When I began planning this adventure, I had no idea that trying to obtain vehicle insurance would be one of the major challenges. There were times when I almost gave up hope and wondered whether it would endanger the whole expedition. Thankfully, I have now been able to secure annual insurance coverage for the Defender so that’s a load off my mind!
It turns out that almost all British vehicle insurers refuse to cover anyone who is not a full-time UK resident. It doesn’t matter that I was born and raised in England or that I’ve had a full UK driving licence since 1979. If you don’t live there full-time – no insurance!
After much searching, I did find two companies that specialise in expatriate insurance. Whilst primarily geared towards insuring British nationals driving vehicles in other countries, both companies said that they could provide insurance to me under my circumstances. Until I told them that the Defender would have some modifications! Neither company would cover vehicles with modifications. The search continued.
My back-up plan was the Herts Insurance Company (HIC) Walkabout plan. The HIC plan is specifically designed to insure vehicles that are travelling around the world through multiple countries. They were happy to insure my Defender, with modifications, but only for the periods when I was actually using it. It would have to remain uninsured whilst I was in Bermuda.
Even that would cause some challenges. If you own a vehicle in Britain and it isn’t taxed or insured, you can be automatically fined. The only way to avoid the fine is to keep the vehicle off the road and make a Statutory Off Road Notification (SORN). More paperwork. Also, Land Rovers need to be driven to keep everything in good working order. My friend, David Lovejoy, will be keeping the vehicle in shape for me by running it regularly, but he wouldn’t be able to do that if the vehicle wasn’t insured.
I explored the option of having the vehicle insured in someone else’s name with me as a named driver. Not possible.
Thank goodness someone recommended Dave Brewer of 2Gether Insurance – http://2getherinsurance.co.uk/. Dave was able to negotiate directly with the insurance companies and arrange for annual insurance cover for me. The major concern was over security of the vehicle whilst I am in Bermuda. Once the security arrangements were provided and met with the insurer’s approval, I was approved for insurance. What a relief! I can’t say enough good things about Dave Brewer and 2Gether Insurance. They provided insurance cover when all others said it wasn’t possible.
With insurance in place, I can get on with trip planning. A huge thanks to Dave Brewer.
Dave’s direct contact numbers are listed below. He says to mention my name when you call and he’ll try to give you a good deal on your insurance.
Mr Dave Brewer
Specialist Insurance Provider
Authorised and regulated by the FSA
08456 588 544
01843 869 748
07791 472 572
Open 7 days a week from 8am to 10pm