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Caravan Insurance when stopped for cup of tea


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I have had fully comprehensive caravan insurance for my van for a numbers of years but discovered on reading the small print that I have only full cover.....  (1) when van is stored at home ....(2) when van is on tow with my car .... (3) when van is parked on site at a recognised caravan/camping site.

If while towing on a journey to a caravan site etc, I stop for a cup of tea or some shopping or sightseeing at a service station,  public carpark or shopping centre carpark or tourist attraction etc and leave the car and caravan locked with the wheel clamp on my van is not covered for any type of loss or vandalism.

Apparently  this is because it is  left at a place other than its normal place of storage and is unattended. If it is on tow with me driving or unattended at a recognised camp site it is covered fully OK. They tell me there is no way around this and they quote that "I am negligent and  by doing this I am not fulfilling my proper duty of care"

I have fully comp. insurance on my car and it is fully covered if I park it in a public carpark etc.

So just wondering has anyone else got these problems with caravan insurance. ??

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If it is still attached to the car isnt that still classed as on tow?

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Whilst you will probably find somewhere to park in a service station, I'm amazed that you could find anywhere to park it in a 'public car park' - let alone leave it unattended there. If ever we stop, en route, at a service station, one of us always stays with the car/caravan. That said, I am inclined towards Towtug's interpretation.

VW Touareg Escape towing a 2018 Knaus Starclass 695

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I'm sure mine says if it is left unattended then the wheel lock and hitch lock has to be applied and that includes on a camp site as well. I should add that if we stop  en route we use the van .

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It would be really helpful (and is the only way to start a comparison of different policies) to get a definitive interpretation from the insurance company rather than us trying to outguess them?

Now running to check his own fine print...

Safeguard states that they will not pay for damage, loss, theft etc when the caravan is In Use (using for holiday purposes OR attached to towing vehicle)  if left Unattended (In Use but you have moved away from the caravan) unless the agreed security devices are in place

That seems to cover the situation described by OP?

Edited by DougS
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9 minutes ago, joanie said:

I'm sure mine says if it is left unattended then the wheel lock and hitch lock has to be applied and that includes on a camp site as well

+1-That's the wording used on my insurance documents.

Basically if we leave for a comfort break or to use the services eg toilets...especially needed during our-long forgotten- French trips :-(

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We operate as Richard above stated. If we stop at a services one of us always stays with the van. This is as much to guard our bikes which although locked onto their rack on the car are probably the most vulnerable asset.

Life is not a rehearsal . . .:)

Porsche Cayenne S Diesel & Knaus StarClass 695. Previously Audi S4 Avant & Elddis Super Sirocco

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Thanks for all the replies...

This is the actual wording.....

 

Policy Cover
We will cover you against loss or damage to the caravan and its
contents/equipment caused by an insured peril which happens within
the geographical limits.
Insured perils
1. Fire, Explosion, Lightning and Earthquake.
2. Storm or Flood.
3. Accidental Damage.
4. Malicious Acts or Vandalism.
5. Theft or Attempted Theft.
Excluding
1. Theft of contents/equipment whilst outside the caravan.
2. Theft of or loss or damage to money, valuables, firearms, wines,
spirits and tobacco goods.
3. Theft of or loss or damage to the caravan while the caravan is not in
use unless it is kept at your home or at a storage address you have
written and told us about and which we have accepted.
4. Theft of or loss or damage to the caravan while in use, if left in
communal parking areas, or on public roads or highways.
5. Theft of contents/equipment unless there is evidence of forcible and
violent entry or exit to or from the caravan.
6. Theft of electronic or electrical equipment whilst left in the caravan
when it is not in use.
7. Accidental damage to contents/equipment and valuables.

 

Exclusion 4 is the paragraph causing the problem... I have spoken to my broker several times about it.

 

Yes, everything outside or strapped to the van or car eg bikes, water containers water pumps etc are not covered anywhere.

 

 

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Worth noting also that paragraph 1 would exclude any theft from an awning and theft of water pumps and containers in use whilst pitched ?

Life is not a rehearsal . . .:)

Porsche Cayenne S Diesel & Knaus StarClass 695. Previously Audi S4 Avant & Elddis Super Sirocco

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so have you taken out the policy?  I will say that the wording is a bit weird, saying while in use  but  left in a car park etc. Perhaps they  would insist that you would claim against your car ins.  I would insist that they make this clause clear for you to understand it properly, is the van insured or not.  However it looks like a bad policy  so I would walk away from it, there are other's out there.

Edited by joanie
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3 hours ago, DougS said:

It would be really helpful (and is the only way to start a comparison of different policies) to get a definitive interpretation from the insurance company rather than us trying to outguess them?

Now running to check his own fine print...

Safeguard states that they will not pay for damage, loss, theft etc when the caravan is In Use (using for holiday purposes OR attached to towing vehicle)  if left Unattended (In Use but you have moved away from the caravan) unless the agreed security devices are in place

That seems to cover the situation described by OP?

Ditto, I would contact the insurance company for clarification..

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34 minutes ago, joanie said:

Perhaps they  would insist that you would claim against your car ins

Not sure how the wording in a car policy covers a caravan while using the car to tow-Obviously you can declare you have a tow bar fitted to your insured vehicle but I've never been asked to declare what I'm towing.

Opinion or understanding please.....

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Not sure you are correct. If I read your details of cover it does cover the risks you refer to in 4, although I have not seen the wording of the actual cover which may have some limitations. Frankly if it does not cover this you have the wrong policy and need to change it, but can you tell us who the insurer is and I will see if I can check the wording.  If it is a scheme which one is it? 

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The Policy is from  Policyfast

It is just called Caravan Insurance Policy

 

Policyfast definition of In Use is as paragraph below....


In Use
When you or your immediate family are using or visiting your caravan
for holiday purposes or when the caravan is attached to a towing vehicle.
This includes a 24 hour period immediately prior to and returning from
you or your immediate family using or visiting your caravan for holiday
purposes provided the caravan is kept at your home during this 24 hour
period. Please note the policy definition of home excludes communal
parking areas and public roads or highways.

 

My simple reading of this is.... In Use when van is on a camping site and I visit it for holiday purposes, including a 24 hour period prior to going to site and returning from site provided during this 24 hour period the caravan in actually kept at home ???  .....   If I keep it at home how can I tow it to site .??

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Just remember who rarely comes off best in caravan insurance claims, and its not us, the public.  Insurance companies will have a team of lawyers to make sure they come off on top if claims ever comes to Court.  You read wordings one way, insurance companies read them another way.  But as others have said, why should you leave your caravan unattended, which it will be.  We too would have someone stay with the unit.  And we would use the caravan facilities to make a brew and/or have lunch already prepared, and its a lot cheaper to do it this way

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I think the reference to communal parking area is referring to it being left without the car in a shared parking area available to a number of residents.

Similarly, parking on public road or highway I think means leaving it unattached on the road outside your house.

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The cover is in section 4 and if you read that you will get the cover for that situation. The fact that one section does not cover it does not mean another which includes it is not subject to the earlier exclusion.   

The section 4 will possibly be included that way to allow for different conditions to apply when parked for a break, although it would seem unnecessary to me to have a second section, but presumably they though this made it clearer, but it obviously failed. .

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On 30/07/2021 at 13:35, MoonLoon said:

The Policy is from  Policyfast

It is just called Caravan Insurance Policy

 

Policyfast definition of In Use is as paragraph below....


In Use
When you or your immediate family are using or visiting your caravan
for holiday purposes or when the caravan is attached to a towing vehicle

 

That clearly covers you when in a motorway service area etc because it will, at that time, be attached to the towing vehicle!

 

Below is from my Caravan Guard insurance. The important bit is the “What’s NOT covered” Most of the mainstream insurers don’t have any nasty clauses hidden away, that’s why I use a reputable and well known company. 

 

 

 

 

5C0A17D1-51F1-4FEF-A27A-9DA9478720B7.png'

 

ED7B5042-85EF-4D59-8C8F-37CC4C6AE4FF.png

Edited by Mr Plodd

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

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Insurance companies will always begin by looking for a loophole so not to pay out on a claim, undeclared points on a licence, alterations to car or caravan/motorhome etc etc before moving on to the 'very small print'

There is an age limit to any vehicle before it becomes an 'uneconomical repair' even with Fully Comprehensive, try and find that on your policy.

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Thanks for your reply Mr Plodd....
I use a local reputable broker who provides car insurance etc and assured me they do their searches to find me the best company ??. I have what they call fully comprehensive insurance for my caravan which is actually as costly as my fully comp. car insurance.

regards your what is covered list " Being towed and whilst detached" seems a good clause.?? .... If being towed it must be attached, if detached it is not being towed.... so does this means it is covered for all situations.??  so no need for the other clauses.

regards not covered list "if it becomes detached whilst towing" "this cover should be provided by the towing vehicle"..... Most car insurance cover only 3rd party risks for a trailer except in this case your car insurance is providing fully comp. insurance for the caravan as well as the car, which I doubt. ??

The problem clauses in my policy are the exclusions......
3. Theft of or loss or damage to the caravan while the caravan is not in
use unless it is kept at your home or at a storage address you have
written and told us about and which we have accepted.
4. Theft of or loss or damage to the caravan while in use, if left in
communal parking areas, or on public roads or highways.

The problem is defining "In Use" and "Not in Use" It it is "not in use" it has to be stored in my garage or driveway, If it is "in use" it cannot be "left" (even for 1 hour shopping) in a public carpark or communal capark of a shopping centre, It must be on a camping site or on tow.

I agree my current policy is not suitable, I was with the Caravan Club for maybe 15 years and only changed to this broker 2-3 years ago, Luckilly had no claims from either, but will have a re-read of the Caravan club clauses and probably go back.

..... BrianE ........my caravan is 4 yrs old and car is new, thats why fully comp.

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I'm also with Caravan Guard and have been following this post. 
I contacted  Policyfast as a new customer and they were over £100 more expensive for a like for like policy with Caravan Guard.

I'm only market value, but to be over £300 for a policy for a caravan is extortionate. 

My car insurance is only £70 more for a £20,000 car

 

Lunar Solaris 1 Limited Edition 2007 Hopefully Behind A

BMW 520D MSport Touring. ...

 

***** Jack of all Trades. ... Master of None *****

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Posted (edited)

I looked through the online documents for Caravan Guard. Didn't get a quote yet. Didn't see anything about stopping en-route for a few minutes at eg a carpark or service station. even if I was alone towing and no one else with me in the car and stopped for fuel, I would need to leave the car and van unattended to go and pay for it. My policy does not cover that. If unattended it must be on a camp site or at home. I see Caravan Guard prohibits leaving the van on site for more than 72 hours. I don't think my policy has that restriction if it is a recognised camp site.

 

You say "My car insurance is only £70 more for a £20,000 car" is that fully comp with Caravan Guard ..... do you mean caravan not car..?????

Edited by MoonLoon
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 Some people remain on a campsite for many weeks at a time. They are not going to do that if uninsured are they?

 

The 72 hour restriction is for you trundling off somewhere else for three days (visiting friends/family etc) and  your caravan remains unattended  on a campsite. Read what the policy actually says and not what you think it says. The wording is very precise (as are all insurance policies) 

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

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Have now got confirmation from Policyfast, The Caravan is NOT covered when stopping en-route even for only a few minutes at a service station or public park or lay-by, with the car and caravan attached, if the occupants leave the car and caravan unattended even for a few minutes. Fitting wheel clamps or hitch locks do not matter.

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Does that apply to campervans, too?

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