Buying Caravan Insurance Online – Is It Safe?
How to tell a ‘secure’ site from an unsecured site
Most caravan insurance websites which deal with transactions online will have both secure and non-secure web pages. Any page which allows you to enter payment details such as your credit card, debit card, or bank account details should always be ‘secure’, meaning that your details are encrypted and cannot be viewed by anybody else.
You can tell whether a page is ‘secure’ by the web address, which should start with ‘https://’ rather than the standard format of ‘http://’ – the extra ‘s’ on the end stands for secure. Secondly there may be a small padlock icon in the bottom right of your browser or near the address bar, depending on the browser you’re using, which also indicates that the page is ‘secure’. Remember to keep an eye on these two things as you navigate around the site though, because as previously mentioned it is individual pages and not whole websites which are classed as totally ‘secure’.
The most powerful type of encryption commercially available is SSL (Secure Socket Layer) encryption, so look for caravan insurance websites that have this.
This type of encryption means that any data entered is automatically scrambled before being sent across the internet and is therefore meaningless if intercepted, making your details safe from hackers.
Some websites also use ‘EVSSL’ (Extended Validation Secure Socket Layer), which means that in some browsers (such as the latest Microsoft Internet Explorer) the address bar turns green as well as displaying https:// and the padlock symbol.
Other things to look for
Many websites will have an accreditation logo known as a seal such as ‘VeriSign’ on the homepage, which can usually be clicked to verify the site is trustworthy.
Also remember it’s usually a sign of a credible caravan insurance company if the website clearly displays telephone numbers to allow you to call them if you get stuck during a quote or whilst paying for your policy.
So is buying caravan insurance online safe?
Provided you know you are on a trustworthy company’s website, and you can see the https at the start of the web address and in some cases the ‘padlock’ symbol or green EVSSL ‘bar’ as well, it is perfectly safe to get a quote online.
Always ask yourself: Who is the insurance broker? Who are the underwriters? Are they names that I’ve heard before?
Whenever you are purchasing an insurance policy only you should look for a specialist insurer underwritten by a well known and financially secure insurer. This is just as important when buying caravan insurance online as looking for a secure website.
Caravan Guard Limited is the UK specialist in touring caravan insurance. Sign up for our free e-magazine with great ideas for places to visit and the latest model reviews at http://www.caravanguard.co.uk