Insuring a home built caravan.

Submitted: Sunday, Oct 28, 2018 at 10:56
ThreadID: 137393 Views:1454 Replies:6 FollowUps:3
I am hoping to get my caravan build registered early in the new year. It's a very elaborate light weight pop top off roader with all the bells and whistles. You can see the build here.
My home build
I called my insurer (AAMI) and they said I would need to get it valued by their recommended valuer. No problem there.
To get an idea of value set up a spreadsheet to compare my build to a Matrix Pop Top. I put dollars in for everything that mine had that it hadn't and vice versa. I ended up with a value of $140,000, which sounded about right. I haven't added it up yet, but the build cost will end up somewhere in the mid sixties with thousands of hours of labour from yours truly.
If the thing gets minor damage, I'll fix it myself. The reason for insurance is to cover major damage and loss by fire, theft flood, accident and so on. So I am looking for a policy with a big excess in order to keep the premium down.
AAMI have only a standard policy with a tiny excess and all sorts of cover I don't need like fridge failure, annex, contents and stuff like that.
Can anyone recommend a suitable insurer for a one-off home build?
Keith
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Reply By: Member - William B (The Shire) - Sunday, Oct 28, 2018 at 11:41

Sunday, Oct 28, 2018 at 11:41
Hi Keith,
I can not answer your question but that link points to a site that needs to be logged into.
William
Always planning the next trip. VKS-737 mobile 1619

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AnswerID: 621805

Follow Up By: Keith B2 - Sunday, Oct 28, 2018 at 13:00

Sunday, Oct 28, 2018 at 13:00
Apologies William. I didn't realise that. You can join up and log on for free.
Keith
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FollowupID: 894427

Reply By: Ron N - Sunday, Oct 28, 2018 at 12:33

Sunday, Oct 28, 2018 at 12:33
Keith, you need to find an insurance broker who specialises in insuring plant, machinery, equipment and vehicles.

That broker is best positioned to advise you on which company is likely to be interested in insuring your homebuilt rig, and he is the one you need to "talk up" any company interested in the deal.

Brokers have good relationships with numbers of insurance companies in the fields they deal in, and a broker is effectively a middleman acting on your behalf, to get you a satisfactory insurance deal.

I seriously doubt any company would insure a small homebuilt caravan for $140,000, but if they do, I'd imagine the insurance premiums would be steep.

The problem for the insurer, is that the owner and the manufacturer are the one and the same - and if any repairs are needed after a damage event, then who does the repairs, would need to be agreed on.
I would imagine you would want to do the repairs.

The fact remains that this is a severely limiting factor for the insurance company - because with a factory 'van, they have the ability to negotiate with the original manufacturer, be confident of parts availability, and the availability of the original designs, and the availability of the manufacturers employees (who might have even built it).

The insurance company also has the ability with a factory van, to negotiate with independent, skilled and qualified caravan repairers, to carry out repairs.
They also have the ability to supply a replacement 'van of the same or equivalent model from the manufacturer, if the 'van is written off.

All these things need to be hammered out, prior to a quote for insurance being assessed. Good luck, I trust you find a competent broker.

Cheers, Ron.
AnswerID: 621806

Follow Up By: Keith B2 - Sunday, Oct 28, 2018 at 13:01

Sunday, Oct 28, 2018 at 13:01
Thanks Ron. I'll see if any friends know a good broker. But I have a bit of time as the build is not finished yet.
Keith
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FollowupID: 894428

Reply By: V8 Troopie - Sunday, Oct 28, 2018 at 20:48

Sunday, Oct 28, 2018 at 20:48
While I have not built a caravan I did build a sailboat from scratch.
This was required to be surveyed by a licensed boat surveyor before my insurance company would even consider it.

I should imagine something similar would apply to a caravan. Perhaps some kind of engineer's certification which shows what you have built is fit for its purpose and the workmanship is satisfactory.

You might also have to show that when the time comes to road license it.
Then, if it has gas appliances, they need to be certified by a licensed gas fitter.
Ditto for anything running on mains electricity.
AnswerID: 621821

Follow Up By: Frank P (NSW) - Sunday, Oct 28, 2018 at 21:52

Sunday, Oct 28, 2018 at 21:52
If Keith's on-file documentation is as good as his topic on My Swag, I think a state-approved engineer for rego will be satisfied. I doubt that an insurance company would want anything more.
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FollowupID: 894452

Reply By: PhilD - Sunday, Oct 28, 2018 at 20:51

Sunday, Oct 28, 2018 at 20:51
I had my custom built motor home insured with CIL who wanted photos and didn’t ask any other questions.
AnswerID: 621822

Reply By: Keith B2 - Monday, Oct 29, 2018 at 14:46

Monday, Oct 29, 2018 at 14:46
Thanks everyone.
Keith
AnswerID: 621842

Reply By: duck - Thursday, Nov 01, 2018 at 09:03

Thursday, Nov 01, 2018 at 09:03
Keith
Have built several slide-on campers for myself & others & have had no problems getting insurance

A couple of things make sure you do

1) make sure its agreed value NOT market value, as they will not be able to market value it if you have a claim (& they will go to the lowest thing that they think is close & from experience they will claim that E.G., that great wall is the same value as your Rolls Royce) A costly fight in court & 11 months later finally I one but you still loose
2) Take plenty of photos & make sure they are date stamped
3) Keep all invoices
4) keep the Gas & Electrical tests sheets (do not rely on the plates fitted to the van)
5) Keep the engineers certificate safe
6) As your van is at the $140,000.00 mark, Pay a licenced valuer to value it
My claim was on an agreed value & I had all the documentation & still went thru hell on a total loss that was caused by a drunk, unlicensed, unregistered 16year old with 2 kids the insurance company knew they would never recover their money from the girl so they did not want to payout & tried every trick in the book not to pay me the agreed value, had I had a market value I would have got less than a 3rd of the insured premium
AnswerID: 621896

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