What to look for in your own warranty, including:
1: A Dealer one provided with a vehicle you are buying
2: Renewing one after your manufacturer or dealer one has ended
3: Buying your own for a privately purchased Caravan, Camper or Motorhome
4: Buying a warranty that your ‘Renter’ can access when away
Firstly, lets cover some basics on a ‘Warranty’.
There are 2 general types of warranty; The Insurance policy and The Warranty 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 are in the ‘sales chain’ and the quality of the product you are getting. Below, Martyn Raybould from Engineer Aftercare Warranty has set out The Good, The Bad and The downright Ugly aspects to both types of warranty:
If an ‘Insurance policy’ choose a UK based insurer, then you have the comfort of the FCA who monitor how this company works. If they act badly you have someone quite powerful to complain to!
There is no cost difference with Insurance or Warranty Guarantee, its all in the small print and the cost to buy. However, a ‘Warranty Guarantee’ was what the manufacturer provided originally and there are less links in the sale or approval chain.
The period of cover can be as little as 3 months, 6 months, 1 year or even 2 years. A manufacturer one usually starts with 3 years (Including water
ingress, we will cover that later)
Claim Value can be important, but only as long as it is what it looks like! Claim value can be as low as £250 but £1000 is more common and can be as much as £2000 per claim (But beware! The higher the value, the more strings may be attached)
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!
Only use Approved Workshop Scheme (AWS) approved workshops for the Hab section and ideally manufacturer approved ones for the Commercial section too. 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 cover is important to work out a real comparison)
Did they come to you from a trusted source? Are they the biggest because they have lots of sales people on the road, because those sales people have to be paid for in the price you will be paying.
Avoid where possible companies based outside of the UK. These companies are not overseen by the UK FCA watchdog, so it may be much harder to get in touch with them, complain to or about them and if they decline to pay what then? This is not to say all foreign underwriters are bad, just that extra caution should be taken perhaps, your vehicle is an expensive investment.
Spurious sales pitches. One company (Now ceased trading!) offered £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. So, if you only make a single claim, what happens if you need to claim for the engine and again for heating.
Difficult to claim! If you have to download a form just to claim, then post it, await for a decision and then if approved, your money, your holiday will be over before you get anything fixed
Volume companies who take almost any vehicle. You take great care of your leisure vehicle, you 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? Or will the default position be ‘Don’t pay unless you
If the dealer is only providing 3 months why is that? If it’s an older or cheaper vehicle fine but if it’s a late model and valuable, why isn’t it a full 12 months warranty cover? You are likely paying a lot of money for the vehicle and cover
Paying more than you need to unless getting something extra, some additional value or service. If it’s just more expensive for the same or less
cover, why buy it from them?
Do they use fully trained AWS approved repairers or just anyone busy enough to be VAT registered. Or someone who repairs cars and vans but does a few Caravans too? Ensure they only use MCEA or better still AWS approved workshops (The Approved Workshop Scheme is the recognised body of Manufacturer approved workshops UK wide and is also a partner of the Caravan and Camping Club of the United Kingdom with over 1 million members and 100 owned caravan sites.
The Downright Ugly:
Some warranty companies have multiple stakeholders when you buy, in particular sometimes where the product is an ‘Insurance policy’, ideally there should be just three! 1: The Administrator 2: The Warranty cover provider 3: The workshop repairing or replacing the faulty component
Some warranty retailers have five or even six stakeholders in the sales chain and they all take some of your fee.
If you have a question about warranty products generally or wish to buy one for your vehicle, contact Engineer Aftercare Warranty and ask for Martyn Raybould who can be reached on 01243 264056 or Email: firstname.lastname@example.org