Enjoying your Holiday Home in Winter

After such a long, hot summer, Autumn is upon us and it’s time to prepare for winter. Cold bright winter days are an ideal time to go for countryside or coastal walks when holiday resorts are less crowded, and it’s a great time to see wildlife. It’s a good to plan ahead now and take a few precautions to ensure that your holiday home provides a cosy retreat in the colder weather.

Ten tips on preparing your holiday home for winter

  1. Ensure that your boiler is serviced regularly, ideally before the winter months
  2. Check the roof for broken or missing tiles and slates and have them repaired or replaced
  3. When you can, keep the house warm and the heating on to avoid frozen pipes
  4. Ensure that you know the location of the stopcock in case you need to turn off the water in your holiday home quickly
  5. Repair any dripping taps
  6. Clear drains and gutters to avoid any blockages – especially important at this time of year because of all the fallen leaves
  7. If your holiday home is in the UK, visit the environment agency website to check if it is at risk of flooding
  8. Install insulation in the loft to reduce heat loss through the roof
  9. Seal any gaps around the edges of doors and windows to prevent draughts, but still try to maintain good ventilation
  10. Check your insurance policy for its unoccupancy clause and save your holiday home insurer’s contact details on your phone in case of an emergency

Taking these steps could help you to avoid the stress of having to make a claim and allow you to enjoy your holiday home in the winter months.

If you’ll be staying in your holiday home less frequently, then check your insurance policy for conditions relating to unoccupancy and see the information below as a general guide.

Unoccupancy

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

Between 1st November and 31st March (both days inclusive) if the holiday home is left without an occupant for more than 48 hours you must ensure that the main water supply is turned off by means of a stopcock at the first available point of entry of the water supply to the home. Where the home is left without an occupant for 14 consecutive days, in addition all water tanks must be emptied by leaving both hot and cold kitchen taps fully open.

Alternatively, you may leave the water supply turned on between 1st November and 31st March (both days inclusive) as long as the following applies:

  1. The entire home benefits from a heating system (either gas or oil -fired central heating or a geothermal or full electric heating system – not night storage heaters) 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 any timing device) and the thermostat set at not less than 10 degrees Celsius and, where fitted, the loft hatch door left open.

or:

  1. If the heating system as described above is installed and is additionally fitted with a “frost stat” that is designed and installed to override all other heating controls, irrespective of their functional status, then this may be set to operate at not less than 4 degrees Celsius.

If you have any queries about the conditions of your holiday home insurance policy, then see the example holiday home insurance policy or call our customer service team on 01604 946 787.

For more information or to keep up to date about holiday home insurance, please follow us on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

Wrap up well and stay safe and warm this winter.

 

Dave Tranter’s new role at My Holiday Home Insurance 

Dave Tranter is the new Business Development Manager at My Holiday Home Insurance. He is well-placed for the role having worked for the company for five and a half years. He started his career taking telephone enquiries and providing holiday home insurance quotations before being promoted to Sales Manager and then to Operations Manager.

Dave’s in-depth knowledge of the company and experience in leisure insurance is combined with his passion for delivering a high level of customer service.

Steve Leech, Director at My Holiday Home Insurance comments: “Dave’s commitment to the business and our ethos of providing a high quality and personal service to our holiday home insurance customers made him the ideal candidate for this position. He is an excellent ambassador for My Holiday Home Insurance and a genuinely charismatic, friendly and outgoing person. He is a very popular member of the team and is thriving in his new role.”

Dave says: “I’m very much a people person and I believe that relationships have a big impact on our success. Holiday home insurance may be perceived as quite a dry, technical business, but our focus is on our customers and how we can best meet their needs. We’re an independent, family-run business, based solely in the UK and this is important to our customers.” He adds: “I’m really looking forward to the new opportunities that the role of Business Development Manager brings and the next phase of growth for My Holiday Home Insurance.”

For further information about our products or services, please have a look through our website.  You can also see why customers choose My Holiday Home Insurance.

To keep up to date on news and topics relating to holiday home insurance, please follow us on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

 

As summer draws to a close, you should be thinking about preparing your holiday caravan for the winter. If you’re planning to store your caravan away for the winter months, here are a few tips to help to ensure that everything is in working order when you want to get back on the road again next year.

General

  • Take the time to make regular visits to your caravan, so you can keep an eye on any problems that may occur.
  • Loss or damage caused by escape of water: If your caravan is left unoccupied for more than 48 hours between 1st November and 31st March inclusive, you must ensure that the main water supply is turned off by means of a stopcock at the first available point of entry of the water supply to the caravan and all fixed water tanks and pipes are drained. This is a condition of your holiday caravan insurance.
  • Check your holiday caravan insurance policy for any other conditions relating to winter storage to ensure that you are properly insured.

Interior

  • Empty the fridge and clean it with anti-bacterial cleaner. Open the fridge door slightly and leave it open to stop any mildew building up and the door sticking.
  • Protect your caravan from rust by coating hinges with a lubricant such as 3-in-1 oil or WD-40.
  • Leave cupboard and wardrobe doors open to aid circulation. You could even put in some dehumidifiers to prevent damage from damp.
  • Pack away any valuables. If you have space in your home to store upholstery, then you should, this is less attractive to thieves and it will keep it damp free during the winter.
  • Clean everywhere thoroughly throughout so that you can make sure that nothing has been forgotten. Leave the windows open while you are doing it to let in some fresh air. Lubricate your window seals to prevent them from sticking when they are opened again, reducing the risk of them tearing or getting damaged. 

Exterior

  • Put your caravan on level ground and try not to leave your tyres standing in the same tread for long periods. Ideally you should turn them every couple of months, checking the pressure to avoid the risk of flat spots on your tyres.
  • Make sure your pipes and guttering are in good order and block any gaps where insects can gain access. Check the roof to make sure there are no leaks or loose joints.
  • Make sure all locks on doors and windows are secure. Ideally, do this a few weeks before you are due to leave the caravan, so you have time to fix any issues that may arise.
  • It’s important that you disconnect your gas supply by turning it off, disconnecting the gas bottle and storing it away safely. Some caravan parks do not allow you to leave your gas cylinders on site, so you may have to find alternative storage.

Follow us on Twitter and LinkedIn for more tips on looking after your holiday caravan.  You can also have a look through our website for more information.

We’re delighted to announce that we’ve received a Feefo Gold Trusted Service Award, an independent seal of excellence that recognises businesses for delivering exceptional experiences, as rated by real customers.

My Holiday Home Insurance has been providing holiday home insurance to customers throughout the UK and Europe, for over 13 years. It’s a family-run business, so we treat each customer as an individual.  As specialists in the industry, we take the time to understand your needs and we genuinely love what we do. Best of all, there are no call centres, so each time you call you can speak to the same person, and this is what makes us truly unique.

Created by Feefo, Trusted Service is awarded only to those businesses that use Feefo to collect genuine ratings and reviews. Those that meet the high standard, which is based on the number of reviews that they have collected and their average rating, receive the award. This accreditation remains unique as it is based purely on interactions with verified customers. As all reviews are verified as genuine, the accreditation is a true reflection of our commitment to outstanding service.

The Feefo Gold award applies to service to insurance policyholders who have holiday homes and cottages in the UK as well as holiday homes and apartments in Europe, plus holiday lodges and leisure lodges. We collected at least 50 reviews with an average rating of between 4.5 and 5.0 during 2017 in order to qualify for the award.

“We work hard to provide a professional, personal and friendly service to our holiday home insurance customers,” said Steve Leech, Director at My Holiday Home Insurance. “And as a specialist in the leisure insurance industry, we ensure that we have comprehensive cover with the flexibility to meet individual needs. This is all part of our dedication to delivering outstanding service and value for money to our customers, and we are delighted that this is reflected by our Feefo ratings.”

Everyone here at holiday home insurance is delighted with the news and it’s created a real buzz in the office.  Why not give one of our team a call on 0800 988 0890 to see how we compare to your current insurer? Or you can simply get a no obligation insurance quote for your holiday home.

If you would like to see more about why our customers insure their holiday home with us, go to My Holiday Home Insurance.

 

BBQ

Summer evenings on holiday are the perfect time to light the barbecue and enjoy some al fresco dining. While this can be a great opportunity to relax and socialise, take care to reduce your fire risks and avoid any accidents that could spoil your holiday.

BBQ

Here are some of the do’s and don’ts of barbecuing to help you to enjoy your holiday barbecues safely this summer.

Do

  • Barbecue at least 10 feet away from your home
  • Ensure children and pets are kept away from the cooking area
  • Keep the barbecue on a flat surface
  • Keep a watering can, fire extinguisher or sand close by
  • Use long tools to barbecue in order to keep hands and clothes away
  • Check for any cracks on the hose attached to the cylinder of a gas barbecue
  • Dispose of ash carefully and after it has fully cooled
  • Ensure the barbecue has cooled down before moving it
  • Check that you’re not contravening any local regulations or byelaws

Don’t:

  • Leave the barbecue unattended
  • Barbecue indoors
  • Use a barbecue inside any structure that could catch fire i.e. a gazebo or tent
  • Ignite the barbecue’s fire with petrol or lighter fuel squeezed from a bottle
  • Overload your grill with food – too much fat dripping onto the flames can cause a flare-up
  • Turn on the gas while your grill lid is closed as it can cause gas to build up inside your grill
  • Drink too much alcohol – keep a clear head if you’re in charge of the barbecue

If you are unsure of what cover you have in place for fire risks, please check your insurance policy document or give us a call.

Keep these tips in mind, be safe and enjoy your holiday barbecues this summer.

Holiday Home in the snow

Protection from the weather is a major concern for most caravan insurance customers. But few would ever think that it could be needed in case a tornado hits in the UK. Snow, sure, Flooding, perhaps. But tornado?

No way. Unfortunately for one caravan park in Anglesey, the unimaginable actually did happen.

On December 5th as the country was gripped by extreme winter weather, Sandy Beach Caravan Park, Llanfwrog was almost destroyed by a tornado. The force of the storm was so pronounced that even the sturdier caravans were severely damaged, so here’s hoping that their owners had kept their caravan insurance up to date.

However, the damage was luckily confined to property and no-one was hurt. Although the storm hit at midday and left staff manning the park running for cover, there were no holidaymakers on the park at the time, as it was closed for the season. Five touring caravans were destroyed and one static caravan had its roof completely torn off.

This may not be the end of it, either, as metrological reports about the cold front currently moving across the UK are waning of more to come. The turbulence caused by the cold front is expected to lead to more high speed winds and more damage is not being ruled out.

As the UK looks set to suffer extreme weather conditions over the next month or so, it is important to keep your caravan insurance fully up-to-date and as comprehensive as possible.

Static Caravan Maintenance

One of our policyholders have had the misfortune of receiving the news that their Static Caravan was the subject of a total loss in recent strong winds. The loss was a result of impact damage from a neighbouring caravan which was flipped over in the recent strong winds and hit our policyholders caravan.

Unfortunately the neighbouring caravan was uninsured, and therefore our policyholder can only claim from their own policy to replace their caravan. However, the owner of the neighbouring caravan does not get away lightly, just because they’re not insured, doesn’t mean a claim can not be made against them personally.

One of the benefits of insuring your caravan is not just ensuring that your caravan is insured for fire, theft, storm damage etc you will normally receive cover for Public Liability of around £2million pounds in the event that you, or a member of your family become legally liable for to pay for damages for bodily injury or damage to property. A claim is now being made against the owner of the neighbouring caravan for causing damage to our policyholders caravan, and for not insuring their caravan.

Don’t just assume that you are the only person who will lose out for not insuring your caravan, you have a responsibility for those around you to ensure that they are not at risk too.

Prestige & Homeseeker with Assist Insurance

Assist Insurance Services Ltd (My Static Caravan Insurance) are very aware that the real measure of an insurance policy isn’t just the competitiveness of the premium, or the comprehensive cover the policy provides, its also the quality of service when the unthinkable happens and a claim occurs.

Assist Insurance Services believe that its insurer and claims partners provides one of the most effective claims service in the industry but rather than be complacent, Assist Insurance Services wanted to build on its service even further.

On the 15th July Assist Insurance Services hosted a claims summit day for its Lloyd’s insurer (Canopius), it’s Claim Management Service (Davies Management Services), and a group of Loss Adjusters. The day entailed an in-depth discussion as to how to further the already excellent claims service it provides, but also a tour of the Homeseeker Park & Leisure Homes ‘state of the art’ factory hosted by Homeseeker’s Managing Director, Silvano Geranio.

Assist Insurance Services have an excellent and very close relationship with Silvano, who was one of the first manufacturer’s to join Assist Insurance Services Platinum Seal Structural Warranty Scheme for Residential Park Homes and Holiday Lodges, with Prestige Park and Leisure Homes, and this year Homeseeker also joined the scheme. Silvano, just like Assist Insurance Services, is never complacent and is always looking to set his company apart from the rest of the industry. With an order book full till February 2015, his hard work clearly is paying-off. With collaborations like this, both companies will continue to set the standards which other Static Caravan and Holiday Lodge insurers and manufacturers will have to follow.

A great day was had by all, and Assist Insurance Services would like to thank Homeseeker (Silvano Geranio), its insurer (Canopius) and Davies Management for a very beneficial day.

Winds of up to 94mph have brought chaos to parts of Wales, leaving properties damaged and trees torn down.

Aberystwyth in Ceredigion bore the brunt, with reports of a small tornado sweeping across the area.

Trees and roof tiles were blown into roads, with several being forced to close but Dyfed-Powys Police said no injuries had been reported.

BBC Weather said there had been “a few small tornadoes” across parts of Wales and the Midlands.

The RNLI station in Aberystwyth recorded the strongest gust of 94mph shortly after 10:30 GMT.

About 600 households were without power for part of the day due to the weather.

Scottish Power said service had been restored to about 35 customers in Pwllheli after a thunderstorm knocked out their power.

Western Power said most of its customers have also had their power restored but it was still dealing with six incidents across south and west Wales, affecting 308 customers.

Thomas Scarrott, director of the Clarach Bay Holiday Village, near Aberystwyth, said 15 to 20 caravans were upended and overturned by what he described as a tornado. Others had their roofs ripped off.

Reference:
BBC News. 2016. Roofs ripped off as storms hit parts of mid and west Wales. [ONLINE] Available at: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-38014691. [Accessed 17 November 2016].

Based on the principal ‘if things seem and sound too good to be true, they probably are’ this could be an excellent example within the insurance sector.

Lemma Europe Insurance Company Ltd has gone into liquidation, the Gibraltar Financial Services Commission has confirmed.

The Insurer provided many elderly Park Home residents a specialist scheme for Britannia Parks Ltd (before it was recently acquired by the Regency Park Life Group) through Cobra Insurance Brokers and provided residents on Britannia Parks and Kings Park Village a bespoke Park Home Insurance Policy with ‘guaranteed savings for Kings Park Village Residents’ with options of Essential, Superior and Ultimate Cover. Despite this, many of these residents plus other policyholders whether it were home insurance, equine insurance, boat and yacht insurance and so on appear unsure as to whether they are still insured or not.

Just because an insurer offers every conceivable benefit at a fantastic premium, things may not be all what it could be. This is an excellent example of an insurer (based in Gibraltar, with their reinsurer being a sister company based in Kiev) avoiding UK regulation. My Static Caravan Insurance believe that a UK based insurer (in our case a Lloyd’s Insurer) with a realistic yet competitive premium, with UK regulation is what all policyholders should opt for, not just cheap premiums.

As for Lemma Insurance, Frederick David John White of Grant Thornton Accountants (Gibraltar) was appointed provisional liquidator by the Supreme Court of Gibraltar.

The Gibraltar Financial Services Commission had made a request after an investigation uncovered a detiorattion in Lemma Europe’s finances and corporate governance.

On the 17th September the Court granted the GFSC leave to do so, and a petition was presented to the court on 19th September. A summons was also issued for the appointment of a provisional liquidator.

On the same day, and in order to protect the assets of Lemma pending the appointment of a provisional liquidator for the company, the GFSC issued a further direction to Lemma that the company may not make any payments from its bank accounts.

On the 28th September the Supreme Court of Gibraltar heard the petition and appointed White as provisional liquidator of Lemma Europe Insurance Company.

The GFSC stated that is was forced to protect policyholders by seeking the company’s liquidation after shareholders refused to contribute additional capital and one of its major reinsurers and sister company, the Ukranian company Joint Stock Insurance Company Lemma, failed to honour its reinsurance agreements with Lemma Europe and stopped all reinsurance claims payments to the company.

This placed Lemma Europe’s finances on an ‘unviable footing’. The provisional liquidator has been granted very wide powers by the court, enabling him to do whatever he considers necessary to protect the interests of policyholders.

A GFSC spokesman said ‘The company’s immediate problems and the need for the commission’s actions are external to Lemma Europe and Gibraltar in that, in the opinion of the commission, they are primarily the result of the actions and defaults of a related insurance company. Lemma Ukraine, which is located in Kiev.

If you would like a quotation for Static Caravan Insurance, contact My Holiday Home Insurance for a quotation with our Lloyd’s insured scheme.