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.
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.
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.
Yes, to be on the safe side. A few insurers will do anything to weedle their way out of a claim.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
One single payment for the year, or monthly by Direct Debit, with a small extra credit charge added.
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.
Insurers will check the towcar and caravan weights in the event of a claim, to make sure the weights are suitable.
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.
Almost certainly, yes.
Three-quarters of policies cover awnings as standard, though monetary limits do apply. Check.
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.