19 January 2016
New RACV Insurance figures highlight the need for caravan holiday-makers to be alert and adequately prepared this summer.
The RACV data detailed 1,397 caravan-related insurance claims in 2014/15, with an average cost of $4,960. The most expensive claim paid by RACV was $72,400 for fire damage caused by a fat-laden frypan being left unattended on an active stove after the owner had returned from a trip.
RACV General Manager Insurance, Paul Northey said the causes of expensive repairs or replacement were diverse and frequently surprising. Incidents happened on the road, in caravan parks and often at home.
“The most common damage happened while caravans were being towed,” Mr Northey said. “Drivers should be aware of road and local weather conditions and adapt accordingly. And when they are towing they should anticipate the movement of other vehicles and be alert to potholes and hazards.
“There was also an exceptionally high number of incidents involving fallen branches or trees, particularly during storms. Owners should avoid parking caravans under trees or in areas subject to flash flooding.”
Most incidents did not involve another person or property. One caravan’s undercarriage was damaged when it was towed over a tyre and rim on the road, resulting in a $68,000 claim; another car was caught in a wind vacuum created by a passing truck and jack-knifed, causing $28,000 damage; and in a similar situation a driver lost control on a gravel road while avoiding a kangaroo and hit a fence and tree, leading to a claim for more than $17,000 damage.
The RACV figures showed that thieves continued to prey on caravans, with an increase of 25 per cent in the number of stolen caravans on the previous year. However, theft from caravans decreased.
“Thieves are opportunistic,” Mr Northey said. “It is important that caravan owners be careful to lock up and secure their caravan and contents, whether they are at home or on the road.”
“Caravanning is a wonderful pastime and leisure activity but owners must follow simple rules when towing, choosing a place to park and even when storing their caravan at home.”
“It is also important that drivers prepare their car and caravan before any long trip,” Mr Northey said. “Preparation should include ensuring appropriate insurance cover to help provide peace of mind.”
Please note RACV Caravan Insurance is issued by Insurance Manufacturers of Australia Pty. Limited ABN 93 004 208 084 Licence No. 227678. This is general advice only so to see if this product is right for you, consider your own circumstances and the Product Disclosure Statement which is available by calling 13 RACV (13 7228).