Short term buildings insurance between exchange and completion

Specialist property insurance from exchange to completion of purchase contract

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Welcome to Bickers Insurance Services, specialists in Property Insurance, including unoccupied property insurance, UK holiday home insurance, property insurance for people working abroad, or in a care home or nursing home.

When you buy a house, it is your responsibility to arrange buildings insurance between exchange and completion.

Your conveyancing professional will instruct you to arrange insurance on your new property between exchange and completion, as from the moment contracts are exchanged you are obliged to proceed with the purchase, even if the property is damaged before the completion date. This is because according to the standard residential conveyancing contract issued by the Law Society, the Standard Conditions of Sale (5th Edition) the obligation to insure the property from the date of exchange of contracts passes to the buyer of the house. You need to make sure you have insured the property as you cannot rely on the seller having cover in force (they are under no obligation to insure after exchange, other than in specific circumstances).

Many insurance companies won’t provide buildings insurance for the period from exchange to completion.

The house is not yet legally yours and it is still being lived in by somebody else. However, a look at quote comparison sites will show that this isn’t a standard option a customer can enter onto the quotation system. Unfortunately, this can cause many policies to be void, as thousands of buyers inadvertently fail to disclose the situation to insurers, particularly when buying a policy online. This can lead to claims being turned down and financial disaster for the buyer.Only by making sure the insurer is aware of the situation and accepts it, can you be certain that you have the insurance cover you need until contracts complete and you can move in.

Exchange2Completion.co.uk – the insurance solution designed specifically to give you short term property insurance from exchange to completion.

Our policies are acceptable to all lenders, satisfying your solicitor and protecting you from the consequences should a disaster occur before you move in. What’s more, the policy automatically provides legal expenses insurance in the event of a contract dispute either between you and the seller, or in respect of the house you’re moving out of. You are a few simple questions away from a quote and instant cover for short term household buildings insurance between exchange and completion of your purchase contract.

Advice for property buyers – when to arrange cover for your new home

As soon as you have decided to buy a property, whilst your solicitor is proceeding with searches in preparation to exchange contracts on your behalf, you should identify a suitable insurance policy and obtain a quotation, so you are in a position to place the buildings on risk as soon as contracts are exchanged. However, as exchange of contracts is often delayed by any number of reasons, particularly if the purchase is part of a chain, it is best to commit to your insurance purchase only once you are sure the exchange of contracts is imminent.

We speak on a daily basis to customers who have been told by their solicitors to cover the property immediately, as contracts have already been exchanged. Unfortunately, this is the time many home buyers learn that it is more difficult to obtain insurance cover prior to completion than they thought.  Having had their current company, or even a list of other insurers decline to provide cover before completion, they then realise they need more specialist insurance advice. 
The number of customers seeking this cover inspired us to create a specialist short term insurance product designed to provide insurance cover for the period prior to completion, leaving the buyer free to choose a suitable annual solution for buildings and contents insurance from the completion, or moving in date.

However, this policy does more than provide buildings insurance cover for the purchase contract period. We have enhanced the cover by adding legal expenses cover for contract disputes, both in respect of the property being purchased and the property being sold (provided it is your main residence). So if you arrive at your new home to find the seller has not honoured what has been agreed, (for example, the lovely hot tub, aga, or solid fuel stove included in the sale has been removed), you can make a claim on your policy for the (sometimes substantial) cost of legal action against the seller.

In addition, this protection also applies to the house you might be selling at the same time. In this case, a buyer might claim certain goods were included in the sale which you have taken with you, or repairs or maintenance you had agreed to carry out haven’t been done. Your policy will provide up to £50,000 towards the cost of defending claims, as well as making them. 

For a more in-depth understanding of the reasons you need to arrange insurance before you have even completed on the purchase of a property, you might like to read our more detailed article.

Exchange to completion insurance news

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