Camper Van Insurance

Camper van insurance is something you have to consider if you do a lot of van camping. Accidents happen even in your camper van, usually when least expected...

Insurance policies will usually depend on the insurance company and the country you travel to. Either way, take your time to check the small print, just to understand what and where ar you covered for.

If you wish to use your camper van only for the season, check if part-time insurance is possible. You can also think about insuring some camper accessories, such as camper awnings, solar panels, heaters and everything else you consider valuable.

The Basics

Mandatory camper van insurance usually covers the following;

  • Third party liability coverage in most cases, explained in plain language, covers injury and damage to other people and their property.
  • All persons traveling in the van.
  • Other benefits more or less depend on the insurance company.
  • And remember that vintage campers usually have lower camper van insurance rates.
Camper van insurance will cover towing your camper van.
A Flat tyre on a Spanish highway.

Optional Insurance

Optional insurance covers as much as you like and intend to pay for and again, depends on the insurance company. And just to get the general idea of what you can be covered for..

  • Camper van coverage in case of accidents, theft, fire, floods, wild animals, broken glass, etc...
  • 24 hour and the 365 days in a year full road assistance.
  • A replacement vehicle, lodging and transportation expenses for getting you back home in case of a breakdown or an accident.
  • Coverage in other countries you want to travel to (very common in Europe for example, where I actually live).
  • If you wish to travel around the globe, do expect a lot of different and complicated paper work to deal with.
  • And don't forget a full medical coverage for everybody on board, even the pets. Sudden illness, dental care, death and so on...

Camper Van Insurance After The Conversion

Camper van insurance depends on the type of camper van you have.

  • Panel vans are "raw vehicles" prior to your camper van conversion and will be insured as such until you complete your camper van conversion and re-classify it into a camper van. Bare in mind that camper van insurance is usually much cheaper, because a leisure vehicle is suspected to be much less on the road then a regular working camper van. But not all conversions are considered as camper vans though...
  • Before you start to build your own camper van, contact your legal authorities in the country you live in to check out what can you do and/or have to do in order to keep your camper van conversion legal and safe! Government regulations are different around the world, so there is no possible way, I could give you any hints about it.
  • Any kind of a professionally built camper van conversions should be in the listing of the insurance company of your choice. Be careful though, if you're importing a vehicle from another country by yourself. The camper van of your choice needs to meet government regulations of your country.

My 24 Hour Assistance Story

I'm far from being all thrilled about this paperwork stuff and usually I don't even understand my insurance agent. I was at the helm of motorcycles, camper vans. Heavy trucks and even sailing boats for decades and all I had was a few minor bump and dent accidents.

Tow truck in Spain.

But funny as it may sound, even a simple flat tire needs the 24-hour road assistance on special occasions. Don't get me wrong here, I know how to change a flat tire, but when things go wrong, they go wrong...

My wife and I were cruising steadily in our camper van, on a highway somewhere between Madrid and Barcelona in Spain a few years ago. The road was descending and a light left curve was coming up. I started passing a truck and just as I was in front of it, the steering wheel begun pulling slightly to the left side.

Now, I'm talking about seconds here. It was obvious, that the front left tire was about to be flat on the road. I pulled in the emergency lane just in front of the truck to change the tire. The driver was p..... off of course (hey, sorry about that!),but it was an emergency situation. Quite dangerous though...

Caper Van rescue mission in Spain.

The narrow emergency lane was barely large enough for the van to fit in. Changing the left tire with all the trucks passing close by was out of the question here or else I wouldn't be here writing this web-page. And the tire wasn't just flat, but in shreds.

My wife and I hopped over the guard rail under a tree as it was even way to dangerous to stay in the van. So there we were, somewhere in the middle of Spain and as far as our eyes could see, there was absolutely nothing around us. Mountains and plains, nothing else.

In this pretty much dead end situation I took out my camper van insurance policy, called the 24/hour emergency number and...

Camper Van Insurance- blown tyre.

To make a long story short, first of all you have to know where you are in these situations. I use the GPS unit, but I rely on maps, which in this case helped me out a lot.

The tow truck showed up a hole hour and a half later and the drivers first face expression was...ufff, another couple of dumb travelers that don't now how to change a flat tyre. Despite the fact that I speak four foreign languages, my Spanish is null. So I tried to communicate and explain the situation looking at the sarcastic expression on his face, until I was fed up with the situation and just told him in my own language that he is more then welcomed to change the tyre by himself.

He unloaded the jack from his tow truck and started the tyre changing procedure which only lasted for about a couple of minutes. The first truck that came by at a 90km/h or even more going downhill, greeted him with blowing the horn and flashing lights and passed just to close to him. I guess that this was the point, where he became aware of the fact that he might not see the end of the day...well at least alive to say so.

So, the jack went back on the tow truck and he started loading our van. We had not spoken a word for the next half an hour that it took us to get to the closest garage, where we changed the tyre in no time. So much for human ego.

Despite the fact, that we run into a person that obviously had a bad day and the fact that we had to wait for him an hour and a half I still have my 24/hour assistance card from my camper van insurance policy. This was a dumb'n'simple scenario all the way, but remember that other and much worse kinds of accidents can happen.

This is what we get in the so called "civilized world" as we know it. If your travels take you elsewhere in what we where thought to call "the third world countries" it will be the local folks helping you out most of the time. Out there we all speak different languages but everything usually all boils down to a very simple and common human factor...helping each other...

› Camper Van Insurance

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