Bereavement Support: What Happens to Insurance if Someone Passes Away?

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Losing a loved one is tough, and tying up their affairs can feel overwhelming. We want you to know that we’re here to guide you through the necessary processes when needed.

Main Points:

  • It’s important to inform an insurer if a policyholder has passed away. 
  • As your broker, we can discuss the policy and inform the insurers on your behalf.
  • Sometimes, a policy needs to remain active until the estate is organised.
  • While other policies may be invalid due to the passing of the policyholder. 
  • The outcome depends on the insurer and the policy’s terms and conditions.
  • Insurers cannot cancel or adjust the policy until they see a death certificate.
  • It is at the insurer’s discretion if arrears or cancellation fees are written off.
Close up of hands typing on a laptop

My relative or spouse, who was the policyholder, has passed away. What do I about their insurance policy? 

We understand that it’s a difficult time of grief and mourning. When you feel ready and able to, we advise that you call us on 01782880140 to inform us of their passing. We will do all we can to guide you through some of the practicalities regarding their policy. 

Do I need any documents before I call?

If you’ve been able to track down your loved one’s policy documents, we recommend you have them with you for the call.

We will request that a scanned copy or photo of the death certificate be sent to Without a visual copy of the death certificate, we cannot take further action regarding the active policy. 

Once we have received the certificate, we will ask if you will be cancelling the policy or require it to remain active for a certain period. 

What happens if I want to cancel the insurance policy?

We will get in contact with the insurer to confirm the passing of the policyholder on your behalf. The insurer will then review any potential charges, should there be any, and you will be updated on the cancellation.

I would like the policy to remain active. How do I do this?

Sometimes, a policy must remain active during the probate process. If you’d like the policy to remain active after the policyholder’s passing, we can discuss the circumstances with the insurer on your behalf.

Occasionally, an insurer may request that a policy has some adjustments for it to remain active. The reasons and outcomes are produced on a case-by-case basis depending on the type of insurance and the level of coverage on the policy. 

This might sound complicated, but we will make the process as simple as possible and ensure everything goes smoothly.

What will happen if the deceased policyholder’s account is in arrears or they owe money?

In the event of a policyholder’s passing, we will discuss steps to take if the account is in arrears with the underwriter.

The insurer could backdate the policy. Sometimes, the debt may be written off due to exceptional circumstances, but the action taken is at the insurer’s discretion. 

A row of beige semi-detached Victorian houses on a slanted hill.

What to do with house insurance after the death of a policyholder.

When a homeowner passes away, it’s vital that the insurer who looks after their house insurance is notified as quickly as possible to avoid accidentally invalidating the policy. 

The insurer will need to know if the home is still occupied by a person living there. You will also need to update the insurer on the future plans for the property, such as if it will be sold or if a beneficiary will be taking over ownership. 

Often, the policy must remain active, even if the house is unoccupied, while an executor organises the estate of a loved one. 

How long can a house be unoccupied?

Many house insurance policies stipulate that a property cannot remain unoccupied within a certain period. 

Usually, a property is classed as an ‘empty home’ if it is unoccupied for more than 30 days. This specified length of time on policies will vary between insurers and depend on the coverage.

Leaving the home empty outside of this timeframe would mean that should an insurable event occur, the property cannot be covered, and a claim cannot be submitted. 

Insurers view unoccupied homes as much riskier as there isn’t anyone living there to keep up maintenance and ensure the property is secure. 

Many opt for unoccupied home insurance if a house becomes empty, either due to a landlord being between tenants or a homeowner passing away. Depending on the circumstances, the insurer could put this type of policy adjustment until the probate process has been completed.

Who pays for house insurance after the policyholder has died?

The policyholder’s estate is responsible for paying for the house insurance. This is facilitated by the executor or administrator of the estate, who is responsible for managing the financial affairs, including insurance, until the estate is settled and distributed to beneficiaries.

If the policyholder was the landlord with a buy-to-let insurance policy, the responsibility for house insurance may depend on the terms of the tenancy agreement. The estate will still need to continue the policy during the probate period until the property’s future ownership or tenancy is determined.

When a property is sold or transferred to someone else, the existing policy must be cancelled. The new owner is usually responsible for arranging their own house insurance policy.

A black car parked on the side of the road.

What to do with car insurance after the death of a policyholder.

The first step is to contact the insurance company as soon as possible to inform them of the policyholder’s death. You will need to provide the policy number and other relevant information.

If the vehicle is being sold or scrapped, you should return the number plates to the DVLA and inform the insurance company of this action.

What happens to the insurance policy, and will the vehicle still be covered?

You may need to cancel or transfer the car insurance policy, depending on the circumstances. If the recently passed person was the sole policyholder, the policy would typically need to be cancelled. 

Will the insurance continue if the vehicle is transferred into someone else’s name?

If another family member, spouse, or beneficiary takes ownership of the vehicle, you may not be able to transfer the policy into their name. You may need to purchase a new insurance policy in your name.

Is a named driver still insured if the policyholder dies?

When the policyholder of a car insurance policy dies, the insurance coverage for any named drivers on that policy can be affected. 

In most cases, the named driver must find a new insurance cover suitable for them as the primary policyholder has passed away.

However, every insurance policy can have different terms and conditions. Whether the named driver can take over the cover really depends on the insurer and the specific circumstances.

If the policy is allowed to continue, the named drivers may still be covered under the existing policy for a certain short-term period. The insurer may even review the policy’s terms, and the premium may be adjusted based on the new circumstances.

Get support at One Sure Insurance.

If your loved one has an account and has since passed on, reach out to us when you’re ready. Call us on 01782880140, and our customer service team will guide and advise you through the following steps regarding the insurance policy at this challenging time.

About the Author

David Bartels

Operations Assistant

David is our Operations Assistant. He’s been at One Sure Insurance for seven years, beginning his career here working as a Customer Advisor. As part of our operations team, he helps ensure everything runs smoothly behind the scenes at One Sure Insurance. David is a fountain of knowledge regarding customer care, the insurance industry, and our operations.