Stewart Title, the underwriter for Stewart’s transactions in the United Kingdom, Europe and Australia, announced today that it is providing Donazione Facile, an insurance product for Italy that facilitates the transfer and commercialisation of donated properties.

This insurance covers financial losses arising from claims filed by the donee’s legitimate heirs challenging the donation. Stewart Title Limited’s Italian branch will provide the cover with Willis Group Holdings plc, a leading global risk advisor, insurance and reinsurance broker, undertaking the policy processing.

"Our partnership with the Willis Group enables us to offer a product that can provide property owners and lenders in Italy with peace of mind," said Steven Lessack, group president, international operations. "We know from our experience in underwriting property transactions across numerous international markets, that this product will be beneficial to Italian owners, buyers and lenders, alike. We’re excited about the opportunities it will create in the Italian real estate market."

Under Italian inheritance laws, the values of donated assets are attributed to the estate and, in the event of a shortfall in their statutory entitlement, certain heirs can claim under specific circumstances the restitution of the donated property free from any mortgages eventually registered therein after the donation occurred. This makes properties donated, less attractive to buyers and financing institutions.

Guido De Spirt, chief executive officer, Willis Italy commented, "We are pleased to be working with Stewart Title, a company with strong financial backing and ample European experience, to bring this product to market. The combination of Stewart Title’s cover and our proprietary on-line ordering system helps facilitate the conveyancing and mortgage process when there is a donation in the title chain."

Cover is available for a one-time fee and can be transferred with the property and is available to purchasers and mortgage lenders.

Willis Group Holdings is a leading global risk advisor, insurance and reinsurance broker. With roots dating to 1828, Willis operates today on every continent with more than 18,000 employees in over 400 offices. Willis offers its clients superior expertise, teamwork, innovation and market-leading products and professional services in risk management and transfer.