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Why adult children who inherit homes can’t forget about insurance

Tue Jul 12th, 2016 on     Homeowners Insurance,    

Once the initial shock and sorrow of losing a parent subsides, the real work typically begins for surviving children. That’s because in addition to coping with their lingering grief, they must also ensure that friends and family members are notified, funeral arrangements are made and, of course, estate administration matters are properly addressed.

This last matter can rapidly become very complex when the adult children inherit their deceased parent’s home, as there are a host of important issues that will have to be addressed before they even start discussing what exactly they want to do with it. For example, experts indicate that they will need to find out about homeowner’s insurance.

While this may seem like a relatively low priority given everything that has transpired, experts indicate that this is actually an extremely important task given the huge costs that could be incurred if this coverage somehow lapses. Indeed, consider what would happen if a storm strikes or if someone is injured on the property.

Given this reality, experts advise adult children who inherit the home of a deceased parent to consider taking the following steps posthaste:    

  • Have the person appointed executor — known as the personal representative in Florida — contact the insurance agent to inform them that they are now responsible for the policy and provide them with the necessary proof (i.e., death certificate, letter of administration, etc.).
  • Learn as much as possible about the existing policy on the home, including the scope of its coverage, payment method and status, and expiration date.
  • Remain current on any payments and take steps to ensure that the home is properly maintained in order to avoid the possibility of the policy being cancelled.
  • If it proves necessary to secure a new policy, shop around for the best rate

Those who find themselves in this situation should also know that in the event the insurance company decides to underpay or deny a claim, or otherwise refuses to provide the necessary legal defense that they do have options for holding them accountable.

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