Receiving, Buying or Renewing a Caravan or Motorhome Warranty products explained!
The emphasis is on the term when buying a warranty is 'Should be', because many of us will have heard the other term 'Not worth the paper they are written on'. Sadly in some cases, that is probably true.
So here is some advice from www.engineerinsuranceandaftercare.com the official CaravanTalk warranty partner on what to look for in your warranty, including:
1: The Dealer one provided with a vehicle you are buying
2: A renewal one after your manufacturer or dealer one has ended
3: Buying one for a privately purchased Caravan or Motorhome
Firstly, lets cover some basics on a warranty. There are 2 types of warranty; The Insurance policy and The Guarantee, to you the customer, the difference should make no changes to the cost, service or ability to claim. The important thing is how many stakeholders in the chain and the quality of the company selling it to you! Below are the Good and Bad aspects to both types of warranty:
- Avoid where possible companies based outside of the UK, many insurers in particular may be based in Gibralter, Isle of Man or Jersey. These companies are not overseen by the UK watchdog the Financial Conduct Authority, so it will be much harder to get in touch with them, complain to or about them and if they decline to pay where do you go then?
- Some warranty companies have multiple stakeholders when you buy, there should be just three! 1: The company selling the cover. 2: The warranty provider handling claims and paying out. 3: The repairer if you claim. There are warranty companies with five or even six stakeholders, all taking some of your fee, think of the above PLUS! 4: a Call centre, 5: a Claim handler, 6: an introducer to number 1: company selling the cover
- Spurious sales pitches. One company offers £2000 claim limit, that sounds great until you find you can only make one claim to that value or that is the TOTAL claim value for that year. Great, if you only make a single claim, but what happens if you need to claim for heating, but then you have a damp issue costing even more?
- Difficult to claim! If you have to download a form just to claim, then post it, your holiday will be over before you get anything fixed
- Volume companies who take almost any vehicle. You take great care of yours, have a hab check annually plus a service (If its a motorhome), but what if the warranty company loves volume business, older less well maintained vehicles. That means more claims, more claims to handle and less profit which must be managed so how comfortable will they be to pay out claims?
- If the dealer is only providing 3 months why is that? If it's an older or cheaper vehicle great, but if its a late model and valuable why isnt it a full year?
- Paying more than you need to unless you are getting something extra, some additional value or service. If its just more expensive for the same or less, why buy it?
- Do they use fully trained repairers or just anyone VAT registered, or someone who also repairs cars. Ensure they only use MCEA or better still AWS approved workshops
- Ensure it's a UK based insurer, then you have the comfort of the Financial Conduct Authority who monitor how this company works. If they act badly you have someone to complain to!
- Insurance can be as affordable or not as a Guarantee, its all in the small print and the cost to buy. However, a 'Guarantee' was what the manufacturer provided originally
- The period of cover can be as little as 3 months, 6 months, or 1 year or even 2 years. A manufacturer one usually starts with 3 years (Excluding water ingress, we will cover that later)
- Claim Value is important, it can be as low as £250 but £1000 is more common and can be as much as £2000 per claim
- Fast claim service, ideally by a simple telephone call. Some companies have a modern, fast and call based claim service
- Fair minded and a company that is not volume based. Big is not always better as we know, companies handling smaller numbers of suitably maintained and hab checked vehicles will have less claims and will be happier to pay yours!
- Can they fix your vehicle fast and if your on holiday in a field on site? If you have no hot water you want it fixing today!
- They only use Approved Workshop Scheme (AWS) approved workshops, the manufacturer only allowed trained and approved engineers to fix vehicles, so why wouldn't you!
- Compare! Compare! Compare! Make a list of what you would like for peace of mind, shop around and compare the price and the cover (Like for like is important)
- Did they come to you from a trusted source? Are they the biggest because they have more sales people on the road, because those sales people have to be paid for in the price you will be paying. If you buy one through a trusted source like your insurer or someone like CaravanTalk, its because they have done the homework for you, so you can buy safely.. Keep an eye on The Good notes and you should be fine, whomever you buy your peace of mind from..