From thefts to close encounters with low hanging branches, anything can happen when you are off exploring in your recreational vehicle.
Shield Total Insurance has produced its ‘Top Five Tourer Terrors’ based on the most common claims made by caravan insurance customers.
1. Damage to caravans accounted for a whopping 32 percent of all claims made by Shield caravanners.
A quarter of these were solely due to window damage. Caravan windows are typically made from a lightweight acrylic, which has many benefits such as superior insulating properties. However, the drawback is that they scratch easily.
Shield suggests exercising caution when towing down narrow roads and lanes as overhanging bushes and trees can cause scratches and damage to windows. A towing protector cover is a good investment. It covers the front section of your caravan and can prevent stone chips to the front window and panels, especially when towing on motorways where this type of damage is most likely to occur.
Final checks can seem a pain when you are keen to get on the road but should not be avoided.
To avoid window blowouts make sure you double check that all windows are closed before setting off. A plastic side window being even slightly open can cause a crack or blowout due to wind pressure!
2. Second on our list, accounting for 27 percent, is impact-related claims. No matter how cautious you are, impact damage is still high on the claims scale.
You can never be too careful when maneuvering your caravan; take your time and plan your journey, arriving in daylight reduces the chance of accidentally damaging your unit.
The weather and its effects were responsible for 13 percent of claims made to Shield; 5 percent were due to flooding alone.
When choosing a camping site think about flood avoidance and consider your proximity to water, such as the sea, lakes, or rivers. You may get to enjoy a beautiful waterside vista, but this increases the risk of flood damage if the water level was to rapidly rise. Shield recommends pitching on higher ground and looking for areas with good water drainage. Be vigilant – look at weather reports and flood warnings and stay safe.
4. Theft accounted for 9 percent of all claims. Most people feel that possessions are safest where they can “keep an eye on them” however a massive 57 percent of last year’s caravan thefts occurred from home.
Take the time and appropriate precautions to properly secure your caravan and the contents within it, even when it’s on your driveway. 27 percent of all caravan thefts occurred from non-CaSSOA (Caravan Storage Site Owner’s Association) storage sites, in comparison to only 3 percent of thefts from CaSSOA storage sites.
Stuart Craig, of Shield Total Insurance, says “With only 3 percent of all caravan thefts occurring from CaSSOA sites, statistically these sites are the most secure places to store your caravan.”
11 percent of all thefts were reported from farm storage and 2 percent of caravans were stolen while on holiday.
Says Stuart; “With theft hotspots occurring predominantly in the West Midlands and North West of England, considering not only the type of storage but also its geographical location could statistically lower the chance of theft.”
5. Road accidents and wheel-related claims share fifth place in Shield’s Top Five, with 8 percent each.
Road accidents as a result of snaking and crashing were the most common making up 40 percent of the claims in the category, with detachment at around 20 percent.
Says Stuart: “Remember the 85 percent rule; don’t overload your vehicle and distribute weight evenly, placing heavy objects over the axles and securing them so they don’t move around during the journey. Drive with caution and reduce your speed.”
Burst tires and wheel detachment were the most common form of wheel-related claims. With accessories available that monitor tire pressure and temperature even on the move, plus regular servicing and tire inspection, burst tires can easily be avoided.
With the average cost of a caravan insurance claim coming in at around 16 times the cost of an annual caravan insurance policy, it pays to take out coverage.
Stuart says, “Only 1 percent of all claims made in 2011 were attributed to a third party so taking out adequate caravan insurance cover will protect your investment and could save you cash in the long run.”
Statistics were gathered from Shield’s Claims department from January to December 2011.
Shield Total Insurance
Shield Total Insurance is a trading name of Vantage Insurance Services Limited (VISL). VISL is a subsidiary of Vantage Holdings Ltd.
Address: Juniper House, Warley Business Park, Great Warley, Brentwood, CM13 3BE
Phone: 08448 474 474
Shoot for the moon, Even if you miss it you will land among the stars.