I originally put this article together for the Facebook group I run for 7.5 ton vehicles (self-build motorhomes but also including overlanders, RVs and factory made motorhomes). As my insurance was due I ended researching insurance as it is a bit more specialist when you have a 7.5 ton lorry conversion! I ended up ringing all the companies listed for insurance so have added notes about them and the sort of requirements they ask for. I have not investigated all the breakdown companies listed as I got breakdown included with my insurance at a very reasonable cost.
This article is very much geared towards bigger vehicles but all these companies will cover smaller campervans and some I found out will only cover those! It is also geared towards self-builds which is relevant whatever the weight or size of vehicle as not all insurers will look at self-builds.
I hope you find it helpful, please let me know if you do and any feedback on the article or any of these companies will be gratefully received.
When taking out insurance on any vehicle you need to check things like whether there is a limit on mileage, what the excess is and what cover you actually get. With a motorhome or campervan there are a few more things to think about and if you have a self-build things can become slightly more complicated. If you have a 7.5ton or over lorry or horsebox conversion things become even more complicated!
Often the cover for contents only covers the usual motorhome contents like fridge, cooker, utensils, bedding, curtains etc, so check you have cover elsewhere for cameras, laptops, phones etc.
Many insurance companies are not keen on full timers so as long as you have a secure address you can be ‘on a long holiday’ from home! Insurance prices change with your occupation, there are high risk occupations like musicians and artists and they often don’t like students or the unemployed. It’s worth subtly tweaking job descriptions (legitimately of course) to cut insurance costs.
Also worth noting that a lot of insurance policies offer 90 days cover in Europe and make it sound like you are not insured after that time if overseas. Under EU law all motor insurance taken out in any EU country is valid for the full term of the policy in any other EU country on a third party only basis. So you will be legal if you go over your 90 days just be aware it will be third party only (until we leave the EU!).
Insurance companies now often look up on Google Earth the location you say you park your vehicle so be aware that saying your 7.5 ton lorry in on your tiny drive could lead to not getting cover. Also be aware that insurance companies have spies on a lot of Facebook groups now so be aware insurance has been cancelled where people have put things on Facebook that they haven't told their insurers. The message? Obviously be totally honest with the insurance company, we all get annoyed with paying these prices year in year out and nothing happening but imagine your motorhome being stolen and never recovered or being burnt to the ground in a fire. The insurers will do anything not to pay out and if they find you haven't been honest it could invalidate your claim.
You may want to consider an 'agreed value' policy where you and the insurance company come to an agreement on what they will pay out in the event of total loss of the vehicle, not all insurers do this so you might want to find one who does.
If you are planning trips out of the EU you will need to find an insurer that will provide you with a 'Green Card', this may have an extra charge.
It is usually cheaper to add another safe driver or two and having another vehicle you drive can also reduce premiums. In fact many motorhome policies do not like it at all if you don't have another vehicle.
You cannot use a no claims bonus (NCB) on a motorhome if you are still using it on a car or other vehicle. Some companies will 'mirror' your NCB or you will need to start from scratch and build up motorhome NCB. NCB can give you massive reductions on your insurance and so is well worth having even if you do have to build it up for a few years before seeing the results. Remember most insurers will offer you 'protected NCB' at an extra cost. This means that if you claim you will keep the years you have but it does not mean that your insurance will not go up after a claim.
It is often cheaper to get a combined package of breakdown cover as well as your insurance so it is worth checking prices on that. Not all companies offer it and some only offer UK cover.
Worth mentioning in this article is the issue of people posting pictures of their vehicles on social media, particularly with their real name and the number plate clearly showing. Whilst if you are totally honest there is no real harm in this regarding insurance there are other considerations. The cloning of vehicles does happen and especially if you have a common type of van (white Transit for example) you may be opening the doors for criminals to clone your van. We had our van cloned, it happened probably before we owned it and luckily there was no comeback but it's worth being aware of what information you are sharing online with regards your vehicle.
There is some good information HERE on the Money Saving Expert site, although geared towards cars a lot applies to motorhomes as well.
All about NCB HERE
10 ways to save on motorhome insurance HERE
Here is a list of insurance companies that the members of our 7.5 ton motorhome group have recommended. I have rang every one of these companies and my notes are information I have got from them. Remember this information will be specific to the vehicle I have and the cover I was looking for so not everything may be relevant or be the same for you:
https://www.aib-insurance.co.uk - 180-365 days EU cover fully comp as standard.
http://www.anthonydevans.co.uk - Only 30 days fully comp EU cover and only offers UK breakdown cover.
http://www.staveleyhead.co.uk - 90 days EU cover, breakdown cover available but only for UK for big vehicles.
https://www.adrianflux.co.uk - Offers UK & European breakdown cover.
http://parkinsurance.co.uk - Were more expensive than quotes I got but other members recomend them so it probably depends on engine size & type of vehicle.
https://www.jswinsurance.co.uk - Were more expensive than quotes I got but other members recomend them so it probably depends on engine size & type of vehicle.
http://www.brokeraide.co.uk - Have an insurance scheme designed for the Gypsy, Traveller and Roma communities.
http://www.clubcareinsurance.com - Must be a member of The Camping and Caravanning Club, only covers up to 3ltr engine.
http://www.saga.co.uk - Over 50's only 365 days EU cover fully comp and free green card.
http://www.insurance-policies.co.uk - Would only quote if sent photos of the inside and outside of the vehicle.
https://www.rhspecialistinsurance.co.uk - No breakdown cover.
http://www.footmanjames.co.uk - Only cover vehicles 20+ years old.
https://www.nfumutual.co.uk/personal/insurance - Will only cover self-builds if professionally done. Offers UK & European breakdown cover & free green card.
http://www.comfort-insurance.co.uk - Want gas safety certificate for self-builds.
http://www.brentacre.co.uk - 3.5ton limit, 365 days EU cover fully comp as standard.
https://www.stuartcollins.com - Do not cover 7.5ton or above. Specialist in EU policies, also offers UK & European breakdown cover.
http://www.caravanguard.co.uk - Do not cover self builds.
https://www.justkampersinsurance.com - Do not cover 7.5 ton or over.
http://www.insurancechoice.co.uk - Do not cover 7.5 ton or over.
https://www.hertsinsurance.com - Said they would quote but never rang back.
http://www.oneinsurancesolution.co.uk - Said they would quote but I could never get through to the right person.
http://2getherinsurance.co.uk - No information.
Here is a list of breakdown companies that our members have recommended. Be aware that a lot of policies will only recover vehicles up to 3.5 tons! Remember to check things like whether there is a limit on how many call outs you can have, whether there is any excess and what cover you actually get. Breakdown does not automatically cover you for Europe so you need to take out a European policy if planning on travelling overseas. It usually works out cheaper to take out breakdown cover with your insurer but not always!
http://www.rac.co.uk/breakdown-cover/bundle1 – Must be a member of The Camping and Caravanning Club.
https://www.adac.de/mitgliedschaft/adac_membership/ - German company, will cover UK vehicles in UK and Europe but has a towing limit of 300euros and will only cover up to 7.5 ton.
Do contact me if you have a good insurer or breakdown service to add to the list. Only companies that cover 7.5 tons and above though please! Also insurance and breakdown for overlanders would be good to add to the list. ONLY companies you have actually used and had good experience with. This is meant to be a helpful article!
Feel feel free to share this article with other relevant groups and websites, it would be nice to be credited though :)