Motorhome insurance: How to prevent motorhome theft
With police resources stretched to the limit, it‘s up to all of us to ensure that we do our best to stop our motorhomes from being stolen or broken into, because once this has happened, the best you can often hope for is a crime number so you can claim on your insurance. We ask leading motorhome insurance provider, Comfort Insurance for its advice.
How to prevent your motorhome from being stolen
Your mission should always be to prevent your ’van being stolen in the first place. Don’t just take the view that being insured is the answer to everything, because, firstly, you should always take reasonable steps to make life as difficult as possible for thieves, and, secondly, sorting out the ensuing mess afterwards is often far from straightforward.
New motorhomes have an immobiliser which ensures the official key is the only way of starting it. As a result, thieves will go out of their way to track down the keys. So, hide them away and invest in strong locks for your home’s doors and windows, so that when you go out, thieves can’t easily break in and steal your keys – and then your motorhome.
Older vehicles don’t usually have an immobiliser, but regardless of whether or not one is fitted, it’s probably worth investing in some security upgrades. Dependent on your ’van’s age and value, your insurer might insist on this to provide cover.
Because vehicle security products are tested and rated by the insurance research facility at Thatcham in Berkshire, they carry a Thatcham rating or category.
The key requirements for each category are as follows:
- Category 1 Electronic alarm and immobiliser
- Category 2 Electronic or electromechanical immobiliser
- Category 2-1 Electronic alarm upgrade
- Category 3 Mechanical immobiliser
- Category 4 Wheel locking devices
- Category 5 After-theft systems for vehicle recovery (trackers)
Most underwriters will insist on a category 1 or 5 system being fitted, if they demand anything at all. Category 1 systems are the ones most likely to prevent your ’van being stolen; category 5 fittings are the ones that will allow your vehicle to be found if it should disappear. For more information on security, visit the Thatcham website or talk to your motorhome's insurer.
How can I prevent my motorhome from being broken into?
If your main worry is somebody breaking into your motorhome, a tracker system won’t help. It’s not an alarm, but, as the name suggests, it offers a means of tracking your motorhome if it should be stolen. There are lots of systems available, but whatever you invest in make sure that it works across Europe. Motorhome insurers have recommended Phantom for years, but as rivals catch up there are alternatives.
Even if your insurer doesn’t insist on a tracker being fitted, it’s well worth considering one – especially if your motorhome is valuable or you’re likely to be out of pocket when it comes to making a claim in the event of theft.
For an outlay of around £500 it offers pretty much unbeatable 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 necessarily need to go to this level of expense, though; any hurdle you can put in the way of thieves might deter them enough to leave your ’van alone and go for an easier target.
Take a look at the Sold Secure website to see what other security products are available. Set up by the police, and now managed by the Master Locksmiths’ Association, Sold Secure is a more general automotive security test facility, but there should be plenty of interest for any motorhome owner to help you keep your mitts on what’s rightfully yours.
This feature first appeared in What Motorhome magazine.
Want to read more about insuring your motorhome? Check out the rest of our motorhome insurance advice articles here.
For more advice on motorhome insurance,
contact motorhome insurance provider
Comfort Insurance on 0800 0304 206.