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Why have motorhome insurance?
Motorhome insurance cover isn’t just a legal requirement here in the UK, it’s also pretty much essential for your peace of mind. Let’s face it, that motorhome of yours wasn’t exactly inexpensive – nor its contents – so it doesn’t make sense not to insure it. If you’re a motorhome owner and plan to go on regular weekend breaks, a couple of annual holidays or even if you’re planning on just keeping it in the driveway for the next 12 months, then you’ll need cover to protect the money you’ve already invested. And to make sure you’ll be able to afford plenty of holidays in your motorhome in the future, of course.
So, whether you have the likes of an off-the-peg type motorhome, a customised motorhome, American RV, camper van, campervan conversion, low profile motorhome, micro or compact motorhomes like Benimar, Itineo or an A-Class motorhome & other brands like Volkswagen, Ford, Adria, Dodge, Rapido, Swift, Autocruise & others, read on to check what type of insurance coverage you’ll need. That way, if you have a road accident in your motorhome and need to get repairs if you’ve damaged another vehicle if your van gets broken into and damaged or even if the entire vehicle is stolen – then you won’t be left out of pocket.
Types of motorhome insurance
Similar to the caravan and car insurance, there are three main types of policy you can access. These are:
Comprehensive: As the name suggests, this is the most thorough and all-encompassing form of motorhome insurance. It will cover you in the event of a fire, theft, third-party damage and even, in some cases, if the damage to your motorhome was the result of your own actions.
Third party only (TPO): This type of insurance will cover you if you cause injury to any individual or to another’s property while using your motorhome. It won’t cover you for damage you cause to your own vehicle, however.
Third party fire and theft (TPFT): Similar to TPO insurance this also covers you for the fire to your motorhome, theft (and any damage caused at the time).
European insurance cover. If you’re going off to Europe in your motorhome for an extended holiday (or even just a typical holiday) then it can be a good idea to get insurance cover for abroad. Some comprehensive policies have this already so do check beforehand (ensure too that if you’re going for longer than 30 days you don’t have to extend the cover).
Meanwhile, there will always be an excess for you to pay, regardless of the type of motorhome insurance policy you choose. This is money you ‘contribute’ to the total amount paid for. The excess can either be compulsory or voluntary i.e. the amount is set by the insurance company when you take out your policy or in the case of voluntary, you yourself decide how much you’re prepared to pay towards any sums (a higher excess resulting in lower premiums and vice versa).
How to find the right insurance cover?
Not all insurance companies are equal – especially when it comes to motorhome insurance. Many companies differ in what they are prepared to accept with respect to how much the vehicle has been customised, for instance. And then again, not everyone needs European cover. Some motorhome owners just want contents cover because their fan tends to spend most of the time parked in their driveway; others may be planning to take six months out and tour so will be looking to insure their vehicle for pretty much every risk. Meanwhile, some insurance companies insist there is a major distinction between motorhomes and American RVs and so provide separate cover policies for each.
How to save money on your motorhome insurance?
- The less of a risk you are perceived as a driver, the cheaper your motorhome insurance so consider taking a skilled driving exam such as the Motorhome Manoeuvring Course. You’ll be able to recoup the cost of it via the lower ongoing insurance premiums
- Secure a sensor or some sort of camera to make hitting an object when reversing less likely
- Join an organisation such as The Caravan Club and get a discount on their motorhome insurance policies.
- Do an annual low mileage
- Build up a healthy no claims discount for impressive discounts
- Don’t add on any named drivers – especially young and inexperienced ones!
- If you live pretty near the centre of a busy city then consider storing your motorhome in a quieter location which has a reputation for being safe.
- Fit an alarm, good immobiliser or an effective tracking device on your motorhome
Motorhome insurance FAQs
Q – I’ve ‘customised’ my camper van a lot. Will this work against me when I come to insure it?
A – Really, it depends on who the insurance company is and how much you’ve altered it. Different companies have different policies on whether or not they’ll accept heavily customised camper vans. It’s definitely worth doing plenty of research.
Q – What are the common exclusions for motorhome insurance?
A – These tend to be for using your motorhome to sell items (like a shop) or for work as a home office, theft without forced entry and vermin damage.
Q – How do you distinguish between a motorhome and a caravan?
A – Motorhomes have an engine whereas caravans have to be towed.
Q – How much will motorhome insurance cost me?
A – It all depends on the type of motorhome you have, its age, how much annual mileage in it you do, how it’s stored, what your no claims bonus is etc.
Q – Can I add my ‘other half’ as a named driver?
A – Yes but be aware that her or his driving licence will be taken into account and your premiums adjusted accordingly.
Q – What is meant in some insurance policies by ‘motorhome equipment’?
A – This refers to items which are specific to your motorhome, such as wheel clamps, pots and pans, even a radio and TV (if they are only ever used in the motorhome).
Q – What is a ‘new for old’ scheme?
A – If your motorhome is so badly damaged in an accident that it can’t be repaired then the insurance company will replace it with the newest version available on the market at that time.