Why is van insurance so expensive!? Van Life UK

If you have owned a van for more than a year, it is likely that your insurance renewal quote has increased.

This was the case for me back in October when my insurance came up for renewal. I had paid £350 the previous year, the renewal was for £800! Exactly the same cover, with an additional year of No Claims Discount and yet it increased by 100%!

It makes absolutely no sense to me, I spoke to the insurer (they are a broker) but all they were able to tell me is, “that’s the cheapest we can find.” which is as useful as an ice bucket in the Antarctic.

I am seeing several posts per day (to the point where its becoming rather irritating) in various van life related groups on the book of faces of others experiencing this exact same thing. Their renewal figure being twice or sometimes even more expensive than the previous year.

Its not just motorhome and campervans

There are the inevitable comments about how ‘the government’ are trying to force ‘vanlifers’ off the roads by increasing the insurance fees. There are so many things wrong with that argument that I’m not even going to spend time breaking it all down. Sadly it seems within the van life community, there are many many people of the tinfoil hat type who believe anything that doesn’t make their life just as they want it, is a conspiracy.

The fact is vehicle insurance has risen across the board. Whether its a car, a van, a motorhome or a campervan. Everyone is seeing these ridiculous renewal quotes for exactly the same vehicle and cover.

It really isn’t a conspiracy against motorhome and campervan owners but I realise those with this mindset won’t be easily convinced otherwise no matter what fact and evidence they are provided with.

There is hope

Fortunately, there is light at the end of the tunnel for many.

Price comparison sites.

And in this instance, specifically Compare the Market’s Campervan and Motorhome comparison site (I have no affiliation with this website).

After my shock at my renewal quote, and having zero joy speaking to my previous insurer, I found this website and used it to get a quote.

I find and took out cover for slightly less than I have paid for the previous year!

Obviously each insurance policy is different and there are many factors that will determine how much you are quoted. These include:

  • Your age
  • Your number of years No Claims Bonus for driving a motorhome/campervan (car driving NCD does not count!)
  • The number and type of modifications made to the vehicle (if you have a wood burner for example this can really be problematic for getting cheap insurance)
  • The registered address and where you keep the vehicle overnight
  • Any security features (or lack thereof)

Stop asking about insurance in groups!

One of the worst things you can possibly do when it comes to insurance cover is ask for recommendations in online groups.

As mentioned above, insurance is a very personal thing and will change from person to person and van to van. Therefore, whilst Bob may have a great deal with company X his circumstances may very well be very different to yours. Bob may have 30+ years of NCD. Bob may have a coach built motorhome rather than a self converted van. Bob may not have European cover where you want European cover.

So asking for recommendations in social media groups really isn’t going to be helpful as you will simply cause yourself more frustration by phoning the companies recommended only to find you’re quoted several hundred pounds more than Bob.

Instead, use the Internet. Use Google and search for campervan or motorhome insurance and make use of the technology that is available to you. You are only going to get a personalised quote when you take the time to provide the details required to provide your quote, ie, information about you and your van.

Not all insurers use price comparison sites, so whilst I highly recommend using the Compare the Market tool, supplement this with doing an Internet search and checking out any insurers that aren’t listed on the above site.

Why has my insurance quote doubled or more in price?

This isn’t something new with insurers. And its not just vehicle insurers who do it.

Basically they are chancing it. They rely on people being too busy or simply not being bothered to do market research to find other quotes and simply renewing the policy at the new ridiculous price.

A man relaxing in a hammock erected between a campervan and a tree

There are numerous reports that I have seen where a van owner has received a quote that has doubled who then called their insurer only to have it reduced significantly. So I would always suggest that the first thing to do is to call your insurer and discuss the increase.

Some insurers will ‘price match’ other quotes. So it may be that you seek a cheaper online quote and then tell your current insurer of the quote you’ve found (be prepared to show evidence of the lower quote) and they may price match. However, it will depend on just how much cheaper the new quote is as to whether they will attempt to price match.

In my instance with my previous insurer, they were not interested in price matching as the new quote I found was half of their renewal quote.

Shop around is really the only option

Until some sort of legislation is introduced where insurers can’t simply put up their prices for no justified reason, the only option you really have if you get a ridiculous renewal quote is to shop around (not asking on social media!)

Make sure its at least 28 days or more before your renewal

When searching for an alternative insurer, ensure you are doing so at least 28 days ahead of when you need the new policy to start!

The later you leave it, the more the quote will be as insurers realise you are going to be a little more desperate to get cover. So NEVER leave it a week or less from your renewal date to shop around!

Share your experience

Have you had a ridiculous insurance renewal quote? What did you do in the end? Please do share your experience with us in the comments below

Connect with me on my socials

Leave a Reply