Caravan insurance after hail damage

Submitted: Monday, Feb 08, 2016 at 11:58
ThreadID: 131561 Views:7240 Replies:4 FollowUps:20
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Our Jayco Penguin was cosmetically damaged by hail a couple of weeks ago, and will be declared a repairable write-off by the NRMA shortly. We can buy it back at a yet-to-be-determined price, and
I have already established how much it should cost to get the necessary inspections and paperwork completed to get it removed from the write-off register and back on the road again.
However the NRMA will not insure it again, even for its reduced value noting the cosmetic damage, so I'm trying to find a company who will provide comprehensive insurance (not just 3rd party property) on a hail-damaged van.
If we can't get get comprehensive insurance, we then have to assess if it is worth keeping, even though it suits our camping style and we have it fitted out comfortably.
Can anyone recommend a company or has anyone been through this process before? Thanks.
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Reply By: vk1dx - Monday, Feb 08, 2016 at 12:44

Monday, Feb 08, 2016 at 12:44
What about a company who tend to look at the modified or hobby type cars.

Maybe Shannons. You can't lose by ringing them.

You could even ask them for a recommendation if they say no.

Phil
AnswerID: 596010

Follow Up By: Malcom M - Monday, Feb 08, 2016 at 14:24

Monday, Feb 08, 2016 at 14:24
+1 for Shannons.
They insure repairable write offs all the time.
Who's going to junk an Allard just because of a bit of body damage...
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Follow Up By: Keir & Marg - Monday, Feb 08, 2016 at 16:50

Monday, Feb 08, 2016 at 16:50
Thanks Phil and Malcolm. I'll respond also to Baz below with a bit more of the story. As Phil resides in the ACT, he may also know that it costs a bit to get the van re-registered because it is less than 15 years old and therefore subject to the processes designed to stop people re-birthing write-offs. What a pity it wasn't two years older!
Cheers, Keir VK1KKM
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Follow Up By: Cruisevessel - Saturday, Feb 13, 2016 at 09:44

Saturday, Feb 13, 2016 at 09:44
Shannons wont insure caravans.I tried
Try Ken Tame & associates
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Reply By: Baz - The Landy - Monday, Feb 08, 2016 at 14:26

Monday, Feb 08, 2016 at 14:26
I’ll preface my thoughts with “at a guess”…

And I’ll make an assumption the insurer (NRMA) is writing it off as a “repairable write-off” and are offering you the first right of purchase in its current condition, and further that you don’t intend to repair the van given if it is uneconomical for the insurer to do it, then it will most likely be the case for others to do it…

So my guess is that you will have some difficulties finding an insurer given most mainstream comprehensive insurers require the vehicle, or caravan in this instance, is in an undamaged state or in the least in a condition commensurate with its age. And I suspect the issue with repairable write-off's is that unless they are repaired who will certify it is in a road-worthy condition (notwithstanding it is only hail damage).

But thinking out aloud, given you are receiving a pay-out that is presumably more than the price you will buy it back for, why not just underwrite the insurance yourself – that is, don’t insure it.

Otherwise, take the cheque, buy a new one and move on, after all it seems your insurance policy has done its job and provided you with the cover you needed...

Good luck either way…Baz – The Landy
AnswerID: 596015

Follow Up By: Keir & Marg - Monday, Feb 08, 2016 at 17:02

Monday, Feb 08, 2016 at 17:02
Baz - your guess is spot on (nearly). The van was assessed today (after my first post) as a repairable write-off, but the process to establish its write-off value is a little more convoluted. The photos and assessment report will go to a major auction house who will offer it on the web. Once that process has finished we will be asked if we want to buy it back matching the highest offer. At that point we will know its market value given the damage.
The van is in a road-worthy condition, it is only hail damage to the roof, and it only has to pass a normal roadworthy test for it to be re-registered. SWMBO is not comfortable to have an asset on the road without insurance so I'd have trouble pursuing that avenue (funny about that, we have different risk profiles for our super lump sums too!). Hence the initial question.
The good news is I rang APIA today and they will do comprehensive insurance (less hail damage) coverage for the depreciated market value of the damaged van. My other thought was CIL, but I haven't rung them yet.
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Follow Up By: 9900Eagle - Monday, Feb 08, 2016 at 17:29

Monday, Feb 08, 2016 at 17:29
Shop around a bit more and try ammi and suncorp. Suncorp own a heap of companies and they all work independently, so you get different prices and policies.

Here are the Suncorp companies. http://www.suncorpgroup.com.au/about-us/what-we-do/our-brands
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Follow Up By: Kenell - Monday, Feb 08, 2016 at 19:28

Monday, Feb 08, 2016 at 19:28
9900Eagle is quite right. Suncorp has several coys including all the ones referred to thus far. i.e. AAMI, APIA, Shannons, CIL. Yes they all operate independently but CIL is the specialist caravan and camper insurer. There is no third party risk as such - that sits with the towing vehicle. The only exposure you have is for the residual value after determining the salvage or auction value. That is the most you can lose. Until that is determined the insurance equation is unknown. I would have trouble justifying a premium of a few hundred with an excess of a few hundred for something with a nominal value of $1500 for example. If you are being asked for a premium of more than 5% of what it owes you it isn't worth it.
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Follow Up By: Malcom M - Tuesday, Feb 09, 2016 at 06:51

Tuesday, Feb 09, 2016 at 06:51
I think this is being made to sound harder than it is.
"Repairable write off" simply means not economic for the insurer to repair and does not mean there is anything really wrong with it. or it would be a statutory write off.

Re-registration is simply a case of gaining an engineering blue slip and then pink and rego. Its a no brainer simple process.
The insurance also should be no problem. Its a case of agreeing a value and that value does not have to be less than what you want. Shannons will insure it for a million dollars provided you are happy to pay the premium.
The bigger companies are only interested in low risk, hi volume sales which require no human involvment
If all you have is hail dents on the roof, who cares - leave them there and save your money. Whose going to see it.
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Follow Up By: Keir & Marg - Tuesday, Feb 09, 2016 at 11:26

Tuesday, Feb 09, 2016 at 11:26
Hi Malcolm, the process of re-registering a repairable write off in the ACT (at least) is a bit convoluted and expensive. Firstly we have to buy back the van from the insurer at the agreed price, and then get a permit to drive it on the road for a day as it is automatically de-registered when put on the write-off register. On that day, I have to take it to the ACT Motor Registry and have a full roadworthy inspection, and once that is passed, I then have to pay for a vehicle identity check ($542) and supply a whole load of documentation relating to the complete history of the van since new (this is to prevent re-birthing of vehicles on the write-off register). I also have to get them to accept that none of the damage affects the roadworthiness, safety or integrity of the van, ie the damaged roof must not leak. Once this is all sorted out, I then have to present the vehicle for registration and pay stamp duty, as I have just purchased it from the insurance company. So yes, it is simple, provided the vehicle is roadworthy, the paperwork is in order, and the inspector decides that the damage does not affect the integrity of the van.
As you say, none of the bigger insurance companies is interested in insuring a hail-damaged van, but some of the smaller ones will. I'm happy to leave the dents there, but there is the (small) risk of the van becoming detached from the vehicle and causing damage to another vehicle; such an occurence is apparently not covered by the tug insurance, so I'd like to have separate comprehensive insurance on the van if possible.
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Follow Up By: Malcom M - Tuesday, Feb 09, 2016 at 11:54

Tuesday, Feb 09, 2016 at 11:54
Wow, bit more mucking about than NSW which is surprising.
Hop no one else bids it up for you.

Is there no way that the insurance co will sell it "as is where is" but not put it on the write off register?
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Follow Up By: Keir & Marg - Tuesday, Feb 09, 2016 at 12:18

Tuesday, Feb 09, 2016 at 12:18
It's our fault for living in the Nazi bureaucracy state!!!! Unfortunately, the insurance co. won't sell it on an "as is, where is" basis because they have no accurate way of assessing the market value of the hail-damaged asset, so their policy is to go through the auction route. In the old days, they'd take the van away to an auction house and you'd have to go to the auction house to win the bidding process and buy it back, but that costs the insurance company tow truck fees, so these days, they leave the van with you (and therefore we can leave all our stuff in it) and the photos and damage assessment report are put on the interwebby thing for everyone to bid. Then we can chose to match the highest bid and buy the van back, or empty the van of our stuff, and take the insurance payout.
Hence, the van has been declaired a repairable write-off, the rego cancelled, and it moves to the Write-off Register.
I'm often annoyed with Exploroz threads where the OP never gets back and finalises the story, so I'll try to post at the end of this saga and tell everyone the conclusion.
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Follow Up By: Kenell - Tuesday, Feb 09, 2016 at 17:56

Tuesday, Feb 09, 2016 at 17:56
Keir & Marg,

I fear you have been misinformed in relation to the statement "but there is the (small) risk of the van becoming detached from the vehicle and causing damage to another vehicle; such an occurence is apparently not covered by the tug insurance". In my experience the "tug" policy does indeed provide cover under the third party section for trailers, caravans and the like becoming detached. Even if you only had a limited policy on the tug it would still pick up this aspect. You really only need insurance on the van for accidental damage, fire and the like.
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Follow Up By: Shaker - Tuesday, Feb 09, 2016 at 18:18

Tuesday, Feb 09, 2016 at 18:18
In Victoria you don't need a VIV for hail damaged vehicles to reregister them, I think the same applies for some other States as well.

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Follow Up By: Nomadic Navara - Saturday, Feb 13, 2016 at 12:32

Saturday, Feb 13, 2016 at 12:32
What is a VIV? The OP is in the ACT so what you are posting does not apply to him.
PeterD
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Follow Up By: Shaker - Saturday, Feb 13, 2016 at 22:56

Saturday, Feb 13, 2016 at 22:56
Vehicle Identity Validation.
A VIV certificate is a document issued by a VicRoads VIV Inspector after inspection of the vehicle. It certifies that the identity of a repairable write-off is: that of the previously damaged vehicle and not that of a re-birthed stolen vehicle.
Maybe he is in the ACT, my advice about Victoria was to alert him to check if the same applies in his State, or would you rather I did his homework for him!
I don't see anywhere where it says that the OP is in the ACT.

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Reply By: TomH - Saturday, Feb 13, 2016 at 11:57

Saturday, Feb 13, 2016 at 11:57
Why not just keep it and search around for new insurance.
AnswerID: 596198

Follow Up By: Nomadic Navara - Saturday, Feb 13, 2016 at 12:37

Saturday, Feb 13, 2016 at 12:37
If you read the above you will see that is precisely what he is contemplating. He asked for suggestions from others who have insured hail damaged vans but none have come forth. He has however received some useful leads from others. If you read carefully you will see there are a few hoops for him to jump through before he can regain ownership of the van. When an insurance company writes a van off and pays out then the ownership of the van belongs to them, not the original owner.
PeterD
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Follow Up By: TomH - Saturday, Feb 13, 2016 at 13:40

Saturday, Feb 13, 2016 at 13:40
I meant why bother with insurance Just keep it and use it as it is if its only dented.

My Sons car got hit in Brisbane storms but we arent going to do anything as its not really worth it.

I know what happens as have bought cars like that for parts
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Reply By: Keir & Marg - Friday, Mar 04, 2016 at 10:31

Friday, Mar 04, 2016 at 10:31
Just a quick follow-up for anyone who is interested. We have purchased the written-off van from NRMA, and it will shortly be put on the repairable write-off register by them. We'll then go through the process of getting it re-inspected and the vehicle identity checked, then we can re-register it and carry on camping.
Thanks for all the replies and suggestions.
AnswerID: 596955

Follow Up By: nickb - Saturday, Mar 05, 2016 at 03:34

Saturday, Mar 05, 2016 at 03:34
Good stuff, please let us know how it all goes!
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Follow Up By: Keir & Marg - Wednesday, Mar 09, 2016 at 15:35

Wednesday, Mar 09, 2016 at 15:35
OK, as of today's date, the van has been written off by the NRMA and placed on the Written Off Vehicle Register in the ACT. Last week I took it for a registration inspection (which it passed, all OK). The NRMA has cancelled the insurance, and paid us out. We have purchased the written-off van from them. I have today re-insured the Penguin with APIA, one of the few companies that will insure hail-damaged vans, and, notwithstanding the hail damage, they have insured the Penguin at their estimate of market value (about $3500 less than the NRMA). APIA annual insurance is marginally cheaper than the NRMA.
Next week, I take the van to the ACT Motor Registry for its Vehicle Identity Inspection, which takes about 1.5 hours and involves a fee of $542.80.
So, assuming we pass the inspection, we will be back in business and all legal next week. The dents in the roof won't be fixed, but I will be fixing the roof hatch, the rubber mouldings in the roof tracks, and the damaged lower fridge vent, total cost about $200.
Seeing the size of the payout, SWMBO is planning an overseas holiday!!!
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Follow Up By: Keir & Marg - Wednesday, Mar 16, 2016 at 15:15

Wednesday, Mar 16, 2016 at 15:15
My last post on this subject with the final result (and a pleasant surprise!) I took the van to the inspection station today for its identity inspection so that it could be removed from the Write-off Register. There are two types of inspection in the ACT, a "complex" one (for which I was quoted $542:80) and this was what the inspection people had booked me in for; the other inspection is a "simple" one. The "complex" one is when the written-off vehicle has changed hands in the process and has a new owner after being written-off. If the vehicle remains in the same ownership, it only has to have a "simple" identity check, $52. Yippee. We are now all legal again, and my bank account is healthier than I thought it would be.
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Follow Up By: nickb - Friday, Mar 18, 2016 at 01:51

Friday, Mar 18, 2016 at 01:51
Sometimes you get the win, take it while you can!!!

Good work, worth the effort.
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