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Question
My Grandmother owned two lots with houses on them in NC, the lots are adjacent to one another. She has long since passed. My aunts living on the property have now also passed away and the property is now in probate. However, an heir (one aunt's son) is living on the property and is not responding to attempts to contact him. We(the other heirs)need to know if the property is insured and with whom, but don't know how to find out. The mortgage on the property was paid for long ago.

Thank you.

Answer
Renee,

There really isn't a national clearinghouse that would have any records of insurance on a piece of property that doesn't have a mortgage on it.

The best way to find out is some old-fashioned detective work. Start with any records you can find about who was the last company to have her auto insurance. Chances are that they would have been the same company to have any homeowners insurance as well.

If you can't find anything there, I would suggest that you write a general letter describing what that you are looking for information regarding the property in question and that you would like to see if there was a policy in force. Take that around to all the local insurance agents in the area where your grandmother lived to see if there is any information that they may have. Most agents are familiar with their customers and someone may know something.

Most policies have to paid every year and unless someone can produce a current policy, there is likely no insurance in place. The heirs may want to go ahead and get a policy in place to protect the property and any contents that your grandmother or aunts may have left as part of the estate. If a valid policy later shows up, then one or the other can be cancelled.

The aunts that continued to live on the property may have had a life-estate interest which allowed them to live there (or it may have passed to them under your grandmother's will) so this entire issue may take a while to sort out. Hope this helps a little.

Best of luck.

Kevin Hromas
JD, EGA, RPA, PLCS, HCRI-R/C, CPIU, WINDŽ Umpire
Kevin Hromas & Associates
... A Division of US Insurance Information LLC
www.KevinHromas.com

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Kevin Hromas

Expertise

I am a licensed, executive general adjuster currently holding a Texas resident P&C license (614250), New Mexico non-resident all lines license (248774), Oklahoma non-resident P/F/M license (A299561), Florida non-resident P&C license (E117051) and a National Flood Insurance Program certification (06040100). My areas of expertise involve property and casualty issues in both residential and commercial policies with regards to claims practices and issues. I deal extensively with Lloyd's of London commercial policies and various domestic carriers for residential policies.

Experience

After a 20 year career as a General Contractor, I was employed by Allstate Insurance as an adjuster in Texas, holding various postitions within the property claims department. After leaving Allstate, I specialized in handling losses associated with major catastrophes through-out the country. (Hurricanes Isabel, Charlie, Wilma, Katrina, Ike, etc., hail storms, floods.) I am currently retained as an expert by multiple insurance defense firms in Texas for issues in litigation. I am also a certified Umpire for formal appraisals.

Organizations
Member - Society of Registered Professional Adjusters Fellow - Council on Litigation Management Member - Property and Casualty Association Member - Texas Independent Insurances Adjusters Association Member - National Association of independent Insurance Adjusters Member - Houston Claims Association

Publications
Claims Magazine (www.ClaimsMag.com and then search 'Kevin Hromas' for a full listing of articles and quotes.) www.ClaimsPages.com, www.ProAdjuster.org, www.KevinHromas.com

Education/Credentials
JD - University of Houston Law Center - 1992 BA - Southwest Texas State University - 1980 AA - South Plains College - 1977 PLCS - Personal Lines Coverage Specialist

Past/Present Clients
Certain Underwriters at Lloyd's, London, Fulbright & Jaworski (Law Firm), Bracket & Ellis (Law Firm) Thamm & O'Briant (Law Firm) Sheehy, Ware & Pappas (Law Firm) Walker, Wilcox and Matousek (Law Firm) Financial Guarantee Underwriters

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