Through the whole process of deciding to buy an expedition vehicle and the months of updates on the progress of the build, it never occurred to me that I might be prevented from purchasing vehicle insurance because I am not a full-time resident of the UK. You can imagine my shock when I started calling around UK insurance companies only to be told, time and again, that they don’t provide coverage for non-residents! To add to the misery, several companies also told me that they don’t insure vehicles with more than five modifications (modifications being anything that has been added to the vehicle that wasn’t there when it left the factory – even beneficial mods such as alarms, etc).
I began to wonder whether I’d be stuck with a fully refurbished and kitted-out vehicle and no way to get it on the road. Following some web-searching, I discovered that at least short-term or ‘temporary’ coverage might be available to non-residents. I found that Aviva Dayinsure will cover non-residents but won’t cover any modified vehicles. A call to Herts Insurance revealed that they could cover non-residents and modified ‘camper-type’ vehicles with their ‘Walkabout’ policy but only for the actual period of travel. If I was travelling for a full year, they would cover for the full year. But their coverage is not cheap! For one month of cover for my upcoming trip, the cost would have been 260 pounds. For a while though, it seemed as though this would be the only cover I could get.
Whilst it’s been a bit of a challenge, I’m relieved to say that I’ve finally been able to secure annual insurance cover despite being a non-UK resident and despite having more than five modifications on the Defender. Thanks to brokers ‘Be Wiser’, I was able to get comprehensive annual cover with Octane Underwriting. Based on a vehicle valuation of 20,000 pounds and zero no-claims bonus (my 60% bonus in Bermuda doesn’t count), my annual premium is a whopping 1,025 UK pounds. That’s more than I was expecting but it averages out better than the cost of one-month cover on the Walkabout policy. At least with the annual coverage I can begin to build up a UK no-claims bonus which, together with annual depreciation of vehicle value should bring the premium down in future years.
Now that I have insurance, I can get road tax for the vehicle and it will be road-legal ready for our first trip in a couple of weeks.