There is a general perception that incidents of crime in 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. So their homes will likely 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. This is why you need to look at security.
Paul Baker Insurance Services (PBIS), one of the leading providers of park home insurance, has conducted some research based on 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 several 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, and 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 lever 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 they are worthy of consideration. Whilst on the subject of alarms, we would strongly recommend fitting smoke alarms and checking them regularly, fires is fortunately rare, but its consequence, needless to say, can be devastating.
Policies from PBIS do, of course, including loss or damage caused by malicious damage and vandalism, theft and attempted theft. However, given 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, reduced to 30 consecutive days under our ‘Economy’ policy.