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Caravan insurance explained

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Caravan insurance can protect your caravan in the event of an accident or theft. Read on to find out how it works and how to get the right policy to cover your caravan.
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Caravan insurance is a great way to protect your caravan against damage or in case it’s stolen. Unlike car insurance, it’s not a legal requirement, but will protect you in the event the worst happens. Different policies offer different levels of cover, so it’s really important to choose the right policy. Here’s everything you need to know:

What is caravan insurance?

Caravan insurance is a type of insurance policy that will pay out if your caravan is damaged in an accident or stolen. It will also cover you if your caravan causes any property damage or injury to third parties. Most policies last for 12 months, and you can choose to either pay annually or monthly. Typically, paying annually is cheaper, so it’s worth doing if you can afford it.

Do you need caravan insurance?

Unlike car insurance, which is a legal requirement, most types of caravan insurance are optional. However, having cover in place could offer valuable financial protection.

Additionally, if you are thinking of taking your caravan overseas you might find caravan insurance is a legal requirement in your destination of choice. 

Many car insurance policies only extend to third party cover when it comes to caravans, and then only while being towed. This means if you’re towing a caravan and damage someone’s property or injure them, your car insurance would payout. But any damage to your caravan wouldn’t be covered and you’d have to pay for any repairs yourself. 

The same applies if your caravan is detached and gets damaged or is stolen – your standard car insurance wouldn’t cover you. 

You also risk being held liable if something goes wrong when your caravan is detached from your car. If your caravan rolled away into something or was put on its stand incorrectly and fell over, damaging property or injuring someone, that’s not covered by your car insurance

If something came detached from your caravan and damaged nearby property or injured someone, or if your caravan had something sharp sticking out of it that caught a passer-by, for example, that’s not covered by your car insurance either. You could be held liable for the damage caused. 

Taking out caravan insurance can mean you’re protected against all these eventualities. 

It’s also important to note that if you are driving a motorhome you must have insurance by law (more on this below).

What are the different types of caravan insurance?

There are three main types of caravan insurance, and each is tailored to a different type of caravan:

  • Touring caravan insurance: this covers caravans that you tow behind your vehicle. As mentioned above, some car insurance policies offer third-party cover if you are towing a caravan, but if you want to protect your caravan against damage or theft it’s worth taking out a separate policy. You can find out more in our guide

  • Static caravan insurance: this covers caravans sited at the same location permanently, including park homes. Most holiday parks require caravan owners to have cover in place

  • Trailer tent or folding camper insurance: this provides cover for a trailer tent or folding camper that’s pulled behind your vehicle

Motorhomes are not classified as a caravan as you can drive them as well as use them for accommodation purposes. If you have a motorhome, it’s a legal requirement to take out dedicated motorhome insurance as your standard car insurance will not provide cover.

What does caravan insurance cover?

Standard caravan insurance usually covers:

  • Accidental damage: if your caravan is damaged in an accident, whether it’s being towed or is detached 

  • Malicious damage: if your caravan is damaged due to criminal activity

  • Third-party liability: if a member of the public is injured or your caravan causes damage to someone’s property following an accident 

  • Theft: if your caravan is stolen outside your home or from a campsite

  • Extreme weather: if your caravan is damaged in a storm or other severe weather

The level of cover for each of these areas varies depending on the policy. Total payouts will also vary, so always check the limits with each insurer to make sure they’re high enough to cover the value of your caravan.

Are there any optional extras?

If you would like more comprehensive cover, you can usually pay for optional extras to be added to your policy. These include:

  • Cover for use by friends and family: this allows your friends and family to use your caravan without needing separate insurance

  • Contents cover: most policies will require you to pay more if you want any belongings locked inside the caravan to be protected from theft or damage, but it’s worth checking if your home insurance policy covers you first

  • Excess cover: this covers the cost of your excess in the event of a claim. While this makes your policy more expensive initially, it could save you money later

  • European cover: this protects your touring caravan overseas but normally costs extra. Check your destination is covered and if there are any laws you need to follow. Find out more on The Camping and Caravanning Club website

  • Breakdown cover: even if you have breakdown cover for your car, not all policies include towing caravans, so you may need to add separate cover. Just make sure you check for exclusions such as the length, width and weight of your caravan

What is ‘new for old cover’?

How insurers assess the value of your caravan and belongings depends on the type of cover they offer.

Some cover the current market value of your caravan and items, while others pay for the cost of a new caravan of a similar model — the latter is called new for old cover.

If you choose a policy with new for old cover, you will get new replacements or be paid the equivalent value of those new items if your belongings are stolen or damaged. New for old cover will cost you a little more but comes into its own when you’ve had your caravan for a long time, otherwise, the current market rate might not be enough to afford a replacement.

Are there any exclusions with caravan insurance? 

All insurance policies have exclusions, and they tend to vary by provider so you should always check your terms and conditions before you buy. When comparing caravan insurance, you may find you won’t be covered for:

  • Using your caravan as your main home

  • Using your caravan to run a business

  • Damage caused by wear and tear

  • Theft if the caravan is left unlocked or the windows are open

  • Damage to the caravan caused by insect or vermin infestation

Always check the policy carefully, so you know exactly what cover you are paying for.

How much does caravan insurance cost?

The cost of your policy depends on lots of different factors, including:

  • The value of your caravan

  • The protection you choose, for example, if you add any optional extras

  • How secure your caravan is, for example, the types of locks fitted on the doors

  • The policy excess (you may make your premiums cheaper by increasing the excess)

  • Where you keep your caravan

  • How old you are

  • Where you live

How can I save money on caravan insurance?

The best way to save money on caravan insurance is to compare quotes for the cover you need from a wide range of insurers.

However, other ways you could make your caravan insurance cheaper include:

  • Keep your caravan on a CaSSOA registered site: you’ll save money on insurance if you store your caravan at a CaSSOA (Caravan Storage Site Owners’ Association) site. Sites are graded gold, silver and bronze, with gold being the most secure and offering the biggest discount on your cover

  • Install extra security: many insurers offer a discount if you fit a Sold Secure Standard alarm or better locks on your doors and windows. Installing a Thatcham graded tracking device may also make your cover cheaper

  • Join a caravan club: many insurers offer a discount to members of UK caravan clubs and associations, such as the Caravan and Motorhome Club

  • Use a wheel or hitch lock: many insurers require you to have either a hitch lock or wheel lock before they will provide cover, but some will also offer a discount on some models

How do I make a claim?

If you need to make a claim on your insurance policy, contact your insurer straight away. Most insurers have a 24-hour helpline number listed on your policy documents. You will also need:

  • Your policy number

  • Details of what you need to claim for – e.g., what has been damaged or stolen

If something has been stolen, or you suspect the damage was caused intentionally, contact the police immediately to report it and get a crime reference number. Having a crime number to hand will make your claim go more smoothly.

Tips to make claims easier

To make your claim easier, make sure you:

  • Take plenty of photos: after choosing your insurance policy, take pictures of your caravan and the belongings inside. This should make it easier to show your insurer the state of your caravan before any damage or theft if you need to make a claim

  • Write an inventory: list all the items in your caravan. This should make claiming quicker if your caravan is stolen, or the contents are badly damaged

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