Safety devices and their impact on your caravan insurance
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Towing a caravan can be a stressful experience, so it's no surprise that most people want to make their caravans as safe as possible when they travel. There are numerous safety devices available which can contribute to making your journey a safer one.
Although these devices will not be able to prevent accidents from occurring altogether, they can help you combat difficult situations and reduce the impact when they do.
Safety devices can also have a positive impact on your insurance. When you purchase a safety device, you are letting your insurer know that you care about your asset at the same time as decreasing your likelihood of having an accident, and this is often rewarded with a cheaper premium. Below are some of the safety devices that you could consider, and details of the insurance saving they will give you.
Punctures and flat tyres which afflict caravans are particularly hazardous as they can take longer to notice than the same problem on a car. When driven on, a punctured tyre can deflate completely leaving the wheel to come into contact with the road surface. This will result in a costly repair if not a more serious situation.
Run-flat tyres are safety tyres that are available for cars and designed for use in emergency situations. If you suffer a puncture, and have run-flat tyres installed, you can continue driving for a short time rather than having to stop immediately, which can be especially useful when towing a caravan. Run-flat tyres can be used for approximately 50 miles at a speed of 30mph but recommendations will vary between manufacturers.
The Tyron system is a lightweight band which converts a standard wheel to a safety wheel. In the event of a puncture, the Tyron band prevents you from losing the tyre from the wheel and allows you enough time to find a safe stopping place.
Whether you use run-flat tyres or not, a tyre pressure monitoring system can help you stay informed and in control. Tyre Pressure Monitoring Systems, such as the TyrePal pressure system, continuously monitor the pressure and temperature of your tyres, reporting to you when they detect a problem. Sensors on each tyre relay information wirelessly to a small, portable, monitor. TyrePal will even alert you when your tyre pressure is too low or too high so that you can be aware of any potential problems before it's too late.
There are a number of Tyre Pressure Monitoring Systems on the market and The Camping and Caravanning Club recommends that you should always choose one that meets the following requirements:
- ISO 21750 compliant
- Sensors are installed on all caravan wheels in contact with the road surface
- Sensors are the direct reading type, ie they directly read pressure and temperature within the tyre
- The display unit must be able to be mounted near the driver
- An audio and visual warning of a tyre pressure/temperature issue must be given to the driver
- The device will warn the driver of loss of signal, whether this is due to a fault or low battery
Safety devices such as run-flat tyres and pressure monitors, provide a level of protection against the accidents that a flat tyre can cause. By investing in your own safety, you can also enjoy impressive savings on your insurance.
Insurance benefits of taking puncture precautions
With Club Care caravan insurance, you will receive 10% discount on your insurance premium when you purchase flat tyre protection such as the Tyron system. If you invest in a TyrePal tyre pressure monitoring system, Club Care will reward you with a 5% discount on your insurance premium.
Snaking & Instability
There are many factors that can affect the stability of a towed unit, as a driver you have little control over such events as side winds, passing vehicle and uneven road surfaces which can lead to instability and cause pitching and snaking problems.
Pitching refers to the vertical, up-and-down movement of caravan, while snaking is the term used to describe the side-to-side movement of a touring caravan when in transit. In extreme cases, snaking can become so bad that the movement of the caravan will begin to drag the car along with it as it moves from side to side. If this occurs the driver could lose control of both the caravan and the towing car.
The AL-KO ATC (Automatic Trailer Control) system is an anti-snake system that detects lateral movement in the caravan. When the movement of the caravan exceeds a set limit, the ATC will automatically apply all caravan brakes at the same time to help combat the effects of certain driving conditions.
Insurance benefits of taking snaking and instability precautions
When you invest in stabilisers and other anti-snaking devices, you are effectively signalling to your insurer that you are aware of the risks inherent in towing and are committed to protecting yourself (and your caravan) as well as you possibly can. With Club Care, you will receive a 5% discount on your caravan insurance when you install an approved stabiliser or anti-snaking device such as the AL-KO ATC Trailer Control.
Just as you can equip your caravan to help make towing safer, you can also equip yourself with the knowledge and skills to tow a caravan safely. The driver has the most impact on the safety of their towing car and caravan, so it's important to make sure that you can tow with confidence, whether you are new to caravanning or otherwise.
The Camping and Caravanning Club runs manoeuvring courses which cover all aspects of towing - from hitching and unhitching to caravans and the law.
Insurance benefits of taking a manoeuvring course
When you complete a caravan manoeuvring course with The Camping and Caravan Club, you will receive 5% discount on your Club Care caravan insurance.
With Club Care caravan insurance you can enjoy a 60% discount in total, so if you were to install all of the safety devices in this article you would receive a 25% discount on your insurance premium. There are lots of additional insurance discounts available too to bring your premium down further.