Title Insurance in Alberta
In Alberta we have a government-guaranteed Land Titles system referred to as the TORRENS system. Throughout the rest of North America, when you get a Title, you can never be completely sure that it discloses everything. For example, there could be an unregistered mortgage or unregistered transfer that may impair your title. In Alberta, "what you see is what you get" and the government guarantees this.
Previously, title insurance primarily covered the issues covered by the Torrens system. Eventually, companies became innovative and expanded their coverage, so their insurance had applicability here in Alberta. Over the years they have continually added new items to their coverage. Now, their product offers substantial benefits at a very reasonable one-time cost.
What does Title Insurance cover?
Issues title insurance covers include the following:
It can cover the gap between submission and registration. When registration periods are long, you could never be sure when you submitted your documents as to other registrations in the stream that may affect your title.
Title Insurance will cover deficiencies that would not show on a Real Property Report such as unregistered utility easements or builders liens or matters that would be shown by non-Land Titles searches such as deficient corporate status. It will cover hidden deficiencies such as underground storage tanks or underground septic tanks.
Coverage is also provided for unknown special assessments on condominiums.
Title insurance covers issues that would have been shown on a Real Property Report if one had been obtained. Use of this product can avoid the need to obtain a Real Property Report. It also covers internal non-compliance issues that would never be shown on a Real Property Report such as lack of building permits or failure to meet building code on renovations such as a basement development.
Perhaps the most important coverage that continues after the closing date and during the entire time the property is owned is against forgery, fraud, duress, incompetency, incapacity, or impersonation.