Camper van and caravan insurance for camping and festivals

Buying a camper van or caravan can be a significant investment and so it’s well worth taking out cheap van insurance to ensure you are covered against a host of risks.

What should you look for from camper van insurance?

There are around eight types of motor home body styles and classes: micro, van conversion, camper van, compact, coachbuilt or overcab, low-profile, A-class and American RV. When looking for policies you should check that your vehicle is covered as some insurers are selective about the types of motor homes they will insure. In particular, they are unlikely to include DIY conversions and self-built vehicles.

As with car insurance, motor home insurance is a legal requirement in the UK and there are three levels available: third party only, third party fire and theft and comprehensive cover. Comprehensive cover is the most extensive and will usually include: liability for injuries to others, damage to their property and protection for your own vehicle in the event of a fire or theft (also covered in third party, fire and theft policies); new for old vehicle replacements; courtesy cars to keep you mobile if your motor home is written off or stolen; windscreen and glass cover; legal protection; personal accident cover; vandalism cover; and more. Remember that not all policies are the same and so you should shop around before you buy to see exactly what is covered.

There are also a number of specialist policies for camper vans that may include the following:

- Agreed value cover: So you know exactly what your camper van is worth in case it is written off or stolen – this is instead of receiving a market valuation.

- Imported camper van insurance: For vehicles bought overseas.

- Limited mileage discounts: A reduction in your premiums, typically if you drive fewer than 1,500 miles a year.

- Modified/converted camper cover: Like-for-like cover for modifications as well as self-converted vans.

- Owners’ club discounts: If you are a member of a recognised club you could receive a discount of as much as 15 per cent.

There may also be exclusions to your camper van insurance such as for claims made due to wear and tear, mechanical or electrical breakdowns and thefts of contents without forced entry – so check the terms and conditions carefully.

What is caravan insurance?

In January 2010, a gang was jailed in Nottingham after a two-year investigation covering 19 police regions – they were believed to be responsible for around half of the country’s recent caravan thefts. However, even though the insurance industry reports that claims for caravan thefts have slumped by 47 per cent since their arrest in October 2007, it’s a stark warning for owners to take care of their property particularly in unfamiliar surroundings such as when camping or attending a festival.

All vehicles on the roads or highways must be insured and caravans are no exception. There are actually several types of caravan insurance:

- Static caravan insurance: For caravans that are fixed in one place such as a holiday park.

- Touring caravan insurance: For caravans towed by another vehicle.

- Trailing tent and folding camper insurance.

What should you look for from touring caravan insurance?

Depending on the policy you choose, touring caravan insurance can protect your caravan if it is damaged accidentally, damaged due to a fire or bad weather, and if it is stolen or suffers malicious damage. Removable possessions stored in the caravan will also normally be covered up to a pre-determined limit. Some of the policy features to look for include:

- Contents and personal effects cover: What removable items are protected and is there a specified limit on how much you can claim?

- Equipment: Some insurers include equipment such as generators in the value of the caravan, while others do not. You may also be able to include damage to awnings for a small extra charge.

- European cover: If you’re taking in a festival overseas, then check to see if you will be covered abroad and how long you can take your caravan away for – typically you will be covered for up to 90 days a year.

- New for old cover: If your caravan is under a certain age limit and meets the insurer’s criteria you may be able to get a new caravan as a replacement if it is stolen and not recovered.

- Other users: Check to see if your caravan will be covered if you plan to lend it to other family members or friends.

When choosing the right policy for you read the terms and conditions carefully and look for policy exclusions – circumstances in which you will not be covered. Typically, a touring caravan insurance policy will not include caravans that are being used for trade; as well as wear and tear; mechanical and electrical breakdown; and theft of contents unless there is forced entry.

Why security is so important

When taking a camper van or touring caravan on a camping trip or to a festival, be particularly vigilant about security. It will normally be a condition of your policy that you do everything reasonably possible to protect your property and failure to do so may invalidate a claim.

As such, remember to remove keys and store them in a safe and secure place away from windows and doors. Fit anti-theft devices such as steering wheel locks and close all windows when the van is unattended. Place personal belongings, particularly those of a high value, out of view; and consider investing in Thatcham approved alarms and immobilisers which could also earn a discount from your insurer.


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