Have you ever inherited a home after the passing of a loved one? Perhaps you were named the executor of a will, and it is your responsibility to manage an estate until it comes out of probate or until you find a buyer. The fact is even if you do not live in a home you own or are responsible for, it is still of utmost importance to insure the property against certain perils, such as fire, wind and theft. While many homes are initially passed down with insurance, this coverage is typically short lived. Continue reading to learn more about limited homeowners insurance options for people who have inherited a house.
Protecting the Executor
Vacant home insurance can protect the executor while he or she has control of a property. Imagine inheriting a grandparent’s home that needs repairs before it can be listed for sale. While you are waiting for renovations to be completed, you are unexpectedly served with a lawsuit because a child in the neighborhood fell and tripped over a water hose in your vacant home’s yard, resulting in a broken arm. When you file a claim against your grandparent’s insurance policy, you find the claim has been denied due to coverage restrictions for a vacant and unoccupied property. The lawsuit complicates the sale of the estate, and the executor is now liable for legal and medical expenses.
While this scenario may seem unlikely, it is highly possible that you could face a similar situation while overseeing an empty property. Uninhabited homes are magnets for theft, vandalism and trespassing. Insurers recognize the increased risk of a claim for a vacant home, leading them to include provisions in most homeowners insurance policies that exclude or reduce coverage for a house that has been unoccupied or vacant for 30 days or more.
What to Do if You Inherit an Unoccupied House
If you inherit a home or are named the executor of an estate, one of the first things you should do is review the current homeowners insurance policy on the property. Look for clauses that exclude coverage if a house is vacated or unoccupied. If you like, give us a call at Heinen & Associates and we’ll be glad to review it with you. If we find that the house is uninsured or underinsured, we’ll shop around for unoccupied or vacant home insurance with a coverage term that will last as long as you expect to own or manage the property.
For more information about vacant home insurance and whether you need it for an inherited property, contact Heinen & Associates. Our helpful agents understand the unique needs of estate heirs and executors and can find a policy that meets your coverage needs. Call us today to discuss your vacant and unoccupied home insurance options. We look forward to serving you soon.