Damage to your outfit, or wear and tear?

With most motorhomes and campervans having a combination of glass and acrylic windows, we've put together some helpful tips and advice about how and in what circumstances these types of window materials are insured.

Most motorhomes and campervans have a combination of glass and acrylic windows. The windscreen and side windows to the driver’s cab, for example, are usually glass whereas the windows around the body-shell of the living area are typically acrylic. It is useful to know how and in what circumstances these types of window materials are insured.

Image: Shady Oak CL, photo by Club member Liz Pilling

Damage to the windscreen or other glass windows of your motorhome or campervan from normal use should be covered by a specialist Windscreen Cover element within your motorhome or campervan insurance policy. If you agree, at the point of making a claim, to use an insurer-appointed repairer, then many policies offer higher levels of cover. For instance, the Club’s policy offers unlimited cover, including the replacement of panoramic windscreens, if you use the appointed specialist. The good news is that repairs may often be completed within a day or two when you use Windscreen Cover on your policy, and the excess assessed by the insurer is typically lower than on the remainder of the policy. 

However, damage to acrylic windows tends to be dealt with differently. Acrylic window damage is normally covered under the Accidental Damage section of your policy because they are generally not handled by specialised automobile glass repairers. Instead repairs are usually carried out by a general motorhome or campervan repairer, which can take a little longer and you will normally have to pay a full excess. 

Glass window damage is rarely caused by actual 'wear and tear’' The definition of wear and tear is "a loss of value that happens gradually from normal usage". However, acrylic windows are much more susceptible to this type of damage and only a small number of motorhome or campervan insurance policies will include wear and tear under their cover.

So how can you prevent wear and tear to your acrylic windows?

Firstly, what is window wear and tear?

Extreme temperatures of hot and cold are often the reason for window wear and tear as the fluctuating temperatures causes the the acrylic plastic to expand and contract, or even become brittle. At this point, cracks may start to appear or the seals around the window may weaken and deteriorate.

How to minimise acrylic window wear and tear:

There are a number of things you can do that could help reduce the wear and tear of your motorhome’s acrylic windows.

  • Keep your motorhome or campervan clean, inside and out, this will always help prevent the build up of dirt that gives wear and tear a base to start damaging your windows. Sand erosion has been seen to accelerate the negative effects of wear and tear so avoid parking or storing your motorhome/campervan for an extended period of time in sandy areas as much as possible. 

  • To protect your motorhome or campervan from debris or weather damage, you might think it’s a good idea to put a plastic cover over it. Just be mindful that the cover needs to be anti-UV and that it is waterproof and breathable. Additionally, since reflective shields can magnify and intensify the heat on your windows, we advise against using them.

  • Since we know that the sun and adverse weather conditions can hasten wear and tear, it is advisable to store your motorhome or campervan undercover whenever it’s possible.

Don’t forget though, your motorhome or campervan is ultimately there to allow you to venture out and discover new places while taking advantage of your free time, so make the most of it!

Your Club has developed a specialist product to cover motorhomes and campervans so you can keep enjoying what you love without the worry of what might happen should you be involved in an accident or caught out by the weather (please be aware wear and tear is not something that we, or as far as we are aware other providers, are able to cover). Click here to compare your current motorhome or campervan insurance with ours as we would like to provide cover for your motorhome or campervan with our 5 Star Expert rated insurance.

First published in May 2023.

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