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Winterise your ‘van

It’s an appropriate time of the year to issue a little reminder about making sure that your caravan is ready for the worst that winter can throw at it.

A little background

Caravan insurance, just like any other form of cover, is designed to cover policyholders against a range of unexpected mishaps ranging from perhaps the relatively minor right up to major catastrophes. However, virtually all forms of cover require that the policyholder takes certain minimum steps in order to reduce the obvious risks associated with their surroundings.

Just as household cover may oblige the property owner to fit certain door and window security devices, caravan insurance typically requires that you take steps to protect your caravan during the winter season.

If you fail to do so, you may find that you’re in breach of your terms of cover and that could put any future claim at risk.

Check your policy

There are many different types of caravan and an even greater variety of policies.

As a result, this reminder can’t be too specific because the risks and requirements here will vary depending upon the nature of your caravan and your policy. That’s why it’s very important that you take the time to read carefully your policy’s terms and conditions.

Huge progress has been made in recent years in terms making policies easier to understand through the use of plain English, so do make the effort. It really could prove to be important to do so.


For static caravan insurance:

  • your policy will probably require that you drain down all water and heating systems to reduce flood risks in the event of a freeze;
  • don’t forget anchors and other recommended securing tethers to cope with those winter gales;
  • some policies might state that some types of goods are removed when your static is closed up for the winter. Examples might include electronic equipment and so on;
  • food should be removed from the refrigerator and all cupboards. Some policies might stress the need for pest control measures too;
  • double-check that all your seals on the doors and windows are in good order;
  • once again, you may find conditions in your policy relating to enhanced security measures. Some cover may only be valid if your site has 24×7 supervision, even in the closed season;
  • any gas supplies should be closed off at source. The exact mechanics of that may differ depending upon your installation and type of gas.

Touring caravans

Many of the above points might apply equally to touring caravans but in addition, there may be some other specifics including:

  • your policy may require (or offer a premium discount for) storage of your tourer in an approved secure and weather-proof site. CASSOA is an organisation that can provide lists of such approved sites;
  • perhaps more commonly, you may be required to ensure that it is not stored on the public highway when it’s closed-up for winter. In the case of some policies, that condition might apply at all times;
  • another common policy requirement (and plain common sense even if not) is the use of hitchlocks and wheel clamps. They are regarded by many policies as mandatory when the caravan is unhitched – even if it’s in season.

If you’re in any doubt about what you need to do during winter in order to avoid issues with your cover, speak to your policy’s provider.