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Most people know that motorhome insurance is quite often one of the cheapest forms of vehicle insurance. There are many reasons for this, but perhaps the most obvious reason is: motorhome and campervan drivers are rarely in a rush! If on this occasion you are in a rush, click the red button above to compare quotes . If not, read on for more motor caravan cover info!
You've got a motorhome, now how do you insure it?
Motorhome insurance is quite different to ordinary motor insurance with many more features and benefits to compare. We can't do a direct comparison of the many insurance policies, insurers and providers here (because they change all the time), but hopefully this guide to going on cover will help! As always with insurance - always read the policy documentation carefully - this is general advice and exclusions can always apply...
What vehicles can you insure?
Insurers will look at most motorhome body types - micro, low-profile, compact, coachbuilt, overcab, a-class, caravanette, Americal RV or imports - but some might be specialists in covering (or excluding) certain bodies (DIY conversions and modified vehicles can be tricky sometimes).
What should you be insuring against?
Whether you drive a Fourwinds, Winnebago, Elddis, Swift or any of the other varied brands of motorhome, your first choice is whether to go for third party only (TPO), third party fire and theft (TPFT) or comprehensive cover.
The most basic is for TPO and simply covers you against injury or accidental damage to other people - bash your Bessacar into a Benimar at a motorcaravanner's club meet and you might be a write-off, but they'll be protected (if it's your fault). If you have TPFT then you've got a claim if your vehicle suffers fire damage or is stolen. Comprehensive is the most expensive cover, and should pay out in a variety of situations as well as providing the best policy benefits. You'll rarely be covered for things like wear and tear of course unless you have some kind of Warranty.
Who should you be insuring?
The drivers on your motorhome policy are going to change the price considerably. Any driver, if you can get it, will cost a fortune. If at all possible go for insured only, insured and spouse or at worst named drivers. The insurance company has to evaluate the risk so the more they know about previous experience and the less they have to guess about your liability, the more accurate the price will be.
What features do you need in your insurance policy?
Insurers will underwrite all kinds of things to try and make their motorhome policy better than the next by going way past just damage if you're prepared to pay for it. Here's a few of the things you might find - decide what's important to you before you choose to pay for it (assuming it's optional!)
European Breakdown Cover
Obviously only useful if you take the old Auto-Sleeper overseas, but check if your other mechanical breakdown policies are covering you already. Often a freebie.
Note the difference here - overseas cover extends certain features of your policy for use abroad (i.e. not just breakdown). If you go abroad, you have to have this - check with the broker how many days you can stay out the UK, and never overstate or you'll be over-insured. Look out for Green Card mentions.
Your gear might require some extra cover, particularly for navigation, video and audio equipment. This is sometimes thrown in, or might add a few pounds onto the premium. Either way if you've got attractive gadgets hiding in the Hymer, consider it! Theft of contents and personal effects clauses typically carry exclusions - so if you're not sure, ask the broker what you need for peace of mind. Awnings and gas bottles are often listed on their own - check!
Replacement motorhome hire
If this is a paid for extra, try and figure out what the risk is to you - if you go for long breaks the cost of hiring a replacement vehicle would be great. Some policies might just offer a courtesy car for their vehicle replacement treat..
Lost your keys and had to call a locksmith? Couple of hundred pounds please, Sir! Key cover probably adds pennies onto the price, so if you're forgetful.. don't forget it.
Obvious what this one does - BUT.. and it's a big but.. trailer cover might not cover you for a towed car, or it might only give you TPO on the little one.. It makes a difference if you're putting the vehicle on a towbar or an A-Frame trailer too - always, always ask and always ask the broker to talk to the underwiters - with more complicated insurance like motorhomes some things aren't always set in stone.
Another one that's nice to have if you think you need it, check the details on it though - some will cover repairing small cracks without affecting your no claims bonus for example. Also - how many windscreens have you managed to break?
Getting cheaper motorhome insurance
There's a few things you can focus on if you want to save money...
No claims bonus, mirror bonus and voluntary excess
These are three things (two really) that can garner huge discounts on your premium (you know when you see those ads pushing 50% discounts? this is what they're talking about).
No claims bonus (NCB) is the length of time in years you've gone without a claim arising on your policy. It's often one of the biggest discounting items to focus on and every policy uses it differently. If you haven't got any NCB, ask about "mirror no claims bonus" or "introductory bonus" - some providers will give transfer your bonus years from another vehicle (all or in part) as a way of buying your business. The rules are different from one insurer to the next, so watch out. And... don't forget you can sometimes get protected bonus too - so once you've built up a few years, you can reduce the risk of losing it in the event of a claim.
Voluntary Excess is the amount of the claim, over the compulsory excess, that you'll have to pay for. Sometimes people call this "self insurance". The higher the voluntary you're prepared to pay, the lower the risk you are, so the lower your premium. Choose the number wisely based on your evaluation of your own risk though!
Are you in the Club?
If you're part of an official motorhome club, it means you're serious about what you do, which means you probably value and care for your Concorde more than someone who isn't. Joining one can mean a hefty discount (10-15%?) so check them out (there's loads - ARVE, Auto Camping Club, Auto Trail Owners, Benimar Owners, Caravan Club, Compass Owners, Family Motorcoach Association, Self Build Motorcaravanner's Club etc).
Low mileage discounts feature pretty heavily - ask the broker what the break points are (e.g. 500, 2500 miles etc) so that you don't accidentally overstate what you do for guessing - going from one bracket to the next can make a difference of percentage points.
Security Devices & Other Gadgets
Using an approved security device earns a few percent off, and might even be a requirement for certain value vehicles and postcode areas. Note the key word - "approved". Often it's enough to know you have a Thatcham Category 1 or 2 immobiliser, alarm or tracker, but some brokers will list actual brands like Phantom, Cobra Trak, Neo-Trac, Scorpion, Defender and Trackstar. Think that reversing camera isn't for real drivers? Think again - mention you've got one and you might get a cheaper quote!
There are things that aren't going to be covered, or that might invalidate your cover in the event of a claim. Make sure you know what they are. Some are obvious - don't use your motorhome as a permanent residence - others might be more obtuse. All policies have different rules - the best thing to do is to tell the broker what you need cover for and he'll get you the quotes if he can.
And everything else..
Agreed Value Cover
Some motorhome insurance will only cover the market value of your vehicle, but if you've got a classic that's worth a lot more than its book listing - check for agreed value cover - that's where the broker will assess the true worth of your vehicle and insure the full value.
More details to check - is it "new for old" or is there a betterment charge where the replacement (part) is more expensive than the bit it's replacing?
Salvage Retention, repairs & write-offs
What's the rules in regard to write offs - do you have the right to buy back the scrapped vehicle (if the insurance company isn't legally obliged to destroy it) ? Do you have to use an approved repairer?
Some brokers will have finance schemes in place allowing you to pay in instalments, sometimes at no extra charge, but often for a fee. It's easy to see if their money is cheaper than yours of course..
To sum up, our top tips are:
1: Compare the market - there's a lot of schemes and even more brokers, Quotiva helps with our one-form easy shopping around!
2: Decide what / who you need to insure and always ask yourself if you really need that optional extra!
3: Save money if you can, but don't cut corners! The right price is the amount you need to pay for the cover you need, not the cheapest motorhome insurance.
Quotiva can help you find the best cover for you with our easy to complete, one page motorhome insurance quote.