We might not face Mad Max scenarios as the world endures its hand-cart-ride south, but right now is a good time to rethink your caravan insurance
Okay, I am exaggerating, just a little. Still, with artistic licence, the possibility of a world with us locked behind gates capable of taking a hit from a semi-trailer to protect our valuables ain’t too far away. Click here
If I am being generous, insurance could be termed a mundane topic. And yet it deals with very dynamic issues. In simple terms: What was there is now either not there, or very bent. As a result, people closely connected with this situation are mightily vexed.
If you are appropriately insured then the eventualities are covered, but if you’re not, or not adequately protected, then it’s a total loss, and you either have to start again. Or give up.
And no-one wants that.
When it comes to a bicycle being nicked, it’s swallowable, but if your caravan or tow vehicle or both have gone touring without you, then it could derail a whole lot of your future plans.
In simple terms: What was there is now either not there, or very bent
Let’s look at the basics you might not have thought of. The ones that concern life now. In a climate of uncertainty, here are some facts.
In a time of instability and economic confusion, certain commodities become more valuable, and the easier they are to get hold of the better. It’s up to you not to provide an opportunity akin to leaving the keys in the ignition.
Right now, I’d reckon most of us need to keep track of every cent, and where spending it can do the most good.
OUR FIVE TOP TIPS
1 Most importantly, for owners of caravans or camper-trailers is that we cannot use them as intended due to travel restrictions from the coronavirus situation. So one way to reduce your premium would be to ask your insurer if they offer a laid-up cover option.
In simple terms, you can opt to state that the trailer is stored at your address, which then becomes the location insured, i.e. anything you claim for during laid-up cover must have happened at the address given. So if you feel like heading out during a period of laid-up cover, you need to tell your insurer because if something happens and you’re not where the trailer is recorded as being. Nil points! It’s worth noting what level of cover you’re offered, too.
2 If you’re currently budgeting, then while an annual policy amount might seem like a big hit, look at what paying by the month ends up amounting to – you may well receive a discount for the annual payment – again, ask.
3 Multi-policy discounts are a common way of saving money so if you’re looking at caravan or camper cover now, then shop for cover for it and your tow vehicle and see what savings can be made. Check if the discount offered applies to the caravan and the vehicle.
4 Find your towing training certificate. If you, or someone that tows your off-road caravan or camper-trailer, has completed towing training through a Registered Training Organisation (RTO), then that could score you further discounts.
5 Re-read the fine and the bold print. Check your existing policy because, like many of us, a renewal notice often gets despatched with the bills, and it’s highly likely that things that need to change don’t. Even your physical address if you’ve moved (with comms via email), but accessories you’ve added or removed could affect your premium’s total.
Think like the insurer and reduce all risk as far as possible
WHAT ELSE CAN I DO?
Back to the first scenario. It still pays to look around and see what might improve the security set-up at your address. No, you don’t need to booby-trap the place – you could see yourself on the wrong side of the law, and as just as it might seem with an intruder dangling in a net high above your caravan? Yeah, Nah, you can’t.
ACCESSORIES AND SECURITY TIPS
Only leave on what’s very hard or near impossible to remove. Add security nuts and bolts, or locks to everything else. If it can be lifted out of a ute’s tray, then it either needs proper security or for you to lock these items in the garage or shed. Check with your insurer to see if that’s subsequently covered by your home/contents insurance.
If you don’t have the giant Mad Max compound gates, have a look at how hard you could make it for thieves to take your van. Will you be taking your caravan or camper to dedicated storage? Read this first
Could your gates be locked?
Could you spend some time digging a hole in your drive to mount a security bollard in cement?
Have you considered an outdoor lighting set-up, and cameras? These days it’s an easy exercise to be wired up with WIFI or Bluetooth cameras so you can watch what’s going on in your yard while you queue for toilet roll.
Install a wheel clamp, and a hitch lock, one with an alarm such as the Kovix range, but there are others. While it’s difficult to stop a determined thief, what you’re looking for is a deterrent, something that means whoever is peering in your yard thinks twice about how long they’ll need to be there.
Be a responsible dog owner. The benefits speak for themselves!
What you need to do is think like the insurer and reduce all risk as far as possible. You can’t eliminate all risk; obviously, that’s the basis of insurance, but you can take stock of your set-up before someone takes your set-up, lock stock and barrel. Like I said, it might be mundane but right now is a good time to rethink your caravan insurance.
We’re grateful for the tips provided by Club 4X4 Insurance
Images Tim Scott
Thanks heaps to Movie Clips for the Mad Max clip.