The Stewart Title Residential Purchaser Policy provides protection to purchasers of real estate by guarding against loss incurred due to title and property related defects that generally are pre-existing and unknown to the purchaser at the time of purchase.
The Residential Purchaser Policy provides cover for properties that are zoned residential and rural. It applies to all types of title, except company title.
For a one time premium, the purchaser is indemnified forever on a no fault basis for losses up to 200% of the purchase price of the property.
For full details on premiums, refer to a Premium Schedule.
Cover is provided for a broad range of risks. Purchasers are covered for actual loss caused by risks such as:
- Illegal Building Work: enforcement action by a Local Authority in relation to non-approved structures which have been built by any previous owner of the property without the required Council permits or which do not comply with those permits (for rural properties this cover is limited to the main residence, including sheds, carports, garages used for residential purposes and any swimming pool). This coverage is capped at $160,000;
- Registration Gap: someone else lodges a dealing during the registration gap which prevents your interest from being registered or recorded;
- Fraud, Forgery & Identity Theft: loss due to fraud, forgery or identity theft which results in you being deprived of your ownership of the property; someone else claiming ownership of a part or all of the land by adverse possession;
- Boundary & Survey: forced removal or relocation of a structure because it encroaches over an easement or on to the neighbour’s property and any adverse matter affecting Title that would have been revealed in an up to date survey report. Please note that boundary and survey coverage will not apply to land where the land area size exceeds 50 acres;
- Planning & Title Defects: loss due to non-compliance with existing zoning and planning laws, unregistered easements and covenants, access orders, access rights or a right of way, lack of legal access, and defects in title to the land;
- Outstanding Rates, Taxes and Levies: outstanding rates and taxes on the property which the insured is liable for as the current owner of the property;
- Unpaid Local Infrastructure or Local Improvement Levies: errors made by the insured’s practitioner or Local Authority in respect of unpaid local infrastructure or local improvement levies or charges due to a Local Authority which may result in an encumbrance, charge or lien or writ on the Title to the land;
- Unmarketability: loss on resale of the property because of the existence of a covered title risk.
Stewart Title also provides cover against the following risks where the circumstances creating or giving rise to these risks occur after settlement:
- fraud, forgery or mistake which lead to someone else claiming an interest in the land;
- someone else builds a structure, other than boundary walls or fences, which encroaches onto the insured’s land;
- a Local Authority assesses supplemental rates or taxes not previously assessed against your property for any period prior to the Policy Date.
Standard cover is also offered for the period between settlement and actual registration of documents to guard against a third party interest registered on title after settlement but before registration of the insured’s interest.
Stewart Title can also provide cover over known defects discovered in the course of the conveyancing transaction for no additional premium. If a defect is discovered, please contact our Underwriting Department for custom underwriting.
In addition to covering actual loss suffered by the insured, Stewart Title has a duty to defend the insured’s title. Stewart Title will also cover all of the insured’s costs, legal fees and expenses if we need to defend their ownership.
Further, Stewart Title will reimburse rental charges for an equivalent property if the insured cannot use the property as their home because of circumstances insured under the policy. The rental charges will continue to be reimbursed until the cause of the claim is resolved or until you are able to resume the use of the property as your principal place of residence (whoever is the earlier).
Like all insurance policies, the Stewart Title policy excludes certain risks from cover. Some of these standard exclusions include:
- risks which cause no loss or damage;
- risks which the insured creates, allows or agrees to;
- risks which are known to the insured, but not to Stewart Title;
- risks that arise because the insured did not pay full value for the Land;
- risks arising from business or commercial activities, including, but not limited to, any loss of rental income or loss of business revenue;
- risks or loss arising from environmental contamination or environmental protection;
- risks which occur or come into existence after the Policy Date (except where specifically included in the policy);
- native title;
- losses arising from mine subsidence;
- losses relating to the infestation or dilapidation of structures, or matters disclosed in a building inspection report or home inspection report obtained by the insured prior to the Policy Date;
- claims for which there is protection under home and building insurance or builders warranty insurance.
For full details of our standard cover and exclusions from cover, refer to the Residential Purchaser Policy.