A quicker way to fill empty properties - Gordon Taylor
When someone dies and a property is left unoccupied, action needs to be taken quickly by solicitors to insure the premises.
If anything happens to a property while it lies empty, the consequences can be costly and challenging, for both solicitors and executors of a deceased person’s will.
Securing insurance on such properties in this ‘hiatus’ period before they are assigned to the beneficiaries of a will is therefore crucial.
It is one of a solicitor's professional obligations when dealing with the aftermath of a death to obtain ‘confirmation’ - a court document giving executor(s) authority to uplift any money or other property belonging to a deceased person and to administer and distribute it.
This can take time, so obtaining appropriate insurance cover for any empty property is vital.
Until now in Scotland, there has been no simple, off-the-peg product to deal with this situation - unlike in England and Wales.
GS Group has had many conversations with frustrated solicitors who spend more time than they need arranging insurance in the absence of a straightforward product - so we decided to do something about it.
Working with one of the leading players in the residential insurance market, GS Group has created a simple, one-stop, click-to-use product to plug this gap.
The GS Group Estate in Confirmation Insurance Policy is quick and efficient, with the property underwritten and policy documents produced within 24 hours of an inquiry. We provide both the cover and the legal confirmation that the cover is in place.
All a solicitor needs to do to start the process is answer eight simple questions online, about the type of property, its construction, its value and any history of floods (for example) that might affect the underwriting of an insurance policy.
GS Group has the delegated authority from a leading property insurer to underwrite policies for all properties where there are no complications. Even in more complex cases where we need to refer a matter - for example if a building is listed or wasn't constructed in a standard way - a dedicated property insurance expert is on hand to deal with requests within hours.The speed and efficiency of the process is vital to give comfort to everyone involved at what is already a stressful time, particularly for a bereaved family and the executors of a will (who are often the same people).
Everyone involved wants the process to go smoothly and our product can help with that, giving security and peace of mind to executors and solicitors alike when a property lies unoccupied.
A typical period of initial cover would be three to six months but as dealing with the estate of a deceased can be complex, this scheme allows cover for up to 12 months.
It's great to be working with a leading provider and the solicitor profession to bring this product to market in what is certainly not a niche area – a significant number of homes in Scotland are left empty every year when the occupier dies.
Our new product supports both the legal profession and executors of a will who find themselves in this situation - and aims to make the process quicker and easier for everyone involved.
Gordon Taylor is Branch Director (Glasgow) for GS Group
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