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Caravan Insurance

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Peter G. Shaw21/09/2019 11:58:35
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986 forum posts
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Bit of a silly one this, but here goes with a bit of background first. The background info is to prevent people querying why I'm doing this.

When I first started caravanning, I was an impecunious wage slave with a mortgage, 2 kids, permanently hungry labrador, no money in the bank, etc, etc, and hence insurance was a must. Today, 40 years later, all the above have gone/moved on and we have money in the bank.

Last year we bought a new caravan, £16K's worth (ok it was at the lower end of the range due to size/weight considerations), and duly insured it for something like £250. This caravan has a tracking system fitted which cost me £95 p.a so all in all, £345 p.a.

Unfortunately, last January, I was informed by the tracking monitoring people that the system wasn't working, so I, possibly foolishly, informed the insurers who said, thankyou for telling us, that'll be an extra £60 please!

Now, no arguments please about insurance risks etc, but I started thinking. Unlike motor vehicles, there is no requirement to insure a caravan, so as we have money available, why not self insure? It turns out that for third party risks, the caravan is covered by the car insurance as long as the caravan is attached to the car. So that leaves, essentially, when the caravan is parked outside our home being prepared for/being cleaned up after, a holiday; or when on site.

So, what I'm looking for is someway of insuring the caravan for third party risks only in the above two situations. The question then, is, does anyone know of an insurer who will insure just for these risks as a standalone policy.

Peter G. Shaw

RMA21/09/2019 12:18:47
193 forum posts
4 photos

Surely it would be best to talk to a good insurance broker and see exactly what options are available?

Oxymoron21/09/2019 12:36:49
31 forum posts
6 photos

Peter, I insure a motorhome with Caravan Guard. Never made a claim through them but always been impressed with the way the agent is always willing to talk through the options at each renewal, include Europe or not, milage per year, include the wife etc to get the cheapest quote. They may be able to help with your scenario if you give them a ring.

I've no connection at all with them other than a customer.

pgk pgk21/09/2019 13:27:42
1453 forum posts
282 photos

A chance you might get homeowners insurance to cover it while parked on your drive which just leaves on site. facetiously I don't suppose a bit of string from caravan to car counts as attached...

pgk

Michael Gilligan21/09/2019 14:36:07
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14011 forum posts
608 photos

Could I please check, Peter ...

Are you saying that you are happy to 'self-insure' your own risk of loss at all times when the caravan is not covered by the car insurance, but want to buy separate third party cover for incidents ?

I am thinking of things like gas-bottle explosions, fire, and debris from storm-damage.

.

If so: My first enquiry would probably be to NFU Mutual: **LINK**

https://www.nfumutual.co.uk/contact-us/

I think they are more likely than most to recognise the sort of risk involved.

MichaelG.

Peter G. Shaw21/09/2019 15:21:14
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986 forum posts
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Michael G,

More or less correct. I'm thinking of my liability to other people.

I have already tried NFU and been told that they would do an add-on policy provided I already had their car insurance. As it happens, both car and caravan insurance renewals both fall within October. NFU's car insurance proposal is already higher than my existing car insurers renewal quote which in turn is some £40 higher than last year. They refused o give some idea as what the add-on premium might be. Truly a chicken & egg situation.

Actually, that gives me the idea that perhaps I should try my existing car insurer and see what they say.

Oxymoron,

Will try them on Monday.

RMA,

Logically, I would try the Camping & Caravanning Club of which I am a member. However, it is their insurers who slapped on the extra £60!

--------------------

I must admit that over the 40 years of caravanning, I've never had, or experienced, or seen anything like what MichaelG is suggesting, yet that is exactly the sort of unforeseen peril which might just happen. Probably the worst I've experienced was during high winds where the awning pegs were slowly being pulled out of the ground (actually one of the silly so-called hard standings - an area of stony ground about 8 or 10 inches deep). Most of my problems have been accidental damage - dropping a window out of its frame, catching one corner on a pickup whilst manoevering in a tight spot, etc., and these were indeed covered by insurance.

Peter G. Shaw

RMA21/09/2019 17:31:59
193 forum posts
4 photos

Peter, I used to belong to the Caravan Club, and I wouldn't touch anything they sold with a barge pole! I imagine the Camping and Caravanning Club to be very similar, although probably not so snobbish!

As I said before, a good broker is your best bet, and I can thoroughly recommend A-Plan which is a national outfit and there should be one near you. Obviously it depends on the personnel in the branch, but mine will go the extra mile to help, and having a local office you can sort it out personally over a cup of coffee. Much better than trying to explain what you want to a call centre, where anything that's off their script is a problem to them. You can get anything these days if you throw money at it, insurance is no exception, but I don't like getting ripped off.

Good luck, I'm sure you'll get it sorted.

Michael Gilligan21/09/2019 20:02:08
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14011 forum posts
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Peter,

Just in case we have different interpretations of 'self insurance' ... This is mine:

There are three parties involved in an insurance claim

  • First Party is the insurer
  • Second Party is the insured
  • Third Party is a claimant who is not either the first or second party

But it is possible for first and second parties to be the same 'person' [in the legal sense]

... This is not uncommon when that 'person' is a large company with ample assets, but much less common if the 'person' is an individual.

Motor insurance, for example, can be taken out as:

  • Comprehensive
  • Third Party, Fire, and Theft; or
  • Third Party only

If you choose 'Third Party only' [which is the legal minimum] then you are effectively 'self insuring' the Fire and Theft risks. But it is recognised that most individuals simply could not carry the risk of Third Party claims, so the law requires an appropriate entity to be the First Party.

I think you will see that it is quite feasible for you to have the caravan insured when 'with the vehicle' and separately insured when 'not with the vehicle' ... and [for that second situation] that you could choose to 'self insure' [i.e. not insure through another party] your own claims; but might be unwise to carry the risk in respect of claim by a Third Party.

I do hope that makes sense to you: It's clear in my head, but very difficult to describe in a few words.

MichaelG.

Peter G. Shaw21/09/2019 21:01:31
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986 forum posts
39 photos

MichaelG,

Yes, I am aware of the difference, and it is indeed the third party risks I wish to cover. As I said, if I suffered a total loss of the caravan, I could simply cash in some investments and replace. But, if something drastic was to happen, eg, and here I'm being silly, the caravan when parked outside my house on a gentle slope, somehow raised all four legs, removed the wheel clamp, and the brakes failed, such that said caravan rolled away by itself and ran over someone, then I could be in serious trouble. That would be third party and damages could be quite high.

RMA,

I started with the C&CC Club something like 48 years ago when we were tent users only. I seem to recall that there was free kit insurance up to a certain value, and I suppose through laziness, stayed with them ever since.

I note you suggest A-Plan. I will try them on Monday.

Peter G. Shaw

SillyOldDuffer21/09/2019 21:18:15
4711 forum posts
1010 photos

As you already have a caravan policy to hand, wade through it and carefully list what it actually covers. Then decide if each item listed is one you would personally be able to accept liability for.

For example, it would be dangerous to abandon anything covering injury to third-parties because those costs can run into millions. However the policy may only cover basic risks like damage & theft because third-party on the road is provided by the towing vehicles insurance.

Many people don't insure their homes. Bit risky if the house burns down but how often does that happen per lifetime? Thinks...

Dave

Georgineer22/09/2019 00:46:00
259 forum posts
14 photos

A colleague of mine was towing his caravan (back in the 1970s) when the hitch broke on a hill and the caravan ran away and killed a pedestrian. I wouldn't like to be in a situation where the insurance company could argue that the caravan was not attached at the time of the impact and therefore deny responsibility.

George

Alan Donovan22/09/2019 11:19:37
12 forum posts
9 photos

Hello.

Just a thought reading the original post. This response is slightly off subject and it is worth stating I am not a caravan owner. If this a genuinely 'new' caravan bought last year and the tracking system 'died' in January of last year - I assume that it has had less than 1 year of use. Could you not claim a replacement unit from the tracker manufacturer?

Another observation is that it is slightly cheaper (in this case) to let the insurance company carry the increased risk of non-recovery (£60/year) than be proactive like Peter, and fit a theft deterrent at (£95/year). Having made that statement, I personally would still fit the tracker as the additional £35 per year is far better than dealing with the stress and trauma of handling a potential insurance claim, plus there will still be a significant cost penalty to you if you should need to replace a caravan - i.e. insurance payout versus retail price.

Alan.

Maurice Taylor22/09/2019 12:49:29
33 forum posts
3 photos

Why would you not want to fully insure a £16000 caravan ,it would only cost 2 pints of ale a week.

Robert Butler22/09/2019 20:28:06
82 forum posts
1 photos
Posted by Maurice Taylor on 22/09/2019 12:49:29:

Why would you not want to fully insure a £16000 caravan ,it would only cost 2 pints of ale a week.

Quite! to sell off investments potentially could cost more than the Insurance premium and you still have to purchase a caravan!.

Robert Butler

Peter G. Shaw22/09/2019 20:29:45
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986 forum posts
39 photos

Dave/SOD,

Please note: I am NOT proposing abandoning Third Party protection - merely the other stuff, eg fire, theft, damage etc as I can easily afford to pay for it myself.

Alan,

The full story is this:

Yes, new caravan which automatically includes the tracker system. However, to activate the system requires an annual subscription of £95. (Actually, I took out the 3 year cover for £285.) The insurer, which as I have already said was more or less the default one from the C&CC club because I was too lazy to try elsewhere, did indeed allow a reduction becasue the tracker system was activated.

The caravan is normally stored inside an old barn, or possibly a cowshed. Access into it is by means of a personnel gate comprising a set of heavy steel bars welded together. To remove the caravan one has to walk to the other end of the barn and undo another set of gates, again heavy steel bars welded together. Both gates are secured by locks. On top of that, the barn is located deep in the depths of an old quarry, along an access track past the landowner's house. Finally, most of the time, the landowner's locked up tractor and trailer are parked in front of the caravan. Indeed, standing instructions are that whever we want to remove/replace the caravan, we have to give the landowner 2/3 days notice so that he can ensure access/egress is clear. It is my personal belief that this location is about as secure against theft as it is possible to be. Malicious damage, though, is another thing, even though any possible vandals would need to get on site whilst carrying a petrol powered disc cutter of some sort.

Maurice,

Yes, I quite agree, it may be cheap, relatively. However, over the 40 years of caravanning, I have made a total of four claims - two for windows being accidently broken, and two for corner damage done whilst manoevring in confined spaces. Possible total of £1.2K to £1.5K . I haven't bothered working out the premiums paid over those 40 years, but I'm darned sure it's a lot more than that. Also, the last claim was at least 10 years ago.

The point is, Maurice, I'm in my mid-70's with money in the bank, and all I can see for the future is theft by the state when I die, or even before that depending on the political party in power, or theft by various parties, eg insurance companies, care homes etc. I do have children, but still foresee difficulties in passing it on, hence I'm loth to fork out good money, for something that I can cover myself - if needed. And that is the important point - if needed.

-----------------------------------------------------------

There are other points which so far I haven't mentioned. The tracking system is only of use if the caravan is stolen and the monitoring people advised, and hence the Police. This means that whilst in storage as outlined above, I may not see the caravan for a few months through the winter, but I do consider this to be acceptable considering the storage location. Therefore, the only real use for the tracker is when on site, and hence theft would be detected within a few hours at most.

Another point is that although it was January when I was advised of the problem, I decided to leave it until late March/April when the caravan has its annual service. It is actually 59 miles from my house to the nearest authorised dealer. So, in due course, the caravan went in for service/repairs and whilst it was in, I received a call from the tracker manufacturer stating that they had discovered that the system as fitted to certain caravans did not work correctly, hence they were being recalled for rectification. So, there we were, being penalised by the insurer because the tracker manufacturer had produced some duff equipment. And that led, in turn to my original thoughts about self-insuring for everything EXCEPT Third Party risks. Hence my original question.

Incidently, the same thing could also apply to the car. My car cost £19K, so if it was readily available (actually it is no longer made, but that's by-the by), I could just go out and buy a replacement. But that still leaves the problem of Third Party claims.

Now I know that what I'm saying is somewhat radical, since we have all been brainwashed into buying expensive Comprehensive insurance, but really, do we actually need Comprehensive insurance if we can afford to self-insure? Perhaps ThirdParty insurance might well be satisfactory, and would certainly stop all these problems one hears about caused by insurance companies looking after themselves at our expense.

Peter G. Shaw

John Paton 122/09/2019 22:27:19
172 forum posts
6 photos
Posted by Peter G. Shaw on 22/09/2019 20:29:45:

Dave/SOD,

Please note: I am NOT proposing abandoning Third Party protection - merely the other stuff, eg fire, theft, damage etc as I can easily afford to pay for it myself.

Alan,

The full story is this:

Yes, new caravan which automatically includes the tracker system. However, to activate the system requires an annual subscription of £95. (Actually, I took out the 3 year cover for £285.) The insurer, which as I have already said was more or less the default one from the C&CC club because I was too lazy to try elsewhere, did indeed allow a reduction becasue the tracker system was activated.

The caravan is normally stored inside an old barn, or possibly a cowshed. Access into it is by means of a personnel gate comprising a set of heavy steel bars welded together. To remove the caravan one has to walk to the other end of the barn and undo another set of gates, again heavy steel bars welded together. Both gates are secured by locks. On top of that, the barn is located deep in the depths of an old quarry, along an access track past the landowner's house. Finally, most of the time, the landowner's locked up tractor and trailer are parked in front of the caravan. Indeed, standing instructions are that whever we want to remove/replace the caravan, we have to give the landowner 2/3 days notice so that he can ensure access/egress is clear. It is my personal belief that this location is about as secure against theft as it is possible to be. Malicious damage, though, is another thing, even though any possible vandals would need to get on site whilst carrying a petrol powered disc cutter of some sort.

Maurice,

Yes, I quite agree, it may be cheap, relatively. However, over the 40 years of caravanning, I have made a total of four claims - two for windows being accidently broken, and two for corner damage done whilst manoevring in confined spaces. Possible total of £1.2K to £1.5K . I haven't bothered working out the premiums paid over those 40 years, but I'm darned sure it's a lot more than that. Also, the last claim was at least 10 years ago.

The point is, Maurice, I'm in my mid-70's with money in the bank, and all I can see for the future is theft by the state when I die, or even before that depending on the political party in power, or theft by various parties, eg insurance companies, care homes etc. I do have children, but still foresee difficulties in passing it on, hence I'm loth to fork out good money, for something that I can cover myself - if needed. And that is the important point - if needed.

-----------------------------------------------------------

There are other points which so far I haven't mentioned. The tracking system is only of use if the caravan is stolen and the monitoring people advised, and hence the Police. This means that whilst in storage as outlined above, I may not see the caravan for a few months through the winter, but I do consider this to be acceptable considering the storage location. Therefore, the only real use for the tracker is when on site, and hence theft would be detected within a few hours at most.

Another point is that although it was January when I was advised of the problem, I decided to leave it until late March/April when the caravan has its annual service. It is actually 59 miles from my house to the nearest authorised dealer. So, in due course, the caravan went in for service/repairs and whilst it was in, I received a call from the tracker manufacturer stating that they had discovered that the system as fitted to certain caravans did not work correctly, hence they were being recalled for rectification. So, there we were, being penalised by the insurer because the tracker manufacturer had produced some duff equipment. And that led, in turn to my original thoughts about self-insuring for everything EXCEPT Third Party risks. Hence my original question.

Incidently, the same thing could also apply to the car. My car cost £19K, so if it was readily available (actually it is no longer made, but that's by-the by), I could just go out and buy a replacement. But that still leaves the problem of Third Party claims.

Now I know that what I'm saying is somewhat radical, since we have all been brainwashed into buying expensive Comprehensive insurance, but really, do we actually need Comprehensive insurance if we can afford to self-insure? Perhaps ThirdParty insurance might well be satisfactory, and would certainly stop all these problems one hears about caused by insurance companies looking after themselves at our expense.

Peter G. Shaw

We had our campervan insured through C&CC but the premium unexpectedly rose by £1000 (about x4) following a daytime break in and theft from our campervan while in France.

At that rate the insurers would have recovered the amount of our claim within 2.5 years had we stayed with C&CC.

We changed insurers and ended up paying £30 a year less than the original C&CC premium so all was not lost, but had this not been the case we would have been better to self insure the burglary risk.

John

RMA23/09/2019 06:22:49
193 forum posts
4 photos

I get fed up with insurance companies insisting on this that and the other. Are trackers really necessary in a caravan? It's been year's since I had a caravan, long before trackers were available, and if my caravan had been stolen, I wouldn't have wanted it back anyway, chances are it would have been abused and trashed, and it was a new van.

I do an annual search for all my insurance policies and I always have problems with alarms. I have two cars with top of the range factory fitted alarms, I don't know if they're Thatcham this or Thatcham that, the insurers should know that when I put the reg number in! Same with my BMW, it has an 8 speed sport auto box with paddle shift, so why does it come up as a manual on every insurance form?

What I have learned over the year's is to actually talk to someone when searching for a policy and ensure they have ALL the correct details, and get the insurance you actually need and want. If not they will wriggle out of paying up, that's for sure.

I think Peter's idea is well thought through. Don't let these companies rip you off!

Off subject a bit, but worth mentioning. My car was parked legally on the highway and unattended. Some young clown drove into the side and did a runner! I was very fortunate to have had two witnesses who left the number of the other vehicle for my return. In the end the other parties insurance paid for the whole claim, but I had to declare it to my insurance company and it was recorded as a no fault claim, even though it hadn't cost them a penny. Result no. My renewal premiums were loaded because of the claim.....for the next 5 year's on both of my cars! When I challenged them I was told that although I wasn't in the car at the time of the crash, the insurance algorithm tells them I'm now more likely to have crash in the future!

So beware of these sharks, they play silly games!

Edited By RMA on 23/09/2019 06:23:44

Michael Gilligan23/09/2019 09:15:37
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14011 forum posts
608 photos
Posted by RMA on 23/09/2019 06:22:49:

[ ... ] Same with my BMW, it has an 8 speed sport auto box with paddle shift, so why does it come up as a manual on every insurance form? [ ... ]

.

Presumably the paddles are there to facilitate rapid manual selection of a gear ...

Why are you surprised ?

MichaelG.

RMA23/09/2019 11:38:43
193 forum posts
4 photos
Posted by Michael Gilligan on 23/09/2019 09:15:37:
Posted by RMA on 23/09/2019 06:22:49:

[ ... ] Same with my BMW, it has an 8 speed sport auto box with paddle shift, so why does it come up as a manual on every insurance form? [ ... ]

.

Presumably the paddles are there to facilitate rapid manual selection of a gear ...

Why are you surprised ?

MichaelG.

Quite simply because all cars with these gearboxes are classed as automatics, even though BMW give two methods to override it. Even my Jaguar which is now 22 year's old is classed as an automatic, even though it has the famous Jaguar J gate for manual override!

It's the DVLA that gets thing wrong and insurance companies take their word for it, hence my warning to anyone taking insurance to get all the facts right, otherwise you can create a loophole.

Michael Gilligan23/09/2019 12:22:22
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14011 forum posts
608 photos
Posted by RMA on 23/09/2019 11:38:43:
 
[ ... ]
It's the DVLA that gets thing wrong and insurance companies take their word for it,
[ ... ]

.

Fair enough ... thanks

MichaelG.

Edited By Michael Gilligan on 23/09/2019 12:23:16

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