In these unprecedented times, many people have found themselves stranded away from home in all parts of the world; we have policyholders currently stuck in New Zealand, the Philippines, Spain and Portugal whose homes have now been unoccupied for 60 days or more.
There are two elements to this, what policy terms apply when homes are unoccupied for long periods and the renewal of policies.
Most policies allow for homes to be unoccupied for a certain period, commonly up to 30 consecutive days and sometimes more. The ‘Economy’ policy offered by Paul Baker Insurance Services allows for up to 30 days, the ‘Select’ policy up to 60 days; other insurers will vary. Homes which are unoccupied for longer periods can represent an increased risk which is why insurers apply restrictions in such instances.
Policies offered by PBIS apply the following restrictions:
- An exclusion in respect of loss or damage caused by malicious persons or vandals – in our view, this exclusion should not be a real concern, in our experience, incidents of malicious damage or vandalism on residential parks are very rare indeed, never the less the exclusion should be noted.
- An exclusion in respect of accidental damage to the home or its contents – again, if no one is in the home, accidental damage seems unlikely – note that damage by falling trees, impact by road vehicles, storm and flood for example whilst accidental are still covered.
- An exclusion in respect of loss or damage caused by the escape of water from a fixed water installation, drainage installation, heating installation, washing machine, dishwasher, fridge or freezer – this would normally be an issue during the winter months when the homeowner would either drain the water system down or leave the heating on at a frost setting, it should not present a real concern outside of the winter season.
- An exclusion in respect of loss or damage caused by the escape of oil from a fixed oil-fired heating installation – in our experience, oil-fired heating is not common in park homes, but as long as the system is well maintained, this exclusion should not be a real concern.
- An exclusion in respect of theft or attempted theft, unless there has been forcible and violent entry to or exit from the home – in our experience, incidents of theft in residential parks are very rare and provided the home has been left secure, a forcible entry will be required so the cover will continue to apply.
In terms of policies being renewed upon request, renewal documents can be emailed, and payments can be made by debit or credit card or by a BACS transfer. We will do our best to contact all policyholders before renewal to ensure their policies do not lapse accidentally.