From tents to trailers: cover your camping

Did you know you can insure your tent? That’s right – from a one-person tent to a luxury campervan, there’s a policy to suit you.

As the holiday season gets underway, many of us are preparing our travel essentials; the right luggage, sun cream, bug spray, and other items to make sure we’re prepared for any and every situation! But do you know how the right insurance policy can save you from a major headache, should things not go to plan?

Camping holidays have always been popular, but the industry has boomed in recent years. In 2022 alone, the total number of UK camping and caravanning trips reached an estimated 16.7 million. What’s more, since the pandemic began, one in five British adults have been on a camping or caravan holiday, 4.5 million of whom were sleeping in a tent or caravan for the first time.

We’ve also seen major developments in the kinds of accommodation and vehicles available, and the various combinations of the two: from traditional tents, caravans and motorhomes to folding caravans, trailer tents and beyond.

As holidays evolve, so too does insurance… So, let’s unpack the different kinds of cover you may need this summer.

Can I insure my tent?

There’s nothing quite like getting away from the hassle of modern life by setting off on a camping getaway. Whether you prefer to pitch-up on a campsite, or head out into the great outdoors independently, adventure awaits!

But things can still go wrong and despite this, just 11% of campers take out insurance to protect themselves in case of disaster on their camping holiday.

While some tents may be relatively cheap to replace, others can cost into the thousands, and issues with your tent could even ruin a holiday. Plus, there’s the stress of handling an unexpected situation; whether your belongings are stolen, or a tent pole snaps, and suddenly you don’t know where you’ll be sleeping!

What many people don’t realise is that tent camping insurance doesn’t just protect your tent, but your contents and holiday too. So, even if the worst does happen and your tent is suddenly out of action, you can still enjoy your holiday.

How do I insure my touring caravan?

Unlike vehicle insurance, touring caravan insurance is not a legal requirement, and most vehicle insurance provides basic third-party cover for towing your caravan. However, this does not fully protect your caravan from theft or damage.

The summer is high season for caravan thefts. Add to this the potential for damage caused by natural hazards like hailstones or even damage done when your caravan is detached, it makes sense to protect your pride a joy, as it was likely a substantial investment.

That’s why caravan insurance covers you for more than just the caravan itself: your contents and equipment can be included too, plus personal injury, public liability, loss of use and accidental damage, theft and fire.

For even more tips, read our guide to touring caravan insurance.

Why insure your motorhomes or campervan?

You can tailor your motorhome insurance to suit your needs

Although both campervans and motorhomes can be included under campervan insurance, there are a few differences between the two. A campervan offers both transport and sleeping and living facilities, and differs from a caravan by being self-propelled, whereas a caravan is towed by another vehicle. Motorhomes are usually purpose-built and have clearly defined spaces for driving and living. Motorhomes are also usually larger and may come with extras such as an over-cab area with space for a double bed.

As both are motorised vehicles, it’s a legal requirement to have insurance for your motorhome or campervan. Just like motoring insurance, there are three insurance options to consider: third-party; third-party, fire and theft; and fully comprehensive. Beyond this, there are optional extras, which can help tailor the policy to fit your needs and lifestyle – making sure you’re a happy camper!

Your policy can vary depending on the level of cover you need, what type of motorhome or campervan you have, what distance you plan to travel, how many drivers you want included, and many more factors. Whether you want to take your motorhome out once a year, or every weekend, working with a specialist insurance provider means you can get a bespoke policy that works for you.

Buying a trailer tent, folding caravan or trailer?

Trailer tent insurance can protect your contents too

Another form of towable accommodation, trailer tents and folding caravans offer further flexibility for camping enthusiasts. A trailer tent refers to a canvas unit, which can be folded out and pegged down as you would do with a traditional tent. They can come with off-the-ground beds that fold out from the main trailer body.

Most folding caravans have a solid base and the bottom half of the side panels are solid. The roof and upper sides are usually made of a tent like material. This means that when the caravan is not in use it folds down to half of its hight to be towed or stored, and folded out again when in use to make a full sized unit.

Even though these can make fantastic options for your getaway, trailer tents and folding caravans are less secure than typical caravans and motorhomes, and much easier to hitch up and tow away. They also aren’t necessarily covered by your third-party liability when attached to your car. Therefore, having a good insurance policy is even more important. Insurance can cover your contents and equipment in addition to the unit itself, against theft, fire and accidental damage, so it’s a worthwhile investment.

Trailers can also be extremely useful if you love spending time outdoors, but if you want protection in the case of vandalism, weather or any other incident then you need separate cover, as these wouldn’t be included on your motor insurance. To make sure your trailer insurance remains valid, understand and stick to the special speed limits that apply to towing vehicles, and ensure your trailer has the proper lighting so you can communicate your movements to other motorists.

Don’t get stuck up a creek without a paddle!

We spoke with our specialist Leisure team in Redditch, who are experts in travel and leisure insurance. The team are all camping and caravanning enthusiasts, who understand what you need to enjoy your holiday, knowing that you’ll be taken care of if things get ‘in-tents’!

Stuart Craig, Head of Leisure, said: “Whatever unit you use for your camping or caravanning holiday it’s essential to speak with people who understand how you use it and exactly what sort of cover you need. Our websites can also provide you with quotes 24/7 and guide you through the process making getting the right cover an easy task.”

No matter how you choose to holiday, you can relax knowing Howden will help you find the right cover. Talk to our team or visit your local branch before setting off on your next adventure!

Sources: Mintel, The Guardian, The Camping and Caravanning Club

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