How to get the most out of holiday home insurance

As a holiday home owner, you will undoubtedly understand the importance of insuring your property — but you will also want to save money when doing so.

Luckily, keeping it as low as possible isn't as difficult as you might think, yet people can make it more expensive for themselves through basic oversights. So, what are the ways to keep down the cost of your caravan holiday home insurance?

What is a caravan holiday home?

A caravan holiday home is a static caravan, a lodge or log cabin, a chalet, or a park home. Should you own any of these types of holiday home, it can be insured through Club Care.

However, when you take out a policy, you must be certain that you are fully covered should you ever have to make a claim. For example, you don’t want to find out that you have invalidated your policy without realising, or that it doesn’t cover what you are claiming.

Once you have the appropriate insurance policy, maintenance and security are the two key areas to think about when making the policy work for you.

The importance of maintenance

The structural integrity of the property plays a crucial role should need to make a claim, so carry out regular checks of the outside of the home and look for any signs of damage. If there is a crack in the exterior of your park home, for example, water could seep into the walls and cause damp — so get it fixed as soon as possible should it ever happen. If you have a log cabin, make sure that it’s treated with stain and sealant according to the manufacturer’s recommendations. This is crucial, because damage from water seepage is not covered by your insurance. Spending a small amount of money on maintenance will prevent large repair bills later.

You are covered for storm damage, but this only applies if your holiday home is securely storm anchored at all four corners of the chassis, so make sure it is. Are you fitting your static caravan with a floatation device? Make sure to tell your insurer about it, because it must be approved, and make sure it is securely attached, too.

It’s not just the outside of your holiday home that you have to think about, either. It’s important to pay attention to your heating system during winter — especially when you are not using your holiday home. When the home is unoccupied, either turn off the water at the mains and drain the system, or set the timer to turn the heating on every day. This costs nothing, and will guard against damage caused by water freezing.

Should any damage occur, you will be covered, provided you have taken these steps. However, you will still have to pay an excess unless your system is drained and recommissioned by an approved service, so save money by selecting an appropriate contractor.

Don’t cut corners

Clearly, it is important to choose a reputable company to carry out any maintenance that is required on your holiday home. By all means, shop around to save money, but don’t skimp on quality. If damage occurs and you make a claim, you could find that your insurer will not pay out if there are any defects in relation to manufacture, material, design, or workmanship.

You should also consider how the proper maintenance of your home could affect others. There are many other people who will use the park where your holiday home is sited. What if they suffered an injury, or their property got damaged, because some guttering fell from your home, for example? You are covered for public liability, so your insurer would pay out, but your premium might increase when your policy is up for renewal. Keeping things maintained will be beneficial to your insurance in the long run.

Securing your holiday home

It is essential that you keep your holiday home secure at all times when you’re not using it, even if you are just popping to the site shop for some groceries.

Fit proper locks to the doors and windows and use them, because if anything is stolen from inside your holiday home and it has been left unsecured, you will not be covered. Consider fitting an alarm, too. This is an effective deterrent to thieves, and could mean that you pay a lower premium.

Besides the security of your holiday home, think about the security of the site. Your premium could reduce if your chalet or lodge park has a perimeter fence and security gates. Some static caravan parks have CCTV, too, as well as a warden on site. All these security measures will not only save you money, but also give you peace of mind.

Other considerations when choosing your site

Choosing the right site for your holiday home isn’t just important in terms of security. Where it is situated could make a difference in the event of a claim. When you are purchasing a holiday home , for instance, look at the ground on which it is situated. Is it of good quality? Are the foundations properly constructed with the correct materials? If loss or damage occurs and it isn’t because of subsidence or landslip, your insurer will not pay for repairs or a replacement holiday home. So make sure you take these considerations before purchasing, and should you ever need to make a claim.