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How to Find the Best Motorhome and Campervan Breakdown Cover
Whether you’re travelling across the UK or making your way across Europe, it’s important to make sure you have motorhome and campervan breakdown cover in place – even if you’ve bought a brand-new leisure vehicle, you never know when something could go wrong to leave you stranded on the side of the road.
If you own a motorhome or campervan that is over a certain size or weight, you might even need to take out specialist motorhome or campervan breakdown cover designed for large vehicles. Whatever the size or shape of your vehicle, here’s how to get the best breakdown cover for motorhomes.
Why do I need motorhome and campervan breakdown cover?
As with standard motor breakdown cover, motorhome and campervan breakdown cover is necessary to make sure your vehicle can be repaired or recovered from the roadside, a campsite, or even your own driveway if it breaks down for any reason.
If you’re not covered, you’ll not only have to deal with the stress of being stranded, you’ll have to fork out for emergency roadside recovery costs, which can leave you well out of pocket and may not completely help you out of the stressful situation you find yourself in – it’s one thing having your vehicle recovered, but what if it needs to be kept in a local garage overnight and you have no alternative accommodation? Or worse still, you’re stranded hundreds of miles away from home somewhere in Europe.
Having the right motorhome and/or campervan breakdown cover in place can help you out in a number of unforeseen situations.
Things to consider before buying motorhome breakdown cover
There are a number of things you need to consider before buying cover for your motorhome or campervan. While you might be looking for cheap breakdown cover, cost shouldn’t be your primary concern and it’s important to make sure you have the correct level of cover to meet your needs.
Here are all the things you should bear in mind when taking out motorhome and campervan breakdown cover.
What is the size and weight of your motorhome?
Motorhomes and campervans come in all sorts of shapes and sizes, and some are simply too big and heavy to be recovered by breakdown services that are designed to rescue stranded cars. This means it’s vital you check that your breakdown policy meets the requirements of your specific vehicle.
Although many standard breakdown policies will cover vehicles that are under 3,500kg in weight, if your motorhome or campervan weighs more than this, or is larger than a car, you’ll need to consider taking out a specialist motorhome or campervan breakdown cover.
When measuring the dimensions of your vehicle, the length measurement must include any tow bars, rear-mounted bike racks and luggage boxes, while the height measurement needs to be inclusive of air vents, roof racks and TV aerials.
How often will you be using your motorhome?
If you only go on one trip a year and tend to leave your vehicle parked up for the rest of the time, it may be worth considering taking out a single trip policy that only covers you for the duration of your holiday. If, on the other hand, you go on several trips a year or use your vehicle most weekends, annual cover for multiple trips will be more suitable and cost effective.
Cost and the level of cover
Once you’ve found the right cover for the size of your vehicle and the number of trips you’ll be taking each year, you’ll need to weigh up the cost of your policy against the level of cover provided.
While it might be tempting to take out the cheapest motorhome breakdown cover you can find, the most important consideration should be the level of cover your policy provides. A few minutes reading the small print will help you understand the level of cover and any limitations that apply. Alternatively, it’s worth speaking to your insurance advisor who can help you with this.
If you don’t have the correct level of cover, you could find you have to pay extra to get the service you need to get you out of trouble, so it’s important to make sure you fully understand what you’re covered for. When taking out a breakdown policy, check to see whether you’re covered for the following.
- How does roadside assistance for motorhome and campervan work? Ideally, you’ll want any repairs to be made at the roadside so you can get on with your journey. If the problem is more complex, you might need to spend an hour or so on the roadside or have your vehicle towed to a garage for repairs.
- Do you need cover for onward journey or accommodation costs? If the cause of your breakdown can’t be fixed at the roadside, your motorhome will need to be towed to a nearby garage. If these repairs are going to take some time you’ll want your policy to cover the costs of taking you to your destination or overnight accommodation. You might even find your vehicle needs to be taken all the way back to the UK for repairs.
- Do you need motorhome European breakdown cover? If you’re going to be covering parts of the continent on your trip, you’ll need to make sure your policy includes European travel, as having issues in a foreign country can create additional complications and significant costs that you would probably rather avoid.
- Do you need breakdown cover for motorhomes or campervans over 20 years old? If you own an older motorhome or campervan, you might find that you struggle to obtain cover as breakdown cover policies can come with a vehicle age limit. If you find a breakdown policy that provides cover for older vehicles, you’ll also need to check what limit is placed on the number of emergency call outs you can make each year – older motorhomes are more susceptible to electrical and mechanical problems, and you could find you’re charged for any emergency calls you make outside of this limit.
Motorhome and campervan breakdown cover FAQs
If you’re still unclear on any areas of your motorhome or campervan breakdown cover, our FAQs should have the answer.
What happens when I breakdown?
If you are unfortunate enough to break down, try to get your vehicle to a safe place and always exit the vehicle at kerbside and wait a safe distance from it, particularly if you’ve broken down on a busy carriageway. It might also be worth preparing for a longer wait at the roadside by taking food supplies and warm clothing, especially if you’re travelling somewhere cold.
Is there a limit on the number of breakdowns I’m covered for?
Yes, but these limits vary between different insurers and different breakdown recovery firms. Always check what limits are in place before taking out cover, and bear in mind that cheaper cover can mean fewer call outs, which could leave you high and dry, or at least out of pocket, if you need assistance after one too many call outs.
Am I covered for misfuelling my motorhome?
Misfuelling is very common – over 150,000 UK motorists misfuel their car every year – so it’s worth considering a policy that will cover the cost of removing the contaminated fuel at the place where it happened or transport your vehicle to a suitable repairer who will remove the contaminated fuel.
Misfuelling cover won’t provide for the cost of replacement fuel or for any repairs if your misfuelling has damaged the engine.
What happens if I can’t continue my journey?
If you’re unable to continue your journey that day, your cover provider should either arrange transport for you and your vehicle to a destination within the countries covered, arrange vehicle hire or transport to accommodation and even contribute to your accommodation costs.
Will I be covered for European travel?
European cover varies between insurers, so always check your policy for any limitations. Many policies don’t include Europe as standard and you’ll need to pay extra, other policies might not cover you for certain parts of Europe.
Will I be covered if I have a large motorhome or campervan?
This will depend upon your provider, so it’s important to always check the terms and conditions before you buy cover to make sure your policy meets your specific requirements. It might also be worth speaking to your insurance broker, to see if they can find suitable cover to run alongside your insurance policy.
Is there anything that could invalidate my motorhome or breakdown policy?
Your policy will be invalidated if your motorhome is in an unsafe or unroadworthy condition or if you knowingly drive your vehicle in this condition, or if it has not been routinely serviced.
You also might not be covered for any claims you make within a certain time frame after taking out cover, or if any breakdown is as a result of running out of oil or water.
What happens if your motorhome or campervan breaks down whilst in Europe during a Public Holiday?
Even in the UK, if you’re unfortunate enough to break down during a Public Holiday you are likely to experience some delay in your breakdown service. However, in Europe Public Holidays can have a bigger impact on the availability and timeliness of breakdown services. While you will still be covered, you may experience some service delays or disruption during Public Holidays.
To find your perfect-fit motorhome breakdown policy, or to find a motorhome insurance policy designed to suit your needs give our experts a call on 0800 0304 206 – our unrivalled choice of policies is what makes 95% of our customers rate our service as ‘Excellent’ on Trustpilot with a customer satisfaction score of 4.9 out of 5*.
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