After yesterdays experience I think its worthwhile creating this thread. I have my insurance for my LT50 camper, fully comprehensive etc with all the trimmings or so I thought. A year and a half ago I broke down due to an engine blow, as you do, rung the breakdown/recovery number on the insurance paper work which I always keep with me. The policy for this van has always been with Footman James via a broker, the breakdown/recovery part was with Axa break down and it came as standard with the policy. I rang the number, told them what happened, where I was, vehicle type, weight rating at 5.5 ton, got told yes, no problem, got recovered and took back to yard, sighned the paperwork and off they went, insiranc ecovered it and didnt hear anything else about it.
Fast forward to yesterday, broke down on the A12 northbound, luckily there was a layby just where the incident happened, something bird wise flew low out the scrub and went up and under the front valance and went into the cowling by the fan area, the fan shattered and punched a hole in the radiator, a brand new £350 rad that had been in a year since the engine blew. i heard a bang and as the layby was so convieniently there i pulled in and stopped and saw water running forwards, head in hands, oh shit, feck it, engine not harmed, on inspection i could see the issie, not fixable on the soide of the road, at 1.45 P.M I ring the break down number which noticed had changed form Axa to RAC, told them what happened, name, where I was, vehicle type, weight etc, got told no problem, got told a patrol van wa sin the vicinity and would drop by to log the call out which he done, showed no concerns, I got told recovery would be up to 90 minutes, that was fine by me, was 40 minutes drive from my yard park up, wasnt stressed or owt, just accepted it, time goes by, nothing, starts getting dusk, thinking mmm, 90 minutes had passed, another hour ticked by nothing.
Then at 4.45 P.M I get a phone call from RAC office saying they had got the logged call out and then proceeded to tell me that thye couldnt recove rme as the vehicle is over 3.5 tons and according to them, the break down part of my policy doesnt cover over 3.5 ton, i explained in full i never had this issue when I last got recovered, the insirance company must have and know its over 3.5 ton as there was no quibble. Then he proceeded to tell me thta for RAC to recove rme he would have to pass it over to theior commercial dept which then would have to be paid art my own cost, he then told me it would be £700, yep you read it right, £700 for a 40 minute drive from where I was to yard, fuck me I almost exploded, I noticed the time was 4.45 so i hung up and rung the brokers and told them the issue, he said he would ring foot man james and ring me back, and yep, thye told me the break dpown part of my policy was 3.5 ton max. Now, foot man James last year changed their cover from Axa to RAC as their go to break down, I know this as I have all the documents of insurance with them since I have had this van, the first two years break down was with Inter partner assistance, then 017 to 018 was Axa and from march 018 to March 019 it said RAC. How would you know, you get the first break down recovery done on the same vehicle a year and a half ago with no quibble and query, and now this the second one since I have had rthe van, I now get told that the break down part only covers up to 3.5 ton. the insurance firm rings back at 5.10 P.M and tells me there is nothing they can do as the vehicle weight exeeds policy and hence told me I'm on my own and he actually said good luck so I had to then find a private break down firm to recover me as I was not going to stop in that layby all night on a busy fast dual carriageway with nothing on board, took me two hours via phining my sister to do internet searches for phone numbers to find a firm that could come out. so from 1.45 P.M to 8.30 P.M, its no good getting fuming and all twisted up, cost me £500 and was lucky I had my business account card as they wouldnt come out unless payment in full was completed before hand.
Now before the thread rolls on with comments, as I had had one break down recovery a year and a half a go with no question about vehicle weight and got a prompt helpful service why would I think I am not covered, I presumed I was, I went to Europe in the van last summer, gawd help me what would have happened then if I had a break down and needed recovery abroad to get told am not covered for 5.5 ton. footman james changed from Axa to RAC and I didnt know or wasnt aware as didnt have a need to ring to find out. i have had to pay myself for the recovery, today i will be ringing up to see what the score is and why I got refused, if it is in some small porint somewhere that its only up to 3.5 ton, I wont be able to claim that money back I dont suppose. they knew its a 5.5 ton van, they must have done as it gor recovered a year and a half ago no questions and i didnt have to pay a bean. Not sure where I stand at the moment till I ring at 9 this morning, I am safe in yard, van is here, minimul fix to get it back on road so the money, well, got to suck it up i reckon,
Now the main point of this post is not for my benefit now as its too late, its for other people, if you have a vehicle over 3.5 ton and are insured with Footman James and have not got a seperate private stand alone break down cover where you are 100% sure your vehicle weight is recorded and known for recovery and just have the standard break down provided by Footman James, if your vehicle is rated over 3.5 ton and it is an RAC phone number on the paper work to ring for breakdown recovery, I can safely say here and now you will not get recovered under your insurance policy for that vehicle, this is what happened to me yesterday, check your insurance policy paperwork sheets, if it has RAC for the break down number to call and the phone number 0333 207 6310 for U.k break down, whatever you do, ring Footman James or the brokers and make sure you get an upgrade that your policy will cover for the weight of vehicle, if you dont and need break down, RAc will pass you to their commercial dept and will sting you £700 which the insurance policy will not cover. I am glad i had the sense to find my own recovery although still a lot of money it was cheaper than £700.
Off the back of this, I will be taking out a seperate stand alone break down/recovery policy with another company who will cover it, thtas if I cannot get my existing policy upgraded to cover the 5.5 ton.