When a loved one passes away, there is a lot of work that needs to be done to tend to their affairs. You don’t need the added stress of an invalid home insurance policy.
The home insurance dilemma
One of the lesser known issues when taking care of an estate is that sometimes, home insurance policies can become invalid in one of two scenarios: when a homeowner dies or after the home becomes vacant for an extended period after the death. Not a lot of people are aware of this and insurance companies tend to capitalise on that fact.
If the family members taking care of the estate aren’t experienced with homeownership they may not know how to handle a home insurance policy. If something happens to the property and relatives were counting on the insurance company to pay out for a claim, they may be in for a rude awakening.
By not having the funds from insurance to use, it’s likely they’ll need to dip into the inheritance.
Why you need to notify your insurance company
It’s important they learn the intricacies of home insurance quickly so that the insurance provider is notified in a timely manner. Family members should notify providers immediately, or at least within 30 days so there’s no lapse in coverage of their loved one’s property and belongings. If the deceased leaves behind a spouse and they plan to stay in the home, you can transfer the policy over to the widow/widower – you just need to alert the insurance company to make the change.
If your current provider won’t let the policy be transferred to the surviving spouse or an executor of the will then you are unfortunately looking at having an invalid home insurance policy. You may be able to get the empty property insured with a policy that covers against fire, lightning, explosions, and aircraft damage, also known as “flea” coverage.
Why do you lose coverage?
Many experts theorise that a vacant home is more susceptible to adverse events and the likelihood of a claim being necessary increases the longer the property is empty. A burglary is a normally a painful violation of privacy, but in this case, there’s the added sting of something being stolen that was meant to be passed down to another family member.
Something could go wrong inside the house as well – a fire, a flood, or any other incident that causes property damage you might normally rely on insurance for. Another issue is that a vacant property can attract squatters, a nuisance no one wants to deal with.
All Med Pro’s customers have come to rely on us to help them choose the best insurance policies for their business and personal needs and one of our areas of expertise is home and personal insurances.
We also provide a dedicated service and in the event of a tragedy, we understand that worrying about policies and paperwork is the furthest from many grieving family member’s minds so we’ll endeavour to work with your family, giving you peace of mind that they will be taken care of in the event of your passing.