Caravanning holidays are on the increase

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    Caravanning holidays are on the increase and many will be surprised by how luxurious modern caravans can be, the Caravan Club has claimed.

    Brits looking to make the most of their UK holiday insurance by taking a break a little closer to home will be “pleasantly surprised” by the improvements made to caravanning, one industry figure has said.

    Nicki Nichol, head of public relations at the Caravan Club, said: “This really is the year of the staycation.”

    She went on to say that caravans nowadays are “luxurious” and those that have not been on a caravanning holiday since the 1970s “will be pleasantly surprised to see the improvements and advancements that have been made as regards to functionality and style”.

    She advised travellers to think about things such as the type of caravan – whether is it one you will need to tow, a static caravan or a motor home – and the size and layout that will be needed.

    According to statistics from the club, bookings for caravan holidays have increased by 40 per cent this year.

    Some 32 per cent of Brits said they planned to take their summer holiday at a UK destination this summer, a study by Travelodge revealed.

    Should you have caravan insurance?

    How much should you pay?

    Typically, you can expect to pay between £100 to £400 a year for a suitable policy to cover a caravan worth about £10,000 that has contents worth around £1,000. This figure assumes a three-year no claims bonus and the lower figure would provide minimal cover.

    What to look for New for old: caravans can give many years’ useful service. But replacing them can be costly. You might want to look for a policy that offers the current market value of a new version of your caravan, so that you can replace it.

    Accidental damage, storm and flood damage: this is often missing from basic policies. Don’t assume your caravan will be covered.

    Age of caravan: costs often rise for older caravans. If your caravan is more than 20 years old, expect to pay a little more for cover with some insurance companies. You may also want to avoid some of the “Rolls Royce” policies in the market.

    European use: your insurer will probably set specific limits on the length of each trip you can take and the total number of days per year you and your caravan spend in Europe. A typical limit is about 180 days. Exceeding these limits may invalidate your policy.

    Caravan-related personal accident: this is quite useful to have, but is usually only available on comprehensive policies. But you may not need it if you have other suitable policies. Note that a car-related policy will not cover you in your caravan.

    Hotel accommodation and replacement hire: again, this is usually limited to comprehensive policies. Make sure that the amount allowed will be able to get you suitable accommodation or replacement in the country that you are visiting.

    Recovery and delivery costs: if the policy sets a limit for this, make sure it’s an adequate amount. It can cost up to £3,000 to bring a caravan back to the UK from some parts of Europe.

    Driver cover:If the policy states that only one person can drive, you need to think about how to get home, and how to get your car and caravan home if the driver is incapacitated.

    Will your cover match the costs?

    Specify exactly who will be driving but check with the insurance company that you can simply call and add named drivers to the policy at a later date.

    Public liability: ideally, you need at least £1 million but £2 million is better, even in Europe.

    Excess: a policy is cheaper if you don’t claim for the first £250 or so.

    Free legal helpline: check that this covers Europe and European law, where many travellers are likely to spend much of their time.

    Tips to cut costs further

    Match the policy with the caravan: expensive caravans on long journeys require an expensive all-inclusive policy. Old caravans on shorter journeys warrant a cheaper, more basic policy.

    Caravan security: the more security you have in your caravan or motor home, the cheaper the policy. Here are just some of the steps you can take to enhance your caravan’s security:

    • Caravan wheel clamps will reduce the cost of cover by up to 10%
    • Hitch locks, preferably with a built-in alarm, can cut the cost of cover by up to 10%
    • Anchors, chains and padlocks also cut the cost by up to 30%
    • Caravan tracking devices can cut the cost of your cover by up to 30%. Check whether the insurance company will only provide the discount for a specific product (Thatcham or Sold Secure).

    No claims bonuses: This discount can be between 15% and 20% after three years.

    Age-related insurance: Over 50s can cut about 10% off the cost of their cover.

    Membership of a recognised caravan club: This can reduce the cost of cover by up to 10%.

    Shopping around: This will always save you money. But don’t forget to compare like with like (see above).

    Note that the potential reductions above are NOT cumulative. They give an idea of what various caravan insurers may give consider giving discounts up to, in individual cases. Most people tend to achieve discounts of between 30 and 40%, in total.

    Final tip

    The majority of caravan insurance claims are accident, rather than crime-related. The impact this may have on your no-claims bonus remains the same: higher insurance costs next year. So, always check all aspects of the caravan thoroughly before using it. For more information, go to a reputable UK caravanning organisation