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Being able to travel with familiar home comforts is just one of the many benefits of holidaying in a campervan. But before you head off on your adventures in your VW, T5 or Toyota campervan, here’s what to think about when it comes to campervan insurance you can rely on.
What does campervan insurance cover?
Campervan insurance will compensate you if your campervan or motorhome is damaged or stolen. Like other types of vehicle insurance, you can choose from one of three levels of cover:
- Third party only – covers compensation costs if you damage someone else’s vehicle in an accident.
- Third party, fire and theft – offers third-party only cover and will also compensate you if your campervan is stolen or damaged by fire.
- Comprehensive cover – includes third party, fire and theft and will also cover costs if your vehicle is damaged in an accident you caused.
Some policies will also include other features, either as part of a standard package or as an optional extra which you’ll pay a little more for. Popular additions often include:
- Awning insurance
- Windscreen insurance
- Personal possessions insurance which can sometimes include camping equipment.
- European cover if you decide to venture abroad
What isn’t covered by campervan insurance?
Almost all policies will come with exclusions and conditions which will vary by insurer but typically you won’t be covered for any general wear and tear.
Most insurers also exclude cover for pest infestations and animal damage – which often includes pets. So, if you are planning on taking a pet along for the trip, be aware that any damage they cause is unlikely to be covered.
Another common exclusion is damage or theft caused by negligence. For instance, if you forgot to lock windows and items were stolen, you probably won’t be compensated. Similarly, if you left the key in the ignition and your camper was stolen, your insurer is unlikely to pay out for a replacement.
How much does insurance for campervans cost?
The cost of camper insurance really depends on the level of cover you choose and whether or not you add on any extra features. Your premium will also be influenced by a range of other factors, including:
- The size and value of your campervan.
- The number of miles you do.
- Where your park or store your campervan when it’s not being used.
- Your driving history, if you’ve got penalty points, you’re likely to pay higher than average premiums.
Do I need campervan insurance in the UK by law?
Yes, you must have appropriate vehicle insurance for your campervan. This means you’ll need at least third-party only cover.
If you don’t have insurance, you can be fined and have penalty points added to your licence which can affect the cost of cover in the future.
If you’re not using your campervan, you can declare it off the road with a SORN (statutory off-road notification). If you do this, then you won’t need campervan insurance – but you also won’t be able to drive your camp, or even park it on the roadside.
What’s the difference between a campervan and a motorhome?
Even though the terms campervan and motorhome are often used interchangeably, there is a difference.
Technically, campervans and motorhomes each fall into one of three categories:
- Class A – these are large, luxury motorhomes which come with every convenience such as defined kitchen, living and sleeping areas, and a bathroom. More often than not, they also have heating and air conditioning for the ultimate comfort. Class A vehicles generally sleep eight.
- Class C – these are smaller motorhomes and although they’re not quite as luxurious as class A vehicles, they usually also include a kitchen and bathroom, as well as sleeping areas and a small living space. Class C motorhomes comfortably sleep four but can take up to six or in some instances, eight people.
- Class B – these are officially campervans and can also include self-built or converted campers. These vehicles are best for exploring rather than comfort and usually only sleep up to two people. There may be cooking facilities and in larger campervans there may be a toilet.
If you’re hiring or buying a class A or C motorhome, check what it weighs and its maximum load. In some cases, you may need a special licence for motorhomes with a certain maximum authorised mass (MAM):
- For motorhomes with a MAM between 3.5 and 7.5 tonnes, you’ll need a category C1 driving licence.
- For motorhomes with a MAM over 7.5 tonnes, you’ll need a category C licence.
You can find out more at GOV.UK.
How can I get cheap campervan insurance?
When you compare campervan insurance quotes, it’s a good idea to check the features included.
Cheap campervan insurance might look like a great deal, but policies might not give you the level of protection you need. Plus, if you add on lots of optional extras, packages could end up a lot pricier than you initially bargained for.
That said, you can keep the cost of campervan insurance down without compromising on cover by:
- Paying for your policy upfront – paying annually is usually the cheapest way to pay for campervan cover. Instalments help spread the cost, but you’ll pay more as it’ll include interest.
- Limiting the miles you do – driving fewer miles can lower your premium as you’re at less risk of being involved in an accident.
- Increasing security – parking your campervan somewhere secure such as a private driveway or storage park can help keep insurance costs down as your campervan is less likely to be damaged or stolen.
- Only buying the cover you need – it’s always tempting to buy extra features like European cover or awning insurance, just in case you need them. But if you don’t, it’s simply a waste of money so think carefully about what you really need.