Insurance discounts - Towing Courses

Feb 23, 2018
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I have recently taken out caravan insurance for the first time; they offer 'discounts' if you have certain qualifiers, either extra security or have taken one of the club's towing courses or hold a HGV licence (I assume 'Category CE').
But of all the insurers I spoke to, both general vehicle insurers and specialist caravan insurers, do not offer discounts or even seem to have heard of the 'Category BE' licence test or how this is an official Government DVSA driving test which, for the most part, requires tuition and practice to pass.
I find it quite alarming that the insurers do not see this as a valid form of training which in my opinion would be the equivalent of a C&CC or CAMAC towing course.

Has anyone done the BE and a Club Towing Course? is it worth the £160+ for possible ongoing insurance discounts?
 
Nov 11, 2009
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A Club towing course is good valu whatever licence you hold as it covers a wealth of useful information and isn’t just about towing. I doubt HGV licence test covers extracting your unit from muddy fields, best way to level to ensure the brake mechanism works to its best etc. The discounts will obviously come in useful but I’d recommend anyone new to caravanning to take one.
 
May 11, 2017
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My husband did his course last year with CCC and even though we're insured with them, when it came to renewal they wouldn't discount off the premium - they said that due to 'other discounts' that we somehow got (and to this day I don't know what they were) we couldn't get the extra 5% as we were already at the maximum discount level :(
 
Dec 11, 2009
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I wonder what the connection is between the CC towing course and their insurance discounts. Is it just a sales ploy? Are they seriously saying that someone who goes on a 10 hour 'towing course' then tows 100 miles a year is a safer driver and therefore less likely to make a claim than someone who has passed class 3-2-1 HGV tests than towed large trailers for 40 years?
 
Nov 11, 2009
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The two day course I attended covered more than just towing and the insurance covers more risks than solely those arising from towing.
Does car insurance give a discount if the policyholder has driven HGVs for 40 years?
I think what they are saying is that attending a course probably means that you are keen to learn the ins and outs of caravanning, and may present a lower overall risk. Of course there may also be some cross funding too. But that’s not unusual in business.
 
Oct 12, 2013
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I asked about this last year when we come to insure our new one. I have my HGV licence, I'm a bus driver and drive 4o hours + a week, yet still no discount was given ! I am classed as a professional driver through my job and so will many HGV drivers who tow caravans , but even the insurance people said that doesn't matter :huh: !

Craig
 
Mar 14, 2005
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Perhaps Raywood may have an insight into this: with carvan insurance, the policy relates to the caravan and not any specific car or driver, so as any driver can tow it, they cannot base the policy on the measured skill of any particular driver, so discounts would not be appropriate.

It might be a different situation if it's the car policy in question, where evidence of enhanced driving skills might reduce the risk to the policy underwriter.
 
Apr 19, 2017
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Of course it is just a sales ploy. They will have a 'bottom-line' price at which they will still make a profit; down to that it will simply be up to you to secure the best deal. By far the biggest risk in caravan insurance will be theft, which will not change because you have some qualification.

With compulsory car insurance, you are penalised heavily if you happen to work in certain occupations. Would you be happy if that criterion applied to caravan insurance??
 
Dec 11, 2009
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ProfJohnL said:
Perhaps Raywood may have an insight into this: with carvan insurance, the policy relates to the caravan and not any specific car or driver, so as any driver can tow it, they cannot base the policy on the measured skill of any particular driver, so discounts would not be appropriate.

It might be a different situation if it's the car policy in question, where evidence of enhanced driving skills might reduce the risk to the policy underwriter.

The thing is Prof that's exactly what they do. A discount for a caravan owner( not necessarily the towing driver) who has been on the 10 hour course.
 
Nov 11, 2009
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VicMallows said:
Of course it is just a sales ploy. They will have a 'bottom-line' price at which they will still make a profit; down to that it will simply be up to you to secure the best deal. By far the biggest risk in caravan insurance will be theft, which will not change because you have some qualification.

With compulsory car insurance, you are penalised heavily if you happen to work in certain occupations. Would you be happy if that criterion applied to caravan insurance??

You aren’t “penalised “ for working in certain occupations. Insurance is a risk based business based on many years of statistical data which shows that certain things increase risk to the insurer. Colour of the car, post code, criminal record age, etc all influence the perception of risk.
For my caravan I got a lower premium with it being stored at home than I did on a CASSOA Gold storage site. Why should that be? The underwriters perception of risk deems it to be less when stored at home. So not only do I save £500 storage fees, I have the benefit of ease of availability and a lower premium too.
 
May 7, 2012
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I think that the insurers regard anyone who has taken one of the towing courses offerd by either of the clubs will be seen as a conciencious and careful in taking it and is therefore a better risk.
The B+E test is compulsary and does not have that voluntary point to it, although it does mean you can handle some manouvers that us older drivers might not. It is done with a commercial trailer though and these are very different from a caravan.
There might be a sales element in it, but the discount is not big enough to attract most of us.
The insurers do state in the sales blurb that there is a maximum discount and thge discounts should be shown in the documentation you receive.
 
Mar 14, 2005
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Raywood said:
...It is done with a commercial trailer though and these are very different from a caravan....

As CA points out the B+e test is not compulsory, And how does a commercial trailer(as specified by the +e test) vary from a caravan?

Added by edit:
The +e test is not designed for just caravans, but the towing of any trailer where the combined MAM will exceed the basic entitlement. A ' commercial' trailer of the type used still connects to the tow ball, uses the same wiring connections, has a jockey wheel, breaking systems and is a tall trailer that blocks the rear view through the cars rear window. It is still big and heavy enough to need the same skills as a caravan to hitch and drive. It still reacts to windage but perhaps not quite as. much as a caravan, and it is likely to be shorter, but it still needs there'se if not greater ( because it's shorter) technique to reverse it.

In the context of the +e test for road skills, the use of a commercial' box trailer is valid and if you are successful you get your legal entitlement.

Where the club courses differ, is they offer additional advice pertaining to caravanning, and their courses do not make any difference tonyour licence entitlements.
 
May 7, 2012
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The commercial trailer is different as I found when we rented one. They tend to be shorter and narrower and certainly reversing was very different and you do not need additional mirrors.
For insurance purposes though I think the point that anyone taking the club courses is seen to be a more careful driver and therefore a better risk is the main reason for the discount.
 
Oct 12, 2013
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But I have a few categories on my licence , and have cost more to gain them than what it costs for the club courses myself and probably others are classed as professional drivers yet because we haven't gone to course with the club we are not recognised as safe drivers and not entitled to discount ? :unsure:
 
Mar 14, 2005
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Raywood said:
The commercial trailer is different as I found when we rented one. They tend to be shorter and narrower and certainly reversing was very different and you do not need additional mirrors.

That depends on the type and size of trailer you choose, You can hire small trailers for taking the garden rubbish to the tip or carrying camping gear. I have used trailers that were as wide as caravans and definitely needed extension mirrors. or it might be a longer trailer for carrying a glider.

As I have pointed out, reversing a shorter trailer actually requires more skill than a longer caravan, so the +e challenge is more difficult than most caravans, but if you master it, then caravans are much easier to reverse.

Raywood said:
For insurance purposes though I think the point that anyone taking the club courses is seen to be a more careful driver and therefore a better risk is the main reason for the discount.

It is remarkable the insurance companies choose to reward an unregulated training course over a statutory test, but I suppose if you take the +e it implies the driver is going to take on a more risky type of driving, where as taking the non compulsory course is seen as upskiling.
 
Oct 12, 2013
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Agree ,
I have a small trailer which I use for my garden rubbish and DIY household rubbish to take to the tip , it is a twin axle 6 x 5. I find reversing it is not as easy as the caravan !! So if you take your + e test with a smaller trailer then you should have no worries about reversing a caravan !
 
May 7, 2012
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ProfJohnL said:
Raywood said:
The commercial trailer is different as I found when we rented one. They tend to be shorter and narrower and certainly reversing was very different and you do not need additional mirrors.

That depends on the type and size of trailer you choose, You can hire small trailers for taking the garden rubbish to the tip or carrying camping gear. I have used trailers that were as wide as caravans and definitely needed extension mirrors. or it might be a longer trailer for carrying a glider.

As I have pointed out, reversing a shorter trailer actually requires more skill than a longer caravan, so the +e challenge is more difficult than most caravans, but if you master it, then caravans are much easier to reverse.

Raywood said:
For insurance purposes though I think the point that anyone taking the club courses is seen to be a more careful driver and therefore a better risk is the main reason for the discount.

It is remarkable the insurance companies choose to reward an unregulated training course over a statutory test, but I suppose if you take the +e it implies the driver is going to take on a more risky type of driving, where as taking the non compulsory course is seen as upskiling.

I think the point is that the B+E test is compulsary and you simply have to show a level of skill when you know you are being watched, so do as you should. If you go in a bad driver it is unlikely to make you a better one. The club courses are unregulated but are specific to caravans and show an interest in improving your skill level which shows you want to be a better driver and are there to learn.
 
Mar 14, 2005
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Ray,
Unfortunate wording. the B+e test is not compulsory. It only becomes essential if a Cat B driver wishes to use a vehicle above their 3500kg combined MAM.
 
Nov 16, 2015
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ProfJohnL said:
Ray,
Unfortunate wording. the B+e test is not compulsory. It only becomes essential if a Cat B driver wishes to use a vehicle above their 3500kg combined MAM.

Prof, Unfortunate wording, you should have added, and towing a trailer .
 
Mar 14, 2005
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EH52ARH said:
Prof, Unfortunate wording, you should have added, and towing a trailer .

Actually no. Because the 3500Kg restriction applies whether the vehicle is solo or as towing outfit. However if a solo vehicle has a MAM in excess of 3500 it actually falls under entitlement C of the licence.
 

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