If your caravan campervan or motorhome has been stolen there is a chance that this will help you get it back
It was at 2:43 in the morning, according to CCTV footage recovered later, that Clive Owen’s pride and joy was rolled silently out of his driveway and driven away. Clive didn’t discover that his 2020, two berth, Auto Sleeper Kingham, campervan had been stolen until 7 am the following morning, when he awoke to find the driveway empty.
Clive, and his wife Doreen had paid £64,000 just weeks beforehand for the two year old second hand machine and had enjoyed at least one 2 week trip in the lake district before the van was stolen. It was not only the loss of the vehicle itself, but the many happy memories that had been created inside, that Clive and Doreen found so devastating.
Clive was incensed he phoned the police they sympathised. He phoned his insurance company, and they asked him to fill-in a claim form. Nobody seemed at all concerned that Clive and Doreen had lost their campervan and all the personal knickknacks that were inside it. Indeed, all the insurance company wanted to know was if the police had issued a crime number and as far as the police were concerned, they had done that so that was the end of the matter
But Clive was not the type of man who took things like this sitting down. He was a man of action. He was so incensed that the next day, he drove his car 183 miles to the car ferry terminal at Holyhead and looked at the queues of vans waiting to board the ferry hoping to find his van.
He did not find it, but when he showed photographs of the camper, displaying its distinctive graphics to a night security watchman, he was rewarded with a positive identification. The watchman remembered that the van had indeed passed through the ferry terminal on the previous night.
Clive deduced that by this stage, the van would be in the Republic of Ireland, and he contacted the police forces over there. They were slightly more proactive than their British counterparts and immediately put out an alert.
Two days later a second-hand motorhome dealer located in Munster in the south-west of Ireland reported the whereabouts of the missing van to the Garda Síochána and, acting on that information, they were able to recover the vehicle and its contents. Three weeks later with all the formalities completed, Clive and Doreen had recovered and were reunited with their Auto Sleeper.
The story above is, in fact, fiction and because it is fictional, it has a happy ending. In reality, however, the hard brutal fact is that such a story where it to happen to you, would not have a happy ending. The fact is; nobody would do anything regarding recovering the stolen vehicle. Until now that is.
Fed up after 35 years of dedicated service to the Caravan Insurance industry Ian Drewe is hoping to change things.
Ian hopes his new web based reporting system will bring a resolution on stolen campervans motorhomes and caravans to consumers. The founder of the European Caravan Club.
The European Caravan Club has created a new website where stolen campervans motorhomes and caravans can be reported and forward action instigated. For a fee of £40 the system at Stolen Caravans and Campers will advise ferry companies, caravan and motorhome dealerships and security companies that the vehicle has been stolen. It will inform CRIS ( Central Registration and Identification System held by the National Register of UK touring caravan keepers ) and create motivational posts on social media. It will alert all UK insurers, loss adjusters and caravan insurance brokers sending notification to over 270 clubs, 2600 caravan sites in the UK and a further 6,000 in Europe. Additionally, all members of the European Caravan Club will be contacted. Special ‘stolen reports’ will be generated and distributed to all British Police forces and Border control agencies. Ports and other embarkation points will receive the same ‘notification warning’ detailing identifying features of the stolen vehicle.
Ian was moved to create the new service knowing full well that UK police forces have little time and scant resources to deal with these thefts. He knew insurance companies and would rather pay out the worth of the loss rather than become involved with recovery. Instead, insurance companies place the burden of paying for these losses on to motor caravan users who insure vehicles with them. This misguided concept helps explain why motorhome insurance policy premiums are rising by over 20% year on year
“What we are trying to do,” Ian said, “Is to accelerate matters before vans are taken abroad and sold on to someone who does not know it’s been stolen. If those people are then found with a stolen vehicle, then they too have to give it back and they loose their money as well.” He added, “Because of the financial crisis, I think things might get worse and more vans will get stolen, but we hope we can as least try and slow it down.”
Finally, he added, I have seen people post stolen vans on Facebook pages but using this new service will be way more effective. I know ours may look a bit of a doom and gloom website created on the back of someone losing something, but I really hope we can try to get things back and in doing so reduce the reason why insurance companies simply pass the cost on to others.
With over 6000 vehicles a year being stolen and only 5% recovery, the loss of vehicles is becoming an increasingly worrying problem. Hopefully this new business venture will bring about a change of attitude and bring a resolution on stolen caravans to consumers.