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What is motorhome insurance?

Motorhome and Campervan Insurance
Is it a motorhome or a motor caravan? Read on to find how they differ.

Motorhome insurance is a legal requirement and is intended to provide financial protection in case of any accident or mishap with your motorhome. Fully comprehensive motorhome insurance will include any kind of damage or loss caused by accidents, fire, theft, or vandalism, as well as injuries or property damage you may cause while driving. Third party fire and theft covers you for those three things but not accidental damage to your campervan where you are at fault. In the UK it is a legal requirement for all motor vehicles driven on the road to be insured so that if they cause damage to another vehicle, person or property the person or owner of the other vehicle can claim against your policy for their loss.

Motorhome insurance is different from car insurance though. It provides insurance for the fixtures and fittings in your motorhome or campervan conversion and for camping equipment such as awnings. This is set out in your Insurance Product Information Document, IPID.

It is important to note that motorhomes are different from caravans for which there is no legal requirement for you to have a separate insurance policy. To put it simply, if your vehicle has an engine, it is considered a motorhome rather than a caravan. Since motorhomes can be driven without being towed, they are classified as road vehicles and therefore are required to be insured for road use, like any other motor vehicle. On the other hand, caravans must be insured for third party liability, at least, as part of an insurance policy for the car that is towing them, and specialised caravan insurance policies are also available. If you tow a caravan on the road then your car insurance (or other towing vehicle) must allow trailer towing. Check with your car insurer.

The Caravanwise Motorhome insurance policy, underwritten by LV, also covers you for towing a trailer, which can of course be a caravan.

What is a motorhome?

What you are really asking is, what is the difference between a motorhome, a motor caravan and a campervan. To be honest from our, insurance point of view, there is no difference.

The DVLA sets out what it thinks is a “Motor caravan” which is what it calls all of this type of vehicle here: External Features and Internal features here. These are in the context of converting a van into a motorhome or campervan. They assume that manufacturers and professional converters will comply with these requirements from new.

Ford Transit Campervan

So what is the difference between a motorhome and a campervan?

Motorhomes tend to have purpose built bodies on a van chassis cab or in the case of “A” class even the cab isn’t used. Campervans tend to start as complete vans that are then converted. They may have high tops added or pop up tops of some king but generally the original van body is kept and windows and interiors are added. Sometimes you will find an example where there is a grey line between the two main types.

What is a camper day-van?

We are able to arrange insurance for day-vans at the same rate as camper vans provided they are used in the same way. To remove the temptation for them to be used as a daily driver our underwriter excludes commuting on day van insurance policies. Other insurers may be different and if you need commuting cover for a day van you need to shop around to find insurers that can cover that usage.

Do I have to have motorhome insurance if I am going to drive or keep my motorhome on the road?

Yes, like all motor vehicles it is a legal requirement to have minimum motor insurance covering it. Minimum motor insurance is known as “Third Party Only”. This covers any claims made against you for loss or damage caused, by your vehicle, to other people, vehicles or property.

How much motorhome insurance do I require?

Your risk profile is influenced by how you use your motorhome, which is why insurers ask you for this information to provide you with an accurate quote. When completing our form, you will be required to select one of the following usage types:

Excluding Commuting
This type of insurance covers regular motorhome driving, such as leisure trips, use on holiday, long-distance journeys unrelated to work. It assumes that you may use your motorhome for other trips similar to how you would in your car. Our policy requires that you have the use of another vehicle and that your motorhome is mainly used for leisure.

Including commuting
This insurance policy covers everything described above, in addition to your daily commute to work, provided you travel to a single location only. It does not include business use. If you intend to stay in your vehicle while you are working away from home we cannot cover that use.

Business use
We cannot arrange insurance for business use of a motorhome or campervan. If you plan to use your motorhome in any way related to your business or self employment, or for staying in while you are working away from home, this policy will not cover you.

What is the difference between Comprehensive campervan insurance and Third Party Fire and Theft cover?

Comprehensive car insurance, also known as fully comprehensive cover, offers the most extensive protection available for your vehicle. In essence, it covers damages incurred to your car, as well as that caused to other vehicles, individuals and property regardless of fault. Additionally, comprehensive insurance also safeguards you against incidents of theft and fire damage. It is a wise choice for those seeking maximum peace of mind and protection on the road. We can only offer comprehensive cover to vehicles valued at £5,000 and above.

What is the cost of motorhome insurance?

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The price of motorhome insurance is dependent on several factors, making it difficult to provide a straightforward answer. The easy way to find out is to get a motorhome insurance quote from our easy online system here: Motorhome and Campervan Insurance Quote.

Some key considerations that can affect the cost of insurance are:

Personal Circumstances
Details such as age, years of driving experience, and occupation can significantly impact the cost of campervan insurance. We also need you to have been a UK resident for at least 3 years and to hold a full UK driving licence.

Type of Motorhome
Although some insurers have different rates for different types of motorhome and campervan we treat them all the same. We can arrange cover for DIY campervans and Self Build campervans at the same rate as professionally built vehicles. The engine size and value do have a bearing on the premium you will pay though.

Geographical Location
Insurers evaluate the level of crime in every postcode in the country, so residing in a quieter, safer area can reduce your insurance premiums. In some postcodes you will need to store your campervan on your drive or in a garage. Some people store their motorhome at a secure storage site. Both the storage location and your home postcode can have an influence on your premium and whether you can be accepted at all or conditions related to how and where you keep your campervan or motorhome. For some places, for example, Northern Ireland, we have very good rates.

Security Measures
Vehicles parked off-street or in a garage tend to be less expensive to insure. Additionally, security features such as alarms and immobilisers can also help reduce the cost of insurance. In some areas we cannot arrange cover if you intend to park it on the road. If it is stolen and not stored where you say it will be at the time of the theft the insurer may investigate and could refuse to pay the claim. You must keep us informed.

Annual Mileage
Our motorhome policy is a limited mileage one with a maximum of 12,000 miles. If you select a lower maximum miles per year the cost of your insurance premium will be lower. Most UK campervans and motorhomes do less than 5,000 miles a year. Don’t believe us? Just take a look at 10 year old motorhomes for sale and you will see that many of them have 50,000 miles or less on the clock.

Access to Other Vehicles
Motorhome insurance underwriters have a vision that most motorhomes will be used for holiday purposes only or for the vast majority of the time when they are being driven. In our case we require you to own or have access to another vehicle, such as a company car. Having access to other vehicles can reduce the likelihood of using your motorhome for commuting purposes or for using it as a general run around. That means you are less likely to have an accident and therefore your insurance premium can be lower.

Most campervan insurance policies will rate your insurance on the age and experience of the youngest named driver. If you think “it would be nice to put my son or daughter on the policy” but in reality they are very unlikely to use the motorhome you need to establish what the costs of this will be. Limiting the insurance to owner only driving or insured and spouse (or partner) can result in savings.

What are the main types of motorhome insurance cover types?

Similar to all motor insurance policies, there are three primary levels of motorhome insurance cover available. These comprise of:

Fully comprehensive
A fully comprehensive insurance policy provides cover for accidental damage, repairs following accident or vandalism, injury, fire, theft of the vehicle and theft of certain types of thing from the motorhome, as well as any harm caused to someone else, their property or their vehicle that you are at fault for. It covers damage to your vehicle even if it is your fault.

Third-party, fire and theft
TPFT Insurance policies cover you for just those things, harm caused to a Third-party, vehicle, property or person that you are at fault for and also covers you for theft of the campervan or losses caused by fire. This type of policy is usually only chosen for lower value motorhomes and we have a maximum limit of £5,000. It is worth asking how much more it would be if you opted for fully comprehensive cover, it might not cost you that much more.

Third-party only motorhome insurance is the most basic level of cover and the minimum legal prerequisite for driving on UK (an European Roads) roads. We do not offer this level of cover at inception.

Green Card Cover
Although, after Brexit, the UK negotiated an agreement whereby UK insurance will be accepted in the EU and there is no legal requirement for you to have a Green Card there are instances where having a Green Card will help calm things down. It proves to someone who is not aware of the agreement we made with the EU that you have cover and their claim will be dealt with. You may be asked for a Green Card by the Police, port authorities, or in the event of an accident, in the EU. To ensure that you are driving legally we will issue motorhome and campervan clients with a free annual Green Card to take with you if you visit Europe.

If you are planning on staying in the EU for an extended period you need to be aware that the biggest change for UK nationals following Brexit is that the maximum length of time that we can stay in the EU is now limited to 90 days per 180-day period. The Irish immigration service says “The maximum permitted stay in Ireland is up to 90 days or to the end of the UK permission, whichever is the shorter period. You can visit as many times as you like, within the permitted duration of stay as decided by the Irish immigration officer when you first arrive.”. Our motorhome policy covers you to go to Ireland as often as you like provided the motorhome is normally kept in the UK or Northern Ireland. For the rest of the EU cover is extended to 180 days in any one period of insurance.

EU Visa requirements for UK citizens

What may not be covered or be limited on my motorhome insurance policy?

Personal possessions away from the home.
The things that are normally portable items in your house or that you wear or use that you normally keep in your house but take with you when you use your motorhome. These are best covered under your home contents policy. ‘Cover away from your home’ can insure things like your watch, camera, phone, laptop, tablet device, clothes, fishing tackle and other sports equipment. We cannot cover these on your motorhome policy and if you want them to be insured, which you probably do, then you need to ensure that they are included on your home contents insurance.

Use abroad
This is limited to 180 days EU cover on our motorhome policy but since you are only allowed to stay for a maximum of 90 days in any 180 day period following Brexit this is more than enough for most people. You don’t need to inform us and we will provide you with a free annual Green Card.

Republic of Ireland
If you are a Northern Ireland resident and live at a BT postcode and store your motorhome in a BT postcode, this can be at home or in secure storage, then you can use your motorhome in the Republic as often as you like within the limits set by Irish Immigration. We don’t limit it. There is no charge for this and you don’t have to tell us you are using your motorhome in this way.

Wear and tear, Mechanical or electrical breakdown
Your policy will not cover you for wear and tear or mechanical breakdown. The insurers take the view that these are things that don’t happen by accident and are either preventable with proper maintenance or unavoidable, in the case of wear and tear. They are therefore not insurable events that the underwriter is prepared to cover.

Damage by permanent use
We don’t cover permanent use or insure for use associated with any business or self employment. If you need this kind of cover you need to find a different insurer.

Can I arrange insurance for an older or classic campervan?

Yes we can arrange cover for any age of campervan up to 100 years old. Classic camper can also be covered.

What is your Minimum and maximum age of drivers?

Our minimum age at inception (when you policy starts) is 25 years of age. Our maximum age is 80 years of age at inception.

Relax and let us take care of your insurance.

Caravanwise Limited

Caravan Insurance Intermediary
100 Ringwood Road, Walkford, Christchurch, Dorset BH23 5RF
Registered in England No.3560388
Authorised and regulated
by the Financial Conduct Authority.
Our FCA Register number is 304081.


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