Real Estate Practice Coverage Option
All lawyers who intend to practise real estate law in Ontario, must be eligible for, apply for and be granted this coverage option before being able to practise in this area of law.
This coverage option provides necessary insurance protection to ensure that members of the public, and Land Titles Assurance Fund, are protected against the registration of fraudulent instruments under the Land Titles Act.
The coverage sublimit is $250,000 per claim/$1 million in the aggregate per policy period, applicable to claim expenses, indemnity payments and/or costs of repairs together.
The premium is $100 annually per insured lawyer.
Definition of real estate law
Real estate law is a broadly defined term and is not limited to specific types of transactions, such as transfers or charges. Rather, it means the practice of the law of Canada, its provinces and territories, that concerns:
- the registration of any instrument under the Land Titles Act; and/or
- the actual or contemplated transfer, charging, insuring, or otherwise affecting, an estate, right or interest in land;
and may include, without limitation, any one or more of the following services by a solicitor: the receipt of instructions, preparation of documents, searches and/or the providing of one or more opinions or certificates with respect to the title, transfer or charge, and/or with respect to the issuance of any title insurance policy.
If you are not sure if you need to apply for this coverage, see our self-assessment tool for Real Estate Practice Coverage Option.
This coverage is available only to lawyers eligible to practise real estate law in Ontario as permitted by the Law Society of Ontario.
The following categories of lawyers are not eligible for this coverage:
- those who are in bankruptcy;
- those who have been convicted or disciplined in connection with real estate fraud;
- 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.
Lawyers changing area of practice
If you cease to practise real estate law in Ontario at some point during the policy period, or if you commence the practice of real estate law part way through the year, you will qualify for a premium adjustment for this option, pro-rated for the period during which you practise (practised) real estate law, subject to the following criteria:
- a 30-day minimum premium; and
- only one premium adjustment per lawyer for this option for the year (beyond this, the full $100 annual premium would apply).
Lawyers who begin the practice of real estate law part way through the year should 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. As such, the lawyer may need to engage the services of another real estate lawyer to handle any real estate transactions in the interim. Please note that requests to add this coverage will not be backdated prior to the date we receive the completed form. The effective date of coverage will be the date this completed form is received by LAWPRO or the requested effective date, whichever is later.
Lawyers who cease to practise real estate law part way through the year and prefer not to continue to carry this coverage option should provide LAWPRO with a completed Application for Mid-Term Changes – Real Estate Practice form for any available reduction in premium to be applied.