Park Home Insurance
A guide to park home insurance - What to look out for, what’s covered & what’s not!
Adam Summersby, Head of Caravan & Park Home at Towergate Insurance, gave us his top tips for insuring your park home and its contents.
"Park home insurance can come in different shapes and sizes; what's suitable for your neighbour may not be suitable for you. At Towergate, we recommend you always check what's not included, as well as what is included."
Head of Caravan and Park Home at Towergate Insurance
New for old replacement - The Home
Find an insurance policy that insures you on a new for old basis.
That means in the unlikely event of a total loss, following a fire for example, you need to ensure that the sums insured is sufficient to cover the cost of purchasing a brand new replacement home of an equivalent size and specification. In addition, it should also cover costs associated with re-siting, site clearance and delivery fees plus any charges applied by the park owner.
Adam says - "Whilst most policies include new for old cover as standard, problems may arise if the sums insured is inadequate.
Towergate provides blanket cover for your home up to £250,000 for single units and up to £500,000 for double units."
New for old replacement - The contents
It's important to ensure your contents are insured, so why not include this on a new for old basis too?
Contents will include everything in your home from carpets to curtains, bedding to furniture and electrical appliances.
Adam says - "Calculating the new for old replacement value for your contents can be challenging.
That's why Towergate introduced blanket cover for contents up to £50,000 for single units and up to £75,000 for double units.
Confused on what's covered under contents? Imagine if you tipped your home upside down - everything that falls out would be classed as contents"
Excesses - What are they? Do I have one?
A policy excess is a fixed amount the policyholder should pay in the event of a claim.
You can choose to pay a voluntary excess which can sometimes lower your premium. You can even opt for no excess at all but sometimes this can mean you pay a higher premium.
Always check what excesses would apply in the event of a claim.
Adam says - "Whilst it's likely that policies with a high excess may be cheaper, the point of insurance is to cover the cost of replacing items that are lost, stolen or the repair of property damage.
Choose an excess that's fair and reasonable to you."
Park Home residents love their gardens! Many spend hours planting, pruning, mowing and weeding.
Whilst most park home insurance policies insure the park home and it’s contents, not all protect the garden. Does yours?
Adam says – "Towergate include up to £750 for re-landscaping, but no more than £250 for any one tree, shrub or plant. So, if the worst should happen, our cover will help ensure your garden is looking as good as new in no time!"
As you do not own the land that your home is on, your site (site owner) is responsible for insuring and maintaining it.
Adam says - "Check your base (the land) from time to time.
If the base is breaking up, then it could cause damage to your home, so it's important to ensure it's well maintained.
Speak to your site owner for more details"
Loss or theft of keys
It happens to us all! Not only is it inconvenient but it can also be very costly.
Most park home insurance policies will include some level of protection however the difference will be the level of cover and sometimes excesses may apply.
Adam says - "Always make sure you check the level of cover you have is adequate. If all of your keys are bundled on to one keyring and you lose them all, the cost of replacement could be very expensive."
Unoccupied homes - Be aware!
Most insurance policies allow for the home to be unoccupied; after all, who doesn't love a holiday in the sun?
Unoccupied homes are regarded as a higher risk by some insurers, who may as a consequence apply certain exclusions when the home is left empty for a certain period of time - usually 30 days.
Some exclusions may include; theft (unless involving forcible and violent entry), frost damage to fixed interior domestic water or even heating installations and any subsequent damage caused by escape of water.
Adam says - "Always check what occupancy clause applies to your policy. If you're likely to be away in excess of that period then make sure you take steps to address any exclusions. Lock your exterior doors, turn off your water supply and ask your neighbour to check your home whilst you're away."
Public liability - Essential cover
As a property owner, you are liable for injury to third parties or damage to third party property arising from your negligence.
For example, if someone at your home were to fall on a dangerous step and injure themselves and is off work for several months, you could be liable for a significant claim of compensation and/or loss of earnings.
Most policies will include public liability cover, but you should always check just to be sure.
Adam says - "Public Liability claims, fortunately, are rare. However, when they do happen the costs can be substantial.
Whilst £1million could seem adequate, it may be wise to go for a policy with higher levels of cover.
Towergate includes a £5million indemnity limit. Phew!"
Temporary alternative accommodation - Why would I need that?
Situations may arise whereby it’s impossible to carry on living in your home. It may have been badly damaged by flood, fire, a fallen tree or even an out of control vehicle!
These things happen and in these situations you may need to move in to temporary accommodation whilst your home is repaired, and that can be expensive. If you have pets, you may also need to make arrangements for them too, which can add to the bill.
Adam says – ‘’Most policies include this cover and the difference is the level of cover provided.
As you can imagine, living in alternative accommodation for 6 months or longer can be extremely expensive, as can kennelling pets.
Towergate include up to £30,000 for alternate accommodation, which also includes kennelling.’’
Homecare emergency assistance - Help 24 hours a day
Who do you contact when you need emergency assistance in relation to your park home?
Many policies include an emergency telephone number which can give you advice and put you in contact with an approved repairer.
Great news if you need to call a repairer out at 2am but it would be even better news if the cover included the cost of the emergency call out, including labour, parts and material as we all know calls at anti-social hours can be expensive.
Adam says - "As well as including the emergency call out, Towergate include up to £500 to cover the cost of dealing with the emergency situation.
However, Towergate will not cover a claim relating to this where the home has been unoccupied for more than 30 consecutive days."
Legal advice and expenses
Some park home insurance policies include a legal advice helpline, and some include legal expenses too. Typically, this will cover consumer disputes, employment disputes and personal injury claims.
Because park home legislation is very specialist and disputes between site owners and residents can be difficult, look for a policy which includes advice about park home legislation, disputes with park home owners and legal expenses too - court action can be very, very expensive.
Adam says - "Significant changes in the legislation affecting park homes were contained in the Mobile Homes Act 2013. Do you know how these changes could affect you?
Towergate include a legal advice helpline, managed by experts in park home legislation. So, if you have a question about site rules or a dispute about pitch fees, then they can help you.
Of course, we include legal expenses too!"