RV Insurance, Protecting Your Home on Wheels

Insurance policy paperwork

Maybe you were scratching your head, asking yourself “Do I really need RV insurance?” The quick answer is, it all depends on the type of RV you have, and how much you have invested into it. But hopefully by the time you read this, you’ll still have some hair left on your head to scratch.

All joking aside, most states require liability insurance for autos and motorhomes. With liability coverage, your assets are protected should your RV injure someone or cause property damage. Since motorhomes and travel trailers are typically much larger than cars, they have the potential to do more damage. That’s why higher limits of liability protection are available.

Towables such as travel trailers, 5th wheels, pop-up campers, and truck campers don’t usually require special RV insurance. Liability insurance is carried over from your truck or tow vehicle. If injury or property damage is caused by your towable camper, your auto insurance will pay the bill. Again, since RVs have the potential to do more damage, you may want a higher limit of coverage. Talk to your insurance company and let them know you’ll be towing an RV. They may offer additional coverage.

There’s much more than basic liability insurance – so before you run off and choose an insurance policy, consider this…

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RV Insurance VS. Auto Insurance

Insuring your RV as you do your car may be the right choice, if all you need is the bare minimum of coverage. If you have an older model camper and are prepared to make out of pocket repairs…and if worst comes to worst, you can absorb a total loss…than it makes since to go with the bare minimum of coverage. For most of us though, insuring an RV with an insurance company that offers specialized RV insurance is the best choice.

Man and woman examining a motorhome and taking notes
The right RV insurance policy is crucial if you ever have a claim

You won’t find this level of protection with ordinary auto insurance…

Personal Belongings Coverage

Personal belongings coverage protects the valuables inside your motorhome or travel trailer. Why do you need it? Although your homeowner’s policy may cover your belongings at your residence, will your policy also cover the items in your RV while on vacation? If that answer is no, you’ll want this extra coverage.

Auto policies typically offer a limited amount of coverage on personal belongings. RV insurance policies let you choose the limits. If you’re a full-time RVer with all your possessions in the RV, this coverage is doubly important.

Total Loss Replacement Coverage

Total loss replacement coverage equips you with a new RV should yours burst into flames (heaven forbid!), be totaled, or be stolen. This coverage is available for newer model RVs. Older model RVs can be insured up to an agreed value.

Your motorhome or travel trailer will be replaced with a similar new rig. A big advantage here is that you’re protected against steep RV depreciation, should your rig become wrecked beyond recognition. This type of coverage is required if you’re making payments on the camper.

Emergency Expenses Coverage

Having an accident while on your RV vacation could really ruin the fun. But if you did have one and you’re rig was in the shop, you’d need food, lodging, and transportation while the RV was being repaired. When you have emergency expenses coverage, you’ll be reimbursed for these extra costs. It can lessen the pain when the unthinkable happens.

Truck and travel trailer breakdown on roadside

Personal Liability Coverage

Personal liability insurance covers the RV while it is parked. It is similar to homeowner’s insurance. You’re protected in the event someone is injured in or around your RV.

Full-time RVers, snowbirds, and those who camp often will especially want to consider adding this type of RV insurance. Because as we all know, camping accidents can and do happen…and if one involves your RV, or stuff you have lying around outside, like your sewer hose, you could be sued.

Custom Equipment and Permanent Attachments Coverage

If you enjoy boondocking like me, you may have thousands of dollars worth of solar panels on your RV’s roof. Or perhaps you’ve made several other pricey upgrades, which up the value of your RV considerably. In this case, adding coverage for custom equipment or permanent attachments is not a bad idea.

Permanent attachments can include awnings, satellite dishes, antennas, storage racks, and air conditioners. Custom equipment might include new furniture or electrical system upgrades. You’ll want to add up the cost of all these upgrades and decide how much coverage is right for you.

More Insurance Options

If your travel trailer or motorhome will be parked for several months, be sure to let the insurance company know. Most RV insurance companies have a Special Storage Rate. You can often save a bundle, as you won’t be paying for the parts of your policy that cover an RV in motion.

Hitch insurance covers your hitch assembly, including the mount that is attached to your tow vehicle.

A Service Call Allowance covers the cost of having a service tech sent to your location.

Roadside Assistance coverage pays the towing bill when your rig breaks down or becomes stuck. Additional services that come with these plans often include:

  • Battery Service and Jumpstarts
  • Flat Tire Repair
  • Locksmith Service
  • Emergency Fuel, Oil, and other Vehicle Fluids
  • Roadside Mechanical Repairs

RV Insurance Companies

Dozens of insurance companies will sell you RV insurance. But only a few really understand RVs and offer specialized insurance to RVers. This can make all the difference if you ever have a claim. These companies also offer insurance to full-time RVers. You can also check out the Good Sam RV Club to compare insurance rates.

Featured image by Vlad Deep

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