Should you buy a second-hand caravan or motorhome? How would it affect your insurance?

Whether you’re buying a touring caravan, a static caravan or a motorhome, you will be keen to make sure your insurance policy provides the appropriate cover for as little cost as possible.

With this in mind, can buying second-hand lead to a reduced premium?

What factors can affect caravan insurance?

The price of the caravan itself is one of the main factors in determining your premium, while the place where your caravan is stored (its location and security features), together with your claims history will also affect what you pay for your insurance. An older caravan costing £3,000 less than its newer equivalent, for example, could have a considerable impact on your insurance premium.

For new or nearly new caravans, many people choose New for Old replacement cover. This means that if the caravan is damaged beyond repair, it will be replaced with the most recent version of the same model. You can take out New for Old cover on touring caravans that are up to 15 years old, providing you insure your caravan at its new replacement value or no less than 90% of its replacement value. However, for a significant saving on your premium, you might prefer to take out Market Value cover, which will instead pay out what the caravan is worth at the time of the insured incident.

Alternatively, Agreed Value cover is another important policy to look out for. Essentially, whereas Market Value cover pays out for the caravan or motorhome’s value at the time, Agreed Value cover insures it for a pre-agreed value when you take out the policy. This is especially beneficial to second-hand owners as, when compared to Market Value, you will likely be compensated more in the event of a total loss because you agree the amount before further depreciation. With Club Care this is available on caravans bought from recognised dealers with receipts up to 7 years from date of purchase.

It’s also important to think about how secure your caravan is. Is it fitted with a tracking device, a wheel lock, and an alarm? Security measures like these will help to bring down your premium, as will safe and secure storage, in particular units stored on ‘Gold’ rated Cassoa sites.

What about motorhomes and campervans?

Insurance for motorhomes and campervans is different in that, whereas Caravan Insurance isn’t a legal requirement, Motorhome Insurance is compulsory: a caravan is towed by a car, whereas a motorhome is a motor vehicle in its own right. As a result, factors such as the driver’s job and driving history, the number of drivers on the policy, and how the motorhome is being used will all affect premiums.

However, some factors affecting Caravan Insurance also apply to motorhomes and campervans. This, again, applies to the storage location and security features, as well as the value of the vehicle itself.

Will buying used bring your insurance down?

Since the value of a caravan or motorhome has such an effect on the premium, buying used is an obvious way to save on both the vehicle and the insurance. However, this only applies when buying something of a certain size and specification. A second-hand large, luxury motorhome with a powerful engine, for example, might cost more to insure than a small campervan bought new.

Security measures are also important, and new caravans and motorhomes are often fitted with devices such as alarms. Buying a used model with no security devices could mean that you pay more for your insurance, so you could buy an alarm, an immobiliser, or a tracking device (or all of these) in order to make a saving on your premium. Would this saving be greater than the extra outlay on security?

What to look for when buying a used caravan

When buying a used caravan, looking for one in your price range that’s in good condition should be your goal. If you buy one that has been properly maintained, you might not only get it cheaper, but also make that significant saving on the insurance you’re looking for. However, when parts break and need repairing or replacing, you will find that your insurance policy doesn’t help: wear and tear, deterioration, and damage caused by processes such as rot and damp are excluded. Therefore it’s critical to find the right caravan if you’re buying used.

Make sure you run a CRiS (Central Registration and Identification Scheme) check, too. This will verify the make, model, and age of the caravan, and provide other details, such as whether it has previously been written off or been reported as stolen. You don’t want to buy a caravan and try to make a claim later on, only to discover that you can’t because the caravan belongs to the rightful owner’s insurer.

Choose a caravan fitted with security and safety devices, because your premium could be significantly reduced. Discounts are available through Club Care Insurance for a tracking device, as well as for factory-fitted alarms and wheel locks. Tyrepal, a tyre monitoring system that prevents blowouts, and Tyron safety bands, which secure the tyre to the wheel if there is a blowout, will also mean extra savings (look for Tyron stickers on the wheels).

What to look for when buying a used motorhome

Remember that motorhomes and campervans are motor vehicles, so when buying used, bear in mind that insurance premiums may be adversely affected by modifications (for instance, the “chipping” of the engine so as to increase its power). The best course of action is to look for motorhomes with standard, factory-fitted features.

However, as with caravans, extras that enhance safety and security will help to reduce your premium. Through Club Care, discounts for Tyron, Tyrepal and tracking systems also apply to motorhomes, so check that the model you’re buying has such items fitted. If your van also has a reversing sensor to prevent parking accidents, you could get a further discount.

Why not contact Club Care now to insure your second-hand caravan or motorhome?