Woo! Van life! Living the dream! Or so you think…
There is so much nonsense, poppycock, hogwash and other nicer ways of saying bullshit that paves the way to such a lifestyle change. Even this cheap lifestyle cannot be lived without a few large expenses and stacks of paperwork!
An onwards rant from the earlier van post, but it seems that as usual, with all this camper van conversion stuff, what takes everyone else 5 minutes, takes me 5 days, maybe even a week at this rate as its still not sorted… (Insert anger management here).
So lets get this boring stuff out of the way… Breakdown cover first!
When it comes to breakdown cover we have chosen to go with ADAC, or at least I think we have, as they give 365 days European cover. A rarity, as most ‘annual’ cover only lasts a matter of days, just think companies such as the AA and RAC. The only other companies I have found that give unlimited cover is Saga, which is great if you are more senior and also one from a forum, who claimed that Adrian Flux had given them full 365 day Euro Breakdown.
At 84 euro for ADAC plus membership, it seems a snip for full breakdown cover, which includes the UK. As a plus if you do breakdown in the UK, it will be the AA that comes anyway! Although I have not looked into the terms and conditions too much, so it’s worth checking the level of cover if you choose to take this out. For example, I believe vehicles over 3500ton are subject to excess when needing towing.
We have breakdown cover, so what about insurance?
The search for insurance is never a pleasant chore, always the endless faff to go through, reading terms and conditions that make the Lord of the Rings trilogy seem like the hungry caterpillar. However once you sift through all your options, you hopefully get cover that is adequate for purpose. My purpose needed to be 365 days cover in Europe, similar to the breakdown cover, so this post will only look at companies that I found that offer this. Through the many searches I completed throughout the Internet, I am going to list here what I have found. I don’t claim this to be gospel, but it may guide some in the right direction.
I personally have taken out insurance with Campton Motorhome Insurance. They didn’t have the cheapest insurance for me; however, they seem to offer the best policy. Initially they have required a lot of paperwork from me, which was a mild pain in the arse in all honesty, however apart from that, the rest has been positive.
We spent two days trying to find insurance, full time, which was an utter nightmare! At the last hour, as Campton were closing for the weekend we gave them a call and managed to sort an insurance policy, they even phoned us back after hours to sort out the final details, which seems a miracle in the modern day, that a company actually knows what service is. So it has been, so far, so good with these guys, but I will update if anything changes…
So who else did I try???
Club Care Insurance, part of the camping and caravanning club, I spent a good long while on the phone with them, and although I did not take out a policy, they were extremely helpful and polite on the phone, really striving to get me a good deal. If I was to search for new cover next year, this will be a company I will try.
Advance Insurance, they also offer 365 days cover. It might be the luck of the draw, but I seem to have got captain dickhead on the other end of the phone. He was rude from the off, and in the end just hung up on me with a curt ‘bye’, after keeping me on hold for an age. I don’t think I will try this company again, but as I said, it could have been the luck of the draw.
Adrian Flux. This was the first company I tried after my research, simply because so many people had sung their praises; its good prices, 365 days cover and potential breakdown cover. However, when I rang and got my quote of £1500, which was more than my first ever year’s insurance as a teenager? It’s fair to say I decided not to get the policy.
So I am sure there are more companies that offer this 365-day European cover, however these are the ones that I dealt with, I’m not trying to say one is better than the other, I’m just writing of my experience so far. As we all have different circumstances I’m sure we can get different cover from here, there and elsewhere, and for a better or worse price. We are all aware that insurance companies seem to just pluck random numbers out of a hat, so I really hope this helps someone out there, good luck!