Caravan Insurance Policy Guide

Touring caravan owners are doing themselves a favour by educating themselves as to what constitutes a caravan insurance policy. The main elements of a caravan insurance policy are:

  • Contents
  • Damage and Loss
  • Liability to the Public
  • Continental use
  • general exclusion
  • Excess

This article is intended to offer an insight into each of the elements.
You will sometimes find that contents and personal effects is not standard, and only available as an optional extra, and even then it is generally quite limited in its coverage. So it is advisable to carefully check precisely what is covered. You will normally find that some or all of the following are excluded: money; credit cards; valuables; audio/video devices; bikes; phones; documents; computers. You should also bear in mind that forcible entry is also required to be able to make a claim. Also you will find that policies differ in whether they cover theft from trailer and toilet tents, and awnings.

Damage and Loss of a caravan are another element of a standard policy. This will normally provide coverage up to the value of the caravan itself. There are in fact two types of cover for damage and loss:

New For Old: this means that should your caravan be lost or damaged beyond repair your insurance will provide you with a brand new caravan as a replacement. However there is an age limit on this, normally for caravans up to 5 years old.
Market Value: Again, should your caravan be lost or damaged beyond repair your insurance will pay the prevailing market value of the old caravan, to enable you to buy an equivalent second-hand caravan.

An important part of any caravan insurance policy is that it will cover injury or loss to a member of the general public, resulting from your use of the caravan. Often this cover will  extend to people to whom you have leant the caravan, providing it is not hired to them, and also they are not using it for purposes of business. Generally the level of coverage is between £1million and £2million, sometimes more, and sometimes this includes any costs.
If you take your caravan to the continent you will want to ensure that continental use is covered as part of the policy. This is standard on many policies, but by no means all, so if you do intend to head off to mainland Europe you should check. Repatriation of the caravan (normally to its insured value) and roadside assistance (to a set maximum amount) comes as standard in some policies, but again not all. If it doesn't then you should consider how you are going to deal with such circumstances. You will also find some countries are excluded from the cover, these are mainly the former Soviet Block countries, for instance Poland, Albania, and Bulgaria. Again, you should check if you are going beyond France, Germany, Spain and Italy.

All policies have a general exclusion section. These exclusions are generally highly unlikely events (like war, invasion, terrorism, pressure waves from supersonic planes), but it is still worthwhile to review this list. Generally more relevant is the fact that use other than social, domestic or pleasure is excluded. You will need a separate specialist policy to deal with this type of use. I have found that by and large these exclusions are consistent between the different available policies on the market.

The excess of a policy is the amount of any claim that you must pay yourself before the insurance company will part with any money. To illustrate this, if you were to make a claim for £600 and your excess was set at £100, then the insurance company would pay you £500. You can often select different levels of excess, and if you want to save money on your insurance premiums, one of the easier ways to up the amount of excess that you have on your policy.

Whenever choosing a caravan insurance policy it is always wise to:

  • know what the policy does covers
  • know what the policy doesn't cover
  • know what you need to have covered
  • know what you don't need to have covered
  • get multiple quotes for policies
  • compare not only the cost, but the coverage of the policy

The best way to gather this information is by finding your caravan insurance online, and a great way to do this is at our caravan insurance website