Property Title Theft Insurance – is it just scaremongering?

Offering title theft protection insurance is becoming increasingly popular and has prompted the Law Society to issue a warning to home owners not to “waste money on fraud protection policies” that are being aggressively marketed by some insurance companies and which the Law Society is stating “do little” to protect them.
The Land Registry have also posted a message on its website in order to distance themselves from the claims being made by the third party title theft protection adverts.
Linda Lee, Present of the Law Society, said that the adverts were merely scaremongering and the policies were not effective in the fight against fraud and went on to say:
“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.
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.”
Gatekeeper is one of the companies offering Title Theft Insurance but there is quite a hefty fee to be paid for the service, admittedly it is less than it could cost you if you happen to have the title to your property stolen but is it really necessary?  Gatekeeper works by registering three restrictions on your property but what is stopping the home owner from registering their own restrictions for a fraction of the charges that Gatekeeper are levying?
What do you think — are you doing enough to protect your clients from the threat of title theft?
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