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 to your park.
Apart from these conditions, however, most insurance companies will have their own standard terms that apply to unoccupied homes. These will differ to a degree from insurer to insurer, so it’s worth asking for advice. Basically, unoccupied homes represent a greater risk in terms of loss due to the escape of water following frost, break-ins, or theft.
The Leisure Home insurance policies from Paul Baker Insurance Services apply conditions between the time period 1st November and 15th March, reflecting winter closures and cold temperatures. However, if your site conditions allow you to occupy your holiday home during this period, the full cover will apply whilst you’re in residence.
If the holiday home is not occupied during the winter months ( 1st of November to 15th March) for more than 72 consecutive hours, then any damage caused by 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 drain down the water system fully, have left the taps on and turned off the water at the mains. You can also leave the heaters on if they have an anti-freeze feature. 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 un-occupancy, 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 the process.
Letting out your Leisure Home
Holiday homeowners often choose to let family and friends stay in their holiday homes as accommodation without paying any rent. Some people also make money renting out their houses when their home is not occupied. Other people use their houses only as investments, so they do not use them 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 lost booking(s).
This can be a valuable benefit if a rental income represents an important revenue stream. Similarly, the policies from Paul Bakers Insurance Services will cover alternative accommodation costs if you as the holiday owner, cannot use it because it became uninhabitable due to a covered peril as outlined above. In such circumstances, you will need proof that you had intended to use the holiday home during the period being claimed.
A further benefit provided to customers by Paul Baker Insurance Services is if the holiday home is made 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 should be aware of when the property is let out are theft or malicious damage caused by the tenant or occupier. Therefore if you are renting out to family and friends to use your property or are letting it out, your policy won’t cover the cost of items stolen or maliciously damaged – however unlikely that might be!
Theft whilst the property is being let is still included if it involves forceful and violent entry into or exit from the holiday home; likewise, malicious damage caused to the property by any person other than the tenant or occupier is covered too. The policy will also include accidental damage caused by tenants; however, the policy can be expanded to cover this at a price of £50 plus VAT per year.