Before you travel, read our car and caravan insurance guide

Caravan magazine


The key questions to buying insurance

To most of us, insurance is a necessary evil. It's hard to uncover the truth about an insurance policy and it’s a pain to fork out your hard-earned money. Until, that is, you need to make a claim.

Here is some advice on what things to consider when buying caravan insurance cover, how to minimise the cost and what you need to do in the event of a claim.


Is caravan insurance compulsory?

No it’s not. Legally, you do not have to have it. Morally and practically there’s no debate, though. Do you seriously want to gamble with the value of your caravan and its contents, let alone your own and others' safety on the road?

Insurance gives you the peace of mind that, no matter what happens to your pride and joy, you can afford to get it sorted – whether it’s your fault or not.

Does my car insurance cover my caravan when I’m towing?

Car insurance only extends to third-party caravan cover, and only when the caravan’s attached to the car. You would not be covered for your own repairs or for claims when the towcar isn’t attached. Also, the repatriation or delivery home of your caravan, if it is badly damaged, may not be covered by this insurance.

Should I tell my car insurer I tow a caravan?

Yes, to be on the safe side. A few insurers will do anything to weedle their way out of a claim.

I’m a club member, do they offer insurance?

Both major clubs offer excellent caravan insurance cover. It may not always be the cheapest, but the quality of service and cover is among the best. Remember, you almost always get what you pay for.

Can’t I just go down the high street?

By all means pop into your favourite broker. But good caravan insurance requires specific knowledge and experience, which the general high-street broker may not have.

What decides the price of a policy?

There are 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/where you use your caravan, your caravan security and storage, and what you have in it.

Magazine subscriptions deal

What’s included?

Your caravan insurance should cover you for loss of, or from, your caravan, plus damage to your caravan, all up to agreed levels. It will also cover you for public liability (should you be unfortunate enough to cause damage to something or someone else), again up to a pre-determined amount.

Will fitting security devices lower my premium?

98% of current policies include certain security requirements to ensure cover in the event of a claim. This usually involves a wheel clamp and/or a hitch-lock.

Adding additional security devices should lower your premium further. Consider a tracker, alarm system, additional wheel clamps, winter wheels, and using CaSSOA secure storage facilities.

Safety devices like AL-KO ATC, BPW iDC and Tyron tyre bands may also lower your premium significantly.

My caravan has an alarm system, but it’s broken. I didn’t bother mentioning this last time I renewed. Am I putting myself at risk?

Yes. You should always be totally honest with your declarations for insurance or it may not pay out when you need it to. The insurer may ask why you and your neighbours were not alerted when a 120-decibel alarm should have been sounding. They would be within their rights to withhold payment, if you misled them during the buying process.

What’s covered?

You need to be clear about what is classed as caravan equipment and what are ‘personal effects’. You may need clarification in writing from your insurer. There is also a cross-over here with your home insurance. The main items (portable TV, laptop computer, camera etc) may already be covered by your household insurance, but it’s unlikely this will stretch to items like gas cylinders and water carriers.

It’s also worth noting that there’s always a maximum limit on what you can claim on an individual item. Caravan insurance will cover fixtures and fittings in relation to the caravan itself. If you add something to your caravan, you should inform your insurer.

How can I pay?

One single payment for the year, or monthly by Direct Debit, with a small extra credit charge added. 

What if I want to go touring abroad?

92% of current policies provide European cover as standard. The number of days touring abroad that is allowed can range from 30 days up to 365 days per year. Only one quarter include cover for the costs of repatriation of the caravan.

Does it matter what kind of towcar I use to pull my caravan?

Insurers will check the towcar and caravan weights in the event of a claim, to make sure the weights are suitable.

Is breakdown cover worth paying for?

Breakdown cover is often offered at reduced rates as part of an insurance package, so it’s worth considering, but check what’s covered, especially caravan recovery.

I’m a member of an owners’ club. Does this qualify me for any kind of discount on my insurance?

Almost certainly, yes.

I’ve just spent £1200 on an awning. Is it covered?

Three-quarters of policies cover awnings as standard, though monetary limits do apply. Check.

What should I do in the event of an accident?

Insurance-wise, if anyone is injured, call 999. You’ll need to swap contact details with any other parties involved. There’s no need to play the blame game at this point in time. Likewise, do not admit liability. Let the insurance company sort that out.

Capture as much evidence as possible on camera. If you suspect the other party may not be using the road legally, e.g. no insurance, tax, licence, etc, ask for proof of identification before they leave the scene; they could easily leave false contact details. If they can’t or won’t comply, consider calling the police. Report any incident to your insurer asap.


Top tips for buying a caravan insurance policy

  • Ring at least two or three different insurers to get a good idea of comparison prices and cover.
  • Focus on features not just price. Pinpoint the features you need from an insurance policy and identify the policies that provide that cover. Buying the cheapest cover could end up being the most expensive option if it doesn’t provide the cover that you need or expect. 
  • Always carefully read through your insurance policy.
  • Check the excess you’re committing to. This is the amount that you will need to pay yourself as part of any claim. For example, a £200 excess means you are responsible for the first £200 of the claim. High excesses generally reduce the premium. With a £200 premium, you might consider it pointless making a claim for anything less than, say £400, as you’ll have to pay the first £200 and your premium may rise as a result.
  • Shop around. And don’t necessarily rely on price comparison websites. Getting on the phone is still the best way to get a ‘feel’ for an insurer’s caravan credentials, and of course, asking specific questions. Do note, though, a lot of insurers say they give an extra discount if you subsequently book online. 
  • Always check what insurance cover you may have in place elsewhere to ensure you aren’t paying for the same or similar cover elements twice. Many home insurance policies now provide cover for personal possessions (items which you normally carry with you).
  • Remember, if you vacate your house for more than 30 days at a time to holiday in your caravan, your home insurance may be invalidated.
  • Check out: for a list of policies star-rated-for-service-and cover.



    More useful Caravan pages:

    Caravan magazine | Caravans for Sale | Caravan Towmatch | Caravan reviews | Accessory marketplace | Caravan advice forums

    Discover how to save money with these Caravan magazine deals