After a serious fire at a Gloucestershire park that saw the loss of two park homes and damage to others, we asked Paul Baker, of Paul Baker Insurance Services (PBIS), to explain what home owners should expect in such circumstances.Fires of this kind are rare and there were no fatalities, but it did cause extensive damage.
Paul explained: ‘All park home insurance policies should include loss or damage caused by fire, and any subsequent damage caused by smoke, as well as providing cover on a replacement-as-new basis.
‘Total loss situations like this can test the adequacy of the sums insured. Our ‘Select’ and ‘Economy’ policies insure structures up to £600,000 and £300,000 respectively.
‘While the fire may have spread from another home, the damage to your home will be covered by your own park home insurance, in the first instance.
‘If it can be proved that the cause of the fire was negligence, insurers of adjacent homes may try to pursue a recovery of their costs from the insurer of the home from where the fire started.
‘Once liability has been accepted, negotiations will begin to order a replacement home.
‘This has to be done with the park owner; a home cannot be purchased direct from the manufacturer, but the policyholder will be very much involved in the choice of replacement home, which should be of the same size and specification as the original home.
‘Likewise it will be necessary to replace the entire contents of the home as new. Our ‘Select’ policy provides new for old cover on everything, including household linen and clothing. In the recent fire we arranged insurance on two of the adjacent homes and because we have a 24-hour answering service I was able to speak to both policyholders to reassure them and explain what would happen.
‘Fire losses are probably the most traumatic and upsetting type of claim that we have to deal with.
‘As a specialist park home insurance provider we are at the forefront of dealing with these claims. Any claim is our opportunity to show the importance of insurance and how good we are at providing our policyholders with an exemplary level of advice, guidance and service and ultimately a fair settlement.’
For more on PBIS, please visit www.pbinsurance.co.uk.