Whether your caravan is a home or a home-away-from-home, if it’s staying in one place, you need to keep it safe.
Onsite caravan insurance is for those whose caravan is staying put and in one place. It covers the van and your possession in case of accidental damage, break ins, theft, fire, fallen trees and a bunch more.
How to get cover for an onsite caravan
- Get a regular caravan insurance policy.
- Let them know that you’re not driving it around.
- Make sure you get extra contents cover for those valuables inside.
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What is an onsite caravan?
An onsite caravan stays in one place, rather than travelling around. This means that if your caravan is staying in a caravan park or in your backyard, then your insurance needs will be very different than if your caravan is constantly on the road. In a lot of ways, insurance for an onsite caravan is similar to home insurance in terms of what you’ll need to be covered for.
What does onsite caravan insurance cover?
Some companies will offer cover tailored to onsite caravans. Others may just offer a generic caravan insurance policy where you’ll have to let them know that it’s not moving.
In either case, onsite caravan insurance should usually include cover for the following:
- Natural disasters. Most comprehensive policies will automatically cover you for storms, hail and fire.
- Theft. If someone steals something from inside or outside of your caravan, you should be covered. But if you’ve got some extra special things, it’s best to get additional contents coverage.
- Accidental damage. If someone hits reverse instead of drive, you won’t be the one footing the bill if you have cover for accidental damage.
- Fallen trees. While trees are pretty, they can be a pretty big nuisance if they fall on your van.
- Vandalism. This is especially helpful if you’re in an area that other people can access (like a caravan park) or if you aren’t always with your caravan (like a holiday home).
What do I need to know when covering an onsite caravan?
- It’s not the same as a moving caravan. The policy rules will change depending on whether your caravan is on the road. If you do decide to take your onsite caravan on the road, you must inform your insurer beforehand or your insurance could be voided.
- Extras are important. If you live in your caravan, you’ll probably have more valuable items stored in it (like televisions, mobile phones or gaming consoles) than if it’s used as a holiday house. If this is the case, it’s a good idea to look into getting extra cover for your valuables.
Moving vs static caravan insurance
Moving caravan insurance treats the caravan like a combo of a car and home, so it covers for the sorts of things you’ll be seeing on the open road as well as the hazards of a stationary environment. A moving caravan will need liability cover in case it injures someone, lay-up cover (see below) if it’s going into storage and roadside assistance in case it breaks down.
Onsite caravan insurance (also known as static caravan insurance) looks at the caravan as more of a home than a car. This means you may need increased contents insurance to safeguard pricey stuff and landlord insurance if you rent it out. If you do move it, you will need to notify your insurer or risk voiding your insurance.
What additional cover options are there?
It’s worth looking at some of the extras offered by different companies. Generally speaking, there are a few things you’ll want to keep in mind.
- Extras for your contents. Policies generally won’t cover the cost of the extras within your caravan. Since a static caravan is often somewhere you’re living, there’s a higher chance of you having something expensive (like televisions, baseball card collections or PlayStations). Pricey items that you’ve invested in could set you back if they get damaged or stolen, so additional contents cover may be in order.
- Lay-up cover. You need lay-up cover if you leave your caravan for extended periods of time (for example, if it’s a holiday home). It basically works to give you an “on season/off season” insurance policy.
- Landlord insurance. If you have no plans to move your caravan, but want the option to rent it out during peak periods, then you should consider getting landlord insurance. This likely isn’t going to be included in your caravan cover, so you’ll need to talk to a landlord insurance company. It’ll cover you for things like malicious damage by tenants or loss of rent.
- Annexe cover. Annexe cover is for situations like fire, flood, storms and burglary.
What exclusions are there?
- If you move it but don’t tell your insurer. Hit the road, Jack, but be sure to tell your insurer first. If you plan to move an onsite caravan and don’t notify your insurance company, your insurance can be voided.
- You’ve skimped on security. Whether on-road or onsite, security plays a big part in the response of your insurer. Making sure you understand what the structural limits of your caravan are plays a big role in knowing how to secure it. Soft-top structures are treated differently to hard-top. Is your annexe covered and structurally sound? Are your locks up to date and keys accounted for? Heading off to the shop for ten minutes can be enough to lose some pricey stuff, so be sure to lock up or face replacement costs.
- DIY difficulties. If you made some repairs that didn’t quite hit the mark, then the company doesn’t have to pay out if they lead to problems down the line.
- Wear and tear. Bertha might have been beautiful in her glory days, but time has not been kind. While she may have served you well, your insurer doesn’t have to pay out for the usual wear and tear that comes with a life well lived.
- Lack of upkeep. This can be stuff like mould, rust, infestations and a host of other things that happen when you don’t take proper care of your caravan. If your insurer doesn’t think you’ve made ongoing efforts to keep it schmick, they won’t pay.
- You were doing something you weren’t meant to. For example, using your caravan when it’s meant to be in storage and is being covered by lay-up insurance or moving it when you’ve said it’ll stay onsite.
- Malfunctions and workmanship issues. Your insurer won’t pay for something that’s covered by a manufacturer’s warranty and won’t pay if the problem is a result of faulty workmanship. So put down the hammer.
- Weather events. While many weather events are covered, some of the more uncommon ones might not be, so read up on the specifics to know your options.
What excess do I need to pay?
The excess you’ll need to pay depends on the level of cover you’ve selected. If you’ve opted for higher premiums, your excess will be lower than if you’ve opted for less expensive premiums. It depends on whether you feel more comfortable with higher ongoing expenses or the possibility of a big lump sum.
How do I make a claim?
Insurance companies usually offer a couple of ways to make a claim. You can usually contact them by phone or through their website. You might need to send through supporting evidence to validate your claim. This can include receipts, warranty info, valuations and appraisals. Companies will generally want this info so they can make sure you aren’t subject to any of the exclusions mentioned earlier.
Frequently asked questions