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Motorhome insurance

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Specialist cover for driving in the UK and abroad
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Motorhome insurance explained
Do you need motorhome insurance?
It makes sense to cover your motorhome with a good insurance policy in order to protect your investment. Motorhome insurance can be taken out on a variety of motorhome body classes and styles including: micro; van conversion; coachbuilt or overcab; A-class; American RV; camper van; compact; and low profile. To find cover for your motorhome it’s best to shop around as some providers will only cover certain body types and some will only cover professionally built motorhomes rather than DIY or self-built models.

Types of motorhome insurance
There are three main types of motorhome insurance:

Third party only: This covers liability for injuries to others as well as damage to their property.
Third party, fire and theft cover: Traditional third party cover plus cover for your motorhome against fire damage, theft and damage caused during an attempted theft.
Comprehensive: this covers everything that is included in third party, fire and theft cover plus cover to insure your motorhome against at-fault damage, subject to policy exclusions. Comprehensive motorhome insurance policies can vary widely between providers but some of the features to look out for include: new for old cover; European cover; a courtesy car to keep you mobile if your motorhome is written off or stolen; vandalism cover; personal effects cover; and more.
Is there anything else to look out for with motorhome insurance?
Read the terms and conditions of any policy that interests you carefully and be wary of exclusions – these are circumstances in which you will not be covered. Typical exclusions on a motorhome insurance policy include claims arising from your motorhome being used as a place of trade, and theft of contents unless there is a forced entry. Also be aware of the policy excess as this is your contribution towards a claim.

For more information, read our motorhome insurance guide.

Choosing the right company
When assessing motorhome insurance policies, look beyond price alone and examine the policy features and exclusions carefully to ensure you choose an appropriate deal - for example, if you plan to take your motorhome overseas does the policy offer European cover and how many days does it include? You may find that it’s worth paying a little extra for a policy that offers more extensive cover although you should also consider whether there are any discounts available such as secure storage discounts, low mileage discounts and reversing camera discounts

Motorhome insurance explained

Buying a motorhome is a big investment so a good insurance policy is essential. For this reason we've produced a short guide to motorhome insurance so you can make an informed choice when you compare policies and providers.

What type of vehicle does motorhome insurance cover?
There are broadly eight types of motorhome body styles or classes, these being:

Van conversion
Camper van
Coachbuilt or overcab
American RV
Some insurers will provide quotes for all motorhome body styles while others will be more selective over the type of vehicle they're willing to insure; as a general rule of thumb, most insurance companies will only insure professionally-built motorhomes rather than DIY conversions or self-builds. Some companies may also make a distinction between motorhome insurance and American RV insurance and therefore offer different policies for each.

What cover options are available?
As with car insurance, motorhome insurance is a legal requirement, insuring you against liability to others and, depending on the level of cover you select, it may also insure your motorhome against theft and at-fault damage.

There are three main types of cover available:

Third party only (TPO)

This is the minimum level cover required by law in the UK. It covers:

Liability for injury to others (including passengers)
Damage to property
It does not cover you for accidental damage to your own vehicle, you will have to pay for that yourself.

Third party fire and theft (TPFT)

This covers everything that third party only does, plus:

Fire damage
The theft of your motorhome; or
Damage to your motorhome caused during the theft

Comprehensive is the most extensive cover and includes everything third party fire and theft does, plus extra cover to insure your motorhome against at-fault damage. To reflect the way that motorhomes are used, motorhome insurance policies have a special range of features and benefits which the insurer may include as standard on the policy or offer as 'optional extras' for an additional premium. These benefits and features typically include:

European cover - for driving in the European Union
'New for old' vehicle replacement - in the event of a total loss and subject to your vehicle's age.
Courtesy car – to keep you mobile if your motorhome is stolen or written off
Personal effects cover – for items taken from the home, such as clothing, handheld gadgets, etc
Motorhome equipment cover – for 'non-fixed' items kept within the motorhome such as camping equipment, gas cylinders, kitchen equipment, televisions, etc
Audio equipment cover – generally covers audio, visual, navigation or communication equipment permanently fitted in the motorhome
Windscreen and glass cover – cover for your motorhome's windscreen and windows
Legal protection/legal expenses cover
Personal accident cover
Vandalism cover
Trailer cover
Motorhome breakdown assistance (UK or European cover)
Emergency 'any driver' cover
Cover for theft of keys or lock transmitter
Remember!  Before you buy always check the policy small print to see exactly what’s covered, that way you can be sure you are getting a sufficient level of cover for your needs. When you receive your policy documentation check that all the details are correct and if you have any queries or concerns contact your insurer at your earliest opportunity.

What are policy exclusions?
Insurance companies won't pay out for certain risks or some types of loss of damage – these are called 'exclusions' and will be clearly set out in the terms of the policy. Although exclusions will vary between insurers and policies there are some common exclusions on motorhome insurance policies, such as:

Claims arising from your motorhome being used as a permanent residence or for any trade, business or profession
Wear and tear, deterioration and gradually operating causes including insect and vermin damage
Mechanical or electrical breakdown
Theft of contents unless there is forced entry or exit from the motorhome
It will also be a condition of your policy that you do everything reasonably possible to protect your motorhome and failure to do so could invalidate a claim. Simple but effective precautions to protect against vehicle crime include:

Removing the keys and never leaving the engine running, even if you are only leaving the vehicle unattended for a few seconds
Storing keys in a safe and secure place away from windows and doors
Fitting anti-theft devices, such as a steering lock
Locking your motorhome, even when it’s parked on your own driveway
Closing all windows when the motorhome is unattended
Removing non-fixed audio, visual or navigation equipment and handheld gadgets when the motorhome is unoccupied
Placing personal belongings, especially those with a high value, out of view
Remember!  If the information you give to your insurer is not correct it could invalidate your policy. You also need to tell your insurance company everything you believe to be relevant or important that may affect your policy

What is an excess?
An excess is a contribution you agree to pay towards any claim. The excess is split into two different types, compulsory excess and voluntary excess.

Compulsory excess

This is the amount your insurance company requires that you pay towards any claim made on your policy. Normally it is deducted from the settlement made to you.

Voluntary excess

This is the amount you agree to pay towards a claim in addition to the compulsory excess. You agree this at the start of the policy; the higher the excess the lower your premium will be.

Remember!  If you do opt for a higher voluntary excess in order to lower your premium, always set it at a level that's affordable in the event that you do need to make a claim.

What discounts are available?
Some insurance companies will offer discounts on your premium if you improve the security of your motorhome by fitting an approved alarm, immobiliser or tracking device or you are a member of a motorhome club or owners group. Other discounts include:

Secure storage discount
Reversing camera or sensor discount
Low mileage discount
Will I be insured for trips overseas?
If you plan on travelling in Europe your insurance policy should include European cover. This gives you the same level of insurance cover that you have in the UK when you travel within the European Union (EU). Some insurers will include European cover as standard, while others will offer European cover and European breakdown assistance as optional extras.

If your trip takes you outside the EU then your insurer may be able to provide you with a 'Green Card' (International Motor Insurance Certificate). A Green Card provides basic Road Traffic Act cover for driving abroad and is recognised in over 40 countries.

You can find the latest information on the Green Card system†  on the Directgov website.

Remember!  Some countries will confiscate your vehicle if you cannot provide the correct documentation. Always check with your insurer what countries are covered under the Green Card system.

How can I get the right cover for my needs?
Shopping around for quotes is the best way to get a policy that gives you the cover you want at the right price. By comparing policies by features as well as price you can make sure you have all the cover you want at a price that suits.

The key point to remember is that the cheapest quote may not provide the right level of cover for your needs, meaning that while you save money on your premium you could be left out of pocket later on if you do need to make a claim. By paying a little extra for your motorhome insurance it is usually possible to secure better cover and therefore get better value for money.
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