Real Estate Practice Coverage Option
Title insurance provides coverage for fraud, and most transactions are now title-insured, so why do we need this new coverage?
Consider, for example:
- Lawyers acting for the vendor or transferor on title insured transactions; and
- Transactions that are entirely fraudulent in nature, with no opinion or title insurance having been provided.
- The involvement of lawyers on either side of a transaction, in instances involving opinions on title;
The Real Estate Practice Coverage responds where the registration causes damages that arise out of any dishonest, fraudulent, criminal or malicious act or omission of the lawyer. The coverage is specific in its nature, in that:
- It does not apply to other types of circumstances involving fraud;
- It applies regardless of whether there was a retainer between the wronged party and the lawyer;
- It assures a greater aggregate sub-limit protection than what is purchased by most lawyers for innocent party protection
If only one lawyer in our firm assumes responsibility for registering all transfers handled by our firm, do I and the others also need to have the real estate practice coverage?
What action should I take if I decide to change practice at some point during the year and stop practising any real estate law?
- A 30-day minimum premium for this option; and
- Only one premium adjustment per lawyer for this option for the year (beyond this, the full $100 annual premium would apply).
If you decide not to continue to carry this coverage, provide LAWPRO with a completed Application for Mid-Term Changes as soon as possible as changes are not backdated.
If I intend only to practise real estate law later in the year, do I need to apply for it now and pay for the whole of the year?
- A 30-day minimum premium for this option;
- Only one premium adjustment per LAWYER for this option for the year (beyond this, the full $100 annual premium would apply).
If you intend to begin practising real estate law part way through the year, provide LAWPRO with a completed Application for Mid-Term Changes – Real Estate Practice form at least 10 days prior to the date that the requested change is to take effect.
Why have I been notified that I am no longer eligible for the Real Estate Practice Coverage Option? ?
- those who are in bankruptcy;
- those who have been convicted or disciplined in connection with real estate fraud;
- and those under investigation, where the Law Society obtains an interlocutory suspension order or a restriction on the lawyer’s practice prohibiting the lawyer from practising real estate or an undertaking not to practise real estate. Contact the Monitoring and Enforcement department at the Law Society of Ontario for further details regarding your eligibility/ineligibility to practise real estate law.
Please note that you are not permitted to practise real estate law in Ontario for any period during which you do not meet the eligibility criteria according to Law Society records, even though the Real Estate Practice Coverage Option may continue in force for a period of time.
I didn’t let LAWPRO know that I left practice. Can I get a refund for the Real Estate Practice Coverage?
- Protection is limited to the registration of fraudulent instruments under the Land Titles Act where the lawyer is the fraudster or implicated in the fraud, and does not apply to other types of circumstances involving fraud;
- This protection applies regardless of whether there was a retainer between the wronged party and the fraudulent lawyer;
- The sub-limit protection is $250,000 per CLAIM/$1 million in the aggregate, ensuring greater aggregate sub-limit protection than what is purchased by most lawyers for innocent party protection;
- No protection is provided under this Real Estate Practice Coverage for registrations occurring prior to the new coverage coming into force, nor for claims to which title insurance would apply.