You might enjoy the fun and satisfaction of hitching up your touring caravan for weekend breaks or longer holidays on the road, or might prefer to return to the same permanent retreat offered by your static caravan holiday home.
In either event, one of the critical defences for the protection of your investment is caravan insurance.
What follows are some of the most Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) on the subject.
What cover do I need?
One way of thinking about the type and level of caravan insurance cover you may need is to consider what it might cost you to replace the caravan – or what you stand to lose – in the event of it being a total write-off.
What with risks such as fire, storm damage, flooding, impacts, theft and vandalism, a total loss is perhaps less uncommon than you might imagine or hope.
When arranging cover, therefore, you might want to consider the actual current value of your caravan and ensure that the total sum insured represents its present market value – in other words, the full cost of replacing it.
Be wary about relying on your own car insurance extending to cover of your caravan as a trailer – even if this appears to be included, it is most unlikely to insure against every type of loss or damage or to the full extent of that loss.
What about the contents?
The same goes for the contents – which may represent a much higher value than you first imagined.
Once again, you might want to keep in mind a worst case scenario resulting in the total loss of the contents, bearing in mind that some policies might settle your claim on a “new for old” basis, whilst other might first deduct an allowance for depreciation or “wear and tear” – premiums for the former type of policy typically proving more expensive than the latter.
Any other elements of cover?
Your public liability as the caravan owner might be something that is relatively easy to overlook.
Whether you own a touring caravan or a static holiday home, however, if another user of the camping site or caravan park, one of their guests, or a member of public suffers an injury or has their property damaged, they might hold you responsible as the owner.
Claims such as this are notorious for assuming quite considerable proportions, potentially leaving you – especially in the event of personal injury – with an order to pay compensation in the hundreds of thousands of pounds. For that reason, the public indemnity insurance that may form part of your caravan insurance may cover claims of up to £1 million or more.
If you own a static home, the owners of the caravan park on which it is pitched are likely to insist that you have such indemnity – for yours, theirs and other residents’ protection.
How can I shop around for caravan insurance?
A sign of our times is the widespread use of the internet simply for shopping around for the goods and services we need.
Do this in search of your caravan insurance and you are likely to stumble across a bewildering choice of potential providers.
The drawback to such an approach, however, is any certainty that you have covered all your bases – that you have thought of every risk and peril to which your particular caravan, and the way you use it, might be exposed.
Even with the confidence of your having thought of everything, you are then faced with the prospect of trying to match your identified needs with the all the products available on the market, your ability to compare like with like, and your decision on the relative value for money of one solution over another.
That is why choosing a caravan insurance broker, such as ourselves, to do the hard work for you may make sense.
Is informed, professional help and guidance available?
Here at Cover4Caravans we have built up the kind of experience and expertise that might help you negotiate the maze of potentially confusing terms, conditions and types of cover offered by a whole host of insurers.
When you request a quote, we bring to bear our professional skills in matching the various products available to your particular needs and requirements – we take pride in our understanding of our customers’ needs, the way they vary one from another, and the extent to which cover may be tailored to meet individual requirements;
In other words, you do not need to go shopping alone – we are there to suggest the most appropriate policies, at competitive rates, and help you to ensure that your needs are covered without your paying over the odds for elements of insurance that you might not in fact need.
I have the insurance, what more do I need?
An underlying principle and obligation in any insurance contract is that the insured takes every reasonable precaution to minimise or mitigate the risks of loss or damage.
Caravan insurance is no different and this responsibility on the part of the insured may take a number of different forms.
If you have touring caravan insurance, for instance, it may be a condition of the policy that you fit a wheel clamp and hitchlock whenever the trailer is parked, left unattended and hitched to the towing vehicle – if it is unhitched, then wheel clamps alone may still be required.
When you are not using but storing your tourer for any period, enhanced security may be obtained by choosing a member of the Caravan Storage Site Owners’ Association (CaSSOA) – with some insurers offering a discount on your premiums if you choose to do so. (We offer discounts from 5-15%).
Attention to physical security and the risk of theft and attempted theft may be even more important as far as your static home is concerned. Fire alarms, intruder or motion detectors, and good quality locks on doors and windows might all be required by your insurer – and might even help to earn you valuable discounts on your premiums.
When your caravan park is closed for the season or you are planning to leave your static holiday home unoccupied for any length of time, a number of common sense precautions may also apply – steps such as draining down the water and heating systems, disconnecting gas bottle and arranging regular inspections of the caravan.