If you have been named as an executor in someone’s will, you assume some important responsibilities during the course of probate – the process by which the property and possessions of the person who died are distributed to the beneficiaries of the will.
Included in the executor’s responsibilities is the duty of ensuring that property – such as the home the deceased once lived in – remains adequately and properly safeguarded by insurance.
What makes the insurance of a property that is part of the estate of someone who dies is that the home is likely to stand empty and unoccupied during the period of probate.
This means that the regular type of home insurance that is normally in place when the residence is occupied may no longer suffice. Invariably, insurers restrict or impose exclusions on the level of cover once the property has been unoccupied for more than 30 to 45 consecutive days (the precise period varying from one insurer to another).
The reasons may be easy enough to understand, since the risks – from unattended maintenance and repair problems, and intrusions from burglars, squatters, vandals and arsonists – are considerably higher when the property is vacant, explains the British Security Industry Association (BSIA).
The answer is a specialist form of insurance – arranged by certain experts in this niche of property protection – called unoccupied property insurance.
Buying unoccupied property insurance
If you are an executor in search of unoccupied property insurance, you are unlikely to need to look far. The problem is probably the opposite, with an almost overwhelming choice of competing products.
Which packages offer the cover that is suitable for the property currently in probate? Which unoccupied property insurance represents good value for money? The decisions come as part and parcel of your duties as an executor.
To answer questions such as these, of course, you need to shop around and make an unoccupied property insurance comparison of the many products available in a highly competitive market.
In that quest, you might be forgiven for overlooking some crucial aspect of the insurance cover you need or for failing to secure the most competitively priced package.
That is where you might better use an independent specialist broker, experienced in the provision of insurance for property in probate, including a home which needs the particular protection of unoccupied property insurance.
These are brokers best placed to provide an unoccupied property insurance online quote on your behalf. They are familiar both with the needs and requirements of executors responsible for administering an estate and a recognition that, more often than not, such property is likely to stand empty for several months or more and therefore needs the protection of unoccupied property insurance.
You might also take comfort in the fact that this kind of unoccupied property insurance provides essentially short term cover in a fashion that is flexible enough to extend on a month by month basis if the need arises. Given the indeterminate period of time it may take to complete the probate process, this flexibility provides a welcome alternative to the more usual demand that any insurance you arrange is on payment of an annual premium.