Written by Graham Cutbill-White
Buying a house is a really exciting time. Getting to exchange can be the toughest part, but once you’ve passed that point, the move is set in stone and you can start making big plans for your new home. It can be tempting to put your feet up at this point – until packing starts, at least. But there are a few things you need to be arranging in the meantime, and one of these is buildings insurance.
Once you exchange, it’ll be up to you to protect the property with cover. The seller may or may not still have some form of insurance active on the home. But since the sale is now sure to go ahead, there’s no incentive for them to make a claim unless forced to do so, and any coverage they still have will be aimed around protecting their interests (mostly financial) at this point, and not yours as the home’s next owner.
Unfortunately, something such as a water leak or a fire can spring up at any time, and you may well be left to deal with the consequences now that exchange of contacts has taken place. That’s why it makes sense to protect your investment, through insurance between exchange and completion.
You’re still in a sort of limbo until competition takes place. You may not feel confident about arranging an annual policy at this time, and until you’ve had chance to live in and get to know the house, it’s hard to know what type of buildings insurance policy is best.
That’s where temporary buildings insurance on exchange comes in. It provides you with short term cover for up to 28 days at a time. You’re not tied into any contracts, and can just keep taking out these temporary policies for as long as the process takes. You’ll also get the best level of cover – Full Perils – so you can relax knowing that your new investment is protected for a huge number of scenarios. Once you’ve moved in, you can begin your search for an ideal annual policy, and simply let your short term cover expire once you’ve found the one.
It’s natural to want to get your soon-to-be home insured as soon as possible. But even when you’ve put an offer in and have had it accepted, this doesn’t mean that the sale is certain to happen. The seller is under no legal obligation to go through with things until after exchange of contracts has taken place. They may yet change their mind, or you could be outbid (gazumped) by another buyer, so this is not the point at which you’d start thinking about buildings insurance.
Exchange of contracts is the point at which a home’s transfer of ownership becomes legally binding. In theory, the sale could still fall through, however there would be serious consequences involved for whichever party decided to pull out.
Because the process of legally changing ownership has begun, this is the point at which you’ll want to arrange your buildings insurance. Doing so will mean your investment is protected from day one, and it saves any wrangling about who is liable for the costs if something were to go wrong with the home at this complex point in the process.
If you move into the home, and plan on relying on your temporary insurance for a short while so you can arrange a suitable annual policy, your possessions won’t be protected in the interim. Fortunately, you can take out temporary contents insurance to fill the gap, for whatever time-frame suits you – up to 28 days at a time.
If you won’t be moving into the home in the 30 days after competition, you may want to think about specialised unoccupied house insurance. Most insurers do not allow homes to go unoccupied for more than a month or two through their standard policies, so temporary cover until you do move in could be the best way to keep your home’s bricks and mortar protected.
If you’re acquiring a property through the will of someone who’s passed away, or if you’re the executer of that will and are helping transfer the home to its new owners, the process is a little different. In this case, you’d want to consider temporary insurance for probate.
With buildings insurance between exchange and completion, you’ll get the same leading level of cover as you’d get from any annual policy. All the insurers we work with provide Full Perils cover, which is the best available.
Buildings insurance applies to the building of your home, including its decorations, as well as any fixtures or fittings that are attached to the house and that you are legally responsible for.
There are a few common exclusions to that description though, including:
• Swimming pools
In theory, anything other than those listed above, which makes up the bricks and mortar of your home or is attached to it, should be covered.
At Tempcover, we know you’ve got enough going on when you’re about to move home, without having to fuss around with insurance. That’s why we’ve made getting buildings insurance arranged so easy that you could do it in under 10 minutes.
To begin, we just need some information about you and the property you’re buying. We’ll only ever ask you for details that are relevant, so we can provide a range of quotes that are tailored to you, your new home, and your circumstances.
When we do come back to you with quotes from our panel of insurers, you simply select whichever suits you best. Once you’ve gone through payment, you’ll receive your policy docs by email instantly.
After that, you’re all set. Your policy will begin from the exact time and date you specified while applying, for what ever term length you asked for. That means you can stick to the important stuff, like packing and picking colours for the new house, with full peace of mind.
Get rid of the risks when buying a home, and protect your new investment with temporary home insurance from Tempcover.