With caravans out of bounds under Covid-19 restrictions, Tracker and Caravan Guard remind owners to protect themselves and their pride and joy
Many caravans and motorhomes across the country are sitting empty and unused under Coronavirus lockdown restrictions. Although they are not on the road or at a campsite, leisure vehicles are still at risk – 43% of Caravan Guard claim payouts in 2019 were for when vehicles were not in use. Specialist leisure vehicle insurer, Caravan Guard, and stolen vehicle recovery expert, Tracker, have come together to remind owners of the importance of robust security measures and valid insurance even when caravans and motorhomes are not in use.
In 2019 Tracker recovered over £1 million worth of stolen caravans and motorhomes, with most thefts of touring caravans taking place during January to March when they are left in storage and unused for long periods. The most common claims Caravan Guard receives are for theft, storm damage, fire, vandalism and accidental damage. More than 30% of 2019 claims were related to theft.
With the storage period unavoidably extended this year, and with no clear date for when owners will be able to travel again, the period of higher risk of vehicle or contents theft is also extended.
Clive Wain, Head of Police Liaison at Tracker commented: “Whilst the extended lockdown restrictions increase the risk of caravan theft, there are plenty of ways in which owners can protect themselves and their vehicle. Security and insurance are both vital, and neither should fall down the list of priorities this summer. Check insurance is up to date and valid for vehicles in storage for longer periods, and have a tracking device fitted – or ensure existing subscriptions are up to date if you already have a tracker on your caravan.”
Liz Harrison of Caravan Guard, added: “We know how frustrating and disappointing it is to have a caravan or motorhome stuck in storage and being unable to hit the open road, but owners must remember that their pride and joy is still vulnerable and must be protected. Let’s not forget, a caravan or motorhome is usually one of the most valuable items someone owns.
“Unfortunately, at a time when much of the nation is pulling together, criminals are taking advantage of the situation and targeting leisure vehicles to steal, and we have seen news reports of mindless vandalism during the lockdown – from scratching paintwork or slashing tyres, to smashed windows and graffiti. Owners must consider the security of their leisure vehicle and take appropriate action to protect their property.”
Tracker’s Caravan and Motorhome Security Tips
For immediate peace of mind:
- Fit security posts or a substantial locked gate if parking the caravan on your drive.
- Security mark the caravan if it is not already done.
- Mark valuables and interior fitments inside the caravan with your postcode using an etching tool or engraver.
- Fit Sold Secure approved physical deterrents such as hitch locks, wheel clamps, motorhome steering wheel locks and deadlocks on doors to make it difficult for thieves.
- Remove all valuables from the caravan and keep keys out of sight and away from your leisure vehicle at home.
- Do not leave registration documents in the caravan as they can help thieves sell it on.
- Always close and lock doors and windows when you leave your caravan, even if it’s just for a short time.
- If storing away from home, choose a site with good security rather than just a good price.
- Check insurance is up to date and provides comprehensive cover.
- Fit a Tracker device to increase the chance of recovery in the event of theft or make sure subscriptions are active if a tracking device is already fitted. This will also attract a healthy discount on your caravan or motorhome insurance with Caravan Guard.
Reminders for post-lockdown:
- Consider fitting a timer switch if you’re out after dark, as lights on will make it look occupied and deter opportunist thieves.
- At a time when many are valuing their neighbours and community, get to know your neighbours on the campsite and look out for each other’s vehicles.
- Don’t be afraid to report suspicious activity.