Insurance Buying Tips from Compass Insurance
Compass insure tens of thousands of caravan owners and have been doing so for over 40 years. Here are their top 10 tips when it comes to protecting yours:
- Get your sums insured right, with the cost of new caravans on the increase it’s more important than ever to insure for the right amount. Speaking to your Park or Dealer is the simplest way to work out what it would cost to replace your happy place with a brand new one. For Static Caravans and Park Homes make sure the amount is specific to your pitch and your park as even two caravans on the same site can be different amounts depending on the location.
- Make sure you also consider the cost of decking, steps, balconies and hot tubs in your sum insured. Some insurers, like Compass, will include these in your structure sum insured but others will need them adding or may not cover them at all.
- Resist the temptation to save a few pounds and insure for less, this could end up costing you thousands in the long run if you have a claim. Underinsurance affects each and every claim you make and when you add up the cost those pounds saved won’t be worth it.
- The same goes for choosing between New for Old and Market Value. Insuring on a Market Value basis is the right thing for some people, and on average will mean you pay a cheaper premium however it also means every claim will have an allowance made for wear and tear. In real terms that means that most claims will be reduced and you might not get the amount you thought you would, or that you need to replace the damage.
- Beware when comparing prices, especially online, not all insurance products are the same and some have restrictions or conditions that could impact you in the event of a claim. Always check your cover before you buy. Saving a few pounds on your insurance for an inferior product could end up costing you thousands if you have a claim.
- Understanding the risks your caravan is vulnerable to will help you identify which products are not up to scratch. For example the most common losses we see relate to flood, storm, escape of water and things like accidental damage. So make sure your policy covers those along with things like valuables, contents and equipment etc. Public Liability cover is essential regardless of whether it’s a static or touring caravan, these days £5m of cover is the most appropriate level you probably need.
- Read the small print, insurance policies always contain exclusions, terms and conditions but these differ from insurer to insurer. Over the years we’ve seen some examples of terms that effectively render the cover useless with exclusions for cover when you’re not at your caravan or lodge. Given it’s a holiday property there will always be times it’s not occupied! Many products have liability cover that is not sufficient to meet the minimum requirements your park set or that are in line with possible claims against you.
- If your caravan is a ‘total loss’, cannot be repaired and needs to be replaced there are additional costs and expenses to do so, from disconnection, debris removal, re-siting and reconnection to possible legal and conveyancing costs. Compass cover this as standard and without you needing to add this to your overall sum insured, does your insurer?
- Nobody buys insurance in the hope they need to use it, but if you do need to make a claim the level of service and speed of response is essential. Will there be someone there 24/7/365 to help you and will your insurer allow your park owner to help you, especially if you are not there when the loss or damage occurs?
- If you do need to claim then there will be an excess to pay, this is the amount of the claim you have to pay yourself. At Compass we have the lowest excesses in the market at just £50 however check your excess, some insurers impose amounts that run into hundreds and sometimes thousands of pounds.