Caravanning terminology and technology demystified by the Caravan Bore
● Caravan insurance is not a legal requirement… ● … But Caravan Bore recommends it ● Insurers require the caravan to be secured using approved security equipment ● Ask your insurer or read the policy document to ensure your security kit complies. Typically it needs to be Sold Secure approved
I’M LOOKING AT CARAVAN INSURANCE AT THE MOMENT. CONFUSING, ISN’T IT? I don’t think so. What are you struggling with?
WELL, I WAS TOLD THAT INSURANCE ISN’T A LEGAL REQUIREMENT FOR A CARAVAN. THAT CAN’T BE RIGHT? Actually it is. There is no legal requirement for caravan insurance. When on the road, your caravan is covered by the car insurance.
WOO HOO! THAT’S £250 IN THE POT TOWARDS THE NEXT HOLIDAY! Hang on. It’s not that simple.
AH. SHOULD HAVE KNOWN THAT. Well, caravans aren’t covered for theft by car insurance – just thirdparty risks, such as if your caravan strikes another vehicle. So you’ll be left to cover the repair of your caravan. If you have a caravan insurance policy, you’ll be covered for pretty much all eventualities, including accidental damage. And theft, too, remember.
THEFT? OK, NOW I’M LISTENING. According to official figures, the number of caravan thefts is far lower than 10 years ago, but theft is still a major issue. After all, caravans are designed to be moved, so temporarily immobilising them to stop them from being snatched is tough.
WELL, IT’S INSURED. IF IT GOES, IT GOES… You don’t mean that. Losing a caravan is a horrible experience. It’s not just the caravan, but all your stuff in it, too. And then you have the misery of the police reports, paperwork and insurance to sort out, when you should be planning your next holiday. And anyway, caravan insurers’ policy requirements state that tourers have to be secured.
Typically, that means a hitchlock and a wheelclamp at all times when the van is not on the road, no matter if in storage or at home.
Question for the Caravan Bore?
HMM. SOUNDS EXPENSIVE. I HAVE A LENGTH OF CHAIN AND A GOOD PADLOCK. WILL THAT DO FOR NOW? No, but you need to speak to your insurer. Generally, you’ll need security kit that satisfies its standards to ensure a payout in the event of a problem. That means a product that appears on the Sold Secure database. You can search at www.soldsecure.com/ search or ring 01327 264 687 to make sure your product is on it.
ACTUALLY, I ALREADY HAVE A HITCHLOCK. IT SAYS ‘SOLD SECURE GOLD’ APPROVED ON IT, BUT IT’S NOT ON THE LIST. DO I NEED A NEW ONE OR CAN I TRY MY LUCK WITH THIS? Well, that’s a sticky issue. As a general rule, if it was on the list when you bought it, your insurer won’t quibble if you need to make a claim. But don’t buy any new security kit in future without checking that it’s on the list.
DOES IT HAVE TO SAY ‘SOLD SECURE’ ON IT? I’VE GOT A CLAMP THAT SAYS ‘INSURER RECOMMENDED’. WILL THAT DO? No. That’s a bit of marketing claptrap. Insurance companies recommend fitting wheelclamps, so you can put ‘insurance recommended’ on any wheelclamp in the same way you could write ‘dentist recommended’ on a toothbrush because dentists think brushing your teeth is a good idea. It doesn’t mean it’s a good toothbrush.
BUT SHOULD I FLOSS? I would.
firstname.lastname@example.org www.practicalcaravan.com | NOVEMBER 2011 | 21