The ins and outs of caravan insurance
Going on a caravan trip is always exciting. And with an increasing number of Australians buying caravans and heading on the road, it’s important to consider the benefits of having an insurance policy in place. So what do you need to know about taking out caravan insurance?
What types of policies are available?
There are typically three different types of caravan insurance policies available. These are:
- Touring caravan insurance: This typically provides cover for caravans that are only towed behind another vehicle. Your caravan’s contents are protected, as well as the physical structure of the caravan in the event of accidental damage, theft, fire or storm.
- Camper trailer and folding camper insurance: This level of cover applies to camper trailers, horse floats and box trailers. Policies typically cover theft, fire, storm and vandalism.
- Static caravan insurance: This applies to caravans and motorhomes that are solely used without movement. They’re typically parked and kept in a fixed location. Insurance for these caravans covers accidental damage, vandalism and various other natural incidents such as storm and fire.
What do these policies actually cover?
Of course, the inclusions and restrictions of a caravan policy depend on the level of cover you take out. However, a typical policy will provide cover for commonplace events such as fire, storm, vandalism, theft or accidental damage. However, you can also take out a policy with a wider range of inclusions, such as cover for emergency repairs, consequential storage costs, towing, legal representation and temporary accommodation if you require it.
Yes. Some insurance brands will even provide you with an optional cover break. This means that if you only use your caravan seasonally or irregularly, you won’t have to pay for insurance while it’s not in use. That said, you won’t be eligible for cover during these periods either, so you need to weigh up whether the lack of cover is worth the pennies saved.
Are there any exclusions?
There are usually several exclusions in place for most policies. If your caravan is old, rusty or worn, any incidents or damage caused as a result of erosion or a structural, mechanical or electrical failure won’t be covered. Similarly, you won’t be able to claim for repairs to old damage, or the cost of fixing a faulty repair or design. Any damage that occurs outside of Australia will also be excluded. Some exclusions are also very specific, for example, if you smash the glass of a window pane or any ceramic facility within the caravan, the fracture must extend either completely through or across the item for it to be covered.
How much does it cost?
It’s important to compare caravan insurance policies online so that you know you’re getting the best value for money. Premiums differ greatly depending on a few factors, such as your caravan’s value, its security, the purpose of its use, your level of cover and your chosen excess.
How can I keep my caravan safe?
There are a few ways you can protect your caravan. For starters, you can use a device such as a wheel clamp or hitch lock to lessen the risk of thieves driving away with your caravan. You could also consider fitting your caravan with security alarms and immobilisers to deter thieves. When it comes time to make a claim, you’ll need to provide proof of what your caravan looked like before it was stolen/damaged. While your caravan is intact, take photos in case you need to provide evidence of its sound structure later on. Also, consider hiding your valuables so that nobody sees them through the window and attempts to steal them.
While this may sound overwhelming, finding the best value caravan insurance simply comes down to shopping around online and comparing policies thoroughly. Consider which factors you’d like to insure and put your caravan to good use!
Richard Laycock is an insurance expert at finder.com.au.