10 Factors to Consider When Choosing Campervan Insurance

Written by Stuart Craig on 9th November 2020

You’re planning to hit the open road, live your best life with your home on wheels.

It’s a beautiful day, so you park your campervan, erect your awning and embrace nature in a new area. After a few hours, you stroll back to your van to find the most heartbreaking sight.

The door has been forced open and every valuable item in your van has gone. The panic sets in as you ask yourself: Is theft of personal belongings covered by my insurance policy?

These are the instances you need to take into consideration when choosing campervan insurance cover. Before you pick your insurance policy, here are 10 factors you should consider when searching for the complete campervan cover. 

1. Usage Limits

campervan insurance
Photo by Kevin Schmid

How much time are you going to be spending in your campervan? This may sound tough to predict, but many insurers will have restrictions on your cover for your usage either based oin mileage or time spent out of the country.

Is your new mode of travel strictly for weekend use, are you club members, or are you planning to live in your van and join the Instagram nomads in #vanlife? Of course, plans change as the year goes on, but you may want to consider how this is going to affect your insurance quote. 

If your 3-month European trip of discovery stretches into an 8-month lifestyle, you may find yourself in a tough spot when you’re making a claim on your no-longer-applicable policy. On the opposite side, you may find you can save on your level of cover if you are only spending a few nights in your van per week.

Be sure, read your insurance policy, check add ons, security devices, and annual mileage with your provider before signing the documents making sure your policy covers all your needs.

2. Self-Build Cover

Perhaps you weren’t able to find a model with the layout you wanted or your van was a COVID-19 project. Building a van yourself can be an awesome way to save some money and customise your design to your needs. Unfortunately, some insurance companies won’t be too fond of this approach.

Self-build vans are often a ‘learn-as-you-go’ type project, and with this, many aren’t built to satisfy the full requirements of a motorhome. 

Even if you did all the research and took the time to meet regulations, a self-build van can carry an unfavourable reputation and insurance companies might not be interested in covering your DIY job. 

If you don’t have a sign-off on your handy work, you’ll want to be sure to find a company that will give you the right cover to make sure your claim will be approved.

Perhaps you weren’t able to find a model with the layout you wanted or your van was a COVID-19 project. Building a van yourself can be an awesome way to save some money and customise your design to your needs. Unfortunately, some insurance companies won’t be too fond of this approach.

3. Fair Market Vs. Full Replacement

campervan

Pay close attention to your replacement options within your policy. The average market price of your type of vehicle is often determined by the number of miles on the vehicle and the manufacture year.

This is a great gauge for your average vehicle, but campervans tend to hold value much better than other vehicles. A fully built camper has much more influence on a potential market price than simply the milometer and year. 

For this reason, many van-lifers prefer to choose a full replacement policy that accounts for all the extra money you sink into the ‘camper’ part of your van. These options can issue you a higher annual rate but could save you a pretty penny in the event of a write-off giving you peace of mind.

4. Document Conversion Records

Whether you build your van yourself or you have professionals take care of the tricky parts, make sure you keep all your receipts and records from the build. 

These items are helpful in a few areas of your insurance hunt. First, they will provide you with an estimated value of what is actually in your van. This will give you an idea of what the amount of campervan cover you require and when to request add ons.

Additionally, you’ll have a paper trail for each item’s value if you do find yourself claiming for theft or accidental damage. If your insurance company requires proof of market value, you won’t be scrambling to find that part or item online. This will eliminate issues later and secure your cover. 

5. Breakdown cover

Check with providers to see if they offer a roadside assistance program or cover the cost of a recovery vehicle when necessary. 

Through the life of your travels, you will likely find yourself on an array of unpaved roads and uneven terrain. When you are an adventurer, flat tyres and bogged vehicles just happen. 

If you find yourself calling for help on the side of the road, it can often be less costly to use the roadside assistance options provided by your policy plan. If your insurance company doesn’t have an assistance program, find out if they cover your tow to the nearest garage.

6. Emergency Expense Allowances

On the subject of breakdowns or accidents, it’s a good idea to find out if you’ll be covered for your living expenses in these events. Whether you are discovering England, Wales or European countries getting the best insurance cover is critical.

Travelling in a van is often a more budget-friendly way to discover the world, but an unexpected lodging expense could throw your plans. If you rely on sleeping in your van each night, an urgent repair or night in the garage could mean you are left without shelter for a while.

Some policies will include an allowance for daily expenses you incur due to your claim. This can make a world of difference if you find yourself living in hotels and eating out for an unanticipated period. 

If you don’t want to be forced into an expensive situation, ask your insurance company for these ‘loss of use’ details upfront and consider the benefits when weighing up plans.

7. Comprehensive Cover

Opting for the bare minimum on your policy can be tempting to save money, but sticking with liability coverage could leave you in a less than ideal spot.

Comprehensive cover will be the saving grace on your no claims bonus if your campervan suffers damage from hail or a run-in with a large animal. These situations could put your vehicle out of action just as quickly as an accident and are important to consider before you buy.

8. Personal Items Insurance

Whether you are travelling for an extended period or live in your van exclusively, chances are you have numerous personal items on board.

The nightmare of a van-dweller is your van driving off without you. If your vehicle is stolen, that thief isn’t just driving off with your car, they are taking your entire life with them. To avoid these horrible ‘starting-over’ type of situations, you’ll want to check into what sort of personal items coverage your insurance company provides along with the best tracking devices to use.

Regular car insurance won’t cover any of the contents in your van, so it’s important to search for a specialist policy specific to campervans and motor caravans. This factor may see you adding to the premium for your policy coverage to ensure repurchase of your personal belongings.

9. European Cover

Do you plan to leave your country of residence on your travels? This is something you will want to consider when choosing your plan either UK cover or European cover. 

Some policies will provide cover strictly for users who wish to use their van as a UK camping vehicle. If this is your plan, you’ll be pleased to find that many policies will be more affordable for this factor.

If you do plan to explore other areas in your van, you’ll want to be aware of how far your cover stretches with each potential insurance provider.

Making a claim is often the result of a stressful and emotionally draining event. The last thing you want to be worrying about in this situation is if you are beyond the geographical limits of your policy. Form a plan for which countries you would like to visit and ensure they are included in your campervan insurance.

10. Storage Discount Options

When winter rolls around, you may find yourself retiring your wheels for the season. If this is the case, you could be eligible for a ‘stored van’ discount.

Some companies will offer you a lower rate if you’re campervan is placed in secure storage for an extended period. There may be certain requirements for the facilities you choose to store your van in, but these discounts are often a bonus for part-time travellers.

Don’t be shy about inquiring on these discounts when you are shopping for the perfect plan. Each van-lifer will have different needs and your campervan insurance should be just as unique as your travels on the open road. 

Choosing Campervan Insurance

Now that you’re up to date on the factors to consider when choosing campervan insurance, you’ll be soaring through your insurance cover buying experience. We have confidence that you’ll be perfectly prepared and fully educated on the options for the level of cover you need. 

Ready to take off with specialised cover for all your adventure-seeking needs? Get in touch with us today to learn about you choosing campervan insurance and select the perfect plan for your next trip.

 

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