Probate refers to the legal and financial process that occurs after a person dies. It involves the administration of the deceased person’s estate, including the distribution of assets and the settling of debts. Probate is usually needed when the person who died owned a property or assets in their sole name.

Each probate case is unique, which can lead to the process taking a long time. Most standard home insurance policies will only cover an unoccupied property for a short period, such as 30 days, which means that you will need a specialist probate home insurance policy to ensure the estate is protected.

What’s covered by probate insurance?

Probate home insurance cover will vary depending on what level of protection you require and how long the property is going to be empty for.

If you are an executor, or have power of attorney and need to insure someone else’s unoccupied property, perhaps while the owner is in care, or a sale is going through, this policy will provide the cover you need.

You can choose from three levels of cover and also arrange protection for less than 12 months.

Level 1Level 2Level 3
Fire, Lightning, Earthquake, Explosion, Aircraft or other flying devicesYes YesYes
Subsidence, heave or landslipYesYesYes
Collisions with vehicles or animalsNo YesYes
Storm or floodNoYesYes
Weight of snowNoYesYes
Escape of waterNoYes
£2,500 limit
Yes
Burst pipes due to freezingNoYes
£2,500 limit
Yes
£2,500 limit
Escape of oilNoYesYes
Falling treesNoYesYes
Accidental breakageNoYesYes
Accidental damage to underground pipes and servicesNoYesYes
Theft or riotNoYes
£2,500 limit
Yes
Accidental damage to fixed glass, double glazing, solar panels, sanitary ware and ceramic hobsNoYesYes
Additional peace of mind

If there is nobody in the property for a while, the risks of damage from events such as storms, floods and leaks go up as there is no one there to deal with repairs. Unfortunately, unoccupied properties are also prime targets for thieves.

As well as purchasing the best probate house insurance you can find, there are some other things you may need to consider doing:

  • Fitting burglar alarms
  • Changing locks
  • Regular visits to the property

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What is the cost of probate insurance?

    The cost of probate house insurance can range anywhere from a few hundred pounds upwards depending on factors such as the sums insured.  It’s advisable to contact insurance providers directly or consult with a solicitor who specialises in probate matters to get an accurate quote tailored to your specific circumstances.

  • Why do you need home insurance for a house in probate?

    Home insurance for a house in probate is essential for protecting the property against risks like fire, theft, and damage. It also covers liability if someone is injured on the premises. Since the property remains an asset of the estate during probate, probate insurance helps preserve its value by covering repair costs. Lenders may require insurance to be maintained to comply with mortgage agreements. Having the best probate house insurance provides peace of mind to beneficiaries, assuring them that their inheritance is safeguarded.

  • I have power of attorney and responsibility for an unoccipied house, is this policy suitable?

    If you are an attorney or an executor, you might require unoccupied property insurance when a property is vacant before a sale or while the owner is in care. This policy will provide the cover you need to ensure the property you are responsible for has the best protection.

  • How to insure an occupied house during probate

    To insure an occupied house during probate, notify your insurance provider of the situation and provide details about the occupants and their relationship to the deceased. Review your existing policy to understand coverage for an occupied property during probate. Discuss additional coverage options needed, such as liability coverage for residents. Understand any requirements from the insurer for maintaining coverage during probate. Secure the property and address maintenance issues promptly. Keep the insurer updated about any changes in occupancy or other relevant factors. By following these steps, you can ensure the occupied house is adequately insured during probate, protecting both the property and its occupants from potential risks and liabilities.

  • How to insure an unoccupied house during probate

    To insure an unoccupied house during probate, first, notify your insurance provider about the situation. Discuss available coverage options tailored for unoccupied properties during probate, such as protection against theft, vandalism, fire, and liability. Understand any specific requirements set by the insurer, which may include periodic property inspections. Provide necessary details about the property and probate process to the insurer. Review the policy terms carefully to make sure you understand coverage details and any limitations. Secure the property by installing security measures and maintaining it properly. Keep the insurer updated about any changes in property status or probate proceedings.

  • What else is there to think about when buying probate house insurance?

    Download our Probate Home Insurance Checklist here – your comprehensive guide to safeguarding assets during the probate process.

    This tool ensures that your property remains protected and compliant throughout probate proceedings.