Beware when you compare: Why you should choose a specialist leisure insurance provider over a comparison site

Beware when you compare!

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Your “happy place” is likely to be one of your largest financial investments and one of your most-cherished possessions. Protecting it against loss and damage is a no-brainer; knowing which provider to choose is much harder!

To keep it as simple as possible consider these two simple, but important questions:

1. What do you need to cover?

2. What don’t you need to cover?

Considering both of these questions stresses the importance of knowing what you are not paying for, as well as knowing what you are paying for.

It’s up to you to decide if not paying for something is a good decision. Just remember this… it’ll ALWAYS be simpler and cheaper to buy decent insurance cover upfront than to pay for the shortfall in the event of a claim.

Spot the difference

Insurance providers like Compass are considered “specialists” because of our focus on the leisure industry. This means that we dedicate all of our time and expertise to providing the best possible cover for you and your happy place.

And because holiday caravans and lodges aren’t like other forms of holiday accommodation, choosing a specialist is a wise move. Not all insurance providers will appreciate the relevance of the following points, for example:

Compass works hard to ensure that our policies are good value. So, if you compare our prices to similar specialist insurers, they should be competitive.


When it comes to deciding what you do and don’t need cover for, be like Santa… make a list and check it twice.

Caravans and lodges aren’t built like houses.

So, while they’re still vulnerable to the usual insurance perils, including fire and theft, they’re also susceptible to more distinctive risks, including water escape, frost damage, vermin damage, storm damage, flood damage and malicious damage by a hirer.

If your park isn’t in a flood area and/or you don’t hire out your unit, then you might not want to cover those particular risks.

The rest can happen to anyone at any time.

Do ALL of Your Sums

calculate caravan insurance

*Some contents may be covered under your household insurance policy, particularly on an “All Risks” basis/away from the premises – it’s worth checking!

The EVEN bigger stuff

Don’t assume that your biggest ‘items’, such as steps, balconies, sheds, hot tubs, floatation devices etc. will be automatically covered.

check caravan insurance policy small print

Check the small print for confirmation.

Think outside the box

Remember the other things that sit on your pitch. These may include patio furniture, trees, shrubs, garden ornaments and lighting. Sheds and storage boxes and the contents within them should also be covered.


One of the biggest reasons some policies are cheaper than others is that they carry higher excesses. Make sure you’re happy with yours.

Accidents happen

If you have pets or children, are clumsy or hire out your unit, accidental damage can be a useful addition to your policy.


In the worst-case scenario, your caravan/lodge could be damaged beyond repair. If this happens, it will need to be disconnected, removed from your pitch, and disposed of. A replacement unit will then need to be delivered, sited and connected. These specialist processes can cost thousands. If it’s not covered, you’ll have to pay.

Age matters

Some insurance providers won’t insure a caravan or lodge above a certain age, or will only offer New for Old cover on units up to a certain age. In some cases, your cover could literally change from New for Old to Market Value overnight. This is not a small detail, especially if you own an expensive unit, so make sure you check individual insurance providers’ age restrictions – they vary widely.

Occupied versus unoccupied cover

Check your policy for occupancy/unoccupancy clauses. We’ve seen one recently that excludes cover when the policyholder is not physically residing in their holiday caravan. It stands to reason that as a “holiday” property, most people’s happy place will be empty a lot of the time. So whatever you do, don’t choose a policy which stops covering it as soon as you walk out of the door.


Public Liability cover (PL) is in place to protect both you and the park you’re sited on. Many licence agreements (the contract between you and your park) require holiday caravan/lodge owners to have a minimum of £5 million PL cover in place, but many cheaper insurance policies only offer £1 or £2 million. Check your contract and be sensible. Anything under £ 5 million is nowadays considered low and may not be enough.

Open all hours

How do you make a claim if you need to? Will someone be available to assist you in an emergency 24/7/365? Will your park owner be able to help you, especially if you’re not there when an incident occurs?

At Compass, our friendly claims experts are available 24/7/365 to manage your claims from beginning to end.

Use your imagination

If you’ve been through this list and checked it twice, you can rest assured that it will have been a worthwhile exercise. Another worthwhile exercise is taking a moment to consider how a loss, big or small, would affect you and your ability to enjoy your happy place.

The answer to this will very much depend on your individual circumstances but should tell you all you need to know about how valuable it is to you. If you’ve owned your holiday caravan for 20+ years and you’re planning on trading up in the next few years, then a basic, market-value cover could be exactly what you need.

However, if you’ve just bought a new model, are paying off a finance agreement, or have the luxury of being able to spend a lot of time in your happy place, it’s more than likely that a comprehensive new for old policy is what you’ll need.

We can all save money on our insurance if we try. But usually, the savings are relatively small. They also might end up being the most expensive money you never spent if you have to make a claim.

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