If you own a static caravan, of course you are concerned to protect it in the best way possible – and that means static caravan insurance.
While you are busy comparing policies and considering the nature and extent of the cover needed by your particular holiday home, you are also likely to want to save money on static caravan insurance.
The following are some of the most frequently asked questions we receive on just that subject.
Isn’t saving money about buying the cheapest static caravan insurance?
One of the world’s most potentially misleading words is “cheapest”.
In one sense, it is relatively easy to define. If you have a caravan policy that costs X amount and another that costs X plus 10%, then clearly the first policy is the cheapest.
Yet things can become a little more complicated because what such simplicity doesn’t communicate is exactly the nature of the cover provided.
That is why it is sometimes worrying to hear some caravanners speak of their approach to policy selection being very straightforward – they say: “for static caravan insurance, cheapest options are always the way to go”.
They may stay very content with that selection approach, right up until the point they need to make a claim and then perhaps for the first time, they’ll sit down and look carefully at what their policy contains.
Doesn’t all static caravan cover offer more or less the same degree of protection?
No – it does not.
To take just one simple example, some policies may exclude all flood risks. Others may simply do so based upon whether or not your chosen site is prone to flooding and yet other policies may offer relatively unrestricted cover for flooding and related damage.
The only way to be sure whether or not the policy is going to offer you suitable cover is to read it carefully.
An important point to remember with static caravan insurance – cheapest options might not always provide you with the cover you require.
Of course, the very low-cost policy may provide perfectly adequate cover but equally, it might not. If it doesn’t, you may have to ask yourself the question, just when do you want to discover that? At the time you are selecting a policy to purchase or when you are in the position of needing to try and make a claim?
Many will hopefully agree that the former approach makes greater sense and that in turn means that selecting cover based upon cost alone is not the way to go.
Some people might suggest that this is simply a scare tactic and an attempt to justify some policies being more expensive than others. Yet for that argument to be credible, would need to mean that broadly speaking, all policies provided more or less the same cover and the only thing that differed between them was their price.
What are some of the ways static caravan insurance policies differ?
You may have a number of options when it comes to fixing yourself up with static caravan cover and there may be a few aspects of cover for static caravans that may differ quite significantly from one provider to another – which you may therefore wish to take special note of. These include:
- cover for your awning – not all policies may cover this at all and of those that do, a separate value for your awning may have to be declared on the policy schedule;
- you may additionally find that storm damage cover for open awnings only applies if you were in your caravan at the time the damage happened;
- if you are looking for new for old replacement cover for your static then you may be all too well aware that the age of your caravan may be an important factor in determining the level of cover that may apply – with some providers limiting new for old replacements to caravans under three years old, you may appreciate those policies where the cut-off point is 5 years and regardless of the number of previous owners (the latter which we offer);
- check the terms and conditions of your policy to see if you are obliged to take any special actions to improve caravan safety over the winter period – while your caravan insurance may typically still provide cover over the closed winter season, this may be dependent on you having the heating and water systems drained down to reduce risks of frost damage.
A final important point to note when it comes to procuring insurance cover for your static caravan is that in most cases, you are under no obligation to purchase your cover from the site owner.
In most cases you are free to shop around and find the policy which most appropriately matches your caravan and the way you use it. Even if you are charged a fee by your site owner for “admin purposes” (where they ask for sight of your independently-sourced insurance cover), you could still be quids in!
How can I reduce the cost of my insurance?
However numerous your options may be, you may typically have only one main aim and that is to find the most suitable level of cover for you and your caravan at the most cost-attractive price.
An obvious approach is to shop around thoroughly and to be sure that you have compared a number of different options in order to find one that is cost-effective.
One way of achieving this may be to let us experts at Cover4Caravans help you to find a policy that is appropriate for you.
We can use your details and our expertise to put together some quotes for you from a variety of static caravan insurance providers.
All you have to do is chose the one you prefer. Don’t worry if you prefer not to use the internet for this type of business as we also run a telephone service.
Something else that is worth thinking about is how you can change aspects of the way you handle your insurance and caravan, which might lead to a reduction in premium.
You might wish to consider:
- taking a higher excess on the policy;
- installing additional security devices around your caravan to reduce the risk of theft and vandalism;
- removing highly valuable contents from the caravan that might increase the cost of your contents cover (some policies might not actually cover such items including things such as cash, jewellery, hi-fi and electronic devices).
Responsible insurance providers such as ourselves at Cover4Caravans will always be willing to offer you advice as to how you might benefit from any particular discounts offered for different behaviours.
Can I live in my static caravan permanently?
This question involves a number of different factors including things such as local authority permissions etc.
Some of these are not directly related to insurance.
In terms of insurance, however, as a general principle, a static caravan policy will only cover you for the use of the static in a recreational capacity and for a certain number of weeks each year.
If you decide, for whatever reason, that you need to move permanently or semi-permanently into your caravan, you may be putting your cover at risk.
It is also worth noting that you cannot presume that park home insurance will automatically be the solution. Policies of that type may permit permanent occupation, but they may also make certain demands of the site your caravan is located on and local authority formal licensing for permanent residency etc.
If you are considering living in your static caravan for an extended period of time, you should speak with your insurance provider in advance.
So, the cheapest might not turn out to be the best?
It is worth stressing once again that the cheapest may not always be the best.
For the reasons we have given, adopting an approach to policy selection that focusses largely on price might result in you ending up with cover that is not what you expected or is plainly unsuitable in many respects.
That is why it is worth taking your time in selecting cover and looking at a number of options. It is only by cross-comparing one policy against another, perhaps with the help of a specialist provider, that you might eventually reach some degree of confidence that you have identified a suitable solution.
Even if you have been a caravan devotee for a number of years and have had no real complaints about your current insurance deal, you may still find it worthwhile to compare touring caravan insurance.
That’s because nothing ever stays entirely the same.
For example, over the years you may have:
- changed your caravan – you may have sold it and bought another or spent money refurbishing it;
- changed how and where you use your caravan;
- moved house or moved the storage location of your ‘van.
These are three of very many changes that may have happened over the years, any of which may have a bearing on your caravan insurance. So, taking a couple of minutes to compare touring caravan insurance to keep up to date with general trends may make sense.
Yet, when asked the question, “why should you compare touring caravan insurance”, most people respond by saying something relating to the opportunities for saving money.
However, as we at Cover4Caravans like to point out, there are a number of other reasons why you may do more than just save money on tourer caravan insurance:
- if you have changed your caravan, then you may have opted for a better model with a higher standard of fixtures and fittings;
- equally though, you may have downsized to a smaller caravan. In either circumstance, you may need to check your insurance levels for the value of the caravan and the type of contents cover that you have to make sure they still make sense for you (in fact, changing your caravan without notifying your policy provider may invalidate your cover entirely);
- if you have more time to yourself these days, then you may take longer holidays than previously and venture further afield. Does your existing policy still offer value in terms of cover outside of the UK? Are your annual estimates for days abroad and mileage still accurate? It’s worth knowing;
- perhaps if you have moved house, you may now be able to park your tourer in your driveway rather than leave it parked on the street. If your caravan is being kept in a more secure location when not in use, you could see a reduction in your touring caravan’s insurance premium. Here at Cover4Caravans, we will be pleased to offer a discount of up to 15% on your touring caravan insurance if you choose such a CaSSOA-approved site;
- you may have improved the security of your caravan by fitting a tracking device and possibly an alarm system. These changes may all result in lower premiums (If you compare insurance for touring caravans, you may find that some policies actually insist on some types of security as mandatory, such as the use of wheel clamps and hitchlocks in certain circumstances);
- if you are on a touring holiday in your caravan and break down, you potentially have lost not only your means of transport, but you may also have lost your holiday accommodation. When you compare touring caravan insurance, you may wish to review the provision your current policy makes for these circumstances against what may be available elsewhere.
The cost factor
Returning to the question of cost once again and your quest for cheap caravan insurance, one of the things that it is sometimes intuitively difficult to grasp about caravan insurance is that it isn’t necessarily advisable to become exclusively focused on the cost of a policy.
For many people, that advice naturally runs a little against the grain. We live in a society where cost containment is, for the vast majority of people, a major daily imperative. Trying to suggest otherwise can sometimes be a challenge.
However, in the context of caravan insurance, it’s extremely important to remember that the cost of a policy will be entirely irrelevant to you in a situation where you are considering making a claim. In such circumstances, your focus will be 100% on the nature of the cover the policy provides and the amount you may have paid for it won’t be a consideration.
All your focus would be on whether or not the problem is covered by the policy.
It therefore seems logical to conclude that you should be selecting your policy at the outset not based upon its price but on the cover and security it provides.
How to compare tourer caravan insurance
Of course, price cannot be entirely excluded from caravan insurance reviews and nor should it be, but let’s take a look at the host of other factors you might take into consideration when comparing tourer insurance:
Look carefully at the excess
- for a policy to carry an “excess” is perfectly normal – it is the sum of money that the policy provider will expect you to contribute towards the cost of any future successful claims;
- however, the level of that mandatory excess can vary considerably – a policy that looks to bring with it an almost unbeatable ticket price might carry a commensurately high excess;
- in the event you need to make a claim against your policy, suddenly it might not appear to be quite so cheap after all;
Consider your own situation versus the policy’s stipulation on ages
- policies may contain a number of different clauses relating to the minimum or indeed maximum ages of owners or towing drivers;
- there’s nothing wrong with that, providing that your own family situation won’t be adversely affected by it;
Overseas travel inclusion
- when undertaking touring caravan insurance reviews, you may see that some policies might not automatically include cover for use outside of the UK;
- although many policies might include such cover, there may be considerable differences in terms of how many days of overseas cover is included per annum or whether or not the maximum duration of an individual trip outside the UK is restricted too;
- it’s worth checking because again, a lower-cost policy might not seem to be quite such a good deal if you need to start paying for lots of additional cover every time you leave the country;
New for old cover
- in qualifying conditions, some policies might offer you a new-for-old caravan replacement if your caravan is up to five years old, even with multiple previous owners (which is what we at Cover4Caravans do);
- by contrast, other policies may be far more restrictive and only offer cover up to five years if you have been the sole owner from new;
- note also that some policies might cut off new-for-old replacement at two or three years;
- another potential area where cover can differ is that associated with protecting external items when they are in use;
- examples of things to think about might be awnings, external furniture, satellite dishes and so on;
- awnings are a particular case in point – some policies may not cover them at all;
- others may do so but only for certain specific types;
- yet other policies may cover awnings in terms of the general category but only if you meet certain usage conditions when out and about in your caravan.
Campsite and pitch requirements
- almost all touring caravan insurance will contain some conditions relating to what is or is not permissible once you unhitch your caravan and start to use it on site;
- however, some policies may contain more demanding provisions in this respect including specifying the minimum security features a site must have before their cover will be considered to be in force;
- it is important to be clear that you understand any such stipulations and much more importantly, that you will be able to comply with them when you are out and about using your touring caravan;
Out of season parking and storage
- you might find that some providers will be keen to offer incentives, usually in the form of premium discounts, for you to park your caravan up securely and safely when not in use – typically during the winter season;
- some, though, may have very specific requirements as to where you can park your caravan when not in use at any time – they might include a blanket ban on on-street parking or parking on your own driveway etc;
- you may discover when you compare touring caravan insurance quotes, that some providers may offer discounts if you are a member of a recognised caravan club, as they believe that this is an indication of a serious and responsible caravan user. These may often be called “caravan club insurance discounts”, which we at Cover4Caravans offer.
Reviewing your current touring caravan insurance
There may be a tendency to argue that caravan insurance reviews aren’t important because broadly speaking all caravan insurance is more or less the same.
That sentiment is simply incorrect – caravan insurance policies can vary significantly from one to another.
Essentially the key message is – what you are getting for your money may differ considerably from one insurance provider to another.
Caravan insurance reviews are important for another reason.
Insurance providers regularly change what they call their “cover propositions”. In other words, what their policies cover, and their associated terms and conditions can change from one year to another as they bring out new products.
It therefore only makes sense, assuming you are interested in maintaining the most appropriate cover possible for your particular caravan, to check the market on a regular basis to see what’s out there (we can do that on your behalf at Cover4Caravans, using our “get a quote” button).
It’s perfectly possible that reasonable as your existing policy is, there may now be more suitable ones available.
Caravan insurance reviews allow you to compare your existing degree of protection against perhaps more up-to-date offerings in the marketplace.
It’s perfectly possible that your existing policy is still the most suitable fit for your current situation. However, it might be better to know that with some degree of certainty and confidence, rather than just to assume it.
Finally, remember that at Cover4Caravans, we are always here at the end of the telephone to help you with any questions or concerns you have regarding your touring insurance.
There’ll be many fond memories of all those long, warm summer days when you get away to your static caravan holiday home – it’s just one of the attractions of owning one and the reason why many are waiting to buy a static home
But spare a thought for the fact that your static home needs the protection of static caravan insurance, whether you are there enjoying it or not – come sunshine or rain, and the stormy weather and cold of those long winter months.
Whether you are arranging static caravan insurance for the first time, or a renewal date is coming up, now might be the ideal time to give some thought to the nature and extent of the insurance you need. For example, what is the most suitable static home cover to suit your particular needs and circumstances? And, crucially, where can you buy cheap static caravan insurance?
What makes it suitable?
Whenever you are buying insurance, one of your biggest concerns is likely to be whether it provides suitable cover.
That is especially likely to be the case with static caravan insurance since it is a specialist type of insurance, needed to ensure that you continue to get maximum enjoyment from your holiday home while ensuring it is adequately protected.
Here at Cover4Caravans, we are fully committed to your securing the most appropriate caravan insurance, with a policy that matches your particular, individual needs and requirements. We do so in the knowledge that it might not always be the cheapest static home insurance that makes it suitable, so as much as possible we select and tailor our policies accordingly to exactly meet your coverage needs – and your budget.
Site owner’s cover
Sometimes, it might not even cross your mind to ask what does static home insurance cover.
One reason for that may be the offer of insurance you get from the management of the site on which your holiday home is berthed. Perhaps they know best what static caravan insurance is going to meet your needs and requirements?
That might seem the reasonable thing to assume – but it’s worth giving it more than a second thought before rushing to buy it.
The site management of your caravan park may have the right to insist that you have suitable public liability indemnity insurance to cover the risk of injury or property damage suffered by your neighbours on the site, their visitors, members of the public. But it is most unusual these days for the management to demand that you buy such insurance exclusively from them.
Here is a summary of the current position:
- site owners may be within their rights to insist that you have third-party liability insurance as a minimum form of cover for your static caravan. They may also have a right to ask you to furnish the evidence. Making a modest charge for inspecting and copying your insurance certificate might be reasonable enough;
- in typical situations, the site owners do not have a legal right to insist that you purchase their cover.
One of the leading park owners in the UK, Park Resorts, for example, mentions the importance of static caravan insurance – especially if there are times when your holiday home is let to tenants – but doesn’t go on to say where you must buy such cover.
Since in most cases you are not legally obliged to have your site owner’s cover, this means you can shop around for protection and choose a policy that may be more appropriate and cost-effective for your needs.
Note: you may find that your site owner may charge a nominal fee to make sure you have the correct element of liability insurance if you source your own policy, but even then, you can often still make savings on the cost of your static home insurance.
Since there is more than one market for insurance for your holiday home and, to make sure you get the cover that matches your particular needs and requirements at a competitive price, it is almost certainly worthwhile shopping around.
Here at Cover4Caravans, for instance, we have more than 70 years’ of expertise and experience in the insurance market. It has helped us to build up a clear picture of what our many customers require, matching those needs to bespoke insurance solutions, available from our network of partners across this section of the insurance industry.
That is our role as an entirely independent insurance broker – and the British Insurance Brokers’ Association (BIBA) gives ten very good reasons for using one. An independent broker is able to spot areas of cover which you might have overlooked, offer you free and impartial advice in choosing your static caravan insurance, give you help in making any claim that might need to be made – and suggest competitively-priced products which are available only to brokers rather than the market as a whole.
Factors determining the suitability of static home cover
In the process of comparing static caravan insurance, you might want to consider several factors likely to determine its suitability:
- we may help you arrive at an accurate and realistic valuation of your static caravan;
- if you under-estimate its value, you run the risk of underinsurance, and a settlement figure that is insufficient to cover the caravan’s replacement in the event of a total loss – but if you are over-insured, you are paying more in premiums than you might otherwise need;
- many static caravans make ideal holiday homes which may be let to visitors;
- if that is your plan, make sure to include it in the static caravan insurance you arrange – even if covering the extra risks mean a small increase in your insurance premiums;
- by the same token, if you declare that you have no such intentions, you might make a saving on the cost of your premiums;
- it has already been mentioned that your park managers are likely to insist on the inclusion of public liability cover in your static caravan insurance – for the protection of other users and visitors to the park;
- it is essential because it indemnifies you against claims from neighbours, their visitors or members of the public who may be injured or have their property damaged through some contact with your caravan and the claim that you have been a negligent owner;
- make the most of whatever discounts certain providers of static caravan insurance might offer you.
To facilitate your comparison of static caravan insurance online, we can make the searches on your behalf. You might also want to get the views of other owners of static caravans by taking a look at the Static Caravan Club website, for example, or the discussion forum which has been running on Caravan Talk.
How static caravan insurance varies
By and large, static caravan insurance policies are likely to take one of two different forms:
- those offering very basic cover at a headline price – policies which might seem attractive at first sight, but which might start increasing in price once you add more or less essential items of optional cover;
- those that offer a high degree of comprehensive cover included as standard in the advertised price.
The latter policies, for example, might include as standard:
- automatic new for old cover if your caravan is under a specified number of years of age, even if there have been multiple previous owners;
- extended public liability cover;
- cover for static caravans let out for income generation;
- significant no claims discounts that can also reflect the same arising on your car or home insurance;
- contents cover;
- incentives through discounts for additional security measures you might install; etc.
How you use your static caravan
It is important to take into account the way in which you intend to use your holiday home whenever you compare static caravan insurance:
- perhaps you use it quite infrequently for weekend breaks, say, and keep it furnished fairly basically;
- or it might be used as a home-from-home which you regularly occupy for several weeks each year – keeping it furnished to a high standard;
- it is sitting on a fully serviced and secure (24/7) site;
- there is little or no security on site outside of office hours;
- it might be positioned on a cliff site overlooking the sea or perhaps on a river bank inland;
- you alone use it;
- you sometimes let it out to others for holiday purposes.
In all these situations and others like them, your requirements and the type of cover you’ll need may vary from one case to another. So, you might want to take a reasonably flexible approach to use when arranging your static caravan insurance.
Recap of static home insurance essentials
- safeguarding the holiday home itself – against loss or damage through exposure to risks such as storm damage, fire, flooding, impacts, theft and vandalism – lies at the heart of your insurance cover;
- getting the appropriate cover is a combination of many factors, including the make and model of the caravan, its age, its location, and how you intend to use it (whether that’s for your own exclusive use, for example, or sometimes let to paying guests);
- at Cover4Caravans, in the event of a successful claim following its total loss, we offer new for old cover on both static home and tourers up to 5 years old and regardless of the number of previous owners;
- remember, too, that any major refit or refurbishment of your static caravan is likely to increase its value – when you may need to review the total sum insured;
- one of the elements of insurance frequently overlooked by owners of static caravans is the importance of liability insurance;
- if someone injures themselves when visiting your holiday home, they may hold you liable (alleging that you failed to keep it in a safe state of repair, for instance) and claim damages in compensation;
- alternatively, your static home may be responsible for damage caused to a neighbouring caravan (a piece of loose decking flies off and strikes your neighbour’s during a storm, for example) – again you may be held liable;
- liability insurance is designed to provide indemnity against such claims – and the legal costs that may be involved in defending them;
- your adequate liability insurance is also one of the principal concerns of most park managers – who share a responsibility for ensuring the safety of other residents and their visitors.
Finding the most suitable cover, therefore, relies on your clear understanding of what is static caravan insurance. Here at Cover4Caravans, not only are we able to help you gain that thorough understanding, but also shop around on your behalf, allowing you to compare static caravan insurance online, before arranging the most suitable cover to meet your particular needs and circumstances.
You’re probably only too familiar with the scene: the caravan is packed, hitched up, and you’ve barely travelled to the end of the road before one of the kids cries out from the back seat that they’re going to be sick. Or, in some cases, maybe your front seat passenger, an adult, says they feel nauseous.
Travel sickness, car sickness, or what some experts call simply motion sickness is far more common than you might think – and not something suffered only by young children. A story in the Express newspaper on the 17th of June 2018, for example, revealed that the nausea associated with travel sickness is experienced by around two-thirds of the population, with one-third of those affected actually throwing up.
Apart from the queasiness and vomiting, sufferers may also exhibit some or all of the following symptoms:
- cold sweats;
- pale skin; and
- a more than usually watering mouth.
The NHS advises that the causes of motion sickness arise from the confusing messages received by your brain when the balance organs, in your inner ear, conflict with the movements that your eyes are seeing – the confused messages simply make you feel unwell.
Mitigating the effects
There are ways of mitigating the effects of motion sickness and these include:
- reducing the amount of motion you feel by sitting in a front seat of the car – though this is clearly inadvisable for young children;
- keeping your eyes on a fixed point ahead – such as the horizon;
- increasing the amount of fresh air you are breathing by opening a window;
- with your eyes closed, taking slow breaths and concentrate on your breathing;
- breaking the journey for a walk or a drink of water in the fresh air;
- avoiding alcohol or a heavy meal before getting into the car; and
- distracting children by singing, listening to music or chatting to take their minds off how they are feeling.
There are a number of homoeopathic remedies you may try, but the science behind them is rather inconclusive, even though they seem to work for some people if not others. These include:
- acupressure wristbands – these have a small knob or button on the inside which presses on the Pericardium 6 or Nei Guan point in your wrist, and you may try the sensation for yourself by taking your three middle fingers and pressing them down on the inside of your wrist, when your index finger will then locate the P6 spot;
- root ginger – which you can chew on or eat in a biscuit, drink in an infusion of tea or take as a tablet or capsule, suggests Saga magazine. Again, the science behind using this – a centuries-old remedy for settling upset stomachs – is inconclusive, but seems to work for many people;
- drugs – there are any number of over-the-counter remedies found in your local chemists and most of them are based on the groups of medicines called antihistamines or hyoscines.
While car or motion sickness is not a serious illness, it is really horrible for sufferers – so much so that they may try and avoid long car or boat journeys.
So, before any trips, look at different remedies available and try them out in the weeks leading up to the journey – do some “test” runs.
Finally, before you actually embark on your journey, make sure you build in time for plenty of short stops; that you pack sweets for the sufferers to suck on and lots of bottled water; and, that have a supply of plastic bags ready (the latter for “just in case”).
Your holiday may be over, but at least you have your photographs to remind you of the places you have visited and the things you have done.
So, what’s the secret to taking great photographs on your caravan adventures? Here are a few tips:
- given the state of modern technology, it’s perfectly possible to take great photographs with your smartphone – you don’t especially need any fancy SLR digital camera, but it might help;
- either way, be sure that you’re familiar with just how it works – as the website Picture Correct suggests, that might mean studying the operating manual in one hand and your phone or camera in the other;
- simple shots are often the most effective;
- that is likely to be the case even with a fancy digital camera, but even more so if you are using your smartphone – if you limit your photograph to just a single subject, you’ve a better chance of creating a strong composition, advises the iPhone Photography School;
- perhaps the biggest secret to taking great photos is to frame them correctly;
- that means making sure that you’ve not cut off a hand, arm or leg of one of the subjects – still less their head, of course;
- allow sufficient headroom, but try to make your composition more interesting by keeping your subject slightly off-centre;
- especially when taking landscape scenes, get used to making the most of the picture’s depth by drawing your viewer’s eye right into the scene you’ve captured;
- this also involves your understanding of the concept of the depth of field of a photograph – when using a camera, for example, learn how changing the exposure (“F”-stop) and adjusting the focus, helps to widen or reduce the depth of field;
- be aware how lighting and the angle of the sun can change the whole mood and atmosphere of your photograph;
- for most purposes, you want the sun on your back, so that you are not shooting directly into the light, but at the same time avoid making your subjects have to squint into strong sunlight;
- but back-lit subjects may be just as effective and some great effects may be had by shooting completely dark subjects, with them appearing in silhouette only;
- the outdoor life of the caravanner means that you’ll be using almost exclusively natural light, so be prepared to come back at a later hour when conditions suit the picture you intend to capture;
- but at the same time always try to keep your phone or camera to hand – you’ll not want to miss any action shots or fleeting impressions;
- know that not every photograph is going to be your masterpiece but be prepared to strike gold every once in a while.
These tips may help to make your memories of any caravan outing that much sweeter – and well-taken photographs are more likely to impress your friends and those back home.