Guide to caravan insurance
Insuring your caravan can be a minefield, but read our useful guide and you'll feel more informed, we'll help you find the right cover.
So how do you get the best caravan insurance cover? First of all, give yourself some research time to make sure you find what’s right for you. Your caravan is important to you and we know how essential it is to make sure you are protected. It doesn’t have to cost a small fortune to make sure you have everything you need covered in your policy.
Having insurance gives you peace of mind. Make sure your pride and joy is fully covered.
We've teamed up with caravan insurance specialist, Safeguard Insurance to answer your top questions.
Can I save money?
Yes, you certainly can. 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 out there. It’s only when you come to make a claim that you find out how protected you are.
Do policies vary?
Most policies on the market are comprehensive but some can exclude towing on the road risks if your caravan is permanently sited.
At Safeguard, there are three main factors that affect the premium you pay for your insurance:
• Your claims history • Safety and security • Your caravan’s value
Lesser factors include: how and where you use your caravan, where you store it, and what you have in it.
What’s included in caravan insurance?
As standard, caravan insurance usually includes cover for accidental damage, malicious damage, fire, theft, storm and flood damage. There is usually the option to include European cover if you plan on going abroad and cover for personal contents and equipment.
What does “excess” mean?
Excess is the first amount that you pay towards a claim. There may be a standard excess set by the insurer plus the option to add a voluntary excess that can affect your premium.
Your excess is what you pay in the event of a claim. If you have a £100 excess, you have to pay for the first £100 of the claim.
It’s another way of keeping your overall premium down. The larger your excess figure – the more you pay towards a claim – the lower your insurance policy will be. You can discuss this with your insurer and find a balance that works for you.
Does my age matter?
At Safeguard, on the majority of our policies your age does not have an affect on your premium.
Caravan says: Nearly every insurance company will want to know your date of birth. Needless to say, the onus is on you to ensure you’re towing legally in the first place, and, for example, have taken the B+E test if you’re towing an outfit weighing more than 3500kg AND passed your driving test after 1 January 1997. Also, older caravanners should consider any age and medical restrictions. Failure to do so could result in a rejected claim.
Can I be ‘creative’ on my policy application?
No, the information that you supply must be accurate otherwise it could affect you if you make a claim and the insurance company may void your policy.
Caravan says: Insurers won’t pay out without checking all the paperwork. If you’ve deliberately misled your broker, they may well refuse to pay out any claim.
What types of policies are available?
We have a number of different policies available that offer new for old cover up to 5 years or market value cover plus varying limits of European cover. We also offer a Breakdown policy that you can choose to include.
Caravan says: Types of insurance cover generally come in 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 van.
- New-for-old cover – With this cover you will get a new replacement van 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 van, which typically could be any age up to around seven years. Here, the insurer will pay out an agreed amount, should the caravan be stolen and not recovered, or written off. (Please be aware that this type of caravan insurance is not available through Safeguard.)
Whatever the age and price of your tourer, we think you’re best keeping the mindset: “What I want is to be returned to the same position I was in before the incident.”
Where do I find out more?
You can find out more by phoning Safeguard (0800 298 3767) or visiting the Safeguard website to get a quote and find out information on the policies they offer.
These specialist caravan insurers have years of experience, they understand the market and the needs of caravanners. Contact Safeguard to get a caravan insurance policy just for you.
What security should I fit?
As standard, we require a wheel clamp to be fitted to the caravan when it is unhitched from your towing vehicle but, depending on the value of the Caravan, we may need additional security to be fitted like a wheel lock, alarm or tracking device.
Caravan says: Your insurer will have lists of ‘approved’ security products, from hitchlocks to wheelcamps, all the way through to alarms and state-of-the-art satellite tracking systems.
Nothing’s completely thief-proof. There are YouTube videos of caravan thieves armed with saws and oxy-acetylene equipment, but good, visible security will deter the majority of thefts.
What’s a secure compound?
A secure compound is one that has locked gates at the entrance of the site, perimeter security i.e. fencing or hedging and is used solely to store Caravans.
Caravan says: 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.
There’s more chance of a caravan being stolen from a home driveway than anywhere else. CaSSOA is the Caravan Storage Site Owners’ Association. Their sites are undoubtedly your best storage option, especially as many insurers give a premium discount if you use one (they are rated gold, silver and bronze).
However, occupancy levels are already high, and fees can reflect this. There are other storage facilities that insurers will accept as ‘secure locations’, including campsites, of course.
We already have comprehensive car insurance, is it true that’s all we need?
Your car insurance will cover third party damage whilst your caravan is attached to the car but it will not cover any damage that occurs to your caravan.
Caravan says: Car insurance only extends to third-party caravan cover, and that depends on your policy to start with. In other words, at best, any damage you cause to someone else or their property could be insured. And that’s only when the caravan’s attached to the car.
So, if it’s in storage or on a campsite, it’s not covered. The same applies if you have a bump and it’s your fault. You’ll have to pay for your own repairs. Finally, the repatriation or delivery home of your caravan, if it is badly damaged, may not be covered by this insurance.
Are there restrictions on use?
The caravan can’t be used for business use, let out for hire or used as a permanent residence under the Safeguard policy.
Caravan says: 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, the contents and equipment will still be covered. However, if you’re thinking of hiring it out, that’s a whole different game.
NB: Remember, if you vacate your house for more than 30 days at a time to holiday in your van, your home insurance may actually be invalidated.
How can I pay?
You can pay by one single payment for the year or by monthly instalments. The latter usually involves Direct Debit, which always leaves the onus on you to cancel it when the time is right. Most companies also charge a premium for the credit if you don’t pay in one go.
We only paid £4000 for our caravan, and it’s probably only worth half that now. Is it still worth insuring?
Yes, it is still worth insuring to protect your investment. At Safeguard you get public liability cover included in your policy, which some caravan sites insist on you having in order to stay on their site to ensure you are covered for any damage that you or your caravan may cause to anyone else.
Caravan says: Do you have £2000 in the bank to replace your caravan? And what about any contents and special equipment? Not to mention if you have a scrape and it turns out to be your fault. You should be able to get a competitive rate for your caravan insurance, and it’s worth the peace of mind to know that you are covered.
I’m a member of a club. Does this qualify me for any kind of discount on my insurance premium?
Almost certainly yes. Many insurers just ask about Caravan and Motorhome Club or Camping and Caravanning Club membership initially, so do provide information if you belong to another membership organisation, including an owners’ club.
Any way I can lower my premium further?
If you’ve successfully completed an official caravan manoeuvring course (both 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 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. At Safeguard, you can also choose to insure your caravan on a market value basis as opposed to new for old, which also generally lowers your premium.
Get your caravan insurance quote! Call Safeguard on 0800 298 3767 or visit www.safeguarduk.co.uk/caravan