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Insurance for travel abroad


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I have just been speaking to Insurance Companies about my renewal and was surprised to hear that most Insurance companies will not cover your vehicle if you don't sleep in it (apparently not sleeping in it is classed as 'storage' in a foreign country). We have a caravan in France and would like to stay in that but occasionally go to another part of France for a couple of nights, so the Camper Van is used as a combination of car/sleeping accommodation/day van. We have now been told if we park it on a campsite or outside a hotel or at friends house, that very few insurance companies will cover it because we are not using it to sleep overnight.


Has anyone else come across this?

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Hi Bill and welcome to the forum

Which companies are stating this?

I know of people who have left van, on a site , and flown over to Majorca for the week end.


Will wait to see if any others , are aware of this


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I suggest you ask the insurer whether they would attach the same conditions to a car used for towing your caravan, or while its owners were at a hotel overnight, or staying with friends. Then ask them again why they would attach these conditions to a camper that is used in the same manner. I would then e-mail them with your understanding of what you are being told, and ask them to confirm that you have correctly understood these conditions. I think someone is getting something round their neck regarding the definition of storage for the purposes of the policy.


Have you spoken to Comfort Insurance to see how they would interpret the storage conditions in your case? It seems an odd interpretation to me, and may merely signal that you should change insurer.

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I believe actually “sleeping” in a motorhome will not be a requirement, but there may well be wording in the insurance policy about leaving a motorhome ‘unattended'.


This was mentioned by the late Mel Eastburn in 2006




and the Continental Use section of my current Comfort Insurance policy contains the following advice:


“...full cover as described by your policy applies in all countries as defined in the Territorial Limits provided (that)...the vehicle remains in your custody or control. If for any reason your vehicle will not be in your custody or control for a period in excess of 36 hours, then you must notify Comfort Insurance in advance. Please refer to Section I of this policy for information on security of stored vehicles.”


I recall discussing this with Comfort Insurance years ago and being told that the 36-hour caveat in the policy was there to address the fact that motorcaravanners were doing longer versions of what P Jay mentions - eg. regularly returning to the UK for several weeks and leaving the motorhome abroad.


It should be noted that the Comfort Insurance policy does not prohibit leaving a motorhome abroad for more than 36 hours during which period the vehicle will not be in the policy holder’s “custody or control” - just that there is a requirement to forewarn Comfort Insurance if the policy holder plans to do this.

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Thanks for your comments. I will go back to Caravan Guard and try to get clarification, but the gentleman I spoke to was adament and told me I would have quite a time searching for an insurance company to insure the Camper, if we didn't sleep in it while it was alongside my caravan on a camp site.
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Sample Caravanguard motorhome insurance documentation can be downloaded from here




The sample policy-booklets refer to a ‘Security Requirements’ endorsement that I’ve summarised below:


"When Your Motorhome is unattended We will pay for the theft of Your Motorhome only if the Key(s) are removed from the Motorhome and your Motorhome is protected by an alarm, immobiliser or 24 hour Tracking Device agreed by Us




The alarm, immobiliser or Tracking Device is activated and is fully maintained in accordance with manufacturers’ recommendations.


The annual network subscription for the maintenance contract of any Tracking Device must have been renewed.


The Tracking Device that is fitted must cover any country that You are travelling in.




These security requirements will not apply while the Motorhome is in the custody of a Motorhome dealer (whose main activity is the sale, servicing and repair of motorhomes) for service or repair.”

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