Probate House Insurance

  • Our policy is only available from Insuristic
  • Finance Available
  • Insure probate property for 3, 6, 9 or 12 months
  • No charge for cancelling or changing your policy
  • Cover designed for empty houses in probate
  • House inspections that are easy to comply with
Probate House Insurance

Insuring a house in probate is quick and easy with Insuristic

Video: Insuring an Empty Property in Probate

If you are an executor or personal representative responsible for insuring empty property in probate, you will find all the information you need on this page.

If you prefer video, we have covered all of the content on this page in the following video.

 

What's on this page

On this page you will find a lot of useful information when Insuring a house in probate in the UK.

If you have questions you may find they are answered on this page.

If not, start a chat or contact us. You can click on any of the items in 'Contents' to jump to the section that interests you.

Contents

Why get a quote from Insuristic?

  • There are very few questions for you to answer
  • No need to declare the Buildings Sums Insured, just the number of bedrooms
  • If you don't know the building rebuild value, we can provide £750,000 Buildings Insurance covered as standard.
  • Cover for non structural renovations costing less than £50,000
  • Property owner’s liability up to £2,000,000.
  • You can insure just the buildings or
  • Extend cover to include contents
  • House Inspections are only required every 30 days

When you get a quote from Insuristic you can:

  • Arrange the insurance in the Executors names

  • Tailor the cover to suit your requirements

  • Buy cover for most types of houses

We have made it easy to get a quote but if you need help, our team are only an online chat away.

You can find out more about the cover you can buy, house inspection rules and guidance on our renovation acceptance criteria below.

Insuring a house in Probate

Insuristic has developed a specialist Probate Property Insurance policy.

You can insure the house in the name of the estate, on a short term or annual basis.  Insuristic can provide probate house insurance cover for 3, 6, 9 or 12 months.

You can insure a range of probate property types including houses, bungalows, flats and converted barns.

You can choose to insure just the buildings or extend the cover to include contents. 

Probate house insurance is different to normal house insurance in the following areas:

  • The house needs to be insured in the name of the Estate, for example 'The Executors of John Doe".

  • Your insurance company will need someone to inspect the house.  If you insure with Insuristic this will be every 30 days (more on that below).

  • The contents cover isn’t designed for high value theft attractive items like works of art, jewellery or collections.  These types of contents should be removed from the house and stored securely. 

  • The probate house insurance cover ends when the estate has been distributed.  At this point the house will need to be insured on another policy, which could be:

    • Another unoccupied property policy, if the house is still going to be empty.  Insuristic can help with this and you can find out more about this cover on our unoccupied home insurance page.

    • If the house is going to be occupied by the beneficiary, they can take out a standard home insurance policy. If this is the case we can provide a quotation. 

    • If the house is being let out to tenants, then a Landlords policy can be purchased.

What if the house is still occupied?

Sometimes houses can remain occupied during probate.

Maybe there is a dependent still living in the property or a beneficiary or family member has moved in.

When this happens we can still help but our broking team at SJL Insurance will recommend a different product.

You will still be able to arrange the probate home insurance in the name of the Executors of the Estate but the product will be more suitable for an occupied home.

The need for Probate House Insurance

Probate property insurance exists because many insurance providers won't insure a property that is going to be left empty for more than 30 days.  The property will also need to be insured in the name of the estate rather than the deceased.  Something that is not always easy to do online.

You will find our insurance useful if the existing insurer declines to continue cover on the house now that it is going to be unoccupied; or imposes additional terms that are hard to comply with. 

The existing insurer may do this because empty properties have a higher risk of damage from issues such as an escape of water, break-ins, or vandalism.

As an executor or administrator of the estate, you have a responsibility to insure the house correctly.  If there is a claim that isn’t paid out because the insurance wasn’t on the right basis, you may incur a liability from the beneficiaries.  They may ask the executors to reimburse the estate for any losses.

Executors should therefore promptly consider insurance if the owner has sadly passed away leaving the property empty.

This may seem daunting considering how much you need to do. But don't worry Insuristic makes this easy. Our insurance policy is designed for this and you can buy a policy securely online in a couple of minutes.

You will receive your quote and policy documents via email. We are environmentally friendly, so we never send anything in the post.

 

The three levels of cover you can buy

Select the level of cover you wish to learn about from the menu:

In-house Claims Support

If you need to make a claim on your probate home insurance policy you can relax.  Insuristic customers benefit from the in-house claims team provided by SJL Insurance.

You can make a probate home insurance claim online or over the phone via our property claims page.

  • No claims call centres
  • Report your claim online
  • Support from a dedicated UK based claims manager
  • Claims support during office hours on 01905 27775
  • Out of office hours support 365 days a year on 0121 411 0535
  • Advice from our claims team when you need it

Avoiding building underinsurance

When you are arranging probate home insurance, you need to be careful not to under insure the property.

If the building rebuild cost is incorrect, you could be in for a shock when it comes to a claim.

This is because some home insurers could refuse to pay a claim if the property is significantly underinsured.  But most likely, they will reduce the claim by the amount of underinsurance.

The beneficiaries may look to the executors to refund any shortfall. The cost could be significant.

If you want to find out more, check out Insuristic's article for Todays Wills and Probate Magazine: The risk of building underinsurance for executors.

How Insuristic helps you avoid building underinsurance:

If the property has 4 bedrooms or less and a rebuild value below £750,000, you can request a quote without providing a rebuild value.

The policy you buy then has £750,000 buildings sums insured as standard, meaning you don’t need to worry about underinsurance, providing you are confident your property rebuild valuation is below this figure. If you are unsure whether it is or not, we would recommend completing a rebuild cost assessment to be on the safe side.

If the property is likely to exceed a £750,000 rebuild valuation, you can speak to our underwriting team directly at SJL Insurance.  They will be able to provide advice, tell you how to get a valuation and then provide insurance based on a true rebuild cost.

Alternatively, you could arrange a rebuild valuation yourself. BCH are specialists in building insurance valuations and have offered a discounted price for Insuristic customers. You can arrange a building rebuild valuation for £100+ VAT from the BCH website.

 

 

Probate Home Insurance Inspections

unoccupied probate house insurance inspection

When Many insurers will need you to inspect the property every 7 days. 

This might not be practical for you.

Insuristic’s product is far more flexible on inspection rules:

  • The unoccupied properties we insure during probate only need to be inspected every 30 days.

  • The inspection can be done by anyone instructed to do so by the Executors

We also make it easy to evidence the house inspection. We do not require written house inspection reports.

Instead, the person inspecting the house only needs to take two images with their mobile phone (one of the front of the house and one inside). The time and date is be stored in the image, making it easy to evidence inspections in the event of a claim.

What to do with water systems

Escape of Water Claims

When you are arranging unoccupied house insurance during probate, you need to consider the likelihood of Escape of Water claims.

Escape of water is the most common cause of insurance claims in unoccupied houses. The damage caused can be significant and can take a long time to repair. If this happens when you need to distribute the estate it can disrupt plans to inhabit, sell or let the property.

It is advisable to drain down the water systems to prevent an incident.

If you don't drain down the system, you will need to keep the heating on during the winter. Between the 1st October and 31st March the heating must be continuously set to 15 degrees or more.

If this is done, we can still provide some escape of water cover:

  • £3,500 if you buy Silver cover;

  • £5,000 if you buy gold.

If you drain down the water systems, the cover provided is up to the buildings sums insured shown in your policy schedule.

Cover during renovation

Probate Property Insurance Renovations

When you are arranging probate property insurance don't forget to tell insurers if you are planning renovations. Many insurers will require you to tell them about any renovations (other than painting and decorating) that are being made to the house.

Insuristic makes this process easier.

  • If you are planning renovations that cost less than £50,000 that don't include making structural changes to the walls or roof we can provide a quotation for the house insurance online without additional cost.
  • This would include projects such as kitchen or bathroom improvements, re-wring or re-plumbing or replacing the doors and windows (costing less than £50,000 in total).
  • If you are undertaking a major project, you can complete the quote information but we will need to refer these changes to our underwriter. If your circumstances don't fit our scheme, the team at SJL Insurance Services can provide advice and access to a range of specialist renovation insurers.

Buy Probate Property Insurance in a couple of minutes

Insurance and Risk Management Considerations

You should always review your policy documents to ensure you understand your cover you are buying and the policy conditions that you need to comply with.

Here are some examples of insurance and risk management considerations for purchasers of empty house insurance during probate.

Keeping the house in a reasonable state of repair

Your insurers will expect you to keep the house in a reasonable state of repair. This will help you preserve the value of the house and help prevent any claims or issues.

If you fail to keep the house in a reasonable state of repair, it could result in some claims being declined. For example, if there is storm damage to a roof that had missing tiles.

Remove valuables from the house

Your insurer will provide cover for contents but the maximum they will pay out for an individual item is £1,000.

You should remove all valuables, collections, art and jewellery from the house.  These items are theft attractive and should be secured away from the empty house.

Check the property against the minimum security condition

Your policy will need you to secure the house against unauthorised entry.

Your policy may contain a minimum security condition if:

  • The value of the buildings are high; or

  • If you purchase more than £10,000 contents cover.

If your policy schedule contains a minimum security condition, it will be:

External Doors will need either:

  • a 5 Lever Mortice Deadlocks (conforming to British Standard 3621); or

  • if a composite or UPVC type door, a multi locking point system.

Patio Doors: will need:

  • a central locking device

  • key operated bolts to top or;

  • a multi locking point system.

Windows: need key operated security locks.  These need to be on all ground floor and other accessible windows.

If you fail to keep the house secure, it could mean claims following illegal entry are declined.

Consider isolating the water supply and draining down the system

To prevent damage caused by an escape of water it, is advisable to drain down your water systems.  This should be at the point of entry to the house, usually from an internal stop cock.

If you don't do this and there is a claim, the level of cover provided could be reduced.  For more information, please check your policy schedule.

Try to reduce the risk of escape of water claims during the winter months

Burst pipe claims can be expensive to put right.  Because of this your insurer will:

  • Recommend you drain down your water systems. 

  • Require you to leave the heating on during the winter months (if water systems can't be drained). 

Failure to adhere to these conditions could result in your cover for escape of water claims being excluded or reduced.

Switching off Gas and Electricity Services

Your policy will include a condition about turning off services at the mains.  The exception is when electricity is needed to maintain an intruder or fire alarm.

Failing to do so could mean a claim related to the services at the house is declined.

Check contractors hold a public liability insurance policy

Your insurance won't cover damage due to the activity of any contractors.

You should therefore check your contractors hold a valid public liability insurance policy. If they damage your house, you could claim against their insurance to receive the money to rectify any damage or loss. It also provides protection if they injure someone on your house that doesn’t work for them.

You should check their public liability insurance policy schedule to ensure:

  • The business activities listed match the work they are doing for you,

  • The expiry of the policy is in the future,

  • That the level of cover they have purchased for the work they are doing is adequate.

Remove post so the property does not look empty

It is advisable to redirect all mail and newspapers. You should also remove any post on each house inspection. This helps the house appear as though it is occupied, reducing the threat of illegal entry. It also reduces the risk of fire from a build-up of combustible materials.

Your insurance policy will also require you from preventing a build up of post.

Keep the garden tidy

A messy garden can help thieves identify an unoccupied house.  Keeping the garden and lawns tidy can make the house look lived in.  So will clearing snow from paths during the winter months.

How to make a claim

If you need to make a claim on empty house insurance during probate, don’t worry.  The team at SJL Insurance Services are only a phone call away.

Between the hours of 9am and 5pm call 01905 27775. Outside of these hours call 0121 411 0535.

Check out our short guide on what is involved in making a claim.

About our Probate House Insurance underwriting partners

The Insuristic Probate House Insurance scheme is underwritten by certain underwriters at Lloyd’s and administered by SJL Insurance Services.

Lloyds is the world's leading insurance marketplace, with an insurance premium income in excess of £35 billion.

SJL Insurance Services are a leading UK Insurance broker with offices in Worcester, London and Bristol (Insuristic.co.uk is a trading style of SJL).

Policy Information

If you want to see at a glance what is or isn't covered, please view the IPID (Insurance Product Information Document) for your preferred cover level.

What other policies should executors be considering?

If you are acting as an Executor or Administrator of an Estate, there is a lot to consider. We've already mentioned on this page that arranging property insurance is your responsibility.

But there are other insurance policies that you need to consider. Check out our guide to executor insurance, which may be useful to you. It explains the types of insurance that should be considered and at each stage during probate.

Alternatively, here is a brief overview of the other insurance policies that should be considered:

  • Land Insurance: If a deceased person owned land in their name that wasn't included in the property deeds for their home you should consider arranging land insurance. A landowner has a duty of care to prevent injury to anyone on their land. This liability would pass to the estate during probate. As such, the executors should insure the Estate against the risk of third party claims from people who were injured or had their property damaged on its care.

There are a range of policies that can protect the executors and beneficiaries against claims from third parties relating to how the estate was distributed:

  • Section 27 Insurance – provides insurance protection against claims from unknown creditors after the estate has been distributed. Cover can be purchased with or without a Section 27 Notice.

  • Early Distribution Insurance – protection if the estate needs to be distributed without waiting for the 6 month waiting period to end;

  • Missing Will Insurance – covers the risks associated with a newer will being discovered after the estate has been distributed

  • Missing Beneficiary Insurance – covers the risk of a either a known or unknown missing beneficiary coming forward to make a claim against the estate after it has been distributed.

Probate house insurance FAQs

Why get a Probate House Insurance quote from Insuristic?

  • You are protected by the Financial Ombudsman Service should you have a complaint with any of our services. So when you buy from Insuristic you know you are in safe hands.
  • We are an independant Insurance broker and only work with A Rated Insurance Providers.
  • We have developed our insurance policy specifically for people who need to insure an empty property during probate. Which makes it easier for you to understand the cover and buy a policy.
  • If you need to make a claim on your probate house insurance policy, you will have access to our inhouse claims team. They will help you submit a claim and will manage the process from start to finish on your behalf.

Probate Related Guides

Other Property Related Insurance Pages

About the Author

Rob Faulkner CEO of Insuristic

Hi, I'm Rob, CEO and Founder of Insuristic. My mission is to make insurance easier to understand and buy online.

I hold an Advanced Diploma in Insurance (ACII) which demonstrates I have a solid technical understanding of Insurance and have committed to continuous professional development. I am also a member of the Chartered Insurance Institute and hold the a Chartered Insurance Broker status.

Over the last 27 years, I have worked for insurers, insurance brokers and insurance technology businesses, specialising in product, sales and marketing.

You can find out more about me on my author page.

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