There are often special considerations for caravans, such as security requirements. When we look into these complaints, we’ll decide whether your insurer:
- should reconsider your claim
- should accept your claim
What is caravan and motorhome insurance?
Caravan insurance covers one of the 3 main types of caravan:
- Static caravans or mobile homes. These are caravans that are pitched at specific locations, such as campsites or caravan parks, often on a long-term or permanent basis.
- Touring caravans. These are towed by motor vehicles so can be taken to many destinations.
- Motorhomes, campervans or “motor caravans”. These are vehicles in their own right and are often built using a truck or van chassis. They may also be covered by standard motor insurance.
Caravans come in all shapes and sizes but normally have common features including living space and amenities such as cooking and sanitary facilities. You can read more on the minimum requirements for a vehicle to be classed as a motorhome on the gov.uk website.
Most caravan or motorhome insurance policies are designed to cover loss or damage caused by one or more of the following events:
- theft or attempted theft
- extreme weather
- accidental damage
- malicious damage
- third-party liability (but not as a result of you towing your caravan, as that will be covered by your motor insurer, provided you’ve made sure your policy provides cover for towing)
Some policies also include insurance for additional items, such as bicycles or fridges.
Types of complaint we see
You may decide to complain about your insurer because:
- they haven’t dealt with your claim correctly
- your claim has been wrongly rejected
- the claim settlement you’ve been offered isn’t fair
- the standard of repairs made to your caravan is poor
What we look at
We’ll listen to what both you and your insurer have to say to find out what happened. We might ask for evidence like:
- police reports
- registration documents
- visual evidence, such as photographs
- the policy terms and conditions – and whether any significant or unusual terms were made clear to you
- any conflicts between the policy summary and the policy wording
We’ll also look at if there were any significant or unusual exclusions in your policy and if these were pointed out to you when you bought the policy.
Complaint that a claim should not have been rejected
You may have made a claim on your caravan insurance that you think has been wrongly rejected. In these types of complaint, we’ll look at whether:
- you were the owner of the vehicle, or had an “insurable interest” in the vehicle and its contents
- there was loss or damage to the vehicle, and if this was caused by an insured event
- any security conditions have been breached – and if these were made clear when you bought the policy
- there were any significant or unusual terms and conditions in your policy and whether these were drawn to your attention when you bought the policy
- disputes about ownership and “insurable interest”
Complaints about the settlement offered
Most caravan insurance policies are based on “indemnity”. This means that in the event of a valid claim, your insurer has to put you in the position you were in before the loss or damage. They can do this by:
- arranging the repairs
- replacing the items
- offering a cash settlement
However, if you have a “new for old” policy, you’ll get a new caravan or motorhome for the lost or damaged one if it’s been written off.
If your insurer offered you a cash settlement instead of repairs, we’ll check that this was in line with the policy terms. If it was, we’ll ask both sides for estimates for the cost of repairs to make sure the amount offered was fair.
If your caravan or motorhome is treated as a write-off, we’ll use specialist trade guides to work out the correct market value. However, this can be difficult as not all trade guides offer valuations for caravans, so we’d expect your insurer to provide additional information or evidence to show how they got to that valuation.
Read more on our approach to vehicle valuation.
Complaints about repairs
You might be unhappy about the standard of the repairs, or how long they’ve taken.
Caravan and motorhome often require more specialised repairs, and depending on the damage, these can take longer than for other motor vehicles.
If your insurer arranged to repair the damage, we’d expect them to have made sure that the repairs were done to a good standard and in a reasonable time.
We’ll look at photographic and expert evidence, as well as your statements, and decide whether we think the repairs were satisfactory.
Read more about vehicle repairs.
How to complain
Talk to your insurer first so that they have the chance to put things right. They need to give you their final response within eight weeks. If you’re unhappy with their response, or if they don’t respond, let us know.
Bringing a complaint to us is straightforward and won’t cost you anything. We’ll check your complaint is something we can deal with, and if it is, we’ll investigate.
Find out more about how to complain.
Putting things right
If we decide you’ve been treated unfairly, or the business made a mistake, we’ll ask them to put things right. Our general approach is that you should be put back in the position they would have been in if the problem hadn’t happened. We may also ask the business to compensate you for any distress or inconvenience you’ve experienced as a result of the problem.
For example, if we think your claim has been wrongly rejected, we’ll tell your insurer to meet the claim.
If we decide the cash settlement you’ve been offered wasn’t fair, we’ll tell your insurer to compensate you with the correct amount.
We may decide your policy was mis-sold because you weren’t made aware of the security requirements or another significant exclusion or limitation. In this case, we’ll consider what would happened if the term had been bought to your attention as closely as possible in the position you would have been in.
People don’t normally use caravans or motorhomes all the time. So if you’ve been unable to use your vehicle because of the complaint, we’ll consider how this affected you. For example, you may had to pay to hire a replacement vehicle for a planned trip. We may consider an award to reflect this, as well as compensation for any poor service you may had.
Read more on our approach to compensation.
Mis-matched repairs after caravan damage
Information for financial businesses
If you’re a business looking for information to help you resolve complaints or want to find out more technical information, you can find more detail about caravan and motorhome insurance in the business section of our website.