What to Know About Homeowner’s Insurance if There’s a Death in a Home
Homeowner’s insurance is a type of property insurance that covers damages and losses to an individual’s residence or property including furnishing and several other assets in the house. Homeowners insurance also provides blanket liability coverage for accidents that happen in or on the property.
When the insurance policyholder dies, the estate executor will be obligated to notify the insurance company. The previous insurance policy would then be rendered invalid and the inherited homeowners will have to continue coverage or sell to someone who can. Here are a few other vital things you should know and steps you definitely should take:
- INFORM THE INSURANCE COMPANY
When the homeowner dies, it is advisable to let the insurance company know as soon as possible, this would preferably be in written form or document. The insurance agent will most likely request for proof of death i.e death certificate to be sent to the office by fax or mail. Find out what type of coverage is existing and also if the house is properly insured.
Also meticulously go through the deceased legal documents to check for any mortgage documents to find out if the insurance policy is still in working effect and with up to date payment.
- REQUEST TO REWRITE THE POLICY
Wife and husband are in some instances both named in the homeowner’s insurance policy, in situations like this it is much easier to re-write the agreement and have the single living spouse instated as the sole benefactor of the insurance.
A number of companies also allow the policy to be rewritten in favor of an unlisted spouse as long as proper and relevant proof of ownership is shown. But some companies have a compulsory clause in the policy stating that the insurance is nullified once the holder dies or is incapacitated.
- REQUEST COVERAGE DURING PROBATE PROCESS
If the homeowner insurance policyholder dies with no spouse to pass it on to, the estate executor has allowances under the law to ask for extended coverage for the property until at least after the probate process. Once the process has been completed and the residence is still unoccupied, the executor might be required on behalf of the estate to purchase a ‘vacant-home’ policy.
Premiums will have to be paid promptly as usual before the due date, if payment is delayed or defaulted, the company has the right to cancel the policy at any time.
- OBTAIN A NEW HOMEOWNERS INSURANCE POLICY
As soon as the probate process is completed and the home is inherited or sold to a new resident, the new homeowner is required to get in touch with the insurance company and inform them of the change in ownership of the property. This is because the old insurance policy has to be canceled and renewed provided he/she still intends to use the same company.
When choosing and replacing insurance policies it is important though to note that homeowners’ policy is not the same as a mortgage or home warranty. Also note that each insurance policy has its limited liability which means the amount of coverage available depends on the certain incident.