There are approximately 80,000 caravanners exploring Australian roads on any given day. If you’re one of them, Australia’s leading specialist caravan and RV insurer, CIL Insurance has provided the following tips to help you stay on track for a hassle-free getaway or journey of a lifetime:
CIL Insurance Manager Mr Chris Maccan said many CIL Insurance claims result from drivers losing control on the road.
“Manoeuvring a caravan or camper trailer is very different to driving a car or towing a trailer. It can be difficult, not only for newcomers but also for more experienced drivers,” he said.”
“To tow with safety and confidence there are some essential skills that need to be learned first.”
“There are many accredited education courses available to help caravanners learn about the relationship between a car and trailer.”
“It’s a good idea for at least two people in each travelling group to participate in these courses, to ensure you can reach the next town safely if the designated driver falls ill or for some reason is unable to drive.”
“In Australia, we generally have good caravanning weather conditions all year round,” Mr Maccan said. “However, summer can bring sudden storms and heavy rains, particularly up north, and icy roads, hail and strong winds can be common in winter.
“These extreme conditions can really impact on your holiday and the experience you have, as well as cause significant damage to caravans. “Before hitting the road at any time of the year, it’s a good idea to check whether your insurance policy covers hail, flood and storm damage, and that you’re covered Australia-wide.
“If severe weather strikes while you’re on the road, ensure you listen to the radio or watch the news for updates from emergency services.
“You may also consider downloading one of the many weather apps that allow you to track moving and changing weather conditions in real time on your Smartphone while you travel.
“Close all doors and windows to keep things watertight and minimise water damage. It’s also ideal to park away from overhanging trees and branches.
“After a storm or flood, check your caravan and contents for any damage, particularly around hatches, windows and behind curtains. If you find damage, call your insurance company to report it as soon as you can.
“To help with the processing of your claim, take photographs of any damage and keep receipts of any emergency costs like tarpaulins, minor repairs or temporary accommodation.”
Mr Maccan said a large percentage of CIL Insurance claims resulted from accidents that occurred while caravans were parked.
“Caravans and trailers can be difficult to park in towns and cities, so if you do decide to venture into busy areas, avoid parking on main streets as this may reduce the chances of being sideswiped by another car,” he said.
“It’s also a good idea to put the awning away and ensure the annexe is securely grounded in between trips. If bad weather threatens, place a weather resistant cover over the caravan to help prevent potential storm damage.”
“When you’re on an adventure, it can be easy to get lost in the moment and lose contact with people at home,” Mr Maccan said.
“However, because things can go wrong, it’s essential that you fully charge your mobile phone, laptop or iPad batteries regularly.
“Important phone numbers, including those of family members, emergency contacts, and your insurer should be saved and easily accessible on your phone.
“If you aren’t currently a member of any social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter or Instagram, consider joining prior to embarking on your trip. The family and friends you decide to connect with will be interested in seeing any beautiful photos of your holiday that you decide to post, and will have peace of mind knowing you are safe.
“You may also like to look into Smartphone apps like ‘Find My Friends’, which allow your loved ones to track where you are without you having to constantly check in whilst on holiday. It also contains good safety advice if required.”
Mr Maccan said that if the unthinkable happened while you were on the road, there was nothing worse than finding out your caravan insurance didn’t cover something that you thought it did.
“Nothing’s more important than protecting yourself and your family when on holidays,” he said.
“There are many caravan insurance products available, with varying degrees of cover.
“Make sure you do your research and look for a policy that covers your caravan or RV for storm, hail and flood damage, accidental and malicious damage, theft and attempted theft, fire and explosion, electrical motor burnout and legal and personal liability.
“Also look into whether your insurer will adequately cover the cost of alternative accommodation if something happens to your caravan, transportation in a medical emergency and the return of your caravan home.
“If you choose to insure your home-away-from-home with a specialist caravan insurer and something goes wrong, you will have the added bonus of dealing with experienced staff who assist caravanners on a daily basis and know caravans inside and out
“Once you’ve decided on an insurer, take your time to estimate the dollar value of the contents within your caravan and the level of cover you would like. Providing your insurer with a considered and realistic sum will ensure you are not left out of pocket if a theft occurs or an accident happens.”
Story courtesy of CIL Insurance. For further information, visit www.cilinsurance.com.au.