A snappy guide to Exchange and Completion – and Life Insurance

Exchange and completion – in a nutshell 

If you’re buying a property, the sale is not confirmed until contracts have been ‘exchanged’ (this is when your solicitor swaps contracts with the seller’s solicitor). Up to this date, the buyer or the seller can pull out at any time, without any major financial or legal issues. 

Once contracts have been exchanged, however, the sale will be confirmed and the seller will request the deposit from your solicitor. After that, the only thing left to do is ‘complete’. This is the day — normally a few days or weeks later — when the rest of the money changes hands and you get the keys. 

Why do you need life insurance – and when? 

You’re responsible for paying your mortgage from the day your purchase completes. This means that from this date, you need to be insured against the possibility of not being able to pay it. That way — should anything untoward happen to you — your mortgage will be paid off. If you pass away and your dependents don’t have any means of paying your mortgage, your home is liable to be repossessed by your lender. 

Incidentally, from a legal point of view, you’re responsible for the property as soon as you’ve exchanged. This means that you should have buildings insurance that covers you from the day of exchange, not the day of completion. Contents insurance can wait until you (and your belongings) have moved in.

We’re currently offering free life insurance from the moment of exchange to 30 days after completion for all eligible customers, with the option of continuing afterwards with paid-for cover. If you’re eligible, we’ll just need your exchange and completion dates, so that as soon as your sale completes, you’ll be covered.

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