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 specification and sited on licensed holiday parks. We cannot insure Leisure Homes which are over 15 years old at policy inception.
Our policies are designed to provide cover on a replacement as a 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, delivery fees, outbuildings and additions such as decking. Claims for clothing and household linen are subject to a deduction to reflect age.
Whilst 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 their 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 a 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 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.
Is it 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 the 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 relates to the periods that the home is unoccupied. Exclusions will vary, so it is worth checking with your insurer, but typically, restrictions will apply during the winter months, between 1st November and 15th March, in relation to loss or damage caused by the escape of water, frost damage, vandalism and theft. These are reasonable exclusions which can easily be satisfied by ensuring your home is secure, and the water system is either properly drained down or the heating is left on at a frost setting.
It is also recommended that valuable items such as TVs be removed and curtains 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 a 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 purchases, and some buy purely as an investment.
Check that your insurance allows for hiring out, and also if 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 is it unlikely that the policy will cover malicious damage or theft by the hirer so take a deposit.
Paul Baker is currently unable to offer cover for homes hired out for more than 26 weeks of the year or purchased purely for investment purposes.
Many holiday homes are sited near rivers and often within flood plains, so it is 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 with friends or abroad.
Whilst this may seem a reasonable approach, beware; Holiday parks, even though they may have an 11 or even 12-month holiday licence, are not the same as a licensed residential park where your security of tenure is protected by the Mobile Homes Act. If purchasing on a holiday park, please do your due diligence and fully understand the nature of the licence, including the length of your lease, the site rules and pitch fee increases.
Whilst there is no legal requirement to insure your holiday home, it makes great sense to do so given 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 – i.e. your failure to properly look after your home. This could include people using your home with your permission such as friends and renters.