Demystifying Insurance Options for Campervan and RV Hire in Australia and New Zealand

When customers are planning their motorhome or campervan holiday and are at the stage of checking prices and vehicle types, one of the most common questions we are asked at Salamanda Travel is “what are my insurance options?”

4-berth Uluru road

So we’d like to explain how it works with some of our most popular suppliers for campervan and motorhome hire in Australia and New Zealand. We’ll deal with the USA in another blog post.

First of all, at Salamanda we refer to “liability” ? each vehicle hire has a built-in limited liability amount included. In other words, our major supplier has limited the amount you are liable for in the case of an accident or incident. Please also note that the liability is irrespective of who is at fault, as per the Terms and Conditions, and that the liability is applicable per incident or accident.

However, if another driver is at fault and the supplier can retrieve costs from the at-fault driver’s insurance provider, once this money has been successfully claimed you will receive the relevant refund. This could take some time though, depending on the insurance provider concerned.

So, I hear you ask, what is the standard liability on the vehicle you have selected? The standard liability varies from brand to brand and from vehicle to vehicle – and there are also options to reduce this amount even further, or even to zero, which I’ll go into shortly.

Some of the most popular vehicles and their standard liability amounts are set out here: (dollar amounts are AU$ in Australia and NZ$ in New Zealand):

Vehicle size Supplier Country of Travel Standard liability
2/3 Berth and 4 Berth Hitop Hippie Australia & New Zealand $2500 ($3500 <21)
Cheapa Campa Australia & New Zealand $2700
Apollo Australia & New Zealand $5000
2 Berth S/T Hippie Australia & New Zealand $2500 ($3500 <21)
Cheapa Campa Australia & New Zealand $2700
Apollo Australia & New Zealand $5000
Star RV Australia $7500
New Zealand $5000
4 and 6 Berths Cheapa Campa Australia & New Zealand $5000
Apollo Australia & New Zealand $7500
Star RV Australia $7500
New Zealand $5000
4WD Campers* Cheapa Campa Australia $5000
Apollo Australia $7500

*4WD campers are not offered in New Zealand

When you request a quote for a campervan or motorhome either online or by phone from Salamanda Travel you can just leave the quote at “standard liability”. Or, you can reduce the liability further with a choice of two options.

Liability Reduction Option 1 reduces the liability by approximately half in most cases and in some cases even more, and Liability Reduction Option 2 reduces the liability to zero. With this last option, on vehicle pickup an imprint only will be taken from your credit card for pre-authorisation of a bond amount of $250. This is not charged to your credit card, and assuming all is well it is released on drop-off of your campervan or motorhome.

An exception to this is the Hippie vehicles ? a bond is always charged for Hippie campers. The lowest the liability for Hippie campervans can be reduced to is $100 (or $250 for drivers under 21).Hippie Camper Budget

Many customers enjoy the peace of mind of Liability Reduction Option 2. And especially for those who are travelling one way, have extra drivers and require chairs and tables, the All Inclusive Option is often the best choice price-wise because it includes zero liability, as well as all those extras and more, and the one-way fee is then not charged either (except in the case of Cheapa Campa). This last option can really give great value for money in such cases – as one customer put it recently, “A no-brainer.”Cheapa 6 Berth

If you have chosen standard liability or Option 1, the liability that remains will be deducted as a bond at pickup. Please note that this is irrespective of what other insurance you may have taken out. If you have travel insurance, or as in the case of some other agents, you believe you don’t have anything extra to pay, please do take into account that the supplier will always deduct the liability level you have selected as a bond, and it is payable on pickup. Please always check your confirmation which will include this information.

If you have separate travel insurance you may be able to claim money back from your insurance provider in the case of an accident, however any payments to the vehicle supplier will come from you first. It’s then up to you to contact your travel insurance provider and submit a claim with them. We also recommend checking whether your insurer does provide cover for the specific campervan or motorhome you are hiring.

Still have questions? Don’t worry, we’re available by phone to assist.