An RV is a motorhome or towable trailer with living quarters (such as a kitchen, bathroom, and bedroom), for full-time living or recreational purposes like vacationing and camping. If you own a motorized recreational vehicle, you may be able to include it with your regular auto insurance plan. However, standard vehicle coverage may not take into account the sort of situations that are unique to RV’s as mobile dwellings. Hence the need for a specialized insurance policy specifically designed to cover recreational vehicles, personal property, and other common RV features.
Like car insurance, RV insurance provides liability, collision and comprehensive coverage to protect passengers in the event of a collision, personal injury, theft, and natural disasters. However, specialized coverages understand that an RV can also be a home, and therefore take vehicle protection a step further, and will also cover personal belongings, accessories, and attachments like satellite dishes or awnings. Depending on the policy you choose, you may be able to add total loss protection to replace your RV with a new model if totaled, campsite or vacation coverage, extended bodily injury coverage, roadside and towing assistance, and even emergency travel assistance when you have a covered accident on the road.
When choosing which plan is best for you and your family, remember to consider the class of RV you own and how much time you plan to spend on it. If you truly use your RV for recreational purposes only, standard collision and comprehensive coverages may suffice. On the other hand, if you plan to live in your recreational vehicle for six or more months out of the year, then full-timer coverage may be your best option. Regardless of your choice, be aware of the benefit limits, premiums, and deductibles of each plan and try to opt for a dependable insurance company offering comprehensive coverages as well as a good list of discounts and savings.
TOP 10 COMPANIES
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- Customers report average savings of $389 per year
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HOW WE COMPARE RV INSURANCE
Coverage & Benefits
Most people likely already have and are familiar with car insurance, but it’s still important to review RV policy options, even though they could be considered just another type of large automobile. State law requires specific coverage for RV’s, so determining your specific needs is the first step to building your policy. Beyond the minimum legal prerequisites, the second thing to consider is whether you wish to increase coverage limits for greater reimbursement potential. Following, you’ll find an overview of the most basic levels of coverage:
Liability Insurance: Liability insurance pays for injuries and property damage to the other party if you were the cause of the accident. It does not cover your own injuries or property. A certain amount of liability insurance is required in almost every state, but if you can afford more it’s generally a good idea, to ensure sufficient coverage.
Personal Injury Protection (PIP): Also known as “no-fault coverage,” this is only available in no-fault states, where blame is not placed on either driver after an accident. PIP will pay for your injuries and your medical expenses until your benefits limits are exhausted, regardless of who caused the accident. From there, any health insurance you have would then take over.
Collision: With this coverage, your vehicle is insured for any physical damage that your car sustains when it comes into contact with another vehicle, as well as when you hit another object. Keep in mind that collision coverage doesn’t cover all damage, therefore, it’s important to thoroughly read your policy to understand its coverage.
Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist: If you are in an accident with an uninsured driver and you don’t have PIP or collision coverage, you would have to pay your own medical and repair bills. With uninsured motorist coverage, those expenses are covered. This is required in many states.
Comprehensive: Comprehensive insurance covers damages and losses from incidents other than collisions, including theft, vandalism, glass damage (broken windshield, side mirror, etc.), damage sustained from an animal or falling object, fire, and more. Only the covered perils listed in your policy will be paid for, so make sure you know what’s in the policy before signing a contract.
The benefit limits of all these coverage types are determined by a combination of state law and the cash value of your vehicle. If damages were to exceed your benefit limits, all of the funds beyond the cap would be your responsibility. All states have different requirements. For instance, some impose insurance limits of 25/50/10. This means the policy would pay up to $25,000 for a single person’s injuries in an accident you cause, $50,000 for bodily injury for all occupants injuries, and up to $10,000 for damage to the other driver’s property. The numbers set by the state would be the minimum, and the ceiling for coverage is then dependent on the value of your vehicle.
The coverage you need and the amount you’ll pay is largely determined by the class of your RV. Motorhomes are broken down into three distinct classes based on size, features and capability: Class A, B, and C.
Class A: These are the most luxurious of the bunch and considered the best in the world. Class A motorhomes are big, powerful, and very expensive. They feature all the comforts of home, with full bathrooms, master bedrooms, kitchens, and so much more. Structurally, they’re built on heavy-duty frames like a commercial truck or bus, but some of the nicest are built on a customized chassis.
Class B: Also known as “van conversions” or “camper vans,” these RVs are the most limited in size and amenities. They’re typically built using a cargo or camper van as the base, with a roof high enough to stand up inside. Occupancy is usually limited to between two and four people.
Class C: Commonly referred to as “mini-motorhomes,” Class C recreational vehicles usually have a van or truck chassis with an attached cab to accommodate more people and amenities. They have many of the same features as the more luxurious Class A motorhome, but are smaller and more economical. You can consider them the happy medium between the extravagance of Class A vehicles and the practicality of Class B vehicles.
Let’s look at the coverage for each type. Bear in mind that not all of these coverage features are necessary, as many only apply to individuals who are constantly on the road and/or living out of their RV. What you actually need from the list below will depend on your usage of your recreational vehicle. Let’s take a look at some of the RV-specific coverage types.
Full-Timer Coverage: If you live in your RV year-round or a majority of the year, this coverage combines elements of auto and home insurance plans to ensure you get the most comprehensive policy available. Not all insurance companies offer this, in which case you would have to mix and match the other coverage types to make sure you have all your bases covered.
Full Replacement: In the event that your RV is totaled in an accident or stolen, this coverage add-on means that the insurance company pays for a comparable replacement. Some offer purchase price replacement, but this is usually only if you bought your vehicle new. Otherwise, most companies will cover the fair market value of your RV.
Personal Belongings: This coverage type is especially important for full-timers or people who spend a considerable amount of time in their RV. This covers your personal property up to a certain dollar amount ($5,000 is common). However, if you keep a bunch of expensive items in your RV (computers, TVs, jewelry, etc.) it’s definitely worth increasing this value in your policy to make sure you’re safe in the event that your personal property is damaged or stolen.
Vacation Liability: This covers bodily injury and property damage losses that occur at the vacation site where your RV is parked. Depending on the insurance company, this can be automatically included with your comprehensive and/or collision coverage, but it’s not always clear. It may be an additional add-on requirement.
Permanently Attached Items: Many consumers choose to make additions like satellite dishes, wheelchair lifts or retractable canopies to their recreational vehicle, and these are not always covered under the personal belongings section of your policy.
Beyond these, there are other more specific and niche coverage add-ons available. For example, if you take the RV across the border into Canada or Mexico, there are some insurance companies which have specific coverage for that. Another common insurance add-on is an emergency expense allowance, which helps pay for random travel expenses that come up while on the road. Every company has different RV-specific coverage available, which is why it’s important to know how you plan on using your vehicle to make sure everything you need is in your policy.
Some companies offer not just RV insurance, but other types as well, including homeowners, auto, and motorcycle. These insurers usually offer discounted fees for bundling different insurance types together.
The way a company treats its customers says a lot about their business, and RV insurance is no different. Make sure you choose a company with a proven track record of customer service excellence. We suggest visiting the dedicated customer service page on the websites of the insurance companies you’re looking at, so as to make it easier to compare and contrast all of the services available.
Filing a claim isn’t fun. Nobody wants to file an insurance claim. However, the ease of doing so can go a long way toward your overall satisfaction, and some companies make it easier than others in the following ways:
- 24/7 Claim Submission
- Online Portal for filing claims, reviewing open and previous claims, and getting in touch with customer service representatives with the click of a button.
- Live Chat Support
- Roadside Assistance
- Local Insurance Agents
Research all of this, and then select the insurance company that is most in line with your needs.
The cost of RV insurance varies greatly based on several key factors, the first being the class of the recreational vehicle. Class A models require the most expensive coverage, followed by Class C. Class B vehicles are the least costly to ensure. Keep in mind that the age and condition of the RV will also change the cost of coverage, as well as how often you use it. A family who uses their RV once or twice a year for vacations is going to pay a lot less than someone who lives in the RV full-time. How far the RV travels is also important. Spending an entire month on the road, covering thousands of miles, will expose you to more potential hazards than taking the RV to the nearest state park over the weekend, and costs will reflect that.
Essentially, RV insurance is a specific kind of automobile insurance with some unique coverage additions, and is therefore subject to the same criteria as regular car insurance. However, as it is highly personalized as well as customizable, pinning down a predicted total cost is difficult. Class A vehicles will generally cost around $2,000 or more to insure, whereas a Class B vehicle might top put at $700 in annual premiums. Obtaining an accurate quote from an insurance company is crucial, before you can really understand how much it will cost you.
Discounts – Many companies selling auto insurance sell RV insurance as well, and will offer a major discount if you insure both your primary vehicle and your RV with them. Other common discounts can be obtained for safe driving, paying-in-full (lower premiums if the vehicle is already paid off), storage, and for vehicles featuring anti-theft technology or other vehicle safety measures.
Your rate, or premium, is the amount you pay for an insurance policy. This is affected by where you live, your gender and age, driving history, credit score, and much more. Even taking into account all of the factors outlined above, the typical cost will still ultimately depend on the type of coverage you get and where you set your benefit limits.
This is the amount you’re responsible for paying before the insurance policy takes over. If your vehicle requires $3,000 in repairs and your deductible is set at $500, the insurance company would be responsible for the $2,500 difference (assuming the needed repairs are covered by your policy). If your RV only requires $350 in repairs to fix something minor, you would be responsible for all of it. In most cases, you are responsible for setting the deductible amount. Your overall costs will be lower if you select a high deductible, but that also means you will have higher out-of-pocket costs, in the event you need to file a claim.
CUSTOMER QUESTIONS & ANSWERS
Is RV insurance required?
Like car insurance, almost all states require that you carry liability insurance for your RV, and in some states you will also need uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage.
There are some exceptions though. For example, if your RV is towable (like a pop-up camper, or travel trailer), your trailer will likely be covered by your car’s liability insurance, so a separate policy may not be required.
However, just like car insurance, many people opt for more extensive coverage in order to protect themselves in case their belongings or RV are damaged or stolen and need repair or replacement.
RV insurance may also be required if you are renting an RV, your RV is still under finance, or if you are planning to live in your RV full time.
I’m thinking of living out of my RV, what kind of insurance should I get?
If your RV is your primary residence, or you are planning to live in it for the majority of the year, you’ll probably want to look into full time RV insurance.
Full time RV insurance works a lot like homeowners insurance and extends liability and medical coverage to the property where your RV is located. Since your primary residence is now on wheels, the risk of damage to (and by) your RV is increased compared to stationary and permanent residence, full time policies often have higher liability and medical coverage limits as well. Additionally, many companies also offer policy riders, which include coverage for personal belongings stored in storage facilities.
How much does RV insurance cost? Is it cheaper than car insurance?
RV insurance costs can vary widely, yet can ultimately be more expensive than conventional auto insurance if the motorhome is used as a primary or secondary residence. RV insurance prices typically range from hundreds to a couple of thousand dollars a year, depending on the purpose of the vehicle, its specifications, and even the belongings housed within it. It’s also important to remember that insurance rates are influenced by several other factors, including your state of residence, age, gender, marital status, driving history, vehicle make, model and age, selected coverages, etc. Many insurers offer a good selection of discounts that can significantly reduce your annual RV insurance costs. Most companies offer discounts for safe drivers, responsible payers, and customers who bundle their recreational vehicle coverages with their auto, motorcycle or home insurance policies. Other common RV insurance discounts include the disappearing deductible option, which allows you to reduce deductible costs for as long as you remain claim free, and the storage option, which allows you to temporarily suspend inessential coverages while your vehicle is not in use. Some insurers may even offer their own unique discounts and additional perks, so inform yourself about all available savings opportunities before finalizing your enrollment.
How much RV insurance do I need?
The amount of insurance your RV requires will mainly depend on the type of motorhome or towable you own, how often you use it, and whether you plan to reside in it for six or more months out of the year. Recreational vehicles can fall into three categories, Class A, B or C motorhomes. Class A motorhomes tend to be pricier and often include luxury features, customized amenities, and permanent attachments that may require additional protection. Class B vehicles are the smallest type of RV and are often cheaper to insure than larger motorhomes. Class C vehicles are mostly campers and travel trailers, which may require a comprehensive plan with a full hitch-assembly coverage. If you plan to travel outside of the United States, carry valuables like electronic equipment or other vehicles, or travel with pets, you may want to consider purchasing extra coverage like pet insurance, Mexico insurance, personal effects coverage, and emergency roadside assistance to keep your property and family safe while on the road.