Wherever you plan to drive your motor home, you are legally required to be covered with a valid insurance policy.

While it may be possible to extend your basic car insurance in order to meet this requirement, covering your motor home with a specially designed policy will protect against the unique risks associated with this type of vehicle.

Most basic motorhomes insurance policies will cover loss or damage due to theft, vandalism or fire and will provide financial assistance if any third party damage is sustained - exactly the same as 3rd Party Fire and Theft insurance for cars.

Breakdown cover is often included as part of motor home insurance policies and so represents real value for money. However, as a precaution you should check that you are happy with the level and scope of the cover provided before taking out a policy or embarking on a journey.

Although it can be tempting to go for one of the cheapest motorhome insurance policies you can find, you need to make sure they actually provide the cover you're looking for.

Contents Cover

The majority of policies will provide cover for equipment such as generators, awnings, TV aerials, cooking equipment and safety devices - motorhome specific fittings and attachments. Most policies will also protect you against the risk of explosion posed by gas installations.

Contents cover for your personal possessions, however, may be excluded. When specified as part of your cover, it encompasses electrical devices such as audio equipment and fitted televisions (although you should check individual policies for details).

Valuables left in your motor home are unlikely to be covered under insurance for motorhomes so you should make sure that your clothes, jewellery, etc, are protected by your home insurance policy.

Cover Abroad

Due to motorhomes' inherent versatility, travelling abroad is an attractive option. As such many motorhomes insurance providers include some level of European cover for your motor home as standard. However the scope of this cover can vary greatly.

If you plan to travel abroad frequently you should check whether there are any limitations to the number or duration of your trips, the countries you can visit and if your motor home will be covered during sea crossings.

Additionally, check that your policy will provide funds for alternative accommodation and transportation if your motor home becomes damaged and unusable while you are holidaying. Vehicle recovery is likely to be expensive, if you have to get it towed from central Europe for example!

It really pays to match your policy to how you intend to use your motorhome - and the best way to ensure this is to rigorously compare insurance policies before you buy.

Legislation and Assumptions

You need to be aware that most motorhome insurance providers make 'assumptions' about your motor home's condition and your eligibility to drive it. Fail to comply with any assumptions made by your insurer and you may invalidate any claims.

Legally, to drive a motor home under 3.5 tonnes in the UK you need a full, valid driving licence. For larger motor homes (up to 7.5 tonnes with/without a trailer of up to 750kg) you must have a category C1 extension on your driving licence. Again, fail to have the correct licence and your insurance will be invalid.

Many motorhome insurance providers in the UKwill also 'assume' that your motor home is specifically designed or professionally converted and in good condition. Some policies also assume that your motor home is being kept on your personal property or in an appropriate storage location while not in use.

You can have these conditions removed from a policy - but it may mean higher premiums. Alternatively if you (or your caravan) don't comply with them, you might fail in any claim you are forced to make.

Discounts and Concessions

As the majority of motor home owners do not use their motor homes on a daily basis, discounts are often offered for limited usage and mileage. Discounts may also be offered to members of recognised motor home owners clubs. Additionally, most insurance providers offer you the opportunity to build a no claims discount.

Unfortunately, the most appropriate motor home insurance isn't always the most heavily discounted. The best motorhome insurance quote will make concessions for things you don't need, but provide comprehensive cover in those areas that your use may require.

By choosing a comprehensive motor home insurance policy you can be confident that whether on the road or in a resting location, your motor home and its equipment will be protected. It is vital that you shop around for the best deal, so make sure to get more than one moterhome insurance online quote before you begin to narrow your search.