How secure is your park home?
There is a general perception that incidents of crime on residential parks are much lower than they are on a traditional housing estate, due in part to the fact that park home residents are generally retired and so their homes are likely to be occupied during the working day when many homes on a traditional housing estate will be unoccupied with residents out at work. An unoccupied home is far more likely to be burgled or damaged than an occupied one.
Paul Baker Insurance Services (PBIS), one of the leading providers of park home insurance, has carried out some research based upon its claims experience between November 2015 and March 2020, the results support the perception.
During that period PBIS handled 1203 claims, of those just 45, a little under 4% related to theft whilst just 7, less than 1% related to malicious damage. The evidence is compelling, park home living is indeed a very secure lifestyle, and you can count yourself very unlucky indeed to experience a theft or suffer from an incident of malicious damage.
In terms of what you can do to further reduce the risk there are a number of options. Security lighting is very effective, particularly if your home backs onto fields or a public right of way. It is also important that the park owner installs adequate street lighting, which is regularly maintained, be sure to report a light failure to him or her. In terms of physical security many homes, and certainly newer homes, are fitted with high quality UPVC doors and windows which feature 5 lever mortise locks and window locks. If your two final exit doors do not have 5 level mortise locks it is well worth getting them upgraded. And if your home has patio doors it is well worth checking the locks are fit for purpose.
Additional security measures that can be considered are alarms and CCTV, whilst these are not to be discounted they can be expensive but if security and peace of mind are high up on your agenda and perhaps if you leave your home unoccupied for long periods of time they are worthy of consideration. Whilst on the subject of alarms we would strongly recommend fitting smoke alarms and checking them regularly, fires are fortunately rare but their consequence needless to say can be devastating.
Policies from PBIS do of course include loss or damage caused by malicious damage and vandalism, theft and attempted theft. However in view of the small number of thefts we do not impose any additional security requirements on our policies unless very high levels of cover are required for valuable items such as jewellery. If homes are unoccupied for lengthy periods however limitations may apply, for example theft may be excluded unless involving forcible and violent entry to, or exit from the home and malicious damage may also be excluded in such circumstances. Typically exclusions apply under our ‘Select’ policy if the home is unoccupied for more than 60 consecutive days, reducing to 30 consecutive days under our ‘Economy’ policy.