Financial Literacy Month – The need for informed consumers
Nov 1st, 2013 | By Michael LeBlanc
November is financial literacy month and since the financial crisis there has been a great effort on the part of governments, financial institutions and financial services professionals to increase the financial knowledge of Canadians. Financial literacy is also one of the main reasons I am committed to The FCT Blog – to increase understanding of title insurance and answer product questions.
I believe that an informed consumer is the fundamental pillar of financial literacy and subsequently consumer protection. But how does the average homebuyer hear about the benefits of title insurance? Normally through their lawyer or notary. But across Canada there are varying requirements on lawyers to provide information about title insurance. In Ontario, lawyers are required by the Law Society to discuss all options to protect their title – a survey with a legal opinion or title insurance. When given this option guess what? According to the Law Society over 90% of consumers choose title insurance in Ontario on their lawyer’s recommendation. I actually think that it is closer to 100% but we can discuss that another time.
In other provinces many lawyers take it upon themselves to ensure that their clients are informed about title insurance. Consumers need information about the products that will protect and benefit them in order to make an informed choice. As discussed in previous blogs title insurance can protect consumers from many issues where there is no or limited coverage provided elsewhere. I and FCT strongly support the policy that all Canadian homebuyers be made aware of products like title insurance that can benefit them in the purchase of a home.
So in the mean time, ask your lawyer or notary about title insurance as an option. Or ask me -as always we are happy to help answer any questions in this regard.