Caravan insurance isn’t a legal requirement but here we look at the importance of caravan insurance all-year-round, even if you’re putting your tourer into hibernation for winter until Springtime.
For some caravanners who take their tourer off the road, it might be tempting to cancel their caravan insurance cover in winter to save a few pounds, but if this is the case, be warned as caravan thefts can and do happen, as well as other perils such as accidental or weather-related damage.
When we’ve looked back at our caravan insurance claims over the last 12 months, our stats show claims are made all-year-round – even in the winter months. In fact, 21 per cent of caravan claims were made between November 2018 and March 2019, highlighting the importance of caravan insurance all-year-round.
The main risks facing your tourer over winter are accidental damage, weather or theft-related, whether that be actual caravan theft or thieves targeting storage locations and breaking into caravans to steal their contents.
Nineteen per cent of claims were theft-related and 17 per cent of claims were weather-related – mainly storm damage or burst pipes.
But almost half of claims in the winter months were down to accidental damage. Many of these were as caravanners continued to use their tourer and were suffering bumps and scrapes from hitting walls, trees, posts and potholes or the caravan had not been hitched up correctly.
Other claims, such as cracked windows or panel damage, were discovered as owners put their caravans into storage or went to open up for the start of the season.
This highlights the importance of making sure your caravan storage location is super secure to reduce the risk of caravan theft and that all security devices are fitted and activated. Also, do let your caravan insurer know if you change your storage location in winter for theft cover to remain valid and that you to apply all security measures that are noted on your policy.
If you store your tourer at home, park your caravan “nose-in” it to make it difficult for thieves to quickly hitch up to a car. Plus, having padlocked gates or a locked gate post in front of your caravan might also be a theft deterrent, as well as a caravan cover.
Make sure you use good quality, Sold Secure approved wheel clamps and hitchlocks.
Whilst it can be difficult to protect your tourer from extreme weather, you can prevent frost damage by draining down your water systems in the winter months – in fact, it’s a condition of your caravan insurance cover to drain down from November 1st to March 15th, when your caravan is not in use.
A caravan cover might also to prevent damage from things like falling branches during stormy weather – but also consider where you lay up your caravan in winter, and try to keep it away from large trees, if possible.
How can I reduce my caravan insurance premium?
You can reduce your caravan insurance premium by making your tourer more safe and secure. For example, a caravan tracking device, an axle wheel lock, an alarm and security marking will all save you some money on your caravan insurance. Plus, keeping your caravan in a CaSSOA Silver or Gold storage site will also bring down your insurance premium, as well as safety devices such as Tyron tyre safety bands, tyre pressure monitors, anti-snaking devices (ATC) and reversing cameras or sensors.
Will the contents of my caravan be covered in winter?
Our caravan insurance covers your caravan equipment and personal belongings if it’s kept in the caravan when stored at home or at a storage facility. However, you must take steps to safeguard your property, so you should remove your caravanning gear from your tourer if you’re leaving it unattended for a number of months. And to prevent damp it’s a good idea to empty lockers so the air can circulate around your ‘van during the winter months if it’s not in use and to either remove your seat cushions or stack them on their sides.
If you’re still using your caravan in winter, also take care with your awning. Whilst we do cover storm damage to your caravan awning, they’re extremely susceptible to high winds and should be taken down if severe weather is forecast or if conditions become noticeably windy. If your caravan is to be left unattended for any sustained length of time then we would also recommend you take down your awning.
If you do need to make a caravan insurance claim this winter, our award winning Claims Liaison Team is on hand to help. Plus, here are our claims helplines and handy tips page for making a touring caravan insurance claim.
If you are unfortunate enough to suffer a theft, report it to the police, your caravan insurance provider, and the CRiS registration scheme. Don’t leave your caravan registration or insurance details in your tourer and it’s a good idea to have photos of your caravan and any key pieces of equipment or contents to help identify them if recovered or to speed up your claim.