Answering questions you may have on leisure home ownership and occupancy
Our Leisure Home products are designed to insure most leisure homes, from modern holiday lodges to traditional static holiday caravans, as long as they are constructed on a chassis and built to BS4989 or BS3632 and sited on licensed holiday parks.
Our policies are designed to provide cover on a replacement as new basis, therefore, in the unlikely event of a total loss, the home and its contents will be replaced with their brand new equivalent, to include an allowance for site clearance, re-siting and delivery fees. Claims for clothing and household linen are subject to a deduction to reflect age.
Whilst it is relatively easy to ascertain the new factory price of a replacement home, remember that it can only be purchased via the park owner and his charges can vary considerably from plot to plot, site to site, location to location. For this reason Paul Baker Insurance Services offer ‘blanket’ sums insured to overcome the potential problems of under insurance. Other insurers may ask you how much you want to insure your home for and this can be difficult to assess.
If you own a relatively old caravan with a value of less than £10k, for example, you may decide that you do not want new for old cover. Whilst we do not offer that option it is worth shopping around as others do.
You should however remember that market value value cover is not the same as ‘agreed value’ cover, you will not receive an agreed amount in the event of a total loss but the considered market value of your home at the time of the loss, and your valuation could well differ from that of your insurer ! In addition any other claims will be subject to a deduction to reflect age, wear and tear.
It is therefore well worth considering new for old cover, whilst the premium may be higher there is far more certainty should the worst happen and you will be in a financial position to replace your home with a new one. Consider also that if you purchased your home with finance, that will have to be repaid, and market value cover may mean that you not only lose your caravan but you have to fund the repayment of the finance too.
Because these homes are designed for holidays and are sited on holiday parks one of the main exclusions relate to the periods that the home is unoccupied. Exclusions will vary so it is worth checking with your insurer but typically when empty for more than 30 consecutive days or during the winter months loss or damage caused by vandalism, theft and the escape of water will be restricted. These are reasonable exclusions which can easily be satisfied by ensuring your home is left secure and the water system properly drained, a service often offered by the site.
It is also recommended that valuable items such as TV’s are removed and that the curtains are drawn back so that a thief can see nothing of value has been left behind. It is also wise to remove all food and drink, especially alcohol as sometimes caravans are broken into and used as free bed and breakfast accommodation!
Yes, subject to the rules of your site. Generally speaking sites do allow hiring out and will manage it for you - for a fee of course. Nevertheless some people rely on a rental income to fund their purchase and some buy purely as an investment.
Check that your insurance allows for hiring out, check also that the policy provides compensation if you lose bookings because the home has been damaged by an insured peril such as fire, storm or flood. Be aware too that it is unlikely that the policy will cover malicious damage or theft by the hirer so take a deposit.
Paul Baker are currently unable to offer cover for leisure homes purchased for investment purposes.
Many holiday homes are sited near to rivers and often within flood plains so it is certainly worth checking with insurers whether the home can be insured before purchasing. And even if the site has flooded, insurance may still be available because these homes are usually sited 3 or 4 feet above the ground.
Some insurers will insist that the home is fitted with a flotation unit which allows it to rise and fall with the water level, these have proved to be very effective and are now quite common on many parks. Insurers may still apply a flood excess however and may also exclude flood damage to outbuildings and property stored under the home.
As mentioned above we appreciate that many people live in their holiday homes for the greater part of the year and then spend the remainder of their time with friends or abroad.
Whilst this may seem a reasonable approach beware, holidays parks, even though they may have a 10, 11 or even 12 month licence are not the same as residential parks and you will have no protection from eviction if you are occupying the home in breach of the site rules - there is also no legislation providing you with any security of tenure.
So make sure you read and understand the rules as regards occupancy especially.
Whilst there is no legal requirement to insure your holiday home it makes great sense to do so given that it is likely to represent one of your most valuable assets. It may also be a site rule that you have insurance and usually sites ask to see evidence of insurance annually.
Insurance should also indemnify you for your liability, as the owner, for injury to third parties or damage to third party property caused by your negligence - ie your failure to properly look after your home. This could include people using your home with your permission such as friends and renters.
Whilst price is always a factor ultimately you are looking for peace of mind knowing that your investment, your home from home, is properly protected.
We strongly recommend new for old cover, blanket sums insured can be reassuring, avoid extensive exclusions around unoccupancy periods when your home is at greatest risk and make sure you understand any conditions that may apply such as draining down. Avoid big excesses and if you are letting out the home make sure the insurance covers those situations and any loss of rental income too.
Well firstly we offer you a choice of policies designed to meet your needs and pocket, from our ‘Select’ policy which provide wide ranging cover and benefits, to our ‘Economy’ policy which as the title suggests is less expensive and has fewer benefits but nevertheless good levels of cover.
And secondly, because we have huge experience in arranging leisure home, holiday lodge and static holiday caravan insurance, having worked in this specialist sector for many years. In addition we handle virtually everything from our office in Cheltenham, from quote to policy issue, renewal to claim, one call, no call centres.