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What’s the difference between a caravan and a motorhome?

A caravan is typically defined as a vehicle that has been designed and equipped for living. It’s towed by a car or van and usually used for holiday breaks. 

As it’s towed by a vehicle that means on the road it is covered by your car insurance so caravan insurance isn’t compulsory.

That said, like home contents insurance, getting relevant quotes is worth considering - as your car insurance won't cover any damage to the caravan itself, or offer any protection at all once it's detached from your vehicle.

A caravan shouldn’t be confused with a motorhome or campervan. These vehicles are built on a truck or bus chassis. Specifically designed for self contained living, which people also use for travel. Unlike caravans, insurance for a motorhome is compulsory. 

Why would I need caravan insurance?

For caravan insurance, there’s usually a specialist insurance policy covering you, should something happen to your caravan while it’s moving attached to your vehicle, or static. 

For standard car insurance policies, you might find that the caravan is covered with third party cover, but this will only cover damage your caravan causes to other people's property and not if the caravan is stolen or damaged itself. 

If you do have an accident and it’s not your fault, you still can’t be sure that the other party involved will have sufficient cover to take care of your caravan.

What does caravan insurance cover?

When looking for quotes for your caravan insurance, you should look for cover that includes:

  • Accidental damage

  • Fire and theft 

  • Third party liability

As well as these specifics, you will usually be able to add on any additional needs that will cover extras like camping equipment. This may cost more, or require you to update your policy.

Different types of caravan insurance

The two different types of caravan insurance you might consider are:

  • Static caravan insurance: this applies when your caravan is stationary, parked on location permanently. Holiday parks might require you to have static insurance if you decide to station there. When it’s static, it’s most likely being used as a home, as opposed to for touring/holiday travel

  • Touring caravan insurance: this applies when you are actually actively moving your caravan by towing it behind a vehicle. You might find some standard car insurance policies cover you on a third party basis. To completely cover your caravan while driving it’s important to take out a separate policy

The type of policies that are available for caravan insurance

New for old - In the event that your caravan is damaged and can’t be repaired, or it’s stolen, then a new for old policy will cover you for a brand new or equivalent type of caravan.

This policy can also cover the possessions within the caravan, or any equipment that was inside.

Market value - A market value policy will pay for the cost of the caravan at the time of making a claim, based on one that is of a similar age and condition.

For older caravans this might be the only option available, but it’s worth looking into both.

Possible caravan insurance exclusions

  • Wear and tear damage

  • Not securing your vehicle, which results in the theft of your caravan

  • Using the caravan as a main home

  • Running a business from the caravan 

Other restrictions associated with the contents of the caravan might include, electronics, and cash. Check the details of the policy beforehand, to make sure that your needs are covered.

It’s important to consider the level of cover you need, so that you're accurately covered for every situation. 

Why would I need motorhomes insurance?

Having motorhome insurance insurance will mean that you, any passengers you’re carrying and the motorhome itself will be covered in the event of an accident or theft. 

It’s a legal requirement, like car insurance, to have motorhome or campervan insurance in the UK.

Just having standard car insurance is not acceptable for a motorhome. 

Ranging from small campervans to large motorhomes, vehicles are designed differently from a caravan, as they don’t need to be attached to another vehicle to move. They can provide a comfortable living space and are usually used as accommodation, to travel from place to place. 

The only time you don’t need motorhome insurance is if it’s declared off the road and is SORN.

Different types of motorhome insurance

The different types of motorhome insurance follow the types of car insurance:

  • Full comprehensive - Covers for accidental damage, fire and theft, damage or injury caused by a third party and vandalism

  • Third party fire and theft - Covers third party damage or injury which you’re responsible for, as well as damage which has been caused by fire and theft

  • Third party - This is the minimum level of cover required for driving a motorhome. It covers third party damage or injury only. So if you cause an accident whilst driving this will cover you if you are responsible

Some providers might allow you to extend your policy beyond the UK at an extra cost.

Frequently Asked Questions

How can I cut the cost of caravan insurance?

  • Make your caravan as secure as possible, such as using locks and alarms 

  • Secure your caravan in a safe place when not in use and whilst static 

  • Compare quotes on caravan insurance to find the provider who can take care of your needs at a reasonable price.

Can I take my caravan outside of the UK?

Provided you take out the appropriate caravan insurance cover, you should be able to take your car outside of the UK. It’s always a good idea to check first. 

Can I get insurance on my caravan if I live in it?

Yes, you can get insurance on your caravan if you live in it. 

You must mention this when you apply for your insurance, and you may find that the insurance you need is more specialist than usual. 

Does my home insurance cover my caravan?

It’s possible that your home insurance does or will cover some of your caravan’s possessions. Before taking out a policy, check with your current insurer to see what you already have.

Can others use my caravan?

You will need to check you policy or with your insurance company to find out whether your policy extends to friends and family borrowing your caravan.

In the event of an accident it’s worth getting a quote to see how much cover will cost, to give you that piece of mind if you planned to take out caravan insurance.

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