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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Concern has been raised in a number of places on the forums that motorhome insurance companies will not allow their policyholders to carry any methanol for their Efoys. This has even been asserted as a definite fact.

Since it is not true in the case of my own fuel cell and my own insurers, I thought that it was time to establish the facts and so this week I have been asking several of the major motorhome and caravan insurers to clarify their stance. I thought that motorhomefacts members would like to know their responses.

So far:

Caravan Guard - They are happy to insure vehicles carrying the fuel cell and there is not problem with carrying the methanol fuel for it. However, they would not cover the value of of the fuel cell itself if it was stolen or damaged. I have this verbally over the telephone and also in writing via email:

"I have spoken to our underwriters (Royal & Sun Alliance) and they have confirmed that we can cover a vehicle with the Efoy Fuel Cell in – it wouldn’t affect the policy in any way. However, we would not cover the unit itself so if the Efoy Fuel Cell was stolen or damaged customers would not be able to claim for it."

Club Care (The Camping and Caravanning Club) - The insurers involved are Vantage Insurance who told me, after consulting their underwriters, that there is no problem or restriction regarding the carrying of methanol for the Efoy. But the installation should be notified to them so that they can include its value in the policy. As with any addition to the equipment on board its value might have an effect on the premium if it passes the excess value threshold. After speaking with their underwriters I was told the result verbally; with a promise of a full quote to follow next week so that we can place the statement on our web site.

Caravan Club - waiting for their reply; has been referred to the club's Head of Insurance and Financial Services.

Safeguard - they are my own insurers. My own Efoy installation was notified to them some eighteen months ago and has been included on my policy ever since without demur. Nevertheless, I have now asked them to clarify their general policy and they have asked their underwriters for a response.


What I asked:

I telephoned each insurer and explained my question, and then emailed them the following - to ensure that I was being clear and explicit in my request:

*********

We are seeking clarification of the position of insurers regarding Efoy_Fuel_Cells installed in motorhomes and caravans.

Here is a link which will take you straight to our main product description page for the Efoy_Fuel_Cells - a device which charges the 12 volt batteries in leisure vehicles.

(I HAVE SELF-CENSORED THE LINK HERE, SO AS TO NOT OFFEND AGAINST THE FORUM RULES ON ADVERTSING)

We are a retailer of this product which is manufactured in Germany to the highest safety standards. Our page contains a link to the manufacturer's site where there is comprehensive information In English.

The units are now being factory-fitted as standard by many leading continental motorhome manufacturers and in the UK they are being sold as an aftermarket product. We are often asked by our customers for information about whether caravan and motorhome insurance companies might be averse to allowing the carrying of the methanol fuel cartridges which power the fuel cells and we would like to be able to re-assure them on this point, and perhaps point them to insurers who do not have a problem with it. Ideally we would like to include on our site a link to these insurers; perhaps with a reference which they can quote when they contact the insurer.

I would emphasise that the fuel cells and their methanol fuel cartridges are specifically designed and manufactured for use in leisure vehicles, and to be safe for this purpose.

*********


I hope that this information is useful to anyone who might have been put off by some of the comments on motorhomefacts.

Regards

David
 

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The EFoy isn't the problem David it is the Methanol

5 Ltrs for example is the maximum that Comfort will insure you to carry.

All I have said in the past is to ask for clarification in writing that Methanol is acceptable to be carried.

If the insurer is happy to pay out in the event of a fire, they would be happy to write and confirm the fact.

I would rather not take the chance

Eddie
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
eddievanbitz said:
5 Ltrs for example is the maximum that Comfort will insure you to carry.

All I have said in the past is to ask for clarification in writing that Methanol is acceptable to be carried.

Eddie
Eddie, I'm befuddled by your post - you have cited one insurer while choosing to ignore what I have posted on no less than the four major motorhome insurers.

I already have firm verbal statements from those who have responded so far that they do not have a problem with the methanol or place any restriction on carrying it (and they know that it is my intention to publicise their responses to a wide audience so why make it up?) as well as - so far - one emailed (err, that's written) response and the promise of further confirmations.

David
 

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The one that I mentioned has been in communication with us so I used them as an example. At the NEC I walked and spoke to four insurers with the same effect 5ltrs!

Show us written acceptance and I will apologise! I for one prefer to believe what is written than what I am told by some one on the end of the phone.

All I am saying is: Anyone thinking of spending £2-3K on a fuel cell would be advised to get in writing, the upper limit, that that their insurance company is happy to allow them to carry.

No one mentioned that the insurers are unhappy with the Efoy unit itself.
 

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I too have emailed several underwriters regarding the carriage of Methanol and also a can of petrol (which has inccreased energy content) and have responses. The basic answer was that so far no one has claimed for any loss related to the carriage of METHANOL. UNDERWRITERS DO NOT REQUIRE TO BE NOTIFIED WHEN A CAN OF methanol or Petrol is being carried. Unless claims attributed to the carriage of these fluids increase the stance of the underwriter is unlikely to change.

(Sorry about the caps lock)


Eddie, George says did it arrive in the post?
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
eddievanbitz said:
At the NEC I walked and spoke to four insurers.
Bet there weren't any underwriters there - and they're the ones who decide ( to second Clive's post).

I agree that it's the methanol that's the point - which is why I phrased my request to the insurers to cover exactly that question. Their answers are quite clear too - not an issue.

David
 

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Hi Clive yes it did!

A can of petrol or methanol is considered, I have been told 5 Ltrs

Yes we have spoke to the powers that be, and we have it from the horse mouths.

I sell Efoys but I advise people that the fuel is difficult to get, and we advise them to get in writing, from their insurers, that the insurance company is aware and Ok with Methanol being transported and in what quantities

You sell them and say there is no problem! So I as always let people make up their own minds:roll:

I would close by suggesting that IF the insurance company is happy for the insured to carry say 20 ltrs (1 x 10ltr in the efoy and 1 x spare) then surely asking them for written confirmation, wouldn't be a problem, would it? so I fail to see the problem.
 

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CliveMott said:
I too have emailed several underwriters regarding the carriage of Methanol and also a can of petrol (which has inccreased energy content) and have responses. The basic answer was that so far no one has claimed for any loss related to the carriage of METHANOL. UNDERWRITERS DO NOT REQUIRE TO BE NOTIFIED WHEN A CAN OF methanol or Petrol is being carried. Unless claims attributed to the carriage of these fluids increase the stance of the underwriter is unlikely to change.

(Sorry about the caps lock)

Eddie, George says did it arrive in the post?
We asked our insurance company very recently and they said they would want to know if an efoy cell was on board & if it was they would not offer to insure the vehicle at all

Motorhomer
 

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Hi Motorhomer

We have had customers experience the same response, so we feel as a professional, honourable, business that we should advise people to check with their insurers and to check the actual availability of the methanol before they shell out a considerable amount of money.

Others don't :roll:

Eddie
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
eddievanbitz said:
A can of petrol or methanol is considered, I have been told 5 Ltrs
Well, I have been told 'no restriction'. A named quantity of any sort would be a restriction, would it not?. I have been told 'no problem with the carrying of methanol'. I was not told 'no problem with carrying no more than x-quantity of methanol.'

Maybe I should ask them if they have a problem with carrying of corn flakes and it they say 'no' I should ask: 'What about more than one packet?'

Am I getting too flippant here? I hardly know by now but as far as I'm concerned the meaning of the words 'no problem' doesn't suddenly change because we are talking methanol not corn flakes.

Or what about carrying gas? No problem? But according to Eddie's reckoning we'd better all start asking our insurance companies to specify in writing just how many and what size of gas cylinders they will permit. Whatever you do, motorhomers, just don't take 'no problem' for an answer. If you are persistent enough you'll surely be able to force them too declare a problem and a limit.

Or you could just take it that 'no problem' means 'no problem.' If you have told your insurance company that you have installed an Efoy and that it uses methanol for its fuel I would imagine that you have discharged you duty of disclosure; if the company takes on this risk it is within its competence to have assessed that risk and stipulated any quantity if it wished to do so. That's its business, it's what it does.

Yes we have spoke to the powers that be, and we have it from the horse mouths.
Read my post, Eddie, so have we and I've named all my horses; are they the same as yours? I am not claiming that all companies will accept the Efoys (without restriction on fuel); on the other hand you continue to imply that no companies will accept Efoys (read methanol). What happened to competition Eddie: if company A will not insure your requirements and company B will, does this mean that your requirement can't be met?

I sell Efoys but I advise people that the fuel is difficult to get, and we advise them to get in writing, from their insurers, that the insurance company is aware and Ok with Methanol being transported and in what quantities
Again, read my post Eddie: I am asking the companies for a definitive, statement and to provide a reference that policyholders can quote back to them and thereby refer to whatever statement they make. This is being helpful to our customers, aiming to provide them with accurate information with which they can arm themselves when speaking to their insurers or prospective insurers.

Your way is just scaring customers away from Efoys with unsubstantiated blanket statements. Again, note that my approach to insurers is a work-in-progress so I hope to be able to present further information in due course.

You sell them and say there is no problem! So I as always let people make up their own minds:roll:
I say that they are insurable - hence it's not a problem; in the sense that it would be if insurance was unobtainable which is what you seem to maintain.

I would close by suggesting that IF the insurance company is happy for the insured to carry say 20 ltrs (1 x 10ltr in the efoy and 1 x spare) then surely asking them for written confirmation, wouldn't be a problem, would it? so I fail to see the problem.
Yes, by all means ask them - but I'd suggest you ask the right company. Why flog one of Eddie's horses if they don't want your business?
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
motorhomer2 said:
We asked our insurance company very recently and they said they would want to know if an efoy cell was on board & if it was they would not offer to insure the vehicle at all

Motorhomer
Hello,

Can you say which company - this would be valuable information?

David
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
eddievanbitz said:
Hi Motorhomer

We have had customers experience the same response, so we feel as a professional, honourable, business that we should advise people to check with their insurers and to check the actual availability of the methanol before they shell out a considerable amount of money.

Others don't :roll:

Eddie
Now you are being downright offensive.

I have had my own Efoy installed from the time I began selling them (about eighteen months ago). I notified my insurance company (Safeguard) at the time and explained what it was and there was no problem. My policy was not affected and the Efoy itself is covered as part of the equipment. So there was no problem that I should warn anyone about.

And now with the issue having being raised recently (initially by Eddie, as I recall) I have been taking steps to get some hard information. Not only professional and honourable, but also very keen to proffer the truth.
 

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eddievanbitz said:
Hi Clive yes it did!

A can of petrol or methanol is considered, I have been told 5 Ltrs

Yes we have spoke to the powers that be, and we have it from the horse mouths.

I sell Efoys but I advise people that the fuel is difficult to get, and we advise them to get in writing, from their insurers, that the insurance company is aware and Ok with Methanol being transported and in what quantities

You sell them and say there is no problem! So I as always let people make up their own minds:roll:

I would close by suggesting that IF the insurance company is happy for the insured to carry say 20 ltrs (1 x 10ltr in the efoy and 1 x spare) then surely asking them for written confirmation, wouldn't be a problem, would it? so I fail to see the problem.
just a thought but what do you advise if you fit a petrol genny, as petrol in a container would need to be carried and from a safety angle methonal in a container or petrol in a container whats the difference?

the legal limit for methanol appears to be 240 ltrs

http://www.tsw-comsat-sales.co.uk/wordpress/2009/03/methanol-the-law-and-your-efoy-power-cell/
 

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Whilst members here are doubtless interested to hear of potential snags (or lack of same) connected with the carriage of (or supply of) methanol I don't think they are at all interested in trade rivalry concerned with the supply of same. If you guys wish to argue the point, please do so by PM.

davidcampervanstuff said:
Now you are being downright offensive.
On the contrary.
I would consider it prudent advice to consult your insurer prior to carrying a quantity of inflammable liquid around, I'm sure that individual insurers will have differing attitudes to carrying hazardous liquids other than those considered "normal" for a motorhome. The only way to ensure you are covered is to ask.

If you consider that any member has made an offensive remark, the correct procedure is to "report" the post to the moderators by using the exclamation mark icon above the offending post.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
gaspode said:
On the contrary.
I would consider it prudent advice to consult your insurer prior to carrying a quantity of inflammable liquid around, I'm sure that individual insurers will have differing attitudes to carrying hazardous liquids other than those considered "normal" for a motorhome. The only way to ensure you are covered is to ask.

If you consider that any member has made an offensive remark, the correct procedure is to "report" the post to the moderators by using the exclamation mark icon above the offending post.
Hello Gaspode,

I too think that it woud be prudent to notify my insurer, not just about carrying inflammable liguids as in this case, but about absolutely anything which the insurer might later reasonably claim to having fallen outside of the agreed cover.

At no point in this thread have I suggested otherwise; in fact I have reported advice from the insurance companies to tell them if an Efoy is installed; I have also said quite clearly that I reported my own installation to my insurer.

I would also imagine that members of motorhomefacts already understand very well the wisdom of properly informing their insurance company of anything which might be relevant.

I took exception to the other posting because of what I saw as a clear and intentional inference that 'others' are not professional and honourable. Thank you for the information about how I should have dealt with this and I will do so in the furture; but I hope that on this occasion you will allow me this explanation of why I considered it offensive, and so draw a line under it. I will be delighted to be done with any acrimony.

In fact the whole thread has become diverted, I feel; my original posting was a pretty simple and straightforward offering of some information and was completely non-contentious as far as it went; anyone could follow up with a call to one of the mentioned insurance companies and verify it for themselves.

Regards

David
 

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motorhomer2 said:
We asked our insurance company very recently and they said they would want to know if an efoy cell was on board & if it was they would not offer to insure the vehicle at all

Motorhomer
People are being refused insurance because of methanol! Plain and simple
 

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davidcampervanstuff said:
Concern has been raised in a number of places on the forums that motorhome insurance companies will not allow their policyholders to carry any methanol for their Efoys. This has even been asserted as a definite fact.

Since it is not true in the case of my own fuel cell and my own insurers, I thought that it was time to establish the facts and so this week I have been asking several of the major motorhome and caravan insurers to clarify their stance. I thought that motorhomefacts members would like to know their responses.

So far:

Caravan Guard - They are happy to insure vehicles carrying the fuel cell and there is not problem with carrying the methanol fuel for it. However, they would not cover the value of of the fuel cell itself if it was stolen or damaged. I have this verbally over the telephone and also in writing via email:

"I have spoken to our underwriters (Royal & Sun Alliance) and they have confirmed that we can cover a vehicle with the Efoy Fuel Cell in - it wouldn't affect the policy in any way. However, we would not cover the unit itself so if the Efoy Fuel Cell was stolen or damaged customers would not be able to claim for it."

Club Care (The Camping and Caravanning Club) - The insurers involved are Vantage Insurance who told me, after consulting their underwriters, that there is no problem or restriction regarding the carrying of methanol for the Efoy. But the installation should be notified to them so that they can include its value in the policy. As with any addition to the equipment on board its value might have an effect on the premium if it passes the excess value threshold. After speaking with their underwriters I was told the result verbally; with a promise of a full quote to follow next week so that we can place the statement on our web site.

Caravan Club - waiting for their reply; has been referred to the club's Head of Insurance and Financial Services.

Safeguard - they are my own insurers. My own Efoy installation was notified to them some eighteen months ago and has been included on my policy ever since without demur. Nevertheless, I have now asked them to clarify their general policy and they have asked their underwriters for a response.

What I asked:

I telephoned each insurer and explained my question, and then emailed them the following - to ensure that I was being clear and explicit in my request:

*********

We are seeking clarification of the position of insurers regarding Efoy_Fuel_Cells installed in motorhomes and caravans.

Here is a link which will take you straight to our main product description page for the Efoy_Fuel_Cells - a device which charges the 12 volt batteries in leisure vehicles.

(I HAVE SELF-CENSORED THE LINK HERE, SO AS TO NOT OFFEND AGAINST THE FORUM RULES ON ADVERTSING)

We are a retailer of this product which is manufactured in Germany to the highest safety standards. Our page contains a link to the manufacturer's site where there is comprehensive information In English.

The units are now being factory-fitted as standard by many leading continental motorhome manufacturers and in the UK they are being sold as an aftermarket product. We are often asked by our customers for information about whether caravan and motorhome insurance companies might be averse to allowing the carrying of the methanol fuel cartridges which power the fuel cells and we would like to be able to re-assure them on this point, and perhaps point them to insurers who do not have a problem with it. Ideally we would like to include on our site a link to these insurers; perhaps with a reference which they can quote when they contact the insurer.

I would emphasise that the fuel cells and their methanol fuel cartridges are specifically designed and manufactured for use in leisure vehicles, and to be safe for this purpose.

*********

I hope that this information is useful to anyone who might have been put off by some of the comments on motorhomefacts.

Regards

David
Hi David,

Did you ever hear back from the Caravan Club on this?

Pete
 

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I carried out the same excercise as David a year back and got similar responses to David. I guess that Eddie must have put the question a little differently or perhaps just found the exception insurance company.


C.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Hi David,

Did you ever hear back from the Caravan Club on this?

Pete
Hi Pete,

I'm afraid that I did not have further contact with the Caravan Club on this, or with the other insurers apart from my own, Safeguard Insurance.
The bottom line is that I ran out of steam on this one; too many other things on my plate ... errr in my boiler ..

Naturally I have been in touch with my own insurers, Safeguard, most recently at renewal time. They had been unable to get a definitive, general-purpose statement from their underwriters on this topic, but as before there was no problem with my own cover and no restriction placed on my carrying of methanol, of which Safeguard is fully aware.

As in any other sphere of insurance, the companies have different policies; my own view is that they become keener to oblige when they otherwise risk losing business which they would rather have.

So there is always a choice: but do ask the question and ensure that your own insurer is providing the cover which you require. If the Caravan Club wasn't sufficiently interested in my question to respond, one way or the other, it's no loss to me.

Regards

David
 
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