How your motorhome's additional equipment could affect your insurance policy
After a few trips in your motorhome, you might be considering making some modifications to your vehicle. So here is our guide to what you need to know about motorhome additions — and how will they affect your insurance.
What additions do you want to make?
The particular additions you make will depend on how you use your motorhome. If you are planning to go on a long trip, you might be worrying about your lack of storage space. With more clothing and equipment, you might think about purchasing a roof box for extra storage space.
Perhaps you are concerned about your motorhome’s fuel usage? Another possible modification for motorhomes is an LPG (liquefied petroleum gas) conversion. While LPG is considerably cheaper than petrol or diesel, the conversion itself is costly, so think carefully about whether you cover enough miles to warrant it. If you only use your motorhome a few weekends a year, it’s probably not economical to convert it.
Maybe you’re looking to improve your motorhome’s roadholding, enabling it to cope with heavier loads? By enhancing the suspension, you can rest assured that your motorhome will cope with anything you choose to take on your journey: whether that be the full family or your ski gear. Again, the process will be costly, so if you only take short trips and travel light, the upgrade would be a wasted venture. However, for those of you who like to indulge in longer tours, the additional comfort and safety will be welcomed.
Another popular motorhome modification is engine remapping, or ‘chipping’. This process involves altering the engine control unit to improve your motorhome’s performance and increase fuel efficiency. Remapping is one modification that could affect the terms of your policy, so your case may have to be referred to the underwriter. Again, if you don’t use your vehicle extensively, it might be best not to remap your engine.
You will be pleased to know that modifications such as these are usually covered by Club Care Insurance under the normal terms of your policy. However, it is vital that you inform your insurer about any modifications, no matter how minor. There may be an increase in your premium to reflect the added value of the modification to your motorhome. Even fitting a new stereo will add value, so it is important to let your provider know as soon as possible. If your motorhome is damaged or stolen, and a particular modification is not listed, your cover could be invalidated.
What about security modifications?
When it comes to the security of your motorhome, there are some modifications that could actually save you money on your insurance premium.
You can reduce the risk of your motorhome getting stolen — and thereby facing a premium increase — by using devices to deter thieves. A wheel clamp when you’re parking your motorhome on a site, in your driveway, or when you’re out and about, will ensure that any intruders will not be driving off with your prized vehicle. In addition, fit an alarm and immobiliser, too. If someone does manage to break into your motorhome, it is likely that the sound of the alarm will stop them from entering it and an immobiliser will make it virtually impossible for them to drive away.
If the worst happens, your motorhome can be located anywhere within Europe if you fit a proactive tracking system. You’ll even get a discount on your Club Care premium for fitting it.
Disability modifications and insurance
For disabled motorhome owners, modifications can make all the difference. Steps will make life so much easier, allowing easy access into your motorhome. It is also possible to have your motorhome’s interior altered to include features such as a wet room, drop-down beds, shower chairs, and ceiling track hoists: practical inclusions to ensure relaxation for any guest. Perhaps you’ll need to make modifications to enable you to drive your motorhome? Hand controls, seat alterations, and wheelchair stowage are just a few options which will make driving simple.
Disability modifications will not increase your premium, but you must still make sure that your insurer is aware of any modifications, no matter how small. Also, any conversions must be DVLA approved, and carried out by a professional to ensure that the correct standards are met.
In fact, any modification — whether for a disability or not — should be carried out by a professional. You could be spending a considerable amount of money on your motorhome’s additions, so, of course, you need to know that you are getting the best possible service. So, when considering a modification, do your research. Collect quotes and reviews from a variety of suppliers and fitters. Look for customer testimonials on their websites, and view any photographs of conversions that they have carried out, so you can see what your motorhome will look like when the job is finished.
There is no harm in calling the companies direct. Ask questions to check whether a particular modification is right for you, and how it can be tailored to your requirements. When your modifications have been completed, take photographs of the equipment, and keep any receipts and guarantees in a safe place. Finally, make sure you tell your motorhome insurer.