Frequently Asked Questions
When is the office open?
We are open 9am – 5pm Monday to Friday. If you should have an emergency outside of these times, please refer to the emergency telephone numbers in your policy wording.
What is the best number to contact you on?
Try our office number 01452 314 413.
Why Is the insurance more expensive than my bricks and mortar House Insurance?
The Insurance premium is calculated based on the individuals risk, the likelihood of a claim and the amount of that claim should it occur. As a Park Home/Holiday Lodge/Static Caravan is more susceptible to the elements and therefore more susceptible to damage so the premium will naturally be more than a bricks and mortar property as it is deemed a higher risk. For instance If your bricks and mortar home was to flood or have an escape of water claim its is unlikely to be written off; it will eventually dry out. With a Park Home/Holiday Lodge/Static Caravan the home is likely to suffer extensive damage and could possibly be written off. You obviously pay a premium based on the likelihood of this happening and the amount of the claim should it actually occur.
What if the park has flooded?
When choosing a site for your home one of the most important questions you should ask is: “Has the park or site ever had a history of flooding?” If it has you need to establish what has been done to reduce the likelihood of the park flooding again or damage occurring to your home. If your Park has flooded you will need to make your insurers aware of this as they may impose special terms or refuse cover altogether.
Floatation devices are devices that are placed below your home with an aim to keep your home afloat and above the flood waters should your park ever flood. They usually take the form of polystyrene blocks which are secured under the home and effectively lift the home up above the flood waters, normally to a maximum of 12 feet (Check manufacturers’ instructions). The home is secured in place with chains, pistons or a cantilever system to stop it floating away. Once floatation devices are fitted you will not be able to attach steps, decking or anything to the home that will restrict it from floating freely in the event of a flood. Due to their location of the parks these floatation devices are mainly found on holiday parks.
What paperwork can I expect?
Insurance is an intangible asset; that is to say you don’t get anything physical for your money (like if you were buying from a shop), instead you get a promise that in return for your money the insurers will cover you should certain events or risk happen. You do however receive certain documentation and we aim to explain just what those documents are:
Your very first point of contact will no doubt be a request for a quotation. Once we have verbally advised you of our very competitive insurance premium, we will confirm the Quotation via email or post. The Quotations will take the form of a letter from us detailing the premium, the Quotation Schedule detailing what we have quoted on, the Statement of Facts (mentioned separately), the Key Facts (mentioned separately), Insurance Product Information Document (or IPID for short) and our Terms of Business (mentioned separately). You should read all these documents carefully as they detail the information you have provided us and what we quoted on; any mistake may adversely affect your cover.
Statement of Facts SOF
The Statement of Facts or SOF is a detailed statement of the information you have provided us with and has replaced what was the Proposal Form. We have provided our Quotation based on this information and any mistake or omission may adversely affect your cover. You therefore need to check this document carefully and let us know if there are any mistakes or omissions.
The Key Facts are designed to provide you with key information about how we choose your insurance product, whether we charge a fee, how we are regulated and what to do if you have a complaint. Full terms and conditions can be found in the policy wording.
Terms of Business (TOBA)
These are the Terms of our Business. It’s how we do business and sets out the terms on which we agree to act for our clients and contains details of our regulatory and statutory responsibilities. Please read through it carefully and get back to us should you have any queries.
New Business Schedule
Once you have decided to go on cover you will receive a New Business Schedule. It should be almost identical to your Quotation Schedule except it will confirm you are on cover: details what is covered, sections of cover and sums insured, your inception date, period of cover and the Policy Number. It is evidence of your insurance and should be read in conjunction with all of your documentation; all of which constitutes your Insurance Policy. It should be sent out to you with your Policy Document (mentioned separately)
The Policy Document is the detailed information of your cover. This is the Insurance Contract between you and the Insurer. You should read it thoroughly and familiarise yourself with it as, along with your Schedule, forms the basis your cover and any claim will be settled on this information. If the information has inaccuracies or mistakes you will need to let us know as soon as possible. If after inception of cover you are not happy, then you have the right to cancel within 14 days and receive a refund – this is known as the ‘cooling off period. You may be charged for the time you have been on cover.
What if I Lose My Documentation?
Duplicate documentation can be obtained at a charge of £15.
How do I make a complaint?
In the unlikely event you have a complaint you must let us know immediately and we will let you know our complaints procedure. If we are not able to address your complaint you have the right to take it to the Insurance Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS). It is likely that if you go to the FOS to start with, they will direct you to the Insurance Company to give us the chance to rectify your concerns before they will deal with it. Please contact us for details should you require them.
Do i need to get a Survey carried out or a Solicitor involved when buying a Home?
Yes we would recommend you get both carried out.
It is not essential to involve a solicitor or get a survey carried out when buying a Park Home / Holiday Lodge or Static Caravan but it is advisable to get both; as you are going to be spending a lot of money and you want to make sure that you avoid many of the pitfalls that are well known to people in the industry and so easily avoidable should you get a survey or solicitor involved. This will not protect you from every possible problem but it will weed out a lot of them and give you peace of mind.
The latest problem that is plaguing the industry is to sell someone a Park Home or a Holiday Lodge that is situated on a Holiday Park with a 12 month Holiday Leisure licence; the impression is given (although never stated) that you can live on the park all year round and potential clients think this make it a Residential Park. It is not; it is a 12 month Holiday Park. Unfortunately for many people the first they realise of this is when they come to insure the home and we inform them that we cannot insure them as they are living on a Holiday Park and breaking the rules. Of course a surveyor and solicitor would have found this out and saved you all this hassle; or you could find out by doing your own due diligence by contacting the local council and checking the licence of the park.
Park Home and Leisure living can be idyllic but don’t fall for these scams in your rush to enjoy this life.
Can you arrange immediate cover?
Yes call us during office hours on freephone number 0800 731 9583 and we can provide you with a quotation and immediate cover over the phone. We are open 9am – 5pm Monday to Friday
Do I need insurance?
No, it is not a legal requirement. However it may be part of your site rules that you have a minimum public liability cover (our cover is £5 million) as your home is in effect on someone else’s land (the Site Owner), that is why you pay ground rent to them. Plus you would be taking a big risk to not have any insurance cover. No Insurance company will offer liability cover on its own but instead will offer a package of Insurance which includes buildings, contents, liability and many other covers.
Do I need to insure the base?
The base or ‘serviced pitch’ is owned by the site owner and it is therefore the responsibility of the site owner to insure the base against, for example, subsidence or damage.
Do I need to insure outbuildings?
You are responsible for insuring any outbuildings that you own, such as sheds, conservatory, garages, steps and decking/veranda.
How much should I insure my home for?
In the event of a total loss your insurance will replace your home with its brand new equivalent on a like for like basis including the cost of site clearance and debris removal, delivery and re-siting of the new home. Your sums insured therefore need to be sufficient to include the replacement of your home with a brand new equivalent home, clearance of the site and deliver and re-siting of the new home. You will also need to include exterior improvements, e.g. Storage sheds, decking, verandas, etc. We can offer advice on exactly what the reinstatement cost of your home would be.
How can I pay my premium?
We have many payment methods; you can opt to pay by Debit Card, Credit Card, Direct Debit or Cheque.
Can I get cover my contents away from the home?
Yes ‘Personal Possessions’ cover away from the home is an optional extra under our Residential Policy.
What does 'new for old/reinstatement' actually mean?
It means replacement on a like for like basis without deduction for wear and tear.
Does new for old mean I get the same make and model only brand new?
Not necessarily. You will be replaced with a new equivalent sized and specification home.
Many Makes and Models get significantly upgraded over the years. If the new model of your home comes with upgrades which were not included on your existing home, Insurers will look to see if an alternative unit is available which matches the specification more appropriately.
For example some Static Caravan Models have now been significantly upgraded to Holiday Lodge specification with the equivalent increase in purchase price. No Insurer would replace a total loss Static Caravan with a Holiday Lodge. In this example you would get the newest equivalent Static Caravan of a similar specification to your current Caravan.
Another example would be the replacement of a television. If you spent £1,000 purchasing a 32 inch wide screen television; in the event of a claim Insurers would replace it with a brand new 32 inch wide screen television, which may now only cost £650.00 to replace. They would not give you the £1,000 to purchase a Television as what you would be able to replace with this money would supersede the television you had.
How do I cancel my policy?
Contact us to discuss cancelling your policy. If you are cancelling within the first 14 days you will be entitled to a full refund. (Subject to no claims being made) After this period you may be charged administration charges for setting up the policy as well as a charge for the time you have been on cover.
Do I have to use the insurance provider recommended by the park owner?
Some park owners have arrangements with particular insurance providers. You are within your rights to insure with whomever you want and the park cannot insist you insure through them; in fact it is illegal and the Financial Conduct Authority (F.C.A.) would be very interested if the park were trying this tactic . We would however point out that you should make sure that the insurance provider is one of the few insurance specialists that provides cover for your particular type of home and not just a generic insurer. This is why it is important that you insure through someone like ourselves.
Do you provide cover outside the UK?
Not under our scheme but our parent company Cass-Stephens Insurances is a broker that caters for all sorts of Insurances so please ring us anyway and we will do what we can to help.
What are 'high risk' items?
High Risk Items include: Jewellery, precious stones, articles of gold or other precious metals, furs, pictures, works of art and collections of stamps, coins or medals, porcelain, china, crystal and glass collectables.
Do you insure older homes/caravans?
No but certain homes (normally older than 1980) we will insist on photographs and possibly an electrical wiring safety check.
Can you insure every park?
Our Insurers will consider all parks however if your home is in a potential flood area we are unlikely to be able to provide cover.
What happens if I have a legal problem with the park owner?
See relevant policy type for further information
Am I covered if the home is unoccupied for a long period?
See relevant policy type for further information
Does it cover my jewellery?
See relevant policy type for further information
Do I have legal cover?
See relevant policy type for further information
Am I covered for items in the garden?
See relevant policy type for further information
What does indemnity/market value cover mean?
Market Value cover means that in the event of a total loss of your home say for example in a fire or flood; rather than getting a brand new equivalent home the insurers will simply pay you the current market value of the home itself. Please note this is not the sale value of the home on the site which of course includes the plot and desirability of the area, it is simply the current value of the home. (Please note that if you are responsible for the total loss for example in a fire, then you may be responsible for the repairs to the base as well as site clearance and debris removal. Your sums insured need to be sufficient to cater for this. This is why we normally insist on a minimum structure and content sums insured)
Does it include public liability cover?
Yes but see relevant policy type for further information
What is key protection cover?
Key protection cover cover you in the unlikely event that you lose or mislay your keys as long as they are attached to the key fob provided. Cover is for up to £1500 for locksmith’s charges, replacement locks and keys.
Am I covered for my mobility scooter?
See relevant policy type.
Does the type of site licence my park holds matter? Does it matter if the site’s not fully residential?
It’s extremely important to know the nature of the site licence as failure to do so could leave you with very little security of tenure.
If you make the mistake of buying your dream home where the park only has a 12 month Holiday Licence, then you will have no cover under the Mobile Homes Act of 1983 and 2013 so check the small print of the written Agreement the Park owner is legally bound to issue you at least 28 days before you move in.
A park owner must have planning permission and a site licence from the local authority. The licence at the local council offices will state whether the site is fully residential or for holiday use.
Occasionally the licence will allow both permanent and holiday homes so it’s important to check whether the park home you are purchasing is on the residential side of the park.
If you want the park to be your permanent home, you should look for a full residence licence – DON’T assume a 12-month holiday licence is the same as a full residential licence – it’s NOT!!
See our Blog for further information. Can I live in a Holiday Home?
Do I have an excess / How much do I pay if I have a claim?
There is a standard £50 excess for normal claims. It is £500 for subsidence.
Why do the insurance company insist on two estimates?
The Insurers will sometimes insist that you obtain two estimates. This is quite normal and all Insurers normally do this. This is to make sure that the estimate you have is in line with other repairers and they are not overcharging for the same work. In turn by making sure the repairers are competitive it keeps claims costs down which in return keeps Insurance Premiums low.
Why do the insurers want a photograph?
The Insurers may sometimes ask you for a photograph of the damaged item. This is quite normal and is to resolve two issues. Firstly it proves you are in possession of the item in question and secondly it should show the damage. This normally means that the Insurers can process the claim without sending out a loss adjuster thus reducing the cost of the claim and therefore reducing claims costs and in return keeping Insurance Premiums low.
What is a Loss Adjuster?
A Loss Adjuster is a claims specialist appointed by and paid for by the Insurance Company. Although they are paid for by the company they are classed as independent and are there to resolve the claim in a timely and efficient manner. Once a Loss Adjuster is appointed all dealings with the claim should go through them; although should you have any queries you can always talk to us.
What is a Loss Assessor?
A Loss Assessor in contrast is appointed for and paid for by yourself, should you wish to have someone to deal with all aspects of your claim. The Loss Assessor will have your sole interest at heart. You will have to pay for them yourself and you will not be able to claims this money back. Should you require a Loss Assessor, please contact us and we can recommend one for you.
What if im not happy with the claim settlement?
If you are not happy with the way the claims is being or has been handled, please let us know immediately and we will do what we can to address your concerns. If you are still not happy, you have the right to make a complaint and if the complaint is still not settled to your satisfaction you have the right to take it to the Insurance Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS). It is likely that if you go to the FOS to start with, they will direct you to give the Insurance Company the chance to rectify your concerns before they will deal with it. Please contact us for details should you require them.
Am I covered for wear and tear?
No, damage caused by wear and tear is not covered. This is unfortunately just part of the responsibility of owning property; things wear out and need replacing. For Example If the tyres on your car wore out, you wouldn’t try and claim on your car insurance
Am I covered if my TV breaks down?
No, mechanical and electrical breakdown is excluded normally under all household policies
What is 'Accidental Damage' cover?
Accidental Damage is damaged that is caused to the home or insured item accidentally i.e. Not intentionally
Am I covered for subsidence?
Yes you are covered for subsidence subject to a £500 excess
Why can't I claim for faulty workmanship?
Unfortunately you cannot claim for faulty or defective workmanship under our policy; if a tradesman has caused damage to your home or contents then you should be able to claim on their insurance. This is why it is always important for you to use a reputable tradesman and make sure that they have their own insurance. Take copies for your records.
Total Loss Costs
In the unlikely event that your home is destroyed, many costs are incurred in addition to the manufacturing cost of replacing your home and contents. These include, but is not limited to, the following:
Debris Removal. Before your new replacement home can be sited on your plot, the remains of your old home need to be removed. There may even be damage to the serviced pitch which you may be responsible for. There are strict environmental rules introduced by the Government regarding the removal and disposal of your home and fines can be imposed should they not be adhered to. The cost for removing your home in accordance to these strict rules is fully covered by your insurance policy with us. (Please note that if you are responsible for the total loss for example in a fire, then you may be responsible for the repairs to the base as well as site clearance and debris removal. Your sums insured need to be sufficient to cater for this. This is why we normally insist on a minimum structure and content sums insured)
Obviously once your brand new home has been ordered from the manufacturer it needs to be delivered to your park. The delivery company will of course charge a cost for the transportation of your home from the manufacturer to your park and the cost of this can vary according to the distance and difficulty in delivering your home. Your policy will fully cover you for transportation costs.
Once your home has been delivered to your park, the park themselves will charge you to connect the new home to the park utilities such as gas, electricity and sewerage etc. These charges are automatically included when we calculate your sums insured and hence are fully covered by your policy.
How do Insurers look and deal with claims?
Insurance is there to provide you with peace of mind that in the unlikely event of an insured event you can claim. It is therefore in your interest to know how Insurers look and deal with claims.
When an Insurer considers a claim they will take into account a number of things including policy cover, policy conditions and sums insured. I.e. Was the claim within the policy period? Does your policy cover the loss?, is there any restrictions or conditions that the policy imposes which could have minimised the loss or prevented it altogether and were you complying with them and finally is your sums insured sufficient to cover such a loss? Insurers also do everything they can to minimise the disappointment of claims not being covered; this is why they point out the exclusions under the policy and make you aware of any policy conditions that are applicable. This is why it is important to check your policy wording and documentation thoroughly and if you have any queries or concerns about the cover to mention it as soon as possible.
Insurers realised that they are judged by their claims settlement experience, so they do everything in their power to make the claims experience as possible.
Reporting the Loss
Obviously your Insurers cannot settle a claim if they are unaware of it so the first part of any claim is to report the loss to your insurers. You need to report the loss to your Insurer as soon as it is reasonably possible. This allows your Insurers to get started on the claim but more importantly carry out any preventative measure to minimise any further loss. If you have not reported the claim within a reasonable period you may find that this affects your settlement or may negate the cover altogether; it is therefore most important that to report any loss or potential loss immediately.
Returning the completed claim form
Although many insurers will take the initial details over the phone in order to expedite the claims process; they will insist on the completion and return of a claim form. This is because the claim form will allow you to explain about the claim in more depth and avoid any potential problems due to miscommunication or misinterpretation over the telephone. It also allows you to submit any estimates or receipts or other evidence the insurer may ask you for.
It is both parties interest to settle the claim as soon as possible so good honest communication between the two parties is essential. If you provide what the insurers require in a timely fashion the claim will be settled in no time at all but should you feel you are not sure about something or need it clarified, discuss it with them as soon as possible.
Once the insurers have confirmed that it is a valid claim and that you are covered and they have all the supporting documentation they require; they should be in a position to settle the claim or pay for replacements items or repairs. If the claim is small or straight forward enough your insurers may authorise settlement of it over the phone. Alternatively if the claim is large or complicated your Insurers may appoint a loss adjuster to deal with your claim. (Please see the separate section of Loss Adjusters)
Am I covered if my double glazed window get condensation?
No this is classed as wear and tear. Eventually double glazed units seals go and condensation enters; this is not covered by insurance.
Am I covered if my boiler breaks down?
Yes but only under our Residential Policy and only if you have a service carried out on the boiler annually. Please check the policy for other restrictions i.e. We can only cover boilers that are less than 15 years old.