With winter fading fast it is the time of year when many people take their caravan out of storage and start planning a getaway for the summer months. Whether you are the proud owner of a new touring caravan or dusting off your trusty motorhome for a holiday on the road, it pays to have a good insurance policy in place, to cover any unexpected surprises.

A good insurance policy can give you piece of mind when you head off on your holidays and it's worth taking the time to find the right one. As with any type of insurance it’s a case of shopping around for the best deals and make sure you have the cover you need remember – cheaper isn’t necessarily better.

Caroline Wells from the Financial Ombudsman ServiceEach year the Financial Ombudsman Service – the free service with the power to sort out problems between consumers and banks or insurance companies – helps sort out a range of complaints about caravan insurance from problems about the sale of a policy to an insurer’s decision to reject a claim.

Caravan Talk spoke to Caroline Wells, Head of outreach and external liaison at the ombudsman service for some insurance tips to help you on your way this summer:

  • Be sure you’re secure: Different insurers will have different requirements for securing your vehicle – so speak to your insurer when you take out the policy to find out what you will need to do. This can vary from ensuring a certain type of alarm is fitted to the caravan to more specific requirements on where it is stored. Don’t cut corners on security – as it may mean you won’t be covered if you have to claim.
  • File it!  Keep all your documents relating to the caravan – such as proof of ownership for the caravan and its contents, insurance, receipts, finance agreements or registration documents – and make sure they are kept in a secure place. You’ll usually need them if you have to make a claim, so it’s a good idea to keep copies too. If you’re concerned about cluttering up the house, why not scan and save them to a password protected computer or hard-drive?
  • Watch the wording: Insurance contracts can vary considerably, so check your contract to see what you’re covered for – and what’s excluded. It pays to ask questions, for example, most policies will require you to keep your caravan at an ‘approved site’ and what constitutes an approved site will vary from insurer to insurer.
  • If things go wrong... We hope you have a hassle-free holiday, but if something goes wrong, don’t forget to check with your insurance company what you need to do to make a claim. If your caravan is damaged or stolen, remember to get a police report and evidence from the campsite owner. It’s also a good idea to take some photographs to support your claim.
  • Get away: If you’re planning on taking your caravan abroad this summer speak to your insurer to find out if you need to extend your cover – and don’t forget you will also need travel insurance. If you’re off to Europe the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) gives you the right to healthcare in many European countries so it’s a good idea to get one but remember, it won’t cover you for everything and isn’t a replacement for a good travel insurance policy.

Hopefully you won’t experience any problems this summer – but if a financial problem does crop up and you can’t sort it out with the business directly the Financial Ombudsman Service may be able to help.

Get in touch on 0300 123 9 123 or visit the Financial Ombudsman Service website.

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