware of all the available choices on the market.

According to TIIAC Quebec spokesperson Laurent Nadeau, “Quebec consumers
who have purchased title insurance have the advantage of an insurance
product which covers, for example, the costs that are incurred when
issues related to title or a lack of certificate of location arise.”

Consumers like enis Guimond were able to rely on title insurance to
protect their most important investment – their home. “Shortly after
the purchase of my condominium, I began receiving legal hypotheques
from a bailiff,” says Guimond. “Without title insurance I could have
lost my condominium. Because of my homeowner’s policy, I have also
saved a lot of money in legal fees and been able to rely on the
expertise of the title insurance company. I am glad that my notary
discussed homeowner’s title insurance with me, otherwise I would have
been on the hook for a lot of out of pocket expenses and my condo
ownership could have been in jeopardy.”

Moreover, the Law Society of Upper Canada currently requires legal
professionals to discuss all options related to protecting the best
interests of their clients in a real estate transaction, including the
benefits of title insurance. Consequently, in Ontario over 95% of
consumers choose to have their real estate transaction title-insured.

According to Brigitte Beauchesne, TIIAC Quebec spokesperson, “As a
relatively new insurance product, we provide comprehensive and
supplemental coverage to the basic coverages for lenders and owners in
real property transactions. In general, it is well known that title
insurance provides more extensive coverage for issues related to title
and offers more generous compensation than the traditional appeal to
the insurance funds of the real estate professionals. The claims are
processed in a no-fault compensation which streamlines and accelerates
the process of those claims.”

Title insurance for homeowners covers many risks to homebuyers including
losses relating to improvements made to the house prior to purchase
without a building permit (additions, decks, renovations); legal
hypotheques; encroachments; non-compliance with agreements on title;
real estate fraud; arrears in the condominium common expenses before
purchase; and zoning defects. Title insurance is a one-time premium
that stays in place for as long as the owner has an interest in the
property. There are no annual premiums, and no deductibles on claims.

About the Title Insurance Industry Association of Canada (TIIAC)

TIIAC is a recently formed industry association of federally regulated
title insurers. The Office of Superintendent of Financial Institutions
(OSFI) regulates our insurance company members’ operations federally,
and its provincial counterpart in Quebec regulates our operations.

The objectives of TIIAC are as follows:

  1. To promote the common interests and concerns of the title insurance
    industry in Canada;
  2. To provide information and education to its members and the public;
  3. To advocate for the betterment of, and on behalf of, the title insurance
    industry;
  4. To maintain professional standards and ethics in the title insurance industry in Canada.

TIIAC members have adopted Principles of Fair Conduct, as follows:

  1. To engage only in business practices that are lawful and consistent with
    a high standard of ethical behaviour.
  2. To encourage a culture of compliance within their organizations for
    federal and provincial laws that govern the title insurance business
    and for these Principles.
  3. To treat consumers in a fair and ethical manner.
  4. To provide consumers with timely and comprehensive information regarding
    their policies, services, products, and prices so as to enable
    consumers to shop effectively among providers of title-related
    services.
  5. To encourage and assist consumers to be educated purchasers of title
    insurance and title-related services.

For more information on TIIAC, visit www.tiiac-accat.com.