Do I need static caravan insurance?
There is no legal requirement for you to have insurance for your static caravan, but:
- the requirement may be a condition of the lease agreement at the park on which the caravan is berthed; and
- static caravan insurance naturally offers the safeguards you are likely to want to protect your investment against all manner of loss or damage.
What lease conditions call for insurance?
When you sign the lease allowing you to site your caravan on ground at a particular park or resort, there is almost certain to be a condition relating to your need for a minimum of public liability insurance.
This is designed to provide your indemnity against claims that may be made by those on neighbouring pitches, visitors to the site or members of the general public who suffer an injury or have their own property damaged through action – or inaction – for which they hold you responsible.
Since this type of claim – especially if serious injury, or even death is involved – may assume very significant proportions, public liability insurance typically offers at least £1 million of cover, and not infrequently, £5 million.
Do I have to buy that insurance from the park management?
Although there may be a condition in your lease requiring some form of insurance for your static caravan and your ownership of it, it is very rare for any site management to insist that the cover may only be bought from the park management – although it is equally certain to be offered to you.
Instead, you are likely to be free to choose to buy your static caravan insurance from wherever you choose – including ourselves here at Cover4Caravans, of course – and simply furnish a copy of the insurance document to the site management company as proof of your cover. (Note that the site manager may charge you a fee to see sight of your cover, but overall, you should still save money).
Issues involving conflicts between owners and site management about the scope and level of insurance have been taken up in the past by the Financial Ombudsman Service.
What are the principal elements of static caravan insurance?
In addition to any public liability cover, of course, is protection for your caravan itself against loss or damage.
There may be considerable variation in the benefits offered by different insurers. For increased peace of mind, for instance, you might want to choose a policy that provides for the replacement of your caravan with a new one of equivalent make and model in the event of a total loss – this is typically restricted to caravans below a certain age and you might want to choose a policy that offers this benefit for the longest period possible.
What steps do I need to take to mitigate the risks of loss or damage?
A typical condition of your static caravan insurance relates to the security measures you are required to take.
These may range from the need to lock windows and doors whenever you leave the caravan unattended and you may gain reductions in the cost of premiums by upgrading those locks and by installing fire alarms and intruder detectors.
Other conditions may extend to ways in which you must ensure the security of your caravan and minimise the risk of loss or damage when it is left unoccupied for any length of time – say, during the park’s closed or winter season.
Readily accessible from any of the Home Counties, from the west and from the Midlands, Hampshire makes an ideal destination for a break with your caravan for the long weekend – and there is so much to see and do, you’ll probably be only too glad it’s a long weekend.
If it’s your first outing of the year, though, don’t forget to check that your touring caravan insurance is fully up to date.
- Forest or beach?
Do you want the shady glades of a woodland caravan site or do you want one close to the beach? Do you want to clamber over the rocks on the seashore or walk through the shady forest?
Pitch up at Harrow Wood Farm Caravan Park, just five miles outside the charming town of Christchurch, and you can have the best of both worlds – bracing coastal walks around nearby Hengistbury Head and a caravan site within the verdant National Park of the New Forest.
- Hayling Island
Fancy a trip on a narrow-gauge railway? Hop on the one at Hayling Seaside, and you’ll be able to alight right in the heart of all the thrills and spills of Funland Amusement Park – there’s plenty there to keep the whole family active the whole of the day.
If you want to stay with your caravan on Hayling Island, why not check out Fishery Creek Touring Park – it’s right on the water’s edge and is large enough to accommodate scores of touring caravans even on a busy Bank Holiday weekend.
- Selsey Bill
That’s the place, not the local character, and might give you a quieter time than its neighbour, Hayling Island, just across the entrance to Portsmouth Harbour. While Selsey is actually classed as Sussex, it borders Hampshire and is well worth a visit.
There’s naturally a maritime theme, with the RNLI Selsey Lifeboat Station and Museum, but also the chance to follow trails through the Medmerry Nature Reserve, right at the tip of the peninsula.
Warner Farm Touring Park, on Selsey Bill, has well over 100 pitches for touring caravans – from fully-serviced, hard standing pitches, to standard grass pitches.
- National Motor Museum
The largest motor museum in the country is in the grounds of the medieval Beaulieu Abbey, which has been in the Montagu family since 1538. There is not only the motor museum and the beautiful surrounding gardens, but the estate also stretches to the hamlet of Bucklers Hard, where Nelson’s ships were built using New Forest oak.
You can pitch your caravan just a few miles from the Beaulieu estate at Roundhill Caravan and Camping Site – a spacious park on the mixed heathland and forest of the New Forest National Park. The 500 pitches give you plenty of varied and diverse spots from which to choose.
If you want to combine a little retail therapy with your weekend caravanning, Southampton’s Westquay shopping mall is going to be a major attraction. The port city is also a gateway to the Isle of Wight – via the Red Funnel ferry service – which is also worth a daytrip.
At the end of a busy day, you are able to make the short three-mile drive along the M27 motorway, to find a peaceful and relaxing retreat at Sunnydale Farm Camping and Caravan Site.
You are likely to compare caravan insurance for very similar reasons to those when comparing any type of insurance:
- having decided just what type of cover you need, you compare the various products on offer that appear to meet those needs; and
- at the same time, you compare the prices of the most likely products.
Although your comparison of caravan insurance is really no different in principle, it may be complicated by your questioning just what cover might be appropriate for your particular caravan, where to find the products you need in what is after all a definite niche in the wider insurance market, and deciding whether the prices quoted represent good value for money.
In other words, caravan insurance is very much a specialist form of insurance – so you might want to consult a specialist provider with experience in having arranged cover for many other caravan owners.
That is a description which fits us very well here at Cover4Caravans. We have many years of experience in understanding the particular needs of our caravan-owning customers, matching those needs to the products available and providing a meaningful comparison of competitive quotes.
London Economics has identified the critical role that is played by independent insurance brokers such as ourselves in identifying the risks of insured items, providing customers with more reliable information about insurance products – in a market where there is “imperfect information” – comparing the relative merits of competing products and offering help and assistance in the event of a claim having to be made.
Knowing your caravan
Our expertise in this particular niche of the market means that we are almost certain to have encountered the make and model of your own caravan before. Naturally, this is a considerable assistance in establishing insured values and in providing a basis on which risks may be assessed.
It is an understanding and familiarity which helps an independent broker to identify your individual needs and to home in on those products most likely to meet your needs, before making a thorough caravan insurance comparison on your behalf.
An accurate and realistic valuation of your caravan is important to establishing the total sum insured and the basis for comparing levels of compensation for loss or damage.
In the worst case scenario, for example, in which your caravan is totally destroyed by an insured event, some insurers may offer replacement as new (provided the caravan was less than a given number of years old), or replaced according to assessed market values at the time of the incident. When you compare caravan insurance, you clearly need to know which of these policies is adopted by the selected insurers under review.
Additional factors for comparison
There are a number of additional features and benefits which some insurers offer, whilst others do not.
We are able to advise, for instance, whether products offer free European cover for your caravan, discounts reflecting the level of security used to safeguard and track your caravan in the event of it being stolen, discounts for membership of a recognised caravan club, and further discounts for storage of your caravan at a secure Caravan Storage Site Owners’ Association (CaSSOA) site when it is laid up out of season.