Insurance for caravans and motorhomes: What do I have to pay attention to?
Questions like: “Which insurance is the best?”, “Where can I insure my caravan or motorhome the cheapest way?” or “Which damages are covered by a motorhome insurance?” often come up in forums and Facebook groups. Together with our topic partner RMV, we have developed an entire series on the topic of insurance – because this area is so complex that it is often difficult for a layperson to understand.
In order to find the right motorhome or caravan insurance for you in the first step, you first need to know what different types of insurance there are, what benefits they include, what they cost and what additional insurance is possible or advisable.
It’s also clear that, as in many other areas of life, “cheap” is not always the best option. Because when things really go wrong, you need advice, support and, above all, comprehensive insurance coverage. In addition to “classic” car insurance, there are also providers in this sector who specialize in the particular needs of caravan and motor home owners.
Which insurances are there and what is insured with them?
As with a passenger car, liability insurance – the name says it all – is mandatory. Without it, you cannot even register the vehicle. Therefore, you must request a so-called eVB number (electronic insurance confirmation) from the potential insurer and show it when registering the vehicle. You usually get this in combination with an offer to shorten the uninsured period after registration.
Does a caravan also have to have liability insurance?
Quite clearly: Yes. Every vehicle that is to be registered with the registration office must also be insured, including the caravan – at least with liability, as the law requires. Partial and fully comprehensive insurance are optional, but advisable.
In the case of liability damage (i.e., if you cause damage to someone else), there is another special feature for the caravan: depending on the specific damage, the damage is settled partly by the caravan’s insurance company and partly by that of the towing vehicle.
►►Achtung: Also fixed caravans need at least a liability insurance, if they are registered! If the caravan is not registered, this insurance requirement does not apply. But then the vehicle must really not be moved one meter!
Partial cover insurance
The comprehensive insurances for the caravan are similar to the comprehensive insurances for the passenger car. Insured are here: Theft, glass breakage, fire and explosion, short-circuit damage, elementary events are mostly also damage caused by martens or by a collision with animals (usually everything except pets, but can also vary depending on the insurance) included in the partial cover.
►►Our tip: Hail damage, which, along with storm, lightning, flood, etc., belongs to the elemental damage, is the most frequent of all damage to motorhomes. Therefore, some insurers offer a discount on the insurance for a GRP roof, as this material is less sensitive than other roofs.
In addition to the above-mentioned partial coverage damage, which is automatically included in the fully comprehensive insurance included, comprehensive insurance covers self-inflicted or contributory accident damage to the vehicle as well as vandalism. Transport on ferries (“ferry risk”) is also covered for various damage scenarios, e.g. in the event that the ship strands, collides, leaks or sinks, or the vehicle is washed overboard due to weather conditions or due to the swell, or the vehicle goes overboard because the captain orders the vehicle to be “sacrificed” in order to save the ferry, the passengers and/or the cargo.
Is partial or full coverage insurance worth it?
“Motorhomes and caravans are usually exposed to the elements even more regularly and for longer periods than passenger cars,” explains Dieter Scheffler, managing director of RMV Reisemobilversicherung. This is also noticeable in the claims reports. “Hail damage is reported most frequently. So covering these via partial coverage insurance definitely makes sense.”
Fully comprehensive insurance also saves a lot of trouble if the worst comes to the worst, the expert adds. “In addition to accidents, vandalism to caravans and motor homes is unfortunately not uncommon. In addition a comprehensive insurance jumps in for example also if one was damaged by someone else and this hit and run commits or a completion over its liability insurance for other reasons is not possible.
I therefore think that you should not save money in the wrong place in advance. Ultimately, however, everyone has to weigh up for themselves how comprehensively they want to cover themselves,” emphasizes Dieter Scheffler.
Comparison of partial coverage and comprehensive coverage
|Partial cover||Fully comprehensive insurance|
|Fire and explosion||over partial casco|
|Theft||via partial cover|
(hail, storm, lightning, flood, etc.)
|via partial cover|
|Glass breakage||via partial cover|
|Collision with animals / game accident||can vary depending on provider||via partial cover|
|Short circuit||via partial casco|
|Marten damage||depending on provider||via partial cover|
|Contributory accident damage||–|
|Self-inflicted accident damage||–|
|Damage caused by others
(e.g. in case of hit-and-run
of the person who caused the accident)
(in case of vehicle loss or damage
due to stranding, collision,
sinking of the ferry, etc.)
How is the cost of motorhome or caravan insurance calculated?
The cost of liability insurance for motorhomes is independent of the type of vehicle (“unit premium”). Here, the premiums vary only by the different no-claims classes. Those who have already been driving for a long time without any damage or who can take over the no-claims bonus from another vehicle will get off more cheaply – just as with a passenger car.
There are no no-claims bonus classes for caravans. However, the calculation for comprehensive insurance is carried out in exactly the same way as for the Motorhome after new value.
What does insurance for a motor home or caravan cost?
The costs for the various insurances cannot be quantified as a lump sum.
The hull insurances of most insurers are based on the new value of the vehicle (=list price, so e.g. without discounts that you may have received from the dealer or at a trade fair). Some insurers also calculate according to the current value, which of course has an impact on the reimbursement in case of damage.
Also in the regulations of the no-claims classes for liability and comprehensive insurance, the insurers differ sometimes significantly. Many providers have, for example, SF 10 with a premium rate of 45 or 35% as the highest no-claims class (e.g. J&P, DEVK), others stagger up to SF 20 with a premium rate of only 25% (e.g. RMV).
Our tip: Here, too, it is worthwhile to compare carefully – because, for example, SF class 10 with provider A is not the same as SF class 10 with provider B! The discounts vary considerably in some cases, even with the same number of SF classes.
In addition to the SF grading, there are other factors and discounts that can greatly influence your premiums – for example, with a GFK roof or in the form of new or existing customer discounts.
►►Our tip: Get individual, non-binding quotes from various insurers and compare prices, conditions and benefits in detail. Please also and above all look at the small print, because some particularly “favorable” insurance companies may recoup their money elsewhere!
What do I have to pay special attention to?
Deductibles and coverage amounts
You should pay special attention to the areas of coverage and deductibles (SB). The lower the deductible in the event of a claim, the higher the premium – and vice versa.
►►Our tip: Calculate exactly what is worthwhile and when. For example, if you have a choice between a deductible of 1,000 euros and a deductible of 500 euros, and the difference in premium is only 20 euros a year, you would have to drive without a claim for more than 25 years to pay more than the 500 euros more in the event of a claim.
The deductible for storm and hail damage is often regulated separately and can differ from the deductible for the rest of the tariff. In any case, take an extra look at the conditions!
►►Our tip: Since we have to deal with extreme weather conditions more and more often, you are well advised with an insurance without SB for these damage events!
New price compensation
For optimal insurance protection, you should take a look at the type of compensation for total loss or theft. Here the question arises of new value vs. current value.
►►Our tip: In the best case, the insurer of your choice offers 24 months of replacement value compensation (instead of the usual 12 months).
Glass damage is one of the most common types of damage to motorhomes, but insurers often only reimburse up to a certain cost limit.
►►Our tip: Take a close look at the insurance terms and conditions, because especially in the case of windshields for motorhomes, you can quickly reach high sums here!
Not alwaysr all persons who potentially drive the vehicle later may do so according to the insurance.
►►Our tip: In addition to age restrictions, there may also be age-related increases in premiums – for both young and older drivers! Therefore, pay attention to whether your desired insurance works here with clauses that could affect you or other potential drivers currently or at a later date! Optimally this is not the case, so you remain more flexible.
Restrictions on vehicle type / manufacturer
Here, too, there may be clauses that exclude certain vehicles or manufacturers.
Another point you should keep in mind: Some countries such as Tunisia and Morocco are not always included in the scope of insurance. We have created a separate article for this point. Just this much in advance: If you plan to travel to regions outside the EU, you should definitely clarify this with your insurer in advance.
Change of insurance
You can cancel a current insurance contract at least one month before the contract expires. The deadline for your cancellation is often November 30, since most insurance contracts are concluded by December 31 of a year. If the written notice of termination is not received by your insurer by the deadline, your contract will be automatically extended for another year.
However, there are exceptions:
Under certain circumstances, you can make use of the special right of termination. You have an extraordinary right of termination if
- the premiums of your insurer are increased
- the premium conditions change or
- your insurer changes the SF class system
In these cases you have four weeks to cancel your insurance. Then the period begins with the date on which you are informed about the increase or the change of your insurance tariff.
If you buy a new vehicle or if a claim has occurred, you can immediately switch to a new provider of your choice. The following prerequisite applies: The cancellation must be received by your current insurer within one month after the claim has been processed.
Please note: Each cancellation must be made in text form (e.g. letter, fax, e-mail) and is only effective if it is received within the relevant period.
You can find a detailed guide including a checklist on this topic in the article Changing caravan or motor home insurance: reasons, deadlines, comparison criteria.
What other additional insurances are there?
In addition to the hull insurance, there are other voluntary insurances for campers, which can be very practical in case of emergency:
Classic breakdowns, such as a burst tire, do not count as accidents and are therefore not covered by the Kasko. In such cases, it is advisable to take out a suitable insurance policy.
But be careful! Not every insurance policy offers the same benefits. Professional Dieter Scheffler advises: “You should make sure that the cover does not contain too many restrictions regarding the vehicle dimensions, otherwise there may be problems when towing the vehicle.
emen come”. So here, too, the rule is: compare and weigh!
insurance is more or less a “mobile household insurance” – with it you can insure all loose items in the vehicle (personal luggage, photo equipment, computer, cell phone, TV, etc.) up to a certain value against theft, accident, flood, fire and even robbery.
passengers are covered by liability insurance in the event of an accident and can claim damages – but not the driver himself! In order to also cover him or her in the event of serious injuries and their consequences (care costs, loss of earnings, etc.) or to cover the surviving dependents with a pension in the event of death, you need a so-called driver protection insurance.
For renters: Vacation protection packageIf
want to rent a camper, you can cover the most common travel risks with a vacation protection package
On the one hand, in the event of damage, the often quite high deductible that you have to pay as a deposit (usually 1,000 euros or more) is significantly reduced. Secondly, your luggage is insured as part of a contents insurance policy. And thirdly, you protect yourself with cancellation costs and loss of rental income insurance against high costs to the rental company, if you can not start the trip or cause damage that leads to the fact that the vehicle can not be rented for a long time.
You have questions about general insurance topics or content from our article? Then feel free to send us a message at email@example.com. We will forward your mail to our experts at RMV, who will then contact you directly and answer your questions.
We wish you a safe journey!
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