campervan by pond

The Complete Campervan Insurance Guide

The Complete Campervan Insurance Guide  

When it comes to insuring your campervan, especially for the first time, it’s important that you understand what campervan insurance entails and how it works.  

Our guide to campervan insurance covers everything you’d need to know, from seasoned campers to those new to the world of campervans.  

What is a Campervan? 

This may seem like a silly question to open with, but campervans require certain parts and appearances to classify as a campervan.  

Classes of Campervan 

In the UK, there are three classes of campervan, A, B and C.  

  • Class A: The kings of motorhomes, these are your RVs and large, luxury campervans 
  • Class B covers all campervans, including self or professional build and converted from a panel van.   
  • Class C: Standard motorhomes that are seen across the UK every summer.  
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DVLA (Re)Classification 

The DVLA classes motorhomes and campervans as the same thing: motor caravans. Motor caravans are seen as the same thing by the DVLA, as they have the same features: 

  • Windows into the living area 
  • Separate door for access to the living accommodation 
  • Awning bar on the vehicle 
  • Seats and a bed inside the vehicle 
  • Cooking access 
  • Storage facilities  

Mark from Just Kampers Insurance says “A large amount of the vehicles we cover are self-build campers, and we’ll always find the right policy to suit you and your vehicle. We cover the vehicle for what you tell us it is, not what the DVLA has it down on the logbook as. For example, you may have a converted van that has a rear seat/double bed, cooker, sink and fridge, but decide you don’t want side windows for security, as you want to carry high value bikes inside. Or you may have a fully converted camper with pop-top, full kitchen etc, but the logbook still says ‘van’. 

How to Get Classification as a ‘Motor Caravan’ 

There’s three main points you need to cover to get classified as a motor caravan:  

  • A body type in your V5C that’s on their list 
  • You’ve made the required external changes to your campervan 
  • You’ve made the required internal changes 

Once you’ve made these, and can prove your conversion should be a campervan, you need to send photo evidence to the DVLA, who can then refuse or accept your conversion.  

It’s important to remember that the classification on your V5C does not impact insurance. If you use your self-build or converted van as a campervan, then you will need to insure it as a campervan, not a van.  

Is a Campervan a Good Investment (1)

Do I need to insure my self build van as a campervan? 

Yes, you will need to insure your self-build van or converted van as a campervan. Insurers need to know about your usage of the van, rather than the outward appearance, unless it affects the performance of the van.  

How do I insure my self build if my application is rejected? 

To insure your self build campervan, if the DVLA has rejected your application, you’ll need to make sure you get specialist insurance. High street insurers are more likely to provide an inaccurate quote. So how do you best pick campervan insurance?  

Choosing Campervan Insurance 

When it comes to choosing campervan insurance, doing your research is incredibly important. You’ll need to look into: 

  • Underwriters and customer experience 
  • Policy benefits as standard and what extras are available  
  • What you can use the campervan for and mileage limits 
  • Agreed value of your camper, especially if it’s a classic or self-build 
  • Security discounts, such as for additional trackers or alarms 
  • European cover and breakdown policies 
  • Contents insurance for your campervan 
  • Gas and explosion cover 
  • New for old policies, if you’ve bought your campervan from new 
  • Transferring NCB (No Claims Bonus) from your car over 

All these factors can be tailored, depending on how you use your campervan, and any modifications you may have made.  

Things to Look Out for When Choosing Campervan Insurance 

Customer service, reviews and underwriters 

When using an insurance comparison tool, or researching potential insurers, it’s important to check existing customer experience and reviews. Defaqto often rates larger insurance companies and provides customers with an idea of what the company may be like. Sites like Trustpilot and Google also provide you with useful feedback.  

With smaller independent brands, they often need underwriters to create their insurance policies, as they may not have the in-house ability to do some themselves. At Just Kampers Insurance, we use Herts Insurance Consultants to underwrite our polices, as we know they are of repute and feel they offer our customers good value.  

Tents with horses in a field (1)

Policy Benefits: Standard and Extras 

For campervans, there will be some policy benefits that you may not see on a car policy: 

  • Contents cover 
  • Personal effects cover 
  • Spare parts cover 

Aside from the above, the policy benefits are largely the same as a standard car policy. This doesn’t mean that a high street insurer is able to cover you, as while the benefits are the same, the nuances that campervans have, such as them being homes and cars at the same time, make high street insurers less willing to provide insurance.  

Use and Mileage Limits  

Many campervan policies won’t cover you for commuting purposes, simply social, domestic and pleasure. Therefore, if you are planning to commute in your campervan, it’s important you specify this to your insurer before you confirm your policy.  

Mark Reynolds of Just Kampers says “Lots of insurers only cover campers for social and domestic use. So, if you drove it to work or to the station to commute, you’d find you’re not covered. At JK Insurance, in 99% of cases, we can tailor the policy to suit your unique circumstances, including using it for work.” 

Similarly, with mileage limits, it’s important to read the small print before you agree to a policy. While you can negotiate limited mileage discounts on a policy if you’re only using it at weekends, for those who want to rack up the miles, it’s best to check this before you get a policy.  

Tents with horses in a field (1)

Agreed-Value Cover 

Agreed-value cover of a campervan is a favoured option for those with classics, especially for those with classics, rare models and self-builds. Agreed-value cover essentially means that you can agree a value of your campers’ true worth when the policy is set, and if the worst happens, your insurer will pay out based on your agreed value rather than another valuation.  

Security of your Campervan 

Some insurers will offer discounts for additional security measures, especially in regularly stolen makes such as Ford or Fiat. By adding in aftermarket additions, such as an alarm or wheel lock, you may be able to negotiate a cheaper policy.  

Similarly, parking it in off-season in secured campervan storage rather than your driveway can reduce premiums as it provides more security against theft. It’s important to consider your regular parking situation when you insure your campervan. 

Tents with horses in a field (1)

European Cover and Breakdown 

While pre-Brexit, it was easier to simply drive in and out the EU, now the insurance side is slightly different. You’ll need a green card, issued by your insurer, to drive, and specialist EU breakdown cover. Where before you may have been able to use one policy to cover you in the EU, its important to check the limits of your policy in the EU, especially now the six-month post Brexit period has happened.  

Contents Insurance for Campervans 

Unlike a car, campervans have higher value contents, as they are like a home on wheels. Things such as TVs, gas bottles, microwaves, storage, any aftermarket additions, even accessories like awnings, all add value to your campervan contents.  

Therefore, getting an appropriate amount of campervan contents insurance is key, and also valuing everything in your campervan is key. Provide your insurer with accurate information before you agree a policy, and you will get an accurate quote based on your information.  

Gas and explosion cover 

While this isn’t something that people might want to think about, considering the risk of any heaters, gas bottles etc, in your campervan before you get insurance will help. By accurately considering this risk, you can ensure that you are covered in case the worst, while unlikely, is considered in your insurance policy.

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New for old policies  

New-for-old policies is only applicable if you bought the campervan from new. It means that the insurer will replace your campervan with the most recent version of the make. There’s often specific stipulations, such as the mileage or age of campervan at point of insurance.  

Transferring NCB from another policy 

If you’re making your campervan your primary vehicle, then you may be able to transfer your NCB, despite it not being a like-for-like policy.  

Some insurers offer this while others may only offer it if you have multi-car insurance with them. It does vary, so do check before you take out a policy.  

FAQs about Campervan Insurance 

How much is campervan insurance? 

As every policy is custom, and campers undergo a lot of customisations, its dependent on individual circumstance and a multitude of factors! You can always get a quote to find out. 

Is it cheaper to insure a van or a campervan? 

Van insurance is more expensive than campervan insurance, as vans often contain more expensive contents when used as work vans. For vans, you’ll often also need business insurance as well, or one that covers you for business use, something campervans don’t need.  

Can you insure a campervan as a van? 

If your campervan meets the DVLA requirements for being a motor caravan, regardless of what your logbook says, you need to insure it as a campervan, if that’s what you’re using it for. This means you get appropriate cover for your use.  

Can I drive a campervan on my car insurance? 

No, you can’t drive a campervan on your car insurance. Your insurance needs to be appropriate for the vehicle you drive, and a campervan isn’t the same as a car. Even if you have a converted campervan, then you need to get campervan insurance, rather than relying on your car insurance.  

What won’t campervan insurance cover? 

Car insurance won’t cover the following:  

  • Infestations of rat, mice, bugs or other vermin 
  • Wear and tear 
  • Theft, if you’ve left your keys in it, windows open or door unlocked 

It’s always worth giving your policy a read to check.  

Do I need different insurance if I’m planning to live in my van? 

No, you don’t need different insurance if you plan to live in your van. You will need to ensure you have the correct cover, such as contents insurance, and the insurer is aware you will be living in your van.  

You may want to consider taking out a life or home insurance policy that covers you for van living, in case of an emergency.  

Can I insure a car and campervan on the same policy? 

You can only insure a car and van on the same policy if you have a multi vehicle policy. It’s important that you have the correct policy type for your needs, and that you get a bespoke policy tailored.

With over 20 years of experience, we can source campervan insurance for you that is bespoke to your needs. We understand campervans, and their owners! So, whether you’re living in a van, or wanting to head out for the occasional weekend, speak to us today. 

campervan vs tents

Campervans Vs Tents: Which Is Better?

Campervans Vs Camping: The Just Kampers Insurance Guide

A staple tradition of the British holiday, camping in any form whether motorised or not – has been around for years. For just as long, the argument as to which is better, camping or campervanning (and even caravanning) has created healthy and lively discussions by those passionate for the outdoors.

Here at Just Kampers Insurance, we have a reputation for being passionate about campervans, particularly classic or modern VWs, and most of our staff own at least one kind of VW camper. However, we’ve put aside our passion of VW campervans, and are looking at the wider outdoors market to provide you with the essential knowledge you need to accurately decide which you’d prefer.

A Brief Overview of the Classifications  

Campervans

Often when we discuss campervans, the likes motorhomes and other luxury touring vans can seem interchangeable. But to simplify this guide, we’re expanding our definition of a campervan. Therefore, any vehicle where the living space and driving space is combined can be considered a campervan in this article.

In fact, there are differences between campervans and motorhomes, such as speed limits, or the kinds of equipment available.

Camping

Tents are now highly engineered, precision bits of kit. For many years, they have been popular amongst explorers and adventurers, those wanting a space-saving way to go on holiday, and people who enjoy the simpler things in life.

Camping vs Campervan: Best for Mobility

When on holiday, the last thing you want is a lot of work and hassle before you can settle and rest. The level of mobility you can enjoy from camping or campervanning will vary depending on your preferences. But it will also be impacted by your confidence as a driver, as tents can be easily stowed in the boot or backseat of a car, whereas a camper requires careful driving, especially on winding roads.

Mobility of a Tent

If you’re on a long trek or a holiday where you’re moving around a lot, and not staying in one location for long, a tent will be your best choice. Once established, a tent doesn’t need much more care. Instead, you can set-up your campsite, and you won’t need to pack it away again until you move on.

Certain high-performance tents weigh less than 2kg and can be packed and stored into units smaller than a water bottle (excluding poles). For mobility purposes, you can be as flexible you need. You can even save space when you travel with a tent, because this piece of kit is often lightweight and highly portable.

Mobility of a Campervan

Campervans are fantastic for their park up and unpack ability. You can simply park your campervan and then enjoy the convenience of having your living essentials, including food, stored in the back. Even better, the time taken to set up your camper is often minimal if you’ve prepared it beforehand.

The only drawback is, when you drive off to explore the local area, you will need to ensure everything is secured down and packed away before leaving. Depending on how much supplies you travel with, this process can be painless.

To overcome this, some families choose to take a car with them as well and park their campervan at a campsite separately. Travelling with another car can make off-site travel easier, especially for those with young children that may need additional car seats.

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Tent vs Camper: Privacy and Security

Campsites are often located in wide-open spaces, such as fields, potentially with no protection from wildlife or the outside world. For those camping in the New Forest, for example, might discover that wild animals, including horses, will be roaming around on-site.

However, the other side of this debate is the matter of privacy.

Privacy and Security in a Tent

When in a tent, it can feel daunting at times as you are very exposed to the outdoor environment. This fear is compounded when protection seems limited, or restricted, to a couple of zipped access points. However, most official campsites are managed with honour policy, meaning campers will look out for, and respect, one another.

After a few overnight stays on a campsite, you’ll quickly realise how safe and reassuring a tent can be.

Similarly, privacy can be easily achieved with the help of visual aids, such as windows or curtains that zip and close. Yet, if you don’t want people overhearing your daily conversations, you may want to choose a camper, which offers even more layers of privacy.

Privacy and Security in a Camper

The main difference of a campervan when compared with a tent is the ability to securely lock doors and fasten curtains over windows. This makes them a popular choice for single campers, as well as young families. They tend to be more secure by design, which makes them the first consideration for some people.

The only disadvantage to a campervan is the large windows that, to be private, must be covered and this often removes all-natural light from the cabin.

Tent vs Camper: Initial Costs

When looking to buy a tent or a campervan, an initial stumbling block for many is the setup cost. A brand-new Volkswagen Camper California 6.1 starts on the market from £54,665. Classic models can be secured at lower costs, but this depends on market rarity, condition and the availability of what you’re after.

In comparison, a brand-new top spec tent, such as the Vango Oakmere TC 600XL, which is a six-man polycotton tent, has a cost of £840.

But which offers more value?

Initial Cost of a Tent

The initial cost of a tent isn’t just for the tent itself. You’ll also need to buy sleeping bags, sleeping mats, camping kitchenware and so much more. As you’re sleeping in a thin fabric dome, your home duvet isn’t very practical. Even the warmest sleeper will get cold once the sun goes down.

While you won’t need specialist kit, investing in good quality items from the get-go will last longer and keep you comfier.

Initial Cost of a Camper

Campers are slightly different. As you’re buying a car and caravan combined into one, the initial cost will be higher. However, you can use a camper like a car, whether that’s for a holiday, or a trip into town. Therefore, the cost per use may be lower.

However, there is maintenance and roadworthiness to maintain. Regular costs for a camper may be higher, as the parts cost more. But you also have unique benefits, such as a mode of transport and a warmer living area, along with greater security.

So, which is better?

The answer is… it depends on your preferences, lifestyle and what you’re looking for.

If you want a packable option that offers more openness to the outdoors and the ability to pitch and go anywhere, then a tent is better for you.

However, if you want a more luxury approach that acts as a second vehicle, or even as a home on wheels, then a campervan is simply perfect.

If you’re looking for insurance to cover you in a camper while you try it out, Just Kampers Insurance has a Hire Insurance policy for you. Or if you’re looking to get expert-led insurance for your campervan, get a quote today.

 

For more information about tailoring insurance policies to your campervan or motorhome, whether you’re after affordable premiums, or something with that little bit more protection, consider coverage from the experts at Just Kampers Insurance.