There are many risks inherent in the conveyancing process which may cause you loss or affect your ownership of your property. Title insurance is a specialised type of insurance which provides protection to home buyers and existing home owners of residential strata property against certain unknown and hidden risks which may exist at the time of purchase.
The Residential Strata Policy covers strata title properties that are zoned residential.
For full details on premiums, refer to a Premium Schedule.
Cover is provided for a broad range of risks including:
- Unapproved Alterations: enforcement action by a Local Authority (including an Owners Corporation, Body Corporate or Strata Company) in relation to alterations made to the Strata Unit without the required approval from the Local Authority, of which you are unaware at the time of purchasing the Strata Unit. This coverage is capped at $160,000;
- Registration Gap: someone else lodges a dealing 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 Strata Unit;
- Planning & Title Defects: loss due to non-compliance with existing zoning and planning laws, unregistered easements & covenants, access orders, access rights or a right of way, lack of legal access, and other defects in title to the Strata Unit, such as a boundary encroachment, of which you are unaware at the time of purchasing the Strata Unit;
- Outstanding Rates, Taxes and Strata Levies: outstanding rates, taxes and strata levies (including special levies) on the property which you are now liable for as the current owner of the Strata Unit;
- 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 Strata Unit;
- 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 strata unit; and
- someone else builds a structure, other than boundary walls or fences, which encroaches onto the strata unit;
- 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.
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 claims 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 Strata Policy.