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Home insurance policy jacketThe passing of a parent can leave a lot of confusion, and a lot of paperwork to handle. If your parent owned a home, you may be dealing with the legal transfer of ownership or the sale of the house. That may require finding a copy of the home insurance policy.

The first place to look for the homeowners insurance policy is in your parents’ home, wherever they keeps files.

Another place to try is any “off-site” area that they may have owned or rented, such as safety deposit box. 

If you can’t find the actual policy, look at bank and credit card statements for a record of payment to a home insurance company.  You might need to search several months back if they paid the premium annually.

If there is a mortgage on the home, the mortgage company will have a copy of the policy. Mortgage lenders require homeowners to carry insurance on the house and the insurer is often listed as an additional insured.  The mortgage lender should be able to share that information with you if you have inherited the estate. Once you have the insurer name you can contact the carrier to do whatever is necessary.

Since the named insured has passed away, you will need a policy in your name. If you plan to live in the house, you can purchase standard home insurance. If you plan to rent it out, you will need a landlord policy. If you’re planning the sell the house immediately, speak with the insurance company about your options.

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Penny Gusner


Penny is an expert on insurance procedures, rates, policies and claims. She has extensive knowledge of all major insurance lines -- auto, homeowners, life and health insurance. She has been answering consumers’ questions as an analyst for more than 15 years and has been featured in numerous major media outlets, including the Washington Post and Kiplinger’s.



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