Ensure you insure

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Now that your rig is effectively your home, making sure it is properly insured is of absolutely crucial importance. However much you invested in your caravan or motorhome, you simply can’t afford to be without it now. A high quality insurance policy will make sure you are not financially crippled in case of accidents, theft, storm damage or even sudden illness.

Remember to shop around before selecting your policy and that many insurers offer discounts if you have several policies with them. So it may be worth sticking with the same firm that, for example, covers your house and contents.

Most caravan/motorhome policies provide coverage for contents so you can insure you stamp collection and your fishing gear, as well as your laptop and all those gemstones from your fossicking finds! A comprehensive policy will generally provide you with alternative accommodation if your van/motorhome is being repaired.

Some policies provide ‘market value’ coverage while others offer ‘agreed value’ coverage. Ensure that you understand exactly how your policy works and you know how your claim will be handled if something happens

Although the whole point of a caravan and motorhome is to travel in it, most insurance companies calculate your premium based, in part, on where your rig will be garaged. If you plan to keep your house on and eventually return to it to live, the address you provide the insurance company will be your home address. If you plan sell your house and travel indefinitely, you may have difficulties getting coverage from some insurers. Ask them if this is a problem or if providing them with contact details including some sort of c/o postal address will be sufficient to get a policy.

It is worth getting a few quotes from different sources to compare levels of coverage and premium prices.

Although every rig and situation is different, some useful caravan/motorhome insurance features to look for in a policy are:

  • Accidental damage, theft and attempted theft
  • Storm, hail and flood damage
  • Malicious damage, fire and explosion
  • Electrical motor burnout
  • Legal liability claims $10 million – $20 million
  • Returning your caravan to your home if your towing vehicle is involved in an accident and cannot be driven, or if for medical reasons you are unable to drive your towing vehicle
  • Alternative accommodation expenses if your caravan is not fit to live in following an accident or a loss
  • A new replacement caravan if it is a total loss in the first year of registration of the caravan
  • Contents cover
  • Special cover for higher valued effects such as portable electrical items, sporting equipment and personal computers
  • Authorised emergency repairs if your caravan cannot be towed after an accident
  • Reasonable costs to collect and deliver your caravan back to you following accident repairs, if the repairer is more than 100 kilometres from your home
  • Reasonable costs to remove and store your caravan after an accident if it cannot be towed

Comprehensive car insurance is also pretty much a must for long-term travellers. It is designed to cover your vehicle and its contents for a large number of eventualities. The cost of the policy is calculated on the year and make of the car, where the vehicle is garaged, and the age and driving record of the drivers. Many insurance companies offer discounts to ‘over 55’s’ and to those who take out more one policy with the company. Some companies even offer discounts to people who buy their policy online.

Remember to keep a copy of all your insurance policies with you and store the originals in a safe document storage location. Also, ensure you keep a record in your diary of when all policies expire so that you can make arrangements to renew them before they lapse. Then, keep your fingers crossed that you will never need to make a claim!

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