Tracking devices for motorhomes and caravans: Are they good for my insurance?

Tracking devices for caravan and motorhome insurance

More people than ever are feeling drawn to the life of adventure that comes with motorhome and caravan ownership. Sales of new and used motorhomes, campervans and touring caravans are rising year on year, and legitimate supply is struggling to meet the demand. It’s perhaps unsurprising, then, that there’s been a massive increase in thefts.

Reported theft of motorhomes and campervans has been rising steadily over the past few years (by 50% in 2020 alone), and an estimated 4,000 caravans are stolen each year.

How a tracking device can help

There are plenty of security measures owners can take to lessen the chances of their motorhome or caravan being stolen. Things like alarms, steering locks, wheel clamps, clutch claws, hitch locks and security posts are great for deterring thieves in the first instance, but none of these offers 100% protection against your vehicle being stolen. That’s why tracking devices can be so useful: they are like an insurance policy for your security devices. In the unhappy event that your motorhome or caravan does get stolen, a tracking device can massively increase your chances of getting it back.

What is a tracking device?

A tracking device is a clever bit of tech that is installed in a vehicle to track its location. It uses location data (like VHF, GPS and GSM) to pinpoint the whereabouts of your vehicle, communicating this with a control centre, via an app, and, in the event of a theft, often directly to the police. The idea here is that if your vehicle does get stolen, your tracking device can tell the police and the tracking company exactly where it is, so the police can go and recover it (and apprehend the criminals), and your vehicle can be recovered and returned to you.

Do tracking devices work?

All the evidence points towards tracking devices being a reliable anti-theft measure. And while they won’t ever prevent thefts from occurring in the first place, figures from individual tracking companies put recovery rates at between 95% and 100%. So even if your vehicle does get stolen, the chances are, if you’ve got a tracking device fitted, you’re going to get it back.

Does this benefit my insurance premiums?

Absolutely it does. Having a tracker device fitted to your motorhome or caravan can bring down your premiums massively. Here at Wrapper, vehicles with an approved tracking device fitted benefit from their premiums being around 10% lower.

The insurance savings don’t stop at the initial quote, either. With a tracker fitted, if your motorhome or caravan gets stolen and you are reunited with it, you won’t need to make a claim, and this will mean your premium stays low into the next policy term.

What’s an ‘approved’ tracking device?

When it comes to benefitting from lower insurance premiums, your insurer will want to know that you’ve got a decent tracker installed – not just one that looks the part but doesn’t do a great deal more than text you if something feels a bit dodgy. Most insurers will only offer reduced premiums if you’ve got a tracking device that’s been tested and approved by the industry safety body, Thatcham.

Is a tracking device a mandatory insurance requirement?

Most insurers, including us at Wrapper, require an approved tracker to be fitted for higher-value motorhomes and caravans above the £40,000 mark. Why? Because tracking device means, should your vehicle be stolen, your more than likely going to get it back.

How do I know a tracking device is approved?

Thatcham-approved trackers fall into two categories: S7, and S5. Both S7 and S5 trackers use GPS and offer post-theft vehicle tracking, though S5 devices are generally more expensive and have additional features such as driver recognition. Tracking device manufacturers know how important Thatcham approval is, so S5 and S7 often forms part of the device name, making them easy to find on the shelves.

Can I install a tracking device myself?

Even if you know your way around mechanics and electronics, it’s a good idea to have a professional fit and install your tracking device. For one thing, some insurers will insist on professional installation. But even if that’s not the case, there’s lots that can go wrong when dealing with electronics, and the last thing you want is to perform a ‘modification’ to your vehicle, break something, and inadvertently invalidate your insurance in the process.

Should I get a tracking device fitted?

If a tracking device isn’t a prerequisite of your insurance policy, it’s completely up to you whether a tracker makes sense for you, your vehicle and your individual circumstances. But it might be worth thinking about what you stand to lose in the event your motorhome or caravan does get stolen.

Buying a motorhome, campervan or caravan represents a massive financial investment, but it’s an emotional one too. It’s not just about the life savings we plough into buying one in the first place. It’s the promise of a lifestyle we love, the time and energy spent filling our motorhomes and caravans with the things we love; for comfort, and a sense of home on the road. A tracking device can help protect and recover all this, while keeping your insurance premiums down.

Tracked and wrapped-up with the right insurance 

Wrapper offers fast, fuss-free quotes for motorhomes, caravans and campervans, with or without tracking devices. Our online service lets you design, buy and manage your policy online, at any time, from anywhere. Get your quote and start saving today.