Every year when it comes to sorting your campervan insurance, you’ll no doubt be asked plenty of questions. Your insurance provider will be trying to get you the very best deal perfectly suited to your requirements, and to do that, they'll have to get to know your particular situation and needs. But remember, it’s a two-way street, and the perfect time to get your questions answered, too! If you’re wondering what to ask, then read this run down of the 27 best questions to ask when it comes to finding campervan insurance.
When it comes to buying insurance, it pays not to assume anything. How many times have you bought a policy only to find out later that your awning or other contents isn’t covered? When you’re in a hurry and want to get things sorted as soon as possible it’s very easy to do. But you could stand to lose a lot if you fail to ask the right questions at the right time. When it comes to insurance cover, assuming everything is fine could end up causing you a big headache in the long run.
So ask these questions to make sure your cover includes everything you need it to.
Do I really need campervan insurance?
Yes, you do. If you use your campervan on roads and in public places then there’s a strict legal requirement to have insurance in order to protect others in the event of a road accident. That said, while there’s a bare legal minimum of cover, you probably won’t want to stop there. The last thing you want is for your once-in-a-lifetime road trip to be well and truly spoiled by theft, damage, accident or loss. With the right coverage in place, you’ll be able to relax in the knowledge that if anything does go wrong, it can be easily and quickly put right.
Can’t I just use van insurance?
There are many campervans on the UK’s roads that began life as a different vehicle entirely. Whether a Ford Transit, a Mercedes-Benz Sprinter, or any number of other models many have been painstakingly converted into campervans. However, while they may look very similar from the outside, for insurance purposes they are, in fact, very different.
Campervans are used in a very different way to a van. They are more like a home on wheels rather than just a delivery or cargo vehicle used for moving tools or equipment. So, you must purchase specialist insurance that covers the changed needs of a campervan. As stated in your vehicle log book (V5C form), a converted campervan is no longer classified as a standard van and your insurance will need to be updated as a result.
What types of insurance are on offer?
Knowing what type of insurance you’ll need will often take a fair amount of thought. The three main types on offer are:
- Third-Party – The minimum coverage level required by law to allow you to drive on UK roads. This means it will only cover compensation for the injuries and damage suffered by other people if you cause an accident. Neither you nor your vehicle will be covered. However, these policies can sometimes be more expensive than those offering more coverage!
- Third-Party, Fire and Theft – Similar to Third Party, but these policies also include coverage if your campervan is stolen or if it’s destroyed by fire.
- Fully Comprehensive – The highest level of insurance protection you can buy. Fully Comprehensive covers all of that in Third Party, Fire and Theft and much more. It will also provide coverage if your campervan is damaged or destroyed in an accident that’s not your fault. Alongside this, many Fully Comprehensive policies also include a range of other benefits. For example, they might cover the cost of taking the campervan to a repairer or funds to assist with accommodation costs.
What level of insurance do I need?
As we’ve already said, if you drive a campervan, then you’re legally required to have at least Third Party insurance in place. But this won’t provide any cover for damage or injury suffered by you, and isn’t always the cheapest.
The level of cover you opt for will depend on your personal circumstances. For example, could you afford to replace your campervan if it was damaged? Do you love carrying expensive gadgets and camping gear around in your camper? If so, then Fully Comprehensive might be a more suitable option.
Aren’t my personal belongings already covered by home contents insurance?
Well, some of the contents of your campervan might be covered by your home insurance policy, but many won’t be. Fortunately, unlike car policies many campervan policies will give you increased personal belongings cover. Here at Motorhome Protect we offer coverage of up to £3,500 for personal belongings.
I have an awning; do I need coverage for that?
As well as knowing how to choose the right awning for your campervan you’ll also want the right coverage for these expensive and desirable items. If these get damaged, it could leave you out of pocket. Extra cover is often included for equipment such as awnings and gas bottles but it’s important to check the wording of your policy.
Is damage to my campervan windscreen covered?
Whether or not you have the classic splitty windscreen so loved and admired by the campervan community, any self-respecting owner won’t want their vehicle’s good looks spoiled by any unsightly cracks or chips. Windscreen cover is sometimes included in policies. And although not standard, some policies will provide unlimited coverage for this. When you consider the costs and difficulty of replacing the windscreen on a vintage vehicle, this is an option well worth considering.
What about if I lose my keys, will I be covered?
Whether you’re at home, relaxing at the campsite, or returning after a long hike, there are few more sickening feelings than realising you’ve lost your campervan keys. Or even worse, that they’ve been stolen! Losing your keys can wreck even the best laid holiday plans, leaving you stranded, out of pocket and worrying about your campervan security.
Many policies will let you add key protection coverage to keep you covered if keys are lost, stolen or broken. And remember not all keys are created equal. A replacement key can cost anywhere between £25 to well over £200 so it’s best to have protection in place for this.
What’s usually excluded in campervan insurance policies?
Obviously, depending on the policy and the provider you choose, exclusions can vary considerably. However, in general campervan insurance won’t cover:
- Living in the campervan full time.
- General wear and tear.
- Vermin infestations and any resulting damage.
- Using your campervan for business. Trade use needs a different policy.
- Theft if you’ve left your campervan unlocked or a window open. Even if you were in the campervan at the time!
- Mould and mildew.
What age can you get insured on a campervan?
This will depend on the insurer as many providers will set restrictions on who can apply for insurance cover on a campervan. Those aged 25+ should have no problem, but if you’re a young driver then it’s always worth checking for age restrictions.
If you have a family member below that age who wants to do some of the driving then you may be able to get a quote for a named driver down to the age of 21.
Can anyone drive my campervan and be protected by the policy?
If you’ve got several drivers among friends and family you might want to let them drive the campervan every now and again. It’s a great way to share the costs and driving load, but to do so will require an ‘any driver’ policy. Speak to your insurer to arrange bespoke cover like this.
Do you need a special licence to be insured to drive a campervan?
To insure your campervan, you obviously need to be properly licensed to drive it. To find out if you have the right licence then you’ll need to consider the size of your vehicle and when you passed your driving test.
If you passed your driving test before 1st January 1997 you have a category C1 licence and can drive any vehicle with a maximum authorised mass (MAM) of between 3.5 to 7.5 tonnes. That’ll cover you for all campervans and even large motorhomes.
However, if you didn’t pass your driving test until after 1st January 1997 you have a category B or B1 licence and can only drive vehicles up to 3.5 tonnes or less. If you want to drive something larger, then you’ll need to take an additional driving test to add the C1 category to your driving licence.
How much does campervan insurance cost?
This is a big question and the answer depends on many different things, including:
- Your age.
- Your home address.
- Where you keep your campervan when you’re not using it.
- Driving history, including any past insurance claims or convictions.
- Your level of experience driving a campervan.
- Make and model of the campervan. For example, high value or classic campervans may also attract higher premiums.
- Existing and expected annual mileage. In general, the more you drive, the more you pay.
- Use of other vehicles. If you use your campervan as your main vehicle then you’re likely to pay more.
- Whether you want to add other named drivers to the policy.
How can you reduce the costs?
There are many ways for canny campervan owners to save on their campervan insurance policy. Here are just a few:
- Choose to pay for cover annually rather than in monthly instalments.
- Add extra security to your beloved campervan, such as a better alarm system, immobiliser, GPS tracking device or ID kit.
- Store your campervan off the road, behind a barrier or at a secure storage facility.
- Reduce your mileage.
- Fit a reversing camera or parking sensor.
- Build up your no-claims discount.
- Take an advanced driving qualification. These will prove you’re a safer driver and could lead to lower premiums.
- Join a campervan owners club. You might be offered a discount on your insurance.
- Speak to Motorhome Protect. Our helpful team can save you the legwork by giving you a range of insurance quotes for your campervan.
How can I calculate my mileage?
As insurance costs can vary considerably depending on your annual mileage, you’ll want to have a good idea of how far you drive when looking for cover. After all, if you only use your campervan for occasional weekend trips in the UK, your mileage could be relatively low and you should pay less than a more frequent traveller.
If you think you can stick to a pre-agreed mileage limit you could save more. It stands to reason that if you drive less, there’s less risk of you having an accident or your camper being stolen, so less risk for the insurer.
However, how do you go about calculating this? If you’re a regular driver then simply multiply the miles you drive in a typical week by 52 to get your estimated annual mileage. If you’re a more occasional tourer, then use Google Maps or route planning software to get an idea of your mileage. Obviously, if you’ve had your campervan for a couple of years then you should have a good idea of how far you’re driving.
I have installed a vehicle tracker. Will that mean cheaper premiums?
Campervans are very desirable vehicles, so can be a popular target for thieves. One way to protect your campervan from theft is to invest in a vehicle tracker. While trackers don’t come cheap, they can provide owners with much needed peace of mind.
But will they also bring you cheaper insurance premiums? While the answer could be yes, this will depend on your tracker and the policy you’ve got. Some insurers will only recognise certain brands of trackers so it’s sensible to check with them first to find out what the situation is.
Are discounts available?
If you’re a campervan enthusiast then you may well be a member of a campervan or camping club. Many insurance providers are only too keen to offer discounts for people who are members of such organisations.
You might also be able to secure a discount if you park your beloved camper at a Caravan Storage Site Owners’ Association (CaSSOA) registered site.
I won’t be using my campervan for a while; do I still need campervan insurance?
Keeping your campervan insured is a strict legal requirement if you want to take it on the roads. The only way to avoid this is to officially declare your campervan to be off the road by applying to the DVLA for a Statutory Off-Road Notification (SORN).
To be considered off-road your campervan cannot be used on any public roads. So, you would need to store it in a garage, on a drive, on private land, or in a storage facility. However, would you really want your campervan to be left uninsured? What happens if it’s stolen or damaged? For campervans that are SORN you could ask your insurer whether they offer laid-up cover for campervans.
Is breakdown cover included?
It’s always recommended to have proper breakdown cover for your campervan. That’s if you don’t fancy getting stranded far from home! However, breakdown cover is not usually included as standard on policies and you’ll probably have to add it as an extra. If you do, make sure it covers your particular requirements. For example, if you holiday in Europe a lot then will it cover the costs of vehicle repatriation from France, Germany and so on?
Is it worth adding legal expenses cover?
Accidents are an unfortunate but very common occurrence on the UK’s roads. And they can often end up in tricky legal disputes. So, if you find yourself involved in one through no fault of your own, then Legal Expenses Coverage could help you with any legal claim and could recover your losses.
Can I protect my no claims discount?
Adding no claims discount protection means that if you make a claim on your insurance, you won’t lose your no claims discount. However, this varies from insurer to insurer, so do check details first.
Do I need EU cover?
A common way to reduce premiums is to only pay for benefits you think you’ll use. Why pay for European cover if you're not going to tour Europe with your campervan? Some insurance providers will charge less if you only want UK coverage.
My main vehicle is a campervan; can I still get coverage?
As we all think about our carbon footprint, having two vehicles isn’t something everyone can afford. Cover can still be available for people who use their campervan as their only vehicle. Be aware that if you’re using your campervan more often, then your mileage and premiums might go up.
I want to tow a trailer. Will my campervan insurance cover the trailer and contents?
You really need to read the small print and speak to your insurer first. For example, many insurers just include third-party cover for trailers.
Can I get campervan insurance while converting?
Yes, you can. And you should. In view of the time, effort and money you’ll spend on making your van-life dreams a reality, you’ll want to ensure your investment is well protected both before, during and after conversion.
If I make modifications to my campervan, will that affect my insurance?
We love hearing about all the amazing plans people have for their campervans. But if you’re thinking about making any modifications to your vehicle, it’s important to tell us so we can ensure you stay well protected.
Be aware that not everything you do to your campervan will qualify as a modification. For instance, updating the interior soft furnishings might not affect your premium. But changing the suspension or engine capacity may well have an effect on your insurance.
Should I arrange campervan insurance through Motorhome Protect?
Well, we all know the answer to that by now, don’t we? If you set off in your campervan without the right insurance, then you could be heading for disaster just down the road. That’s why the helpful team of insurance specialists at Motorhome Protect are dedicated to finding you the most appropriate insurance cover for your needs.
No matter how well you’ve researched your next UK adventure, the right insurance policy will give you that extra layer of protection against theft, accident and so much more. Additional benefits could include cover for your campervan while you’re converting it and enhanced cover for camping personal effects.
So, what are you waiting for? Get a quote for campervan insurance today.