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Home insurance: Purchase in name of estate or eventual inheritor?

Discussion in 'Homeowners, Fire, Casualty' started by Settling, Dec 18, 2019.

  1. Settling

    Settling Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Jurisdiction:
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    In covering my father's home after his death, are we supposed to apply for new coverage under the name of the estate, or the inheritor? We have letters of testamentary but the estate is not closed. My sister, the inheritor, lived in the home with my father before he passed and she continues to live there. She will vacate the property in March, when all extensions from Dad's reverse mortgage company will expire.

    Should Dad's insurance policy have continued while his estate is open, with just the name changing? Or would we have had to purchase a new policy in any case?

    When we notified Dad's agent that he had died, she cancelled the policy outright and began writing a new one for my sister. During the week that my sister met with her and signed papers and made a payment, the insurance company got a new computer system. The agent then called and said the computer had some sort of glitch, causing it to reject the application for reasons she did not understand. She spent hours with tech support without success, and eventually gave up and returned my sister's check, saying we'd have better luck elsewhere.

    Now, my sister is having trouble finding coverage because the roof is over 20 years old. It hadn't affected Dad's continuing policy, so that's why I wonder if that policy could have continued while the estate is open.

    The biggest complication is that the reverse mortgage company is in constant contact with the insurance company. They wrote her a threatening letter this week, saying that they know the current policy will expire next week. If there's no proof that new coverage will pick up immediately, they will foreclose. I don't think they would accept a policy that is limited due to an old roof.

    I will appreciate any insight.
     
  2. army judge

    army judge Super Moderator

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    Please accept my condolences upon the recent passing of your father.

    I'm guessing that your father didn't reveal the alleged damage to the roof to his insurer or the lender.

    A person with a reverse mortgage has many obligations, one of which is maintaining the property.

    No need to beat up your beloved father today, or speculate about the past.

    Your sister could ignore a potential foreclosure, if she plans to vacate the home by March.

    A foreclosure often takes longer than 90 days.

    However, there could be great risk on expecting a thing to take 90 days, that might be finalized quicker.

    Buying insurance is probably not going to be cost effective, nor is repairing the roof.

    The best option might be for your sister to vacate the home before the end of January.

    I wish you and your family all of the best, as you mourn the loss of your father.
     
  3. Settling

    Settling Law Topic Starter New Member

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  4. Settling

    Settling Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Thank you, army judge. I appreciate your reply and condolences.

    There is no damage to the roof. It's in good condition; it's just more than 20 years old. The agent never brought it up and apparently didn't find it an issue when writing my sister's policy, which is why we wish we could have extended his policy or at least stayed with this agent. She was his agent from the time he built the home in 1996, so she was aware of the age of the roof. I do wonder if the roof might have been the source of the computer "glitch" -- although she said they could not find the answer, so I don't know. I'm trying to get online quotes for a new policy through a service that searches many providers, but the form asks for the age of the roof and then flashes in red a message that it is too old. I stopped there and didn't complete the form before coming here for advice.

    My sister would not want a foreclosure on her record. The mortgage company accepts her as the owner, so it would count against her rather than the estate. If I understand correctly, Georgia allows for fast-tracking foreclosures to two months.

    My sister is trying to get financing to buy a new home, so she needs to have that in place before she pays a mover. She's been in this home for many years and has a houseload to organize and pack. She can't accomplish any of this before March, and certainly not before the company would demand that she leave if she can't get the house insured. We need to do anything in our power to hold onto the house for as long as possible.

    It is just all a mess. :-(

    Again, thank you for your reply. You have been a help to me in the past, and I appreciate that as well.
     
  5. army judge

    army judge Super Moderator

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    Had you asked if accepting a bequeath of an older home subject to a reverse mortgage, I would have replied that GENERALLY that isn't a wise choice.

    Had you asked about buying a home on time (which is euphemistically called a "mortgage") I'd have suggested that choosing to rent is the one of only things that certain generation has done well.

    Your sister could talk to a bankruptcy attorney.

    If she is having difficulty obtaining homeowners insurance, my suspicion is that the roof (or far more deleterious issues) is/are part of the problem.

    You're welcome, we try to be as helpful on this site as we can.

    However, there is no substitute for visiting a licensed physician, just as there is substitute for visiting a licensed attorney.

    I compare what we try to do here, as what someone does when administering first aid.

    We're not even first responders, as in EMTs or Police officers.

    We're simply people administering "Red Cross 1st level "first aid" to stop the bleeding, restore breathing, comfort the ailing, and keep someone from going into shock.

    That said, thank you for taking the time to thank us.

    Merry Christmas to you and yours.
     
    Settling likes this.
  6. Settling

    Settling Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Whew! The crisis has been averted. She got a policy today. I don't know why the roof was a deal-breaker with some agents but not others. I'm still curious as to the answers to the above questions but it is no longer a pressing matter.
     
  7. adjusterjack

    adjusterjack Super Moderator

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    Depends on the underwriting policy of any particular insurance company. You wrote that the house was built in 1996. The roof is not 20 years old it's 23 years old and builders' shingles are usually good for 20 to 25 years old. Even if the roof looks like it's in good shape from down on the ground a close inspection on the roof is likely to reveal that it's at the end of its useful life. Unfortunately, what many people do is ignore the age of a roof until a convenient wind storm blows off enough shingles so that they get their insurance company to pay for a new roof instead of paying for it themselves.

    Some insurance companies are very strict about underwriting roofs and some aren't. Your sister got lucky getting a new policy.
     
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