Property title theft insurance is no weapon against property fraud, says the UK’s Law Society which is warning property owners not to waste money on some of the so called fraud protection policies on their homes now being aggressively marketed by some insurance companies.
The warning comes after the publication of title theft protection insurance adverts claiming to protect home owners from property fraud. The Society says that in reality the insurance does little to protect them.
The adverts have prompted the Land Registry to post a message on its website distancing itself from claims made in third party title theft protection adverts.
Law Society President Linda Lee said that the adverts were merely scaremongering and the policies were ineffective in the fight against fraud. ‘These particular insurance products create no barrier between home owners and fraudsters. There are much more effective measures home owners can take to guard against fraud,’ she explained.
‘These kinds of adverts are claiming that this kind of insurance is necessary, especially if a home does not have a mortgage. With many non mortgaged properties likely to be owned by elderly home owners, this type of sales tactic is particularly concerning,’ she added.
The Land Registry provides guidance aimed at guarding against property fraud and has worked collaboratively with the Law Society and other organisations specifically to tackle property and mortgage fraud.
Only last year, Land Registry and the Law Society produced a practice note for solicitors specifically aimed at tackling fraud. ‘If anyone has concerns about title theft or property fraud in general they should contact their solicitor rather than waste money on what is an ineffective insurance product,’ said Lee.
In January the Law Society launched the Conveyancing Quality Scheme, to help to raise standards in the home buying market, deter fraud and form a trusted conveyancing community. CQS is intended to add strength to the collective effort to tackle fraud and creates an extra barrier against it.
The first practices to secure the CQS accreditation have been announced this month. All CQS accredited practices will have undergone a robust application and assessment procedure, as well as compulsory training, self reporting, random auditing and a requirement to renew their CQS status annually.