If someone has unfortunately passed away, their home can become unoccupied for a particular time. Typically, within 30-90 days, an insurance policy is revised, and the new coverage is carefully adjusted by the insurer to exclude certain benefits, if not completely withdrawn.
Ordinarily, conventional insurance on an unoccupied property is guided by restrictive terms. This means the policy no longer entirely covers the home since the insurance fears the property is not occupied.
It is a high risk, and they could be put on the losing end. It then becomes your responsibility as the property executor to ensure unoccupied property insurance probate to protect against vandalism, fire outbreak, flood, and many more activities that can wreck the home.
There are currently about 610,123 empty UK houses in the UK, and the property you are managing could be one. These properties, without adequate attention or coverage, turn out to cost the owners even more than they could have invested to protect expensive repairs from coming through their pockets.
That minor fault you overlook on an empty home can become the decisive problem leading to a more damaging incident in the house. In case it slipped your memory, an unoccupied home pulls attention from various problematic aspects, including squatters, intruders, burglars, arsonists, and several other intruding elements.
This section advises you on what you can do as an executor to protect the property until the beneficiaries or heirs take over.
- Inspect the Policy in Place
As mentioned earlier, the existing policy does not extensively cover the property when it becomes unoccupied. You want to revisit the coverage even if there was an extensive property policy.
An insurer would typically update the policy or request new coverage to protect the home against dreadful elements that depreciate the property in no time. And if the company has no probate experience, even the revised policy can be problematic.
- Check Whether the Revised Policy Suits the Property
Does the newly revised policy seek to protect the home from costing you millions? The insurance company wants you to get a comprehensive policy for the empty property. Otherwise, they might reject your subsequent damage claims since the revised policy may clearly not state them.
You want to make sure to follow the due process of revisiting and revising the policy to make the home damage-proof to vandalism, flood, and the likes. Note that the new policy should be in your name. This does not make you directly entitled to the property claims, except that you become the name the insurance company will contact or notify as the policy lapses or is removed.
- Consider a New Insurer
Sometimes, the insurer may not be helping your responsibilities. You want an insurer that accommodates your thoughts and is capable of providing you optimal options that streamlines how you overlook the empty property. In most cases, investing in specialist probate insurance optimally handles the protection to make sure you get the best.
New insurance can be able to accommodate you if the estate money is limited to invest in the premium. Most specialist insurers will allow you a grace period, such that unoccupancy conditions do not apply to the estate. You could also be able to defer payment of the premium when there is not much money from the estate.
- Treat the Home as if You Occupy It
After you get new and favourable coverage for the empty property, you want to treat it like you would treat your home. Do not shift all responsibilities to the insurance company so that you get stuck in rejected claims. Create time for inspections and put away all valuable items in a safe.
You can turn off all utilities, disconnect running devices and take out degradable items. More importantly, ensure a good record of every item on the property. You can charge a neighbour to keep watch and report suspicious activities to you.
Factors that Can Hike the Cost of Insuring an Unoccupied Property
For many reasons, you may have to pay more for insurance. When a home is vacant, it becomes more vulnerable. Homes that are inhabited and cared for even deteriorate eventually; think then about an empty home where no one is available to detect problems and have them repaired before they escalate to a more damaging situation.
How long the property has been left unoccupied influences the premium. Suppose after five years, and property is empty. The inside insurance introduces coverage limits to, perhaps, only earthquakes, explosions, fire or any other possibly disastrous incident.
The location of the property also matters. If the estate sits in a high-crime region, it increases the risk of vandalism and theft. Since no in-house eyes are available, criminals can comfortably ransack the entire home at any time. An insurance company puts this into consideration in its policy.