Insuring a motorhome in Portugal

Discussion in 'Motorhome Insurance General Discussion' started by RogeTeri, Jan 29, 2013.

  1. RogeTeri

    RogeTeri Read Only Funster

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    I intend buying my first motorhome in the next few weeks. I have been looking at different insurers some of whom claim to cover your motorhome abroad for 360days. Having contacted them this appears to be a misrepresentation as I am being told that if you are out of the country for more than six months in a year then you lose your UK resident status resulting in a claim being declined as you must be a UK resident. So that seems to have scuppered my original plan of keeping UK plates and my insurance in UK. So it seems that I can take up UK insurance and go abroad but before six months are up I will need to re register with Portuguese plates and take out insurance there.

    What experiences/ideas has any one got around this subject. I would like advice on the best route to insurance and whether I can avoid having to get Portuguese plates without having to spend 6 months in the UK. What else do I need to know before I dive in? Would really appreciate some sound advice from some experienced funsters!

    All the best to you all Roge and Teri
     
    Last edited: Jan 29, 2013
  2. pappajohn

    pappajohn Funster Life Member

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    my interpretation on this is different to yours.

    the country you are visiting for more than 6 months may require you to apply for residency and that will mean re-registering your van.

    the UK residency should only be void if you emigrate to another none EU country.

    my daughter took a 12 month working holiday to Australia the onwards to Indonesia for 6 months.....she had no problem returning to the UK.

    all you need do is go over to Spain for the day, buy something in Spain as proof you've been and your 6 months will start again.
     
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  3. Billy23

    Billy23 Funster

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    Nope, residency as I understand it, is if you spend more tha 180 days in the country, per year, so going to another country for the day don't work .
     
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  4. Billy23

    Billy23 Funster

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    Having thought a bit more about it, I have heard that on or two people got round the problem (with a UK car) by contacting a company called Ibex insurance in Gibraltar, don't know if they insure MH but might be worth an email, just Google Ibex.

    Hope that helps.
     
  5. pappajohn

    pappajohn Funster Life Member

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    I stand corrected.......but read below.

    EU nationals can come to Portugal as visitors and remain for up to 180 days, although after 90 days they must apply for an extension to remain as a visitor for a further 90 days or apply for a residence card ( autorização de residência).

    and this which is more pertinant to the question

    Cars and driving licences
    Q: What is the procedure if I wish to bring my car with me to Portugal?

    A: As a tourist, you may keep your vehicle in Portugal for a maximum of 180 days in any 12-month period provided it is for your own private use and you do not loan it to anyone else during that period. Do not leave Portugal without your vehicle. If you do, you may be subject to a fine. If your stay exceeds 180 days or you intend to take-up residence in Portugal, you must apply for the permanent importation of your vehicle to the nearest office of the Direcção-Geral das Alfândegas (Customs authority). You have only 6 months within which to do this from the date of your arrival so it is advisable to start the importation process as soon as possible. For further information, see our information leaflet and the customs website (in Portuguese).
     
    Last edited: Jan 29, 2013
  6. RogeTeri

    RogeTeri Read Only Funster

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    I don't think this will work to be honest as to hold the insurance the insurance companies say you have to be a uk resident and once out of uk for more than 6 months you loose that residency status. Of course you remain a UK citizen but a non resident one and once there you can't hold UK insurance. I think you can't then insure in Portugal with UK plates hence the need to change plates. I must admit I thought that simply leaving Portugal for Spain would reset the counter, was even prepared to drive back to uk for a few weeks, but the insurers seem to count the time spent in uk over the insurance period and they are saying this must be more than 6 months.:Cool:
     
  7. RogeTeri

    RogeTeri Read Only Funster

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    Yes this is what I understand. Don't think there is a way round this.
     
  8. RogeTeri

    RogeTeri Read Only Funster

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    Thanks i will give that a try
     
  9. Billy23

    Billy23 Funster

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    No problem, I can really only talk about Spain and I thought that Portugal would be the same, in Spain they don't seem to worry about the 90 day bit, it is straight into the 180 day rule. Having said that they change everything......daily :Rofl1:

    Also to register a car/MH in Spain you have to be a property owner or have a written and signed rental contract and I guess that would be the same in Portugal, unlike the UK when you buy a vehicle you just tell the guy you buy it from that your name is John Doe and that fine.:thumb:
     
  10. RogeTeri

    RogeTeri Read Only Funster

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    Thanks very much it seems my fears are correct. Thanks for the trouble you have gone through with your reply, much appreciated
     
  11. RogeTeri

    RogeTeri Read Only Funster

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    Well at least I have a house in Portugal so that's part of the battle!
     
  12. Billy23

    Billy23 Funster

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    You don't have to thank us .......yet, I will bet we have a long way to go with this question, he! he! :Rofl1
     
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  13. joinerderby

    joinerderby Read Only Funster

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    how do they know how long you have been out of the country.
     
  14. joinerderby

    joinerderby Read Only Funster

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    there is no border control spain france etc
     
  15. RogeTeri

    RogeTeri Read Only Funster

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    I know what you are saying about open borders. But going right back to the thread of this, If I am insuring the motorhome in the UK then I have to declare that I am a UK resident. Easily done! However, if there was an insurable accident then the insurance company would not have to prove that I was outside of the UK for more than 6months. I would be called on to prove, (by way of travel documents and tickets etc.), that I have been resident in the UK for more than 6 months and therefore holding residency which is a requirement of the insurance. If there is no accident, I agree you can likely get away with it. The trouble is, if you have an accident you will be in do-do with the insurance, your claim will be declined and your insurance voided. This could leave you with a damaged/written off motorhome and no protection for the loss. It's a catch 22 situation!
     
  16. alfandM

    alfandM Funster

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    Why not just ask jj how it works ,he should know better than any one:thumb:
     
  17. Billy23

    Billy23 Funster

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    As you enter and leave the UK your passport is registered, so the government know when and if you are in UK, now what I don't know is, can an insurance company gain access to that information.
     
  18. sedge

    sedge Funster

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    All insurance contracts are made on the legal basis of uberrima fides - ie utmost good faith. That applies equally to both parties - the insurer and the policyholder.

    If you lie or accidentally even give em wrong info, and they find out whether by fair means or accidentally - then they can 'avoid' the cover. That's to say they treat it as if you never had the cover in the first place and no you ain't entitled to get yer premium back.

    Now if you accidentally spell your name wrong and say your middle name is Sydney when it's really Sidney - in practice I doubt if they would bat an eyelid but OTOH perhaps they could - however then you'd have em in Court and I expect the Court would probably decide the co weren't being reasonable. If you told em the wrong cc of the engine though, methinks the outcome would be different.

    I think being 'economical with the truth' is no better than out and out lying, meself.

    Roger - I think you are being very sensible.
     
    Last edited: Jan 30, 2013
  19. frogijock

    frogijock Funster

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    Sorry to disagree with you Pappa John but nipping into another country for a day does not quaify you for another six months, when I lived in Spain a few expats tried this by going to Gib for the day, they were soon shown the error of their ways by the Guardia and prosecuted for not registering their cars on Spanish pltes and for also for registering at the local town hall not
     
  20. RogeTeri

    RogeTeri Read Only Funster

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    Sedge you are quite right in what you say, Utmost good faith is the key and you can easily be found out as this is classed as insurance fraud. When making a claim the onus would be put on you to prove where you have been and when and this information should be readily available to the insured so the insurance company could rightly withhold payment of a claim until such reasonable proof is provided.

    I am a little annoyed with some insurers who are claiming to offer 365 day EU cover when in fact they demand residency status. I think it may lead some policy holders to break the rules inadvertently. This combined with the question, 'are you a UK resident?" can also confuse as for example I was unaware until very recently that you lose that status after 6 months abroad.
     
    Last edited: Jan 30, 2013
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