DIY Campervan Insurance
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DIY Campervan Insurance
When you’ve spent time and effort on a DIY camper, it’s important to have the right insurance. DIY campervan insurance can give you the peace of mind you need, knowing that if something goes wrong, you won’t lose out financially – here’s what to think about.
What are the requirements to turn a van into a campervan?
If you’re converting a van and want it officially recognised as a ‘motor caravan’ by the DVLA, it will have to meet certain criteria.
Internally, your conversion will need to have the following permanent fixtures:
- Seats and a table (although the table can be removeable).
- A sleeping area (which can be converted from the seats).
- Cooking facilities.
- Storage facilities.
Externally, there should be a separate door to access the living area and enough windows to provide adequate light.
Plus, only certain vehicles can be officially reclassed as motor caravans. These include most types of vans including ambulances, goods vehicles and even livestock carriers.
You’ll also need supporting evidence when you apply to have your conversion officially recognised, for example, interior and exterior photos. For full details about what you’ll need to do to get your van reclassified as a campervan, take a look at GOV.UK.
How do I insure a DIY campervan?
If you’ve converted your van into a camper, you’ll need a campervan insurance policy that reflects this change since regular van insurance won’t cover you.
Both mainstream and specialist insurers will be able to offer you suitable cover but bear in mind that a specialist may be more flexible and offer more features.
Like other types of vehicle insurance, you’ll be able to choose from one of three levels of cover:
- Third-party only which covers the cost of injury and damage to other people and their property. This is the lowest level of cover you can buy and won’t pay out to repair your camper if it’s damaged in an accident.
- Third-party, fire and theft includes third-party only cover but will also cover the cost if your campervan is stolen or damaged by fire.
- Comprehensive cover is the highest level available. As well as third-party, fire and theft, it also provides compensation if your camper is damaged in an accident you cause.
Policies will also include a range of other features, such as windscreen cover or legal expenses, but these will vary by insurer. If features aren’t included as standard in your policy, you’ll usually have the option of adding them on for a small cost.
Does DIY campervan insurance include an agreed value?
‘Agreed value’ is when you and your insurer agree how much your campervan is worth. It means that if your camper is written off, your insurer will pay out the agreed value instead of the market price, which could be considerably lower.
Not all policies offer agreed value but if you’ve invested time and money into making your conversion happen, it could be well worth looking for those that do.
Does DIY campervan insurance cover partial conversion?
Not all policies will cover you while you’re carrying out a conversion. If it’s a feature you’re keen on, you should check to see if it’s offered first to avoid disappointment.
If it is offered, there may also be conditions you need to meet – for example, you might have to finish your conversion within a certain length of time.
Is it expensive to insure a DIY campervan?
As your campervan conversion will be unique, price can vary considerably. In order to work out the cost of your DIY motorhome conversion insurance, providers will take into account several factors, which typically include:
- Your age – young drivers are statistically more likely to be involved in an accident so policies for under 25s can be significantly higher compared to other age groups.
- Where you keep your campervan – good security is often reflected in your premium so it really can pay to keep your camper as secure as possible. A locked garage is ideal but if that’s not practical, you could invest in an immobiliser or alarm system.
- Your driving record – more often than not, penalty points will mean an increase in your premium.
- Your claims history – a recent claim made in the last five years can also increase what you pay for insurance.
How to save money on DIY campervan conversion insurance
If you’ve already spent a lot of money on your conversion, it can be tempting to save cash by opting for cheap campervan insurance. But this can be a false economy as cheaper policies might not provide features such as agreed value. Not only that, adding on extras often dramatically increases the cost.
To ensure you get the cover you need, without cutting back on protection, you can:
- Pay for your policy upfront which means you avoid monthly interest charges.
- Limit the number of miles you do to minimise the risk of being involved in an accident.
- Add an experienced named driver to your policy which can sometimes lower your premium slightly.
- Increase your voluntary excess which lowers your overall premium.