Motorhome & campervan owners: The impact of easing lockdown
With the UK Government announcing measures to ease lockdown restrictions and the current warm weather across parts of the UK, we can be forgiven for letting our minds start to consider summer holidays once again. For many, that will mean setting out in motorhomes or campervans and exploring areas of the beautiful UK countryside or further afield.
VM Insurance are our chosen wholesale provider of Motor Caravan insurance via Aviva Marketplace, providing specialist policies for leisure vehicles including private conversions and self builds. As experts in leisure vehicles all their products have been developed to provide for the specific needs of motor caravan owners. Ben Cue, Operations Director, VM Insurance, shared his thoughts on the changing face of the UK leisure vehicle sector.
“According to the National Caravan Council (NCC), it is estimated that the leisure vehicle sector in the UK comprises of around 228,000 motorhomes and campervans. Whilst there are many hardy leisure vehicle owners who use their vehicles all year round, the season typically starts around Easter. This year as we all know, has been quite unlike any other year for leisure vehicle owners who like the rest of the UK population have been locked down as a result of the Coronavirus pandemic and have been unable to use their vehicles.”
It’s not all gloom and doom as Ben explains. “It’s great to see that leisure vehicle owners have been using their downtime to ‘super spring clean’ their vehicles this season. Many owners have taken advantage of the opportunity to sleep and eat onboard their vehicles, albeit within the confines of their own premises. Although a typical leisure vehicle hasn’t seen too much active use during lockdown, we’re still seeing insurance claims coming through - vehicle theft still hasn’t ceased. And, with leisure vehicle demand on the rise, we’re likely to see thefts continuing to increase.”
Now that restrictions are being eased, we’re seeing a late, but vibrant start to the leisure vehicle insurance season. Whilst there was a high pent-up demand for sales of both motorhomes and campervans in the height of lockdown in April with over 100K internet searches for campervans and motorhomes for sale, this figure rose to 300K in June. In early June there was a spike in demand for insurance when the vehicle dealers were able to open their doors for the first time in several months.”
Following the Prime Minister’s announcement that campsites and caravan parks can open in England from 4th July, with a similar easing of restrictions following in Wales and Scotland, Ben says that “leisure vehicles provide an ideal opportunity to enjoy a holiday, as the great British staycation becomes the ‘new normal’. Camping and caravan sites offer a safe place to socially distance oneself at the best of times. But measures being deployed by park owners for visitors to maintain a safe distance and the highest standards of hygiene, provide the perfect environment for a well-deserved and safe escape. Many of us are guilty of ignoring the UK as holiday destination and instead look for adventure further afield. Tourism accounts for around 10% of GDP across Europe” and Ben doesn’t see any reduction in UK tourism in the medium to longer term.
For the remainder of 2020 and into 2021 Ben says “we will see a high demand for UK ‘staycations’. And whilst the majority of the UK population searches for finite availability of holiday accommodation, leisure vehicle owners as they always have done, will have the freedom to roam and pitch wherever they choose and to be able to enjoy all the natural beauty that the UK has to offer.” Research commissioned by the NCC in April this year has highlighted that 64%* of UK adults say they are ‘Likely’ to take a UK holiday or short break in 2021.
“For leisure vehicle owners who want to travel further afield, whilst the UK is in the Brexit transition period, there’s no requirement for a green card until at least 31 December 2020. As long as the leisure vehicle owner’s insurance provides cover for European countries, then there’s a fantastic opportunity to explore and chase the better weather as we head towards an Indian Summer.”
With Aviva policies starting from £200**, if your customer requires specialist insurance for their very special vehicle, visit the new VM Insurance website to get a quote. VM Insurance have been providing specialist leisure vehicle insurance for over 30 years and know a thing or two about campervans and motorhomes.
Benefits of VM Insurance policies can include:
• Up to 365 days foreign use
• Cover for awnings and generators
• Gas explosion cover
• Up to £5,000 personal effects limits***
• Optional cover for satellite TV systems
• Optional UK & European breakdown cover
For more information on Motor Caravan insurance or any of the specialist policies for hard to place risks available via Aviva Marketplace, visit broker.aviva.co.uk/marketplace
*Source: leisurevehicleshub.co.uk June 2020
**Over 10% of motorhome and campervan policyholders paid this amount or less for their annual premium between 1st Jan 2019 and 31st Jul 2019.
***Subject to terms and conditions