The vast majority of leisure homes, lodges and static holiday caravans are sited on licensed holiday and country parks which are subject to periods of closure when the homes must be unoccupied to comply with the site licensing conditions. These periods can vary so it is well worth checking which dates apply on your park.
Aside from theses conditions however most insurers will have their own terms that apply to unoccupied homes and these will vary to a degree from insurer to insurer. Essentially unoccupied homes represent a higher risk in terms of loss or damage caused by the escape of water following frost, break ins and theft.
The Leisure Home insurance policies from Paul Baker Insurance Services apply conditions between 1st November and 15th March, to reflect winter closures and cold temperatures which may give rise to frost damage. However if your site conditions allow you to occupy your holiday home during this period full cover will apply whilst you are in occupation.
If the holiday home is unoccupied between the 1st November and 15th March for more than 72 consecutive hours, loss or damage caused by frost damage to the plumbing installations and by the escape of water would be excluded UNLESS you have taken steps to fully drain down the water system, have left the taps on and turned off the water at the mains. Alternatively it is equally acceptable to set the central heating at a frost setting provided the system has anti-freeze in place.
So check your policy conditions and take prudent steps to prevent frost and water damage when the holiday home is unoccupied.
It is also advisable to remove valuables from the holiday home during periods of unoccupancy, especially portable items such as televisions, microwave ovens, computers and sports equipment, it is also a good idea to draw back curtains and blinds so it is clear that your portable items have been removed. The policies from Paul Baker Insurance Services do not have a theft restriction during periods of unoccupancy but other insurers may have, it is worth checking.
Many holiday homes owners chose to let family and friends use their holiday homes at little or no rental other than perhaps a bouquet of flowers and a box of chocolates! Others seek to derive a rental income when the home is not being used to help cover the costs of pitch fees, for example, while some use their homes purely as an investment rarely using it themselves.
Insurers will take a different view of letting out so it is worth checking the covers on offer and the restrictions in place. The policies available from Paul Baker Insurance Services are very flexible, they allow the holiday home to be used by family and friends and for occasional commercial letting as well, with no premium loadings. They are unable to offer cover for more extensive commercial letting. They also provide for a loss of rental benefit so if the holiday home has been damaged by an insured peril such as fire, flood or storm, rendering it uninhabitable, you will be reimbursed with the value of your lost booking up to a maximum of 20% of the combined home and contents sums insured. You will be required to provide evidence of the booking(s) lost.
This can be a very valuable benefit if a rental income is an important source of revenue to you. Equally the policies from Paul Baker Insurance Services will pay for the costs of alternative accommodation if you, as owner of the holiday home, are unable to use it because it has become uninhabitable due to an insured peril as described above. In these circumstances you will need to provide evidence that you had planned to use the holiday home for the period being claimed.
A further benefit provided by policies from Paul Baker Insurance Services is that if the holiday home is rendered uninhabitable due to an insured peril, we will reimburse the pitch fees payable for the period it is uninhabitable, up to a maximum of 20% of the holiday home sum insured. Restrictions to be aware of when the holiday home is let out are theft and malicious damage caused by the hirer or occupant.
Therefore if you are letting family and friends use your holiday home or are letting it out your policy will not cover the cost of items they may steal or malicious damage that they may cause - however unlikely that may be! Theft whilst the holiday home is being let is still covered if it involves forcible and violent entry to or exit from the holiday home, likewise malicious damage caused by anyone other than the hirer is covered as well.