Break down cover

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  • 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.

  • That's a crapper Wiz, I used to be with the AA for years to cover my O/H when I was away and it covered my old Trafic camper but I had to change when they refused to cover my 3.5t motor and went to green flag who are happy to accept my 4t horsebox. I believe they do now cover 3.5t.


    I declined Footman James's offer of their recovery service on renewal this year and they were aware of my boxes weight when I renewed after uprating from 3.5t to 4.1t. Twats.


    I've only ever used recovery three times in all the years I've paid in, AA, once from Sth Ireland (headgasket/ seized lump), AA, Skye to Portree (bad connection on coil) and Green Flag, gear fork bush failure. Despite being told the vehicle had to be taken down a narrow lane they sent a huge rig within an hour then another small spec lift, but the lad did a temp fix in less than 6o secs using a rubber glove.

  • That's a crapper Wiz, I used to be with the AA for years to cover my O/H when I was away and it covered my old Trafic camper but I had to change when they refused to cover my 3.5t motor and went to green flag who are happy to accept my 4t horsebox. I believe they do now cover 3.5t.


    I declined Footman James's offer of their recovery service on renewal this year and they were aware of my boxes weight when I renewed after uprating from 3.5t to 4.1t. Twats.


    I've only ever used recovery three times in all the years I've paid in, AA, once from Sth Ireland (headgasket/ seized lump), AA, Skye to Portree (bad connection on coil) and Green Flag, gear fork bush failure. Despite being told the vehicle had to be taken down a narrow lane they sent a huge rig within an hour then another small spec lift, but the lad did a temp fix in less than 6o secs using a rubber glove.

    Yep it is a bit consodering thye accepted a recovery a year and a half ago on the same policy and they must have known it was 5.5 ton, so the question the brokers are putting forth is why dod thye refuse me yesterday on the same policy, it seems it was an error on their part and shouldnt have accepted and paid up the recovery job at afore said 1.5 years ago, because they did recover me back then, I just presumed i was covered for the vehicle weight, feckers, bet they will wriggle out of it, shall see once I get the second return call informing me where I stand with all this.

  • That is shitty and potentially very bad for fjs business since word of mouth carries some weight in the insurance game.


    Obviously it's easy for me to claim that you have been mis sold 'breakdown and recovery' cover since the full value of the cover is not available on a vehicle over 3500kg.


    I would think that if the cover was packaged with your insurance and was mentioned or written as 'breakdown and recovery' then you probably have a reasonable chance of winning recompense. Maybe the citizens advice bureau could assist if the insurer and broker deny any liability.


    It is a thing for a lawyer to check over but you would expect that the most sold 'breakdown and recovery' service would be significantly highlighted/asterisked to direct ones eye or ear to the exclusions that might apply.


    What a bugger.

  • Yep its a bugger Zendaze, I found out the first breakdown on this policy that happened a year and a half ago shouldnt have been authorized to go ahead, it did, the breakdown company recovered, then thye must have handed in the job sheet to the insurance that being Footman James and they must have paid the breakdown the remittance for job done and not picked up on the fact that my van is over the weight the policy covered. If they had of, surely they woud have billed me the extra a year and a half ago or at least informed me I wasnt covered on my policy, becaus eof tta I dont think they put two and two together as they would have piped up back then. I dont think I have a leg to stand on to get recompense for what I had to pay to get recovered as they have the 3.5 ton cut off point on their side. One traveller type going up against giant insurance firms with solicitors I'd have to pay for etc, do you know, I aint got the energy or time, things could have been a whole lot worse and I could have found out in a much worse scenario. I am not going to be all misery and feel pissed about it, I am a dust down and move on typ of guy, the future is always more promising and bright without hanging onto and dragging bad shit along from the past. Draw a line, move on.


    I have now taken out a seperate stand alone policy that covers me, but, I will be ringing my broker I use because I have read the policy sheets that came with it, it does not state covered up to 5.5 ton, it sais I have break down, the broker assured me it is for that weight before I took it out but I want it in writing, as am off to Europe in the summer again and I want every nut, bolt and screw and the seat of my pants and the soles of my feet covered.

  • front wheel blow out down in dorset, no problem ring up breakdown, oh yes sir do you have a spare tyre, no, sorry sir you must have a spare tyre for us to come out,£ 200 for under half a mile lift and tow and two new tyres later


    so if you have a tyre problem and no spare ALL breakdown companies do not want to know

  • front wheel blow out down in dorset, no problem ring up breakdown, oh yes sir do you have a spare tyre, no, sorry sir you must have a spare tyre for us to come out,£ 200 for under half a mile lift and tow and two new tyres later


    so if you have a tyre problem and no spare ALL breakdown companies do not want to know

    Ah right, . I wouldnt have known that recovery is not included in the event of a blow out if you havent a spare. I know I have a good spare on my van I use for blatting and festivals etc. Mobile tyre companies are a plenty as see them all the time attending artic units, lorry firms would probably have a contract/policy with tyre firms. But I suppose a mobile tyre firm wont come out if your not in a layby or a safe stopping place.

  • You have to check EVERY word carefully on ANY insurance bought through a broker. I've had car and house with the likes of AA brokers and because the provider can change annually so does the cover. Check ALL renewals like hawks!


    NEVER 'auto renew'!


    :pbook:

    Try reading through mine, I would need to go to legaleze language college to understand a lot of it as they word stuff in such a way that is a bit of a head scratcher. like the seperate stand alone break down policy I now have, I have read through the sheets I got E mailed detailing the policy, by heck, I am going to have to ring the broker and get them to explain quite a few parts of it because someone who hasnt trained in the wording of these policies hasnt got a hope in hell on grasping every single detail. The only reason I have stayed with the brokers I've used for a several years due to having had my commercial lorry insurance with them is because I've never been grilled and asked for the photographs of the insode amnd outside of any vehicle I've wanted insured.


    I suppose someone is now going to tell me I wont have a leg to stand on in the event of a claim because my kitted out van (motor home as the legal term is) hasnt got a fixed table and a wardrobe. As I dont need a wardrobe, I begrudge being forced to have stuff installed I dont need and wouldnt use. So has anyone ever read they are not covered on a motorhome insurance policy if they dont have things like a fixed table etc.

  • You dont need a wardrobe or a fixed table wiz.

    You need storage which can be a cupboard.

    And the table can be fixed when not in use, it doesnt specify that it has to be fixed in use.

    You can only accomplish your object in life by complete disregard of the opinions of other people.

  • You dont need a wardrobe or a fixed table wiz.

    You need storage which can be a cupboard.

    And the table can be fixed when not in use, it doesnt specify that it has to be fixed in use.

    Ah o.k, i was going along the lines of what DVLA seem to specify in their blurb about changing a self build on log book to camper. Am sure it states, wardrobe, foxed table etc etc. the van was already camper on log book when I bought, it is not a standard kitted out vehicle which is one of the reasons I bought it, its done in a 1920's showmans style rather than NAT styles or copying the internal layout of a caravan, really dont like vans/trucks that are a mirror image of the inside of caravans. It has the original dark wood flame panelling, the original vines and vase and flowers bevelled cut glass mirrors and fireplace surround with original big mirror over the fire place which all came from an old 1920's Brayshaws showmans wagon so not really condusive for modern fittings, a one off and becuase the insode doesnt really match what seems to be the modern criteria. I havent got a table in it, dont need one really, its more of a mobile gentlemans club for parties and festivals rather than the usual campers. I dont live in that vehicle full time so dont need all the extra modern fittings, got a woodburner and gas oven and bed, what more does a gentleman whos mobile need apart from a little luvvin from time to time :boing::reddevil:        

  • Motorcaravan insurance (in my experience) that all modifications need to be notified to the insurer.....that likely includes any and all changes to the running gear and external structure of the base vehicle.


    Like many others you are potentially uninsurable because you live in your vehicle....


    Tis a risky business this van life.


    Jumping through hoops to meet legal requirements....


    Always knowing that the insurance is offered only because one has not claimed 'live in' status.


    I pay a hefty lump for my ongoing 'van under conversion to motorcaravan' insurance and breakdown/recovery (via Adrian flux) but did receive recovery and onward transport to a garage following severe clutch and (separate) gearbox (terminal) problems.



    The spare wheel thing is pretty hard. There are though a fair smattering of companies who will do it...I guess if the flat happens outside of their working hours or area of operation then paid for recovery is the only option.

  • Exactly thta, I dojt think i know anyone who has/does declare add full time live in on their insirance, I think we all go for motor home and hope for the best. Its a real problem with my pantechnicon I live in. I have it on horse box insurance, ringing and asking for motor home insurance on a 7.5 ton, 30 foot long and 13 foot high vehicle isnt exactly a comforting thought as to the reaction as a lot of insurances seem to have standardised to 3.5 ton to match the standard factory built jobby. Reason being is I have 12 foot work shop space in the back that I dont use anymore and that flies against motor home insurance as it would be considered burden/load carrying capacity if it came down to requiring photos to ge tit as motor home on the log book ( not that that is a legal requirement and have never bothered changing log book status on any vehicle I have converted), it would be hard to avoid if insirance wanted pics and would be an ommitance/white lie, as is the horse box policy, given we dont have legal minority status and laws are not in our favour as NA travellers, what do they expect and I dont see why I should confrom/downsize or buy a vehicle jsut to suit what insurance firms accept readily, might as well go to a charity shop and buy a new wardrobe comprising of one colour beige, sell my vehicles and buy a white plastic fantastic, er, no thanks, this round post does not and refuses to fit into their squares.