To state the obvious – buying a static caravan typically involves spending a significant sum of money.
You are about to invest in a place that may serve as your home away from home, a holiday retreat, or one to let to paying guests, for many years to come. It is not something you will want to get wrong and some of the following tips and suggestions might help you avoid doing so:
- keep in mind the basics – namely location, location, location – it doesn’t matter how attractive your static caravan is, if it is located on a site that is of no interest to the majority of caravanners then you may need to anticipate difficulty if you ever wish to sell it on;
- on a similar theme, check out the wider area. The site itself may be fine and very attractive but if there is a cement factory a mile or two down the road, known for spewing out fumes and smells, then you may want to know about that before rather than after. Remember also to think about local facilities such as supermarkets and pubs etc;
- is it in a part of the country you might want to return to on a regular basis, so the distance away from your main home may be an important consideration;
- does the site on which it is pitched offer all the amenities and facilities likely to provide you with the kind of welcome you desire each time you visit;
- look very carefully at the totality of the site. Your caravan and the one or two near it may be fine but if other caravans on the site are looking run down, it may tell you that the site is in decline and that the problem may move into your pitch area in the near future;
Your second home
- your static caravan is likely to be, to all intents and purposes, a second home – whether for holidays for you and your family, as a regular bolthole, or as a money-spinning holiday let;
- whatever the purpose, your choice is likely to be guided by similar principles to those when buying your main place of residence;
- in other words, is it big enough, does the layout suit the different purposes for which you may be buying it, are the fittings and appliances up to the standard you expect – and, quite simply, does it offer a welcoming home away from home;
- if you are buying your static caravan principally for summer lettings, does the location offer the appeal and attractions most likely to be sought by tourists and other visitors;
- a difference between the interior of your principal home and static holiday home is likely to be that the latter has more in the way of fitted furniture and equipment – unlike the lounge and dining room suites you might have in your main home, for instance;
- even though some of the furniture and furnishings may be fitted, however, this is not to say that you have plenty of creative opportunities for the interior design of your static caravan;
- a lick of paint, the introduction of new fabrics or even a carefully placed rug might go a long way to putting your own personal stamp on the décor.
Checking out your static holiday home
- get the caravan thoroughly checked out by somebody who knows what they’re looking at. If that is you then fine but if you don’t know the mechanics and electrics associated with static caravans, you should ensure that you have someone that does thoroughly look over the caravan before you purchase it;
Terms of sale
- an important consideration is whether to buy privately or directly from the holiday park on which the static caravan is already sited;
- although a private sale price might seem attractive, you may need to add to that the cost of transporting the caravan to your chosen location or pay a commission to the holiday park owners if you are buying a static caravan already pitched on that site;
- make sure that you understand the full nature of the site’s pitch requirements, regulations and costs. Verify what you are told with other caravan owners on the site. Unpleasant surprises are something you will presumably wish to avoid after purchase;
- keep in mind that the time to ask difficult questions is before you sign on the dotted line and not after. Once you have, it’ll be too late!
Just as with the main home in which you live for the rest of the year, insurance cover for your static holiday home is likely to be a priority.
Typically, static caravan insurance cover extends more to the structure and fabric of the caravan itself and to its contents. In the same way as your building and contents cover at home, the total sums insured need to anticipate a worst-case scenario, involving a complete loss and your need to replace both the caravan and its contents.
Bear in mind that in most cases, it is not compulsory to buy your static cover from the site owner – so shop around for the most suitable deal for you. Static caravan insurance providers are currently operating in a highly competitive market and you may find some attractive deals out there if you take the trouble to look around a little more extensively.
Insuring a static caravan is likely to involve special considerations which you might not otherwise encounter in respect of cover for alternative types of dwelling – since static caravan insurance is a particular speciality of ours here at Cover4Caravans, you might want to refer to some of the special conditions typically attached to such cover.
Compare your static caravan insurance cover
Of course, price is always going to be important. Nevertheless, try to balance this off to some extent against the cover being provided by a policy. If you ever need to make a claim, you will be looking very closely at the cover details and not how much the policy has cost. It therefore makes sense to adopt that approach from day one and before you actually choose the policy to begin with.
Look at the totality of the cover provided. For example, some policy advertisements may contain prominent headline good news items but some of the detail of the policy may be rather less satisfactory. It is necessary to look at that fine detail before you will be able to decide whether the policy is right for you.
Think about specialisation. Some organisations offer insurance for every conceivable requirement, which is fine, but they may struggle to display the in-depth knowledge of caravans that might be required in order to find you suitable cover. That might only come from people who specialise in caravan insurance.
Don’t get stuck in a rut. It may be easy to slip into the comfortable familiarity of simply renewing your existing policy each year. The trouble with that approach is that the market changes regularly and what might have been a good deal for you when you selected your existing policy, might now have been significantly superseded by better options in the marketplace. If you simply automatically renew each year, then you may never be aware that those opportunities exist.
Look carefully for discount opportunities. There are many potential areas where this may be available through some policies, but some insurance providers may be rather more forthcoming in this respect than others.
Money-saving tips for your static caravan insurance
The following tips may offer ways of reducing the cost of your static caravan insurance premiums:
- review your security. Some policies may recognise and reward policyholders who have taken additional security precautions, such as installing security bolts, intruder alarms, smoke detectors and the like;
- take a higher voluntary excess. This may result in a meaningful reduction in your total premium;
- look carefully at your site. If you have a static caravan that is sited somewhere with a known history of flooding or perhaps burglaries, you may find your premium prices are elevated. This step might only be meaningful if you take it before purchasing or locating your caravan of course;
- take particular precautions during the winter season, when your static caravan is more vulnerable to storms, bad weather and possible break-ins.
At Cover4Caravans, our mission is to help you find cost-effective and suitable cover.
Perhaps the common theme in the above points is that of taking your caravan insurance seriously. As the owner of a static caravan – whether one you have bought brand new, already pitched on a holiday park you like, or through a private sale – you are about to enjoy all the freedom and pleasure of owning a second home away from home.
Of course, there are a number of important considerations to take on board before taking the plunge and completing a purchase, but these tips and suggestions may help you to find an effective way forward in owning a holiday home that might be enjoyed by you and your family – or the paying guests you choose – for many years to come.
If you make a little effort on the subject of static caravan insurance, you may end up with cover that provides you with greater peace of mind and at a more cost-effective price. Of course, if you prefer, you are always more than welcome to get in touch – we will be very happy to help!