Why compare caravan insurance?
There are a few caravan insurance cover related statements you might sometimes hear from some seasoned veterans of the caravanning world:
- “all the policies are about the same”;
- “the prices never vary much”;
- “all the providers offer the same sort of service”;
- “you can select any policy or provider – it makes almost no difference”;
- “you don’t really need to compare caravan insurance or even purchase any…..”.
What these sentiments indicate is that the people uttering them might well be caravanning experts but they’re clearly rather less knowledgeable in the field of caravan insurance. To put it another way, they’re simply wrong!
Why a comparison is sensible
The most obvious point to make is that caravan insurance is a fiercely competitive field. If all the policies and providers were “more or less the same” then competition wouldn’t exist.
The plain fact of the matter is that it’s typically in the best interests of any caravan owner to compare caravan insurance policies and providers before purchasing.
True, for many caravanning enthusiasts this probably won’t be an exciting prospect. Yet it’s an essential activity if you’re to find the cover that’s appropriate for your caravanning and but also cost-effective.
Differences to look for
Not all caravans are the same. Furthermore, their owners don’t always use them in the same way either.
Policy providers understand that and craft their policies accordingly. So, look for:
- age restrictions on towing drivers. You might also sometimes see conditions relating to motoring convictions;
- annual mileage restrictions;
- use of your caravan outside of the UK (if relevant);
- conditions relating to out-of-season storage or parking (for example, some policies may exclude on-street or driveway parking when the caravan is detached). These might not be a problem – unless you’re unable to comply;
- cover for your contents when they’re stored in the caravan. Conditions and maximum cover levels can vary significantly in this area. You may also see wide variation in requirements for things such as security systems and alarms;
- modifications and enhancements to your caravan which have affected its value – some policies won’t cover those or recognise their effect on the caravan’s valuation;
- where you can use your caravan might also be restricted. Some policies might require hardstanding and sites that provide 24x7 supervision and security while others may be less restrictive;
- the valuation of your caravan in terms of its age;
- whether or not external items and fixtures (e.g. awnings) are included;
- required anti-theft security devices, such as immobilisers;
The above list barely scratches the surface as to how policies might differ from each other.
Those differences also have a very significant impact on pricing (called “the premium” in insurance-speak). This leads into arguably the most important reason for making an effort to compare caravan insurance policies.
- you cannot tell anything about a policy based upon its price alone.
To give an artificial example, consider the case where one policy appears to be lower-cost than another and therefore more attractive. Upon inspection, you might discover that its cover for fixtures, fittings and contents is significantly below the value of the same in your caravan.
You may well be able to increase those cover levels but the policy provider will most likely require an additional premium for doing so. The new total might make the policy more expensive than one you’d already rejected for cost reasons – a policy that in fact provided your required cover levels as standard.
The conclusion must be that making the effort to compare caravan insurance policies really would be sensible!