How to choose the right caravan insurance

27 March 2012

We look at some of the features and exclusions of caravan insurance, and consider who needs to buy this non-compulsory insurance.

Limitations to friends and family use

Defaqto compared the details of 66 products and found that 12% of policies don't cover touring caravans when they're borrowed by family. Another 15% do so as an optional extra. Having looked in depth at a number of policies myself, I have also noticed that some contracts limit the number of additional family members who can be covered.

57% of policies don't provide cover when borrowed by a friend, and another 11% will only do so if you pay extra.

Defaqto highlighted that there are variances in policy definitions in terms of what counts as 'family'. So while your aunt and uncle may be covered, your cousin may not!

More terms and conditions to consider

You could get new-for-old cover up to three or five years, and even ten or 15 years (with Zurich Insurance and Caravan Club, for example). This might be particularly useful if you've borrowed to buy the caravan. You will normally need to insure it for the full cost of its replacement in today's prices in order to get this level of cover.

I have also noticed that not all policies cover breakdown in the UK and Europe, so factor in the cost of separate breakdown if you need it, when necessary.

Defaqto has provided a checklist of some of the other key elements of caravan insurance, to help ensure you get the cover you want. Check out:

  • The maximum sum insured available.
  • The maximum acceptance age of a caravan.
  • Availability of cover for different perils, such as malicious, flood and storm damage.
  • Cover for contents in and around the caravan, including contents kept under awnings.
  • The level and type of cover offered if alternative arrangements need to be made as a result of the caravan being severely damaged or stolen. This might be cover for alternative accommodation and travel expenses, for example.

In the event that the insurer treats you unfairly you can complain to the free, no-risk Financial Ombudsman Service, which could force the insurer to compensate you.

You don't have to buy caravan insurance

Caravan insurance is not a legal requirement and your standard car insurance will often cover the caravan while you're towing, but not when it is unhitched, and sometimes the cover abroad is limited. Specialist vehicle insurer Adrian Flux suggests caravan insurance can be appropriate to cover you from caravan theft, to cover items in the caravan, and to pay for emergency accommodation expenses, or for storm damage in camping sites.

More: Get £100,000 if you can't work | Save 50%+ on your life insurance

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