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Do I have to buy my static caravan insurance from the site's provider?

This question is very commonly heard and has at times in the past been controversial.

The issue

If you own a static caravan, your relationship with the site’s owners is likely to be a professional and hopefully amicable one.

Both parties will have responsibilities that are a mixture of legal, contractual and to some extent, common sense obligations. In the vast majority of cases this relationship works well.

However, things can sometimes go wrong and lead to friction. One such example is that arising from the subject of insurance for your static caravan. 

The reason why this can flare up is relatively simple. Static caravan owners may wish to source their own static caravan insurance from an established provider of such. They may have taken considerable care in finding a suitable policy and above all, one that’s cost-effective too.

Unfortunately, some site owners may then have indicated that a condition of site usage is that the static caravan owner takes the site provider’s approved cover. That cover might not be as cost-effective or comprehensive as the policy that the caravan’s owner has found and wishes to use.

An issue has arisen and this has been known to generate dispute and ill-feeling.

The reality – a summary

In what follows, please remember that this is general and not specific legal advice for your circumstances because individual situations may be complicated.

However:

  • static caravan insurance might provide many benefits but one of those will typically be “third party liability” cover – sometimes also known as “public liability cover”. That means that if someone is injured or has their property damaged as a result of your caravan or your activities, then you have cover in place to deal with any court awards against you;
  • it is not unreasonable for the site owners to require that caravans on their site are covered by the above static caravan s insurance. In fact, in some cases, they may be legally or contractually obliged to do so;
  • as such, they can legitimately ask to see and examine your static caravan insurance. It might also be reasonable for them to make a small administrative charge for doing so (photocopying etc.);
  • the conclusion here is that typically, the site owners do not have the legal right to insist that you use their static home insurance provider. There are though, some relatively unusual exceptions that should be noted - as below;
  • in some cases, the deeds of sale of a static caravan might include an obligation to use the site owner’s (landowner’s) approved static home insurance solution. If you have signed a legally binding contract of this sort, then the conditions written into the deeds will oblige you to conform.

What to do

If a concern arises relating to the site owner’s requirement, it’s important to stay calm and discuss the position rationally with them.

They may be perfectly free to try to persuade you to take their cover. Typically, you’ll also be perfectly free to review it against your own cover and to reject their suggestion if you’re happier with your own solution.

In such circumstances, it would typically be potentially illegal for them to attempt to coerce you by taking measures such as bullying or withdrawing site services in full or part.

However, you should look carefully at any deeds that were included in your unique caravan and/or land purchase to be sure that you have no legal obligations from that source.  You should also carefully examine any purchase agreement for the caravan you signed to be sure there are no related insurance obligations contained within.

If you’re in any doubt, you might be advised to see qualified legal advice.

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