At face value, this is a simple question with a simple answer.
However, life’s rarely so obliging in terms of insurance and law, so there are a few complexities here!
Static versus touring caravans
To begin with, it’s worth noting that you may need to think about static and touring caravans differently.
A touring caravan, by its nature, is mobile and is typically used in such a capacity by being towed from one site to another behind a car.
A static, by contrast, is usually fixed in a single position, unless it is moved to a new site and that typically involves specialised transport.
This has insurance implications.
Any vehicle being driven on the public highway must, under law, be covered by unlimited third party liability insurance. As a principle, this is not up for discussion.
Of course, a touring caravan isn’t driven, it’s towed – a different thing.
To take an example, assume you have seriously injured a pedestrian with your caravan while reversing it. You will be held accountable by the law for that accident and it would be an offence to be without third party liability cover for it.
This could lead to a discussion as to:
- is your towed vehicle (potentially including trailers as well as touring caravans) considered to be a de-facto part of your car from a legal viewpoint or;
- a separate entity requiring its own insurance?
In practice, typically your car insurance will provide third party liability cover to include towed vehicles such as caravans. That would meet your legal liabilities and it also means that separate insurance for a towed caravan is NOT a legal requirement.
It’s not worth putting these fine points of the law to the test though.
You should read your existing towing vehicle cover carefully to make sure it does indeed provide at least third party liability cover for towed touring caravans. Ask your car insurance provider for specific confirmation if you have any doubts and/or talk to a specialist in caravan insurance.
There’s one last complication to consider here.
If you have taken out a loan to purchase your touring caravan, then the lender may very well have included a clause in the loan agreement (which is a contract) to the effect that you agree to maintain caravan insurance on it until such time as you’ve fully repaid the loan.
Fail to do so and you will be in breach of contract and that might result in the lender asking you to repay the entire loan immediately – and take legal recovery action if you do not.
It depends if you’re interested in debating the difference between a legal requirement and a contractual obligation!
There is absolutely no direct legal requirement for any such cover.
Once again though, there are two complications:
- as per the above for touring caravans, if you have loans secured against the static caravan then you’re probably contractually obliged to maintain caravan insurance cover;
- the site owners may have the legal right to insist upon you having at least third party liability in place. That’s to protect the public and other people on their site. They may try to persuade you to purchase the cover they offer. That’s entirely up to you but typically having your own cover might be more cost-effective.