The over 50s still like to caravan. Of course they do. 50 is barely into middle age these days, so why on earth should one of life’s great pleasures come to an end on reaching your half-century.
Why, then, is it difficult to escape the impression that insurers may have it in for you when trying to find insurance for your caravan once you’ve reached a certain age? For the answer, it might be helpful to look at the kind of things insurers are typically keen to consider when assessing risk:
- the make and model of your caravan – and, critically, its value;
- whether this valuation is to be used as the basis for replacement as new in the event of the caravan’s total loss or settlement in line with its current market value;
- how and where your caravan is likely to be stored during the winter months when it is laid up and out of use – as we’ll see, you can qualify for a discount by taking special care to secure your caravan at those times;
- specific measures you might have taken to improve its security in order to mitigate against the risk of loss or damage – the more you do to make any vehicle, including a caravan, more secure, the greater your chances of reducing the cost of insurance;
- where you live; and
- rightly or wrongly, but as an inevitable part of the insurer’s risk assessment, your age.
How relevant is your age?
Different insurers attach different levels of importance to each of these measures of risk – some might be considered more critical than others.
That relative balance may be difficult to detect without an inside knowledge of the insurance market. Thanks to the experience and expertise we have developed here at Cover4Caravans, however, we are able to identify those specialist and typically cost-effective policies designed specifically with the over 50s in mind.
How does it differ?
Putting to one side the fact that caravan insurance specifically designed for the over 50s may lead to better value for money, the cover you are buying is in every other respect no different from any other form of caravan insurance.
At the centre of the cover is the protection of the trailer itself against potentially major disasters such as fire, theft, vandalism, flooding, storm damage, and impacts. The total sum insured reflects the replacement value of your caravan, although some policies may offer a replacement on a new for old basis, whilst others settle according to its current market value – premiums for the latter, of course, tending to be cheaper than the former.
Similar considerations apply to cover for the contents of your caravan – replacement for lost or damaged items on a new for old basis or after the deduction of an allowance for wear and tear.
You might also want the security and peace of mind in knowing that your over 50s caravan insurance also includes indemnity for any public liability – if a neighbouring camper, one of their visitors, or a member of the public is injured or had their property damaged and holds you responsible, for example. (Watch our Caravan Insurance Liability Cover video for more information).
You might also want to check carefully the conditions relating to your accumulation of any no claims discount and precisely how much excess you may need to pay in the event of a claim.
If you are accustomed to taking your caravan with you for extended holidays on the continent, make sure to arrange insurance with the appropriate European cover. (At Cover4Caravans, free continental cover for between 240 and 280 days per annum is always included in our cover).
Mitigating the risks
Over 50s caravan insurance – just as any other kind of caravan insurance – is also likely to rely on your taking every reasonable step to mitigate the risks of loss or damage. The principle generally applied in English insurance contracts is that you treat and look after your caravan as though you had no insurance protecting it.
This depends on your taking some of the more obvious steps, such as ensuring that the door and windows are properly locked whenever you leave the caravan and that items of particular value are either taken away with you or put well out of sight.
We have already mentioned the discounts typically available if you exercise extra precaution whenever the caravan is not in use by putting it into storage at a registered CaSSOA (Caravan Storage Site Owners’ Association) site (discounts from 5-20% are available with our policies).
A less obvious precaution, perhaps, is the requirement typically made to safeguard the caravan itself against theft. This usually involves the use of applying the hitchlock and using wheel clamps whenever the trailer is left unattended but still hitched to the towing vehicle and the use of wheel clamps alone when you leave it unattended and unhitched.