The Fixer: home insurance switch

When do I need to buy insurance for the house I am buying?

Updated: 
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Dear Fixer,
My wife and I are planning to move into a new house next month. We should exchange on the new property in the next couple of weeks, all being well, and get the keys by the beginning of June.

I have buildings and contents insurance for our current home, and I think I can move the policy across to the new property.

But I am not sure when or how I should do that. Can you advise me on the best course of action?

H Marsden, Coventry

Dear Mr Marsden,

You will have legal responsibility for the new property from the moment you exchange the contracts to purchase it.

So should something – for example storm damage or a fire – go wrong after that date then you are the one who will have to pay to put it right.

That's why it is a good idea to ensure you have home insurance in place from the day you exchange.

To do this, you will need to contact your insurer so that it can transfer your existing cover to the new address.

Just remember to check that your existing home also remains protected while you remain legally responsible for it, or in other words until you have exchanged contracts with a buyer.

The Fixer

Whatever your financial problem, write to themoneyfixer@aim.com and The AOL Money Fixer will get on the case.

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