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Are you taking the plunge and buying your own RV? Don’t know much about RV insurance? RV insurance is a necessity for any owner, whether you live in your motorhome full-time or only take it on occasional road trips. What coverages are available? What factors do you need to consider? And how much will RV insurance run you?
RV insurance is the best way to protect all of the components of your motorhome or trailer. While you may be able to include your RV under your regular auto insurance policy, there are unique aspects to RVs that require added coverage. Typically, auto insurance will only cover physical damage to the vehicle but not the “home” components of your RV.
Yes; all states require a minimum amount of liability RV insurance, and some states require uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage, which is usually included in standard RV insurance policies. Owners determine their own collision and comprehensive insurance limits.
You also face additional requirements if:
- You live in your RV full time. In this case, you’re required to purchase full-timers insurance, which is similar to homeowners insurance.
- You finance the purchase of an RV. In most cases, your lender will require you to purchase RV insurance to qualify for your loan.
- You rent an RV.
Video: Trailer vs RV Insurance
Watch this quick video to learn the difference between insurance for a trailer that attaches to a truck and RV.
Standard RV Coverage
Most standard RV insurance policies include liability, collision and comprehensive coverage, just as auto insurance does.
Liability insurance covers injuries and property damage to other parties if you caused the accident, but it doesn’t pay for your own injuries or property.
Collision insurance covers your RV for any physical damage resulting from contact with another vehicle or if you hit another object while driving. TIP: Collision protection doesn’t cover all damages, so it’s important to read the policy to understand the limits.
Comprehensive (also called “other than collision”) insurance covers damages and other financial burdens from incidents other than collisions. These can include a broken windshield, damage from an animal or falling object, fire, theft, vandalism and more.
Uninsured Motorist Protection
If you get in an accident with an uninsured driver, you’ll have to pay your own medical and repair bills. Uninsured motorist insurance, however, covers those expenses. Many states require this type of coverage.
As we mentioned above, if your RV is your full-time residence, you’re required to purchase full-timer coverage in most states. A full-timer RV policy combines the benefits of standard auto and home insurance policies to give you the most complete coverage available.
Unfortunately, not all insurance companies offer this type of coverage. We recommend finding a company that does; otherwise, you have to patch together add-ons to cover all your bases, which could result in extremely high premiums.
Many insurance companies give you additional coverage options, like towing and roadside assistance, emergency expenses and more. When trying to decide on add-ons to your policy, be sure to consider how you’ll cover costs if you don’t opt in for added benefits. Common add-ons include:
Total Loss Replacement Coverage
RVs range anywhere from $40,000 to $200,000 or more, so a total loss could be a significant financial hit. If your RV ends up totaled from an accident and you have total loss replacement coverage, the insurance company will pay you the fair market value of your RV.
If you spend a great deal of time in your RV, you likely want to cover your personal property from theft or damages. The average coverage amount that owners select is $5,000, but if you keep a lot of expensive items in your RV, you should consider upping that value.
Permanently Attached Items
Damages to RV upgrades like satellite dishes, awnings and wheelchair lifts aren’t always covered under the personal belongings portion of your policy.
Campsite & Vacation Coverage
This type of coverage protects you from bodily injury and property damage losses that occur at the vacation site where you’ve parked your RV. Some policies already include this benefit in their comprehensive and/or collision coverage, but not all do.
With so many options, how do you decide how much coverage to purchase? Here’s a brief guide to help you check off all the factors that you’ll need to consider.
- What are the requirements of your state?
- Do you plan on using your RV part-time or living in it full-time?
- What class of motorhome do you own?
- Does your motorhome have custom features that could result in higher repair costs?
- Where will you be traveling? Will you cross state and country borders?
- What assets do you need to protect in case of a liability claim or lawsuit against you?
The cost of RV insurance varies widely, depending on several factors. On average, you should plan on paying around $2,000 per year to insure a Class A RV. Class B RV insurance ranges anywhere from $1,000 to $2,000 annually. On the other hand, camper trailer insurance is much less expensive, averaging $250 to $350 per year.
Once you determine your budget and specific needs, be sure to get an RV insurance quote from several companies. Here are some key factors that affect your annual premiums:
- Your driving history and record of accidents or past claims
- Type of motorhome: Class A is the most expensive to cover, followed by Class C and Class B
- Whether you use your RV occasionally or if you live in your RV full-time
- Benefit limits and deductible amounts that you set on your policy*
- Optional add-on coverage
*TIP: You can keep your premium costs lower if you choose high deductibles, but this means you’ll have higher out-of-pocket costs if you must file a claim.
A ton of national insurance companies offer RV insurance, but how do you know which is best? Do your homework! Some factors to consider include:
- The financial strength of the insurance company, which you can find from A.M. Best rating services or similar independent insurance rating companies
- Types of policies and add-ons available, including various benefit payout and deductible options
- Claims process, including customer reviews about how the process went for those customers that have had claims
- Customer service reputation
Purchasing an RV is an expensive decision for sure. If you’re still not certain which type of RV you want to buy, why not consider renting a few different models to test them out on your upcoming excursions? Check out our reviews of the best RV rental companies to learn more.
What types of coverage add-ons are “must-haves” for you?
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