Regardless of whether you just treated yourself to full time caravanning or it’s time for a renewal on your nearly-expired caravan insurance, choosing your caravan insurance policy smartly can help you save money and give you peace of mind!
Caravan insurance is not mandatory, but for your peace of mind, owning such a policy makes all the difference. As no two caravan insurance policies are the same, be sure to read the fine print before signing the contract.
Why is it Smart to Get Caravan Insurance
Caravan insurance compensates you for your own mistakes, accidents and mishaps. Most importantly, it is not covered under your car insurance so you need to get a separate policy for your caravan.
A major concern for caravanners all around the world is theft, which accounts for about 3000 caravans stolen every year! Even when you do find your luxury caravan later on, there is no guarantee that your valuables and even the caravan will be intact. However, with insurance in place, you can recover the amount you insured your caravan for.
Natural disasters such as storm, lightning, wildfire, thunderstorm and flash floods are unavoidable threats for caravanners. When you have caravan insurance, you can claim against losses on such contingencies.
Yet another unexpected mishap that adds to caravan damage is accidents caused by you or others. Accidents like fire, falling aircraft, riots and accidental damages comprise the basic coverage of most caravan insurances even when you are at fault.
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Personal valuables are an optional coverage. But should something bad happen to your personal items, such coverage gives you a right of claim for compensation.
Suppose your caravan suffered some severe damage and you are stranded in the middle of nowhere, what will you do? If your caravan is insured, contact your insurer right away!
Your insurer can send a certified technician to fix the damage. They can also provide shelter for you under your emergency accommodation expense coverage.
LIABILITY FOR LEGAL EXPENSES
A common benefit to all caravanners who’ve insured their caravans even under a basic policy, is a minimum legal liability coverage of $20 million.
How to Determine the Right Insurance for You
The size and type of caravan you own often dictates the kind of policy you can get. In fact, road safety rules and many insurers impose a size limit for caravans for safety reasons. And no insurer will undertake you if you exceed that limit.
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You must know what a policy covers and what it does not cover in order to pick the best insurance for you.
Basic Costs and Coverage
If you have no valuables onboard, your best choice may be a basic policy. With minimal investment you can have the peace of mind of knowing you are protected. Most insurers offer basic coverage that includes natural disasters, family and friend coverage, theft, accidental damage and public liability.
Nevertheless, with each insurer, policy features differ and you must determine carefully which among them meets your specific needs before finalising your choice.
Exclusions that make a policy null and void
Every insurer will have their own set of conditions that when not followed may invalidate your claim. Make sure you check and confirm which actions are voidable before signing a new policy. Your insurer may not cover the following claims:
- – Mildew damage
- – If you use your caravan out of Australia
- – Vermin damage
- – Mechanical breakdown
- – illicit activities
- – Tyre damage due to over braking
- – Reimbursements owing to poor repair work done previously by a contractor of your choice
- – Electrical breakdown
- – When used for purposes other than social, domestic or pleasure.
- – When there is no evidence of forced entry in a claim for theft
When your caravan loses some of its value due to natural wear and tear and age, we call that depreciation. Typically, caravan insurers will add a 5% depreciation charge to the premium every year. Insurers may waive the depreciation fee if you convince them that your caravan is in perfect condition.
When looking for the best offer, check whether your insurer is authentic. Testimonials or reviews about their service should give you plenty of clues whether the company has a high percentage of honoured claims.
Excesses on caravan insurance
Some insurers levy additional charges each time a client files a claim against their policy. Verify whether a policy that imposes this condition. If you approve of the charges, proceed with the policy, otherwise look for one that best matches your needs.
There are two types of excesses in caravan insurance:
- Compulsory Excess– One mandatory fee agreed for a claim that is deduced from the settlement that your insurer makes with you.
- Voluntary Excess– When the fee is paid as a voluntary excess for any claims in addition to compulsory excess, your yearly premium also goes down.
The bonus is a reward for customers who didn’t file a claim against their policy. Regardless of which party was at fault, if you handled the repairs and settlement yourself, your insurer might award you a bonus.
Improve Your Caravan’s Security and Get Discounts
If you’ve enhanced the security of your caravan, your insurer might grant you another bonus by way of premium discounts. Here are various ways to go about it:
- – Attach a wheel clamp or hitch lock to stop caravan theft
- – Fit a corner steady lock to prevent caravan thefts
- – Get a certified technician to add an approved alarm system and immobiliser to your rig
- – Install a tracking device in your caravan
- – Take pictures of your caravan’s interior and exterior for police records in case of theft
- – Invest in a locking drive or hitch post
- – Keep the valuables in your caravan out of public view
Value of the Policy
The valuables within your caravan, the market value of the caravan, how you intend to use it and where you will take the caravan are all taken into consideration by the insurer in determining the insurable amount.
If your caravan is new, choose new for old policy which entitles you to a new replacement if your caravan is damaged beyond repair. For older rigs, get a valuation and pick a policy that offers the best coverage based on your caravan’s current market value.
Most caravan insurers also offer a discount for customers holding more than one policy. You’ll get a reduction in your yearly premium if you have linked policies, customer loyalty, and more than one policy with the same insurer or if you’ve been awarded a no-claim bonus.
To confirm your discount, refer to the Certificate of Insurance to ensure that discounts are available as well as applicable for your insurance of choice too.
Check Yearly Premium
A common mistake people make is leaving “yearly premium” unticked. Doing so can empty your bank balance. Here’s why.
Most insurers offer low introductory rates to lure new customers. The catch is that yearly premiums are never static. Make sure to tick the yearly premium listed for your caravan. This will protect you from any premium hikes during the succeeding years. Check and confirm your premium each year to make sure you’re not overpaying anything.
Discount for Caravan Club Members and Owners
Being a member of a popular caravan club can entitle you to a premium discount. All you have to do is present documents that prove your membership.
Is the company Australian or Foreign?
Another important consideration is whether your insurer is an Australian or foreign company. Many companies in Europe and Asia offer great introductory rates which can be extremely attractive to Aussie caravanners.
If a foreign insurer has no branch in Australia, you may have to go through frustrating and rigorous procedures before you can make a claim against your policy.
Choice of Repair Technicians
An insurer will provide a caravan technician from a list of contractors. If all they’ve got are technicians from remote areas, then this part of the deal won’t be of any benefit to you. So, choose an insurer that allows you plenty of choices in technicians.
The biggest concern of most amateur caravanners is the safety of living in a mobile home out on the open road.
With caravan insurance, you can have the peace of mind of knowing you are covered against various kinds of mishaps. Use these tips with care. They are your tools for finding a policy that truly works in your favour.