It probably won’t have escaped your attention that flooding over recent years appears to be becoming more and more commonplace. Scientists are enjoying themselves arguing about whether this is due to global warming or not and if it is, just what role human intervention is playing in the problem.
Interesting as that debate is, the issues for static caravan owners are rather more pragmatic.
What may be indisputable is:
- many caravan sites are located in a low lying areas either directly adjacent to large areas of water or indeed the coast and sea itself;
- the news broadcasts over recent years have regularly featured worrying shots of damage caused to caravans as well as some being swept away in torrents of water;
- this problem is highly unlikely to vanish in the near future.
So, what options do holiday caravan owners have in this area?
What is the risk flooding?
Nobody can tell you, unconditionally, whether or not your caravan and its site are going to be subject to flooding – the effects of which can obviously be severe.
- different parts of the country, of course, each have a different level of risk;
- because of their very nature as holiday homes, caravan parks are often situated close to the coast or along the banks of some scenic inland waterway;
- research the risks in your area, therefore, by searching the Environment Agency’s scalable map of the risk of flooding from rivers and the sea in any given part of England and Wales;
- it is not just the geographical location of your static caravans park which may determine the risk, but your actual pitch within it – if you are worried about the risk of flooding you might consider bidding for an alternative pitch on higher ground;
- the local authority licence granted to your park owners may contain conditions relating to their displaying flood warning notices and information, together with a flood plan where appropriate;
- naturally, you should make yourself aware of any such information provided and enquire whether a flood plan exists – and if it does, be sure to read it.
Whether your caravan site is low or high risk, it might be prudent to consider some of the following to mitigate any potential flood damage caused:
- try to select caravans that are located on higher ground within the site rather than lower;
- construct carefully, perhaps with advice, your flood plan. That essentially will tell you exactly what you have to do should you be, however unexpectedly, hit by flooding;
- you should be absolutely clear where your gas, water and electrical master switches are. Ensure these are all switched off in the event of flooding. While a caravan site owner should also have such a plan, don’t rely on what they may do in these areas but take your own steps to keep yourself safe;
- check that you have adequate emergency lighting and perhaps portable heating of types that cannot be put at risk by a flood;
- keep a supply of good waterproof clothes and boots to hand. Remember, clothing that can cope with heavy rainfall is not the same as that required to protect you if you are wading through perhaps knee-deep water;
- store some emergency high energy foodstuffs with a long shelf life in waterproof containers in your caravan.
Specifics for high flood risk areas
In such situations and in addition to the above basics:
- check that the caravan site owners are aware of the government’s guidelines for mitigating flooding risks in high-risk areas;
- be certain that you know where the emergency assembly and evacuation points are for your site. Do not leave trying to find this out until a crisis has struck;
- fit flotation devices on the underside of your static, raise it by approximately 0.5 metres above the ground on axle stands and above all, make sure it is firmly anchored into position;
- it would also be sensible to check that you fully understand your static caravan insurance position in terms of the provider’s requirements relating to maintaining your cover in place and any specific conditions that might apply.
Check your static caravan insurance policy
Make sure to look carefully at your static caravan insurance policy quote so that you choose the most suitable insurance solution. While you will need to make sure you have the standard type of cover – such as loss, damage or theft – you may need to choose one that covers flood insurance. Some static caravan insurance policies may have total exclusion on flood risks, others may cover it but with numerous conditions and yet others may impose punitive additional premiums for caravans in flood risk areas. Speak to your static caravan insurance provider if you are unsure as to what your policy cover entails.
What you may need to be particularly careful of is being in a caravan with an insurance policy that specifically excludes flood risk because even on caravan sites with no previous history of problems, flooding may arise unexpectedly.
You have probably given serious thought to insurance cover for your caravan – if you are also worried about the risk of your caravan flooding, you might want to consult a specialist insurer, such as us here at Cover4Caravans, on the subject, and here’s why;
- whenever you arrange insurance cover for your caravan, your insurer naturally needs to be able to assess the risks of its loss or damage – that is what insurance is all about;
- if the siting of your static caravan is in an area perceived to be vulnerable to flooding, or has been affected by it in the past, the insurers take this into account when offering to insure the risk;
- the assessment may result in no change to the policy proposal, or caravan insurance premiums may be increased to reflect the heightened risk or your request for cover may be rejected;
- a specialist caravan insurance provider is familiar with the particular problems likely to be faced by owners of static caravans and to have established contacts with those niche insurers prepared to advance cover in areas of risk;
- if you consider the cost of caravan insurance premiums too expensive, however, a specialist provider may instead offer caravan insurance quotes on alternative policies which provide comprehensive cover (such as theft and contents cover), with the exclusion of flood risks in particular.
Wherever your static caravan is pitched, it may be more than usually vulnerable to flooding from rivers or the sea. You might want to research those risks and make yourself aware of local warnings and flood plans before arranging your specialist insurance static caravan cover.