Protection for the road ahead
Protection for the road ahead
What affects the cost of covering or insuring my caravan, motorhome or campervan?
As with many types of cover or insurance, the cost of caravan, motorhome and campervan insurance is usually based on a combination of factors that the underwriter uses to assess the likelihood and/or cost of claims. For vehicles including caravans, cars, motorhomes and campervans, this might include a variety of vehicle and/or customer-specific factors such as:
- the value
- complexity and age of the vehicle
- the profile of the driver(s)
- their claims history
- how much (and where) the vehicle will be used
- what security the vevhicle has
- where he vehicle will normally be stored
There are also running costs or expenses that have to be factored into the premium, such as the cost of systems and documentation, running a contact centre and claims administration.
It is sometimes the case that the costs of covering or insuring a caravan are based on a different set of factors than for motorised vehicles, as some aspects might not apply (such as mileage), while others (such as equipment, contents, security etc) might be more important.
Do I need an MOT for my caravan?
No, a caravan doesn’t need an MOT. However, it’s the owner’s responsibility to make sure the caravan is safe to travel on the road and an annual service is recommended to check it is roadworthy and that gas, electrical and water systems are working properly. Most caravan insurance or cover will include some form of condition requiring the caravan is maintained in a sound and roadworthy condition, particularly as the caravan ages.
It should be noted that an MOT is required for any motorised vehicle - so any tow car would need one, as would a motorhome or campervan.
Do I need any form of cover or insurance for my caravan?
There is no legal requirement to take out any form of cover or insurance on a caravan. Third party liability cover for caravans being towed is usually provided within car insurance policies; however always check the policy wording to ensure this is the case before taking out your car insurance cover and if you are in any doubt check with your insurer. Third party liability cover means you have cover for claims made against you by other people when your caravan is towed on a public highway, but it’s unlikely to cover any damage to your caravan or anything inside it.
But, caravans are not cheap and accidental damage can strike on the road, at a site, or even while the caravan is parked; and outfits are often a prime target for thieves. Not many people have the money for a second caravan lying around, so not taking out some form of cover on an investment of that magnitude is a big risk. It's worth taking a look at the benefits of Caravan Cover or insurance when making a decision regarding your outfit.
The Club provides its own Caravan Cover product as an alternative to insurance.
Do I need to inform my car insurance if I'm towing a caravan?
It is important to make sure your car insurance policy covers you for towing a caravan. Some providers may automatically include this cover, others may include towing trailers but not caravans. To that end, it's advisable to check your policy wording and, if you are in any doubt, call your insurer. Additional cover may need to be added if cover isn't provided as standard by your insurance policy. Similarly, if you make any modifications to your vehicle you must usually tell your insurer. For instance if you have a tow bar fitted this may affect your cover, so let your insurance company know about the change. The risk of not doing so is that you may find a subsequent claim is declined.
The Club's Car Insurance automatically includes cover whilst towing a caravan.
If you're new to caravanning, do also check your driving licence allows you to tow the size of caravan you will be using.
Does The Caravan and Motorhome Club offer caravan insurance?
As the Club is a membership organisation and caravan insurance is not a legal requirement, we have been able to establish what is called a 'discretionary mutual' product just for our members. We we refer to this as Caravan Cover.
It is not insurance as it operates on a discretionary basis; this means we have full discretion over whether to agree to pay claims and the amounts to be paid. We may also agree to pay claims outside the terms and conditions of the cover if we feel the circumstances justify it. All aspects of Caravan Cover are dealt with by the Club, from how much you pay, right through to managing all claims.
What extras can I get with insurance?
Many providers of insurance offer additional extras (often called 'add-ons') which will be offered when you get a quote online or over the phone. These will differ depending on what type of insurance you are getting a quote for. On motor policies these may include legal expenses cover, hire car and breakdown cover options. On home insurance this may include legal expenses cover and home emergency cover, while on travel insurance this may be things like cover for activities or specific types of holidays. Some insurers will include items of cover as standard where another will provide them as an additional option to be selected for cover to apply. When getting quotes it's always worth checking you are comparing like-for-like cover and most importantly that it meets your needs.
What isn’t included in caravan insurance or cover?
Insurance policies inevitably don't cover everything that might happen to your caravan! A common exclusion is for wear and tear, which means things that are caused by deterioration over time. For instance, window delamination and panel cracks won't normally be covered unless caused by a specific external accident. It is easy to think all cover is the same; however it's often difficult to assess the differences between policies, which is why choosing cover from a brand you trust and has good reviews can be important.
The Club's Caravan Cover (which is not insurance but cover provided directly by the Club) has two levels of cover and can provide new for old cover for caravans up to 15 years of age - and any surplus is re-invested back into the Club for the benefit of our members. Always remember to cover your caravan, equipment and contents for the amount these would cost to buy new or second hand depending on what type of cover you require.
Does caravan insurance and cover cover trailer tents and folding campers?
Most caravan insurance policies cover folding campers, trailer tents and pop-up caravans. The Club's Caravan Cover (which is not insurance but cover provided directly by the Club) also covers these types of outfit, but it is always wise to check the levels of cover before you buy a policy to ensure you get the level of cover you require. If in doubt, pick up the phone.
Do I need to insure my trailer tent or folding camper?
Like caravans, insuring or covering a trailer tent or folding camper is not a legal requirement, so technically the answer is no. Third party liability cover for trailer tents and folding caravans is usually provided within car insurance policies; however always check the policy wording to ensure this is the case before taking out your car insurance cover and if you are in any doubt check with your insurer.
But, obviously, trailer tents and folding caravans are not cheap, so taking out some form of cover will protect you against hefty repair or replacement costs. The Club's Caravan Cover, which is not insurance but cover provided directly by the Club, can provide cover for trailer tents and folding campers.