Cover4Caravans » Resources » Need to know when buying static caravan insurance

Need to know when buying static caravan insurance

One caravan insurance policy might seem pretty much like any other, so you may wonder why you need to 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 that, of course, begs the question of just what is the best static caravan insurance policy – and the uncomfortable realisation that there may be no such thing as the one best policy.

What represents the best static caravan insurance for you may be totally different from 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.

The long and the short of it is that some policies may be more suitable for you than others.

What you need to know when comparing static caravan insurance quotes

Sorting out the suitable from the unsuitable involves comparing static caravan insurance quotes. So, 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 unless you have appropriate static caravan insurance.

In one sense, buying this type of cover is easy. Buying cover that’s also suitable, however, may involve several considerations.

So, here are some top tips on making your choice of suitable static home insurance:

  • don’t get confused about insurance types! Static and touring caravan insurance are two quite different genres of policy and they’re not interchangeable;
  • the same applies to static and park home cover. A static caravan is one you occupy for typically several 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 (to a family member, for example) 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 begin to let your static caravan;
  • 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 insurance provider;
  • 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 you;
  • it’s always a good idea to have an adequate sum insured 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 award of compensation against you could be substantial;
  • 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 that supervision ends when the site 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, while others, but not all, may offer discounts if you use additional security upgrades.

Aspects of static caravan insurance to which you might want to pay particular attention

Some aspects of static caravan insurance warrant closer and more careful attention:

Valuation

  • 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 consider 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 Cover4Caravans for static homes 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;

Public liability insurance

  • we have already mentioned the importance of public liability insurance – 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 insurance cover;
  • that 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 substantial proportions and it is usual, therefore, for cover to be provided against claims up to £2million;

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 damage 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. Your obligations under your cover will be explained within your policy documents – or you can always call us for help and clarification.

Beware the policies offered by your static caravan park

When the management of the park on which your static caravan is berthed invites you to sign the lease agreement on your plot, they are almost certain to offer you static caravan insurance. Indeed, you might need to resist any pressure against a hard-sell of such a policy.

Remember that, in most cases, you are not obliged to take your site owner’s own insurance. You are free to shop around for your 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 included in your calculations, 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 most suitable 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.

Comparing static caravan insurance

Instead of going for the easy option of accepting the site management’s offer of static caravan insurance, you decide to shop around and make your own comparisons to select suitable cover:

Is a comparison going to require a lot of my time?

  • that all depends on how you tackle the exercise, of course;
  • if you intend to look up lots of individual insurers and obtain many individual quotes, then you are likely to need a substantial amount of time if you are going to do justice to reviewing them in detail;
  • an alternative might be to get an online comparison from a specialist provider of static caravan insurance cover, like us at Cover4Caravans. It’s is quick, easy and free to use our service. Or give us a call and we can do this on your behalf;

Cheap vs. value for money

  • if you are asking yourself where you can find the cheapest static caravan insurance, you might want to think again and ask whether you are asking the right question;
  • whenever you are buying insurance – or any other product for that matter – the most important question that should be asked is whether the product offers good value for money while delivering everything you want from it at a competitive price;
  • always bear in mind that the cheapest option is not always going to offer the most appropriate protection;
  • cheap static caravan insurance may be your goal, but value for money – in terms of the cover you need, at a competitive rate – is more likely to secure the more appropriate deal;
  • and remember, what your site neighbour or friend thinks is cheap static home insurance does not necessarily mean it will be the cheapest – or most suitable – caravan insurance for you;

Can I reduce the cost of my existing policy?

  • if the price of the premiums is an issue, you might want to consider ways of reducing the cost of your insurance;
  • just how you do that may depend upon what your policy allows you to do and how flexible your provider is – it is something perhaps best progressed by looking at the detail of the policy or having a discussion with whoever you purchased it from;
  • you may, for example, be able to obtain a discount in return for taking a higher excess on the policy;

Can my postcode make a difference to the price I pay?

  • it may do – in the sense of the postcode of your chosen site;
  • you’ll typically find that there are some static caravan sites which are considered to be more or less risky than others;
  • for example, a well-known risk for static caravans from an insurance point of view is flooding. If you position your caravan on a site with a history of flooding, then you might typically see higher static caravan insurance quotes than if your location has no history of flooding problems.

What static caravan insurance typically covers?

As with any insurance, the protection for your static holiday caravan is only as good as the risks and perils covered by your insurance policy. Although the details, of course, are likely to vary from one insurer to another, the following are typical headings for the cover offered:

The caravan

  • the single most important element of cover is likely to be the protection of the caravan itself against such potentially catastrophic risks as fire, flooding, storm damage, impacts and vandalism;
  • a cause for particular concern – given the damage such incidents may cause – is the risk of flooding and whether your policy extends cover in such an eventuality;
  • has we have already noted, holiday caravan parks in some parts of the country may be more vulnerable to flooding than others, so it may pay to check whether your caravan is in such an area – if it is, you may find it more difficult to secure insurance or find that you need to pay more for it;

The contents

  • just as you might want to protect the contents of your main place of residence, static caravan insurance may also extend to the contents – which may have mounted steadily in value as you make use of your holiday home;
  • the total sum insured for the contents is an important aspect in ensuring that you are neither underinsured (when the settlement of a claim may be insufficient to cover the costs of replacement) or over-insured (in which case, you may be paying more for the cover than you really need);

Public liability

  • we have already commented upon the importance of public liability insurance – and noted that the policies arranged by us here at Cover4Caravans offer £2million of indemnity as standard;

Playing your part

  • a key part of any insurance contract is the insured’s responsibility for ensuring that all reasonable steps are taken to mitigate the risk of damage or loss – and static caravan insurance is no exception;
  • in this case, it is likely to involve specific precautions to be taken during those months of the year when the holiday park is closed, and your caravan stands empty;
  • such precautions may include the removal of items of particular value, confirmation of the holiday park’s security arrangements during the closed season, disconnection of gas and electricity supplies, and the draining down of all the water systems.

Finally

In the final analysis, your caravan insurance cover may one day be the only thing that stands between you and some very severe costs if your static home is damaged. It, therefore, makes sense to be as certain as you can be that you have insurance that is a good match for your circumstances.

Unless you have a particular inside knowledge of the intricacies of the insurance market, you might find that expertise and experience of a specialist broker in static caravan insurance, such as ourselves at Cover4Caravans, may help to find the appropriate match you are looking for.

Indeed, the government-sponsored Money Advice Service suggests that a broker may help you to find better cover at the most favourable price. The advantages of using an independent insurance broker are also described by the British Insurance Brokers’ Association (BIBA), which lists ten good reasons for doing so.

These include the free advice you may be given, the identification of those risks you might not have spotted yourself, the help you may need in making a claim, and the access to competitively priced policies which are often available exclusively through a broker – satisfying your search for cheap static caravan insurance which also represents excellent value for money.

By using a caravan insurance specialist, you are likely to get a choice of caravan cover, too, from several insurers, meaning you can choose the most cost-effective and appropriate static caravan insurance for you. So, finding the most suitable insurance for your static home is typically just a click or two away when you visit us here at Cover4Caravans and ask for your online quote. You can also contact us here on 01702 606301 – we’d be delighted to help!