Thursday, 5 September 2013

Insurance (like death and taxes, unavoidable).

We called the caravan club for an insurance quote (we are members), they wouldn’t insure the vehicle unless it was registered as a motorhome. This obviously presented a problem and I was a bit irritated, but not surprised. The caravan and camping club isn’t an insurer per se they just have a deal with an insurance company that assures preferred rates and deals to members, with a certain set of stringent restrictions. In part it smacks of a `certain’ kind of snobbery, a certain kind of snobbery endemic to clubs regardless of the clubs interests or activity, which is why we are members in name only, and use the facilities but don’t get involved in rallies and club gatherings ... it’s all far too anal. The one time we got talking to some other members (that wasn’t a work mate of mine), it ended up as a well intentioned lecture on `why’ we should attend rallies and what have you, and how we all have to start somewhere (this was regards our previous motorhome). Our lecturer had a twin rear axle’d separate bed roomed affair, that they sat in or by while watching TV for two days  ... for our part we went scrambling along a beach and did the Golden Cap walk to Seatown from Charmouth, highly recommended ... in a non-club member fashion. We nodded and yes’d at the right times and then forgot all about it.

Having failed to insure with the C&CC we tried Adrian Flux. Adrian Flux are a specialist insurance broker for a raft of companies. We went through the quote process with a fella who had clearly heard it all before, which in our circumstance made the whole process so much easier. Registration document not required, photos not required, certificates not required ... unless you claim.

Fortunately for us, we meet all the requirements of the DVLA, and will attempt the re-registration process, which our brokers representative said is fraught with pedantry, and over cautious arse covering in case of `liability’, and that often as not the DVLA just return the logbook, with registration entries such as `Van with Windows or Van Modified’.

Adrian Flux on the other hand “assume” that you aren’t stupid and work on trust, because the bounds and mark’s of what is a motorhome/campervan vary so greatly in specification (from a 1969 VW camper, to a 2013 Winnebago Land Yacht) that the core rules apply (which can be found by following this link ( if you’re interested). If they send an assessor at point of claim and you don’t meet the criteria, you aren’t insured, simple. This could clearly be serious if you’ve managed to kill someone on the road, especially if you’re several thousand miles from home, but on the other hand it does put the onus on you to ensure your vehicle is safe and sound.

So the brokers went off with all our details, we sat on hold for a bit and then they came back with what can only be described as a “very reasonable quote”. The insurance gives us 365 days foreign travel, contents cover, windscreen cover etc and all for under £600 ... (the worry is that we’ve hit that over 45 mark and are considered old enough to be a danger to ourselves only ... or approaching dotage).

 There is a subtle irony to whom the eventual insurer is though; to whit Footman James. They are an AON company. I’ve racked servers in their comms rooms, re-ordered their server racks and re-run power and network to all their nodes and dealt with the power-downs to enable the works. I’ve sat in their call centre weekends and evening when the place is empty, and I’m on hello terms with the man who still heads up that branch of AON as company/division CEO. So not only am I reminded of whom I worked for every-time I see a Manchester United shirt (I don’t follow football), I am now their customer, where once they were mine.

It is nice to be insured, it’s good to have ticked that box. We have the wagon back at home with us. It needs a damp dust a few personal touches, and a bit of familiarisation with the systems, and then we are pretty much good to go ... narrator refers to previous list, recants statement “we are pretty much good to go” puts head in hand and sobs.

On Monday after my X-ray and follow up appointment for my hand, we are going to the lock-up to pick up our basics and argue about where stuff goes (wrong not to). Then we sort out the photos we took this weekend for the DVLA, and then we’ll have ticked of some more boxes. We did sleep in it on Saturday night, because we popped to friends to show it off, had a few sherbet's and couldn’t drive home. We had to borrow a sleeping bag and pillows, the bed goes together easy, the lights all work as does the loo, and come morning time the temperature inside compared to out was positively balmy. It wasn’t the most auspicious first outing, but that in some ways that makes it all the better, because all the boxes were ticked for an overnight stop completely on the fly.

Photos to follow.

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