Touring caravan insurance

Here in the UK, there are more than half a million touring caravan owners and an increasing number of people are discovering the many joys associated with caravanning. Whether you are planning a staycation in the UK or taking your touring caravan across to Europe, you are sure to have a great holiday in your home away from home.

However, before you can relax and enjoy your break you will need to arrange touring caravan insurance. For most caravanners, a touring caravan is a significant investment, so it makes sense to take out an insurance policy that provides the level of cover required for complete peace of mind.

What exactly is touring caravan insurance?

A comprehensive insurance policy will protect your touring caravan against potential loss or damage, with varying levels of cover available to suit your requirements, including:

• Cover to purchase a ’new for old’ caravan or a second-hand tourer to the market value of your old caravan. The amount originally paid, should it be written off.
• Cover for potential third-party liability costs in the event of a claim.
• A contribution to the cost of repairing any damage sustained as a result of an insurable event, such as fire, theft, flood, storm, or accidental damage during towing.
• Financial assistance to replace items that are lost, damaged or stolen from the caravan, including the caravan itself.

Do I need touring caravan insurance?

Unlike car insurance policies, you are not obliged legally to arrange touring caravan insurance, although you are required to maintain the caravan in a condition that's roadworthy. When you consider the value of your caravan itself and its contents, you are taking a big risk if you do not organise appropriate cover for its replacement or repair, not to mention potential third-party claims.

Many owners believe their car insurance policies will provide the cover required for towing a touring caravan, however, the actual coverage is very limited. If your caravan were to sustain damage whilst towing, it is highly unlikely your car insurance would pay out as most insurers will exclude caravans within the policy.

If your touring caravan is quite old and is not very valuable, it is still advisable to take out a touring caravan insurance policy. Although you may not be concerned about the value of your own caravan, should the worst happen, you may be very glad to have public liability cover and third-party cover in place. In fact, many caravan sites will insist that you have a policy in place so that you are adequately covered for any potential damage that you and your caravan may sustain or cause your stay.

Even If your touring caravan is parked up outside your home, it is still a good idea to have a caravan insurance policy in place. Although your caravan may feel safe parked on your drive, it will still be a target for potential thieves and there is always a chance that a tree could fall, or a flood could leave significant damage.

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What will be covered by touring caravan insurance?

Although it is important to always compare policies to find the most competitive price, you should also consider the level of cover and any additional benefits which are included within the policy. The best price does not necessarily mean that you will receive the best level of cover for your touring caravan. Just like no two caravans are exactly the same, in many cases, no two policies will be completely alike, as cover is tailored to the caravan itself and the requirements of the owners.

The majority of caravan insurance policies will be comprehensive, so if you find a quote that is significantly cheaper, it is worth double-checking the coverage level. There are a variety of common elements which we recommend you include in your policy, such as cover for:

• Accidental damage
• Fire, storm, and flood damage
• Theft
• Malicious damage
• European, should you be intending to travel abroad
• Personal contents and equipment
• Public liability cover of at least £1 million

Are there any exclusions within touring caravan policies?

Touring caravan insurance policies will carry some restrictions and exclusions, so you should familiarise yourself with your insurer's list so that you are not caught out. In general, the insurers will exclude your caravan for business use, letting it to holidaymakers, and using it as a permanent residence.

In terms of wear and tear, your insurance cannot be used for maintaining your touring caravan, so you should stick to a regular maintenance schedule that includes annual servicing. For example, items such as tyre punctures are not covered, in a similar way to insurance for other roadgoing vehicles.

In addition, there are some policies that do not include travel outside the UK as standard, so always check whether you have the level of cover required before leaving for your trip. The majority of specialist touring caravan insurance companies will include European cover, although there may be limitations on the length of your trip or the number of days you can spend in Europe each year.

It is also worth noting that if you are planning a trip in your caravan which will be longer than 30 days, your actual home insurance may be invalidated because of your absence. In addition, you should check that your home insurance policy covers items such as mobile phones, laptops, and jewellery while away from the home, as if you bring them on your caravan break, they may not be covered under your caravan insurance policy.

Top tips to cut the cost of your touring caravan insurance

There are many factors that will influence the cost of your touring caravan insurance, including its make, model, age, value, claim history and your address. Although you cannot change these factors, there are still ways to reduce the cost of your insurance.

These include:

1. Fitting additional caravan security devices, such as an alarm, tracker, ground anchors, hitch posts and wheel clamps which will all deter thieves.
2. Keeping your caravan in a secure location when not in use, such as an approved Caravan Storage Site Owners’ Association.
3. Not keeping valuable items within the caravan, such as awnings and ancillary equipment.
4. Registering your ownership with the Central Reservation and Identification Scheme, which will help your caravan to be recovered should it be stolen.
5. Successful completion of an official caravan towing course that covers manoeuvring.
6. Fitting a trailer control system or Tyron bands to the wheels of your caravan.
7. Being a member of a caravanning club can often help you to access an insurance discount, with the Camping and Caravanning Club and the Caravan and Motorhome Club both being popular choices. Although, if you belong to another membership organisation, you should always mention it, as a discount may be available.
8. Do you travel abroad? If not, you could ask for European cover to be removed from your policy.

How to find out the value of your touring caravan

If you are taking out a market value touring caravan insurance policy, you will be covered for the value of your caravan at the time of your loss. This means you need to accurately calculate the value of your caravan, because if you are underinsured, you may receive less than required to purchase an equivalent caravan.

The market value of your caravan should reflect its age, condition, and wear and tear when compared to similar models which are currently for sale. We recommend talking to a local dealership, which will be able to give you a valuation guide for your caravan. The maximum you will receive in the event of a claim is the ‘sums insured’ amount, so it is important that your valuation is accurate.

Find the best price for your touring caravan insurance renewal

If your touring caravan insurance is due for renewal, these tips could help you find cheap touring caravan insurance, without compromising on the quality of your cover:

1) Firstly start looking for caravan insurance approximately 3 to 4 weeks before your current policy expires or before you are due to collect you caravan from the supplier / vendor
2) Are you willing to increase your excess compared to the amount included last year?
3) Has the value of your caravan changed? You may need to be insured for a lower market value this year.
4) Has the equipment within your caravan changed? For example, the removal of an awning could lower your premium this year.
5) Are personal possessions such as clothing, mobile phones and bedding already included within your home insurance?

Popular touring caravan insurance companies

The following touring caravan insurance companies are some of the popular options here in the UK. However, if you would like to speak to someone at Salop Leisure, we would be delighted to help to arrange a policy which best reflects your needs.  Using our online form you can input all of the information required for us to build you a bespoke quotation
• Towergate Insurance
• Caravan Guard
• E&L Insurance
• Shield Total Insurance
• Safeguard
• Saga
• Club Care – from The Camping and Caravanning Club
• Coast Insurance
• NFU Mutual

Touring caravan insurance FAQs

1) What are the differences between market value and new for old insurance cover?

If you choose a ‘market value’ policy, your caravan will be insured for an amount that is equal to its current value. For example, if your caravan is 10 years old and valued at £5,000, this is the amount you would receive towards a new caravan if yours was written off. However, ‘new for old’ cover would provide the funds required to purchase a brand-new caravan, similar to your original caravan providing the “sum insured” is the correct amount and will need to be updated annually to ensure you have insured it for the current retail price of the latest version of your caravan.

2) Do I need a licence to tow a caravan?

The rules regarding towing licences vary depending on when you passed your driving test. If you passed your test after 1st January 1997, it is likely that you will need to take a B+E towing test. Although, the rules do vary based on the total weight of your vehicle and caravan, so it is worth checking.

3) What is touring caravan insurance excess?

If you were to make a claim on your touring caravan insurance, the excess is the amount you pay as your own personal contribution. Some of the caravan insurance companies will set a standard excess amount, although you can increase your excess voluntarily, which is likely to lower your overall insurance cost. However, if you were to make a claim, you would need to pay the higher excess amount.

How do I pay for my caravan insurance?

In a similar way to your car insurance, you will usually have the option to pay for your insurance annually in a single lump sum or in equal monthly instalments. If you choose to spread the payments, you will usually need to set up a direct debit and there is likely to be an additional cost from the insurance company.

Are awnings covered within touring caravan insurance policies?

Awnings are susceptible to storm damage, which makes them one of the most common reasons for a claim. Not all policies will include awnings, so you should always check that yours is covered, especially given the windy weather we often experience here in the UK.

Salop Leisure – Servicing the touring caravan industry for more than 50 years!

Here at Salop Leisure, we are the touring caravan experts. From our showroom in Emstrey, just outside Shrewsbury, we sell the full range of brand new Swift and Coachman touring caravans and motorhomes, together with an extensive selection of pre-owned models from all manufacturers. If you need advice about your touring caravan insurance or are looking for a new caravan, our team are always available to discuss your requirements