Unlike vehicles, there is no legal requirement to insure a caravan, though of course the car towing it must be covered (standalone motorhomes must also have vehicle insurance.)
However, when you take into account the ways you could lose out financially with a caravan, from theft to fire to storm damage to being damaged in a crash, and the expense of replacement or repair, caravan insurance really does make sense.
How does caravan insurance compare to vehicle insurance?
This is something of a generalization, but insurers are more likely to offer "new for old" cover as standard. This means that if you need to completely replace a caravan, you'll get the money to pay for a brand new equivalent, even if your caravan is a few years old. (Many insurers will offer new-for-old on models up to 15 years old; beyond that you'll generally only get the current market value.)
What do I need to consider when taking out caravan insurance?
The most important thing is to make sure the insurance sum matches the current market value of a new model of your caravan, using a professional valuation if needed. You also need to include the value of any fixtures and fittings plus other items that are permanently stored in the caravan such as cooking equipment or sun awnings.
What about other personal property?
Some policies will offer varying levels of cover for household items you take away with you on trips such as music players or laptops. Check carefully to make sure both the total cover limit and excess on such items meets your needs. You should also look to see if and how such items are covered on your home insurance policy.
What about security?
Each insurer will insist on a minimum level of security for your policy to be considered valid. As a general rule this will include visible deterrents such as wheel clamps and hitchlocks. In many cases, having additional security equipment such as alarms or tracking devices can earn you a substantial discount on premiums.
Does it matter where I keep my caravan?
This will depend on your particular policy. Some insurers prefer customers who keep their caravan at home where it is in sight. Others are happy if it is kept in a storage site, though their may be a requirement that the site be on an officially approved list of secure facilities.
What about static caravans?
Caravans that are permanently kept in one location usually qualify for a specific static caravan policy, which reflects that the risks from driving do not apply. However, there are some important exclusions. Firstly, cover against theft normally only applies where the thieves have broken into the caravan. Secondly, unless expressly stated otherwise, the policy will usually be void if you permanently live in the caravan or use it as a workplace.
You can find a comprehensive list of the most popular caravan insurers in our caravan insurance company directory.
PLEASE NOTE: The guidance published in this article is for information only and does not constitute financial advice or a recommendation of any particular general insurance product or provider. If you are in any doubt please consult an independent insurance adviser. A database of advisers in your area is available at www.unbiased.co.uk
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