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Difficulty insuring car because of caravan length


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My car insurance renew landed on the door mat this morning.

The premium has risen by a large amount for no apparent reason.

I have made a couple of inquiries from different insurance companies, but they will not cover me because my van is over 7 metres. 

Has any one else had this problem? How did you get round the problem?

2015 SorentoKX2 pulling a 2011 Sterling Eccles Moonstone

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Are you using the body length or the overall length including tow A frame. I have a Kuga with a Swift 580 and insure thru the C&MHC

 

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Very strange my car insurer only knows the car has a towball on he has no idea what I tow.

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Regards, David
Ford Kuga ST line 2ltr. Diesel 2017,  Bailey Pursuit 11 400/2 2018, Emove em303 motor mover, Hyundai 1000i Generator.

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2 minutes ago, David 38 said:

Very strange my car insurer only knows the car has a towball on he has no idea what I tow.

 

Same here, not sure why they would need to know.

 

As long as you are towing within legal limits, I don't see what difference it makes to them.

 

It's like them asking how many people and suitcases are going to be in your car.

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Never had to tell any of my car insurers what I'm towing, I just notify them that I've got a towbar fitted.

 

The answer is to find another insurer who doesn't ask silly questions 

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As David said  I have never had any query about if or what I tow.

 

The only info about towing is that in the event of an accident, that all third party claims would be met and those of the towing vehicle, but the trailer, caravan, box trailer etc and its contents would not be covered.

 

Did the insurance company ask for the model of the caravan, and, or the dimensions ?

Common sense isn't a gift, it's a punishment because you have to deal with everyone who doesn't have it.  :rolleyes:

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Yes, they asked for its length minus the a frame and the width.

As The van is a standard Eccles moonstone . I can't really see what the problem is, but the agent said it was over size unless I towed with a 3.5 ton tow car.

2015 SorentoKX2 pulling a 2011 Sterling Eccles Moonstone

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14 minutes ago, Hort2074 said:

 

Same here, not sure why they would need to know.

 

As long as you are towing within legal limits, I don't see what difference it makes to them.

 

It's like them asking how many people and suitcases are going to be in your car.

 

I am thinking it is because with a "car" on a normal licence a 7 metre "long" caravan is the legal limit, so over 7 metres "long" it is illegal so not insured by the car's insurer.

However, the legal length of a "caravan" is not how long it is overall, but how long the body is. ie, the "A" frame is not included in the legal length. Stupid I know.

 

"Car" here is a vehicle up to 3500 kgs maximum vehicle weight.

Edited by JTQ
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2 minutes ago, Steve W77 said:

Yes, they asked for its length minus the a frame and the width.

As The van is a standard Eccles moonstone . I can't really see what the problem is, but the agent said it was over size unless I towed with a 3.5 ton tow car.

 

Although the shipping length of an Eccles Moonstone is over 7m, the body length is under that limit and it's the body length that counts.

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1 minute ago, Steve W77 said:

Yes, they asked for its length minus the a frame and the width.

As The van is a standard Eccles moonstone . I can't really see what the problem is, but the agent said it was over size unless I towed with a 3.5 ton tow car.

Sorry, I just don't understand this. My caravan is over 7 mtr's and never had a problem with any car insurance company.

I have found that CMC insurance for car and caravan to be very competitive and you do get what you pay for.

 

 

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8 minutes ago, Steve W77 said:

Yes, they asked for its length minus the a frame and the width.

As The van is a standard Eccles moonstone . I can't really see what the problem is, but the agent said it was over size unless I towed with a 3.5 ton tow car.

 

I would call back and ask to speak to a supervisor, clearly the agent doesn't understand.

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"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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I think you are right , the bloke is obviously not on the ball.

2015 SorentoKX2 pulling a 2011 Sterling Eccles Moonstone

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Oddly enough I had an insurance day yesterday!!

Car is with LV all they acknowledged was it had a tow bar, no questions on what or where I would be towing.

Caravan with CMHC, they checked caravan model mainly for new for old value, no questions on towcar.

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17 minutes ago, Steve W77 said:

I think you are right , the bloke is obviously not on the ball.

 

Probably not so, they will be working with the legal definition of trailer length, not what we tend to assume here, its length over all.

 

See this link on the Government's website, for their definition of length, the thing the insurers are having to comply with:

https://www.gov.uk/towing-with-car/weight-and-width-limits

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What year is the Moonstone ?

 

What is the model number ?

 

Did they ask for the year ?

 

Have you measured it yourself ?

 

Doing a quick check I got this for a 2011 model

The internal length of the caravan is 5.5 metres or 18.04 feet

The external shipping length is 7.22 meters or 23.6816 feet

The width is 2.31 meters or 7.5768 feet

 

And this for a 2000 model

The internal length of the caravan is 5.23 metres or 17.1544 feet

The external shipping length is 6.77 meters or 22.2056 feet

The width is TBA meters or 0 feet

Common sense isn't a gift, it's a punishment because you have to deal with everyone who doesn't have it.  :rolleyes:

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The shipping length includes the A frame but for insurance purposes it is the body length,  as shown in JTQ's link, that counts.  The agent on the phone has obviously got it wrong.

Mike

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1 hour ago, JTQ said:

 

Probably not so, they will be working with the legal definition of trailer length, not what we tend to assume here, its length over all.

 

See this link on the Government's website, for their definition of length, the thing the insurers are having to comply with:

https://www.gov.uk/towing-with-car/weight-and-width-limits

In this link it clearly states the length does not include the A frame as copied below.

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

Width and length

The maximum trailer width for any towing vehicle is 2.55 metres.

The maximum length for a trailer towed by a vehicle weighing up to 3,500kg is 7 metres. This length does not include the A-frame.

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

 

I have never been asked by a car insurer any details of a caravan, only had to mention the car has a tow bar. They leave it up to me to make sure I comply with the various laws although I have never even considered allowed caravan dimensions. It has not occurred to me the ones I have bought might not have been towed by a normal car and dealers have only asked what car I had so if there was a problem it would have been mentioned.

 

My car insurance renewal arrived last week with Direct Line and it has barely changed from last year.

Edited by Paul1957
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Had a similar debate regarding Saga back in March where at the outset it appeared that they would not insure 8' wide caravans, only up to 7'-6".

 

At the end of the day insurance companies will usually insure as long as a caravan complies with legislation which was the outcome after discussing with Saga so I would expect a UK legal body of 2.55m (8') x 7m not to be a problem once an insurer understands.

My Saga letter attached further down.

 

Edited by Griff
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Stay safe - Griff.  :ph34r:

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Clearly another example of someone not knowing what he/she was talking about and they are being paid by us  when we take out insurance .

A serious case of much needed retraining - they are a liability for the company that employs them never mind the 'Duty of Care' aspect of their employment towards their employer.

Life in general can be a journey of chance with some winners and sadly some losers. Your outfit can never be left to chance. A short-while carrying out essential checks can ensure a long-time of happy & safe caravanning for all concerned.
Ignorance can often be bliss but is certainly not an excuse and when continually disregarded they can be totally disastrous for oneself and the innocent parties.

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I had this messing about when I first tried to insure our van.  Some insurers refused to quote because it was over 7m long.  They were clearly getting confused between shipping length (8.1m) and body length (6.3m).  In the end I went with CMC insurance who DID know what they were talking about and provided a very competitive quote.

VW Touareg Escape towing a 2018 Knaus Starclass 695

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3 hours ago, richardandros said:

I had this messing about when I first tried to insure our van...............

Can understand size could well come into caravan insurance but OP is talking about car insurance.

Regards, David
Ford Kuga ST line 2ltr. Diesel 2017,  Bailey Pursuit 11 400/2 2018, Emove em303 motor mover, Hyundai 1000i Generator.

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1 minute ago, David 38 said:

Can understand size could well come into caravan insurance but OP is talking about car insurance.

A couple of companies I got a quote from a couple of years ago asked if I towed a caravan. 
As I had disclosed I had a towbar fitted. One said if caravan was over 7 metres, then it would be a different kettle of fish. 
In the end didn't go with either

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Same here.  I advised the insurance company, but they're not bothered.

 

Are you by any chance over the age of 70?  This could be why

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36 minutes ago, David 38 said:

Can understand size could well come into caravan insurance but OP is talking about car insurance.

 

That is actually easily understood, as it is a requirement of a car insurance that it covers third party claims arising if it is towing any trailer. 

 

So all the insurer is actually checking is that trailer [caravan] you could be towing,  and therefore their underwriters are covering, is one that is legal on UK roads. Or looked at another way they are simply telling you that they are not covering a trailer too long to be legal. Where the "length" is measured to the UK government's definition, IE body length, not shipping.

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15 minutes ago, JTQ said:

 

That is actually easily understood, as it is a requirement of a car insurance that it covers third party claims arising if it is towing any trailer. 

 

So all the insurer is actually checking is that trailer [caravan] you could be towing,  and therefore their underwriters are covering, is one that is legal on UK roads. Or looked at another way they are simply telling you that they are not covering a trailer too long to be legal. Where the "length" is measured to the UK government's definition, IE body length, not shipping.

 

But as the OP's caravan's body length is within the 7 metres it should be irrelevant to the insurance quote, and also should not be used as an excuse to refuse cover.

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"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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