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Desperate Advice About Caravan Site


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Hi. In October last year, our touring caravan was stolen from a staffed, permanant, secure caravan site where it was being stored. Unfortunately the insurance won't pay out any part because we didn't have enough wheel clamps on (1 instead of 2). The thieves ripped out 3 large fence posts on the perimeter of the site, no more than 80 metres from the warden's lodge and in direct line of sight. The thieves then drove across the site, past the warden's lodge. This happened between 11pm and 7 am, during which the site has a vehicle movement embargo. Our caravan was a twin axle tourer which due to it's weight and size needs a large 4x4 to tow. The thieves went to our caravan and using an angle grinder cut off the wheel clamp. They then hitched up the caravan and drove it back across the site, past the warden's lodge to the area of the fence which they had ripped out. Due to the very narrow track outside of the fence, they had to cut open the farmer's gate on the opposite side of the road before making off.


The site obviously has a line in the contract where it says they can take no responsibility for theft of or from the caravans on site, but the whole event must have been incredibly noisy. I find it incredulous that all of this can take place on a quiet, warden controlled site and nobody saw or heard a thing. The insurance assessor agreed with me that the events seemed almost unbelievable than nobody heard or saw a thing. Whilst I appreciate the statement that they cannot be held responsible, surely the site still has a requirement to provide adequate security and still has at least in part a duty of care to those who use their service. Is there any case for arguing that the site has been negligent in not maintaining an expected level of service which we would have expected from them. As I say, the fact that such a blatant and noisy event took place without staff being aware seems beyond belief.


Many thanks for your help.

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well how can you blame them when you said yourself you didn't have adequate security ie 1 clamp, security starts with you .

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well how can you blame them when you said yourself you didn't have adequate security ie 1 clamp, security starts with you .

If they cut off one what would have prevented them cutting off the other. Its nice to know there is such sympathy around from fellow caravanners.

Which insurance company is it bye the way?

Edited by David in Cheshire

David

Various vans 78-2019,  currently  Hobby Excellent 540 FU and Mercedes E220 CDI Estate

www. caravan-europe. co. uk

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Just because you only had one of two clamps does not exonerate the insurance company from paying and a good solicitor should be able to advise. After all having only one clamp would increase your premium by a few pounds.

Secondly as you have paid for storage the storage owner has a duty of care and a clause stating that they have no responsibility would be thrown out under Unfair terms in consumer contracts never mind contract law.

I strongly suggest that you get advice from a solicitor or if you are a member of the caravan club legal advice which is free.

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If they cut off one what would have prevented them cutting off the other. Its nice to know there is such sympathy around from fellow caravanners.

Which insurance company is it bye the way?

:goodpost: hear hear

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Why on earth did you tell them you only had one?

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Sorry to hear of the loss but I don't think you would have any come back on the site as you knew the level of security at the site and should of looked for a site with a higher level of security with CCTV perhaps. My caravan would be towed past the storage owners home but I would not expect him to be awake listening just a deterrent to a thief. .

If the insurance called for 2 wheel clamps why only 1 fitted ? Did it have hitch lock?

I would suggest you give details on some forums and with a bit of luck it might get spotted. I have heard of people seeing their stolen items advertised on Ebay.

Dave

 

 

 

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Depends on your contract T&C's and there may be an inferred duty of care from the site assuming they are operating as a commercial entity and you're paying them a fee. There is also a consideration under unfair T&C's.

 

However, there may be a get out clause for them if you had accepted the clause for two locks to be fitted from your insurers.

 

Best speak with a legal eagle. Maybe through Caravan Club if you are a member.

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2 posters have advised using the Caravan Club legal services.

Is this a coincidence or does the Camping & Caravan Club not provide equivalent support ?

.

David

.

PS I read this as if the site owner/ warden might be suspected of collusion.

Edited by Swizz

Swizz

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Why on earth did you tell them you only had one?

 

What I thought as they took the other with the caravan ?

 

 

Dave

Jeep Commander 3. 0 V6 CRD

Isuzu D- Max Utah Auto

Elddis Crusader Storm 2000 Kgs, Unipart Royal Atlas Mover .

 

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Probably because its called " being honest ". Seems there aint much of that about lately.

I suppose the ones who are OK with the lies are the first to moan when insurance premiums go up. :ph34r:

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Considering the great difficulty in fitting the 2nd ALKO lock, I do wonder what proportion of us actually fit the 2nd.

(Cue to some intrepid twin axle proponent to start a poll )

I solved the difficulty, for me, by swapping back to a single axle van.

David

Edited by Swizz

Swizz

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If they cut off one what would have prevented them cutting off the other. Its nice to know there is such sympathy around from fellow caravanners.

Which insurance company is it bye the way?

 

Sorry to hear of the loss but I don't think you would have any come back on the site as you knew the level of security at the site and should of looked for a site with a higher level of security with CCTV perhaps. My caravan would be towed past the storage owners home but I would not expect him to be awake listening just a deterrent to a thief. .

If the insurance called for 2 wheel clamps why only 1 fitted ? Did it have hitch lock?

I would suggest you give details on some forums and with a bit of luck it might get spotted. I have heard of people seeing their stolen items advertised on Ebay.

Dave

.

How do we KNOW that one clamp was cut off with an angle grinder, if there was no CCTV ?

The OP describes the storage site as secure--- on what basis ?

 

Someone asked " which insurance company " well !

I also think the " SECURE" site should be named, in both cases to protect the rest of us.

David

 

 

Admin comment:

Remember that naming and shaming is expressly forbidden under the T&Cs of this forum.

Swizz

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I would suggest this is one for you to take legal advice on from a good contract solicitor. Whether you failing to meet your agreed terms of your side of the contract means they get out completely from paying out completely or only part paying a contribution due to your own failings is the matter for following up IMO and not the argued failings of the site

 

Good luck

Unless you've tried it, you simply won't understand. .....

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You only have to use 2 Alko locks if you want to enjoy the discount or you can use just 2 wheel locks if you do not want the problems ?

 

I m surprised they would use a Angle grinder in the dead of night as they make a lot of noise and can only think the remains of the wheel locks showed the marks of a grinder .

 

Would be interesting to know what insurance . I know a lot of members on here post they only fit one wheel lock with CC. insurance on a twin as it just states wheel lock .

 

 

Dave

Jeep Commander 3. 0 V6 CRD

Isuzu D- Max Utah Auto

Elddis Crusader Storm 2000 Kgs, Unipart Royal Atlas Mover .

 

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To pursue a claim against the storage site owner I believe that you have to be able show that the owner was negligent. Speculating that the owner must have heard or seen something would be laughed out of court.

 

A site owner's public liability insurance, if they have any, would not cover the situation either.

 

Some years ago there was a fire in a friend's motor vehicle workshop which was a totally destroyed together with several Porsche and BMWs. All the car owners except the vehicle owners whose vehicles were uninsured due to being off road undergoing long term re-builds, claimed from their motor insurance policies. All vehicles when in other's workshops are normally at the vehicle owner's risk and covered by the vehicle's insurance.

 

Had my friend been shown to be negligent the individual vehicle owner's insurance would have paid out on the insured's policy and would have pursued my friend possibly through the courts to mitigate their loss. The fire was caused by a gas room heater being left on in close proximity to a jerrycan containing petrol by a third party who shared part of the garage and was the owner of the property. As it wasn't arson the Police had no interest and the insurers were unable to prove negligence by the third party.

 

It was bad news for everyone except the site owner who sold the site for housing, depriving a country village of a petrol station, a local vehicle workshop and other small businesses which had also operated from the site. :rolleyes:

Edited by DeeTee
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You only have to use 2 Alko locks if you want to enjoy the discount or you can use just 2 wheel locks if you do not want the problems ?

 

Would be interesting to know what insurance . I know a lot of members on here post they only fit one wheel lock with CC. insurance on a twin as it just states wheel lock .

 

CC Insurance Schedule and \ or Policy usually makes reference to, and has attached, security endorsements which include specific reference to where the caravan is a twin axle then it must have two AL-KO Secure or Winterhoff Diamond wheel locks in full and effective operation on the same side when the caravan is not attached to the towing vehicle.

 

C&CC Insurance Policy has a specific clause which states if your unit has twinaxles and your approved security device is a wheel lock then you must protect both wheels on the same side with such wheel locks in order for the protection to qualify as an approved security device.

 

Both of the above, as I understand it, are only relevant where the security discount is being taken.

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Probably because its called " being honest ". Seems there aint much of that about lately.

I suppose the ones who are OK with the lies are the first to moan when insurance premiums go up. :ph34r:

 

You're right of course. However, if they angle ground one they would have angle ground two, and faced with the loss of a large amount I would be tempted to say nowt about the missing lock. Mind, I wouldn't have to lie as I would have had two if the insurance made it a condition. Don't give them any excuse to wriggle out cos they will!

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I must admit I wasn't expecting derisory comments for a simple and genuine mistake made on our part.

The caravan was our first twin axle which we had only owned for 6 months, and there was a genuine mistake on our part, not to have 2 wheel clamps fitted. We read the policy documents, but genuinely missed the single un-highlighted sentence which stated that condition. The lock which was fitted was cut off using an angle grinder according to the police who seized the lock from the scene. This is the whole problem I have, which is that the caravan site is rural with no houses or industrial units within a mile, yet an axle lock can be cut off a caravan in the dead of night not more than 80 metres from where 4 site wardens sleep.

 

The caravan did have a Winterhoff hitch lock on it, but that was stolen with the caravan.

 

I feel so stupid for not being honest. Is that such a crime?

 

Personally, I don't feel the idea of a 2nd clamp would make any difference because they got the 1st one off quite readily.

 

The site in question was a Camping and Caravaning club site, which is why we thought it would be a safe and secure location and the insurance underwriter was AmTrust with the brokers being Ceta (via an online comparison site). It was not a storage only compound, having at least 30 other occupied caravans on site. The site was believed to be secure, having a large metal locked barrier at the entrance, conifers, fencing and ditches surrounding the site. The only weak point was the 'fence'. It was actually a large and substantial kissing gate they ripped out of the ground. What's irritating is that when we have stopped there, the wardens are very anti noise.

I'm not sure if it is possible to challenge the insurance at all, because we breached one of their terms, but I do wonder if it should be a complete refusal to pay out or a dramatically reduced payout. Likewise, we know little of the duty of care which could be attributed to the site owners, hence asking for advice.

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Sorry if you thought my comments were meant as derisory. What any of us or you think doesn't matter, its what the insurance company thinks and why I suggested you use a solicitor rather than a free forum where opinions will be given rather than facts you can rely on in court or in any legal situation.

I don;t know the value of your van but presumably you are staring down the barrel of a few thousand maybe in losses here so a couple of hundred spent on a good solicitor interview may be worthwhile?

 

That solicitor would also be able to advise on any liability of your storage site of course which is your query.

So once again good luck with your investigations

Unless you've tried it, you simply won't understand. .....

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Hi vfr

 

Probably clutching at straws here but what does your insurance schedule \ policy actually say in respect of two wheel clamps?

Are \ were they clamps or wheel locks?

Some insurance policies, I believe, accept one wheel lock \ clamp plus hitch lock as sufficient but, perhaps, at an increased premium \ excess.

 

I've attached a copy of The Camping and Caravanning Club's own policy wording for information only.

C&CC Policy Wording. pdf

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I agree with sunshine tours, A good solicitor is essential. The worst place you can ask for advice like this is on a forum. Too many home grown amateur legal beagles!!!!!!!

Sadly no van anymore but 35 years was a good run

John

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Unless there is a lawyer in the house I dont think this is one that anyone here could answer with anu degree of certainty. .... much of this is opinion I feel which is all valid but probably doesnt really answer you question.

 

I would seek legal advice. You should have access to a legal advise helpline with your caravan insurer or failing that via your home insurance provider. If there is a case they will probably take it forward on your behalf as part of your cover. If there is no real legal chance of winning they will not take it forward but this will at least give you your answer.

 

in respect of any repudiated insurance claim you can approach the financial ombudsman. ... but before you do this you would need to complain to your insurer and follow thier complaints proceedure first.

 

good luck with it. Very sorry to hear you have been a victim here and I hope this gives you some steer.

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It seems unlikely that the site could be held responsible unless there was a contractual requirement for wardens to be on site 24 hours a day. If the thieves had to destroy so much of the fencing to get the caravan out, that too suggests that it was reasonbly well protected.

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