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Static caravan insurance: need to know

According to the National Caravan Council NCC, more than 17,000 new static caravans are built and despatched to purpose-designed holiday resorts and parks each year.

If you are thinking of investing in such a holiday home, therefore, what are some of the main things you need to know?

Can I live in it?

  • generally speaking, a static caravan is a holiday or second home – it is rarely designed to be lived in as your main place of residence;
  • this is also reflected in the policies of most of the parks and resorts on which your static caravan is pitched – they close for certain periods of the year, when residence is not permitted;
  • some parks may entertain year-round accommodation, but you need to check very carefully the conditions of the lease if it is your intention to live in your static caravan as, in some cases, this could be breaking council laws;

The lease agreement

  • the lease agreement – and, with it, the rent you pay to pitch your static caravan in the park or resort – is critical and bears very careful reading and understanding, so that you are fully aware of the respective obligations and responsibilities you have as the owner and those of the park management;
  • one of those conditions, for example, is likely to be your responsibility for arranging suitable static home insurance – note that in most cases, you do not have to take the site owner’s own static home insurance offering;
  • this insurance is a critical safeguard against the risk of loss or damage to your static home, but also typically includes protection against claims that may be made against you as the owner of the property by third parties who may have been injured or suffered damage to their own property through some connection with your static home;
  • indeed, that public liability insurance is one element on which the park management is likely to insist that you have adequate cover – for the protection of other park residents, their visitors and members of the public;

Letting your static home

  • the park which is host to your static home is unlikely to raise any objection to your letting the property whenever you choose;
  • indeed, the National Association of Caravan Owners (NACO) suggests that most parks and resorts encourage the practice, since it helps you to offset the cost of your pitch fees, maintenance and other expenses;
  • but if you take any such opportunity for earning extra income from rents, this is a further reason for giving careful consideration to insurance for your static home;
  • this additional use to which the property is put is likely to mean that you require some form of specialist holiday home insurance – which takes into account those periods of heightened risk, when your home is temporarily occupied by tenants;

How long can I keep my static home on its pitch?

  • once again, this is a question which may be addressed in your lease agreement with the park or resort;
  • some parks may have a maximum limit of 15 years, for example, whilst other may specify no particular age for your static home, provided it is kept in a good state of repair – determining any such security of tenure is a matter to be negotiated before you sign any lease agreement.

These – and other important considerations regarding your enjoyment of your static home – are questions you need to address before purchasing a static home and before signing any lease agreement with the management of the park on which it is pitched.