If you need insurance for an unoccupied house because the owner is deceased then read on.
It is already a very stressful and upsetting time when someone you know dies. Sorting out their home insurance is the last thing you want to be dealing with.
However, it is important to get insurance for an unoccupied house when the owner is deceased in case something goes wrong.
Insurance For Insurance Unoccupied House: Owner Deceased
Is The Unoccupied House Insured?
Find out if the previous occupant had house insurance and which insurer provided the cover.
A house is likely to be insured if it was owned outright or with a mortgage.
If the home was a flat then the occupant may have had contents insurance but not buildings insurance as buildings cover for flats is normally included in the service charge.
Inform Their Current Insurer
You should first inform the existing house insurer that the owner of the property is deceased and the house is unoccupied.
They may be able to provide unoccupied house insurance straight away. Some providers are willing to allow a grace period in which they will continue to provide cover despite unoccupancy for an agreed period of time.
Compare Unoccupied House Insurance
If the current insurer does offer unoccupied house insurance then it is worth shopping around to check how their price compares to other insurers.
Unoccupied house insurance is a much smaller market than standard home insurance so you can compare quotes quite quickly and find the best price for you.
Some comparison sites also let you compare unoccupied house insurance quotes but it is still worth checking with individual providers in case they have optional extras or other features of their policies you need to be aware of.
For instance, what are the requirements of inspection? Most unoccupied house insurance policies still require someone to check the property regularly. How often and who is allowed to inspect the property to keep the policy valid?
There may be other endorsements required such as the water being turned off at the mains to guard against leaks.
Find The House Insurance Rebuild Value
If you are looking for buildings for an unoccupied house with owner deceased then you will need to know the rebuild value of the property.
The buildings insurance value or rebuild value is not the same as the property’s market value. The market value is often higher because of the land cost and other market forces like the popularity of the area.
You can find your rebuild value using the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors rebuild cost calculator here.
Some comparison sites also include a tool to estimate your buildings value.
What About Contents Cover?
Unoccupied house insurance can include contents cover. However, many people deem it not necessary as unoccupied properties are often empty -especially if the owner is deceased.
However, if you are intending to let the property or are treating it as a second home then you may be leaving a lot of the contents.
Contents cover is quite straightforward as the amount of cover usually comes in bands.
Estimate your contents cover required by adding up how much it would cost to replace all the contents in the building. Note that that does not include fixtures like sinks.
If you have antiques and collectibles in the property where the value is more subjective you may need to get a valuation carried out to provide proof of value in case you need to make a claim in the future.
On the other hand, items more widely available with proven market values probably don’t require this.