the stories behind the statistics
Just as title insurance has gone from a novelty to becoming the practice norm, the number of claims reported by title insurance policy holders has increased. Insurers are reporting increases of 45 per cent or more claims reported in 2002 over 2001, and 20 to 30 per cent increases in the cost of resolving those claims.
TitlePLUS, has fared better than many of its competitors. While TitlePLUS sales volumes grew by 40 per cent in 2002, total claims payouts were up about five per cent.
Stringent yet competitive underwriting has played a key role in keeping TitlePLUS claims statistics at these relatively low levels: Less than one per cent of all TitlePLUS policies issued to date have resulted in a claim. Moreover, most of these claims have a value of less than $1,000 (expenses and indemnity combined). Many TitlePLUS claims are resolved at relatively low expense and quickly (many in less than one month, although two to three months is the average), using the in-house
expertise of a TitlePLUS/LAWPRO claims team and occasionally the resources of an external expert.
That’s not to say that TitlePLUS does not see more complex and costly claims; but they are few and far between. For example, we have very few fraud and for- gery claims, which other insurers have reported as a significant issue. The majority of TitlePLUS claims centre around building permit issues and realty tax arrears. The following are summaries of some of the claims that our TitlePLUS/LAWPRO claims team has resolved recently – to the satisfaction of both the policy holder and lawyer involved.
© 2003 Lawyers’ Professional Indemnity Company. This article originally appeared in LAWPRO Magazine “Helping Your Practice Soar”, Summer 2003. It is available at www.lawpro.ca/magazinearchives