Keeping your transactions on track

Search insurance policies offer protection against a multitude of risks that might arise once search

Search insurance policies offer protection against a multitude of risks that might arise once searches are obtained by property lawyers and conveyancers Picture: Getty Images/iStockphoto - Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

DUAL Asset underwriter Josh Astbury-Dennis explains the benefits of search insurance policies.

Josh Astbury-Dennis, underwriter at Dual Asset

Josh Astbury-Dennis, underwriter at Dual Asset - Credit: Archant

Seeing as legal indemnity insurance products are usually taken out to help ensure property transactions proceed smoothly, quickly, and cost-effectively, it could be said these products would be better called 'transaction insurance'.

I can't think of a product which better exemplifies the benefits of legal indemnities than search insurance policies.

The searches obtained by property lawyers and conveyancers will need no introduction to anybody who has been involved in a property transaction. They reveal important information about the property being held by the local authority and other bodies on a range of matters including: planning and building regulations; whether the property is subject to orders and liabilities such a compulsory purchase or tree preservation order; the extent of the public highway; any historic mining activities in the area; and whether drainage and water conduits are adopted.

If searches are not available or are out of date, that can lead to a delay in a transaction completing, which can have serious implications for the developer, such as losing a competitive rate because their loan offer expires.


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A search insurance policy is a readily available and affordable product, but nevertheless offers protection against a multitude of risks.

These policies offer customers (and often their lender) financial protection against any adverse entry that existed prior to the policy commencement date, that would have been revealed had searches been carried out, and which has a material effect on the market value of the property.

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The sheer number of matters covered by searches means these products offer significant breadth of coverage.

A search insurance product allows a transaction to proceed in a variety of circumstances. That might be where searches have been carried out but are now out of date; have been requested but are not available at the time of completion; or were not obtained at the time of a prior transaction (perhaps because a property was purchased with available funds but is now being re-mortgaged).

Going beyond search insurance policies, DUAL Asset's innovative approach to underwriting means we can also offer customers products that provide coverage against title matters where circumstances prevent full due diligence from being carried out when buying or selling portfolios.

That will need to a topic for another article, but in short, DUAL Asset is here to help transactions proceed smoothly, quickly and cost effectively.

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