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Towing Myths


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WEll said Whomer-it's all a bit mad. And Plodd-we'll be avoiding them on principle! and we're no where near 100%

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2 hours ago, Lost in the wilderness said:

I noticed a clause that they will NOT pay out on damage resulting whilst towing, if the weight of the caravan exceeds 100% of the cars curb weight. 
There is no such clause in the car insurance, but it’s clear and unambiguous in the van insurance 

 

There is I suggest huge ambiguity involved, in that a particular car's kerb weight is notoriously difficult to determine or even define.

Most maker's literature gives at best a range, from the lowest the base model can be, to the highest the fully factory dressed model can be, nowhere is the actual car's kerb weight readily displayed.

 

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A cars nominal ex-works weight is on the certificate of conformity, this is calculated by taking the minimum weight for a given car spec and adding on the nominal weight of factory fitted options. No vehicle manufacturer actually weighs every car produced as when it leaves the end of the production line it will be covered in transit protection and have the minimum amount of fuel required during the shipping process to a dealer.

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But how on Earth is the buyer of a 5 year old, used Mondeo estate, ever going to know what his vehicles kerb weight is? 

 

Personally I would avoid any company that imposes such a difficult to disprove condition on any insurance. The only thing it suggests to me is that they will actively try and find any reason possible to not pay out in the event of a claim, and I want nothing to do with such a company! 

Experience is something you acquire after you have an urgent need for it.

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19 minutes ago, Mr Plodd said:

But how on Earth is the buyer of a 5 year old, used Mondeo estate, ever going to know what his vehicles kerb weight is? 

 

Personally I would avoid any company that imposes such a difficult to disprove condition on any insurance. The only thing it suggests to me is that they will actively try and find any reason possible to not pay out in the event of a claim, and I want nothing to do with such a company! 

 

Presumably by referring to this  https://www.honestjohn.co.uk/carbycar/ford/mondeo-estate-2015/specs

or a similar list elsewhere.

 

I agree it's a silly clause but if the underwriters want to protect their risk they're entitled to stipulate what they like and it's up to the punter to shop around 'til they find a policy which meets their requirements.

I've got nothing to do on this hot afternoon

but to settle down and write you a line.

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Please outline how the insurer in the event of a claim will know the caravan exceeded the car kerb weight? Have they defined kerb weight? Will they weigh all the pieces of caravan swept up after an accident? 

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1 hour ago, Steamdrivenandy said:

 

Presumably by referring to this  https://www.honestjohn.co.uk/carbycar/ford/mondeo-estate-2015/specs

or a similar list elsewhere.

 

I agree it's a silly clause but if the underwriters want to protect their risk they're entitled to stipulate what they like and it's up to the punter to shop around 'til they find a policy which meets their requirements.

 

The first 2 mondeos I looked at did not show kerbweight - I gave up then!;)

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I only looked at one from the era in question (5 years ago) and that said 1522kg kerbweight. So we can assume they're all around 1500kg or so.

I've got nothing to do on this hot afternoon

but to settle down and write you a line.

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12 hours ago, Flatcoat888 said:

Please outline how the insurer in the event of a claim will know the caravan exceeded the car kerb weight? Have they defined kerb weight? Will they weigh all the pieces of caravan swept up after an accident? 


They won’t need to weigh everything, if they take the Mass in Service from the cars V5 and MTPLM from the caravan door plate, it is a simple calculation to determine the percentages.

 

Don’t forget it’s their policy, so if they decide not to pay out on a claim, they sit back and leave you to gather any evidence and facts to prove them wrong, and it is you that has to take them to the ombudsman for a ruling.

Jaguar E-Pace 180D HSE R Dynamic - 2008 Swift Conqueror 540

 

"Unless otherwise stated, my posts will be my personal thoughts and have the same standing as any other member of Caravan Talk"

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17 hours ago, Lost in the wilderness said:

Caravans4u

 

Here's another I looked at.

 

20190508_171833.png.ba09b576b3f4d83aa3a0bdba73f95393.png

Stay safe - Griff.  :ph34r:

Wheels at the front Green Oval Towing Machine

Wheels at the back Bessacarr 845

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They are probably another trading arm of Caravans4u

 

Just goes to show how vital it is to check your policy documents terms and conditions for such potentially nasty surprises. I bet that over the years a few have been caught out with such clauses, especially those with vehicles that have high towing capacity such as Disco’s Range Rovers, Touaregs, X5’s etc. 

 

Interesting that it seems to be insurers that are on the edge of the industry, rather than the main stream companies, that have this clause. 

 

Talk about “Buyer beware!” 

Experience is something you acquire after you have an urgent need for it.

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Hmmm... we may now fall foul of this with "MyInsurance"

 

My Mass In service - that's the nearest to a legal kerbweight that I can see is 1790kg. The van has an MTPLM of 1900kg (although we expected it to be less than this before purchase). The MIRO is 1605kg.  185kg (a standard payload) would take use to 100%

Looks like we'll be changing insurers next year unless they can clarify exactly how they apply this clause.  

image.png.c332eb75e3d50e383fb2acefee0e3213.png

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These smaller insurers can charge less than the big players for a reason, and it would appear a major one has now been identified! 

 

You dont get what you don’t pay for?? 

Experience is something you acquire after you have an urgent need for it.

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My policy with Supersure has the following exclusion on cover:

"Being towed by any vehicle if the vehicles gross train weight is exceeded"

 

Frank

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6 minutes ago, pfr said:

My policy with Supersure has the following exclusion on cover:

"Being towed by any vehicle if the vehicles gross train weight is exceeded"

 

Frank

 

More understandable, in that would be illegal so not likely to be covered by anyone, stated specifically or not.

 

 

Edited by JTQ
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With all these insurance weight clauses I have a suspicion that whoever has written them hasn't understood what they're writing.

 

I suspect what they're actually trying to say is that the policy will be invalid if the towcar's  plated train limit is exceeded by the combined maximum plated weights of the towcar and caravan.  

 

If looked at that way then both are plated limits and don't involve the problem of trying to identify what both vehicles actually weighed.

I've got nothing to do on this hot afternoon

but to settle down and write you a line.

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7 minutes ago, Steamdrivenandy said:

With all these insurance weight clauses I have a suspicion that whoever has written them hasn't understood what they're writing.

 

Insurance companies are The grand masters, and total experts, of precise, exact, and totally unambiguous wording in insurance policies and spend a lot of time (and money) ensuring their own interests are at the heart of every single clause. 

 

If they meant gross train weight, then that is exactly what would be in the policy document. As it stands many people would think that’s what they meant, but it’s what the actual words, rather than anything else, that matters when it comes to crunch.

 

You must understand exactly  what is actually  written not what you think is written.

 

Failure to comply precisely is likely to result in something like the below. 

 

”I am sorry if you misinterpreted the wording of our policy, but it very clearly states the caravans weight must not exceed the towing vehicles kerb weight. It is up to you to ensure compliance with all of the policy conditions. 

As your caravans weight exceeded your vehicles kerb weight I am sorry but your policy  is void and we will not pay your claim” 

 

 

Experience is something you acquire after you have an urgent need for it.

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10 minutes ago, Mr Plodd said:

”I am sorry if you misinterpreted the wording of our policy, but it very clearly states the caravans weight must not exceed the towing vehicles kerb weight. It is up to you to ensure compliance with all of the policy conditions. 

As your caravans weight exceeded your vehicles kerb weight I am sorry but your policy  is void and we will not pay your claim” 


Unfortunately the insurance company, by using the term “Kerb Weight” are using words that are not clearly defined in law.

 

The government website only states  and defines “Unladen Weight” https://www.gov.uk/vehicle-weights-explained

 

So they may use the term and try to get out of paying, but if challenged they are on a sticky wicket in having to explain what the term actually means.

Jaguar E-Pace 180D HSE R Dynamic - 2008 Swift Conqueror 540

 

"Unless otherwise stated, my posts will be my personal thoughts and have the same standing as any other member of Caravan Talk"

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20 minutes ago, Steamdrivenandy said:

With all these insurance weight clauses I have a suspicion that whoever has written them hasn't understood what they're writing.

 

Could be.

 

12 months back I entered into a dialogue with Saga over a similar clause on widths.

 

I changed to an 8 footer midway through an insurance with them to find that they only covered up to 7' - 6".

 

After explaining that legislation had changed  from 2.3m (their 7' - 6") to 2.55m, this was now the caravan maximum width.

 

After consultation with whoever, they agreed that they should cover up to the legal width not a specific width dimension.

Stay safe - Griff.  :ph34r:

Wheels at the front Green Oval Towing Machine

Wheels at the back Bessacarr 845

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On 24/07/2021 at 12:42, Lost in the wilderness said:

Just to add another twist into the Talk of towing capacity. 
I have just changed insurance provider for the van. 
Got all the paperwork in today’s post. In going through it all, to check everything is ok, I noticed a clause that they will NOT pay out on damage resulting whilst towing, if the weight of the caravan exceeds 100% of the cars curb weight. 
There is no such clause in the car insurance, but it’s clear and unambiguous in the van insurance 

Intriguing responses to my post (above). Many of the respondents have previously posted on the 85% guidelines, and I’m fairly sure some have advised about not exceeding 100%. 
And yet, when an insurance company place a clause to limit their liability to outfits at or below 100%  people are up in arms. 
Strange lot, us caravaners. 

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32 minutes ago, Lost in the wilderness said:

Intriguing responses to my post (above). Many of the respondents have previously posted on the 85% guidelines, and I’m fairly sure some have advised about not exceeding 100%. 
And yet, when an insurance company place a clause to limit their liability to outfits at or below 100%  people are up in arms. 
Strange lot, us caravaners. 

,

Good point ! 

Experience is something you acquire after you have an urgent need for it.

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32 minutes ago, Lost in the wilderness said:

Intriguing responses to my post (above). Many of the respondents have previously posted on the 85% guidelines, and I’m fairly sure some have advised about not exceeding 100%. 
And yet, when an insurance company place a clause to limit their liability to outfits at or below 100%  people are up in arms. 
Strange lot, us caravaners. 

 

For me it is more that:

1.  Kerb Weight does not really exist per car

2.  Highly Unlikely caravan able to be weighed

3.  The Insurance Caveat is designed as a cop-out.

 

..but we are strange and we could all do with curbing weight! ;)

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That’s a few different assumptions, all of which are a bit dangerous to make!

 

I would remind you that Insurance companies are not your friend, they are huge businesses who’s sole aim is to make money, not pay it out.

 

As for this “caravan must not e feed the kerbweight” it is indeed a little difficult to see how it could be proven.

 

However, if in the event of a claim the MTPLM of the caravan is close to the MGW of the towing vehicle then an insurance company might want to look at things a little more closely, especially if there is the prospect of them not having to pay out for a big (£20k+) claim. 

 

Me? Not prepared to take that chance, so I will insure with one of the major players without such conditions.

Experience is something you acquire after you have an urgent need for it.

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