As we approach the winter, the risk of damage to your park home from frost and ice increases. It is therefore very important to be aware of any conditions of your park home insurance policy, especially if you are spending less time at your park home.

If your park home is unoccupied for more than 48 hours during the period between 1st November and 31st March (both days inclusive) to reduce the risk from escape of water, and in order to fulfil policy conditions, we recommend that you drain down the entire water system as a precaution to prevent freezing and any potential damage this may cause.

How to drain the hot and cold water system of a combi boiler

  • Turn off and/or extinguish your water heater/boiler
  • Turn off the mains water supply at the entrance to your park home
  • Run all the taps in the property and flush all toilets until water stops coming out
  • If you have a hot water cylinder, empty it by opening the drain-cock at its base, attach a hosepipe to the drain-cock and run the water into a drain or bucket
  • Empty the rising main, and any low pipework if applicable, by opening their drain-cocks
  • When all water tanks are empty, leave both hot and cold taps fully open with plugs removed throughout your park home
  • Put salt into the toilet pans to prevent water in the trap from freezing 

If your park home has a sealed heating system containing antifreeze, then the heating system does not need to be drained down, but antifreeze levels must be checked annually and particularly prior to a period of unoccupancy. However, you will still need to turn off the water supply and drain the water system. 

When can the water supply remain on?

Alternatively, you may leave the water supply turned on under the following circumstances:

  • When the entire home benefits from a heating system (either gas or oil-fired central heating, a geothermal or full electric system – not night storage heaters), which is fitted with automatic controls and a separate thermostat. The system must be set to operate continuously for 24 hours of each day (not controlled by a timing device) and the thermostat set to not less than 13 degrees Celsius. In addition, all internal doors must remain open throughout the park home and where fitted, the loft hatch must be left open.
  • When your park home has either a gas or oil-fired central heating system, a geothermal or full electric system and it is fitted with a ‘frost stat’ that is designed and installed to override all the heating controls, irrespective of their functional status, then this must be set to operate at no less than 4 degrees Celsius.

Other things to consider

If you leave your park home without an occupant for 60 consecutive days or more, then you must ensure that a responsible person is appointed to supervise and check the property both internally and externally at least once every 30 days.

In addition, when the park home is left without an occupant for 60 consecutive days then valuables are excluded from your park home insurance cover.

If you have any queries about the conditions of your park home insurance policy, then visit our park home insurance FAQs page, see our park home insurance policy booklet or call our customer service team on 01604 946 722.

For more tips on park homes and to keep up to date with park home related news, please follow us on Facebook, Twitter & LinkedIn.

 A fire in a park home can be devastating, so being prepared and maintaining fire safety is very important, especially because of the materials used to manufacture park homes. Having a fire safety plan and the right equipment in your park home to deal with a fire should it occur, is essential.

Although you cannot completely protect your home from fire, you can significantly reduce the risk of one breaking out, if you follow the following fire safety tips:

  1. Fit and maintain a smoke alarm in your home. Smoke alarms really do save lives! Test it regularly and replace the batteries at least twice a year. If your fire alarm starts beeping, it’s time to change the batteries. Putting your smoke alarm in the right place is essential. Try not to have it too close to the kitchen, as it may be triggered by making toast or steam from cooking, for example. Not only will this be annoying, but you may think a real warning is a false alarm. The best place to position a smoke alarm is on the ceiling in the hallway, near where you sleep.
  1. Check electrical appliances regularly for any signs of damage and ensure they are replaced or repaired properly. If you have too many plugs in one socket, this could overload the socket and cause a fire, so one plug per socket is usually best. Unplug appliances when you are not using them and before you go to bed.
  1. Stay in the kitchen when you are cooking fat, as this can catch fire very quickly, and never put water on hot fat. Make sure that cooking equipment is completely switched off when you have finished with it.
  1. If you are a smoker, make sure all cigarettes are put out properly and don’t smoke in bed to avoid the danger of falling asleep while smoking.
  1. Keep a fire blanket in your park home.
  1. Keep a fire distinguisher in your park home, and read and fully understand its instructions.
  1. Think about how to get out safely: plan an escape route from every room of your park home and be sure to keep the area clear at all times.
  1. Do some checks before you go to bed, as a lot of fires start at night.

There are many more things you can do to protect you and your park home from fire. Contact your local fire department if you would like more information.

For more tips on park home living, follow us on Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn or have a look through our website.

 

 

 

 

Legal expenses cover – do you need it? 

You may think that you’re unlikely to get involved in any legal disputes, but everyday transactions can be legally-binding contracts.  If everything doesn’t go according to plan, legal expenses cover gives you the peace of mind that you will not be out of pocket, if you want to put it right.   So for as little as £13.44 per year (equivalent to just £1.12 per month or 3.7p per day) you will receive up to £50,000 in legal costs and benefits from legal expenses cover.

Here are just some examples of park home owners who were very pleased and relieved to have legal expenses cover in place.

Legal expenses cover – property damage dispute

The policyholder contacted the legal helpline after a branch fell from a tree and damaged the back walls of their park home. They had previously complained to the park owner and raised their concerns about the tree, requesting that the branch was removed, but these requests had been ignored. Following the damage, the policyholder wrote emails and left messages with the park owner to inform them of the incident, but received no reply.   As the policyholder had no other insurance policies that would cover this incident, our specialist legal insurers reviewed the case. They believed that prospects of success for the case were positive and instructed their panel solicitor to act on behalf of the park home owner. The panel solicitor contacted the park owner and managed to agree a settlement out of court. All legal fees were covered under the legal expenses insurance policy.

Legal expenses cover – dispute over purchase of a service

The policyholder contacted the legal helpline after work on the flooring in her park home, had not been completed to a satisfactory standard. Despite numerous attempts to contact the contractor, the park home owner did not get a reply. The park home owner therefore submitted a claim, which was referred to our specialist legal protection insurers. They examined the case and believed the prospects of success to be above 51%, so they instructed their panel solicitor to begin legal proceedings on behalf of the park home owner. The panel solicitor eventually managed to enter into discussions with the contractor, who agreed to rectify the park home flooring, which was completed to a satisfactory standard.   All legal costs were covered under the legal expenses insurance policy.

Legal expenses cover – dispute with park owner

A park home owner contacted the legal helpline, as they were being pursued for non-payment of rent by the owner of the residential park. The park owner stated that the rent had increased, and if the policyholder did not pay this additional rate, they would take legal action to remove them from the park. This rent increase had not been previously discussed, and the specialist legal protection insurers returned the prospects of success for the case as being over 51%.  They agreed to instruct a panel solicitor to act on behalf of the policyholder. The solicitor contacted the park home owner to discuss the claim and managed to settle the dispute out of court, with the park owner agreeing to stop pursuing the policyholder. All legal costs were covered under the legal expenses insurance policy.

If you choose to take out legal protection cover when you buy or renew your park home insurance, it is not limited to issues relating to your park home. You’re also covered for legal expenses incurred in a wide range of situations, for example, cases involving ID fraud, social media, personal injury and employment disputes.

For more information about our legal expenses cover, contact our park home insurance team.

To keep up to date on more topics like this, please follow us on Facebook, Twitter & LinkedIn.

Your park home insurance will cover you if the unexpected happens, such as storm damage, however, general wear and tear on your park home will not be covered so maintaining your park home is very important. If your home is under warranty, you will be expected to follow a maintenance schedule to keep the warranty valid.  Keeping your park home maintained all year round, ensures that your property not only looks its best, but it will help to avoid any unnecessary damage.

Here are a few tips to help you keep your park home in a good condition:

Maintain the exterior walls of your park home

Check the exterior walls of your park home at least four times a year. Check for cracks so they can be treated as soon as possible.  Keep the exterior clean and make sure the textured coating is repainted every three years to keep the home weatherproof throughout its lifetime.

Check the seals around doors and windows

Check that the seals are not damaged or broken, as this will help to prevent mould, mildew or damp. Make repairs as soon as you can because if these are not well maintained, damage caused by broken seals may not be covered by your insurer.

Maintain the chassis of your home

Pay attention to what is happening underneath your park home. It will rest on a chassis and a supporting structure, and it’s the only thing on your park home that cannot be replaced. Get a professional to check the chassis of your home regularly, especially if your park home is over 10 years old.   The condition of the chassis and the supporting structure is important for the stability and lifespan of your park home. Check for rust as this can weaken the structure and should be taken care of straight away.  If your home has been modernised or refurbished this could affect the stability of your home.

Maintain your roof regularly

Check the roof of your park home regularly to make sure there is no damage.  Check all the joints on the roof and if you find any problems, make sure you that you deal with them straight away.  Make sure that good quality roof adhesive is used whenever any repairs are made to preserve the lifespan of the roof. Check your guttering to make sure it is free of debris and has no cracks or holes.  If your roof and guttering are not maintained properly, your home may not be covered by your park home insurer.

For more tips on park homes and to keep up to date, please follow us on Facebook, Twitter & LinkedIn.

We’ve launched an exciting new venture: Park Home Search is a new online service dedicated to connecting buyers and sellers of new residential park homes, leisure homes and holiday lodges throughout the UK. It is free of charge to both buyers and sellers.

If you’re looking for a retreat in the countryside, a park home by the sea or somewhere close to your relatives, you can go to www.parkhomesearch.co.uk to find your dream home. You can browse hundreds of park and leisure homes at your convenience 24 hours a day. You can also register to receive information about new park homes in some of the most sought-after locations in the country, as soon as they become available.

How does Park Home Search work?

Manufacturers of park homes and holiday lodges and park operators add their new park homes and available plots to www.parkhomesearch.co.uk. This is also free of charge to encourage as many sellers as possible to use the website. Buyers can then search for their desired park home according to their specific criteria – such as type of home, location and whether they want to buy or rent a park home. Alternatively, buyers can browse through the park homes on offer, to see what inspires them.

Let Park Home Search do the searching for you

You can also register your details with Park Home Search and they will be passed on to the relevant park operators, who will contact you about new park homes and holiday lodges at your preferred locations as soon as they become available. All data handling is secure and GDPR compliant.

Park Home Search also provides valuable information with details of residential park and holiday park open days around the country.

Benefits to sellers

Manufacturers of park homes can promote as many new park homes and holiday lodges as they wish for free, while park operators can advertise their available plots free of charge. They can also advertise open weekends and shows and upload park brochures, videos and photos free of charge. After they have set up an online account with Park Home Search, the sellers control the information – uploading and updating all the details using an easy online form. In addition, sellers can receive email leads for potential buyers interested in their homes or parks.

Why set up Park Home Search?

As a specialist provider of insurance for park homes and holiday lodges. Steve Leech, Director at Park Home Assist said: “After 13 years in the industry, we’re well known and respected throughout the park home sector and it made sense for us to connect with our colleagues in other parts of the industry. Park Home Search provides an excellent, tailored service to both potential buyers of park and leisure homes and the manufacturers and park operators who are selling them. We’re very excited about the response that we have had so far.”

For more information go to www.parkhomesearch.co.uk.

Dave Tranter is relishing his new role as Business Development Manager at Park Home Assist, which he started a few months ago. Dave has been at Park Home Assist for five and a half years, starting on the phones: taking enquiries and dealing with park home insurance quotes, before moving up to Sales Manager, and then Operations Manager.

Enjoying his new role, Dave says: “Having been at Park Home Assist for so long but in different roles, I know the company inside out. I’m passionate about our ethos of providing a high-quality personal service to our park home insurance customers and the fact that Park Home Assist is a UK-based family-run business. I’ve seen the business grow from around 7,000 policyholders to almost 30,000 and I’m really excited to be responsible for taking the business forward and growing it further.”

He continues: “I’m a real people person and relationships have a big impact on our success. In fact, our focus at Park Home Assist is just as much about people as it is about park home insurance. I’m looking forward to developing the relationships that I’ve built up over the years and getting out and about meeting new people. I’m seeing residential park owners and park operators as well as meeting members of residents’ associations.

Steve Leech, Director at Park Home Assist commented: “Dave is an excellent ambassador for Park Home Assist and a genuinely friendly, outgoing and charismatic person. These are exciting times for Park Home Assist and I’m sure that Dave will thrive in his role as Business Development Manager as we take the company forward and manage the next phase of growth.”

Find further information about why customers choose Park Home Assist for their park home insurance.

To stay up to date with news from Park Home Assist, you can follow us on Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn.

 

 

 

Glenholt Park Residents’ Association held a fundraising vintage garden party and summer fair recently, and Park Home Assist’s Business Development Manager, Dave Tranter, went along to help out.

Glenholt Park is a park home residential area for the over 50s in Plymouth, and has around 400 residents with an age range of 50 – 95. The Residents’ Association is working in partnership with The Community Heartbeat Trust to raise money for five defibrillators to be located at the residential park. This is in accordance with the South Western Ambulance Service guidelines of having a defibrillator within a 200m radius, and also means that they will be easily accessible to other residents living close to the residential park.

Glenholt Park Residents’ Association organised a vintage garden afternoon tea party and summer fair in collaboration with the Illuminate Hub at St. Anne’s Church. Not only did it raise money for the defibrillator fund, but also supported the long-term vision of creating a hub to bring both communities together.

Activities during the afternoon included cream teas in the church, a dog show (with categories such as ‘best veteran dog’ and ‘the waggiest tail!’) a raffle, tombola, woodwork and crafts for sale. A wildlife charity brought along some owls to meet the residents and there were even free Cornish pasties!

Park Home Assist donated the star prize for the raffle, which was £250 cash, as well as donating £250 to the defibrillator fund. Dave Tranter went along to meet the park home residents, hand over the cheque for the fund and present the lucky winner with the star raffle prize.

In addition, Dave provided information about Park Home Assist’s tailored insurance for park home owners and gave away some of our popular re-useable cotton bags. After the event, Dave said: “It was a very successful day – the weather was fantastic, and everyone enjoyed themselves in the sunshine while raising money for a good cause. It was great to meet some of our customers as well as helping people with their park home insurance queries. They were interested to know what to watch out for when buying park home insurance, and that Park Home Assist is a UK-based family-run firm that provides a personal service to park home owners.”

 

 

Residential park homes are now becoming the popular choice of property if you are considering downsizing or retiring. Park homes are great for couples and individuals, providing affordable living inside a real community. Park homes offer a high level of practical and stylish living, with mod cons in a comfortable environment, whilst outside providing a quality of life away from the usual hustle and bustle of city living.

10 Reasons to Choose Park Home Living

There are many reasons why our insurance customers choose the park home lifestyle – here are ten of them:

1. Downsizing to a park home can free up capital so you have more money to spend on enjoying life. Council tax payments are cheaper, as park homes are in the lower tax band, providing more savings.

2. With residential parks located all over the country, you can often live in some beautiful locations at a lower cost.

3. Residential park communities are welcoming, providing a feeling of comfort, safety and security. There is an increased level of security as most park homes are gated communities, with other residents nearby, providing peace of mind.

4. There’s plenty to do – many residential parks have good leisure facilities as well as social committees who organise all types of activities. Activities such as walking, cycling, boating, canoeing or fishing are on your doorstep.

5. Living in a park home can mean that you’re much closer to the countryside, fields and woodlands, providing a beautiful, tranquil environment with plenty of wildlife around to enjoy.

6. Many residential parks have good transport links for commuters and easy access to local towns and villages.

7. Not all park homes have to look the same! You can decorate your park home to suit your own lifestyle.

8. Plot sizes vary so you can still have a garden and make it as high or low maintenance as you wish.

9. A park home is like a Tardis! It looks small on the outside but surprising spacious on the inside and it’s easy to look after.

10. Park homes are energy efficient, designed to be low maintenance, meaning you’ll be warmer in the winter and saving money.

If you’re thinking about buying a park home, take a look at our general insurance tips and advice on park home insurance or contact us on 0800 988 0900 for a no obligation quote.

To keep up to date on park home related topics, follow us on LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook.

News article image - going the extra mile

Park Home Assist are one of the UK’s leading providers of park home insurance.  All of our insurance products and services are designed with park home owners in mind and you will not find a company with a better understanding of park home living.

We’re always looking for ways to help our customers and we’re pleased to have our own in house Senior Claims Coordinator, who really takes the hassle out of insurance claims for some of our customers and will always go the extra mile.

Most recently, a 94-year-old policy holder put a claim in for her park home and the claims company were asking for the normal documents for this lady to substantiate her claim.  This is easy for some, however this could prove difficult for our client and this is where our team member Tina stepped in.  This is all happening behind the scenes and although the customer is completely unaware of it, Tina requested that the claims company collect the information, rather than the 94-year-old customer having to do it herself.   To make this claim easier, we are liaising with the claims company to collect the relevant information, direct from the contractor.  This includes things such as: reports, cause of damage pictures and invoices for the claim.

Personalised Service

We personalise the service we offer to each customer, which sometimes is above and beyond what we need to do, but we firmly believe this all adds to our uniqueness.  We treat each client as an individual and this is evident by the reviews we receive from our clients on a daily basis.  Don’t just take our word for it, have a look at our testimonials, to see what our customers say about us.  Just recently we’ve been awarded a Feefo Gold Trusted Service Award, which recognises excellent customer service.  This is collected by genuine ratings and reviews from our customers, which is a true reflection of our commitment to outstanding customer services.  You can read the full story here.

If your park home insurance is coming up for renewal, and you want to be treated like an individual, with a company who truly understands park homes, give us a call on 0800 988 0900.   We’d be delighted to hear from you.

To stay up to date with our insurance services and offers, you can follow us on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.

We’re proud to report that Park Home Assist has been awarded a Feefo Gold Trusted Service Award 2018 to recognise the excellent customer service that we provide to our park home insurance policyholders.

Park Home Assist is one of the UK’s leading insurers of park homes, leisure homes and holiday lodges. As specialists in the leisure industry, and with over 28,000 policyholders, our extensive experience in dealing with park homes means that we understand your needs.  With a dedicated in-house team, instead of a call centre, you know you’ll be speaking to a knowledgeable adviser.

The Feefo award is an independent seal of excellence, which is only awarded to businesses that use Feefo, to collect genuine ratings and reviews. The standard is measured by the number of reviews we have collected and their average rating. Between 1 January and 31 December 2017, Park Home Assist met the criteria of collecting at least 50 reviews with a Feefo rating of between 4.5 and 5.0. As all reviews are verified as genuine, the accreditation is a true reflection of our commitment to outstanding customer service.

Steve Leech, Director at Park Home Assist said: “Over the last 13 years, we have built our business on a firm commitment to providing the best possible customer service and excellent value for money. Many of our park home and holiday lodge insurance policyholders recommend us to their friends and neighbours, and we are very grateful that they take the time to review our services using Feefo.”

Speaking on this year’s award, Andrew Mabbutt, CEO at Feefo, commented: “The Trusted Service Award has always been about recognising those companies that go the extra mile. Once again, we have seen many incredible businesses using Feefo to its full potential, to provide truly memorable experiences for their customers – and rightly being awarded with our most prestigious accreditation. I look forward to the continual success of the businesses that work in partnership with Feefo throughout 2018.”

Everyone in the office is delighted with the Feefo award and we’d love to help you save money on your park home insurance renewal while providing you with excellent customer service.  So give us a call on 01604 946 796.

Explore our website for more information on park home insurance and holiday lodge insurance .