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The Insurance Times Claims Excellence awards 2017 shortlist has been drawn up, and Park Home Assist have made the grade thanks to their recent customer care initiative.

‘Our customers are at the heart of everything we do,’ states Claire Leech, Director at the family run insurer. ‘We believe in providing good old-fashioned service for all our customers, we always go the extra mile.’

Park Home Assist has been providing specialist cover for anyone who enjoys the park home lifestyle for over 12 years, and are now proud to cover 1 in 5 park homes in the UK. In addition to Park Homes, we also insure Caravans, Holiday Homes, and Boats, and now have over 24,000 policyholders across the UK. ‘When we started out 12 years ago, our aim was to grow our business in such a way that we could be sure of delivering great service and competitive cover. We still hold true to these values. Our staff really care about our individual policyholders and will take time to really understand the issues involved with each claim. We also have great relationships with the manufacturers which means we know who to call to get the claims settled and our customers’ homes repaired to the highest standards.’

‘The company is still growing, we are currently on the lookout for staff to join our sales team. We like our staff to spend time listening to our customers, we find that this helps build a loyal customer base who are happy to stay with us for many years.’ ‘We know our customers appreciate what we do for them, we get a lot of our business through referrals from friends and neighbours. This tells us we are doing a great job.’

‘But to be given this recognition by the Insurance Times, the leading publication in the general insurance market is amazing. We are up against some major household names which is a huge thumbs up for our hard working claims team.’

The awards ceremony takes place on 18th May at the London Hilton Bankside.

If you are interested in working for Park Home Assist send your c.v. with a covering email to steve.leech@parkhomeassist.co.uk For more information, please contact Steve Leech at Park Home Assist on 01604 946 784.

Park Home Assist Insurance Services is a part of Assist Insurance Services Ltd, Royal House, Queenswood, Newport Pagnell Road West, Northampton NN4 7JJ. Assist Insurance Services Ltd is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority under register number 435530 for Insurance Mediation and as a Credit Broker.

Assist Insurance Services specialises in providing cover for people who enjoy the Park Home lifestyle. Our policies are designed to cover park homes, holiday lodges, static caravans, holiday homes, motor homes, touring caravans and park homeowners’ cars.

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A major incident was declared by Devon and Cornwall Police in the early hours of this morning, following flooding at the Mill on the Mole residential park in South Molton.

Heavier than expected rain passed through the area from 5pm last night, causing the River Mole to flood and sending deep and fast flowing water through the site.

It has been reported that, at times, the water was up to four feet deep.

Police, Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service, coastguard teams from Falmouth, Lynmouth and Bideford, district and County Council staff and the Environment Agency all worked together to ensure the safety of the residents and to evacuate some of them.

By 5.50am the rain had stopped and the flood subsided very rapidly, leaving water on the site only ankle deep. No more residents have been evacuated and those that were are returning to their homes. Nobody was injured due to the flooding incident.

Coastguard duty controller Dai Jones said: “The police contacted us around 5am to ask for the extra assistance. Our Coastguard Rescue Teams have expertise in water rescue which means we can provide extra help in these kind of flooding incidents.”

People evacuated from the chalets and otherwise affected by the flooding were looked after at a reception centre set up at South Molton Community College, which has now closed.

Police advise that there are several road closures in the area and in other areas of North Devon, and members of the public are urged not to drive through flooded roads and to take extra care because of the risk of debris brought down into roads by high winds.

We are looking into the further reports and will have more information up as and when. Read more at http://www.northdevonjournal.co.uk/8203-residents-evacuated-from-mill-on-the-mole-residential-park-in-south-molton-after-flooding/story-29919164-detail/story.html#XXfsFTwC67HDQmsw.99

Reference: North Devon Journal. 2016. Residents evacuated from Mill on the Mole residential park in South Molton after flooding. [ONLINE] Available at: http://www.northdevonjournal.co.uk/8203-residents-evacuated-from-mill-on-the-mole-residential-park-in-south-molton-after-flooding/story-29919164-detail/story.html#XXfsFTwC67HDQmsw.99. [Accessed 21 November 2016].

Park Home Maintenance Banner

We all concentrate on the look of our homes when carrying out the maintenance, such as painting the outside, clearing the guttering, wiping down our UPVC windows and doors, but one of the most critical elements of maintaining a park home is the underneath. If that fails then this could cause significant damage to your home.

In most cases regarding park homes the concrete base is the responsibility of your park owner, however the tripod jacks that your home sits on (if you are lucky to have jacks and not wood blocks, or concrete bricks) are one of the most critical elements to the structural integrity of your home.

If you are unfortunate to have a support like this under your park home (this was a home we were asked to provide finance on, when we provided Park Home Finance), then you really need to get this changed As Soon As Possible. The problem with wooden supports is that they rot, they can be flexible and in this particular case they will transfer damp from the ground and into the floor joist.
When this support fails, so will the floor drop, and if the support has transferred moisture into the floor joist, that too can fail.

This is better than the wooden support shown above, and at least it is supporting the chassis rather than the floor-joist in the above

picture. They don’t look like the most stable of bricks and stone and the likelihood that this support is millimetre perfect is highly unlikely meaning that either there is a gap between the top brick and the chassis meaning the chassis is flexing and probably knocking, or the chassis was forced onto the bricks which means it might not be straight. It is sad to see however that whoever sited this home obviously scoured the park to find suitable stones, rather than was prepared for the homes arrival.

OK, so here we nearly have the correct jacks in place, but as can be seen they have not survived through time, and are heavily corroded and could fail at any time, resulting in the home dropping significantly, likely to cause significant damage to the chassis and the internals of the home. It is worth pointing out that should this happen, any damage would not be covered by a Park Home Insurance policy as this is a lack of maintenance issue and not an insured event on a Park Home Insurance Policy. Do your jacks look like these?

So what happens when the support to a Park Home Fails?

The photos here show the consequences of the supports failing under the home. It is possible that only one support will fail, but at the same time the weight of the home will be forced onto other supports, or onto the brick skirt, as shown in these photographs.

The floor in the inside of the home will become un-even and for those not confident or sure on their feet could end up tripping over the un-even floor and cause themselves a personal injury.

For those of you who own twin units, it is possible that one half will drop, but the other stay in-situ, resulting in the chassis twisting or cracking at the point where the two halves are bolted together. This will then further affect the internals of your home with large cracks to the walls and ceilings and where they meet also.

To resolve the matter, the brick skirt will need to be removed, and the home jacked up again (assuming that the chassis isn’t damaged as a result) and replacement jacks re-installed once the home is levelled and then lowered again.

Then there is the cost of the re-building of the brick skirt around the base of the home and the repair of any internal damage as a result of the home dropping.

Alternatively you can make sure that this doesn’t happen by some very basic maintenance. However, the maintenance should not be carried out by yourself, and you should have professionals come ad do this work on your behalf.

If you do not have the correct supports under your home, or they have not stood up well with time, you need to consider replacing them with Galvanised tripod jacks. These jacks do not rust, and they are merely there to act as a support. With their screw adjustment they merely are wound to make contact with the chassis, and not to lift it.
This is not expensive maintenance, but you should not consider going under your home to do this yourself, you should get a speacialist team to carryout the work on your behalf.

If you are wary as to who to contact, then please call us and we will be happy to recommend, contractors we use for our day-to-day insurance claims.

Park Home Maintenance

The Importance Of Maintaining Your Park Home (Part 1)

During these summer months, we all want to relax in our gardens, or go for those summer trips to the seaside, the hills, or visit our friends and family. But there is one very important job that should be done also this time of year.

To make sure that you maximise the life of your park home and also ensure that you do not incur unnecessary repair costs in later years, or worse still suffer from damp and mould on the inside of your home, you should regularly colour-wash the outside of your home. This is obviously a job to be carried out in the late spring and summertime whilst you can guarantee (as much as the UK Summertime allows you) warm dry weather, as the last thing you want to do is have your home painted in the damp autumn winter days where all you will be doing is trapping the damp within your home.

All Park Home Manufacturers recommend that you check the outside walls of your park home regularly for such hairline cracks and you should have the cracks rectified immediately. Even if there are no hairline cracks you should have your home colour-washed no less than every two years. You must inspect your home regularly for hairline cracks in the outer walls of your home.
The external walls of your home are clad with plywood (not marine ply) and the joins are bridged with a fibreglass webbing, and then painted over with textured paint such as Resitex, or Protected Textured Coating (PTC). Over time, the UV rays from the sun, and continual expansion and contraction of the wood, will create hairline cracks in the external paint which must be fixed immediately to prevent water getting under the paint.

Should you not rectify these faults immediately then not only will water penetrate the paint and make the paint come away from the timber below is, but will then start to rot the outer walls and also create damp and mould on the inside of your home. Should this occur, this is not covered by your traditional Park Home Insurance policy or your Platinum Seal or Gold Shield Warranty as this is a lack of maintenance and not a manufacturing defect or an insured event on your traditional home insurance policy.

The cost of painting the external walls of your park home needn’t be expensive and it is highly recommended that to maintain the structural warranty on your Park Home should you have for example a Platinum Seal Warranty, you should have an experienced Park Home contractor carryout this work so they can rectify any issue they discover when carrying out the work, but more importantly so you can substantiate that the work has been carried out in the event of a future claim under your Manufacturer’s structural Warranty. To reduce the cost of this work, why not speak to your fellow neighbours and see how many others would like this work carried out, then you will be able to negotiate a discount with a contractor as they will have a number of homes that need this work carried out.

In addition to carrying out the inspection of the external walls of your home, you should also regularly check the silicone seals around the outside of all the windows and doors of your home to ensure that this also have not cracked and perished.

Silicone is also serecptible to UV rays and hot weather and will eventually fail and crack well before your Structural Warranty comes to an end, but again this is not a manufacturing defect, just merely maintenance that needs to be carried out on your home.

If you would like some work carried out on your Park Home but are concerned as to who to choose, you are welcome to contact the Park Home Assist team and we will be happy to recommend the contractors who carryout the repairs on our Park Homes whether it is for our Park Home Insurance Policy or our Platinum Seal Claims.

Park Home Assist News Icon

The main element of your park home and the overall structural integrity of your park home is the chassis that your park home is built on. The chassis will be of steel construction, and similar to that of a Static Caravan Chassis.

Your chassis should be well supported throughout the full length of the chassis, and it is recommended that galvanised tripod jacks are used. It is not recommended that timber or concrete blocks are used, as these could cause the transfer of damp from the concrete base to the chassis and through time will cause the chassis to corrode. This in turn will affect the lifespan of the chassis.

You should regularly inspect the chassis for corrosion, however we do not recommend that you go under the home yourself, but to contact specialist contractors to carryout this inspection, ensuring that your home is well supported and the chassis is free from corrosion. However surface rust is fine.

If you live in area where there is extreme moisture, such as nearby the coast, you should increase the frequency of your inspections, and we would recommend that you have your chassis painted when there is a risk of rust of your chassis.

Also have the supports checked regularly to ensure that they are not corroding, and we would recommend the use of galvanised tripod supports.

There should also be plenty of airflow under your park home, and ideally a continual gap of 15mm to 25mm between the bottom of the drip rail of your park home and the brick skirt. No part of your park home should be touching the brick skirt or this will allow moisture to transfer to your park home.

Feefo News badge

On 21st February 2015 Park Home Assist was awarded the Gold Trusted Merchant Accreditation by Feefo.

Feefo is arguably the worlds most trusted supplier of ratings and reviews, and Assist is very proud to have achieved this accreditation. In 2015, Assist gained over 400 excellent reviews, with a further 300 reviews being rated as good, yielding an overall score of 98% for the year.

The accreditation recognises the hard-work and excellent customer service that merchants consistently deliver, in the eyes of their genuine customers. In order to receive the accolade of a Gold Trusted Merchant, a business is required to receive 100 replies or more, with an average Service Rating of between 95% and 100%. This is the highest accreditation awarded by Feefo, whilst there are also opportunities to receive a Trusted or Commended Merchant Status.

Park Home Assist is proud of the high standards of service that it has achieved, and can assure all our customers that 2016 will see even high standards achieved along with fantastic products which has benefited from enhanced cover.

Park Home Assist Christmas hamper

Park Home Assist values all current and potential customers, and we believe it is important to build strong relationships with our clients.

During the festive period we were approached by Pat Purdey, Treasurer at the Grange Farm Residents Association, to get involved with their Christmas Raffle. On 14th December 2015 Claire Leech, Director at Park Home Assist, visited the park with a bespoke hamper which was to be given out as the first prize in the raffle. Residents also received a ‘Christmas Goodie Bag’ from Park Home Assist.

Pat Purdey commented, “All our Members of our Residents Association received ‘Xmas Goodie Bags’ in time for Christmas Day and the feed back from them was good and they love the bag!”

“On behalf of our Residents and the Committee of our Residents Association I would like to say thank you for your time and generous gifts to us at Grange Farm Estate.”

Park Home Assist is always interested in getting involved with Park Resident Associations, so please do not hesitate to contact us.

John, winner of the 1st Prize Christmas Raffle at the Grange Farm Residents Association.

Park Home Assist News Icon

With the recent and continuing storms and floods hitting the UK, we would like to reassure our customers that there are measures in place to help you get back on your feet during these difficult times.

Following on from Storms Desmond and Eva, which caused considerable flooding to areas in the north of Britain, Storm Frank has now hit parts of the country and the Environment Agency has issued a further 3 day Flood Risk forecast. (Please click here for updates).

How are we helping and what have we done?

After continuous talks with our Insurer and Claims Administrators over the festive period and have put in place the following to ensure we maintain the very highest levels of claims service during this challenging period:

  • Setting up temporary offices in Cumbria.
  • Bringing in staff over the Bank Holiday to answer calls.
  • Using other UK offices to maximise the number of phone lines available to our customers.
  • Bringing in additional Loss Adjusters from overseas offices.
  • All customer claims have been acknowledged and if a visit has not yet been made by a Loss Adjuster, a date for a visit has been agreed.
  • Daily conference calls with our Claims Administrators, including temporary increases in their Claims Authority limits.
  • Instructions to adopt a common sense approach to emergency payments and alternative accommodation, particularly where there could be delays in validating claims.
  • Direct contact details of Canopius claims staff provided to short cut any queries.
  • Widening the geographical coverage of our Loss Adjusters specialising in park homes, to ensure the right advice is provided to this particular, sometimes vulnerable, customer group.

We understand that this is a difficult time for some of our customers and that there can be a long road to recovery for those unfortunate enough to suffer serious flood damage to their homes. We will continue to support and help our customers to their pre-flood state as best, and as quickly, as we possibly can.

Premium credit for Park Home Owners

Park Home Assist strives to make the process of purchasing insurance as smooth and efficient as possible. Part of that process is allowing customer to choose from the payment options available. A popular method is the instalment facility, which is provided through Premium Credit Ltd. Taking advantage of this service allows our customers to spread their insurance premium payments over monthly direct debit instalments. Our products operate on a 12 monthly installment plan with no deposit. However, our Car Insurance incorporates a 20% deposit followed by 10 monthly instalments. Premium Credit offers a financing solution that is easy to manage online at https://www.uk.mypremiumcredit.com/

My Premium Credit gives you instant, secure 24/7 access to your account with Premium Credit. You’ll be able to keep tabs on your direct debit payments, view correspondence, settle any missing payments and make any changes to your personal or banking details online.

If you would like to take up this service call us on 01604 946 785 and speak to one of our advisors.

Click here for more our Premium Credit information and FAQ page.

Park Home Assist 10 years badge

On the 19th June 2015, Park Home Assist celebrated its 10th Birthday. This a fantastic occasion for Park Home Assist and the 15,000 homes we cover nationwide. Park Home Assist was founded in 2005 to give Park Home owners the cover which suited their specific needs. We are proud to be providing cover to so many of you and hope to meet your insurance needs for many years to come.

Since it’s founding, Park Home Assist has always stayed true to the core values. So, why do people choose us?

  • Our Park Home insurance Advisors have a comprehensive knowledge of Park Homes
  • The extensive cover we provide is backed by our major Lloyd’s insurer
  • No call centres, but human beings at the end of the phone
  • Family run business with customer service at the forefront of everything we do

The challenge to keep providing the most comprehensive cover and excellent customer experience motivates us to keep innovating and you can be assured that we will always have the customers interested at heart.