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How Would Red Pennant Treat This Situation?


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I would be interested to have opinions on the FICTITIOUS scenario that I set out below. At this stage I have not asked the Caravan Club as their telephone lines state that they are not able to give advice on the policies that they sell.

 

Let us assume that my wife and I have a Red Pennant policy covering both motoring and health. I usually tow the caravan although my wife has a driving licence and drives regularly. However she rarely tows.

 

Whilst on holiday I fall and break my leg which is treated in a foreign hospital and put in plaster which means that it is impossible for me to drive and tow the caravan home.

 

Would my wife be expected to take on the role as caravan mover, hitcher and tower to return the outfit to the UK?

 

The policy does not state which of us is the tower and if the situation were to be reversed I would not question that I would be required to tow her home.

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Hi Colin,

 

Although the CC telephone lines state they cannot give advice on the policies they sell, they can give you the FACTS and they should certainly be able to answer the query you have raised. I'd give them a call and see what they say.

 

Glen.

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What Glen and Les says is true but I would like to hear members opinions or better still experieces. Someone must have encountered this problem.

 

I have heard of a case where a woman was taken off the policy to avoid this situation.

 

Can this really be true?

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Doesn't the policy say that if "The Main" driver is taken ill. ....

Surely, if your wife doesn't tow, then she can't be considered the main driver under these circumstances?

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Would my wife be expected to take on the role as caravan mover, hitcher and tower to return the outfit to the UK?
I have just been quickly reading the details of Red Pennant Insurance, but I can see no mention of another person being required to take over any hitching or towing duties, in the event of the driver being incapacitated.

Gordon.

Fourwinds Hurricane 31D Motorhome. Also MGTF135 1. 8i Roadster (fun) & Volvo V70 3.2Ltr LPG (everyday car)
Unless otherwise stated, my posts will be my personal thoughts and have the same standing as any other member of Caravan and Motorhome Talk.

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The wording states that if there is no qualified or competent driver remaining 'the Club will, at its discretion, provide a chauffeur to bring the outfit and passengers home'.

 

As with all insurance, both parties are supposed to operate in the 'utmost good faith', and given my experience of Red Pennant I would expect them to do so in a genuine situation. From experiences related on this CT forum they seem to go the extra mile to ensure good service, and they certainly did for me when I needed them.

 

Of course there are individuals who will try it on with any insurance policy by overclaiming, or even claiming where there has been no loss. So I think the phrase 'at its discretion' is reasonable. It's hardly reasonable to have to provide a chauffer simply because someone doesn't fancy driving home.

 

Each situation needs to be assessed. In the scenario you use, I would say the moving and hitching can be achieved on site with (willing) helpers if necessary, it's only the towing that is a possible problem if there is no qualified or competent driver.

 

Gordon

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I think you would find that Red Pennant would provide you with a driver or arrange to get your outfit returned. You are paying a high premium for Red Pennany BUT you're getting (and should expect) a high level of service. If you do a search on here and on other campsite forums you'll see nothing but praise for Red Pennant. It costs a fortune but I get the impression they'll always sort things out if they need to.

 

I paid for it in France this year and had my jockey wheel collapse on me at the first site. Don't speak french and couldn't find anything on Google so my better half said "ring Red Pennant, you've paid for it". I have to admit I felt a bit daft ringing BUT they sorted it out. They found some local accessory shops and dealers, rang them up and established they'd got a replacement in and then rang me back with directions (I wouldn't have found it in a million years). They even rang me back to make sure I'd got everything sorted. Now lets be honest it was no emergency and in most instances when you've paid for this type of service they'll say it's not covered BUT Red Pennant sorted it out.

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A couple of years ago we were staying at the camping municipal at St Sauveur le Vicomte nr Cherbourg. An elderly couple were on site and the bloke was taken into hospital with a serious condition. When he was discharged he couldn't drive and although his OH hadn't towed before, the CC Red Pennant service would not send out a driver and the lady had to tow to the ferry and home the other side (luckily not very far).

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A couple of years ago we were staying at the camping municipal at St Sauveur le Vicomte nr Cherbourg. An elderly couple were on site and the bloke was taken into hospital with a serious condition. When he was discharged he couldn't drive and although his OH hadn't towed before, the CC Red Pennant service would not send out a driver and the lady had to tow to the ferry and home the other side (luckily not very far).

 

Perhaps they only had personal holiday cover ?

 

Current Red Pennant benefits include total cost of chauffeured recovery with the motoring & personal cover.

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The Caravan Club only ask questions relating to the health of any other family members included on the policy. They don't ask about their ability to drive or tow. Therefore if the first named person on the policy becomes incapable of driving, they will provide a replacement driver.

Citroen C5-X7 Tourer+Avondale Rialto 480/2
https://jondogoescaravanning.com

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First named driver? Thats interesting.

 

My wife is the first named driver.

 

WHY?

 

Because the Caravan Club chose to put her first presumably because the first names have been selected alphabetically. Possibly.

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Hi Geemac.

 

What does competent driver mean.

 

Hi Colin,

 

I'm open to offers on this one. It's policy wording, and my opinion is that my wife would not fall into the category of competent as she has never towed and never driven on the continent, even solo.

 

On the other hand she has passed her test, long before 1997, so inherits towing rights like me. She is, in effect, in the same position as the rest of us when we first venture abroad, inexperienced. MalH's post is interesting on this point.

 

I suppose a qualified replacement driver might not be competent because of medical conditions of their own.

 

Gordon

Edited by Geemac
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May I suggest to all those who have a spouse who have never towed a van, that it is about time they did so. There are plenty of Courses run by both Clubs that will guide and give confidence to any driver. Having a 2nd driver is not only a good idea in the event such as those described but it also allows the driving to be shared and will surely lead to less stress, and the possibility of an accident. My wife has been towing a carvan for many years both here and abroad and is very good at it. She is fully aware of the turning circle and although does balk at reversing, I have no hesitiation in letting her do her part. Invariably she gets the 'good bits' anyway such as driving through Rouen or Barcelona because I am such a good sport. If she does not get to drive round Newcastle at rush hour, she gets upset. We have an automatic car so it is mainly a push and go scenario. This allows both of us to concentrate on the road far more.

 

So, stop making excuses and hiding behind Policy wordings. If he/she is of good health and can drive the car normally, then towing will be a new experience and a lot of fun.

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I agree with Dave 225 - I tow our caravan, and would quite cheerfully take the van home should circumstances necessitate it! I towed our first van back home along the A65 from the Lake District - my first towing experience! Generally I now do 'the easy bits' - but I also manouevre the van onto the pitch to get it exactly where I want it - mind you that is with the motor mover!

 

I think too many of us don't share the responsibility for towing - and we should do! Then the circumstances outlined by the original poster wouldn't happen - we'd just get on with it and take the van home!

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May I suggest to all those who have a spouse who have never towed a van, that it is about time they did so. There are plenty of Courses run by both Clubs that will guide and give confidence to any driver. Having a 2nd driver is not only a good idea in the event such as those described but it also allows the driving to be shared and will surely lead to less stress, and the possibility of an accident. My wife has been towing a carvan for many years both here and abroad and is very good at it. She is fully aware of the turning circle and although does balk at reversing, I have no hesitiation in letting her do her part. Invariably she gets the 'good bits' anyway such as driving through Rouen or Barcelona because I am such a good sport. If she does not get to drive round Newcastle at rush hour, she gets upset. We have an automatic car so it is mainly a push and go scenario. This allows both of us to concentrate on the road far more.

 

So, stop making excuses and hiding behind Policy wordings. If he/she is of good health and can drive the car normally, then towing will be a new experience and a lot of fun.

 

Rather pompous, Dave, a bit like reading a letter in the CC magazine.

 

Personalities are different. In spite of the obvious advantages, my wife does not want to drive towing a caravan, nor does she want to drive on the right hand side of the road, that's good enough for us. She does not feel she is missing anything other than stress.

 

Your good wife is a different personality. Good luck to you both, I wish you well.

 

Gordon

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We are beginning to lose sight of my original posting.

 

1. I agree that some ladies do tow and enjoy doing so.

 

2. Those ladies who took their driving test before 1997 have been deemed competent to drive certain categories including a vehicle towing a trailer/caravan.

 

Only MalH has contributed actual experience of the situation when a lady who had never towed a caravan was required to do so when the normal driver was taken ill.

 

Any more opinions?

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Hi Colin,

 

It seems to me that the majority of people think/know that Red Pennant wouldn't make your wife tow the caravan, but there is a situation cited where they did, so you're getting mixed results here. I wouldn't want to rely on an opinion in this situation and really feel you should get something in writing from Red Pennant to put your mind at rest. Just my opinion, that's all.

 

Regards Glen.

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I think it depends on the cover level. I had appendicitus while in the Dordogne,(quite a few years ago) Red Pennant were excellent, they asked if my wife was able to drive or tow, if not they would have sent someone to drive the oufit home.

She has always towed and we advise all partners to do so for cases like ours!

As it was they assured the hospital that all bills would be sorted, rearranged our ferries for us and even compensated us for the extra days we spent on site!

I won't use anything else now.

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Hi Colin,

 

people think/know that Red Pennant wouldn't make your wife tow the caravan, but there is a situation cited where they did,

 

I very much doubt that. When a member applies for Red Pennant, he is asked to list the names of other travellers. He is not asked about their ability to drive. If the member becomes incapable of driving, the CC may ask if any other person can drive, but I'm sure it wouldn't be insisted upon.

 

On the last occasion when I had to call upon Red Pennant from Spain, it was the Caravan Club themselves who suggested that it might be better if I didn't drive. On reflection I accepted their suggestion. They booked me a flight and sent out a relief driver.

Edited by John Douglas

Citroen C5-X7 Tourer+Avondale Rialto 480/2
https://jondogoescaravanning.com

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First named driver? Thats interesting.

 

My wife is the first named driver.

 

WHY?

 

Because the Caravan Club chose to put her first presumably because the first names have been selected alphabetically. Possibly.

You failed to hit the radio button next to your name on the online application form so the policy would be in your wifes name

 

as far as I can find,there is no request for driving license on the application form . So if the principle policy holder is incapacitated the chauffeur option is brought into effect. unless other persons on the policy volunteer to drive

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Just checked with Red Pennant and they have confirmed they would not make someone drive, towing a caravan, if they had not towed before. It would be up to the individual to make the choice. As you might expect they were polite and helpful and did recommend the CC towing courses.

 

The experience MalH described may have been because it was just a medical policy or a different interpretation at that time which has been changed.

 

Gordon

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The experience MalH described may have been because it was just a medical policy or a different interpretation at that time which has been changed.

 

Gordon

 

MalH's post does not appear to be from first hand experience and I suggested here that it was possibly personal cover only.

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MalH's post does not appear to be from first hand experience and I suggested here that it was possibly personal cover only.

 

Indeed you did suggest it and I should have quoted you. My apologies.

 

Gordon

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