Caravanning is one of the simple pleasures for many people across the UK. It opens up a whole new world of freedom, where people can just hook up and take their home on the road to experience some of the nation’s most beautiful places.
However, when it comes to insuring your caravan, there are some things that owners may be confused about. Here, we hope to enlighten all lovers of caravan getaways, ensuring you’ll have the right comprehensive cover to meet your needs. Here is what you need to know:
Do I need cover at all?
One of the first questions we often hear from caravan owners is whether or not their existing car insurance will cover them for towing a caravan? It should therefore be understood that in the UK, this is not the case.
At the same time, it is not a legal requirement for caravan owners to have their caravan insured. However, in the event of an accident during transit or when parked up, owners will be left to foot the bill for any repairs or replacement of items if they do not have comprehensive caravan insurance in place.
Indeed, in 2016, more than 700 touring caravans across the UK were stolen. As a result, those who failed to take out adequate insurance for their vehicle were left high and dry. Moreover, caravan owners should be aware that caravan insurance covers more than just the caravan itself, but also those valuables and belongings kept inside.
What types of cover are available?
There are three main types of caravan insurance that owners should consider, these are:
- Touring caravan insurance: For individuals who travel regularly with their caravan. This could potentially include travel outside the UK.
- Static caravan insurance: Cover specifically for caravans to be kept in a fixed location.
- Trailer tent and folding camper insurance: Insurance covering trailer tents and other types of caravan. Typically includes cover for awnings, weather-related repairs and year-round touring.
Each policy type is specific to meeting the needs of different caravan users. Individuals with multiple caravans should remember to insure each of their vehicles independently.
Considerations for owners when towing caravans
As previously mentioned, motorists do not require specific insurance to transport a caravan from A to B in the UK. That said, there are limitations on the size, weight and dimensions that individuals can legally tow based on their licence.
Those who passed their driving test on or after January 1st, 1997 will need to pass the additional B+E test for towing large objects with their car. Without this additional certification, motorists can still tow a caravan, but it must weigh less than 750 kg and the total car plus caravan weight must not exceed 3,500 kg.
Drivers who choose to tow objects that exceed this limit are, in reality, doing so without a valid licence. This would invalidate their car insurance and mean they are driving illegally.
What should I look for in comprehensive caravan insurance?
Most importantly, caravan owners will want to secure a policy that covers them for all the activities they plan to undertake in their vehicle, as well as measures to safeguard its condition – be this towing to new locations, or damage from the elements.
Considerations that people should make when deciding upon the policy that is right for them should include whether or not they need:
- Cover for use by family and friends
- European travel cover
- Cover against accidental damage
- Cover for valuables being lost, damaged or stolen
- Storm damage cover
Owners should tailor their policy to include all of the elements that apply to their circumstances. However, owners should also be aware of a number of common exclusions in policy documents; these include things like wear and tear, mechanical breakdown, using the vehicle for an unintended purpose (such as a place of business), damage from vermin.
Meanwhile, other considerations that people should make include the amount of time that owners will spend away from home in their caravan, as this can have impact on other insurance policies they might hold, such as home insurance if their property is left unoccupied for extended periods. Caravan owners should always check the fine print of all insurance policies to understand how these different types of cover will interact.
Caravan security should be a top priority
Finally, ensuring your caravan is secure at all times can significantly reduce the prospect of owners needing to claim on their insurance. It not only helps to protect belongings inside the vehicle from theft or loss, but also to make the caravan itself less likely to suffer harm.
Wheel clamps, alarms and vehicle tracking devices can all be used to increase the security of vehicles. Making it more difficult for thieves or vandals to access the caravan – such as by keeping it in locked storage when not in use – can also be crucial to safeguarding this valuable asset. Caravan owners may be pleased to hear that demonstrating excellent attention to detail in terms of security may also help to lower their premium.
Those who wish to safeguard their caravan and its contents should consider the benefits of comprehensive cover for their vehicle. It could make all the difference in the event of an emergency and gives peace of mind that, should the worst happen, your insurer will be there to help to relieve the financial burden.