Do Campervan Converters need Road Risks Insurance?

A very good question, with no easy answer.

A Road Risks Insurance policy is ideal for businesses in the motor trade that convert vans into campervans. It allows them to drive their own or their customer’s vehicles on the public highway, cover is usually provided on a Comprehensive, third-party fire and theft or a third-party only basis.

As a Campervan Converter, is Road Risks Insurance required?

This is something we get asked all the time, there isn’t one straightforward answer though. It’s all down to what you require in the business and whether driving your customers or own vehicles is one of those essential requirements.

Firstly, it should be understood what campervan converters Road Risks insurance covers. As you would expect, it’s insurance so it’s going to have its twists and turns along the way.

Let’s get a couple of important points out of the way first, these are key areas so its important that they are understood. The cover is provided under what is commonly called Road Risks insurance.

The policies usually provide cover for “any” vehicle in the custody or possession of the policyholder, quite straightforward although its important to check as some may exclude vehicles over a certain weight, American vehicles or modified

Don’t think that you can just go driving any vehicle though, you can’t just go off in your mate’s camper van to the seaside on a fishing trip either, the cover provided is always “in connection with the business”, and going fishing, and as much as you try to squint your eyes, it isn’t going to work, we’ll come onto this later. The use, not the fishing trip…

And what about drivers? This can be complex too, however in most instances the cover is for either named drivers, these are specified on the certificate of insurance or any employee for business use. Usually when a policy refers to “any”, it’s referring to employees, not “any” driver, so you can’t just let anyone drive your business vehicles. Its important to note that Pleasure Use isn’t usually just included as standard, it’s best to check what cover you have.

What does Campervan Converter Road Risks Insurance cover?

The most common insurance for vehicles is Comprehensive, which covers any damage that you do to your vehicle (or a customer vehicle), fire and theft are included as well as any damage or injury that might be done to a third party, that’s the other vehicle, property or an individual.

Third Party Fire & Theft is available, this covers exactly what it says, damage to a Third Party, and Fire and Theft to your own or your customer’s vehicle, and then Third Party Only, that’s just damage or injury that you might do to someone else.

Where you are driving customers’ vehicles on the road you might want to consider having comprehensive cover, why would you want to risk damage to your customer’s vehicle for it not to be covered… you just wouldn’t.

Construction Worker

The Road Traffic Act, and other complicated things…

Then there is the Road Traffic Act, it sets out legislation about driving both on the road and off it and where liability applies, amongst other things. It’s a little complicated so we are not even going to try to explain it all here.

In its simplest form, if you drive in areas that are deemed a road and in a public space where the Act applies, you have a vehicle on the public highway, or where the public has access, you need minimum third-party insurance cover.

Just because you are in a small industrial area, doesn’t mean you are excluded from requiring cover. If you are moving vehicles around where all of your neighbours have access then it would be expected you have Road Risks insurance in place. Reversing into one of your neighbours whilst on the road in the vicinity of your business premises is almost certainly going to go down a motor route rather than a property or liability one.

Your customers just drop their vehicles off at the business premises, you might be thinking so not your problem.

They leave them across the road, outside the building or otherwise in the vicinity of your business premises. Unless the vehicle is driven into your business premises by your customer they could very well be leaving the vehicle on a public highway and you are going to have to move it.

Each business is different, but to ensure that your customer’s vehicles are fully covered, having insurance that covers you both in the premises and on the road could be an essential part of your business protection.

Am I covered for anything that might happen whilst I have my customer’s camper or motorhome at my premises?

This does depend on the cover you have, such as cover for customers’ vehicles while on your premises. Generally, Road Risks Insurance for people who carry out vehicle conversions would not cover a vehicle whilst on the premises, it says Road Risks on the tin for a reason…

In conclusion…

Do you need Road Risks Insurance as a camper van conversion business? It’s all about understanding your exposures, it isn’t down to us to tell you whether you do or you don’t, everyone’s circumstances are different.

In its simplest form, you need to carry out your own risk assessments and then speak with us, once we know what you need and your circumstances then we can advise further, we don’t mind sharing a bit of our expertise.

A few questions to ask yourself:

Do my customers leave their vehicles on the road and you drive them inside?

Does your customer drive their camper straight into your unit?

Do you have a vehicle compound in your sole control where your customers leave their vehicles and have no other pedestrian access?

Are you providing your customers with a damage disclaimer whilst their vehicle is with you? Don’t bother doing that it won’t work, and their insurer will still pursue you if any damage occurs.

Considering driving your customer’s vehicle under the “Driving of other Vehicles” extension on a private car policy? Wouldn’t rely on this as its not the intended use and you wouldn’t be covered. Many policies will exclude anything to do with the motor trade.