Caravan insurance claim problems & how to avoid them
Caravanning is an adventure that many people enjoy with their loved ones. It offers the freedom and flexibility to travel around the country at your own pace and stop wherever you please. However, caravan ownership comes with a set of responsibilities, including insurance and with that can come caravan insurance claim problems.
Good caravan insurance protects your investment and ensures that you are not liable for any damages or injuries that occur during your travels. In addition, it gives you a safety net that provides a sense of security wherever you travel. That being said, making a claim can be a nightmare if you're unprepared so we'll cover some common caravan insurance claim problems and how to avoid them.
Some of the issues we will discuss are:
- What you can claim on caravan insurance
- Are caravan water leaks covered by insurancee?
- What does comprehensive caravan insurance cover?
- Does insurance cover towing?
- Insurance claim rejection
- Breaching policy conditions
- Unreported modifications
- Lack of maintenance
When considering what you can claim on insurance, you need to be aware of the inclusions and exclusions for your policy. These will be outlined in your PDS (product disclosure statement) which comes with your policy or policy renewal. You are given this document when you first get insurance and generally with each renewal.
It is important that you thoroughly read this document so that you can be aware of exactly what is covered. Generally speaking, external damage caused by weather events or collision with a vehicle or object is covered.
Again you will need to read your PDS to be aware of whether your van is covered for water intrusion but a word of advice is for you to ensure that the seals on your van are regularly checked by an authorised caravan insurance repairs service centre. Make sure you keep invoices from the regular services done to your van as they will likely count towards a claim being accepted or rejected.
Check your PDS to make sure that you are covered for things like:
- Canvas intrusion if your van is a pop-top or campervan. Branches or other sharp objects can intrude and cut through the canvas.
- Emergency repairs to get you back on the road quickly
- Alternative accommodation if needed when and where broken down
- Are the contents of your van insured under your policy? Things like your batteries and accessories, personal effects and valuables, food deterioration in the event of fridge failure etc.
- At fault accidents
- Are accessories like air conditioning and other add-on accessories covered?
- Does the cover apply all over Australia?
- Does your cover allow a no-claim bonus for the next premium due?
- What compulsory and voluntary excesses apply and do they reduce the premium?
- Are repairs guaranteed and for how long?
- Is shipping included if you have a breakdown in the middle of Australia and need to get your caravan home for repairs?
As policies differ greatly between insurers you need to be aware of whether your policy with your insurer includes things like:
- Towing of your van back to your home base if needed or if your tow tug breaks down
- Cover if your van is towed by another vehicle
- Limits of distance that your van might be towed if any
- Alternative accommodation if necessary where breakdown occurs
One of the most common caravan insurance claim problems is claim rejection. Unfortunately, insurers may reject claims for several reasons such as:
- Incomplete or inaccurate information
- Failure to report damages promptly
- Lack of evidence to justify claim including video or photographic evidence, police reports
- Lack of regular maintenance of the caravan
- Failure to pay the premium on time
- Exceeding maximum tow weight or breaches of gas or electrical specifications of van
- Undeclared modifications to the van
To avoid claim rejection, read your insurance policy carefully and ensure that you understand all the terms and conditions. Make sure to report any accident or damage to the insurer as soon as possible and provide all the relevant information, including photos or videos. If possible, get witness statements or police reports to support your claim.
Underinsurance is another caravan insurance claim problem that can ruin your trip. This occurs when you don't have enough cover to replace your caravan or its contents in the event of theft, loss, or damage. Ensure that you have adequate coverage by accurately calculating the value of your caravan and its contents.
You can research the true value of your van by looking at used caravans for sale in the private and business fields or looking up sites like Caravan Camping Sales or other similar helpful references. Don't forget to include any modifications and accessories, as they can significantly affect the value. If you're unsure, speak to your insurer or a caravan insurance repairs specialist for guidance.
Your caravan insurance policy has terms and conditions that you must comply with to avoid claim rejection. The most common breach is failure to secure your caravan properly, leading to theft or damage while unattended. Make sure that you follow the security requirements as stated in your policy, such as fitting a tracker, wheel locks, or hitch locks.
Checking your policy for security requirements for your van makes sense and failure to comply with these requirements can result in claim rejection. Be aware that insurance companies can vary their policy conditions at times so keep abreast of any changes you are made aware of.
Modifications to your caravan can be an excellent way to improve your comfort and convenience, but they can also affect your insurance coverage. Failing to report modifications, such as installing solar panels or another water tank, can invalidate your policy.
Ensure that you declare any modifications to your insurer and check if they affect your coverage or premiums. If you're unsure, seek advice from a caravan insurance repairs specialist or your insurance company.
Finally, failing to maintain your caravan can also cause insurance claim problems. Poor maintenance can lead to damages and repairs, which may be expensive and not covered by your policy if they're deemed to be avoidable.
Ensure that you keep up with your caravan's maintenance, such as servicing, cleaning, and repairs. Inspect your caravan regularly for signs of wear and tear, and address them promptly. It is a good idea to get your van serviced by a quality caravan insurance repairs specialist prior to undertaking a trip that involves quite some distance.
Remember to keep invoices and other documentation related to servicing as proof of the fact that you have the van regularly serviced and maintained. These documents can aid the likelihood of your insurance claim if you are making one, to be approved. This can also help prevent accidents and damages and ensure that your policy remains valid.
Caravan insurance claim problems can ruin your trip and be a source of ongoing stress and inconvenience. However, most of these can be avoided by taking the necessary precautions and ensuring that you comply with your policy's terms and conditions.
Be vigilant and proactive and seek guidance from caravan insurance specialists if needed. Remember, insurance coverage is there to protect you and your investment and act as a safety net for you and your family, so don't take it for granted. Enjoy your travels with your loved ones, knowing that you're adequately covered and prepared for any eventualities.