Not the most interesting of subjects, home insurance is something we rarely think about, but it’s important to make sure you are properly covered, and also that you’re not paying over the odds.
It’s important to make sure you have the best cover for your park home, and potentially save money on your annual premiums in the process. Taking a little time to check the market and see if you have the best cover is a worthwhile exercise. The threats to parks homes are similar to those facing brick-built homes, but being pre-fabricated ‘mobile’ structures, they also have their own unique problems. Here’s our brief guide to help you get the best insurance
1 Check the market
It’s a good idea to use the time when your insurance renewal comes through each year as a trigger for checking to see if you have the best deal. Insurance deals and prices can vary greatly, so by shopping around, perhaps on the internet, you may be able to get a better level of cover, or perhaps save money on your existing level of either buildings or contents insurance. If you then tell your existing insurer that you can get a better deal elsewhere, for the same level of cover, more often than not they will lower their own price to keep your business. With a park home or holiday caravan, it’s always best to use one of the specialist insurers (many of them advertise regularly in this magazine), rather than using a general home insurance provider, as they will better understand the market and will make sure your home is properly covered.
2 Unusual risks
Some park homes or holiday homes are in areas liable to flooding and, in this case, it may be worth taking steps to protect your home, to reduce your premium. You can even go as far as putting specially-designed air-filled containers under your home, so that it rises up off the ground during a flood. If you are in an area liable to flooding, your park home insurer will already be aware of this when you give them your address, but different companies have different attitudes to homes in flood risk areas, so it may be worth discussing your situation with several providers, so see which is the most helpful or, indeed, the cheapest.
3 Are unique valuables covered?
If you have individual items of high value in your home, it may be best to have these separately listed, perhaps even photographing them, when you take out home contents insurance. It may even be worth thinking of ‘new for old’ cover on items which would cost a lot more to replace brand new, if they were damaged or stolen. Otherwise, in the event of a claim, you may find you don’t get paid enough to replace the item. Discuss this with your insurer when you take out your policy.
4 Stay or go?
In the age of the internet, increased competition means that there’s often no advantage in staying loyal to one insurance provider. With specialist park home insurers, use your own experience to see if it is worth staying with your broker or leaving for another. If you get a really good level of service, and are confident that any claim will be quickly and properly dealt with, then it can be even be worth staying with an insurer that is a little bit more expensive. After all, there’s no point going for the cheapest quote, if you then find that the company tries everything to avoid paying when you have to claim on the policy.
5 Are any home upgrades covered?
If you have improved your park home, perhaps by fitting a new kitchen or even a conservatory, make sure that these are properly covered by your home insurance policy. If you home is insured for a certain value, and you have increased this by improving the home, but have not told the insurer, you may not get the full value back in the case of a fire or other types of damage. In most cases, though, the level of buildings cover should more than cover the cost of rebuilding or replacing a home.