What RV Insurance Cover Should I Look For?
When considering the best insurance cover for your caravan, camper trailer, campervan, motorhome or RV it is important you have a clear understanding what is covered under your insurance policy/ies. Before taking out insurance cover phone a few insurers and ask them to post out their policy details to you or view their Product Disclosure Statement on the company’s website.
To assess the premium they will apply, RV insurers will generally ask you three things :
– the amount you want to insure your caravan, trailer or RV for and any modifications
– if you require insurance cover for your annex
– the amount of insurance cover for the contents of the RV
For example, a number of insurers do not cover the annex portion of your caravan or trailer whilst erected. This includes any contents within the annex. They will cover anything fixed within the caravan or RV such as the microwave or refrigerator, and loss or damage to the annex say when it is locked in the caravan or RV and not in use. The awning fixed to a caravan, trailer or RV is generally covered as part of the RV itself. A number of insurers limit the amount of contents cover to $1000 or $2000 but will increase this cover subject to payment of an additional premium.
Things To Consider –
Do you want an ‘Agreed’ value or ‘Market’ value policy? Policy premiums will vary depending on the type of policy you desire, the amount of cover and the ‘ancillary’ cover you may want to cover things such as the annex, bicycles, laptops, cameras and the like. Generally items fixed within the caravan, trailer or RV such as the microwave or refrigerator are considered to be part of the overall RV cover. Items not fixed such as laptops, TV’s, outside tables and chairs, BBQ’s and the like will need to be covered under ‘contents’. Some companies will also offer multi-policy discounts and a ‘No Claim Bonus’ discount, therefore the insurer you may have for your home buildings, home contents and motor vehicle may also provide cover for your caravan or trailer at a premium that is hard to beat with a ‘stand alone’ single policy taken out with another insurer just for the RV.
Fees – fees may apply to cancellation of policies. Pay the premium by the month facility – although this method of paying the insurance premium sounds attractive check to make sure you are not paying a fee for this option. Some insurers levy about $5 per month on top of your monthly premium.
How much excess applies? – the excess is the amount you pay towards the cost of a claim. For example some policies have a basic excess of $200 plus an additional $200 for any hail or cyclone damage. You pay the excess and the insurance company pays the balance of the claim.
Consider having the insurance policy in joint names – in the event of illness or an accident to one of you, this will allow for the other policy holder to discuss issues with the insurance company. It is a good idea to take the insurance policy with you when travelling.
When choosing insurance for your RV you should consider the following:-
- damage or total loss of your registered tow vehicle and caravan, trailer, motorhome or campervan
- comprehensive flood damage
- alternative accommodation expenses – some insurers may be ‘capped’ to say $100 per day up to $2,000. Keep receipts.
- hire of a placement vehicle – may specify a daily rate but may be ‘capped’ say to a max $1,500. Once gain, you need to keep all receipts.
- in event of total loss, transport of recoverable items back home – may be ‘capped’ eg. $500
- repatriation costs, including that of the vehicle, to home following an inability to travel due to an unexpected medical emergency or injury.
- fusion of electrical motors loss or damage (as a result of the event) to food that cannot be eaten – may be ‘capped’ eg. $300
- third party property damage in case your RV damages another person’s property. Third party liability should also cover you for medical and legal costs in the event of death or injury to a third party
- policies often only provide a limited amount of cover for the contents of an RV. You may need to consider paying an additional premium to increase the contents cover. Some insurers will cover items on your home contents policy and you pay an additional premium for taking them away from the home (eg: cameras, bicycles, BBQ)
- towing or salvage of the RV – some policies say ‘reasonable cost’ to collect and deliver but do not disclose what the ‘reasonable cost’ $value is. If you travel in remote areas and require salvage the costs could be very high
- Storage – until repairs can be done. NOTE: Storage costs are not paid after your claim has been settled
- Check the company offers 24 hour, 7 days a week cover and assistance
- If you are to travel in all states and territories look for a company that offers nation-wide breakdown assistance
- If your RV is large or very heavy check the insurer will arrange retrieval. If necessary take out extra cover for this
- In the event of a claim make sure you have kept purchase receipts or other proof of ownership of the RV and items
- Make sure you include any modifications, options or accessories
- Read the ‘Exclusions’ part of the policy carefully to see what insurers will not pay for
The insurance policy will list things you should do in the event of an accident or if your RV is stolen. (See article – Security – Preventing Theft of RV) Before having any damage repaired check with your insurer to see if they nominate a specific repairer or if they have a list of recommended repairers. They may wish to send out an assessor before authorising the repairs.
In the event of a complaint relating to a claim, insurers have a customer relations unit to assist customers resolve any complaints but if that fails you can contact the Insurance Ombudsman Service – 1300 780 808.