RV Insurance Guide: Cost and Coverage


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If you love to travel, you might be thinking about joining the millions of Americans who own an RV and the many who hire one occasionally. And if you want to live a nomadic lifestyle, you might consider swapping your house or apartment for a house on wheels.

Either way, you’ll need insurance.

Sales of recreational vehicles (RVs) have exploded over the past decade. The RV Industry Association reports that more than 11 million households in the United States own a motorhome. Everyone from millennials to baby boomers invest in recreational vehicles for the flexibility and freedom to travel where they want, when they want.

But just like your home, apartment, or personal vehicle, owning an RV comes with certain risks, and those risks arise whether you’re on the road or just parked in a campground. To protect your RV and your financial responsibilities as an owner, you will need to purchase an RV insurance policy that meets your state’s requirements.

Is RV insurance compulsory?

“If your RV has its own engine and a flywheel, the short answer is yes, RV insurance is required,” says Mark Petersen, Founder and President of ARVIE, an online service that finds and books campgrounds, and an RV travel expert.

“Just like auto insurance, at least a minimum amount of liability and personal injury coverage is required for an RV that can be driven. It’s important to keep in mind that different states require different levels of minimum coverage, and many also require coverage for collisions with other uninsured or underinsured, ”adds Petersen.

Pro tip

Whether you live in an RV full-time or part-time, RV insurance is required in most states if you own a Class A, B, or C vehicle.

RV insurance is mandatory in all states that require private auto insurance. This means that the only states that do not require traditional RV insurance are New Hampshire and Virginia. However, that doesn’t mean that RVers in those states can do without coverage. Instead of traditional RV insurance, you need to Pay uninsured motor vehicle expenses or drop off a Financial Liability Insurance Certificate (SR-22), which will cost you money up front.

If you are planning to rent a motorhome for a short getaway, you will also need insurance. In this case, you have several options. You can either purchase an insurance plan from the rental company or get coverage from a third-party insurance provider. Keep in mind that credit cards offering primary insurance for rental cars generally do not extend this benefit to RV rentals, so credit card insurance is not an option.

What qualifies as a recreational vehicle

Recreational vehicles are not universal. There are actually several types, or classes, of recreational vehicles available for rental or purchase. It is important to understand the different classes of RVs, as they may come with different insurance requirements.

Class A

Class A motorhomes are often referred to as motorhomes. They are the largest type of RV, with the most features, and are also the most expensive. Class A RVs often look like a large bus and are usually accessed through a main side door.

Class B

Class B motorhomes are sometimes referred to as motorhomes. These RVs have a much smaller and often less luxurious interior than their Class A cousins, and are also much easier to drive. Class B RVs generally have a raised roof and are accessed through a sliding side door, much like a van.

Class C

Class C RVs are built on a truck or van chassis and have a traditional truck cab where the driver sits. They also have a raised roof that extends above the cabin and is used for sleeping or storage. Class C motorhomes are generally slightly larger on the inside than a Class B motorhome.

If you own or rent a Class A, B, or C class RV, you will need to purchase a minimum amount of insurance to legally drive it.

The only exception is towable trailers, such as fifth wheels, pop-ups and travel trailers, which are not legally required to be insured.

How much does RV insurance cost?

There are many different details that affect the cost of RV insurance. “The coverage selected, deductibles, location of the garage and the value of the RV are some of the main factors, as well as the factors for evaluating the owner and his driving record,” says Greg Martin, president of Think safety insurance.

Another consideration that affects RV insurance rates is how often you use the vehicle. Full-time RVs will pay more for RV insurance than part-time RVs or people who only use their RVs a few times a year.

Fortunately, there are ways to get cheaper RV insurance. Many insurance companies offer discounts to bundle your policies, be a member of an RV association, take a defensive driving course, have no accidents or claims on your file, or have an RV with certain safety features. , as an anti-theft device and anti-lock brakes.

What type of coverage is available for recreational vehicles?

“RV insurance generally covers the same [incidents] such as auto insurance, such as damage caused by accident or natural phenomenon, fire, falling objects and water damage. It also protects you from an accident with people who do not have insurance ”, explains Nick Schrader, insurance agent at Texas General Insurance.

If you own your RV, you are only required to purchase standard liability insurance, as well as personal injury protection if you live in a no-fault condition. If you are renting or financing your RV, however, chances are your lender will require you to purchase a full coverage policy, which also includes full insurance, collision insurance, and medical payment coverage.

As with auto insurance, you have the option of adding endorsements to your RV insurance coverage. Some of the more common optional coverages are towing, roadside assistance, and personal effects coverage, which will pay to replace personal effects in your RV if damaged or stolen.

If you are planning to travel to Mexico in your motorhome, you will also need special coverage. Most RV insurance policies exclude coverage in Mexico, but if you drive in Canada, your regular policy will still apply.

Also, keep in mind that RV insurance requirements are different for part-time and full-time RVs. As you can imagine, full-time RV residents need more coverage because their RV serves as their permanent residence.

“Part-time RV insurance is an insurance policy that covers RVs on short trips. It covers damages, liabilities and accidents that occur with the motorhome during the trip, ”explains Schrader. “On the other hand, full-time RV insurance is more extensive and covers RV for a longer period. It looks like home insurance because it is indeed your second home.

If you are not sure whether you are considered a full-time or part-time RV dweller, most RV insurance companies determine the classification based on the number of days in a given year that you live. in the RV. “The number of days before classifying use as full-time can vary by company, but the general rule is 150 days,” says Petersen.

Conclusion

If you live in an RV, whether it’s full-time or part-time, you need to purchase insurance. The only exception concerns towable trailers. RV insurance includes many of the same coverages you’ll find on a standard auto insurance policy, but you can’t just rely on your auto insurance policy to protect your RV.

To find the best RV insurance company for your needs, take the time to shop around, compare providers, and get multiple quotes. Keep in mind that you can usually get a discount on RV insurance if you combine it with another policy, such as home or auto insurance.



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