As an ex insurance underwriter and insurance claims handler I know a thing or two about risk and how insurance companies operate, so when I started calling some specialist motorhome insurance brokers I was surprised about how difficult this was going to be. Nowadays, insurance underwriters don’t think for themselves because all they do is enter information into a computer system and that computer says yes or no and provides the cost. There is no flexibility built-in so if you don’t quite fit then the system can’t cope and you get a no!
In total I made 4 calls and here are the results:
Firstly, I called Comfort Insurance. As you know, to get a quote for insurance you have to answer a lot of questions about lots of things such as accidents/claims, convictions, age, occupation, vehicle details, address and most importantly how often you will use the motorhome and where it will be stored.
Comfort Insurance turned out to be the most knowledgeable and helpful about the circumstances that I outlined. These were that we are selling our home and going touring in Europe for between 6 and 12 months. During that time we will have a postal address at my daughters and go on the electoral roll there. Comfort Insurance class this as a “full timers” rate and actually don’t need you to have a UK address.
This is what the proposal documents said:
- Proposers must maintain a full UK residence, either through ownership or long-term rental (of at least 9 months) unless a full-timing rate has been agreed and paid.
- This address must be the one at which the proposer is on the electoral roll, (unless a full-timing rate has been agreed and paid) and also the one that appears on the driving licence and vehicle documentation.
I was very impressed with the cover that they provided. It was unlimited mileage for 365 days in the EU.
A further search on Google unearthed a company called Adrian Flux. They were advertising themselves as motorhome insurance specialists but after I explained what I wanted they declined to quote.
The third insurance broker I called for a motorhome quote was Safeguard Insurance. This is when the whole thing got a little confusing because they wanted to know where I would keep the motorhome when I returned to the UK to visit relatives. I explained that we would probably be staying on a local campsite and would not be leaving the motorhome on a driveway. Safeguard said this was not acceptable and that whilst in the UK it must be stored in a secure compound or on the driveway of our registered address. This seemed mad to me because surely it’s safer to stay in the motorhome than leave it on a driveway. It’s as though they are saying you can’t use it in the UK!
Finally, I called a company called Caravanguard. Again they were advertising in Motorhome Magazine as motorhome specialists but they would only offer a maximum of 9 months in Europe.
It seems that insuring your motorhome if you intend to travel extensively in Europe is very difficult. There is clearly a market for this type of cover and in my view if you are using your motorhome long-term then there is less risk of it being stolen than leaving it on a driveway.
The most expensive quote was from Comfort Insurance but the others fell short of providing exactly what I wanted. It’s a real shame in my view that there are no other insurers that I can find who will offer so-called full-timers cover but it was certainly a learning experience making the time-consuming phone calls!