Purchasing House Insurance

Discussion in 'Legal and financial issues' started by Orion99, Oct 14, 2019.

  1. Orion99

    Orion99 New member

    Oct 14, 2019
    3
    Hello everyone

    I care for my mother who has mild to moderate dementia.

    I have found myself taking over more and more responsibilities (while also trying to hold a full time job!), and I have a couple of questions regarding house insurance.

    My mum owns the house that we both live in. Am I able to purchase the insurance, in my name, or would it have to be in hers?

    In the past on her previous insurance forms, she has answered yes to the house being in a good state of repair. These days though, I can see small patches of what I think is damp/ mould on a part of the wall in the hall. There's also a tiny hole in the hall ceiling where on very rare occasions the rain leaks through. There are also one or two other issues with the house e.g. ghosting on one side of a ceiling bedroom.

    My question is then, how would you define a good state of repair? Will the house not being in a good state of repair automatically disqualify my mum from getting any insurance?

    Apologies if this seems like a silly question. I'm pretty new to being a carer and am very much learning 'on the job'!
     
  2. Louise7

    Louise7 Registered User

    Mar 25, 2016
    1,360
    Welcome to the forum. As your Mum owns the house then keep the insurance in her name, plus she may have built up some 'no claims' discount if she has been with the same insurer for a while and not made any claims.

    With regards to how to define 'a good state of repair', this seems to vary from insurer to insurer. Most will include structural problems as an issue, and the fact that you have damp and a leaking ceiling may also be something that they'd need to take into account. I doubt that what you have described would disqualify your Mum from getting insurance but it may make a difference to the amount of premium payable. Contact the insurer to let them know, and they will decide whether it effects the policy or not.

    Ideally you should arrange to get the problems fixed as soon as possible to prevent further damage as damp and leaks will get worse if left untreated. If you haven't already done so, get power of attorney in place for your Mum so that when she starts to have difficulty in managing her finances you will be able to step in and deal with things like insurance renewals for her.
     
  3. karaokePete

    karaokePete Registered User

    Jul 23, 2017
    5,022
    N Ireland
    Hello @Orion99 you are welcome here and I hope you find the forum to be a friendly and supportive place.

    I see that the insurance question has been answered and I hope you have time to take a good look around the site as it is a goldmine for information. When I first joined I read old threads for information but then found the AS Publications list and the page where a post code search can be done to check for support services in ones own area. If you are interested in these, clicking the following links will take you there

    https://www.alzheimers.org.uk/get-support/publications-factsheets-full-list

    https://www.alzheimers.org.uk/find-support-near-you

    You will see that there are Factsheets that will help with things like getting care needs assessments, deciding the level of care required and sorting out useful things like Wills, Power of Attorney etc., if any of that hasn't already been done. There is also a Dementia Guide in the list.

    Now that you have found us I hope you will keep posting as the membership has vast collective knowledge and experience.
     
  4. witts1973

    witts1973 Registered User

    Jun 20, 2018
    733
    Male
    Leamington Spa
    Yes it has to be in the name of the person that owns the home,have you got power of attorney for your mum to help you going forward dealings with banks,utilities etc
    Good luck for the future,you wil get to grips with things
     
  5. Orion99

    Orion99 New member

    Oct 14, 2019
    3
    Thank you for your replies.

    My mum's insurance runs out tomorrow and I was rung by the company this afternoon, who were keen to get my mum to renew the policy. I said that I would probably go into their office on Saturday, and the way she reacted at the prospect of my mum's house being uncovered for a few days made me panic a bit!

    I'm currently in contact with a social worker who's trying to organise some respite care. I did ask her about POA earlier on this year, but she said that my mum is too far down the line for that. I have looked into the deputyship route, although the whole process seems expensive, regimental and time consuming. The social worker said that if I did take the deputyship route, that it would be quite unusual as most people end up muddling along.
     
  6. Palerider

    Palerider Registered User

    Aug 9, 2015
    972
    Male
    North West
    I have POA (LPA)for mums finances but not for health n wellbeing, the only drawback without the latter is that you can't decide where she dwells, and penultimately this is the biggest decision you will have to make. On this aspect the social worker is right, because regardless of who is involved in any decsions around care home placement (if things come to that) it will be on a 'best interests' decision, which will include you.

    With respect to the house insurance have you checked if they automatically renew? You shouldn't leave the property uncovered at all if you can help it. Is there anyway you can pay it for her, and you can be re-embursed?
     
  7. clarice2

    clarice2 Registered User

    Mar 13, 2016
    49
    Female
    My husbands name was on the house insurance and I was told that in the event of a claim this could cause problems as he would not be able to speak to them. I rang and they put my name on the policy. It did then automatically renew.
     
  8. Orion99

    Orion99 New member

    Oct 14, 2019
    3
    Well I'm relieved to say that I've purchased some house insurance in my mum's name.

    I explained to the insurance brokers that my mum has dementia to them and they've given me a letter of authority for my mum to sign, so that I can act on her behalf.

    I explained the state of the house to the broker and he said that they were classified as cosmetic/ general wear and tear issues, and that he didn't really need to know about them.

    Thank you for the replies everyone. :)
     
  9. Palerider

    Palerider Registered User

    Aug 9, 2015
    972
    Male
    North West
    Good news for you, always a worry with dementia
     

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