With 4 days off and spring weather, families up and down the country will be hitting the roads on Easter weekend looking for a change of scenery. But is your vehicle, insurance, and breakdown cover ready?
Jo Thornton, The Daily Mail, reports:
Millions of families are set to hit the road for the big Easter getaway.
Many will dust down their caravan or motorhome for its first big outing of the year.
So, check your van or motorhome is road ready and fully covered to avoid disaster.
Ensure your caravan insurance is up to date and if the renewal is due soon, shop around for cover.
A brand new top of the range caravan can cost tens of thousands of pounds. So you will want to be adequately protected should you be involved in an incident on the road, at a caravan site or should your van attract the attention of thieves at a service station.
Hannah Maundrell, editor-in-chief of comparison website money.co.uk, says although caravan insurance is not a legal requirement, getting it covered will provide peace of mind.
She says: ‘The last thing you want while you are on holiday is the worry of a big repair bill. When you are towing something as large as a caravan, accidents do happen. Most claims are for accidental damage due to manoeuvring mishaps.’
When buying cover, check there are no restrictions on the age of the caravan, as some older models may not be covered. Your insurer will also usually insist the caravan has wheel locks and some form of security device or immobiliser fitted.
Other considerations are whether you will be covered on a ‘new for old’ basis – important if you have a brand new caravan – and what external and internal contents are included under the insurance.
Good policies should also include cover for personal liability and legal expenses. This will cover you in the event of a legal dispute over an incident, or for losses you incur due to another driver being uninsured.
Premiums vary depending on the age and value of your caravan and how many years no claims you have. If you are a member of a caravan club it will probably offer insurance discounts.
Cover for a new caravan worth £20,000 will cost about £420 a year or £36 a month with the Caravan and Motorhome Club. This includes legal expenses cover and contents up to £1,000. The excess – the first part of any claim which you would have to pay – is £100. It assumes at least four years no claims.
To get this cover you need to join the Caravan Club, which costs £49 per year. But membership entitles you to discounts off caravan site pitches, Sainsbury’s shopping, Eurotunnel and a range of ferry companies. Insurance for older and less expensive models will cost significantly less.
Insurance for your motorhome or campervan is similar to that of your car – a legal requirement. Switching insurer each year should keep costs down. Comparison websites can help you search for the best value policies.
Some insurers will ask how many years’ experience you have driving a motorhome and this could affect the premium. Again, being a club member could result in a price discount.
Comprehensive cover for a motorhome with annual mileage of about 10,000, and including trips to continental Europe for up to 30 days at a time, will cost £315 annually with insurer Staveley Head. The excess is £100.
Many car breakdown policies, including the AA, Axa Assistance and RAC, cover caravans automatically. This means that if your car breaks down they will also tow or recover your caravan – up to the limits of your policy. But size limits apply on the caravans covered so check the policy small print.
The Caravan and Motorhome Club offers annual breakdown cover in the UK under its Mayday policy from about £70. The RAC offers a specialist product with the Camping and Caravanning Club called Arrival from £125.
...and if you’re going abroad, check you are covered.
Holidaymakers driving to the Continent with a caravan or motorhome are being urged to check they are covered for all eventualities.
Ian Crowder, spokesman at the AA, said one holidaymaker drove his car and caravan down a ravine in France, badly damaging the caravan. Although the car was covered under his motor insurance, he had forgotten to tell his caravan insurer about the trip.
Check that your caravan or motorhome insurance covers you for trips to Europe – many do this as standard – but if not, extend your cover. Look also at the maximum trip length permitted if you are planning an extended stay. Many insurers impose a maximum limit.
For breakdown cover many policies can be extended to include overseas motoring. For example, the Caravan and Motorhome Club’s UK Mayday breakdown product can be extended via the Club’s European partner Red Pennant – and starts from about £50 for a single trip. Multi-trip cover is also available.
Ensuring your vehicle is set up and ready for a trip will help you have a safe and enjoyable journey. Getting the whole family together can be a challenge, so taking the necessary steps to sort out safe travel will save time and allow you to focus on having fun instead!