Keeping Your Static Home Secure
Just as the name suggests, a static caravan tends to stay in the same place from one year to the next.
Though you might always know where it is, however, that might still mean no reason to skimp on any of the safeguards for keeping your static home safe and secure.
Just as with any residence, there are some things that might seem little more than common sense when it comes to keeping your home secure.
Although there may be similarities, there are also significant differences that might make the precautions that need to be taken for a static caravan a little different.
The construction, use and location of a static caravan, in short might set it apart from a conventional house built of bricks and mortar.
These differences become especially important considerations when it comes to insuring your static home.
You may recognise some of the elements of cover as very similar to those in standard home insurance.
Others may be particular to a caravan. Still other elements may not even be present at all.
Getting your facts straight about what is and what is not covered – or the special conditions that apply to some areas of cover – is therefore important.
It may also prove a little bewildering. For that reason you might consider it prudent to consult a specialist in the provision of caravan insurance – such as Cover4Caravans.
Using your static caravan
One of the potential differences between your principal home and your static caravan, for instance, is the fact that the latter is effectively a holiday home only.
In other words, there may be significant periods of time when it is left empty and other times when it might be occupied by friends, relatives or paying guests.
Indeed, many caravan parks close during the winter months, so that you are unable to use it anyway.
The fact that the caravan may be left unoccupied – or that it has paying guests – has a significant impact on the risks to which it is exposed and, therefore, the insurance cover you arrange.
Many insurers, for example, may write into your policy specific exclusions and conditions relating to:
- damage caused whilst your static home is being used by paying guests – unless that damage is the result of an actual or attempted forcible entry;
- loss or damage that might arise because of your failure to lock all doors and windows and activate any security alarms;
- if the caravan is unoccupied from the beginning of December until the end of March, many insurers are likely to insist that you drain down the water system and turn it off at the mains or keep a central heating system up and running to maintain a given temperature – this to ensure you remain protected against escapes of water from your water system or frozen and burst pipes;
- the cost of general maintenance is typically excluded – as it is with standard home insurance;
- some insurers may not cover loss or damage caused by water entering through the caravan’s seams and seals;
- caravan parks are often sited in coastal areas or beside rivers – the perfect view when the weather is kind, but during the kind of storms experienced during the winter of 2013-2014 caravans were especially hard hit (as the weather round up published by the Guardian newspaper illustrates). If your caravan is in a vulnerable location, therefore, some insurers may not extend cover to damage caused by floods.
The National Association of Caravan Owners may be able to offer specific advice about those areas where the risk of flooding may be an obstacle to securing cover.
What you can do
The list of exclusions and conditions required by many insurers suggest some of the areas in which you may help yourself to make your caravan and its contents safer and more secure.
Although the protection of any building from the determined burglar may be a tall order, you might at the very least make life more difficult for him – or her – by ensuring that all windows and doors are securely locked when you go out.
If you are in residence, you might also want to consider installing safety stays that prevent a window from being opened widely (unless you so intend).
Note that as a term of your insurance cover, you will need to ensure all doors and windows are secure each time you leave your static home.
Motion detectors coupled to an appropriate alarm may also prove a deterrent and, in this day and age, may be something you consider to be reasonably priced given the protection it may bring.
An important point to bear in mind about any alarm system, though, is that it is only effective if you remember to arm it before you leave.
The best system in the world is unlikely to be able to do its job if you have forgotten to turn it on.
The prevention of theft might often be a question of ensuring that you do not advertise the presence of your valuables.
Televisions, computers, hi-fi systems and kitchen gadgets might be tucked away out of sight, whilst portable valuable such as cash, keys wallets and the like may simply be taken with you.
If you know you are going to be leaving the caravan empty for any period of time, you might want to consider putting away into storage even the bulkier valuable items.
Safe, secure and insured
Keeping your static caravan safe and secure is largely a question of common sense – the kind of precautions you are likely to take with just a little forethought.
As an incentive for giving security just a little forethought you might want to bear in mind that, in the event of any claim, your insurer is likely to want to be satisfied that you have taken all reasonable precautions to mitigate any loss or damage – precautions such as locking doors and windows and, if you have an alarm system, remembering to turn it on.