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Buying a new car? Then read about the benefits of GAP insurance

If you are looking to buy a new car  – perhaps for towing your caravan – then you may be interested to find out more about GAP insurance we provide.

You’ve probably heard about GAP insurance. That stands for Guaranteed Asset Protection insurance, since it does just that. It covers the gap in the price you paid for your new car (or any outstanding finance on it) and the amount your motor insurer pays out in settlement following a total loss.

What does GAP insurance cover provide?

GAP insurance provides you with the difference between the price you paid for your car – new or second-hand – and the amount your insurer pays in settlement if accidental damage, fire or theft results in the vehicle being declared a “total loss”.

It is valuable cover, since the difference between what you paid and the lesser amount any insurer is likely to offer in settlement may be considerable.

Why is there a difference between what I paid for the car and how much the insurer pays out?

If your car is stolen or written off, typically you will be offered the current market value of the vehicle – which can often be quite a bit less than what you originally paid for it because of car depreciation.

Buying a car on credit?

GAP insurance may be especially useful if you are buying the car on credit since it covers the difference between your outstanding balance of repayments and the settlement offered by your insurer following a total loss. Without it, you would still be paying the car finance company until the balance is repaid but have no car to show for it.

More than that, the policies we arrange also ensure that you are provided with a like-for-like replacement hire vehicle for up to 28 days while your total loss claim is being sorted out.

How much does it cost?

The cost of GAP insurance premiums is based on the amount you paid for your car and how long you want the cover to last (it is available from between 2 and 5 years).

The table below illustrates a case where you paid £25,000 for your car and the maximum benefit offered by GAP insurance (the maximum shortfall between what you paid, or the finance outstanding, and the settlement of a total loss claim), depending on the duration of cover:

Maximum
Benefit
Term
Months
Insurance premium
(Inc. Insurance Premium Tax)
£10,000 24 £173.79
£15,000 24 £184.53
£20,000 24 £195.27
     
£10,000 36 £226.93
£15,000 36 £237.68
£20,000 36 £248.42

Are there any exclusions or restrictions?

As with any type of insurance cover, it is important that you read the policy documents carefully to be aware of its exclusions and restrictions.

In the case of GAP insurance, for instance, examples of the exclusions and restrictions include (but are not limited to):

  • the car being no more than 8 years old and having fewer than 80,000 miles on the clock;
  • GAP insurance must be purchased within 180 days of your taking possession of the vehicle;
  • its value must be no more than £150,000; and
  • you keeping the car comprehensively insured throughout the term of your GAP insurance.

Certain vehicle types may also be excluded such as American, Australian or Canadian vehicles not built for the UK market and, kit cars.

Do you just cover cars?

No. We offer GAP cover for other types of vehicles too – GAP insurance is available for vans, taxis and lorries up to 44 tonnes.

Where can I find out more about GAP insurance?

If you want to find out more about GAP insurance, or wish to get a quote, then our Alan Blunden & Co Ltd office in London Road, Westcliff-on-Sea will be able to help.  You can pop in during office hours or give them a call on 01702 826060.

York Caravan Park Site Review

This review is based on my visit in March 2019 when I stayed for one week, but also draws on a previous visit in April 2017. The site is located north east of the city around three miles from the Minster.

Firstly, as always, getting there. The approach is quite straightforward and should hold no fears for even novices – our Site Arrival video below shows the approach from the A64 which is the route recommended by the site – the turn off is about 18 miles from the junction with the A1, however the A1237 is fine too.

The site site is under the Tranquil Parks umbrella and so is adults only, generally opening from mid-March through to the beginning of January making it handy for a Christmas and/or New Year getaway. There are a total of 55 fully serviced pitches, the majority of which are hardstanding, however eight grass pitches are available, weather permitting. You’ll see from the  Site Plan  https://www.yorkcaravanpark.com/caravan-park-plan/) that a number of pitches border the little lake which, currently you can fish for free. You are more than welcome to pitch nose in to make the most of the view but bear in mind that then, the hook up bollard and waste point will be at the front of the pitch. You may need to consider the length of your water and waste hose if doing so.

Access to the site is protected by a barrier, the fob for which you will need £10 cash as a deposit. The reception building is to your right by the barrier, with visitors car parking opposite. Further to the left are the rubbish and recycling bins, then to the right as you enter the pitching area is a motorhome service point. Arrivals are permitted from midday with departure by 11:30am although you can pay to arrive earlier and/or leave later if space is available.

The facilities block sits just behind the lake and there’s some picnic benches there too. A feature of this site are the massive en-suite units consisting of toilet, wash basin and a very large shower – possibly the biggest I’ve seen on a site. Sometimes the hot water took a few minutes to come through but that maybe because I generally went for the same one that may have been the furthest from the boiler. When it did though it was plentiful and they really are the sort of showers you could spend quite a long time in.

Also here is the laundry room – one washer, one washer/drier and one drier at the time of writing. Machines were coin operated and a wash cost three quid. There were also sinks and an ironing board and coin operated iron. In addition this served as the information room too with a variety of leaflets and menus and recommendations for pubs and takeaways. Around the back is the chemical toilet emptying point.

As you will see from the site map, your four legged pals are accommodated with a dog exercise area to the rear of 31-35.

For those that like to keep in touch with the outside world, free Wi-Fi is available but whilst all major mobile operators report a good signal, voice calls on my ‘3’ phone were a bit hit and miss indoors. Data was fine with the phone in the window though.

I didn’t set up my TV here but Digital UK reports that you should be fine, however there are aerial hook-up points on the bollard.

Right, getting out and about. York is the obvious draw here and rightly so, its a city I don’t think Ill ever tire of visiting. Getting there is easy – as mentioned its just under three miles to the Minster and within the walking capability of many. Another great feature of this site though is the bus stop that’s almost literally outside the site entrance. The Coastliner (http://www.yorkbus.co.uk/Coastliner.htm) buses ply their trade along this route and run every half an hour or so during the day. The journey west into york takes around twenty minutes and calls at the Railway Station – handy for the excellent and free National Railway Museum. (https://www.railwaymuseum.org.uk/) Have a look at our Slide Show (https://youtu.be/ycAVLDZxKQM) for a taster. If you stay on the bus it will pass through Tadcaster – home to the John Smiths and Samuel Smith breweries, along with one of the big international fizz merchants. The bus continues on to Leeds which is well worth a day out. I particularly enjoyed the Kirkgate Indoor Market, where you are perhaps more likely to find locals than tourists, and the old Corn Exchange. Some of the cross street Arcades are impressive too and there’s some great architecture to be found city wide.

It’s about an hour to Leeds on the bus from the site, but if you fancy a change, you can jump on a train at York Station – trains are plentiful.

Heading east from the site on the bus will take you to the coast, the interchange being at Malton. One service will continue on to Scarborough, however I was on the Whitby bus, stopping at the excellent Eden Camp museum (https://www.edencamp.co.uk/)  – well worth a visit – and Pickering, where you could join the North Yorkshire Moors Railway (https://www.nymr.co.uk/), timetables permitting. The bus also calls in at Goathland – perhaps better known as Aidensfield in TV’s Heartbeat. It’s around two hours to Whitby from the site – and that’s a fair old time to be on a bus but I found them extremely comfortable. There’s on board Wi-Fi and USB charging points, but make sure you head to the top deck if you can and enjoy some of the stunning views of the moors on the way.

Whilst in Whitby I would recommend a walk up the 199 steps to the Abbey – under the stewardship of English Heritage – and you could always reward yourself with a pint at the Whitby Brewery Tap. The courtyard is a lovely sun trap. The views back over Whitby from the top of the steps are lovely too.

It’s worth heading over to West Cliff to to see the Whalebone arch and the Captain Cook memorial as well as an another great view across the town.

Fish and Chips whilst in Whitby is almost mandatory and there are plenty of options – and recommendations as to the best – but The Magpie Cafe option crops up as a favourite. Real Ale fans might want to head to the Little Angel on Wednesdays where you’ll find a wide range of ales on offer at just over three quid a pint.

Back near the site, the Toby carvery is probably the nearest and you will have passed it on the way to the site. There’s more pubs too in nearby Heworth on the bus rout into the city.

The Monks Cross retail park is around a five minute drive away for a bit of retail therapy but some of the major supermarket chains are here too along with filling stations to top up for your onward or homeward journey.

York Caravan Park – https://www.yorkcaravanpark.com/

Site Arrival Video

Beating the biters! How NOT to get bitten on your Summer holiday!

Once upon a time, you only really had to worry about being bitten to death by pesky mosquitoes, insects and other nefarious bugs when you took your caravan abroad. With the sub-tropical summers we’ve experienced in the UK of late, the dangers may be somewhat closer to home.

So, whether you’re looking forward to your next Summer holiday in your caravan in this country or on the Continent, here are a few tips on keeping all those bugs at bay and avoid getting bitten.

The risks

The risks of becoming seriously ill following an insect bite or sting in the UK is thankfully quite small, according to reassuring advice from the NHS.

There is less room for complacency when you travel abroad. In the future, said a report by Reuters on the 28th of March 2019, there may be even more to worry about if climate change brings potentially fatal diseases, such as dengue, chikungunya and Zika, to parts of Europe.

Avoid being bitten

Whether it’s a tiresome and irritating but minor complaint, or something more serious, the most important steps to take are to avoid being bitten in the first place:

  • be very British and keep calm and carry on – don’t jump about, or try swatting the wasps, bees or hornets;
  • keep exposed skin covered by wearing loose clothing, especially when mosquitoes are likely to be most active, such as at sunset or sunrise;
  • you can also buy insect repellent clothing – clothing manufacturers such as CragHoppers, Cotswold Outdoor and several other companies provide a range of tops, shirts, shorts and trousers;
  • wear your shoes when you go outside;
  • never disturb an insect nest;
  • take extra care around flowering plants, compost, rubbish, stagnant water, and in areas where food is being served outside;
  • if you want to keep the windows and doors of your caravan open, make sure to cover them with netting or use door beads to stop the insects getting inside;
  • avoid pitching your caravan close to lakes, ponds or rivers, since these are just the places that insects are likely to congregate; and
  • avoid healthcare and beauty products – such as deodorants, shampoo and soaps – which have strong perfumes, since some might attract insects.

Repellents

Public Health England stresses the importance of using insect repellents – night and daytime, inside your caravan and when outdoors – on areas of exposed skin. The active ingredients need to be either DEET, lemon eucalyptus extract or PMD, or Picaridin (20%).

Of the three, Public Health England recommends 50% DEET as the most effective, since it is the longest acting, and you don’t need to apply it so many times during the day. It also contains the active ingredient believed to have no ill-effects on pregnant women or their unborn children.

These repellents may be bought over the counter as creams or sprays, but many of the active ingredients are also available for slow, vaporised release in small plug-in electric devices.

Travel Sage suggests the top five of these gadgets, which use various repellent chemicals, such as allethrin, permethrin, and DEET.

If you want to stick to an entirely natural repellent, slow-burning citronella candles or other essential oils (such as oil of lemon eucalyptus) might be your preference. The company Body Source even sells special bracelets you can wear which are infused with 100% natural ingredients comprising citronella, lemongrass and geraniol essential oils.

How to find the best touring caravan insurance quotes

Who sells the best touring cover? That may be the $64,000 question – but it is well-nigh impossible to answer!

In reality, the best touring caravan insurance for one person might not be an ideal solution for another.  While your neighbour or colleague may say their caravan insurance is the best, it may not be the best cover for you, as you may have different requirements and usage of your ‘van. The safest way to progress your selection is to decide what you need from your cover and look at the options available to you.

Try to remember not to become too focused on the price alone.  Having very low cost caravan insurance cover won’t be important to you any longer if you find yourself in the position of needing to make a claim.

The best options for you

No one could ever blame you for trying to find the best caravan insurance cover that you can, to help you protect the investment that you may have made in your vehicle.

When you begin shopping around, seeing a product advertised as the best caravan insurance cover may be misleading.

Not only is it a question of finding the best touring caravan insurance for you, but you need to take in to account how often you use your caravan, your views on caravan security and what you can do to help keep your caravan a bit safer – these will all typically influence the type of caravan cover that may be most appropriate for you.

Keep your options open

One of the main elements of getting a suitable caravan insurance deal is choice – which is why you may need to take some time to compare caravan insurance companies as well as policies in order to get the best touring caravan insurance quotes.

When looking for cover, do remember that different policies may offer different levels of cover reflecting the providers’ own view of the importance of the typical risks a touring caravan may face.

Where and how you plan to use your touring caravan

As the owner of a touring caravan, you may fall into one of two broad categories.

You may:

  • do all of your touring in the UK; or
  • occasionally (or frequently) cross the channel and tour the continent.

If you are in the first group, a caravan insurance policy, which does not include continental cover, may be perfectly acceptable to you.

On the other hand, if you do prefer to venture further afield, then continental cover as standard may be a feature of tourer insurance that you actively seek out.

You may also take a special interest in the number of days cover or mileage allowance actually provided by a policy, as this may limit your freedom to travel where and when you choose.

Will I need to pay more for continental cover?

Some policies might offer up to 280 days continental touring cover as part of their standard policy.

Others might offer absolutely nothing and require you to pay extra for cover every time you leave the UK.

If you plan to make relatively frequent flits across the channel, it might be more cost-effective to find a policy that includes cover automatically.

The best touring caravan insurance quotes

The best touring caravan insurance quotes, therefore, are likely to be those that deliver precisely what you need – tailored to your particular, individual requirements.

Further considerations when comparing those quotes might include:

Replacing your caravan following its total write-off

  • the product offerings of insurance providers on this subject vary hugely;
  • some might offer you a new for old replacement if your caravan is up to a certain age limit, providing that you have been the sole owner since new;
  • other policies might be more generous and not take into account any consideration about how many owners there may have been, though there may still be an upper age limit – typically 5 years’ with our policies – after which market value will be used;
  • this underscores the importance of reading your policy very carefully;

The contents of your touring caravan

  • it is typically possible to take out contents cover though you may find there are restrictions in terms of certain types of items being left in your tourer when unattended;

Security – playing your part in mitigating losses

  • if you use our services to help you find a solution to your touring caravan needs, then we may be able to provide you with details of policies where the providers may ask that you take some fairly common sense steps to improve tourer security;
  • for example, it is very common to find terms and conditions in a touring policy that might constrain, under certain situations, where you can take your caravan or where you can unhitch it and leave it unaccompanied;
  • many policies stipulate that you can only unhitch your caravan if you are on a formally designated and serviced touring park;
  • if you leave your caravan unsupervised whilst it is still attached to your towing vehicle, you may need to secure it with both a hitchlock and wheel clamps – if you unhitch the caravan you may be required to fit wheel clamps only;
  • some policies might not allow you to park your touring caravan on the public road when not in use and others may have limitations on whether or not you can take your caravan outside of the UK and if so, for how long;
  • fitting a tracker device to your touring caravan may also help in its recovery following its theft;
  • your touring caravan is probably at its most vulnerable when it is unused, unoccupied and laid up for the winter – recognising the greater security provided, some insurance providers offer a discount if you agree to store your tourer when it is not in use at a registered Caravan Storage Site Owners’ Association (CaSSOA) site;

Check out our short videos on caravan insurance, storage and security here for more information.

Awnings

  • awnings are a widely popular additional feature of many touring caravans;
  • loss or damage to the awning may be covered by your insurance, but many insurers attach special conditions;
  • storm damage to your awning, for example, may only be covered if you are in or around your caravan at the time the loss or damage occurs;
  • leaving your awning open when you are away from your tourer may, therefore, be something best avoided.

The best touring caravan insurance for you

When you look at the best touring caravan insurance quotes, you may typically find that what is best for you may not be best for another touring caravan owner. There may be policies that offer cover that just strikes more of a chord with you.

Getting some help in understanding what you need to look out for when you compare the best touring caravan insurance quotes is something our service may be able to offer. As specialists in touring caravan insurance, we can connect you with providers of policies that may be particularly suitable for your own set of circumstances not just in terms of the caravan cover offered, but the price too.

The best caravan insurance cover for you, in other words, is likely to be the policy that provides you with the cover you need and at a price that you are happy with.

To answer that question thoroughly, you might want to contact us here at Cover4Caravans, where we will be only too pleased to discuss the subject further with you, help you find what you are looking for, and carefully go through with you any policy in which you are interested – so, please feel free to get in touch!

Caravan insurance money saving tips

Whether you own a touring caravan or a static caravan used as your holiday home, you are probably aware of the importance of caravan insurance – to protect the ‘van itself, its contents, and the various liabilities with which you may be faced as its owner.

Here, then, are some of our top tips on saving money on your caravan insurance.

Safeguarding your pride and joy

Your caravan might be the pride and joy of you and your family – a prized possession which gives you many exciting holidays throughout the year and one which deserves the adequate and effective protection of suitable insurance.

Away from the hustle, bustle and all round excitement of the long days of summer caravanning, this time of year might be just the time to review how much you are paying for your touring caravan insurance – and whether there are ways you might be cutting that cost.

At Cover4Caravans, we understand how many of you are looking for ways to manage down your costs.

That is perfectly understandable, and it applies, of course, to caravan insurance as much as anything.

We are and always have been, firmly committed to providing our customers with suitable and what we consider is highly cost-attractive insurance deals, but some components of your cost base might actually be under your control. That’s why we are offering here some of our top tips on things you can do that may help you to keep your cost of insurance down.

Saving money on the cover you need

You might quite properly give your touring caravan insurance a high priority, but that does not mean overlooking the opportunities for saving money on its cost.

Whenever you are buying any kind of insurance, it is not just a question of going for the cheapest, but the cover you actually need – the cover that provides the protection for your individual needs and circumstances.

This is just as true when looking for caravan insurance – bearing in mind that your needs and circumstances may change from one year to the next.

The aim, therefore, is likely to be finding cover that represents good value for money, rather than just an apparently bargain basement deal.

Shopping around

You are likely to want to do some shopping around, but this may prove a daunting task these days, with so many insurers offering such a wide range of products.

Advice might be given by friends, relatives or fellow caravanners, but what you are really likely to appreciate is expert, professional advice about securing good value for money.

Using a specialist broker

It might prove quite an involved and complicated question deciding the cover you need for your particular make, model and age of touring caravan and the use to which it is put.

To complicate things still further, there is a wide array of insurers all apparently competing for your business and offering a broad range of products to do so.

An experienced broker – such as ourselves here at Cover4Caravans – may be in the best position to make the closest match between your particular, individual needs and the products available in this niche of the insurance market. With an expertise and experience gained over a number of years, we not only recognise your particular, individual needs, but also have the industry wide connections to suggest those insurance policies matching your requirements – at a competitive market price

We may help to identify caravan insurance products which you might not otherwise find for yourself – and, into the bargain, help you to save money on the price of the premiums. We can answer many of your questions – and arrange the cover you need – entirely online, but if you prefer an even more personal touch, simply call us via our dedicated telephone helpline – no waiting in a queue to talk to an anonymously distant call centre agent.

Additional money saving tips

Even with our help in identifying suitable caravan insurance policies, there are still further ways you may be able to save money:

Club membership

  • your membership of a caravan club, for example, helps to show that you are a responsible caravan owner, sharing the ideals of your fellow caravanners;

Security and safe storage

  • insurers are taking on the risk of loss or damage to your touring caravan and its contents;
  • the more you are able to mitigate those risks, the fewer are there for the insurer to cover, and so a reduced rate of premiums may be charged;
  • fitting safer and more secure locks on doors and windows might be a good place to start, but whilst you are about it, why not also look at immobilisation devices such as hitchlocks and wheel clamps (which may be required by your insurer in any case), and motion-detecting intruder alarms;
  • some security measures may be for your own personal safety, too – fire alarms and carbon monoxide detectors are just two such devices which spring immediately to mind;
  • the winter time, or other periods when it is not in regular use, may leave your touring caravan especially vulnerable to risks of loss or damage, particularly from theft and vandalism;
  • these risks are likely to be apparent if the caravan is left for long periods of time in the driveway of your home and may become even more acute if your caravan is parked some way away, in the corner of a farmer’s field, for instance;
  • CaSSOA storage sites all meet established standards of security for the safe storage of your touring caravan out of season and the sites are graded according to the particular level of security maintained;
  • an alternative register – and one recommended by the Caravan Club – for helping to trace your caravan if it is stolen or for checking the status of one you are planning to buy is TheftCheck;

Consider taking a higher voluntary excess

  • this essentially means that you will simply volunteer to pay a slightly higher sum towards the cost of any future successful claims that the policy typically will oblige you to;
  • in such situations, the policy provider may well offer a reduced premium as a result;

Review the cover levels for both your caravan and its contents

  • it is not unusual to see cases where owners have either over or underinsured their caravan;
  • it is worth making sure that your maximum cover levels are not unrealistically high (or low!) even if you need to ask for assistance in reaching an accurate estimate;
  • however, we would advise against over-reacting here and simply reducing reasonable cover levels simply to try and save relatively modest sums on your caravan insurance – you might regret it if something went wrong and you needed to make a claim;

Do something about high-risk components associated with your caravan and its cover

  • at its heart, caravan insurance and the price you pay for it is closely related to the policy provider’s perceptions of the risks they are taking;
  • if you are currently doing something with your caravan that an insurance provider considers to be a high risk, then typically the premium will increase – if all other things are equal – it therefore follows that anything you do to remove those risky behaviours may result in a reduction in your premium;
  • an example of this might be if you unhitch and a park your caravan on the public road outside your property;
  • some policies might actually prohibit that  – making your cover invalid – and those that do cover it may increase their premiums accordingly. By making sure that your touring caravan is never unhitched, unless it is on either an approved site or your own property, you may be able to reduce your costs.

By taking on board some of these tips and suggestions you may be able to secure suitable protection for the pride and joy of your family’s holiday life, whilst enjoying the benefits of money saved on the cost of insurance.

A further note on saving money on your static caravan insurance

When looking around for a longed-for second or holiday home, you might have settled on a static caravan. This is a home that can be moved, of course, but rarely leaves its designated pitch on a purpose designed holiday park or resort – so static caravan is generally a more apt description than the alternative mobile home.

The annual rent you pay to the park owners for keeping your static caravan on its chosen pitch is likely to be a major source of expenditure. But there are other ongoing running costs and chief of these is static caravan insurance for your holiday home.

In addition to the many money saving measures you might take for caravan insurance in general, there are a few steps that might be especially relevant to your static caravan:

  • it is not simply a question of arranging sufficient cover for your holiday home and its contents, but there are other risks to think about too – public liability insurance, for instance, to protect you against claims from members of the public who are injured or have their property damaged in some way connected with your static caravan;
  • you may find that your site owner offers their own static home insurance cover – in most cases, however, you are not obliged to take their cover and may get more comprehensive protection and at a more cost-effective price, by shopping around, provided you are able to show the park management company that you have a minimum of public liability insurance;
  • many owners of this type of holiday home also enjoy the extra income that may be earned by letting it out to paying guests or tenants from time to time – an occurrence your insurer is likely to regard as a “material fact” affecting the risks that need to be covered, so you need to disclose that fact to your insurer;
  • your static caravan faces a number of risks and perils – during the times that it is occupied by you or your paying guests and during the park’s closed winter season when it is left unoccupied;
  • if you want to save money on your caravan insurance premiums, therefore, it is worth demonstrating to any insurer that you are taking every reasonable precaution to ensure the security and safety of your holiday home and have invested in mitigating against any loss or damage;
  • this extends to some of the more obvious measures such as the locks used for securing doors and windows and the installation of smoke detectors and fire alarms;
  • but it might also extend to the levels of security maintained at your chosen holiday park, during the closed season or when your holiday home is left unoccupied – when 24-hour monitoring and onsite patrols by the site’s management may be taken into account by your insurer;
  • remember, too, that if you intend to let your holiday home for any period, you also assume the responsibility for tenants’ safety – with respect to gas appliances, the risk of fire, and any danger from carbon monoxide fumes;

In summary, whether you own a static caravan or a touring caravan, securing good value for money and saving money on your insurance premiums, therefore, might be a combination of drawing on the expertise and experience of an established broker such as ourselves here at Cover4Caravans as well as using the tips suggested above.

Finally, remember that if you have questions or concerns over your caravan insurance, or would rather get a quote from a person rather than getting an online caravan insurance quote, then please do contact us. We’d love to hear from you and would be delighted to help.