How do I insure my mobile home in the UK?

With many Brits left confused by new Brexit rules, as well as being wary of booking a holiday abroad because of ever-changing COVID-19 travel restrictions, it’s no wonder more people are opting for staycations this …

With many Brits left confused by new Brexit rules, as well as being wary of booking a holiday abroad because of ever-changing COVID-19 travel restrictions, it’s no wonder more people are opting for staycations this year.

Google data shows searches for UK holidays more than doubled this year compared to last. What’s more, the results found that 77 percent of people in the UK aspire to go so far as to buy their own mobile home, so they can holiday in this country on a regular basis.

From touring caravans to static caravans, mobile homes come in a variety of shapes and sizes. But whatever type you’ve got, it’s a good idea to buy an insurance policy for peace of mind should the worst happen.

It may not be a legal necessity, but you should also note that some mobile home parks may insist on having insurance in place before letting you stay there.

How do I insure my mobile home in the UK?

If, like most people, you use your mobile home as a holiday home, it’s likely you’ll need a static caravan insurance policy, whereas if you live in it year-round you’ll probably need non-standard home insurance.

It’s also worth bearing in mind that how to insure your mobile home depends on the type of home you have, as well as what you’re using it for.

Insurance can be a tricky thing to get your head around, so we’ve come up with some things you might want to consider before buying a policy.

What types of mobile home are there?

When buying insurance, it’s essential to make sure you’ve got the right cover for the type of home you own. Also known as a static caravan or a trailer home, a mobile home can legally be defined as a ‘caravan’, even though it’s a structure that’s been built in a factory before being transported on the back of a lorry to a site where it will stay for many years.

Mobile homes are no larger than 65 feet by 22.5 feet and have an internal maximum height of 10 feet. Generally speaking, they have an open-plan layout with sleeping accommodation for six to eight people across two to three bedrooms and they usually have all the modern conveniences you’d find in a normal house. While the cheaper models (intended for use only during the summer) come without double-glazing or central heating, some units are fully insulated and centrally heated for year-round use.

Static caravans are often situated on sites that are prone to flooding, which is an important factor to consider when choosing your mobile home insurance. Some park owners used to have unfair conditions when it came to flooding in their lease contracts, however the Office of Fair Trading’s guidance document called ‘Unfair Terms in Holiday Caravan Agreements’ aims to put an end to unfair practices like this.

In contrast, a touring caravan is towed behind a vehicle and parked on a site for a brief period. Touring caravans are usually no bigger than eight feet wide and can have one axle (two wheels) or two axles (four wheels).

Although we mentioned above that a mobile home can sometimes be referred to as a park home, there is a difference between the two. Park homes usually have a timber frame and are built to BS 3632 specifications, meaning they can be used as a person’s main UK residence when they’re parked on a site which holds a residential license that’s been issued by a local council.

What should I include in my mobile home policy?

As mentioned above, most static homes are used as holiday homes, meaning static caravan insurance is the sort of policy you’ll most likely need. This type of insurance will usually cover your mobile home’s contents if they’re damaged or stolen, as well as ensuring that you’re covered should you have to repair or replace your home entirely due to bad weather.

On the other hand, the government estimates that 85,000 mobile homes are lived in on a permanent basis. If this applies to you, it’s likely you’ll need non-standard home insurance. You might find you have to go to a specialist insurance provider to find suitable cover, but take note that some will only quote for mobile homes that are located on a protected site.

With both types of policy, you need to consider how much it would cost you to repair or replace your mobile home and its contents. As with any type of insurance – whether it’s for your car, a holiday or your health – a standard comprehensive policy gives you total peace of mind, meaning you can be safe in the knowledge that everything from your windows to your personal possessions will be protected. However, most insurance providers recognise that everyone is different, so they offer varying levels of cover as well as giving the option to add additional extras to your policy. The great thing about this is that you can tailor your policy to a plan that best suits your needs.

Most mobile home insurance policies will usually include the following:

  • Flood, fire and storm damage: To protect you if your mobile home is damaged by bad weather or fire
  • Theft or loss: To cover you if your home is lost or stolen
  • Public liability: This will cover your legal expenses should your mobile home cause damage to somebody else’s property or accidentally cause injury to someone
  • Vandalism: To reimburse you for repair costs if your mobile home is vandalised

What will be excluded in my mobile home policy?

When you’re shopping around for a quote, it’s always a good idea to check whether there are any things that aren’t covered by the insurer. This is so you can avoid the risk of surprise bills should anything go wrong.

As well as flooding, some of the circumstances that are commonly excluded from the insurance policy include:

  • General wear and tear: You won’t be covered for reasonable damage that occurs naturally over time
  • Damage caused by smoking: If you’re a smoker, your insurer probably won’t cover you for damage caused to your mobile home by smoking
  • Unoccupied home theft: If your mobile home has been left empty for a specific length of time, your home won’t be protected

When it comes to flooding, your insurance provider may ask you about your park’s flood history, as this has been a real issue for some sites in recent years. Storm damage, however, is a concern for the majority of mobile home owners, which is why most insurance policies include it as standard.

What else should I consider when taking out my mobile home policy?

The main thing to ensure when choosing an insurance policy for your mobile home is that you’re covered for the full cost of replacing it if it’s stolen or damaged beyond repair by bad weather or fire. This should be the minimum level of cover you opt for.

You might also want to consider the cost of transporting your home to another site should you wish to.

Another factor to take into account is contents insurance. You’ll want your possessions to be fully protected against theft, damage and fire too. However, when you look at contents insurance, you might want to check whether any of your contents are covered under your standard home insurance policy. It’s important to be clear on any policy exclusions though, as some policies don’t cover certain high-risk items like antiques, art, medal collections and anything else that could be considered rare or collectible.

If you earn an income from renting out your mobile home or static caravan to the public, it could be a good idea to get additional public liability cover in case someone has an accident and hurts themselves while staying there. It’s not a legal requirement, but you’ll thank yourself in the future if you have a high-value claim made against you because a guest was injured while using your mobile home.

As touched on earlier in this article, all park homes are built to BS 3632 specifications as standard, but some other types of static caravan can comply with these too, so it might be an idea to check whether yours does. As the British Standard for buildings of this type, it means your property will check all the boxes when it comes to requirements such as ventilation, space and insulation. If your static caravan’s manufacturer is National Caravan Council (NCC) accredited, you can rest assured that it will have passed the necessary checks.

It’s entirely up to you which insurance policy you decide to go for and the level of protection you choose, however if your mobile home is located in a park, the site owner might recommend an insurance provider. In order to get the best deal though, it’s worth shopping around. A-plan specialises in static caravan insurance and can tailor a quote to suit your needs.