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Title Insurance: What is it and Why?

Conveyancers and solicitors are recommending to their clients that Title Insurance be taken out when purchasing residential property.

What is covered?

Residential and strata properties

Property risk insurance for residential and strata property covers you against specific risks, including these two most common incidents.

Illegal or unapproved structures

Australians love their carports, backyard decks, verandas and pergolas. Unfortunately, these are often built without council approval. According to Archicentre*, more than 29% of Australian residences have an illegal structure and the risk often remains unknown to you until it’s too late.

Following your purchase, your local council may order you to demolish or rebuild these illegal structures, with the potential to cause you significant loss.


It happens more often than you might think – your boundary fence or garden shed may not actually be on your land, or your fence line could be in the wrong place. Our property risk insurance gives you peace of mind knowing these hidden surprises won’t end up costing you time, money and stress.

Zoning issue leads to eviction

As a part of Title Insurance commitment to providing education on the use of property risk insurance as a risk management tool, we bring you an article highlighting the very real and significant risks that we protect against.

As reported in news.com.au “A Couple who bought a $1.85 million inner-city pad have been given their marching orders by the council because the zoning of their luxury home prohibits them from living there.”

“Adam Burgess and Margaret Boshell are suing the previous owner of the Melbourne property, the real estate agency who sold it, and their conveyancer for not telling them the converted Richmond warehouse is zoned business only.”

“The couple bought the three-storey home believing they could lawfully live there, according to a writ filed in the Supreme Court last month. But they received an eviction notice from Yarra City Council in March 2012, less than a year after moving in.” Herald Sun May 12, 2013

How a Title Insurance policy could have helped

In this case, the purchasers’ financial loss and personal distress could have been avoided if a Title Insurance policy was in place.

If these owners had been insured with a Property Risk Insurance policy, the coverage would have been triggered by the clients’ loss to legally occupy their home.

A key feature of the policy is the duty to Defend an insured’s interest in the property with legal expenses covered. In addition, we would indemnify them for their loss.

For a property with a value up to $500,000, the premium is a low “one-off” payment of $300 plus taxes and provides coverage for the duration of ownership.