Renovating a vintage caravan comes with a thousand hurdles. If you’ve read the posts on our renovations you’ll already know what we mean by this, it seems is a new problem to solve, issue to fix or difficulty to overcome every step of the way.
Luckily for us, insuring our caravan was not one of these hurdles.
In fact, insuring our caravan might just have been the easiest part of this whole process for us.
When we tell people that, they can’t believe it. There seems to be a notion out there that insuring vintage caravans is difficult. The insurance companies don’t want to cover them, especially if you have done a renovation on them or made any changes to their overall value. In fact, how we’ve insured our caravan is actually one of the most asked questions we get in our DMs.
Thanks to RACV, we’re here to explain just how easy it can be to renovate your own vintage caravan. Our van has been insured by RACV for about 18 months now, since we picked it up and brought it home for the first time – so we have been through every step of insuring this van, including significantly increasing it’s value after we finished our build.
Insuring a vintage caravan with RACV
When we started to look at insurance for our van, RACV was always our number one choice. We have used them as our insurer for years and years, and already hold two car insurance policies, plus home and contents insurance with RACV. They have great member discounts for customers with multiple policies, so we wanted to start with them.
And they made the whole process so easy for us, that organising our van insurance with them was just a no-brainer.
In order to get a quote for caravan insurance you will need to give them a call on 13 72 28, where you will be able to chat to a specialist about the kind of cover you would like for your van. Due to the variety of caravans and all the different features they have, you can’t do a quote online.
When we originally gave them a call we were honest about our plans. We had just bought our van, but we were planning to do a big renovation – upgrade everything inside and outside the van, increasing the value significantly – and eventually set off on a year long lap of Australia when it would be on the road full time.
RACV were very supportive about all of this. The sales consultant we spoke to on the phone explained to us that at that moment they could only insure the van for what we paid for it, but that once the renovations were complete if we could get the van valued, then they would be able to increase the insured amount to an agreed value, as per the valuation.
The other part of our plan that we were worried about was that we would be on the road full time. But RACV reassured us that there was no issue with that. When your insure your caravan with RACV there is no maximum number of days during the year that you can travel. You can literally be on the road for 365 days with no issues.
That’s all we needed to hear. We took out our first RACV insurance policy, insuring the van for $9,000, which is what we had originally paid for it.
Why insure your van with RACV
For us, there was no other choice but to insure our van with RACV. They have been our insurers since we were 18 years old and bought our first cars. But if you haven’t had an experience with RACV before let me explain why we love them so much.
Agreed value insurance
The most important thing for us when insuring our van was that we could insure for an agreed value, as we mentioned before. We always knew our van was going to be worth a lot more than just the $9,000 we paid for it – purely just based on all the electronics, appliances and extras we planned to add to it.
More on how to have your van valued and your insurance policy amended further down in this post.
Touring insurance is fully comprehensive to suit you
RACV’s caravan insurance includes things you might not even think you need. With your insurance policy you are fully covered for:
- Your caravan, but also any modifications, options and accessories that you have attached to your van (and we have A LOT).
- You’re covered for collision, fire, theft, storm, hail, flood, accidental damage, malicious damage, rainwater run-off, storm surge and more.
- You’re automatically covered for selected contents up to $1000.
- Temporary accommodation is included when you can not live in your van following an incident and you’re more than 100 kilometres from home.
- Towing is included from an incident to the nearest repairer or a place of safety
- Plus so much more including emergency repairs, food spoilage and optional annexe cover.
For more information check out the website for a full list of what’s covered with RACV’s touring insurance cover.
Policy discounts & member benefits
RACV cares about it’s members and they have all kinds of discounts available to their customers. There are no claim bonuses, multi-policy discounts, and even years of membership benefits. For example, I get a 10% discount on any policy I take out, just because I have been a member for 10 years!
Their member benefits also include all kinds of discounts on attractions, accommodations and experiences around Australia that you can take advantage of while you’re exploring! SO GOOD.
Amazing customer service
We do not say this lightly, but RACV absolutely has some of the best customer service you will find in an insurance company. They are available on the phone 24/7, with someone always there to give you a hand and help you out.
Over the last 10 years of holding insurance with RACV we had given them a call for all kinds of things – from updating our policies, to making claims or just simply to ask a question and their customer service is fantastic. You never have to wait in long queues for someone to answer your call, and you’re talking to Aussies who understand and are actually compassionate about your call.
They’re easily accessible and put your mind at ease when you need help.
How to get your renovated van valued
After we finished our caravan renovations it was important to us to get our van valued before we set off on our lap, just in case anything happened we wanted to make sure everything we had added to the van was covered! Turns out this process isn’t nearly as difficult as it sounds.
In fact, you can even do it online.
We used Astute Caravan Valuations online to complete our valuation. The valuation costs $125 AUD, but it was really simple and only took about 15 minutes to complete. All you need to do is put in all the information you have about your van, including make and model, year it was made, VIN number, and registration number.
Then you select all the accessories that you’ve added to your van – for example, solar panels, air-conditioner, full-sized fridge, etc. There are a number of choices you can choose from, but if your additions aren’t listed there’s a box where you can write down anything extra. We’d recommend just writing down everything that you think might be valuable or make a difference – if you’re not sure, just include it anyway and the valuers can make that decision.
After that you upload some photos of your newly renovated van and send it off to be valued. If you can, include as many photos as you can of different parts of your van, and be sure to include all appliances and accessories in your images that you’ve listed.
Within 24 hours we had heard back from Astute Caravan Valuations and they confirmed that after all our renovations and modifications our van was worth $39,000. We were so happy with that number, in a worst case scenario if something happened to our van, we will be covered for everything we have included in the van.
Increasing your value with RACV
After receiving our new valuation certificate, updating our policy with RACV was so easy. We gave them a call and told them what was going on and they were more than happy to help us out. The best part about this process as well is that we only dealt with one person. We spoke to one consultant the whole time, which made it so much easier to not to have to start at the beginning each time we called.
We emailed them a copy of our valuation certificate and were told that they needed to forward the valuation to their underwriters to be approved and they would get back to us within 48 hours. And literally the next day, the same girl gave us a call to say that everything had been approved and to go through the rest of the steps to increase the value amount.
It was just so easy, we had a new insurance policy emailed out to us and we were all good to go!
So just like that we were able to set off on our adventure with no worries at all about our caravan! RACV made the whole process SO easy and completely hassle free!
By the way, RACV aren’t just great for vintage and renovated caravans. When my parents bought a brand new caravan this year I told them to give RACV a call for a quote, and it literally came in HUNDREDS of dollars cheaper than other quotes they had received, with way better cover. They offer an amazing product and we couldn’t recommend them highly enough.
If you want to find out more, make sure you check out their touring caravan insurance page where you can download the PDS for their insurance and find out literally everything you might need to know.
This post was written in collaboration with RACV. All opinions are, as always, our own.