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Self-build Campervan Insurance

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Self Build Campervan Insurance

Taking on a self-build campervan project is hard work, which is why it’s crucial to have campervan insurance you can rely on. For peace of mind and a policy that gives you the protection you need, here’s what to think about.

What requirements does my self-build camper need to meet?

If you want your camper conversion to be officially recognised as a ‘motor caravan’ by the DVLA, it’ll need to meet certain criteria.

Externally, it will need enough windows to provide adequate light and a separate door to access your living accommodation. The vehicle you’re converting also needs to be of a certain type, but this includes most vans such as ambulances and livestock carriers as well as goods vans.

Internally, your camper conversion needs to have seats and a table although the table can be removeable to save space. You’ll also have to ensure there’s a sleeping area, cooking facilities and storage space.

When you apply to have your conversion recognised as a motor caravan, you’ll have to supply photos as evidence of the work. In some cases, your camper may be inspected by the DVLA. To find out more about the criteria your conversion needs to meet, take a look at the guidelines at GOV.UK.

What does self-build campervan insurance include?

Self-build campervan insurance covers the same risks and events as other types of motorhome and camper cover, so you’ll be able to choose from one of three levels:

  • Third-party only – compensates other people for injury or damage you cause but won’t pay to repair your camper after an accident. This is the minimum level of cover you can have by law.
  • Third-party, fire and theft – includes third-party only cover and will also pay to repair or replace your campervan if it’s stolen or damaged by fire.
  • Comprehensive cover – provides third-party, fire and theft cover and will also compensate you if your campervan is stolen, damaged or written off in an accident.

Policies will also include a number of other features such as windscreen cover, legal expenses or European cover, but these will vary by insurer. If features aren’t included, they’ll usually be offered as optional extras, so you’ll have the opportunity to add them on for a fee.  

What other features should I consider?

If you’re investing your hard-earned cash into your camper conversion, it’s a good idea to look for policies that offer an agreed value. This is when you and your insurer decide how much your campervan is worth.

If the worst were to happen and your camper is written off, your insurer would pay out the agreed value rather than the market value which could be much lower. Not all insurers offer campervan cover with an agreed value but it’s well worth thinking about if you’ve spent a lot of money on modifications.

If your camper conversion is an ongoing project, some insurers will also cover you while you’re carrying out the work. Again, not every policy includes this and if it does, there could be conditions attached. Some policies that cover partial conversions specify that you need to complete the work within a certain time frame.

How much does it cost to insure a self-built campervan?

Insurers will consider a whole range of factors to work out the cost of insurance. With that in mind, premiums can vary considerably depending on what you need and your own circumstances. Factors that insurers take into account, include:

  • Your age – policies for under 25s can be significantly higher compared to other age groups because this age group is more likely to be involved in an accident.
  • Your driving record – penalty points will lead to an increase in your premium.
  • Your claims history – a claim made in the last five years can mean you pay more for insurance.
  • Security – good security can shave a few pounds off your premium so if you can, it’s best to keep your camper parked somewhere safe like a locked garage. If that’s not possible, investing in an alarm system or immobiliser can help too.
  • Mileage – the more miles you cover, the greater the risk of being involved in an accident, which in turn, can push up your premium.
How can I cut the cost of self-build campervan insurance?

Any policy you choose should give you the protection you need so while price is a key consideration it’s also important to look at what the policy offers overall.

Cheap DIY campervan insurance might save you some money initially, but it could prove a false economy in the long run; especially as adding extras can dramatically increase the cost. That said, there are ways to cut the cost of insurance, for example:

  • Paying for your policy in one go instead of splitting it into monthly instalments.
  • Limiting the number of miles you do.
  • Adding a more experienced, named driver to your policy.
  • Increasing your voluntary excess which can lower your overall premium.