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Insuring your motorhome


We've teamed up with motorhome insurance experts, Safeguard to guide you through buying the right policy for you and your motorhome. 

Getting the right level of cover at an affordable price

Like any other vehicle, your motorhome must be insured before you drive it on the road. While there are various levels of cover available, it makes little sense to spend possibly tens, even hundreds, of thousands of pounds buying a motorhome and then try to save on insurance cover. For that reason MMM recommends the policy required should be comprehensive.

In order to get an insurance quote, you will need to give a lot of information about yourself, where your motorhome is stored and how and where you plan to use it. All of these factors are used by the insurance companies to produce a quote. There are a number of ways of getting a quote, such as go to a broker, or use a price comparison website.

A number of big name insurance brands are actually brokers. Safeguard will take your details and look for the best quote for you. You will then arrange your insurance with Safeguard and call them when you need to claim.

Top 10 must dos

  1. Write down all the essentials about your motorhome (weight, length, age, engine capacity, number of travel seats, value, etc) before you start looking for an insurance quote.
  2. Decide where you will store your motorhome when it's not in use (a secure, approved storage centre is better than on the road). And, then tell your insurer if it is in a secure site.
  3. Decide how you will use your motorhome. Will you use it just in the UK and only in the summer? Or do you plan to go off on a 12-month tour of Europe? If the latter, this will have an impact on the cost of your insurance. If the former, you may get a discount for low mileage and the fact that it'll only be used in the UK. At Safeguard, they offer 365 days a year European cover as standard.
  4. Consider fitting a stolen vehicle tracking device and additonal security measures. Some devices will attract a premium discount, while others, like a tracker on a high-value motorhome, may be mandatory.
  5. Ensure you know exactly what will be covered in the policy: does it cover your personal belongings like laptops, cameras and TVs? Does it provide breakdown cover when you're abroad and will it get you and your motorhome home again if it is unrepairable?
  6. If you travel with your pet, make sure it is also covered in any repatriation cover you take. The last thing you want to be told is that you can get home but your pet isn't covered. It's usually covered at the discretion of the insurer or breakdown company, so make sure you check. (Safeguard do not cover pet insurance).
  7. Use specialist brokers. They know all about motorhomes and what extra cover you need. This is not a car policy you're buying, it is a specialist product designed to give you the cover you need depending on how you use your motorhome.
  8. Ask about the excess. It is no good having everything covered and then discovering the cost of a claim is prohibitive. The larger your excess figure – the more you pay towards a claim – normally will your insurance policy will be lower. You can discuss this with Safeguard and find a balance that works for you.
  9. Make sure your motorhome is road legal. That doesn't just mean it has an MoT, but also that it is taxed, that you hold the correct licence to drive the size and weight of your motorhome and that it isn't overloaded. If you're motorhome is overweight, it is illegal and therefore your insurance is invalid.
  10. Don't just go for the cheapest quote. Make sure the policy covers you and your motorhome for exactly what you need to be covered.


Top 5 don'ts

  1. Always be honest about your details with your insurer or broker. Don’t provide incorrect details or your policy could be invalid.
  2. Always tell the insurer if you modify your motorhome (such as adding a seat), don’t forget to do this or your policy could be invalid.
  3. Be honest about convictions. If you have been given points on your licence don’t forget to tell your insurer.
  4. Don’t assume something is covered by the policy. Always check what is and what isn’t, especially if you have high value items such as cameras and laptops.
  5. Don't expect, always ask. Don't assume a discount will be applied for things like a no claims bonus or a tracking device.


Determining factors

Man driving a motorhome

The first factor that determines how expensive a quote is likely to be is your age. Young and new drivers are statistically more likely to be involved in crashes and consequently their premiums may be higher.

Fortunately, most motorhome owners are mature drivers so, unless you have a bad driving record, this will help. The number of years of no claims bonus (NCB) – even if this is from driving a car – will also reduce the cost.

Each year you are insured to drive and don’t make a claim, this goes towards your NCB. One option when taking out insurance is to pay a small premium to protect your NCB. At Safeguard, this can be worthwhile and allows for one claim to be made without losing your NCB discount.

The next criteria is your postcode. All locations are rated for crime and how likely your motorhome is to be stolen, broken into or damaged. A rural location with a low crime rate will have normally have a lower premium than in an inner-city area with a higher crime rate.

Where your motorhome is parked overnight will modify this part of the quote. If you can get it inside a locked garage that is at the side of your premises it will afford a decent reduction compared to having to park it on the street. What you can’t do though is say it is being stored in a garage when you don’t have one, and instead park on a street.

Other factors here include immobilisers, trackers and alarms being fitted. If you don’t have off-road storage then it can be worth housing your motorhome with an accredited storage site.

The advantage of using an accredited storage site is that they have locked gates, CCTV, monitored entry and exit points and even security personnel. Sites are graded bronze, silver or gold depending on how much security is in place.

Storing your motorhome at one will get you a discount on your premium. However, storage fees can be expensive – a typical site will cost you £600 per year – and then there’s the inconvenience of it not being at your home address. There are over 500 sites around the country.

Those are the most important criteria when getting a quote but there are others that have an impact. The annual mileage and typical usage will have an effect.

Most motorhomes will be used for leisure driving only. If you have a campervan that also doubles as the main family vehicle and you drive to work in it, your premium may be higher than if you are a using it as a low-mileage leisure vehicle.

If you intend to travel abroad, this should also be declared, especially if you plan to be away for extended periods.

Your occupation is a factor

Although many motorhome owners are retired, if you are still in work there are a few occupations that can attract higher premiums. Anything which could conceivably mean that the motorhome will be used for work, even if you say it isn’t, could drive up the cost.

Some professions attract higher or lower premiums because of the type of person doing them and their lifestyle. However, the EU Gender Directive that came into force on 21 December 2012 stated that insurance companies could not use gender as a basis for pricing.

Setting the excess

After going through all the details about you and your motorhome the next question is usually about the excess you are willing to pay. This normally takes the form of a voluntary excess and a compulsory one that comes with the policy.

The excess is the first portion of any claim that you will pay yourself. MMM suggests that specifying a larger voluntary excess can reduce the premium, but for experienced drivers with a decent NCB it may not make much of a difference.

At Safeguard the compulsory excess is mandatory in the event of a claim and ranges between £100 to £400. If you scrape a bumper on a wall while reversing it may be cheaper to have it repaired yourself, rather than claim on the policy. But, you should always notify your insurer.

Another point to bear in mind is that if you received a discount because the motorhome is stored in a garage, the compulsory excess may be more if it is stolen while out on the public road than if it was from that garage.

Things to look for in your insurance, as well as the motorhome being stolen or written off, are specific instances where cover can help. These are usually additional features and include windscreen replacement, break in and theft, legal disputes, vandalism and losing your keys.

As well as the basic cover of a comprehensive policy, you need to specify contents coverage, to cover specific items kept inside the motorhome. Some policies will limit cover for mobile phones, tablet computers and cameras because they are high value.

Make sure that your contents policy covers the value of what you keep inside your motorhome.

It’s worth checking the small print to make sure that there aren’t any exceptions that will cause you problems down the road.

For example, if you like to tour around Europe make sure that all the countries you intend to visit are covered by the policy. Some Eastern European countries may not be included without paying extra.

If you are getting a quote online and you feel that you will need to add extra coverage that isn’t on any of the forms you’ve entered, then continue on to get quotes and make a note of the reference number.

Then call the company concerned, give them the reference number for the quote you’ve already had and explain what you need added. It will save having to go through all the details again with the telephone agent.

It goes without saying that your motorhome will need to be road legal – including tyres – with a valid MOT because if not and you need to make a claim, the policy will be invalidated.

Breakdown policies

Now, before you go on to the business of paying for your policy, there is usually the option of adding some extra types of coverage. These are usually breakdown and legal cover.

While new motorhomes will come with some form of warranty, this may not extend to actual breakdown recovery so ensure you know what it does apply to. Even complementary breakdown coverage may have specific exclusions, such as Europe, that could render it worthless.

If you already have a breakdown policy for your motorhome then obviously you don’t need another one, so it’s often worth running a check to see what breakdown cover will cost if you take it out separately.

If doing this online, simply open a new browser window and check the prices against what you are being offered as part of your insurance.

One feature to look out for on breakdown policies is that a motorhome being much larger than a car, so you specifically need to cover either the vehicle itself, or ensure that any weight or size dimensions are not exceeded.

In terms of what breakdown coverage to go for, it’s down to you, but if travelling to Europe then you really want to have the option of having the motorhome recovered back to your home if it can’t be fixed.

Shipping it back home will be expensive otherwise. Other options include travel on to your destination or recovery to the nearest garage.

If you are towing a trailer this needs to be covered and, if abroad with your dog, there must be plans in place to get your pet as well as you back home, even if that simply means travelling back with your pet.

Being a member of an organisation or association may help reduce your insurance quote, such the AA or RAC. Safeguard include as standard UK and European AA breakdown cover (for motorhomes less than 20 years old).

Health coverage

The final option to look at is health insurance so that if you or anyone in your party falls ill, they can be looked after without running up a considerable healthcare bill.

If it’s the only driver who is incapacitated then there needs to be cover to get the vehicle back home, as well as the other passengers. Again, this can be quite specialised and it may be better to investigate this separately rather than tack on a limited option at the end of taking out your motorhome insurance.

There are many specialised motorhome policies on the market currently and these have been designed based on claims and feedback from motorhomers, so will offer an insurance package specific to a motorhomer’s unique set of requirements. (Safeguard don't cover health as standard).

There are also many specialist brokers working in the area, and it will pay to speak to them even if you don’t end up buying a policy through them.

Get in touch with Safeguard for a personalised quote. Call 0800 298 4568 or visit www.safeguard.co.uk

Safeguard motorhome insurance logo

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08/03/2017 Share this story   Share on Facebook icon Share on Twitter icon Share on Pinterest icon Share on Google Plus icon Share on Linked In icon Share via Email icon

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