Insuring an American RV or Winnebago

American Recreational Vehicles, or ‘RVs’ for short, represent the absolute height of what’s possible in terms of space and luxury for motorhomes – with expansive interiors and high levels of specification RV’s are truly a home away from home.

Of course, with extra luxury comes a little extra cost, and as well as the motorhomes themselves being fairly expensive (typically between £75,000 and £200,000 for a new high spec model) insurance is another thing that will cost you a little more. It is however worth making sure that the cover which is in place is suitable for your extra large motorhome, to ensure that the extra cost in insurance premium is worth it.

The first thing to consider is the type of motorhome you have, as many insurers will only insure motorhomes which were professionally imported by a UK dealership and brought up to UK fire and safety standards. This means that owners of ‘Self Imports, i.e. buying a motorhome direct from outside of the UK and driving or shipping it over yourself, may find it difficult to acquire cover.

If you are going to import a motorhome yourself, and have enquired about insurance, then remember that a motorhome being registered in the UK cannot be more than 12 metres long and 2.55 metres wide, unless it has an Individual Vehicle Approval (IVA) certificate. With an IVA a motorhome can have a maximum width of 2.6 metres, and whilst there is no height limit, motorhomes over 3 metres tall must have a notice visible to the driver with the vehicles dimensions.

Another issue that arises when considering the size of your RV motorhome is recovery in the event of a breakdown, as many recovery companies will not be able to handle a vehicle the size of a large RV. When choosing an insurer go for one that specialises in motorhomes and check that if breakdown cover is offered that there are no size or weight restrictions on the vehicle being covered.

Most people who buy an American RV don’t intend to solely travel in the UK though, and in fact where RV’s and Winnebago’s excel is for longer tours or even full timing where the extra space gives you an added level of comfort over a long period. European travel is either offered as an optional extra, or included automatically, on most motorhome insurance policies but check where exactly you can travel as some counties you want to visit (such as Morocco) may be exempt. Also check the length of time you are allowed to travel in Europe for and opt for a full timing policy if you might be spending the whole year abroad.

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