Apart from some of the more usual and expected questions about insurance for your motorhome, there are others that might seem relatively uncommon – but are no less important for all that.
Here are just two examples of the questions we are sometimes asked:
- can I live in my motorhome full time and keep it insured?
- what happens to my house insurance if I am away on extended motorhome trips?
In some ways, the questions might seem related – yet the issues they raise are certainly different.
Living permanently in your motorhome
It’s important to state at the outset, perhaps, that the overwhelming majority of motorhome insurance providers consider motorhomes to be vehicles you use occasionally for recreational purposes. It’s no coincidence, of course, that motorhomes are often referred to as “RVs” – quite simply, recreational vehicles.
Typical motorhome insurance policies will contain a clause that limits, in some form or another, just how much you can use your motorhome in a given year. That may be some months and that might be entirely satisfactory for the vast majority of motorhome owners. However, if you decide you want to spend your life on the road, it is likely to be inadequate for you.
There is no mystery behind the reasoning here.
Insurance providers use certain algorithms designed to calculate the risk of offering you cover. The facts they use to construct your risk profile include certain assumptions about your permanent address and how much time you will be living there for each year, as opposed to using your motorhome.
If you plan to be on the road all the time, in effect you don’t have a permanent address and that is going to cause many insurance providers a degree of conceptual difficulty in terms of offering you cover.
It may be possible to obtain specialist cover if you do decide to spend your life on the road but the key message here is to avoid simply selling up and driving off in your motorhome on the assumption that your existing motorhome insurance will be valid. It may not be!
How much time can you spend in your motorhome before it impacts your home insurance?
At first sight, this is also a question related to spending longer periods of time in your motorhome – but it raises quite different issues that have no direct impact on your motorhome insurance.
The challenges here arise from the fact that your existing standard home insurance almost certainly contains a clause limiting how long – counted in consecutive days and nights – you can leave your property unoccupied before your insurance is at risk.
That period of time is usually somewhere between 30 and 45 consecutive days.
If you wish to go off and spend extended time on the road discovering the world in your motorhome, you will typically need to remember that you may need to contact your home insurance provider about your plans and consider whether you must arrange specialist unoccupied property insurance. This will extend a policy to cover your property for longer periods when you are not in residence.
A key message that emerges from our consideration of both these questions relates to the importance of disclosure to your insurance company. Put another way, you must make sure that your motorhome insurer and any broker involved are both kept fully informed when there is any change at all in your circumstances (those that existed when the cover commenced) – and that includes a decision to live for a time in your motorhome or to leave your home temporarily unoccupied for longer than a month or so.
Most insurance providers will try to be as flexible and as helpful as they can in order to help you to enjoy your motorhome to the fullest possible extent.