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Static caravans are the perfect way to enjoy a family getaway -- they offer all the comforts of a holiday home, without the extensive cost of a house or bungalow. Whilst statics don't face the same risks as tourers, they still need the protection of a good insurance policy. Please read on for more information ...
Static caravans are, rather unsurprisingly, kept stationary for many years on one particular pitch. Quite often these pitches are semi-permanent and are connected to utilities such as running water and electricity. As you can imagine, in the caravan-world, it's tourers that are placed in the most risky situations as they are towed on various busy and winding roads. However, static caravans are at peril from the weather -- cold winters can take their toll on any holiday caravan -- and from the threat of theft and vandalism.
What should I look for in my static insurance policy?
Quite often, the most sought-after policy feature for most static owners is new-for-old cover. Depending on the broker you chose to go with, the length of time that your new-for-old cover will stand may differ -- some brokers will offer up to 10 years of new-for-old cover, whilst others may only offer three years. These polices essentially ensure that should your static caravan get damaged within a certain time period, your insurer will pay for a replacement that equals your original purchase -- not just the value of your static at the time of loss or damage.
Some brokers also offer agreed value cover. This means that should you have added external additions to your caravan -- perhaps a pitched and tiled roof, which will offer years of life to your static, or maybe an extensive veranda -- you may be able to agree a value with your insurer that will be paid out if the property is damaged, taking into account the new features you have added.
In most cases a static caravan is not a permanent residence, but is used as a holiday home. Generally static caravans are purchased with council planning limitations in place -- they can't be registered as a main home and have a maximum stay time etc. However, these rules differ per site. If you do live in static caravan permanently, it's most likely that you're looking for a mobile home or park home insurance quote. Mobile and park homes are residential properties and entail the costs that standard houses do, i.e council tax etc.
As static caravans are usually left empty for months at a time, often during winter, it's not surprising that they are vulnerable to frost and storm damage. This is another type of cover that some brokers will offer and it can be very useful if you don't have the available cash to make unplanned repairs to your caravan after a harsh winter.
What will brokers want to know?
Other than the make, model and value of your static (be it a Pemberton, Willerby, ABI etc.), understandably brokers will want to know where in the country your static is kept -- the North West, South-East, Wales, or Scotland -- areas can have an impact on the price of your premium as crime rates differ from place to place.
More importantly, they will want to know about the caravan site. Is it registered and supervised or left unregistered and unguarded? Registered and supervised sites can lead to cheaper premiums. It's also important to tell your broker how close to any water sources your site is and whether there have been flooding issues on site before -- statics are vulnerable to flood damage and being under-insured in this respect could leave you with a large loss.
Another important detail to note in your caravan policy is discounts made for safety features. Items such as smoke and burglar alarms can help to lower the cost of your static insurance premium as they alert owners to the risks of fire quickly (sadly many caravans have been destroyed this way) and of course deter theives.
Do you rent your caravan out?
If you rent your static caravan out, it is important that you tell your insurer, as it means that you may need an extension on a standard static caravan insurance. If you do not tell you're broker that others use the caravan, your insurance may be invalidated. Some brokers offer a policy to help if you suffer from loss of rent, should a tenant fail to pay or have to cancel their stay due to unforeseen reasons.
Finally, it's important to ensure that your static caravan insurance policy is right for you -- that means that you do not under-insure -- if you require extensive contents cover make sure you get it. Also, note that if you are planning on resiting your static, it is important to make sure your caravan is insured for any damage caused during transport.