Holiday home and park home insurance: your complete guide
When you buy a park home or holiday home, it's quite probable that, amid all of the excitement, insurance will be way down your list of priorities
Yet it's absolutely vital that you arrange holiday home or park home insurance, as appropriate to your purchase – and it's worth spending some time researching to find the right policy for your needs.
Our guide will set you on the right track, with things to consider as you decide what cover you need, and details of policies offered by some of the specialist insurance companies out there. Specialist insurance is key to finding the cover most suitable for both park and holiday homes.
- Insurance for holiday homes and park homes: why you need it
- What's the difference between insurance for holiday homes and insurance for park homes?
- What your insurance should cover
- Extra things to consider for park home insurance
- Extra things to consider for holiday home insurance
- How much does holiday home insurance cost?
- Holiday home and park home insurance providers
- About our magazines
Words by Claire Tupholme
Insurance for holiday homes and park homes: why you need it
(Photo courtesy of Shield Total Insurance)
Everything of value that you own should be insured – and park homes and holiday homes are no exception. Your park home is your main residence, and your holiday home is your happy place, so you want to make sure you are covered if the worst should happen.
There is an additional reason for having insurance for holiday homes and park homes: and that is because the owner of the park is, almost without exception, going to ask you for proof that you have an insurance policy – and every year you will be asked to provide proof that you have renewed it.
What’s the difference between insurance for holiday homes and insurance for park homes?
(Photo courtesy of Oaklands Park)
The insurance needs for residential park homes are different from those for holiday homes and leisure lodges. A park home, being your main residence, is likely to contain more items of value than you would normally have in a holiday home.
Your holiday home is going to spend a lot of time unoccupied, however. Specialist insurance companies are aware of the need for cover for this and offer suitable policies.
What your park home or holiday home insurance should cover
For both park homes and holiday homes you want to check whether cover extends to balustrades and decking, fencing and gates, plus steps and skirting. And are you covered for flooding?
You need to think about cover for cycles in a shed or garage, for example. And food in your freezer; are you covered in the event of an electricity cut-out, for example? Check if you are covered for vermin damage. It's unlikely to happen but, if it does, it can be costly!
Standard advice is to go for a new-for-old policy, so that, in the very unlikely event of your home sustaining damage beyond repair, it will be replaced. It's wise to go for alternative accommodation cover, too, so that you'll have somewhere to live while rectification or replacement is carried out.
It’s vital to consider, also, contents insurance for holiday homes and park homes.
Extra things to consider for park home insurance
A key point about park homes is their construction. They're made of very different material from bricks and mortar homes and, because of this, should any damage arise, they must be repaired by a specialist company. That's a major reason why you need to be insured by a company that is fully conversant with the type of construction.
Another is whether you are planning to go abroad in the future – for example, for extended holidays. Make sure your insurance remains valid while you are away. Just as for bricks and mortar homes, some policies don't cover you if the home is unoccupied for more than 30 consecutive days.
Extra things to consider for holiday home insurance
Check that any exterior storage boxes you may have (for a barbecue and outdoor furniture, for example) are covered – and also all of the contents of those exterior storage boxes. Some policies cover outdoor furniture only when the holiday home is occupied.
Many policies specify that you must drain down your holiday home when it is not being used during the winter, to prevent frost damage.
If you have a hot tub on your decking, check that your insurance policy covers that, too.
The age of a holiday home is a big factor in insurance terms. Some companies cover holiday homes up to 20 years old; others less. And, this may sound dramatic, but standard advice is to go for cover that includes removal of debris in the unlikely event of your holiday home being destroyed.
If you are renting out your holiday home, check that the cover you buy includes this. Also check if the holiday home is covered if it is being used by relatives and friends on a non-rental basis.
How much does holiday home insurance cost?
(Photo courtesy of Oaklands Park)
The cost of holiday home insurance depends on where the park is situated. Just as with household insurance, rates vary from region to region, according to the ways in which insurance companies assess risks in any given area. The occupations of the holiday home owners can have an influence on the cost of a policy, too. And, of course, the value of the holiday home. Some insurance companies offer discounts for people over the age of 50. Some offer discounts if you have an alarm system fitted to your park home or holiday home.
One thing to bear in mind, for insurance purposes, is that the replacement value of your holiday home or park home is much lower than the price you are paying for it. This is because the park owner has invested massively in the infrastructure of the park and also the construction of the base on which each home sits. When you buy a home, an amount in the purchase price is accounted for by the investment made by the park owner. But you just need to insure your home for the replacement cost.
Holiday home and park home insurance providers
(Photo courtesy of Leisuredays)
Several companies that specialise in park home and holiday home insurance are featured below. Our top three tips: do your research, compare policies, and study the fine details on insurers’ websites, to find the policy that is right for you.
Advice from Leisuredays is to look for features such as new-for-old cover. So, if your holiday home or park home is destroyed, the policy will make sure it can be replaced with a new one of the equivalent specification. You should also choose a policy that will cover fixed items to your unit, such as a garage, decking, patios and sheds. As part of the contents sums insured, cover should also be provided for carpets, flooring, curtains, furniture and household appliances, such as televisions.
A Leisuredays park home insurance policy will cover items such as jewellery and laptops, as standard. Similar to a home insurance policy, you’ll need to specify high-risk, expensive items (over £1,500). For holiday homes and lodges, it’s sometimes possible to increase your personal possessions and contents cover to include high-risk items.
Look for insurance which will pay for removing your damaged home, plus any debris and damaged contents should your leisure or residential home be written off, and that it covers the costs of transporting a new home and paying for it to be sited and connected to electricity and water services. Leisuredays includes up to £10,000 of cover under the static caravan insurance policy or an unlimited amount on the park home insurance policy.
Find out more: Leisuredays
Parksure’s residential policy is designed for residential park homes and has all the associated cover you would expect for a main residence, including cover for personal possessions, jewellery and high-risk items.
Holiday home policies have cover especially designed for holiday use and the items you would expect to find in them when using them for holiday use; so you wouldn’t expect your holiday home policy to cover you for expensive jewellery which should be covered under your main residence.
Find out more: Parksure
Adrian Flux Insurance Services
Adrian Flux offers a range of peace-of-mind lodge home insurance policies through a wide panel of providers. Using its experience and knowledge of the lodge home market, Adrian Flux can source insurance to match your individual needs. You can earn generous discounts with combined holiday home and contents cover. You can save even more if you invest in extra security, or if you are over 50 years of age.
Standard policies provide cover for fire, storm, flood, escape of water or oil, theft, and malicious damage. Some include accidental breakage to glass tabletops and fixed glass in furniture, mirrors and ceramic glass in hobs, and accidental damage to TV and audio equipment.
Find out more: Adrian Flux Insurance Services
(Photo courtesy of Lifesure)
Key points of Lifesure’s park home policy include contents cover of up to £75,000, 24-hour home emergency cover, flood cover for many who are in high-risk areas, and cover of up to £500,000. Lifesure's park home policy is designed for the specific needs of a park home owner and is underwritten by a leading UK insurer, AXA.
The policy includes cover for both malicious and accidental damage. Legal expenses, including those that may be incurred as a result of park disputes, is also a standard component of the policy. Lifesure also offers a personal handling service from start to finish of a claim, for a stress-free experience.
Find out more: Lifesure
The Compass holiday home and lodge policy offers cover against all types of loss and damage, including flood, storm, fire and also vermin. New-for-old cover is available for holiday homes and lodges up to 25 years old. Additional expenses up to £15,000, including debris removal, is covered, and the policy includes £5 million of public liability cover.
Compass offers two levels of park home cover (called Essentials and Extra). The Essentials cover offers standard cover and is suitable for lower sums insured, or where price may be the most important factor. The Extra cover is designed for homes with higher sums insured, and offers comprehensive cover. New-for-old cover is standard. Sums insured are up to £500,000. As with the holiday home policy, damage as a result of storm, flood, frost and escape of water is covered, as is the cost of debris removal. Unlimited additional expenses are included.
The Compass park home policy offers alternative accommodation if your park home becomes uninhabitable. Cover includes personal possessions when they are away from the park home.
Find out more: Compass
Paul Baker Insurance Services
Paul Baker Insurance Services offers a choice between two park home insurance policies. You can opt for the ‘Select’ policy that offers a wide-ranging cover (even including rodent damage), and total peace of mind. However, if you’d rather save money, then this company’s ‘Economy' policy may be the right option for you.
Both policies are designed to replace your home and its contents with their new equivalent in the event of an entire loss. They will both protect against the most crucial perils, including fire, storm, flood and theft, and also include benefits such as freezer contents, replacement locks, alternative accommodation, public liability insurance, and a free park home legal advice helpline and 24-hour home emergency assistance.
Find out more: Paul Baker Insurance Services
Shield Total Insurance
Shield’s cover for both park and holiday homes includes damage or loss caused by flooding, trees, fire, storms, subsidence and landslip.
The company’s park home insurance covers steps, balconies, patios, skirting and fences, plus gates and storage buildings.
Shield offers new-for-old cover on holiday homes that are up to 20 years old.
Find out more: Shield Total Insurance
Park Home Assist Insurance Services
Park Home Assist points out that a park home policy does not cover the base on which it sits (for subsidence, for example); that’s the park owner’s responsibility.
The company advises draining down your park home if you are away, to prevent frost damage that may result in a claim. So between 1 November and 31 March, if your park home is left without an occupant for more than 48 hours, drain down the entire water system as a precaution to prevent freezing and any potential damage this may cause.
And another tip: jewellery should be valued every five years, and you should keep photographs of the items. This is because jewellery claims are settled on the replacement cost of the item. So, if you don’t have an up-to-date valuation, it can be difficult to establish its value.
Find out more: Park Home Assist Insurance Services
About Park & Holiday Home Inspiration magazine
Park & Holiday Home Inspiration magazine is the best guide to finding, buying and living in your perfect park or holiday home. The magazine is ideal for both the budding buyers to be, or for those who have been living the life of luxury for years.
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