I retired in September 2007 and I was always my intention to use a large proportion of my lump sum in replacing our 12 year old van with a new one. We had a day out one Saturday 'just to look' and found a new Pageant 6 Vendee, which we eventually bought in the Autumn of 2007. We used the van during 2008 and the early part of 2009. We went away for our usual May Day Bank Holiday weekend with out group of friends and took our van back to storeage on 4 May 2009. On Wednesday 6 May we had a phone call at about 8am from our storeage folk asking us if we have our van at home - we hadn't. It suddenly dawned what had happenned. Our van had been stolen. We were shocked and devistated.
My first thought was to go and have a look - it was clear what had happened. I came back home, contacted the police for a crime number and then contacted the Caravan Club Insurance, who took the details. They sent me a form to which I added all the extra details. We were all devastated!
Filling in the forms and making the claim was easy. For years the rest of the family had made fun of me for making detailed lists of what we had in the van. I am absolutely meticulous about making lists and now it was about to pay off. If nothing else comes of this story, I urge everyone to make detailed inventory of everything in the caravan.
I list absolutely everything, except for food and personal items. We are all responsible for putting in our own personal items and we rarely take food with us. Most of the stuff on my list is kept in the van all the time. My spreadsheet shows where the item is packed, the quantity of the items, the date purchased, where we bought if from, how much it cost originally and its estimated value. I use the same list when I renew my insurance premium. We were fully insured so there was no problem.
The Caravan Club and their appointed assessors were excellent in sorting out the claim. I told them exactly what van I wanted and even which companies were expecting one in. There were only two places we could find so we had our new van from Lady Bailey. Everything went through smoothly but we did have to wait until the van arrived from Bailey.
It's not an experience I would want to repeat, but I don't feel the Caravan Club insurance could have been more helpful, supportive and sympathetic. We are now the proud owners of a Bailey Pageany S7 Sancerre, and in fact, we are far happier with this van than were were with the Vendee, so all's well that ends well.
The Club Insurance did insist that we kept the van at a Cassoa Gold storeage site, but we are also happier in knowing that the van is much more secure.