Motorhome insurance: Personal belongings
Words Richard Dredge
- A sense of belonging
- Single item claim limit
- Personal belongings
- Motorhome Protect
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A sense of belonging
The next time you're packing your 'van, do a little exercise. We're not talking about stretches, or standing on one leg, we're talking about adding up the value of the items that you pile into your motorhome for a week or a weekend away. The chances are that you'll be amazed at how quickly the overall value of your personal belongings adds up.
It's an exercise that's worth doing, because your motorhome insurance will have limits on how much you can claim in the event of some ne'er-do well breaking into your 'van and snaffling your valuables. As usual, across the different policies out there there's a huge disparity between the most and the least generous. Buy the wrong one and you could end up with just £500-worth of personal effects cover, which is why it's so important to check those terms and conditions before signing on the dotted line. The least generous cover tends to be on car insurance-based policies, with VW Golf owners not expected to pile valuables into their vehicle.
It would be easy to assume that some of what you pack into your motorhome is covered by your house insurance, but items such as bikes, laptops and cameras are usually covered against theft only when they're in your house. Outside that environment, they won't be insured unless you've paid an extra premium for each item, and itemised it on your household policy. At home, the risk for your insurer is relatively low, but take a camera or pushbike out and about and it's far more likely to be pinched. Some policies allow you to tailor the level of cover to your requirements, which will mean paying a higher premium if you want a higher limit, but the costs tend to be very reasonable. Decide against paying the extra and you could be left seriously out of pocket if the worst should happen.
Single item claim limit
Whatever the level of cover, there will be a limit to how much you can claim for a single item. The stingiest policies will limit you to no more than £100, but £300 to £400 per item is more typical. Most insurance companies separate equipment from personal belongings, and it's important to understand the difference. Equipment includes items such as gas cylinders, generators and awnings, and these tend to have a claim limit of £1,000, although it can be as little as £300.
Some companies bundle equipment and personal belongings together and have one claim limit for everything combined, while others class equipment very tightly. Others are more lenient, which will work in your favour if you lose everything. Of course, it's unlikely that someone is going to go to the trouble of nicking your stainless-steel cutlery but, if your motorhome is taken with everything inside, you'll be amazed at how quickly the value of the utensils, crockery, towels, bed linen, etc, adds up.
What matters more is the value of your tablets (not paracetamol! - Ed), phones and other portable electronic devices such as sat-nav units, along with any cycles or other sports equipment. These are the things that can be worth the most (especially electric bikes) and which are most appealing to thieves. As a result, you need to pin down exactly what counts as personal belongings and what's considered to be equipment. You also need to establish what the overall and single item claim limits are and if there's anything that can't be covered at all. High-value items such as bikes and electronic gadgets are often specifically excluded from your motorhome cover, as the risk is too great for the insurer.
Motorhome Protect's Andrew Evanson concludes,
Motorhome Protect Insurance Specialist
Tel: 01865 818331
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