Can you insure a house in probate?

Can you insure a house in probate

In this video, Rob will discuss what you need to consider when insuring a house in probate.

Can you insure a house in probate – Video Transcript:

Are you are an executor or personal representative of an estate? Two questions that are often asked is can you insure a house in probate and who is responsible for doing this.

In this video I will break down what you need to know if the property is empty.  If the property is occupied, this video won’t be for you.

Firstly, yes houses in probate can be insured and arranging adequate insurance is the responsibility of the executor (that’s if there is a will) or if there is no will, it will be the responsibility of the personal representative, sometimes called an administrator.

If the insurance isn’t arranged correctly, and the property suffers a loss, that should have been insured,

who ever was responsible for the insurance could be asked to reimburse the estate out of their own pocket.

So if you are acting in that role it is really important to get this right.

The first thing you need to consider is the existing insurance. 

Contact the current insurer and let them know about the death of the owner.  Many insurers will continue to cover the property for 30 days to give you time to find more suitable unoccupied property insurance.

The next thing you need to know is that there are many unoccupied property insurance providers in the market, most have not been designed for probate property, so you might find the cover is basic.

Choosing the right policy is important, bearing in mind what I said about the potential financial impact on you for any uninsured losses.

So make sure to check the cover of each insurance provider you are considering.  Don’t go for basic cheap cover it might hit you in the pocket if there is a claim.

Highlight anything they aren’t covering and see if you can find the right cover to protect yourself and the estate elsewhere.

So what other things do you need to look out for?

Firstly, beware of underinsuring the property.  Most insurance providers will ask you for a rebuild value when requesting a quote.  It is best not to guess the rebuild value if you don’t know it.

If you underinsure the property, the insurer is likely to reduce the value of any buildings insurance claim proportionally based on the amount of underinsurance. 

So if the property should have been insured for £300,000 but you have insured it for £150,000 that could be a loss of £150,000 for the estate that you might need to repay.

The only way to protect yourself is to get a RICS rebuild valuation, or insure with someone like Insuristic who can quote on the number of bedrooms in the property.

Many insurers will require you to drain down water systems to prevent escape of water claims.  If you don’t do this, escape of water claims won’t be covered.  These claims can be costly, often in the thousands.  So make sure you comply with any of the insurers conditions in this regard.

Next check how often the insurer will need someone to inspect the property and what evidence you’d need to provide in the event of a claim. 

Many unoccupied property insurers will require the property to be inspected every 7 days. 

Some may push this up to 14. 

Most will require evidence that the property has been inspected usually in the form of a written inspection.  If you can’t prove the property has been inspected in line with the insurers condition they could reduce or reject a claim.

If you need to insure contents in the property, it is likely there will be a single article limit of £1,000. So if there are valuable, theft attractive items in the property you should consider putting these in safe storage.

If you are renovating the property, other than basic painting and decorating, the insurer will usually want to know about this before any work starts.

If all of this sounds complicated, why not head over to the Insuristic website and see how we’ve made this insurance easier for you to understand and comply with. 

An Insuristic policy will give you the peace of mind should there be a claim, that you have a quality insurance policy to protect the value of the property and an in-house claims team to support you should you need it.

You can find out more or get a quote by visiting our probate house insurance page.

About the Author

Rob Faulkner CEO of Insuristic

Hi, I'm Rob, CEO and Founder of Insuristic. My mission is to make insurance easier to understand and buy online.

I hold an Advanced Diploma in Insurance (ACII) which demonstrates I have a solid technical understanding of Insurance and have committed to continuous professional development. I am also a member of the Chartered Insurance Institute and hold the a Chartered Insurance Broker status.

Over the last 27 years, I have worked for insurers, insurance brokers and insurance technology businesses, specialising in product, sales and marketing.

You can find out more about me on my author page.

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