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.