You are unlikely to turn to your insurance documents for a spot of light reading. They’re hardly the most engrossing or scintillating reading material. Yet you will find it more than worthwhile to become properly acquainted with the product information document that accompanies your caravan insurance policy.
Since the Europe-wide Insurance Distribution Directive came into force in the UK on the 1st of October 2018, insurers and insurance brokers have been obliged to provide their customers and policyholders with a standardised Insurance Product Information Document (IPID). The document has effectively replaced the earlier Key Facts document that accompanied insurance documents.
The document describes and sums up the principal features of your caravan insurance policy. At just a glance, therefore, this handy and important document helps you decide whether your current caravan insurance continues to meet your particular needs and requirements or whether it is time for a review and consideration of alternative levels of cover – or even with a different insurer altogether.
As a leading independent insurance broker duly registered with and authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority, of course, any policy arranged by us here at Cover4Caravans comes with its own product information document.
What is an Insurance Product Information Document (IPID)?
Insurance policies sold in the UK (and throughout Europe) are accompanied by a document that aims to summarise the main, formal policy wording in a more easily understood way. The provision of a product information document is standard throughout the UK insurance industry and is also a requirement made by the regulatory authority, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).
In short, the product information document is intended to provide a summary of the main features of the terms and conditions of your detailed insurance contract.
The document is easily recognised since it is headed by the title of the insurance and the name of the insurer.
What’s the format?
Although the document is a standardised industry requirement and there are a number of templates in use, the precise format and content of the product information document may vary from one insurer to another. Despite these variations, the FCA has nevertheless specified all the information that any Product Information Document must carry (Chapter 6 of its Insurance: Conduct of Business handbook, released in September 2021).
This ensures that all Insurance Product Information Documents (IPID) are designed to summarise the key features, benefits, and exclusions of your insurance contract.
It is important to remember that the document is still just a summary and that you may need to refer to the policy document itself for the detailed terms and conditions of your insurance contract.
Although the contents may vary from one insurer to another, it may be helpful to illustrate the typical contents of a product information document with reference to an example written by one of our own partner insurers, in relation to a touring caravan.
A synopsis of the contents is broadly as follows – but it is important to remember that these contents relate to a specific policy and other forms of caravan insurance may of course differ, depending on the particular insurer:
- the underwriting insurer is identified, together with their registration number for the purposes of regulation by the FCA;
Type of insurance
- this describes the type of insurance – in this case, cover against loss or damage to your caravan (and its contents if required) – within prescribed geographical limits;
What is insured
- naturally, this is at the heart of this synopsis of your insurance cover;
- it lists the risks covered – and, in this instance, cover for the cost of emergency removal, loss of use of your caravan, and public liability indemnity;
What is not insured
- this section adopts a user-friendly, easy to read approach to what is otherwise described in the jargon used by insurers as “exclusions”;
- in this particular instance, it is explained that your caravan is not insured unless certain security measures are in place when you leave it unattended;
- there is no cover against the theft or loss of your caravan when it is not in use unless you keep it at home or a specified storage address;
- there must be evidence of a break-in for you to claim loss or damage as the result of theft;
- you are not covered for loss or damage to any awning left attached to your caravan when it is not in use;
- there is no cover for public liability when the caravan is being towed – this should normally be covered by the motor insurance of the towing vehicle;
Restrictions on cover
- this section deals with important restrictions such as policy excesses and endorsements – set out in detail in your schedule of insurance;
- the settlement of any claim, for example, is limited to the maximum of the total sum insured;
- the cost of repairs that require parts that are no longer available will be calculated according to the last known list price of those parts, together with the labour involved; and
- a limit of £x amount is placed on claims for loss or damage to any single item of contents;
- the product information document also sets out and explains your obligations as the policyholder;
- in this instance, the principal obligations centre on the security of the caravan – when it is left unattended whenever hitched or unhitched to the towing vehicle;
- removal of any awning whenever the caravan is not in use;
- your obligation to keep the caravan in a good state of repair and roadworthiness; and
- the procedure for reporting and initiating any claim;
- the final sections of the product information document cover such details as premium payments, the start and end dates of cover stated in your policy schedule, and procedures for cancelling your insurance.
Reading and taking careful note of the contents of your Insurance Product Information Document (IPID), will ensure you understand what your cover does and doesn’t entail.