COVID-19 & Remote Signings

For Legal Professionals:

Fraud Coverage for Remote Signings

 

As a result of COVID-19, governments are urging social distancing and we understand that you may be meeting with clients and verifying identification remotely.

 

To facilitate this, Stewart Title is not requiring face-to-face meetings as a precondition to obtaining title insurance coverage, and our policies will continue to provide the comprehensive coverage for title fraud that you rely upon for closing your transactions. Stewart Title’s fraud coverage is not impacted by whether you obtain signatures in person or digitally.

 

We remind lawyers and notaries that remote signing introduces additional risk in terms of fraud and they should remain vigilant with respect to verifying identification of their clients by ensuring that they obtain, for their records, an electronic copy of the front and back of the client’s Canadian government issued photo identification and using some form of video conferencing.

 

Some of the key “red flags” of fraud to be aware of are: i) requests to send funds to unrelated third parties;  ii) private mortgages on mortgage free properties; and iii) transactions involving the elderly.  With respect to the elderly, particular attention should be given to looking out for transactions where undue influence or pressure may be exerted by family members or acquaintances.

 

View our list of common characteristics found in fraudulent transactions.

 

Please check applicable legislation along with your Provincial Law Society/Notary Society and Land Registry Offices to determine appropriate protocols.

 

If you have any concerns about a transaction, do not close without speaking with a Stewart Underwriter. Our experienced team continues to be available to answer any questions and provide assistance to help close your deals.

 

Should you have any questions, please contact your Business Development Manager.

 

 

This information is intended to provide general information only. For full coverage details, please refer to a copy of our policy. Please note that we continue to monitor these changing circumstances and will send updates if there are any changes to this coverage.