What do you need to know when buying static caravan insurance?
On the one hand, one caravan insurance policy might seem pretty much like any other, so you may wonder why bother comparing static caravan insurance?
After all, given the amount of money that you probably spent on your static caravan, you’re likely to simply buy the best static caravan insurance policy.
But, of course, there may be no such thing as one best policy.
What represents the best static caravan insurance for you may be very different to what someone else may consider to be the best for them. While you may consider yourself to be a fairly typical caravan owner, just a quick look round any site may confirm very quickly just how different people and their caravans can be.
That means, some policies may be more suitable for you than others.
Beware the policies offered by your static caravan park
If you are convinced that the best static caravan insurance is too relative a term, you might opt for what appears to be the most straight forward and convenient – a policy offered by the management of the park on which your static caravan is situated.
Indeed, you might have felt pressured in the past to buy your caravan insurance cover from the site owner. If you are very lucky, that offer might approximate to satisfactory static caravan insurance for your own situation – but in reality, the chances of that happening may be very slight indeed.
Remember that, in most cases, you are not obliged to take your site owner’s own insurance. You are free to shop around for the static caravan cover. The site owner may ask for proof that you have arranged your own static home insurance and may charge a nominal fee to see the paperwork. Even with that fee taken in to account, however, shopping around for the cover (using a service such as ours), you could still save money.
If you compare static caravan insurance and select a policy that you feel offers you the best static caravan insurance, then you may still end up with a more cost-attractive solution than buying from the site owner – even taking their fee into account.
What you need to know when comparing static caravan insurance quotes
So, you’ve decided to give the site’s offer of an insurance package a miss and to make your own selection – what do you need to know?
First, keep firmly in the back of your mind that having a static caravan is, for many people, a dream as well as a substantial investment. That investment and dream could both be at risk though unless you have appropriate static caravan insurance.
In one sense, buying this type of cover is easy. Buying cover that’s suitable though is entirely different.
So, here are some top tips on making your choice of suitable static home insurance:
- don’t get confused over insurance types! Static and towed caravan insurance are two quite different genres of policy and they’re not interchangeable;
- ditto for static and park home cover. A static caravan is one you occupy for typically a few weeks each year when on holiday or for other recreational purposes. It is not a caravan-type dwelling where you live permanently, which would typically be called and insured as a ‘park home’;
- if you plan to let others use your caravan for holiday purposes and are charging for that, your use of your static is no longer defined as ‘personal recreation’. There is a significant legal and insurance difference between letting someone use your caravan as a favour (e.g. a family member) and letting it out for holiday purposes and income generation. In order to keep continuity of cover and protect your interests, please discuss any such plans with your insurance provider before you start;
- some policies may require you to empty your static of major furnishing items during the closed season. Be clear if that’s the case with a policy you’re considering and whether or not you could comply;
- you may find more extensive advice and options if you discuss your overall position with an experienced and specialist provider of static caravan insurance – such as ourselves – rather than a generalist;
- look carefully at the ‘new for old’ replacement provisions. Some policies might offer that irrespective of whether or not you purchased the caravan from new, but some may not do so if there have been previous owners before your purchase;
- it’s always a good idea to have a hefty sum for liability insurance cover. If somebody’s injured by your static and they believe it to be due to your negligence, then they may sue. If they win, the awards against you could be staggeringly high;
- if you’re a member of a recognised caravan club, then it might make sense to look for a policy provider who will recognise that through discounts. Why discounts? It’s because some insurers will interpret your club membership as a sign of responsibility on your part and as a result, a lower chance of problems and claims arising;
- read any exclusions carefully as well as associated conditions. For example, some policies may require that your site is supervised 24x7x365. That’s fine if your site is so supervised but if it shuts in winter, you may find you’re in breach of your policy’s conditions and that might put your cover at risk;
- it’s worth checking for discounts for the use of security equipment too. Some policies may stipulate certain mandatory security requirements such as the use of alarms but not all will offer discounts if you use other voluntary security upgrades.
Specific considerations when buying static caravan insurance
You’ve put in the work to compare static caravan insurance, but there are certain specific areas of any policy that bear closer consideration:
- whenever you are arranging insurance, the value of the insured item is an important consideration – and static caravan insurance is no different;
- the total sum insured represents the maximum amount the insurer pays out in the event of a total loss (if the caravan is consumed by fire, for example);
- when deciding that total sum, therefore, you might want to take into account the cost of replacing your caravan;
- depending on the policy you choose, this might be its current market value, or replacement as new – the latter is available from us for caravans up to 5 years old (regardless of the number of previous owners);
Risk of flooding
- during many British winters, flooding – from swollen rivers or rising tides – may cause widespread damage and caravan parks are likely to be especially vulnerable;
- for that reason, our static caravan insurance policies here at Cover4Caravans reflect the postcode of the park on which it is pitched, so that discounts may be made if yours is in a flood-free area;
- you might check on the vulnerability of your particular caravan park by searching the Environment Agency’s map of threats of flooding from rivers and the sea;
Public liability insurance
- we have already mentioned the general need for public liability insurance as the owner of a static caravan and the owners and managers of the park or resort accommodating your caravan are almost certain to have asked for proof that you have suitable cover;
- this element of cover is designed to ensure that fair and adequate compensation is received by visitors to the park, your neighbours there, or other members of the public who have suffered an injury or had their property damaged through some negligence on your part as the owner of the static caravan;
- public liability claims such as this may assume very significant proportions and it is usual, therefore, for cover to be provided against claims of at least £1 million – and sometimes as much as £2 million;
Out of season precautions
- many parks for static caravans close down for at least part of the winter season – and this might be a time when yours is especially vulnerable to break-ins, theft or damaged caused by electrical or gas faults or the escape of water;
- when arranging your static caravan insurance cover, therefore, you might want to establish what additional security measures your insurer demands during this closed season – and whether, for example, your premiums are discounted at all if the site has taken particular security measures, such as CCTV or manned patrols of the site;
- you may also be expected to take certain common sense precautions when leaving your caravan empty and unoccupied for any length of time – including the disconnection of all electrical and gas services and draining down the water from heating, kitchen and bathroom systems.
Cheap static caravan insurance
You compare static caravan insurance, but at the end of the day decide that you are really after cheap static caravan insurance – is that the way to go?
Whenever you are thinking about ways in which you might save money on insurance, it is important to consider just what type and level of insurance you need (what you expect the insurance to protect), the extent to which any given policy meets those requirements, and the value for money which is offered through the insurance providing that protection at the quoted rate.
The principle remains just as true when arranging static caravan insurance, so that insurance which does the job you want it to do, the product you choose and the value for money that it represents are all likely to be more important considerations than price alone.
From this starting position, however, it is still possible to secure good value from the cover you need and yet also save money on what you are paying for your static caravan insurance:
- just as with many other forms of insurance, cover for your static caravan is likely to be influenced by the use to which it is put;
- one of the opportunities taken up by many owners of such holiday homes, for example, is to let it out to paying guests when you are not using it yourself;
- since insurers may consider the risk of loss or damage to increase when your holiday home is temporarily let to tenants, your insurance premiums may rise accordingly;
- by the same token, you are likely to save on the cost of the cover you arrange if you have no intention of letting it;
- one of the most certain ways of saving money on your static caravan insurance is to ensure that you take full advantage of any discounts offered by the insurance provider.
In short, it is possible to achieve the twin objectives of securing the insurance you need for your static caravan whilst also enjoying great value for money – and still save money on the cost of your cover.
Always ask questions!
If you’re someone who’s not fully comfortable with insurance principles, someone who is experienced with caravan insurance will usually be only too happy to talk you through the basics you need to think about – and the many years’ of experience and expertise we have built up here at Cover4Caravans puts us in just the position to answer your questions.
So, always ask us the questions – and our pledge is to find you the static caravan insurance appropriate to your own needs and circumstances, at a competitive price.