Camper trailers or touring caravans are your home on the road, so it’s important to find the right insurance to cover them inside and out. Whether you are touring within your home state or across Australia, camper insurance can provide cover for a wide range of losses including accidental damage, fire, theft, storm and malicious damage.
What is covered by camper trailer insurance?
Most policies will have specific types of damage that are covered and specific circumstances in which you can claim benefits.
Policies can provide cover for:
- Caravan and annexe cover: Covers damage to the trailer or annexe itself, up to the maximum value specified in your policy.
- Contents cover: Covers the cost of replacing or repairing items that are lost or damaged when inside the caravan or annexe, up to the maximum value specified in your policy.
- Theft or attempted theft: Replacement or reimbursement for the total cost in the event of your trailer being stolen, or cover for the cost of damage caused by attempted theft.
- Food spoilage: Cover for the cost of food that cannot be eaten following an insured event. This only covers the value of the actual food and not any damage caused by it, such as spreading mould.
- Temporary accommodation: Cover for the cost of temporary accommodation if you are unable to stay in your caravan as a result of an insured event.
- Legal liability: Covers the costs resulting from you, or someone using your caravan with your permission, being found legally liable for causing harm or damage to someone else’s body or property. For example, if someone is run over by your trailer.
- Legal representation: Cover for the cost of legal representation required as the result of a successful claim, such as if you need to appear before a magistrate as a result of someone being run over by your trailer.
- Towing costs: Covers the cost of towing the trailer to a repairer or a safe location following damage that renders it unusable.
- Emergency repairs: Covers the cost of emergency repairs needed to restore the caravan to a roadworthy state and the cost of moving it to a repair place.
- Storage: Covers storage costs involved in holding the caravan.
- Tools and spare parts: Separate cover for tools and spare parts when they are not covered by contents insurance.
- Electrical motor burnout: Covers repair costs associated with electrical motor burnout of appliances or motors in the caravan, such as a fridge or parts of the camper trailer itself.
Where applicable, you can only claim these benefits if the damage was caused by an insured event according to the terms of your policy. Often, policies will cover almost any kind of damage, except those specifically excluded.
Additional options worth considering
- Touring cover or transport by road: If your policy does not automatically insure your trailer while you are towing it, you will need to select this option.
- Annexe cover: Cover for your annexe.
- Additional contents or annexe cover: Raises the limits of your contents insurance or annexe cover.
- Transport of caravan by rail or sea: Covers your camper trailer while it’s being transported by sea or train.
- Lay up cover: Allows you to reduce your premiums by selecting a lay up period in which you know you won’t be using the caravan. You will not be insured during the selected lay up period.
- Hire use cover: Covers your trailer while you are renting it out for pay.
- Malicious damage or vandalism
- Any other natural weather event
- Theft or damage resulting from attempted theft
- Any type of physical damage not specifically excluded by the policy
What is not covered?
Policies will always specify exclusions. You cannot make a claim for any kind of damage that results from an excluded event, even if it might initially appear to be covered.
For example, one common exclusion is the actions of trees or their roots. Even though you may be covered for impact damage, you still won’t be able to claim for a tree falling on your caravan if your policy contains this exclusion.
Picking a policy: How much cover do I need?
To get an idea of how much cover you need, consider the value of your camper trailer, the value of the belongings you'll keep inside it and whether or not you'll need cover for your annexe.
Your camper trailer
This is the trailer itself, as well as its permanent fixtures, fittings included by the original manufacturer as standard inclusions and aftermarket accessories or optional extras that you have attached.
- You should generally get enough cover to completely replace the camper trailer in the event of a total loss.
Your camper annexe
This is any structure attached to the trailer when it's set up. Different policies may define annexes slightly differently.
- This is often an optional inclusion and you can choose not to get it if you want to keep costs down, or if you don't need it.
- If you will be keeping belongings inside your annexe or you want to be able to claim for damage to it, this type of cover is a good idea.
Your camper contents
Belongings kept inside the camper trailer or annexe.
- Policies will typically include a certain amount of contents insurance by default, but it may not be enough for your needs. Check the limits of the contents insurance in your policy and weigh them up against the value of your items.
- You will often have the ability to select additional contents cover. This could be important if you'll be living in your camper for extended periods of time, you have valuable items that need cover or you want more cover.
How much does camper trailer insurance cost?
The cost of your policy depends largely on your total sum insured, the options you’ve selected and the make and model of your trailer. Policies can start from less than $100 a year, or be several times that amount for a higher level of cover or a more valuable camper.
Factors that impact the price of the policy include:
- The year, make and model of camper
- The replacement value of the camper and the contents included
- The address where the camper is kept
- Whether the camper is watertight, structurally sound and well maintained
- Whether or not the camper is used for business purposes
Your chosen excess also impacts your annual premium. By choosing a higher excess you can receive lower premiums, or you can opt for a lower excess at the cost of higher premiums.
Keeping your trailer safe
The terms of your policy require you to take sensible precautions in order to maintain your trailer and keep it safe.
- Fight mold and mildew: Air out the inside of your trailer as soon as possible if it gets wet and clean canvas parts regularly by hosing them down and making sure you’ve gotten rid of all the grime and dirt.
- Store your caravan carefully: Don’t let metal parts remain in contact with canvas pieces for long periods of time, as they can start corroding more quickly and stain the fabric. Keep metal parts safe and dry and separate from the fabric.
- Make prompt repairs: The longer you let a rip or a crack go unattended to, the more problematic it can become. Insurance won’t cover repairs for old damage, or damage that could have been prevented by proactive repairs.
- Use protective coatings: Rust-proofing, weather-resistant paints and other protective coatings can go a long way towards extending your camper trailer’s lifespan and reducing the odds of damage that cannot be claimed.
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