When someone dies, they leave behind an estate – all their possessions and belongings, whether these are relatively modest or include such valuable items as investments, savings and the home in which they lived.
In the deceased person’s will, an executor – or up to four executors – are named as the people responsible for carry out the wishes set out in the will, including the “administration of the estate”. Clearly, the role carries important responsibilities and an executor has several duties to carry out.
Included in these responsibilities is the safeguarding of any property in the estate – most commonly the home in which the deceased once lived. The appropriate protection for such property, of course, is home insurance.
Home insurance for executors is based on similar principles to the home insurance arranged by owner occupiers and, therefore, comprises three main components:
- building insurance: this protects the structure and fabric of the property, against such potentially destructive risks as fire, storm damage, flooding, impacts, theft and vandalism and typically provides sufficient cover for the complete rebuilding of the property following a major incident and its total loss;
- contents insurance: just as the term suggests, this provides protection for the contents of the home – the value of which may be substantial if it is an elderly person who has lived there – and an “all risks” policy may also cover accidental damage;
- property owner’s liability: this is an important aspect of any property insurance, since it provides indemnity against potentially substantia claims that may be made by any visitor, neighbour or member of the public who is injured or has their property damaged through some form of contact with the house.
Unoccupied property insurance
One of the big differences of the home for which you might be responsible as an executor is the likelihood of the deceased’s home standing empty throughout the period of probate. When the property is empty, the insurance cover that normally protects the home when it is continuously occupied is likely to be restricted or may lapse altogether.
Insurance for executors of estates also needs to consider the likelihood of the home being left empty and unoccupied during the period of “administration” or probate.
If you are an executor looking for home insurance during probate, therefore, you may be pleased to know that the policies we arrange here at UKinsuranceNET take into full account the need for specialist unoccupied property insurance.
With the loss of the standard home building and contents insurance which previously protected the property whilst someone lived there, unoccupied property insurance restores the necessary safeguards – and, so helps the executor fulfill his or her obligations for maintaining the house in a safe and secure condition, pending the end of the period of probate.
Since process of probate make take an indefinite period of time to complete, this type of home insurance for executors, and the unoccupied property insurance which may need to be incorporated into it, may be tailored to meet any given timescale – including months at a time, rather than the full annual period of cover otherwise demanded of regular home insurance policies.