Motorhome insurance: Alarming statistics
Words by Richard Dredge
- Securing your vehicle
- Security ratings
- Recommendations from insurers
- Mechanical devices
- Motorhome Protect Insurance Specialist
- About our magazines
Securing your vehicle
Motorhome theft is a growing problem, and whether your vehicle is ancient and has been to the moon and back, or you’ve invested your life savings in a new model worth more than Bolivia’s national debt, forking out on some extra security is a good idea. However, the cost of such an investment can be significant (typically £600 to £1,000 or more), and its fitment may not actually cut your premium by all that much.
Most insurance claims filed by motorhome owners are for damage, rather than theft, and installing a tracking system won’t stop you damaging your campervan when you try to squeeze it into a Fiesta-sized space. But, despite all this, it’s still worth investing in extra security, unless your vehicle was already supplied with a top-notch system; some insurers insist on it if the value is over £50,000 or £60,000. Most new motorhomes feature nothing more sophisticated than a Category 2 system as standard, though.
Security systems have a Thatcham category, because all testing is done by the insurance research centre in Thatcham, Berkshire. Just as well the testing centre isn’t based in Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch.
The ratings are:
- Category 1: Electronic alarm and immobiliser
- Category 2: Electronic or electromechanical immobiliser
- Category 2-1: Electronic alarm upgrade
- Category 4: Wheel locking devices
- Category S5: Tracker systems
- Category S7: Lower-spec tracker systems (see thatcham.org/what-we-do/security for more)
Recommendations from insurers
For high-value motorhomes, most underwriters ask for a Category 1 or S5 system, if they insist on anything at all. Category 1 systems are the ones most likely to prevent your ’van being stolen; Category S5s allow your vehicle to be retrieved if it’s pinched. Most companies would recommend a tracker above a top-notch alarm and immobiliser system, as your motorhome or campervan should always be capable of being recovered, no matter what. However, for ultimate peace of mind you need to fit a system that works in Europe; most insurers recommend Phantom (phantom.uk.net), whose prices range between £249 and £1,099.
Even if your insurer doesn’t insist on a tracker, it’s worth considering one, especially if your motorhome is valuable, or if you’re likely to be out of pocket when it comes to making a claim in the event of theft. For around £500 it offers peace of mind, while also being very discreet; the system relies on a small box being fitted somewhere in the vehicle. In the event of a theft, this emits a signal which then allows the motorhome to be tracked using GPS.
You don’t have to go down the electronic route, however, as there’s a raft of mechanical devices that are also worth considering. Thatcham doesn’t rate them any more (they used to be Category 4), but check out the Sold Secure website (soldsecure.com) to discover which are the best products. Wheel clamps, steering wheel locks and pedal locks that might slow down a thief can only be a good thing, as anything that gets in their way might make them look for an easier target.
Also consider removing the ignition circuit fuse; we even know of one reader who removes his motorhome’s wheels while it’s being stored. Or you could install posts on your drive, which won’t allow a motorhome to be moved; also think about fitting gates, which will hopefully keep the tea leaves at bay. You could think about putting up some CCTV, too; if this doesn’t deter thieves, you might at least get a mug shot of whoever steals your motorhome, so you can pick them out in an identity parade down at the local nick.
Motorhome Protect's Andrew Evanson concludes,
Motorhome Protect Insurance Specialist
Tel: 01865 818331
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