If you choose to invest in a motorhome, you’re probably the type of person who loves the freedom of cruising across the country, finding picturesque spots to spend a blissful few days in your home on wheels. Motorhome insurance cover helps keep this dream alive by ensuring your vehicle is protected, whatever happens.
Whether you’re on the road or parked up at your favourite campsite, if something happens to your motorhome, the right insurance buffers you financially. Our complete motorhome insurance guide will tell you everything you need to know about protecting your motorhome, walking you through the ins and outs of this specialist vehicle insurance. You’ll understand when you might need it, what is and isn’t covered, and we’ll even give you handy tips for bringing down the cost of your insurance premium.
What is Motorhome Insurance?
Motorhome or RV Insurance is a policy you must hold if you own and drive a motorhome. In the UK, you are legally required to insure your motorhome with a specialist motorhome insurance policy because you both drive it as a vehicle on the road and use it as temporary accommodation. These policies reflect the risks associated with this type of vehicle.
Imagine you’re heading off to your favourite coastal pitch on a bank holiday weekend when you’re rear-ended at a roundabout, causing significant impact damage to your vehicle. Or, while parked up at a campsite, a flash flood tears through the site and damages both your motorhome contents and your vehicle’s engine. And what if you should wake up one morning to find your prize possession has been stolen from your property? RV insurance can come to your rescue when you need it the most.
Often representing a significant investment, you’ll want to feel like you’ve properly protected your asset. Insurance can be a great help when it comes to repairing or replacing your vehicle. Though it’s a legal requirement to hold this insurance, you can also tailor your policy to add the level of protection you feel most comfortable with to make sure your motorhome plans will never have to be postponed for too long if something goes wrong.
Understanding Motorhome Insurance Cover
When obtaining a quote, it’s important to understand what will be covered as standard and what won’t. That way, you won’t have any nasty surprises if you need to make a claim.
You probably know that when you insure a car, you can choose from three levels of cover. These three levels also apply to a motorhome, so your insurer will ask you to select from third party only, third party, fire and theft, and fully comprehensive. Each level of cover will ensure your insurance company pays out for damage you cause to a third party’s vehicle or property and any third-party injury claims. But you’ll need to choose your cover carefully if you want your insurer to also pay for your own personal losses associated with an accident that was your fault or for fire damage or theft.
Third party only is the cheapest option, but you’ll need to feel confident that you can finance the cost of repairing or replacing your own motorhome if you want to continue enjoying your vehicle after an incident. Though the most expensive, fully comprehensive does offer you complete peace of mind that both the third party’s and your own costs will be covered should an accident occur that was your fault.
How Usage Affects Your Cover
In addition to setting the level of your cover, an insurer will also want to choose your coverage based on how you use your motorhome. For some people, a motorhome is the only vehicle in their household. Not only do they use it for happy holidays, but they also drive it to work and fetch their groceries in it. If this is the case, your insurance premium could be significantly higher, and indeed some insurers may not even be willing to cover this level of usage. A mileage cap may be applied to your policy, dictating how many miles you can travel in your motorhome annually. The higher the cap, the more you’ll pay.
If you’re only using a motorhome for one holiday, for example, or borrowing or hiring a vehicle, consider discussing temporary motorhome insurance with an insurer.
What Is Commonly Covered?
Once you set your level of cover, you’ll know where you stand regarding incidents involving a third party, fire, or theft. Although you must check with your insurer, it’s common for a motorhome insurance quote to include the following as standard or simple add-ons:
- Windscreen cover – to cover the cost of repairing chips and cracks.
- Awning cover – in case the motorhome’s awning is damaged by the likes of high winds.
- Personal belongings cover – to protect all those items you keep in your motorhome.
- Motorhome replacement – providing a like-for-like replacement if your vehicle is a total loss or an unrecovered theft.
- Hire car – to make sure you have transportation if your motorhome is taken off the road by an accident or damage while you’re away from home (or if you use it as your primary vehicle).
What Isn’t Usually Covered by Motorhome Insurance?
You shouldn’t take it for granted that your insurance covers every eventuality. Here are the top five areas you might not receive cover for in your policy:
Both mechanical and electrical failures are unlikely to be covered as standard, and if you want protection against this risk, you’ll need to purchase breakdown cover as well. If you don’t have a financial cushion for emergency repairs, you may wish to add this to prevent holiday disasters if your motorhome splutters to a halt on the hard shoulder.
Damage or Loss Due to your own Neglect
If you have coverage for theft, your insurer will stipulate the level of security they expect from you. You may not be covered if you fail to meet this standard, for example, by leaving the keys in the motorhome ignition at a campsite while you go off for a walk.
If you’re crossing the Channel to spend time in Europe in your motorhome, be aware that it may cost you a little extra on your insurance to receive cover while you’re away, and you must advise your insurer if you intend to travel out with the UK.
Wear and Tear
Over the years – and hopefully with many fun trips under your belt – your motorhome will experience natural wear and tear. If things go wrong because of that, you’re unlikely to be covered as standard.
Vermin and Insect Damage
Though these pests can cause a lot of damage, their damage isn’t commonly covered as standard. It can be hard to acquire cover for this potential risk, so instead, spend time learning how to protect your motorhome from this threat.
Motorhome vs Campervan Insurance
Make sure you obtain the correct insurance for the type of vehicle you own. And this means understanding the difference between a motorhome and a campervan.
A motorhome is usually a fairly large vehicle with a clearly defined living section and permanent fixtures such as a sink, a toilet, cabinetry, and a bed. A campervan tends to be smaller and does not feature the same level of living facilities.
But why is it important to differentiate between the two in terms of insurance? Motorhome insurance cover is different to that used for campervans. A campervan only requires car or van insurance, but using such cover for a motorhome would not be sufficient. The DVLA classes a motorhome as a motor caravan, so standard motor insurance cannot be used.
Motorhome Insurance Costs
You’ve already learned that your insurance premium will be lower if you only take out third party cover, have a lower mileage cap, and do not use the motorhome as your primary vehicle. But what else impacts the cost of motorhome insurance?
Factors that Influence Your Premium
Your insurer will go through the following points with you when you’re looking for a motorhome insurance quote:
- Motorhome make and model – with both high-value and classic examples usually being more expensive to insure.
- Where you live – insurers use an address database to assess the level of insurance claims associated with your area.
- Your age and driving history – where older and more experienced drivers with a good no-claims bonus can enjoy a lower premium. They’ll also consider your motorhome driving experience. These are larger vehicles, so those with plenty of experience or an advanced driving qualification can find their premium drops.
- Where you park your motorhome – insurers prefer off-street parking, with good savings to be made if you can prove your parked motorhome has enhanced security, such as cameras and anti-theft and tracking devices.
- Additional drivers – where adding an experienced motorhome driver as a named driver could lower your premium. The opposite is true if you add a younger or inexperienced individual as a named driver.
- Modifications – if you have a self-built motorhome or have made modifications, you’ll end up paying more. To help buffer this rise a little, look for a specialist insurer that deals with modified vehicles.
- Club membership – being a member of certain motorhome clubs allows you to enjoy a discount on your insurance. Moreover, many of these clubs organise training events to boost your motorhome driving experience.
- Payment schedule – you’ll always save a little money by paying annually rather than monthly.
- Your excess – the larger the excess you’re willing to commit to, the lower your final premium.
Finding the Best Motorhome Insurance
Knowing the factors that influence your insurance premium, try to have as many cost-reducing strategies in place as possible before you start talking to insurers. It’s always a great idea to shop around but to get the best policy for your motorhome, your pool of insurers is a little smaller. This is because, ideally, you should opt for an insurer that deals with specialist policies. They’ll be well placed to create a policy that offers the right level of cover, saving you from spending money on coverage you don’t really require while still offering you all the protection you need.
Motorhome Insurance FAQs
Still got questions about motorhome or RV insurance cover? Here are a few FAQs for guidance.
How much contents cover will I need?
Although some home insurance policies offer a degree of protection against belongings outside the home, the items kept permanently in a motorhome are usually not covered. This means you need to consider the cost of repairing or replacing televisions, kitchen appliances etc.
To work out the level of contents cover, spend some time making an inventory of your motorhome, calculating the cost of replacing like for like. Although a higher estimate will be reflected in the cost of your premium, don’t be tempted to cut corners here unless you know you have the finances to replace all these items out of your own pocket.
What happens if I make modifications after I’ve taken out a policy?
You’ll need to let your insurer know as soon as you modify your motorhome. They may need to tweak your policy and increase your premium.
Can I use my car’s no-claims bonus for my motorhome insurance policy?
You may be able to do this occasionally, but you’ll need to discuss it with your insurer carefully. If you have a no-claims bonus from a car you’ll no longer be using or have sold, passing it on to a motorhome may be possible.
You cannot have a no-claims bonus in two places, so you can only add it to your motorhome and not to a replacement car.
With all this helpful information to hand, you’re all set to find the ultimate insurance for your beloved motorhome.