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Complete Caravan Insurance Buyers Guide – Everything You Need To Know

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Complete caravan insurance buyers guide

We all know caravan insurance in Australia is important and the overwhelming majority of us have it.  However, it’s equally important to make sure the insurance you do have actually covers what you need. It’s confusing though, right? I’m going to simplify the jargon, answer some common questions and discuss important things to look out for in your caravan insurance policy

Do I actually need caravan insurance … won’t my car insurance cover it?

No, your car insurance will not cover your caravan properly, if at all. If you do not have the appropriate caravan insurance in an accident, you will have to pay for its repair or replacement. Likewise, if your caravan is damaged in a non-vehicle accident (such as a tree falling on it), you will have to foot the bill yourself.

You’ve worked hard to afford and enjoy your caravan and it would be devastating for that to be taken away. Caravan insurance gives you peace of mind and protects you from the unexpected.

Important things to look out for in your caravan insurance policy

Make sure you have the correct cover – Touring caravan insurance vs static caravan insurance

Do you tow your caravan or is it a permanent set up in a caravan park? Touring caravan insurance is for those towing their caravan behind their vehicle and static caravan insurance is for those whose caravan is set up as a permanent structure, like in a caravan park. You will need to make sure that you have the correct cover for your situation as they both cover different events and have different options. More importantly, if you have the wrong one your claim will not be approved.

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Make sure your van is insured for what its actually worth – Agreed or market value

Market value is the value that your insurance company perceives your caravan to be worth at the time you need to claim. Agreed value is a different value that you both agree upon for the term of the insurance policy (usually 12 months). This is important because if you’ve spent thousands upgrading the interior of your old caravan and it’s still insured for market value based on its age, you could get a nasty surprise when you need to make a claim.

Is your excess so high that it’s not worth making a claim?

Your excess is the dollar amount that you have to contribute when making a claim.  Some insurers offer you the option to increase your excess in return for a lower annual insurance premium. So a policy with a $1000 excess means that you will pay $1000 towards your claim before the claim goes ahead.  This is important to know because if the repairs to the van are around the same price as the excess, it would be better to just pay for the repairs yourself and keep your good claims history as a claim will almost certainly affect your premium at renewal.

It’s important to know the limits of your caravan insurance policy

Limits apply to many items on your caravan insurance policy and they vary widely across insurers. It’s important to read your policy document as it’s really easy to get caught out.  For e.g. many policies offer accident towing but only to the nearest repairer, which can be really inconvenient if you’re thousands of kilometres from home.  Another big one is limits placed on contents cover, speaking of which ….

Contents cover is tricky business

Although many policies offer contents cover it’s never enough to cover everything in your caravan, especially if you have bikes, fishing gear, cameras and computers. Would a standard $1000 cover the contents in your van? It certainly wouldn’t cover mine. In addition, many insurers don’t cover important things like phones, cameras and laptops in their caravan insurance contents cover. It’s really important to read the contents section of your policy documents and if needed, request extra cover for specific items. 

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What happens to your caravan after an accident?

What happens to your caravan after an accident? Does your insurance cover allow for the caravan to be towed? If so, how far can it be towed? This is important to check because there is no way you want your caravan sitting on the side of the road unattended for any period of time. Sometimes the towing is offered as an additional option and doesn’t come standard.

Where will you sleep if your caravan is damaged? How will you get it home?

Does your caravan insurance cover allow for emergency accommodation expenses incurred after an accident? Well, it would certainly be handy if it did. Make sure to check this one out and be aware of the restrictions. Many insurers only cover you if you are over 100km from home and the daily limit is rarely over $150. It may be hard to even find accommodation at short notice for under $150.

Consider also the cost of getting your caravan home if it’s not towable or picking it back up after repairs. This could be a real problem if you are a long way from home.

Is your annexe covered?

Don’t assume that your caravan annexe is included in your cover as sometimes it’s an additional extra that you pay a higher premium for. You will want to make sure that it covers the value and age of your annexe. Some insurance providers will only cover up to $1000 towards your annexe and/or only if the annexe is under five years old. This, of course, renders the annexe insurance completely useless for many people.  

Pssst. you may find our article on choosing the right caravan awning useful.

Did you know you can get a discount if your caravan is stored for long periods?

If you don’t get out as much as you like and your beloved caravan is stored for long periods of time, it’s worth discussing lay-up cover with your insurer.  This means you pay a reduced premium while it’s being stored securely and not in use.  However, you need to make sure to let your insurer know if you plan to use it while it’s supposed to be stored otherwise you will not be covered.

What will you do if the fridge motor kicks it? Or the air-con gives up?

Do you want your electrical appliances covered if the motor burns out? I don’t know about you, but I definitely need a working fridge in my caravan. If you think motor fusion is something you want covered, make sure it’s included in your policy.  Many insurers offer it but it’s sometimes an added extra. 

Don’t leave getting insurance to the last minute, okay!

Nearly all insurance policies cover you for fire and serious weather events, but I am yet to come across one that will cover you instantly.  Often there is a 72 hour waiting period so don’t think you will be able to get it last minute if you know a bush fire or cyclone is coming because you most likely won’t be covered. 

Would you like to choose your own repairer?

Do you feel comfortable not having any control over who repairs your caravan? If this matters to you, make sure your policy allows a choice of repairers. This is important to me as I like to support local small businesses and not fly-by out of towners who aren’t around if there is a fault with the repairs. You could be located a fair distance away from your insurers preferred repairer. What happens then?

Do you like a good rewards program?

Does your insurance provider have a rewards program or offer additional benefits to their members? Some insurance companies have partnerships with accommodation and other providers giving you access to discounts. CIL Insurance is a good example of this.

What influences the cost of your policy?

Many things influence the cost of your caravan insurance policy.  This includes (but is not limited to) your caravan’s value, safety and security, how you use the caravan, your excess, where you use it and what you have in it.  Your claims history and driving history are also important factors.  If you have good claims and driving history, many insurers offer a no-claims discount on your caravan insurance premium.

Be aware of what your caravan insurance does not cover

Sometimes the list of what your caravan insurance does not cover is longer than the list of what it does cover.  Although it varies across caravan insurance providers, here are a few common scenarios that will give your insurer a reason not to cover you:

  • Tell me lies, tell me sweet little lies (If you told a porky on your insurance application)
  • If your caravan is not being towed or transported legally (drink driving, unlicensed driver etc.)
  • If you contributed to the loss (failed to lock your caravan, carrying a too heavy load etc.)
  • If there is no evidence of break and enter
  • If you use your caravan for business
  • If the damage is due to general wear and tear
  • If you failed to maintain your caravan 
  • If the damage is a product of poor workmanship and faulty design
  • If the problem can be covered under the manufacturer’s warranty
  • If the damage was caused by an act of terrorism
  • If the damage is to your caravan’s tyres 
  • Actions or movements of the sea
  • Communicable disease
  • Escape of water (shower overflowing)
  • Mildew or rot
  • Bushfires, storms, floods, tsunamis in the first 72 hours of cover

Brand comparison (touring caravans)

Insurer▶
Item⬇
Club 4×4KT InsuranceLets GoCIL InsuranceJayco YouiQBEAAMINRMARACVAllianzAussie Caravan InsuranceAustralian Caravan InsuranceRACQ
Total Loss
(less than 2 yrs old)
Replacement vehicleReplacement vehicleReplacement vehicleReplacement vehicleReplacement vehicleReplacement vehicleReplacement vehicleReplacement vehicleReplacement vehicleReplacement vehicleReplacement vehicleReplacement vehicleReplacement vehicleNo
Basic Excess (additional excesses may apply)$500 & variable$500 & variableUnknown$500 & variableUnknownUnknownUnknown & variableUnknown$200 & variable. Additional $200 for hail & cyclone.$200 & variable. Additional $200 for hail & cyclone.UnknownUnknownUnknownUnknown
Legal Liability$20 million$20 millionUnknown$20 millionUnknown$20 millionUnknown$20 million$20 million$20 million$20 million$20 million$20 million$20 million
Accident DamageYesYesYesYesYesYesYesYesYesYesYesYesYesYes
FloodYesYesYesYesYesYesUnclearYesYesYesUnclearYesYesYes
FireYesYesYesYesYesYesYesYesYesYesUnclearYesYesYes
TheftYesYesYesYesYesYesYesYesYesYesYesYesYesYes
Malicious DamageYesYesYesYesYesYesUnclearYesYesYesYesUnclearYesYes
Agreed or Market ValueBothAgreedBothMarketBothLesser of either at time of claimAgreedMarketAgreedAgreedBothAgreedAgreedAgreed
Annexe CoverYesYesOptional ExtraOptional ExtraYesOptional ExtraYesOnly if stored in caravan. Optional Extra if in use.Optional ExtraOptional ExtraIf under 10 years oldYesYesIf under 5 years old
Motor FusionYesYesYesYesYesOptional ExtraYesYesNoNoYesOptional ExtraYesUnclear
Food Spoilage$300$500$500 with option to increase$500$1000$150Unknown$500$500$300$200$500$500Unknown
Choice of RepairerYesYesYesYesYesNoYesYesNoNoUnclearYesYesYes
Lay-Up Cover AvailableYesYesYesNoYesNoYesNoYesNoNoNoYesNo
Towing due to Mechanical or Electrical Breakdown$750 but where tow vehicle breaks down$600 for any one tow and $1000 for any two tows in any one insurance periodUnknown$1000 per tow and max 2 per yearUnknownUknownUnknownUnknownUnknownUnknownUnknownUnknownUnknownUnknown
Emergency Repairs $1000$500$1000$500$1000$1000$500$1000$1000$500$500$500$1000$500
Emergency AccommodationIf over 100km from home, up to $150 per day to max of $2500Up to $1000If over 100km from home, up to $150 per day to max of $1000If over 100km from home, up to $150 per day to max of 14 days & if less than 100km from home, max of 3 daysIf over 100km from home, up to $200 per day to max of $2000If over 100km from home, up to $1000If over 150km from home, up to $1000If over 100km from home, up to $150 per day to max of 14 days & if less than 100km from home, max of 3 daysIf over 100km from home, up to $100 per day to max of 7 daysIf over 100km from home, up to $100 per day to max of 7 daysUp to $400If over 100km from home, up to $100 per day to max of $1000If over 100km from home, up to $150 per day to max of $1000Up to $100 per day to max of 7 days
Contents Cover
* limits apply to certain items
Up to $1000 but can be increasedUp to $2000Up to $2000 but can be increased to $5000Up to $1000 but can be increasedUp to $5000Up to $1000 but can be increasedOptional ExtraUp to $1000 but can be increasedUp to $1000 but can be increasedUp to $1000 but can be increasedYes – amounts unknownUp to $1000 but can be increasedUp to $2000Up to $500 but can be increased
Windscreen/Glass ReplacementNo limit but standard excess applies.No limit with $200 excessUnknown$1000 – 1 per year with nil excessUnknownUnknownUnknownUnknownUnknownUnknownUnknownUnknownUnknownUnknown
Transport Home After Repairs – Caravan$2500Pay reasonable costsPay reasonable costsPay reasonable costsPay reasonable costsUnknown$750UnknownUnknownUnknown$400$500Pay reasonable costsUnknown

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