The Fixer: Motorhome insurance

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Dear Fixer,
I recently retired, and am planning to spend some of the next few years travelling around Europe with my wife.

This weekend, I bought a secondhand motorhome to take on our travels, which we are hoping to start with a trip down to Devon and Cornwall in a couple of weeks. However, I need to insure the motorhome before taking it out on the road.

I would like to take out a policy that also covers me to drive it on the Continent, as we are planning a trip to France and Italy later in the year.

As the motorhome will have a lot of our things in it on our travels, I also want to make sure that we have sufficient contents cover to protect us if someone steals the vehicle. Clearly, standard car insurance will not suffice.

But as this is my first motorhome, I do not know what sort of policy will or whether I need a continuous policy or to take out a separate one each time we go on a trip. Can you offer any advice?

T Cooper, Watford

Dear Mr Cooper,

As you suspect, motorhomes need specialist protection. Like cars, however, they must be insured at all times – even if they are parked on your drive or in a garage for weeks or months on end - due to the Continuous Insurance Enforcement rules.

In fact, registered motorhome owners who do not insure their vehicles therefore risk a fine of at least £100 as well as court action (unless the vehicle is registered with the DVLA as off the road with a Statutory off Road Notice).

The levels of cover available are also similar to those for cars. Third party only is the minimum required by law and covers you in case you cause injury to others or damage to others' property, third party fire and theft also offers protection against fire damage and the theft of your motorhome, and comprehensive cover does all the above and pays out for damage to your own motorhome in an accident where you are at fault.

Once you have decided what level of cover you want, it is vital to check that the policy you are considering is suitable for the type of vehicle you own.

A policy that offers cover for a converted transit van, for example, may not be sufficient for a vintage camper van, while a larger vehicle may require a specialist policy.

Other features to look out for include contents cover that will replace your things in the event of a theft and a sufficiently high mileage cap for the journeys you plan to make.

As you are heading to Europe later in the year, you will also need a policy that either includes European cover, or can have it added on (a standalone policy may prove cheaper so look into both options).

Either way, you will also need to ensure that it extends to the territories you are planning both to visit and to travel through en route.

And for extra peace of mind, a European breakdown cover policy for your motorhome is also a sensible item to put on your pre-holiday checklist. Happy travelling!

The Fixer

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