More Canadian Homebuyers Are Title Insuring Their Real Estate Transactions

Number of First Canadian Title Policies Issued Increases By 61 Percent


July 17, 2002, MISSISSAUGA, Ontario

First Canadian Title (Services de Titres FCT ), the country’s leading provider of title insurance, announced today that for the six-month period ending June 30 it issued more than 179,000 title insurance policies across Canada, a 61 per cent increase from the same period in 2001. Additionally, in the month of May alone, First Canadian Title issued more than 36,000 title insurance policies. This is the highest number of policies the Company has ever issued in one month.

“In 1991 we issued just 83 policies,” said First Canadian Title’s Chief Executive Office, Tom Grifferty. “Since then, we’ve worked hard to educate the marketplace about the benefits of residential and commercial title insurance, and the result has been a steady increase in the acceptance and use of title insurance among Canadians. We couldn’t be more pleased that Canadian real estate lawyers and notaries are helping their clients reduce the risks associated with real estate transactions by purchasing title insurance.”

“Title” is most easily defined as the right of ownership in real property. Title insurance protects the insured owner from loss or damage due to title and survey defects. It also protects a lender’s interest in the property. All major national lending institutions in Canada accept title insurance in lieu of an up-to-date survey for the protection from survey defects that it affords.

First Canadian Title has been the market leader in the Canadian title insurance industry since it began issuing title insurance policies in the country in 1991. To date, the company has issued more than one million policies across Canada. Please see the appendix to this news release for the number of policies First Canadian Title has issued annually since 1991.

"The increasing volume of title insurance policies First Canadian Title is issuing is indicative of something larger than First Canadian's success and leadership in the Canadian real estate market," said Ottawa real estate lawyer Ken Hoyt of Windle & Hoyt. "Title insurance has changed the way in which real estate transactions are closed by enabling transactions to close on time and by providing the homebuyer with cost savings and superior title protection. I title insure all my deals as a matter of course to provide my clients with the best protection available."

Title insurance played an active role during the Ontario Public Service Employees Union (OPSEU) strike that took place this spring. During the strike, lawyers were sometimes concerned that long lineups at local registry offices might prevent them from registering the pertinent documents when their clients’ transactions were scheduled to close. Many lawyers purchased title insurance for the “registration gap coverage” that it provides, which essentially protects the insured from loss or damage incurred as a result of matters arising during the period between closing and registration at the Land Registry Office. With this registration gap coverage, lawyers could trust that their clients would be protected should matters such as liens or other mortgages be registered before the title changed hands at the registry office.

A title insurance policy protects against a variety of other problems that can delay a transaction, prevent it from closing, or threaten the purchaser’s rightful ownership. Among the problems it insures against are fraud and forgery relating to title, title defects, survey problems, certain off-title problems (matters not registered in a local land registry office), human error and the inability to sell the property at a later date due to title problems.

As the number of title insurance policies sold increases, so too do the number of claims that First Canadian Title resolves. In 2001, for example, 28 per cent more claims were made to First Canadian Title than in 2000. Additionally, in 2001 the Company paid out 54 per cent more to resolve claims than it had the year prior.

First Canadian Title (www.firstcanadiantitle.com) pioneered the concept of title insurance in Canada in 1991. Last year alone, First Canadian Title issued more than 260,000 title insurance policies. First Canadian Title’s responsive underwriting skills and unparalleled experience in handling and resolving claims set it apart from its competitors. The Company offers customers a number of valuable products and services including title insurance for both residential and commercial transactions, residential refinance programs for lenders, home closing services and real estate tax services. Based in Mississauga, with offices throughout Canada, First Canadian Title employs more than 400 people from coast to coast. First Canadian Title is the registered business name in Canada of First American Title Insurance Company. All title insurance policies are underwritten and issued by First American Title Insurance Company.

 

Number of Title Insurance Policies Issued By First Canadian Title

1991 – 83
1992 – 107
1993 – 540
1994 – 7,843
1995 – 20,351
1996 – 42,147
1997 – 69,135
1998 – 106,991
1999 – 141,791
2000 – 180,425
2001 – 262,441

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