Having insurance is essential. It gives you peace of mind just in case of an accident or having your caravan stolen or damaged.
Caravan insurance is one of the most important things to remember to arrange once you have purchased a caravan. You wouldn't want your new pride and joy going missing before you have even had a chance to use it?! After all, we pay for our house, pet, car and health to be covered, so why not our caravan?
Make sure you choose wisely and always shop around for the best price, offers and deals. There are many companies out there offering different discounts. ALWAYS read the small print as you may think that you are covered for something only to find out you are not when it's too late.
Before choosing, it is probably wise to make a note of exactly what you need cover for.
Firstly the caravan itself. You will need to give the company the make, model and value of your caravan. Most offer new for old but this is dependent on the age of your caravan. Basically new for old means that the insurer should give you the current market value of a new model of your caravan. If you cannot get new for old because of the age of your caravan, you may find that it might cost more to insure because of it's age. However, most companies offer good discounts if you have fitted security devices to your caravan - the more the better! Ask the company which devices need to be fitted to get a discounted rate.
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Don't assume that just because you have taken out immediate cover you are OK. You will find more often than not that there will always be something that is not covered. Accidental damage, storm and flood damage is often missing on basic policies.
Contents cover is a must-have. Don't assume that just because you shut all your windows and lock your door when you go out that your contents inside the caravan are safe. More often than not they probably are, but there is always a risk that they will not be. Check carefully what you need to cover and also check what your household insurance already covers as you may find that some items are already in which case there is no point in paying to cover them again.
If you're thinking about taking a trip in a caravan, make sure you have breakdown cover. PetrolPrices.com have compared all the leading breakdown providers by both price and policy details so that you can find the right level of breakdown cover suited to your trip.
Taking out an excess on your policy will lower the annual cost. The more excess you are prepared to pay, the more your premium will be reduced.
Make sure you read your policy very thoroughly and if you are not sure of something, ask the insurance company to explain it. Also, read the exclusions and only take out a policy when you are completely sure that it is the right one for your needs. Always compare caravan insurance quotes before you buy.
One final note, always remember to follow your policy requirements. Always fit any security devices because if your caravan ever gets stolen or broken into and you have not fitted the security devices stated on your policy, or that you forget to switch on your alarm or tracking device, you might find that you have invalidated your insurance terms and will end up out of pocket.
A touring caravan is like having your own hotel on wheels; a comfortable bed and roof over your head whenever you need it and, if you get the right travelling partner, you can even enjoy 24/7 room service!
Pack it up with life’s holiday essentials (as well as lots of little things you don’t really need but that might be useful) and make sure you have the right caravan insurance cover for your needs from a specialist caravan insurer. You’ll then be all set to head off - the only question is, where to go first?
For inspiration, here’s a look at four classic destinations, which may have a little more on offer than you first thought.
England’s wild western county has lost none of its charm, with something to offer every type of holidaymaker.
Thrill seekers can make their way to Newquay to squeeze into a wetsuit and try their hand at surfing; hikers and mountain bikers can go in search of an elusive giant cat on Bodmin Moor, while those seeking stunning scenery will be in their element with the dramatic cliffs of the Lizard Peninsula and the mysterious standing stones of West Penwith.
If you prefer a more sedate kind of holiday you won’t be disappointed either. From the giant greenhouses of the Eden Project to the giant rhododendrons of Trebah, Cornwall is home to some of Britain’s most jaw-dropping gardens, while St Ives is a haven for art lovers and the extravagant estates of Cotehele and Lanhydrock will please history buffs.
Food lovers will also find Cornwall offers an embarrassment of riches. The county is not only loved by celebrity chefs – with Rick Stein’s numerous eateries in Padstow and Jamie Oliver’s Fifteen Cornwall in Watergate Bay – but yields exquisite local fare such as oysters from the River Helford, home grown British wine from the Camel Valley, fresh fish and of course, the legendary Cornish pasty.
Caravanners can take their pick from a wide range of sites including the child-friendly Tollgate Farm Touring Park (near Perranporth on the north coast, Padstow Touring Park or the family-run Kelynack Caravan and Camping Park near St Just.
While its southwest neighbours Cornwall and Devon often hog much of the limelight, Dorset is a county that should not be ignored.
Dorset’s coastline is its big draw – from the 185 million-year-old Jurassic Coast, to impressive stone stacks such as Durdle Door to quaint villages such as Lulworth Cove and Lyme Regis, to the Georgian seaside town of Weymouth, host of the sailing events of the 2012 Olympics.
Eating high tea at the Portland Heights Hotel while looking down on the view across the giant pebble ridge of Chesil Beach is an experience that epitomises the typical English holiday. And there is plenty more on offer further inland, with charming towns such as Sherborne and Dorchester, the romantically ruined Corfe Castle and the cheeky Cerne Giant.
Stay at Lulworth’s Durdle Door Holiday Park, with its incredible sea views, Beacon Hill on the outskirts of sophisticated town of Poole, or the Warmwell Caravan Park near Dorchester.
Superlatives seem to spring to mind while describing the Lake District. England’s largest national park contains its highest mountain – Skafell Pike – and its deepest lake – Wastwater.
The lakes is a climbers’ paradise, with many flocking to this region to see some of the most dramatic landscape England has to offer, and some making an obsession out of ‘bagging’ every one of the 358 fells listed by Alfred Wainwright – from advanced peaks such as Helvellyn and Skiddaw to gentler slops like Humphrey Head and Raven’s Barrow.
Non-walkers may prefer to take to the water, with opportunities such as sailing, water skiing, kayaking or windsurfing available on many of the lakes. Those who’d prefer to let others do all the hard work may prefer to take a pleasure cruise, such as on the Ullswater Steamer.
For an even gentler alternative, visitors can delve into the region’s rich literary history at Dove Cottage and the Wordsworth Museum and Art Gallery off the A591 near Grasmere.
Those looking to replenish calories they’ve burned while hiking across the fells could treat themselves to a meal in one of the area’s many excellent eateries, such as the Drunken Duck Inn and Restaurant at Barngates, which contains a bar selling beer brewed on site, or the Michelin-starred Gilpin Lodge in Windermere. Visitors are advised to book in advance.
Caravanners should head to the 130-acre family park of Skelwith Fold (just over a mile outside Ambleside, Park Foot, which offers a private beach on Lake Ullswater, or Hill of Oaks Lodge and Caravan Park set amid ancient woodland along a mile of Lake Windermere’s shoreline.
The Harry Potter films and an ambitious marketing campaign may have done their bit to put Northumberland on the tourist map, but this still remains one of the most tragically overlooked counties in England, particularly by those who rush through it on their way up the A1 to Scotland.
This hidden gem is a haven for walkers, with the beautiful Cheviot Hills and St Cuthbert’s Way, as well as unspoilt beaches at Bamburgh and Cocklawburn. Nature lovers should take the short boat trip from the port of Seahouses to the Farne Islands, where close encounters with seals and puffins are guaranteed.
Fans of a certain young magician will be familiar with Alnwick Castle, which was used for interior and exterior shots of Hogwarts School, but this once volatile border region is brimming with history.
The countryside is littered with ancient battlefields, while the stunning tidal island of Lindisfarne is the only place in the UK where three castles can be seen in the same view. And at the stately home of Cragside, visitors can wander around the first building in the world to be lit using hydroelectric power.
Caravanners should head to the Border Forest Park, well within the Northumberland National Park in Otterburn, the Seafield Caravan Park in Seahouses or the Demesne Farm Campsite and Bunkhouse near Bellingham.
And of course, the journey doesn’t just end there. The beauty of caravanning is its lack of limitations. If you have half-decent sea legs and are able to make it to Holyhead, Liverpool or Stranraer, then Ireland is only a short hop away.
And of course, if you can get to Dover, Hull or Portsmouth then it’s only a short ferry ride to reach all the delights that Continental Europe has to offer. But that is another adventure altogether...
Rooms with a View: Bristol's Rooftop Caravans Get the Go-Ahead
Getting a room with a view when we head off on holiday is always a bonus, but the owners of a guesthouse in Bristol have ensured that each one of their newest rooms has stunning scenery – by placing four vintage American-style caravans on the roof.
The owners of the Brooks Guesthouse in the heart of the city already enjoy running one of Bristol’s most popular places to stay, and after being given the go-ahead for their latest project, demand is surely set to go, literally, through the roof.
If all goes to plan the four 1950’s airstream caravans, which the couple are importing from the USA, will be placed on the flat concrete roof of their guesthouse and be ready for their first guests by the autumn.
A Comfortable Stay Each of the caravans will be modified for maximum comfort with the help of local artists and craftsmen. What’s more, the owners of the Brooks Guesthouse are even adding a garden to the rooftop, for the most authentic outdoor caravanning experience you could find in the centre of a city!
However, until the new rooftop rooms open at the Brooks Guesthouse, don’t forget to make sure that your own caravan is cared for with a tailor-made touring caravan insurance policy from Look Touring Caravan Insurance.