My firm, or solicitors we have dealt with, have had occasion to obtain title indemnity insurance in three recent cases.
One was to cover really historic alterations (dating from 1947 and 1972) to a New Town property in Edinburgh. The second related to obtaining comfort over access and servitude rights for a country property. The third concerned historic double glazing.
This has highlighted several things to me.
First, why as a profession do we insist in over-emphasising the risks involved in some of these issues, e.g. the local authority taking action? Secondly, why do we continue to argue over these issues and spend inordinate amounts of time for which we are probably not properly remunerated? Thirdly, why do we not go for title indemnity insurance as a first, and in many cases, cheapest and easiest option?
I suggest that, particularly in domestic conveyancing where no one seems to take a view of anything because of fear of sanctions, we go for the insurance option more often. I for one do not want to spend time arguing over something esoteric where there is a very small risk and we make no money out of the transaction.
If you look at the premiums charged by title indemnity insurers, it is obvious that they do not consider many of the issues to be big risks. I rest my case. I emphasise that I am not on commission from any of the title insurance providers.
Can I also make a plea to others dealing with domestic conveyancing to take a reality check from time to time. Why, for example, do we keep insisting in the missives on silly things like warranties that all the white goods are working? Would you sell a second hand car or fridge and offer any warranty? So why should you put it into a missive. Our basic job is to get the client a valid and marketable title and the lender a security. It is not to make life difficult for each other by arguing over stupid issues.David R Adie, Adie Hunter, Glasgow