25/01/2024
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Caravan insurance: all you need to know

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Navigating the world of caravan insurance can feel like a daunting task. Fear not, as this comprehensive guide is your compass to finding the perfect insurance policy

With our help, you can rest easy, knowing that your caravan is not only fully covered but also adequately protected, providing you with the peace of mind you deserve, so you can enjoy your leisure time.

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Words by Louise Cottrill

 


What you need to know about caravan insurance

Couple outside a caravan

(photo courtesy of Camping and Caravanning Club)

When you are considering caravan insurance and wondering whether you need it, it is wise to think about why you would need it. Aside from caravan theft, there is accidental damage, road accidents, storm damage and cover for things such as the contents and locks and keys.

Do you need insurance?

A caravan is an asset, and much like your car or house, it needs to be insured. Getting the right level of cover for the age of your caravan is important. Caravans can be targets for thieves and whether you have a caravan over £40k or under £5k, if it gets damaged or stolen, you’d be very upset.

What you need to get insurance

Many insurance companies will require a certain level of security features, such as a wheel clamp fitted to the caravan when it is unhitched from the towcar. Others will insist on further security devices, such as a tracker and/or an alarm, depending on the value of the caravan.

Your insurer will have lists of approved security products, from hitchlocks and wheel clamps, through to alarms and satellite tracking systems. Nothing’s completely theftproof, however.

Ensuring your caravan is stored in a secure location will be one of the key criteria for any insurance provider you speak to.

A secure compound is one that has locked gates at the entrance of the site, perimeter security, and is used solely to store caravans and other leisure vehicles. It pays to find the best storage you can.

Insurers will be looking for evidence of where you intend to keep your caravan when you’re not away touring. Sometimes, keeping it on the drive at home isn’t necessarily the best option.

There’s more chance of a caravan being stolen from a home driveway than anywhere else. CaSSOA (Caravan Storage Site Owners’ Association) has sites across the country and these are undoubtedly your best storage option, especially as many insurers give a premium discount if you use one (they are rated platinum, gold, silver and bronze).

Occupancy levels are already high, and fees can reflect this. There are other storage facilities that insurers will accept as secure locations, including campsites.

What does caravan insurance cover?

As standard, caravan insurance usually includes cover for accidental damage, malicious damage, fire, theft, storm and flood damage. There is often the option to include European cover if you plan on going abroad, and also cover for personal contents and equipment.


Types of caravan insurance

If you’re planning on taking your caravan abroad, make sure your insurance covers you for this

(photo courtesy of Camping and Caravanning Club)

Your car insurance will cover third-party damage while your caravan is attached to the car but it will not cover any damage that occurs to the caravan itself.

There are a number of different caravan insurance policies on the market. We suggest using a specialist broker but first do your basic research online to get an idea of cost and what policies will best suit you.

Some policies will offer new-for-old cover for caravans up to five years old or market value cover. Many will also offer varying limits of European cover, so double-check this if you plan to tour over the Channel.

Many insurance policies also offer an optional breakdown policy.

Generally, caravan insurance cover provides three options:

  • Market value: This means your policy covers the cost of an equivalent replacement caravan if yours is stolen or destroyed. This takes into account the age and condition of your caravan.
  • New-for-old cover: With this cover you will get a new replacement caravan of the same or equivalent model.
  • Guaranteed value: This is a good compromise, whereby you’ll need a dealer’s receipt to prove how much you’ve paid for your caravan, which typically could be any age up to around seven years. The insurer will pay out an agreed amount, should the caravan be stolen and not recovered, or written off.

Whatever the age and price of your tourer, we think you’re best keeping this as your starting point: to be returned to the same position you were in before the incident.


How much does insurance cost?

This depends on the type of insurance cover you take out. Often being a member of a caravanning club can give you access to a significant discount on your insurance premiums.

Many insurers will ask you whether you’re a member of the Camping and Caravanning Club or the Caravan and Motorhome Club, but if you belong to another membership organisation, including an owners’ club, mention this, too. It could get you access to preferential rates or special policy inclusions that would otherwise be cost options. It can pay to ask about discounts.

Also remember that if you’ve successfully completed an official caravan manoeuvring course (both main Clubs offer this), you might be in line for a small discount. Likewise, if you have Tyron bands fitted to your caravan’s wheels, or Al-Ko’s ATC trailer control system, you might qualify to pay a lower premium.

You can lower your premium by only insuring the caravan and not including items like awnings, ancillary equipment or contents, which increase the sum insured. Above all, you should be prepared to shop around to find the best policy to suit you.


Tips on getting good caravan insurance

Caravans pitched at a park

(photo courtesy of Camping and Caravanning Club)

You certainly can save money on your policy and there are a number of different things you can do to lower your premium. Security devices fitted to your caravan can provide a discount.

But, remember that the best policy for you doesn’t necessarily mean the cheapest one. It’s often only when you come to make a claim that you find out how protected you are, so do the research before you buy.

Most caravan insurance policies on the market are comprehensive, but some can exclude certain important areas. For example, some may not also cover your caravan if it is permanently sited. Check what exclusions and terms there are with each policy.

There are generally three main factors that affect the premium you pay for your insurance:

  • Your claims history
  • Safety and security
  • Your caravan’s value

Other factors include how and where you use your caravan, where it’s stored, and what’s in it.


FAQ

Should I still insure a low-value caravan?

Absolutely, even when you just consider your contents, keys and accidental damage, insurance is worth it. Thieves can target any age of caravan, too. It is just making sure you have peace of mind.

Does my car insurance cover towing a caravan?

Yes, but only from a third-party perspective whilst the caravan is attached to the car. It will not cover damage to the caravan itself. So, when it is in storage, on a campsite or on your driveway the caravan would not be covered. The same applies if you have a bump and it is your fault, you’ll have to pay for your own repairs.

Are there any caravan insurance restrictions?

Most insurance companies stipulate some rules – often they will say the caravan can’t be used for business use, let out for hire or used as a permanent residence.

Take it up with your insurer if you’re considering using your caravan abroad (you could save money if you’re not), or if you’re using it for anything other than leisure purposes.

To that end, in most cases, family and friends can use your caravan, and the contents and equipment will still be covered. However, if you’re thinking of hiring it out, that’s a whole different game that needs serious consideration.

Do caravans need MoT and insurance?

Need is not the correct word but it is best to insure your possessions and a caravan is valuable whatever its age. MoT is not necessary in the same way it is for a car, but once again, regular servicing is recommended, although not a condition of a caravan getting insurance.

Do I need caravan insurance when my caravan is parked at home?

Definitely yes! Even if you were working off your caravan being covered in a third-party way by your car insurance, this only applies whilst your car is towing your caravan.

On your drive, if a caravan is not insured, it is fair game for thieves. Even if damage occurred from, say, a falling tree branch, if you were not insured, you’d paying for that repair yourself or, worse, scrapping the caravan.


Final thoughts

How do you get the best caravan insurance cover? First of all, give yourself some research time to make sure you find the correct policy for you. Your caravan is a very important piece of kit, so it is essential to make sure it is properly protected. You can generally pay by one single payment for the year or pay monthly instalments.

If you are considering that insuring your caravan isn’t worth it, we suggest that you think again.


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Caravan Magazine

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