Do I need insurance if I’m not using my caravan?

Written by Stuart Craig on 28th April 2020

The right caravan insurance policy isn’t just for the touring season: it should give you peace of mind even when you aren’t using your caravan.

Accidental knocks, vandalism, theft, falling branches and hailstone damage: these are just some of the events that can happen at any time, even when the caravan is tucked away on your drive or in a storage facility. Insurance coverage is designed to help protect your purchase, and this includes those periods when your caravan is out of use.

Here’s a closer look at why it’s important to have insurance in place even when you aren’t using your caravan, and the areas of cover you need for year-round protection.

Do I need insurance for my caravan?

Caravan insurance isn’t a legal requirement in the UK. But that’s not to say that you don’t need it. For safe, stress-free holidaying, sensible owners regard it as essential.

But let’s say your policy is up for renewal just as the season is coming to an end. Or you’ve just bought your caravan, but you won’t be using it for some months to come. What’s to stop you from delaying getting insurance?

Even though it’s not in use, it doesn’t mean that your caravan doesn’t need protecting. For instance, AA figures show that around 4,000 caravans are stolen each year. Theft is a year-round risk, and the same goes for most types of accidental damage, too.

Top three reasons why you need caravan insurance

Here are some of the areas where staying insured throughout the year can prove especially valuable, even if you can’t use your caravan for whatever reason.

Theft and vandalism

Caravan theft can happen from any location and at any time of the year and unfortunately, statistics have shown a sharp rise in caravan thefts in the past five years. Sometimes it’s purely opportunistic: in other instances, specific units are stolen to order. Insurance provides vital coverage for this, no matter when or where it happens. Top tip: with Shield Total Insurance, fitting good quality, anti-theft wheel locks can earn you a valuable discount on the cost of your premium and result in a £0 theft excess.

Sadly, a shiny white caravan at a domestic location can also make a tempting target for vandalism, break-in attempts and other forms of malicious damage. Insurance covers you for this, too.

Accidental and weather-related damage

When your caravan us not in use is actually when some of the biggest risks to your caravan can arise. For example, falling debris from trees during storms can smash windows, dent bodywork and destroy roof lights. Severe frost can cause seals to break and pipes to crack. Flooding can also cause significant interior and exterior damage.

You may need to drive the caravan to the dealership for its annual service, or to temporarily take it off the drive at some point. Poor lighting conditions in winter can make prangs and scrapes more likely; especially when you’re out of practice with manoeuvring.

In-storage damage

A reputable storage facility is the safest place for keeping your caravan when not in use. It’s why we give you a premium discount of up to 20% if your caravan is stored at a secure CaSSOA-approved site (that’s the Caravan Storage Site Owners’ Association).

However, while a storage facility can significantly reduce the chances of damage or theft, it doesn’t completely eliminate the risk. Storms, flooding and hail can still impact caravans in storage. There is also always the potential risk of fire spreading.

Each year, we deal with lots of in-storage caravan claims: a very good reason why you should stay insured while the caravan is in a storage facility.

What to look for in a caravan insurance policy

There’s more to choosing the right caravan policy than the price tag (although great value is still essential). Look for an insurance provider that specialises in caravans, as they are much more likely to be able to deal with claims sympathetically, swiftly and with less hassle. Also, if you take steps to secure your caravan and keep it safe when not in use, a great insurer should reward you for it, in the form of generous premium discounts.

You never know what may be around the corner, and often, damage arising while your caravan isn’t in use is the most costly. Even if you can’t make the most of your caravan at the moment, it’s important to make sure you’re protected for the holiday season to come (no matter how far away it is!).

With over 25 years’ touring caravan experience, Shield Total Insurance offers award-winning caravan insurance designed for all-year peace of mind. You can explore our full range of policies here. For lots more tips on caring for your caravan, including preparing it for storage, take a look at our blog.


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