5 things to do if your motorhome or caravan is stolen

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Everyone wants a motorhome or a caravan these days. Since the first wave of COVID put the kibosh on foreign travel and sparked a love affair with the staycation, UK buyers have been snapping up motorhomes and touring caravans in record numbers. And while it’s amazing to see so many more families and couples enjoying the freedom of adventure that we know and love, the burgeoning demand has led to a huge spike in motorhome and caravan thefts. Vehicle recovery specialist Tracker noted that thefts increased by a staggering 50% following the various COVID lockdowns, compounding an already worrying increase.

The sad fact is, if you own a motorhome or a touring caravan, you are vulnerable to being targeted by criminals. And while there are certain important security measures you can take to minimise the risk of your motorhome or caravan being stolen, it’s important that you know what to do in the event that it is.

1. Report it to the police

The first thing you’ll need to do upon discovering your motorhome or caravan has been stolen is to notify the local police. You’ll need to give them a description of your vehicle, along with any details about serial numbers, VINs and identifying characteristics, as well as information about where it was taken from and the timeframe during which it was taken.

When the police have logged the theft, they will issue you with a crime number related to the theft. Make sure you make a note of this, as you’ll need to pass this on to your insurer.

2. Check any CCTV

If you’ve had your motorhome or caravan parked up somewhere that’s covered by CCTV, you’ll want to recover this footage as soon as possible. That should be fairly easy to do if your vehicle has been taken from your home property and has had a home CCTV camera directed at it for the duration of the theft. Likewise, if your caravan or motorhome has been parked up at a specialist storage facility, it should be fairly straightforward to get hold of the footage – you’ll just need to contact the office, let them know your vehicle has been stolen, and they should be able to locate and give you a copy of any CCTV video of the theft.

3. Check your tracker, if you had one

A tracking device can be invaluable when it comes to being reunited with your stolen motorhome or caravan – that’s why more and more people are getting them installed. In 2020 alone, one tracking specialist recovered more than £1 million-worth of stolen vehicles and reunited them with their owners.

If you’ve got a tracker fitted in your vehicle, once you have reported the theft to police and been issued with a crime number, you’ll want to call the operations centre of the company who runs your tracking device. They’ll need to know your:

  • Vehicle registration number
  • Tracker system serial number
  • Crime reference number

Once the tracking company has those details, they will be able to immediately start trying to locate your vehicle and, if possible, get it safely back to you.

4. Inform your insurance company

This is perhaps the most crucial step in terms of helping you recover from a theft and get back on the road.

When reporting the theft of your motorhome or touring caravan to your insurer, it will help speed up your claim if you can give them as much information as possible at the outset, so try and gather all the information beforehand. They’ll want to know:

  • Your crime reference number
  • Your name and address
  • Your insurance policy number
  • The make and model of your motorhome or touring caravan
  • Details about the theft
  • Any relevant information about tracking devices or CCTV footage.

It’s vital at this stage to give only accurate information about the vehicle and the circumstances of the theft – if you’re later found to have knowingly given false information, your insurer is well within their rights to invalidate your policy and refuse any payout. It could be not only a costly mistake, but the end of your roadtrip adventures.

5. Make sure your policy is kept updated

Another important thing to note here is the importance of making sure your policy is kept up to date with all the correct information about your motorhome or touring caravan. If, for example, you initially took out the policy when your vehicle was being stored at a secure facility, your policy may not pay out if, in the intervening months, you’ve moved it to a parking area on your own property. Likewise, if you previously had an alarm fitted to your motorhome or caravan, and you know it wasn’t working at the time of the theft, your policy may be invalidated.

Other changes in circumstance you should let your insurer know about include:

  • Any additional security steps taken – tracking device, steering locks, clutch claws, wheel locks, etc. fitted
  • Changes to storage location
  • Any modifications to the vehicle
  • Any updates to contents, including high-price single items added

Basically, any time you change anything, let your insurer know – the last thing you want is to have your vehicle, and everything in it, stolen and to never see a penny of a payout.

Your peace of mind, all wrapped up

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