Jump to content

Are Half Of Us Un-Knowingly Towing With Invalid Car Insurance?


Grigs
 Share

Recommended Posts

Hello All,

 

Upgrading from a little 2 berth to a family van, I decided to check with my car insurance company whether or not there are any restrictions to weight or size for my policy. To start with the agent only informed me that my van could not exceed the weight of my car . . . but when I pushed for a written statement that there were no other restrictions, she decided put me on hold whilst she checked with the underwiters.

 

The response was shocking . . . . . .

Privilege Insurance has a towing limit of 7. 0 mtrs length and 2. 25 mtrs width.

(their are some other limits too but they are unlikely to be breached by what is typically towed).

Up to these limits your car is comprehensive but the van is 3rd party.

Over these limits however your insurance is invalid.

 

When I asked how I to become insured to tow something bigger, I was told I couldn't and would have to move my car insurance to a different insurance company.

Privilege is not alone, as I have checked with several other big companies, including Direct Line and Esure.

They have identical limits and said they could not cover me either.

 

BUT IT GETS EVEN WORSE . . . . . .

As I kept ringing around I even found several companies who have a restriction of just 6. 4 mtrs total length. A 2008 Swift Charisma 560 at 6. 91 mtrs length is OK with some Insurers but a 2009+ Charisma 560 invalidates the insurance as in 2009 it grew to 7. 12 mtrs.

 

I am yet to find a company that will cover me to tow something longer than 7. 0 mtrs, so if you know of one then please, please let me know.

 

Every caravan dealer I have spoken to, claims to have not come across this and say that over half over the vans they sell breach these limits.

I am struggling to find a newish family van that is within these dimensions, so any help and guidance would be deeply appreciated.

 

I am relatively new to caravanning, so perhaps I am missing something really obvious.

But if I am not, then half of us are not insured when we are hooked up to our caravans.

 

Geo.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Grigs, I am a bit unsure as to what you are alluding to. ..I will explain. ..

 

I have renewed insurance for my car several times. ..they only wanted to know if I had a towbar fitted & accepted I'd be towing & no problem (was free)

 

The next issue was breakdown insurance. .they want the ins & outs of a gnats backside which is where it got compicated. ..perhaps that's what you mean???

 

so no, my insurance is valid!!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

have you talked to the Caravan Club and Camping & Caravan Club??? wouldn't have thought they will have this problem - at least i hope not as i usually use them!!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi Abigailsmum,

 

I know what you mean as I have had a towbar for a few years.

Previously I have had no issues, but then because my van was so small, I never asked the question.

Because I now plan to buy a large van I asked the specific question of what are the size limits.

Every time I asked that question, the insurance representative did not know the answer and had to look it up or ask the underwriters. Each time the reply came back with a limit that stops me from buying a large van.

 

I guess I could just not ask the question but is ignorance a suitable defence?

It is not just about the van, as I plan to buy a new car to pull it with such as a Freelander or Evoke.

Would feel very uncomfortable knowing that if I wrote it off whilst being hitched up their small print gives them a get-out from paying up. By rights they should be more open about it . . . but again would ignorance go your way if it went to court???

 

May I also suggest that if anyone who is reading this chooses to check with their insurance on this matter that they ring up for a quote and pretend to be someone else and give a ficticious name. That way if you find out that your company has limits like all the ones I have checked up with, you can still claim this ignorance. If you give your real name and policy number they may put it on your record that you have been informed.

 

Geo.

 

have you talked to the Caravan Club and Camping & Caravan Club??? wouldn't have thought they will have this problem - at least i hope not as i usually use them!!

 

Hi Ivan,

 

Thanks, thats a good idea, although I am not a member yet as was going to join after I bought the van.

Maybe I will join first and see what they can do.

Didnt know they did car insurance though - thought they insured caravans only, so I will give it a go.

 

Cheers,

Geo.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

. ........Privilege Insurance has a towing limit of 7. 0 mtrs length and 2. 25 mtrs width.

Presumably the 7. 0 mtrs length related to 'body length' and not overall length i. e excluding the tow hitch and drawbar?

 

Up until recently at least, this (7. 0m) was the UK maximum legal body length anyway so can understand why insurers would say this although max legal width was 2. 3m.

 

This was applicable to tow vehicles less than 3500kg GVW.

 

I say up until recently as there was talk of extending to 8m body length (excluding drawbar etc) and wider than 2. 3m, 2. 5m I think but not sure if this happened?

 

Most UK twin axles are manufactured to the 7m max body length (8m approx overall).

 

Check which length the 7m applies to, body length or overall, if it is overall, most of us twin axle users would probably have a problem, which I doubt.

 Stay safe ~ Griff    :ph34r:

Wheels at the front ~ Green Oval Towing Machine

Wheels at the back ~ 4 of ‘em

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The 7 metre length restriction will be the body length and will refer to the legal limits for a caravan towed by a vehicle under 3500 Kg gross weight. The drawbar is not counted as part of the trailer length. See here.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Check with the Insurer and post back, hopefully you will be OK.

 Stay safe ~ Griff    :ph34r:

Wheels at the front ~ Green Oval Towing Machine

Wheels at the back ~ 4 of ‘em

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My car insurance will cover me for a small trailer, but I am not concerned as I have been told that any damage to my caravan or caused by my caravan whilst being towed is covered by my caravan insurance and damage to or caused by my car will be covered under the car policy.

The reason behind this is that the insurance policy taken out is based on market value of the Car /Caravan you have insured and the total loss is based around that figure. I would not expect my car insurance to pay out £45,000 for the car Plus £22,000 for the caravan. but would expect to be fully reimbursed by the 2 companies ( after the usual arguments about market value).

 

Regards

 

Doug

2016 Ssangyong Rexton EX 2. 2 auto & 2018 Bailey series 4 Pampalona.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi Abigailsmum,

 

I know what you mean as I have had a towbar for a few years.

Previously I have had no issues, but then because my van was so small, I never asked the question.

Because I now plan to buy a large van I asked the specific question of what are the size limits.

Every time I asked that question, the insurance representative did not know the answer and had to look it up or ask the underwriters. Each time the reply came back with a limit that stops me from buying a large van.

 

I guess I could just not ask the question but is ignorance a suitable defence?

It is not just about the van, as I plan to buy a new car to pull it with such as a Freelander or Evoke.

Would feel very uncomfortable knowing that if I wrote it off whilst being hitched up their small print gives them a get-out from paying up. By rights they should be more open about it . . . but again would ignorance go your way if it went to court???

 

May I also suggest that if anyone who is reading this chooses to check with their insurance on this matter that they ring up for a quote and pretend to be someone else and give a ficticious name. That way if you find out that your company has limits like all the ones I have checked up with, you can still claim this ignorance. If you give your real name and policy number they may put it on your record that you have been informed.

 

Geo.

 

 

 

Hi Ivan,

 

Thanks, thats a good idea, although I am not a member yet as was going to join after I bought the van.

Maybe I will join first and see what they can do.

Didn't know they did car insurance though - thought they insured caravans only, so I will give it a go.

 

Cheers,

Geo.

 

hi geo, you can ring either club and ask what their cover is, even though you are not yet a member.

they will be able to tell you.

 

C&CC 01227243000

CC. 01342336610

 

 

cheers rodders B)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My car insurance will cover me for a small trailer, but I am not concerned as I have been told that any damage to my caravan or caused by my caravan whilst being towed is covered by my caravan insurance and damage to or caused by my car will be covered under the car policy.

 

 

Doug

 

 

Any third party claims for damage caused by the caravan whist being towed is covered by the car insurance not the caravan insurance. This also applies if the caravan becomes detached whilst being towed.

 

The problem detailed by th OP relates to the appalling lack of knowledge of insurance companies and others.

 

The legal limit for a trailer 3500 kg or less is a body length of 7 metres and the width was revised from 2. 3 m to 2. 55 metres in 2010 but insurers and breakdown companies just haven't kept up with legislation. Providing the legal dimensions and the plated weights of an outfit are correct there should be no reason why an insurer should refuse or exclude cover. Avoid any that do and they may catch up.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The 7 metre length restriction will be the body length and will refer to the legal limits for a caravan towed by a vehicle under 3500 Kg gross weight. The drawbar is not counted as part of the trailer length. See here.

 

Hi All,

 

Thanks for your thoughts and the link posted by Ian.

 

Seems logical that that the law is the source of where the underwriters obtained their figures as the other figures that were mentioned to me which I said were not an issue were as mentioned in the link: ie . . .

 

For towing vehicles Less Than 3. 5 ton

Max weight being towed 3. 5 ton

Max height 3 mtrs

 

That said, have the underwriters interpretated it correctly to exclude the drawbar???

Will have to ring them to confirm this.

 

On this basis, the body length of 6. 4 mtrs would even be enough for me as I dont plan to get one longer than 21 feet.

It could well be an issue for any of you with a twin axle though.

Companies that told me this figure included the likes of AXA and LV.

 

There is still an issue with the width being restricted to 2. 25 mtrs.

Half of the vans in the Elddis brochure are 7 foot 6 inches wide which breach this figure.

So my choice will still be limited unless I can find a company with a 2. 3 mtr allowance.

 

Geo.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Geo

 

When most people insure a vehicle with which they want to tow a caravan, they may ask if they are covered to tow or they may advise the insurance company that a tow ball is fitted to the vehicle. Unless the insurance company declines to insure the vehicle for towing, it is assumed and probably in the terms and conditions that both the insured vehicle and any trailer or caravan being towed by the vehicle comply with all legal requirements.

 

Once the vehicle is insured, the legal minimum third party cover will apply. In the event of an incident where the caravan damages the towing vehicle and or causes damage to a third party, the towing vehicle's damage and any third party claims will normally be covered. However, any damage to the caravan is unlikely to be covered by the vehicle insurance. Separate caravan insurance whilst not compulsory is advisable.

 

DeeTee

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I would of thought you are covered to tow a trailer along as it complies to be road legal the size limitation could be for insurance recovery as that has limits for the vehicle but 8 mtrs for a caravan . If they offer recovery for a caravan of 8 trs it must be covered under insurance to be towing it .

 

LV . Section B Vehicles

http://www. lv. com/up. ..8_LV_RR_DOI. pdf

 

 

Dave

Edited by CommanderDave
Link to comment
Share on other sites

We have 8 meter caravan which is insured with the Caravan Club as is the car. For Beakdown we are with ADAC which insure for the wider width and up to 10 meter long caravan. No third degree when you join that of age, length or anything and dual membership for married couples or partners is a standard 98 Euro's which has not gone up for 4 years as I know.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

. .....could be for insurance recovery as that has limits for the vehicle but 8 mtrs for a caravan. ....

This was the reason (size limitations etc) that we broke away from the AA recovery service some years back and went with Green Flag who did not limit size as they cope with large commercials etc. .

 

Think AA recovery do not impose these size limitations now?

 Stay safe ~ Griff    :ph34r:

Wheels at the front ~ Green Oval Towing Machine

Wheels at the back ~ 4 of ‘em

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi Grigs,

 

I had the same issue with insurance when i brought my Lunar at 7. 64 mtrs, i called Aviva to confirm that there wasn't any restrictions on my breakdown cover which there was up to 7. 6 mtrs but thay also told me i wasn't insured either when towing a caravan of that size. I went through the hassle of getting quotes etc only to find out that the advisor had it wrong about the car insurance. I have now got it in writing after making them contact the underwriters to confirm to confirm when towing this caravan i am insured 3rd party for the caravan whilst towing. My advice make them check with the underwriters and get it in writing.

 

hope this helps

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Well a big thank you to all you Guys n Gals,

 

I have just got off the phone with my insurance company.

It seems that what I was previously told was not correct.

Suspect it arises from some info being outdated.

The chap I spoke to read from the most recent underwriters guide and told me I am covered to 2. 3 mtrs width and 7. 0 mtrs max length.

I then challenged it and put Ian and Griffs idea forward about the length and quoted (from Ians link) what the Parkers website said with reference to excluding the drawbar.

He was unable to accept that as there is nothing about the drawbar in the information available to him.

So he put me on hold whilst he rang the underwriters to put this to them.

He came back and told me that I am covered for 2. 3 mtrs width and 7. 0 mtrs BODY LENGTH (excluding the drawbar).

I asked for this in writing as suggested by Harvomark, but he refused.

However he did put this info onto my file in their system.

 

I am still puzzled by the figures of 2. 25 mtrs width and 6. 4 mtrs length that some companies are quoting.

Perhaps these are some older former limits which were superseded and like Beejay says, these insurance companies have probably not updated their conditions in line with legislation.

 

Well thanks again, as I now feel free to go and choose any tourer I want (sizewise).

 

Kindest regards,

Geo.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 

I am still puzzled by the figures of 2. 25 mtrs width and 6. 4 mtrs length that some companies are quoting.

Perhaps these are some older former limits which were superseded

 

 

 

6. 4 metres is 21 feet . ....say no more!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My car insurance will cover me for a small trailer, but I am not concerned as I have been told that any damage to my caravan or caused by my caravan whilst being towed is covered by my caravan insurance and damage to or caused by my car will be covered under the car policy.

The reason behind this is that the insurance policy taken out is based on market value of the Car /Caravan you have insured and the total loss is based around that figure. I would not expect my car insurance to pay out £45,000 for the car Plus £22,000 for the caravan. but would expect to be fully reimbursed by the 2 companies ( after the usual arguments about market value).

 

Regards

 

Doug

Any damage caused BY your caravan while being towed is covered 3rd party by your CAR insurers & is not covered by your caravan insurer,which ONLY covers damage to the caravan

 

so if your car insurer is stating it will not cover your caravan for 3rd party risks due to its size/weight I suggest you change insurers

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hello All,

 

 

Privilege is not alone, as I have checked with several other big companies, including Direct Line and Esure.

They have identical limits and said they could not cover me

 

Geo.

 

I have been insured by Esure for a few years and have just renewed again, the policy states, Any standard make of trailer or caravan which meets the requirements of the appropriate construction and use regulations and has been built especially to be towed by a car?

 

So it seems I am covered as long as it is within the lelgal requirements.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I recently changed my car and whilst speaking to the insurance company (Aviva) about the change I asked about fitting a tow bar and was that considered a modification. They replied that it wasn't and that I didn't need to tell them when it was done.

 

I also asked if I was covered to tow a caravan and was told that I was. No mention was made of any stipulations as to the size, weight etc - although I do not specifically ask I feel that had there been any such restrictions I should have been told at that time

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...

I agree a towbar normally does not increase the premuim, as long as it is a type approved bar. However, it does need to be declared. I admit to changing my car and 'forgetting' to advise the new one also had a tow bar. Have corrected it now.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I recently changed my car and whilst speaking to the insurance company (Aviva) about the change I asked about fitting a tow bar and was that considered a modification. They replied that it wasn't and that I didn't need to tell them when it was done.

 

I also asked if I was covered to tow a caravan and was told that I was. No mention was made of any stipulations as to the size, weight etc - although I do not specifically ask I feel that had there been any such restrictions I should have been told at that time

 

Same here - spoke to Aviva just before I renewed. They were not concerned about a towbar, no limits as to what can be towed and no charge for noting it.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Restore formatting

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...