Residential Purchaser Policy

Stewart Title’s Residential Purchaser Policy provides protection to purchasers of real estate by guarding against loss incurred due to title and property related defects that generally are pre-existing and unknown to the purchaser at the time of purchase.


Our Residential Purchaser Policy provides cover for properties that are zoned residential or rural and also provides cover for properties which are vacant land.


For a one-time premium, the purchaser is indemnified forever on a no-fault basis for losses up to 200% of the purchase price of the property.


Purchasers are covered for a broad range of risks such as:


Unapproved Building Work

Enforcement action by a Local Authority in relation to non-approved structures which have been built by any previous owner of the property without the required Council permits or which did not comply with those permits (for rural properties this cover is limited to the main residence, including sheds, carports, garages used for residential purposes and any swimming pool) at the time the structures were built. This coverage is capped at $160,000.


Registration Gap

Someone else lodges a dealing during the registration gap which prevents your interest from being registered or recorded.


Fraud, Forgery & Identity Theft

Loss due to fraud, forgery or identity theft which results in you being deprived of your ownership of the property; someone else claiming ownership of a part or all of the land by adverse possession.


Boundary & Survey

Forced removal or relocation of a structure because it encroaches over an easement or on to the neighbour’s property and any adverse matter affecting Title that would have been revealed in an up-to-date survey report. Please note that boundary and survey coverage will not apply to land where the land area size exceeds 50 acres.


Planning & Title Defects

Loss due to non-compliance with existing zoning and planning laws, unregistered easements and covenants, access orders, access rights or a right of way, lack of legal access, and defects in title to the land.


Outstanding Rates, Taxes & Levies

Outstanding rates and taxes on the property which the insured is liable for as the current owner of the property. This coverage does not apply to land transfer duty, land stamp duty, foreign buyer duty or foreign investor surcharge or any levies or special levies struck after the Policy Date.


Unpaid Local Infrastructure or Local Improvement Levies

Errors made by the insured’s practitioner or Local Authority in respect of unpaid local infrastructure or local improvement levies or charges due to a Local Authority which may result in an encumbrance, charge or lien or writ on the Title to the land.


Risks Occurring After Settlement

Stewart Title also provides cover against the following risks where the circumstances creating or giving rise to these risks occur after settlement:


  • Fraud, forgery or mistake which lead to someone else claiming an interest in the land
  • Someone else builds a structure, other than boundary walls or fences, which encroaches onto the insured’s land
  • A Local Authority assesses supplemental rates or taxes not previously assessed against your property for any period prior to the Policy Date


Known Risks

We can also provide cover over known risks discovered in the course of the conveyancing transaction for no additional premium. If a known risk is discovered, please contact our Underwriting Department for custom underwriting.


Defence of Title

In addition to covering actual loss suffered by the insured, Stewart Title may defend any challenge to the insured's title, including that part of any proceedings or court case, which is based on a Covered Risk under the Policy. Stewart Title will also cover all of the insured’s costs, legal fees and expenses if we need to defend their ownership.


Further, Stewart Title will reimburse reasonable rental charges for an equivalent property if the insured cannot use the property as their principal place of residence because of circumstances insured under the Policy. The reasonable rental charges will continue to be reimbursed until we settle the claim or until the insured is able to resume the use of the property as the principal place of residence (whichever is the earlier).


Standard Exclusions

Like all insurance policies, the Stewart Title policy excludes certain risks from cover. Some of these standard exclusions include:


  • Risks which cause no loss or damage
  • Risks which the insured creates, allows or agrees to
  • Risks which are known to the insured, but not to Stewart Title as at the Policy Date
  • Risks that arise because the insured did not pay full value for the Land
  • Risks arising from business or commercial activities, including, but not limited to, any loss of rental income or loss of business revenue
  • Risks or loss arising from environmental contamination or environmental protection
  • Risks which occur or come into existence after the Policy Date (except where specifically included in the policy)
  • Native title or claims arising directly or indirectly from legislation with respect to the protection of aboriginal cultural heritage
  • Losses arising from mine subsidence
  • Losses relating to the infestation or dilapidation of structures, or matters disclosed in a building inspection report, survey report or home inspection report obtained by the insured prior to the Policy Date
  • Losses relating to poor workmanship or the condition and repair of any structures
  • Claims for which there is protection under home and building insurance or builders warranty insurance


Contact us for more information.



Please note that the information on title insurance provided is solely for general information purposes only and does not relate to your personal circumstances. It is not intended to be a complete description of all the terms, conditions and exclusions applicable to the title insurance product.  Please refer to your issued policy for full details, including the specific terms and conditions, exclusions and other limits on coverage. Sample policies are available here or upon request.