An Autoleisure Guide to Caravan Insurance
Caravanning has become hugely popular in the UK, and with the ‘staycation’ becoming the most feasible holiday this year there have been a boom in the sales of caravans and motorhomes. But is your caravan fully insured both on and off the road? And what exactly does your policy cover? Today we are going to look at some important factors to consider when taking out your caravan insurance policy and how to make sure you are always fully covered.
Do I Need Caravan Insurance?
So, perhaps the most commonly asked question is whether caravan insurance is a legal requirement? And the short answer to this is no. This means you have every right to leave your caravan completely unprotected and take your chances with the big bad world. But be sure to note motorhome insurance is however a legal requirement, this is due to it being classed as a vehicle, so it will need to be insured in order to be taken on the road.
Why Get Your Caravan Insured?
Assuming you own a caravan (and therefore don’t legally need insurance), why is it a good idea to get it insured anyway? Well, caravans can often represent a rather large investment of money, with the latest model’s costing tens of thousands of pounds. With their versatile nature caravans are designed to be taken thousands of miles, and all over the world if desired. However, with this freedom comes the risk of potential bumps and accidents to both your caravan and the contents inside it.
For example, if you were to take your caravan on the road without insurance and are involved in a road accident which is your fault, any damage to your caravan will not be covered. Your car insurance policy will cover the damage to your car and damage to third party vehicles and property, but that is as far as it goes. If this is the case, it is a very easy way to lose a lot of money. Please note – although most of the time your car insurance policy will continue to cover your vehicle when towing a caravan, it is always worth double checking before you start towing.
There also around 4000 caravan thefts a year, which even with the latest caravan security equipment cannot always be prevented. This is why it is a great idea to make sure your caravan is insured annually, even if it’s not in use. To assist against the risk of theft your insurer will often ask you to use a hitch lock or wheel clamp, even if you are just stopped in a service station!
What Do I Need To Cover My Caravan
Like most insurance types, caravan insurance will come with a huge number of add-ons or extra benefits, some of which you will find useful to have on your policy – others not so much. But there are some basics we would always recommend you try and get when you take out your policy. These are:
- Loss or damage cover – This will usually be cover for fire, theft, flood and storm damage, however it’s a good idea to read through your policy documents so you know exactly what you’re covered for.
- Content’s cover – This will cover your belongings inside your caravan and will usually state a limit to the content value which is covered. If you intend on taking a lot of valuables with you try to make sure the stated policy value will be enough to cover your losses.
- Overseas Cover – Most policies will automatically include overseas cover (in Europe), but it is a good idea to double check and ensure you are covered for where you intend to travel.
- Accidental Damage – Accidental damage does exactly what it says on the tin, this will cover you for any damage caused to your caravan by you, accidentally. This could be on the road, at home, or at your caravan pitch.
- “New for Old” Cover – This is usually an optional extra to your policy. If you choose to include this type of cover it generally means if you were to make a claim for total loss, you will receive the value you paid for the caravan, rather than the depreciated value due to the caravan’s age.
Types of Caravan Cover
Caravans come in all shapes and sizes so in order to get the bets value for money they are usually separated into three different categories, let’s take a look at them:
- Touring – Touring caravans are you generic caravans which are towed behind your vehicle, these are the most common types of caravan you will see on the road and are usually straightforward to insure due to their popularity.
- Trailer Tent or Folding Caravans – These are usually far cheaper to buy than traditional caravans. However, due to their simplicity they also lack the level of security seen in touring caravans which makes contents insurance far tougher to get.
- Static Caravan – Caravans which do not or cannot be moved often will fall under the static caravan insurance bracket. This makes them more similar to home insurance, which is easy enough to get. If you do plan on moving your static caravan you should always make sure your chosen courier has sufficient cover for your caravan if there is any damage caused while in transit.
The Cost of Cover
As with all insurance policies there are a huge number of factors to consider when taking out an insurance policy, with both the caravan details and your details having a big impact on the annual insurance fee. The biggest factors being, the make and model of your caravan (i.e., the price), the value of contents, and the location at which it will be stored.
If you are looking for a way to reduce your insurance premium there are various things you can do to help with this. Things to reduce your premiums include:
- Security – The use of security devices including hitch locks, ground anchors and wheel locks will help keep your caravan more secure and also reduce the cost of your insurance.
- Using an Approved Storage Location – When your caravan is not in use it might be a good idea to store it in an approved storage location, these facilities are built to maximise the security of your caravan which will help lower the premium cost.
- Register Your Caravan – Registering your caravan with the Central Reservation and Identification Scheme will help the police identify your caravan if it is stolen which will aid with recovery.