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Probate House Insurance

Quick to buy online

  • Used by executors, administrators and solicitors.
  • Covers unoccupied and for-sale properties.
  • Underwritten by AXA Insurance.
David Joyson

Written by

David Joyson

Home Insurance Expert & Customer Champion

Sophie Kamkar

Reviewed by

Sophie Kamkar

Content Marketing Manager

Less than 1 minute

Updated: 8 May 2024

Buying probate house insurance

When a loved one passes away and their property is granted probate, it’s important to make sure the deceased’s estate is well cared for. As each case is unique, it can be a fairly lengthy legal process to get all the documentation in order, which can lead to the property remaining empty for long periods of time.     

With Homeprotect, you can get a quick quote for probate house insurance cover, as well as information on how to maintain the property in the meantime.    

If you’d like to learn more about the probate process before purchasing probate house insurance, you can check out our probate guide: What is probate and how does it work?   

probate house insurance and property inspections

It’s often recommended, and part of the policy terms, that a house in probate is inspected regularly.  

While probate is being granted, it is up to the executors to secure the building. Even homes in a good state of repair can quickly degrade. Vacant properties are also targeted by criminals, so keeping the property safe by installing burglar alarms or changing the locks can be another unforeseen expense.    

By taking steps to prevent break-ins, your insurance provider can give you a competitive quote for probate house insurance.    

Unoccupied house insurance during probate

Taking all the risks of an empty house into account, when an insurance provider is contacted to insure the estate during probate, they will need to verify that the customer has an ‘insurable interest’ in the property in order to provide cover. Once confirmed, the policy will usually be issued in the name of the executor with any beneficiaries named as additional policyholders.    

The final point those seeking probate house insurance need to be aware of is how long the property will be unoccupied. At Homeprotect, we can provide unoccupied property insurance for executors if the property is left unoccupied for more than 30 days.     

Our probate house insurance can (unless the property is unoccupied) cover you against incidents of theft, vandalism, flooding and many other scenarios. Just let us know what your current state of affairs is in relation to the property, either online or by phone, and we will take care of the rest.    

What our expert says…

“If you are an executor responsible for protecting a loved one’s property, then a Homeprotect home insurance policy may suit your needs. Our Buildings insurance is Defaqto 5 Star-rated, although do bear in mind that if the property is unoccupied during the probate process then cover is limited to incidents such as fire and liability to the public or domestic staff.”  

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Gerry McNally

Home Insurance Expert

Unoccupied House Insurance Reviews

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What’s covered by UNOCCUPIED HOME insurance?

Unoccupied home insurance cover varies depending on whether the property is empty on a short term of long term basis.

Short term unoccupancy

If the property is usually occupied but is left unoccupied for between 31 and 180 days, then you typically get all the cover of our standard policy terms, but with exception of certain exclusions, see what is and isn’t covered below:

What’s included?

Quick home emergency response times

Have a home emergency, such as electricity failure, faulty locks or vermin infestation? With the 24/7 Home Emergency cover, which we provide as standard, you can typically get an engineer at your home within four hours. And if you’re worried about an uncontrollable leak in your home, we aim to have an emergency plumber to you within two hours.

Extreme weather conditions may extend response time. Policy terms and claim limits apply.

5 star rated buildings cover

Our building insurance has been given the highest rating by independent financial research companies, Defaqto and Moneyfacts.

Repair guarantee

Any buildings work we undertake is guaranteed for 24 months following a claim and any contents repair work we undertake is guaranteed for 12 months.

New for old

Where we replace an item, we will do our best to meet the original specification on a ‘new for old’ basis. If we can’t find an exact replacement, we’ll offer you a suitable alternative, or a full cash settlement.

Legal advice

We provide Legal Protection cover as standard, giving you access to telephone legal advice on any personal legal issue, under the laws of the UK, any European Union country, the Isle of Man, Channel Islands, Switzerland and Norway.

What isn’t included?

Escape of water incidents during the period: 1 October – 1 April (inclusive).

Theft incidents, unless all security features (e.g. locks and alarms) included in your property are maintained in good working order and in full operation.

Claims involving money and high risk items (e.g. jewellery).

Damage cause gradually, or by wear and tear, or by failure to fix a known issue.

Faulty design or poor workmanship.

Damage caused by pets.

The cost of repairing or replacing items following a mechanical or electrical fault.

Lost items.

Long term unoccupancy

If the property is not usually occupied, or is left unoccupied for more than 180 days, there are two levels of cover. Basic cover is available online. Extended cover is available over the phone, via referral to our underwriting team. The following table compares what sort of insured events are covered:

Insured lossBasic cover (available online)Extended cover (call for quote)
Fire, Lightning, Earthquake, Explosion, Aircraft or other flying devices (FLEEA)
Liability to the public
Escape of Water or oil
Accidental damage
Storm or flood
Subsidence or tree roots
Theft (including attempted theft)
Malicious damage
Collisions with wild animals or vehicles
Aerials & falling objects
Damage by emergency services

Looking for more cover? Give us a call on 0330 660 1000 to talk to our team about extended cover.

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UNOCCUPIED HOME Insurance Cover Levels

The following cover levels apply for both short and long-term unoccupancy:

unoccupied covers levels with homeprotect

Buildings Cover

Covers the main structure of your home, including attached garages and conservatories, if you need to rebuild or repair it following an insured loss. Also covers permanent outdoor structures such as driveways, patios and boundary walls. *More cover available if you need it.

from £25,000

Covering the value of the possessions you could take with you when moving home, such as furniture, clothing, valuables, appliances, fittings, entertainment equipment, gadgets and bikes, following an insured loss. Cover provided on a new for old basis.

up to £500

Covers sudden, unexpected emergencies, such as uncontrollable water leaks, that require immediate corrective action to prevent or limit damage to your home, or make your home secure. Two levels of cover are available, for different types of insured loss.

up to £5 million

Covers damages and claimants’ costs and expenses for your legal liability in the event of accidental death, injury or illness to a third party, or damage to property belonging to a third party.

from £20,000

Covers rebuild or repair of your outbuildings (e.g. detached garages, greenhouses, sheds and summerhouses) that are within the boundary or a communal area you’re legally responsible for, if you need to rebuild or repair them following an insured loss.

up to £25,000

Covers legal costs following an insured loss. There must be reasonable prospects of winning and the incident must have occurred during the policy term. Two levels of cover are available, for different types of insured loss.

New Customer?

If you’re deciding on whether to buy home insurance with us, you can use our latest policy booklets as a guide.

Existing Customer?

Your probate Questions Answered

 If you’re handling the affairs of an estate of someone who has passed away, you need to get “grant of probate” before you have the authority as the “executor” to distribute the assets from the estate, as per the deceased’s will.  

  

  When a person passes away and their property is left as an inheritance, it is owned by the beneficiary. If there are multiple beneficiaries, then they are co-owners of the property. It is the beneficiary’s responsibility to make sure that the appropriate probate home insurance is in place. For instance, while in probate the building should be protected by unoccupied house insurance.    

 The cost of probate house insurance will vary depending on factors such as location, rebuild value, property security, property maintenance, and the level of cover you choose.  

You can get a quote for probate house insurance today.   

  You will need to prove you have an ‘insurable interest’ in the property for Homeprotect to   provide cover. Once confirmed, the probate home insurance policy will usually be issued in the name of the executor with any beneficiaries named as additional policyholders.    

  

  Yes, you need a valuation for probate. Check our Valuing Property for Probate page to learn more about the process.    

  Probate courts administer the distribution of a deceased person’s assets. This can include selling their property; this is called liquidating the deceased’s assets. The sale of the house is therefore subject to probate law, and buyers may need to attend court to confirm the sale.  

After a person passes away and their property is in probate, it needs to be valued. This can often mean that the house is left empty for some time, and in this case it should be protected by unoccupied home insurance for probate. The beneficiary is responsible for ensuring that the right level of cover is in place.    

  

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