The Products Warranty and Guarantee Explained By “Engineer Aftercare”

Receiving, buying or renewing a caravan or motorhome warranty, here are the products explained, the good the bad and the ugly about motorhome warranties. Buying a “warranty” for your caravan, camper or motorhome is no small thing, no one size fits all and the cover can be confusing. So, Motorhomescampervans.net asked our good friends at Engineer Aftercare Warranty to explain it all. The emphasis when buying a warranty is on the term ‘should be’ because many of us will have heard the other term ‘not worth the paper they are written on’. Sadly in some cases, that is probably true. Here is some advice from Engineer Aftercare the official warranty partner to Motorhomes Campervans on what to look for in your warranty, including:

  • A dealer one provided with a vehicle you are buying
  • Renewing one after your manufacturer or dealer one has ended
  • Buying your own for a privately purchased caravan, camper or motorhome

Firstly, let us cover some basics on a ‘warranty’ there are 2 general types of warranty

  1. The insurance policy
  2. 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, we have set out the Good, the Bad and the Downright Ugly aspects to both types of warranty.

The Products Warranty and Guarantee Explained “The Good” “Engineer Aftercare”

The good is what it says on the tin Good

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, it’s all in the small print and the cost to buy. However, a ‘Warranty Guarantee’ was what the manufacturer provided originally and there are fewer 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 £2,000 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 fewer claims and will be happier to pay yours!

Can they fix your vehicle fast and if you are on holiday in a field on-site? If you have no hot water you want it fixed 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 the 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 salespeople on the road because those salespeople have to be paid for in the price you will be paying. If you buy one recommended by a trusted source such as Motorhomescampervans.net or another, it’s because we have done the homework for you, helping you to buy more safely.

The Products Warranty and Guarantee Explained “The Bad” “Engineer Aftercare”

The bad is not quite ugly, but, bad enough to be described as bad.

Avoid where possible companies based outside of the UK, many insurers, in particular, may be based in Gibraltar, Isle of Man, Jersey or another outside of UK regulatory Financial Conduct Authority oversight. 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 a £2000 claim limit, which 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, wait 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 it’s 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 have to’?

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).

The Products Warranty and Guarantee Explained “The Downright Ugly” “Engineer Aftercare”

The downright ugly is a combination of issues that make this description 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, they all take some of your fees. To give you an idea, below is a list of who could be in your sales chain.

  • The call centre handling the initial call
  • The administration centre, this stakeholder is real or digital completes your application
  • Takes the fee to set up send out your documentation
  • Claim handling is usually a ‘claims assistance’ company handling the claim on another’s behalf, common with Insurance policies
  • An ‘Assessor’, is linked to ‘Insurance’, this person attends and or looks at the actual claim, recommends the level of payment
  • The Underwriter (where Insurance) who considers the claim and decides or not to payout
  • Mid-term changes and Customer Service during the cover period
  • The workshop affecting the repair or replacement of your vehicle

Clearly reducing the number of stakeholders in the “warranty sales chain” works better and helps to ensure a speedier approval and repair when the unthinkable happens.

Water Ingress How To Use Damp Meters “We Buy Any Motorcaravan”

Professional buyers of leisure vehicles, find it important to have them checked over for water ingress

Shane Malpass should know, he is one of the UK’s largest buyers of leisure vehicles. At “we buy any motorcaravan” its a matter of don’t leave home without one! A damp meter that is as it can save thousands of pounds, for the sake of a check that takes a few moments to do. Shane also sees many different types of motorhome warranties and guarantees, as he says some good and some poor ones, especially, where water ingress is not fully covered.

A Good Guarantee Adds Value to Your Leisure Vehicle

Shane has found that the Engineer Aftercare Guarantee provides clear guidelines to what is under a guarantee. He recommends to any motorhome, campervan or caravan, the buyer, check the small print and get advice from professionals on repairs and guarantees. If you have a leisure vehicle with damp or water ingress Shane will still be interested in buying your leisure vehicle. Telephone, o1283 240 237 and the “we buy any motorcaravan” team will be glad to help.

For most models, a guarantee is available, however, subject to age excluding home builds as the legislation requires professional registered gas and electrics to be in place.

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