Although there is no legal requirement to insure a caravan I considered it an essential expenditure given the value of our caravan, and its contents to us.
Our annual caravan insurance renewal is due in March, and approaching that date a renewal notice prompted me to think of the best way of comparing the caravan insurance services on offer.
While it would be nice to reduce our premium, I did not want to do that by buying an inferior product. Our current caravan insurance was with the Camping and Caravan Club, although they only act as brokers as in fact most so called insurance companies do.
There is little point in getting comparison quotes too early, equally leaving it too late can result in higher premiums, a week before renewal is apparently the best time, or so I have read. I had intended selecting about six companies, who have five star Defaqto ratings, to compare.
We have alway had “New for Old” cover on the van and contents, even though our van is now approaching eight years old. Not all companies offer this level of cover for a van of that age. It is obviously more expensive than market value cover, but we feel that we need to maintain it. The reason is simply that in the event of a total loss we are unlikely to have sufficient funds to be able to fund the replacement costs ourselves even with a “market value” payout.
The current replacement cost of our Lunar Clubman SB with delivery charges is about £26,500, we also have a remote-control motor-mover and solar panel fitted that I estimate would cost about £2000 to replace. In addition, following a recent valuation, I was shocked to find that we have some £2,500 of contents; I had wondered where our money had gone, and now I know!
The question of discounts offered and just what they are offered for also needs investigation, most companies list lots of discounts, such as for the use of security equipment like: wheel clamp, alarm, hitch-lock, secure storage, tyre pressure monitoring system and tracker, as well as completion of a towing course, but then place an overall limit on their discount, which can distort matters. This can mean that some of the discounts offered are in fact valueless and may be better ignored.
We were insured with the Camping and Caravan Club’s (Club Care), and had received a renewal notice for £290.52 and I wished to obtain a few comparable quotes to compare their offer with. It is worth noting that this offer was £18.38 less than the previous years premium, this was presumably due to our increased no-claim bonus. Whatever the reason the reduction was welcome.
Unfortunately they have used the same caravan and equipment values that I provided to them last year, failing to increase them to match current replacement costs. This is something that their terms state must be done on a New for Old policy, so, not being able to raise a human response by telephone I emailed them details of the current values together with a request for them to revalue the policy premium.
As previously stated I had found a number of five star Defaqto rated companies to approach that looked like they might provide caravan insurance cover to allow me to obtain comparative quotes, these were:
After perusing their terms a conditions on-line I rejected the following companies for the reasons listed:
Happy Place – Have some terms that I was not happy with.
Lifesure Group – Only offers New for Old cover on vans up to five years old.
Safeguard Insurance – Only offers New for Old cover on vans up to five years old.
Saga – Too low a limit on personal belongings.
Shield Total Insurance – Web site down each time I visited and they share the same address as the Camping and Caravan Club (Club Care) agent, so I guess they are the same firm.
Supersure Insurance – New for Old cover not offered.
This filtering left me with the following companies who I attempted to get a quotation from, I was beginning to see the wood through the trees:
Caravan Guard Ltd – After filling in their on-line documentation on a rather slow website I was eventually, and rather annoyingly told that they only insure caravans fitted with a tracking device. Why not provide that information on page one!
Caravan and Motorhome Club – Their on-line experience was considerably better than Caravan Guard insomuch that I was finally provided with a quotation for what they call Super Cover Insurance with acceptable terms for £519. This level of cost matches my earlier experience with their level of prices.
I received the revised insurance quotation after a couple of days from Camping and Caravan Club (Club Care) in the sum of £314 to compare with others, not that I have much to compare it with, and it should be self-evident that I will continue to insure with them for the coming year.
Just one other thought for those that have read this far; do check that your car insurance covers you for towing, not all do; it could be embarrassing to find following an accident that your caravan is insured but your car is not simply because you didn’t tell your insurer about that hook you had fitted on the back of your car.