Before you hit the road in your RV this summer, make sure your vehicle is adequately insured. Are you planning on simply adding your camper, travel trailer, or mobile home to an existing auto policy? You should probably think twice before you do. Recreational vehicles can have very different coverage needs than regular vehicles. That means regular auto policies could leave you with significant coverage gaps. Today, we’re breaking down how RV insurance policies differ from other auto policies—and why we suggest purchasing them separately.
What does RV insurance cover?
An RV insurance policy is like a hybrid policy that combines aspects of auto insurance and homeowners insurance, plus idiosyncrasies that specifically address an RV’s unique needs. When you step into your home away from home—whether for a short road trip or to live in permanently—you need a distinct blend of coverages to protect you against potential threats.
Basic RV Insurance Coverage
Like a regular auto policy, an RV policy will usually include the following types of basic coverage. These may differ slightly based on your type of vehicle and specific needs.
- Liability insurance (bodily injury and property damage)
- Collision coverage (if you hit another vehicle or fixed object)
- Comprehensive coverage (for theft, vandalism, collision with an animal)
- Uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage (protection in an accident if the other driver is uninsured or underinsured, broken down into bodily injury and property damage insurance)
Additional RV Insurance Options
Here’s where things get different—and where you can fill in potential coverage gaps. Not all insurance companies offer all of the following options. Be sure to ask your insurance agent what types of coverage you’re interested in, and they will match you with the best carrier or policy for your needs.
This type of liability will protect you if you’re held legally responsible in an accident that occurs in a park or campsite when your RV is being used as temporary vacation quarters. We highly recommend adding vacation liability to your policy in case you accidentally damage someone else’s camper or someone is injured inside your RV.
If you have an emergency along the road at any point, roadside assistance will have your back. It may include coverage for towing your RV, winching service (pulling your vehicle out of an area using a motor-powered cable or chain), fuel delivery, and battery jumpstarts. It also offers trip interruption coverage that you can use toward lodging, alternative transportation, and food.
Personal Effects Coverage
Also known as “personal property and attachments coverage,” personal effects coverage extends to personal items in your RV like camping and sporting equipment, furniture, appliances, and electronics. Your coverage limit will be unique to you, based on the total value of your belongings.
If your RV becomes inoperable due to a covered comprehensive or collision loss more than 50 miles from your residence or storage facility, emergency expense insurance has you covered. It will help pay for temporary living facilities, transportation to your place of residence, the cost of returning the RV to your home (if it wasn’t declared a total loss), and rental charges while your vehicle is being repaired.
Pest protection covers damage to your vehicle that is caused by birds, rats, mice, insects, and other vermin.
Roof protection covers repairing or replacing your vehicle’s roof if it’s damaged. It includes protection for damage due to normal wear and tear. It also covers damage to other parts of your vehicle caused by the roof.
You can reduce the deductible amount for your comprehensive and collision claims with something called “disappearing deductibles.” For every consecutive claims-free year you have, your original deductible will be reduced by a specified percentage. Let’s say, for example, your policy reduces your deductible by 25% per year. This means that after four renewals, your deductible will be $0.00! If you end up filing a claim, your deductible will return to the original amount.
Full-Time RV Coverage
If you’re planning on living in your vehicle full time—as your primary residence—you’re required to purchase this type of coverage. It will offer you similar coverage to a homeowners insurance policy, including medical payments and high-limit personal liability. It even offers coverage for anything you don’t bring with you on the road and keep in storage.
Whether you’re traveling in a luxurious motorhome, a vintage campervan, or pulling a travel trailer with your truck, consider buying RV insurance. The only exception is if your vehicle is old and isn’t carrying valuable items, such as appliances and electronics.
If you’d like to get a quote for RV or travel trailer insurance to see how much it would cost you and what your options are, you can give us a call or fill out a quick form online. We work with several top-rated insurance companies—like Progressive, Nationwide, and Foremost—that offer some of the best RV insurance policies available. Contact us any time with questions you have, and we’ll be more than happy to answer them!