In late 2021 and early 2022 the UK was battered by a variety of storms that caused significant damage along with some tragic loss of life
Some storms, most notably Arwen and Franklin, hit caravan parks particularly badly. The North East of England and Scotland caught the brunt of these storms and mainstream news and social media were awash with videos of caravans ripped to pieces and – in some rare situations being ‘thrown’ around the park by the force of mother nature. These incidents whilst very sad, are in most cases ‘insured events’ and the unit can be replaced or repaired. However, this isn’t without its challenges.
Unlike many of our competitors, NACO does not outsource its claims handling to a third party and we can manage 90%of notifications in house. We utilise loss adjusters, where needed, to visit and report back to us, and we strive to build good relationships with trusted repairers and engineers to better serve our customers.
One such repairer is Nationwide Park Home & Static Caravan Repairs. We’ve been using Nationwide for many years and they have proved themselves time and again. Based in Hull – the holiday caravan and lodge manufacturing epicentre – they are well placed for serving a large part of the UK where coastal parks and country retreats feature heavily.
Storm Arwen brought reported windspeeds of 100mph and the subsequent storms that followed added to caravan owners’ misery by causing further damage. We reached out to Nationwide’s MD – Scott Rowntree – to ask some questions about the challenges that they faced repairing holiday homes after the storms…
How quickly were you able to get on site after the events in late November 2021?
Following the crazy windstorms that Arwen brought with it, we readied our teams and hit the road. Whilst parks had been evacuated and many remained closed, we were able to gain access and start to assess the damage. The storm hit over the weekend and we were ‘on the ground’ by Monday lunchtime.
What sort of damage was most common?
As you might imagine, it was a real mixed bag. Some caravans had significant structural damage such as roofs that had been ripped into and holes and tears where branches and trees had been blown into them. Others had faired better only losing skylights, sheds or guttering. Of course, whatever the damage, it’s still very upsetting for the owner of the caravan.
“...The storm hit over the weekend and we were ‘on the ground’ by Monday lunchtime”...
What was the first main action point for you guys?
Getting around, assessing the damage and trying to make temporary repairs where possible. We had so many parks to visit that the main priority was to get a good idea of the overall impact.
What other challenges did you face along the way?
Further storms and bad winter weather made our job more difficult and meant that we had to wait for windows of good weather to get work done. Also, like most things after Covid, the caravan supply chain was already in a bit of a mess and this didn’t help at all. The main manufacturers were all trying to meet orders for new homes and stopping production to press panels wasn’t top of the to do list. Panels can be tricky to get hold of in a normal year, but the storms really complicated things.