What Happens to Homeowners Insurance When Someone Dies?

Posted on November 3, 2023


Frances Badayos | author

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ICHQ | Site Author

When a loved one passes away, there are many complex emotions to process and many complicated affairs that can be difficult to deal with. When it comes to matters of the deceased’s real estate, one simple yet crucial question is what happens to homeowners insurance when someone dies.

At Insurance Claim HQ, our attorneys help homeowners in the New Orleans area resolve legal issues surrounding home insurance claims and other challenges involving homeowners insurance. If you have questions about what happens to homeowners insurance following the death of a loved one, or how probate can affect the process of transferring home insurance, contact us today and learn more about what we can do to help.

Can a House Stay on a Deceased Person’s Insurance Policy?

When a homeowner passes away, their insurance coverage does not immediately cease. However, the policy will inevitably expire or undergo cancellation if the premiums go unpaid. A surviving spouse, estate executor, or other family member wondering what happens to homeowners insurance when someone dies should contact the insurer within 30 days to notify the company of the death.

However, it is important to keep in mind the need for probating the estate, properly transferring the policy, and insuring the home in the interim, either by having a serving spouse or executor continue payments on the existing policy or by seeking temporary coverage while probate is ongoing.

What Happens to Homeowners Insurance During Probate in Louisiana?

Probate is a legal process by which the court collaborates with an appointed executor to prove the validity of the deceased’s written will and administer their estate assets. During probate, what exactly happens to a homeowners insurance policy on the deceased’s home?

Through probate, the court will officially transfer the ownership title for the home to the chosen beneficiary. This will likely also entail transferring any insurance policies covering the home or property. If a family member plans to occupy the insured home during probate and can prove that they are a beneficiary, it may be possible to maintain the existing coverage.

If you do not understand what happens to homeowners insurance when someone dies in your family, there is a risk the insurance policy will run out or become canceled while probate is still ongoing. It may be a good idea to get temporary coverage in the meantime to ensure the home remains protected until the fate of the deceased’s homeowners insurance policy is set in stone through probate. If possible, someone should continue to reside in the deceased’s home during probate, or else the family runs the risk of needing an expensive vacancy insurance policy instead.

How Do You Transfer Homeowners Insurance Upon Death?

When the holder of a homeowners insurance policy passes away, that policy can easily pass to the deceased’s spouse residing within the same home by notifying the insurance company within 30 days of the death. If there is no live-in spouse, the deceased’s estate executor is responsible for the next steps.

If the executor is wondering what happens to homeowners insurance when someone dies, the next step is to contact the insurance company. There is a 30-day window following the policyholder’s death to notify the company, after which the executor is responsible for securing the appropriate temporary coverage. Any coverage carrying over from the deceased’s original policy may then pass to a chosen beneficiary through probate.

Regardless of whether the beneficiary inherits the homeowners insurance policy automatically or through probate, it is necessary to form a plan for keeping up with ongoing payments and coverage requirements.

How Can an Empty Home Be Insured After the Owner’s Death?

The protection of a home can be an area of uncertainty while the property and its associated insurance policies are going through probate. Insuring an empty house after the death of a policyholder is a high priority and potentially complex. If the house remains vacant, insurance companies are likely to see it as a risk and might start charging higher premiums or pushing costly vacancy insurance on the family.

If the deceased has a will, then the matter of what happens to the homeowners’ insurance policy becomes much clearer. In cases when the deceased’s will names an executor of the estate, that executor has the authority to perform tasks pertaining to the deceased’s property in their name in accordance with the terms of the will. This means an executor can often assume the responsibility of insuring the empty home.

It is also possible for other individuals to insure an empty home after the death of a family member if they can demonstrate an insurable interest in the property. This could entail showing that by protecting the home, you are also protecting yourself from loss, which is likely to be the case if you are named as a beneficiary in the deceased’s will.

What Is the Role of a Homeowners Insurance Claim Attorney?

A homeowners insurance claim attorney has an intimate understanding of home insurance policies, their wording, and how they pass between policyholders. In addition to actually negotiating with the insurer when it comes time to file a claim, an insurance claim attorney can be a huge help in determining whether the policy for the deceased homeowner is still valid.

Contact Insurance Claim HQ About Your Home Insurance Questions

The bureaucracy and legal implications of handling a loved one’s estate after their passing can feel like too much to handle when you are still coming to terms with your feelings on the matter.

Insurance Claim HQ can help make the process easier by carefully and thoughtfully answering your questions regarding what happens to homeowners insurance when someone dies. Call our offices or contact us online to learn more about how we can support you.