Picking up your new camper trailer conjures up all kinds of emotions: excitement, happiness, anticipation, and - more than likely - a few nerves. But before you hitch your new rig up and drive off into the sunset, it’s important to be sure you’ve got your camper insured correctly.
There are lots of companies offering insurance to new owners, but with factors like where you keep your camper or how you travel with your camper having the ability to affect your policy, it’s easy to get confused. And if one thing’s for sure, you don’t want to be left high and dry if anything happens to your rig.
PICKING A CAMPER TRAILER INSURANCE POLICY
The main thing to remember when shopping around for a policy is that not all policies are the same. If you're involved in an accident or your camper and/or the contents are stolen, the type of policy you purchase is far more important than whether or not you save $20 per month on the premium.
An understanding of the following points will go a long way in securing the policy that best suits you and your rig though.
Almost every policy encompasses ‘comprehensive cover’ which basically includes loss or damage of the camper, legal liability, contents cover and additional benefits for towing, accommodation and emergency expenses. But every policy approaches each aspect of the policy differently, and on top of your yearly cost, there are also excess fees associated with making a claim. These too differ depending on the policy and the type of damage/loss. If you look at the policy brochure or product disclosure statement, it should describe these parts of the policy in greater detail.
The best way to approach shopping for a policy is to make a list of your camper’s amenities (kitchen, fridge, generators, etc.), the canvas, the annexes and all the contents you typically travel with. When you gather quotes, ask the customer service rep how they handle your type of camper and the type of contents, and make sure this works in your favour, not theirs.
A major area where policies seem to differ is in regards to contents - and how each insurance company defines content. Some only define contents as the stuff inside your camper including linens, flatware, dishes, pots and pans. Other companies will not cover anything electronic, such as cameras, TVs, computers or radios, whereas some will. Some policies even suggest that all expensive contents be listed in your homeowners’ insurance policy and not covered by the camper policy at all. Another policy had different amounts they pay for the contents unless you take out additional insurance and list each item and its value.
Be sure to also find out things like whether or not contents are covered if they are in the annexe, and if the annexe or camper needs to show signs of forcible entry.
Depreciation is insurance lingo for market value based on the idea that with age and use, your camper will lose value. In the instance of camper trailers, they tend not to lose their value as quickly as cars, but it’s still imperative to understand how your insurer will handle this.
Many insurance companies agree that campers depreciate in value at 5% per year (which seems to be the industry standard), but if your camper is still in great condition, they may agree to waive the 5%.
Insurance companies won’t always reimburse you for market value (what it would cost to replace your camper in your local area) though, so it might be a good idea to go with a company who really understand how campers depreciate.
CAMPER TRAILER INSURANCE COMPANIES
As we’ve mentioned above, how and what you’re covered for should be the main focus when researching insurance options. If you’re involved in an accident, the last thing you want to deal with is a confused customer service representative, so we recommend sticking with some of these experts:
Since 1962, CIL Insurance has covered the insurance needs of the camper industry. They also offer a range of insurance products for caravans, campers, and motorhomes. CIL offers a really great product designed to cover camper owners.
Formed by a group of 4x4 enthusiasts, Club 4x4 is a specialist insurance provider for those who enjoy getting off the beaten track. With options to insure your camper trailer, it also offers defined coverage for your accessories, modifications and portable gear.
It’s a good idea to consider what type of coverage your local automobile association has on offer. The RACV may not specialise in campers, but they do offer a pretty good policy.