Take the mystery out of motorhome insurance with our beginners' guide, including discussion of types of vehicles, cover levels, contents protection and more.
As with car insurance, motorhome insurance is a legal requirement, insuring you against liability to others and, depending on the level of cover you select, it may also insure your motorhome against theft and at-fault damage.
There are broadly eight types of motorhome body styles or classes, these being:
Some insurers will provide quotes for all motorhome body styles while others will be more selective over the type of vehicle they're willing to insure.
As a general rule of thumb, most insurance companies will only insure professionally built motorhomes rather than DIY conversions or self-builds.
Some companies may also make a distinction between motorhome insurance and American RV insurance and therefore offer different policies for each.
There are three main types of motorhome insurance:
This is the minimum level of cover required by law in the UK. It covers:
It doesn't cover you for accidental damage to your own vehicle.
This covers everything that third party only does, plus:
Comprehensive cover will provide you with the most extensive level of protection, including everything covered by third party, fire and theft.
It could also cover your motorhome against at-fault damage.
But note that all comprehensive policies will differ, so it's important to read yours with care to ensure it offers the protection you need and expect.
The primary driver of the motorhome should be named on the policy, but if you think there may be more than one driver it's important to ensure that their names are also added.
An excess is a contribution you agree to pay towards any claim. The excess is split into two different types, compulsory excess and voluntary excess.
This is the amount your insurance company requires that you pay towards any claim made on your policy. Normally it's deducted from the settlement made to you.
This is the amount you agree to pay towards a claim in addition to the compulsory excess. You agree this at the start of the policy; the higher the excess the lower your premium will be.
If you do opt for a higher voluntary excess in order to lower your premium, always set it at a level that's affordable in the event that you do need to make a claim.
Although exclusions vary between insurers and policies, there are some common exclusions to look out for on motorhome insurance policies:
A no-claims bonus is a reward for people who don't make a claim on their policy.
Whether an accident is your fault or not when you make a claim, it will affect your no-claims bonus unless your insurer recovers their costs from the other driver's insurance company.
Some insurers offer discounts on your premium if you improve the security on your motorhome. You could, for example, consider fitting an approved alarm, immobiliser or tracking device.
Keeping your motorhome secure is important, and if your vehicle isn't looked after properly any claim you make could be invalidated. To help keep your home-from-home safe:
Security aside, insurers may also offer discounts if:
Motorhome insurance should provide some level of cover for the personal possessions kept in your vehicle - this could include clothes and gadgets including laptops, tablets and smartphones.
Make sure the amount covered under your policy is sufficient to protect your belongings, and that the excess on the policy (see below) doesn't exceed the value you might look to claim for.
Remember that you may already have contents cover on your travel insurance, your home insurance, or from another source.
While doubling up on cover can sometimes seem inevitable, it can cause complications when claiming and is best avoided when possible.
Motorhome insurance policies have a range of features and benefits which insurers may include as standard on the policy, or offer as an optional extra at an additional cost.
When taking out insurance it's important to check beforehand that what you believe you're covered for is actually included as part of your policy - check the terms and conditions of your policy document and don't assume that something comes as standard.
Policy areas you may want to think about include:
This could give you the same level of insurance cover that you have in the UK when travelling in Europe.
Many UK comprehensive motorhome insurance policies include cover for Europe as standard, but the level of protection offered can be very basic, leaving you uninsured against theft or fire damage.
Taking the risk of not being covered isn't just dangerous, it's illegal, and could end up being a very costly mistake.
Motorists driving in certain European countries also need a Green Card to prove to the authorities that they have at least the minimum level of cover in place.
If you're planning an extended trip to Europe, check the number of days that come as part of your policy - you may have to extend your cover.
If you're travelling to a country such as France, Germany or Spain you should be reasonably certain that you're covered under your policy's European cover terms.
But take care if you're going beyond the European Union.
If, for example, you're driving in Turkey, read your policy closely.
Check the list of countries covered against those you're planning to visit. If you're unsure - or if there are any grey areas - contact your insurer.
Motorhome insurance will protect your vehicle when you're away from home, but what about protecting yourself?
Also think about your home insurance - if you're planning on travelling for longer than 31 days, your home cover may be invalid.
Speak to your insurer and consider taking out unoccupied home insurance.