Top 10 Tips for Camper Van Insurance

These top ten tips this month should help you make decisions about your camper van insurance!

1 When away traveling and on holiday in your camper van make friends with people and families camping around you that way you can act like a  “neighbourhood watch” between you all.
2 If you use your camper van for just a couple of weeks or months a year then maybe look into taking a policy with limited mileage.
3 To save even more cash on your camper van insurance it will be a good idea to invest in a good quality security alarm.
4 Don’t have the room on your driveway to park your camper van? Find a secure storage site and pay a small yearly fee just like a caravan storage arrangement.
5 Policies should have included accident recovery which takes care of your camper van but also gets you to your holiday or travelling destination.
6 If you only use the camper van a few times a year for your touring holidays it might be a good idea take a small run out first to ensure everything is in good working order.
7 Installing fire alarms and extinguishers can improve your safety and help to keep down the cost of insurance.
8 Check to see if the insurance would cover another driver if you should fall ill while on holiday and cannot drive home.
9 The average campervan user will only travel 5,000 miles per year.
10 Would trailer cover be included in the insurance policy and up to how much?

Happy camper vanning!

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Campervan insurance needs scrutinising

When looking for campervan insurance you need to scrutinise the contents of the policy very carefully to ensure that it contains everything needed. One of the main factors you have to consider when looking to take out insurance for your camper van is how long you use it and where you are likely to be travelling. The cost of insurance will also depend on what level on cover you need. You can choose fully comprehensive, third party fire and theft or third party only.

If you take your campervan and do a lot of travelling throughout the year then you should consider covering it with fully comprehensive as this gives the most complete cover. However if you only travel in your campervan for the odd week with the family, then you might be able to save money by insuring third party only. Third party, fire and theft provides liability protection for any third party who may be involved in an accident which was your fault as well as damage caused by fire or if the campervan was stolen.

Fully comprehensive campervan insurance on the other hand would provide you with many additional benefits. The majority of comprehensive insurance policies cover for any accidental damage that happens to the campervan. They also cover for loss or damage to the vehicle and the cover would also pay for repairs to both parties in an accident. Some will also pay for medical costs to the third party but you have to check the small print to see what the cover actually includes.

You would almost certainly want the policy to include cover for your belongings as the majority of campervans very often act like home. If you were to lose everything in a fire or if they were to be stolen then you could lose a lot. While policies usually include loss or damage to personal belongings you would be better off if the policy covered new for old. A new for old policy would allow you to replace the items lost at the value they are today as opposed to when you purchased them.

A good comprehensive insurance policy would give you some form of breakdown and recovery assistance. If your vehicle broke down and you had to pay for recovery, it could be very expensive. Usually a policy will include taking you to your destination and getting your campervan to a repair centre. Some policies will offer to pay for accommodation; however the level of cover would depend on the insurance provider.

When looking for campervan insurance check to see if you would be covered for the awning and any camping equipment that was stored in the van. Both of the can be very expensive to replace if they are not covered in the policy. Both of them are usually covered for up to a certain amount so you have to compare this in the terms and conditions of the cover. You would also have to look out for windscreen and sunroof cover and if any items such as stereo equipment and navigation equipment would be covered if these were damaged or stolen.

Protect your campervan from being stolen

Whether you use your campervan for daytrips or for longer outings, one of the attractions of using it is because it can be your home from home whilst travelling. Therefore, it makes sense to by undertaking a few simple steps that can reduce the likelihood of theft.

One of the simplest things you could do is not to make things easy for the criminal. Always lock all the doors and windows when leaving the campervan even if it is just for a very short time. After-all, the thief could be in the driving seat and away in less time than it takes you to walk to the kiosk and pay for the fuel you have just filled up with. The fitting of an immobiliser could add to the difficulty of starting your campervan without the keys… because you always take the keys with you, don’t you?

Although good quality padlocks and heavy-duty chains might be expensive to buy, their presence could make attempting to remove items like gas tanks or bicycles from a bike rack rather challenging and time consuming. Using locking wheel nuts and fitting an alarm from a reputable company, which is activated each time you leave the vehicle, could also act as an effective deterrent. The idea of stealing your campervan and stripping it for parts and accessories might not be so attractive if the actual initial vehicle theft is not going easy.

Whenever you leave your campervan, always take your valuables with you. Never leave them in plain sight, always lock things away. Even items of clothing or trainers can be appealing to a thief who might be tempted to try to break in for a closer look. Whilst inside, takes a good look around and could be happy to remove anything that is not locked away, even the campervan itself. If you leave any of your vehicles registration documents inside, it could make stealing your campervan to sell on, worthwhile.

Having the registration number of your campervan etched onto all its windows and any other part that could be removed and sold on, could help reduce your vehicle’s appeal to a criminal. It might also be prudent to security mark all your valuable possessions within the campervan, perhaps using an ultraviolet pen if etching is not practical. You could also electronically tag your campervan to give added security. All these tips could help you protect your campervan from being stolen.

Buying a used campervan

There is normally a used campervan in the market place to suit most budgets and design preference. As with all purchases, information is power, so plenty of research before you commence your purchasing trip could be the key when . Make a list of wants and sort these into ‘must haves’ and ‘would be nice’. Do not be too ridged or unrealistic with your ‘wish list’. After all, the campervan will be second-hand and its condition should reflect its age and mileage. It might be disappointing and expensive to refuse a campervan with low mileage and full service history in favour or a less sound vehicle based on its interior layout!

When , always view your would-be purchase in good daylight conditions, as this should make detecting flaws easier. Look for cracks on the outside, sun damage, knocks, scrapes etc and check the seals and trims. Look at the chassis and inspect underneath the vehicle. Inside, check the cupboards, handles, carpets, upholstery and beware of over personalisation of the interior. Ensure that there are no signs of damp. It normally has a distinctive smell and mildew is often present in corners and cupboards. An inexpensive damp meter could assist with this.

Test all the electrical and gas equipment, making sure that the seller fully demonstrates every single feature is in good working order and that they all operate from a hook up. Always take the campervan for a test drive, ensuring that you drive down both town and country roads. Also, try parking it and turning it around so that you are fully comfortable with its degree of manoeuvrability.

If buying privately, always insist on viewing the campervan at the seller’s home address so that you can verify ownership. Insist on seeing full documentation and check the chassis and engine numbers. Motoring organisations, for example, the RAC and AA, offer on-line history checks, full inspection and road tests. Be aware that a private seller does not have to make a statement regarding the vehicles condition. However, they are legally obliged to answer truthfully any specific vehicle related question. If you are from a dealer, they are duty bound to ensure everything is in safe working order and many provide a guarantee with the sale. Some dealers also offer part exchange deals and provide finance arrangements.

Regardless of whom you approach, it is often sensible to shop locally. This not only makes the travelling to view easier but also any after-sales visits more convenient. Also, when buying a used campervan, always haggle. Not just on the price but also for extra items that may not be included in the selling price.

Campervan insurance – Your choices

You have the same chances when looking for campervan insurance as you do when looking for car insurance. Your choices of insurance would include a fully comprehensive policy or third party policy. The type of campervan you choose to buy would depend on the insurance which would be the most suitable. If you have paid out many thousands of pounds for your van then of course a fully comprehensive policy would be the most suitable option. If a second hand model was your choice then third party fire and theft might be the most suitable form.

However while the same types of policy can be considered this is where the similarity ends. There are many more aspects of campervan insurance that have to be taken into account that are specifically tailored to a campervan. One of the main reasons for owning a campervan is of course to travel around in it and spend your holidays in it. Therefore you will be treating your campervan as a home away from home and have your personal belongings in it. With this in mind you want to ensure that you have suitable cover for your belongings.

All campervan insurance should come with personal belongings cover but they would usually limit this to a certain amount. It is essential to check this amount and also if there are any exclusions as to the type of belongings that are protected in the policy. Expensive items such as sat nav equipment, TVs and jewellery might be exempt for the cover and you would have to take out extra insurance for these.

Also check any insurance you are considering to ensure that you would be protected if travelling around Europe. This would give you protection in case you should breakdown and if the worst comes to the worst if you were to have your campervan taken for repair you would be taken to your destination. Some insurance policies would also include hotel accommodation if your campervan was off the road for repair so again this would need comparing as there could be limits. There could also be a limit on the amount of days of European cover the policy would provide and again this has to be checked before taking on the policy.

A policy that does include European cover would generally cost more than one without. With this in mind if you do not plan on travelling outside of the UK then search for a policy that comes without cover for Europe. Another way you can cut down on the cost for the premiums for campervan insurance is if you choose to pay out more in excess. The excess is what you are asked to pay towards the cost of the policy before the insurance company would kick in and pay the rest of the claim. However you would have to bear in mind that the amount of excess you choose to pay would have to come out of your own pocket as a lump sum payment. Installing extra security devices such as a tracking device and good quality alarm could also help to keep down the cost of your insurance premiums.

Features of campervan insurance you could look for

Your new campervan will be your pride and joy. Whether you have chosen to buy a second hand campervan or have taken on a top of the range brand new home away from home campervan that comes complete with all the mod cons of home, you need campervan insurance.

You do have choices when it comes to taking out insurance and this would depend on the type of camper van you have chosen. If you chose to buy a cheaper second hand model just to take out and about in the UK a couple of times per year then you could be better off taking out third party fire and theft insurance. A new van off the forecourt would mean you had not got much choice over the protection as you would have to take out fully comprehensive insurance. This is the dearest type of insurance but it would provide you with the most complete form of protection for your campervan.
Campervan insurance differs between each insurance provider with some offering more features than others for your money. However the majority of comprehensive insurance will include protection against fire and theft. In some cases the insurance company would payout to replace your campervan with a brand new model if it should be damaged beyond repair or if stolen. However this would generally only apply if the campervan was under a certain age or if it had done under so many miles.

This would need to be checked before taking on the policy. Usually providers offer storm damage and flood damage in with the insurance which of course could be considered essential if you are taking your campervan out on the road for a great deal of time throughout the year. Some providers will also include accidental damage in with their policy while others could ask that you pay extra for this, so again checking the small print is essential.

There are also many extras that could be included in your campervan insurance or which you can add onto the cover for a little extra. One of which might be European cover, this should be considered essential if you intend travelling outside of the UK in your campervan.

If your policy does have European cover included then you would have to check how many days coverage the policy would provide as usually there will be a limit. European cover would payout for such as a stay in alternative accommodation if you were to break down or have an accident while in Europe. It should also payout to have your campervan towed to a garage and pay for repairs.

The majority of campervan insurance policies would payout for items such as clothing, linen, bedding and personal items. However you would have to check the limits on these as all insurance providers will only pay out up to so much and certain items such as those of particular value might not be covered.

There would also be a minimum amount of excess on the policy which would need checking as this is the amount you would have to pay out of your own pocket before the insurance provider would take over the rest of the claim.

Choose your campervan insurance cover with care

While we all want to make savings on our insurance it is also essential that we also ensure we have got the right policy for our needs. It is no good saving a great deal on the cost of the insurance only to find that you cannot make a claim as your policy does not include what you need to claim against. With this in mind you need to .

Checking the small print for exclusions and limitations when choosing campervan insurance cover is essential. All insurance providers will add these in and some could include more than others. For example there could be a limit as to how much the insurance company would pay out for such items as steps and awnings. You could also have to pay out extra excess to make a claim against windscreen and window damage. It is only by going over the small print of the policy you were considering that you would know about these.

The features provided can vary between insurance providers and what you need in a policy would depend on your circumstances. Therefore when looking into insurance for your campervan you first have to decide what it is you want out of your policy.

For instance you would have to decide how many months or weeks out of the year you used your campervan. If you do not use it often they you could consider taking out insurance that came with limited mileage. This would provide you with full insurance providing you did not drive over a certain amount of miles per year.

You would also need to take into account whether or not you wanted European cover included in the policy.

If you planned on touring around Europe then you would need to look for the best deal that provided adequate cover when travelling around Europe. European cover would for example payout to have your campervan towed and repaired. It could also payout for you to stay in alternative accommodation if your campervan was inhabitable. Again all providers will state a maximum amount of days that you would be covered while travelling around Europe.

Campervan insurance will allow you to take out protection for your personal belongings. You would have to take an inventory to reach a figure to insure. This is the amount that you would get back in the worst case scenario that you lost everything. When insuring your belongings you could be offered new for old protection. In this case your belongings would be replaced brand new. This is usually the dearest type of protection. If your policy pays out taking depreciation into account then you could lose out.

All providers will add in a certain amount of excess that you would have to payout before you could make a claim on your campervan insurance cover. This amount would come out of your own pocket as a lump sum and is deducted from the amount of your claim with the insurance company paying the rest of the claim. You can offer to pay more excess to help keep down the cost of the insurance. However should you need to make more than one claim in any one year it is possible that you would lose out?