This is a regularly-asked question and one we at Cover4Caravans are happy to discuss at length.
In advance of discussing the implications though, it’s important to note one critical point – the only way of being sure to answer the above question specifically is by reading the proposed policy or speaking to your insurance provider if you are unsure.
Policies differ from each other by sometimes surprisingly significant amounts. What follows therefore is inevitably something of a generalisation.
On the road accidents
If your caravan is under tow on the public highway and the vehicle is somehow involved in an accident:
- any claims against you from third parties for damage they’d sustained because of your caravan, typically should be covered by your car insurance policy. However, it’s imperative to check that by looking at the car’s policy, and not that in some cases, exclusions may apply;
- any damage caused to your caravan might not be covered unless your car’s policy offers fully comprehensive cover to include towed caravans (which might be rare). In some cases, you may need to try and prove liability resided exclusively with another party (which may be very difficult) and seek redress from them and their insurance – if they have any.
The relationship between specific caravan insurance as a way of bridging cover gaps in the car’s cover can be complicated in the various combinations of the above eventualities. It’s worth contacting us so we may explain the advantages of caravan insurance in these situations.
Claims from third parties – off road
We live in a litigious society. That means that accidents that might once have been considered “one of those things” might now more often result in people looking for someone to blame and seeking damages through legal action. If you’re sued and lose such a case, the damages awarded against you might be very significant.
The insurance protection against the financial consequences of such successful claims is called “third party liability”.
Please remember that having third party liability cover for your car is not the same as having it in place for your caravan. As many incidents that might result in claims against you might be off-road, when your caravan is un-hitched, it is very unlikely that they would be covered by your car insurance. Standalone caravan insurance is therefore typically required.
Note that some caravan sites may require evidence that you have such insurance in place as part of their conditions of entry.
Protecting your caravan
Most people understandably think of caravan insurance in the context of protecting their asset.
Broadly speaking, this type of cover will deliver on that in terms of protecting your caravan against things such as its destruction or damage – in the context of stated “perils”. It is important to look carefully at those perils because they are not always identical between policies. For example, some policies might specifically exclude flooding as a peril, whereas others may not.
It’s also important to examine just what the policy proposes in terms of replacement (or replacement valuations) in situations where your caravan has been damaged beyond economic repair, destroyed or stolen.
That’s because some may offer “new for old” replacement based upon very open definitions whereas others may do so but only under very limited conditions such as caravans that are under 12 months old and which have only had a single owner from new.
The caravan insurance differences here might prove to be very important to you, should the worst happen with your vehicle.
Protecting your possessions
You’ll understandably want to cover your possessions too in most cases. Once again, caravan insurance can help with appropriate cover but look for differences between policies in areas such as:
- new for old versus market value;
- maximum cover levels both in total and for any individual item;
- possessions outside the caravan (e.g. awnings and furniture) and those stored inside;
- governing terms, conditions and exclusions.
Caravan insurance might one day prove to be essential. Why not contact us to find out more?