Whether it is a motor home, travel trailer or camper van there is a way to insure it properly. Whether you have adopted a lifestyle, just starting or it is a seasonal way of life there is a policy to fully satisfy you and a carrier to work with you. Automobiles are certainly more straightforward. However, recreational vehicles aren’t too complicated but you need to know what you want and what you can include.
RV insurance is not a lot different from car. It just incorporates some of the features of home plan and takes into account that it is slightly different from an auto. It is a vehicle with essential facilities. These features, liability arising from it and investments on it should be dealt with properly so that you can really have a peace of mind.
How Insuring RVs Is Different from Cars
Who wouldn’t like a home on wheels? They may not have the full comforts but they are the closest thing to it. They are used as one and for some people the only address. You could start the day as a tourist cruising in style on the roads, settled by the evening to a new location and having guests over.
There are a few elements to it than just having a car. And those various aspects require consideration. Luckily you don’t need to have several of them. That is what an RV policy essentially does and much more. It incorporates all the aspects of standard auto insurance and adds the parts that normally seen in an apartment plan.
What Should RV Insurance Coverage Include?
First of all it is a vehicle and you can include all the components of a standard policy. Here are some of these you can consider.
Liability Coverage: Every vehicle that is driven on the roads must have liability auto insurance for injuries and damages you cause to others. If you have a motorized vehicle it will have to have it. If you are towing it as a hook-on trailer or fifth wheel trailer you need to check with the auto carrier to see if they include liability for towing a trailer. Otherwise, this could be bought as part of recreational vehicle insurance or as a standalone.
Collision and Comprehensive Coverage: This is the section that compensate your own losses due to collisions, fire, weather damages, theft, vandalism and other occurrences.
Uninsured Motorists Coverage: This is a good way of protecting against the possibility of being hit by an uninsured motorist, which case your own policy can pay for the losses.
Personal Injury Protection: If you live in a no-fault state you will need to buy this. Otherwise, you can decide to have it or not depending on health plan arrangements.
Additional protections are available under RV policies (as well as above) and they are;
Liabilities Coverage for Guests and Others: It is your home and you may have people around for a meal or sleep over (if you have space). You need to protect them against any injuries. Also, other people may be injured due to activities in and around it. For example, people may trip over the awnings and demand compensation. You are liable for such damages and it includes such claims against you.
Coverage for Personal Belongings: Naturally you will be carrying a few personal effects and clothing items with you since the whole point of having such vehicle is to feel at home. Some policies may come with this up to certain amount (like $3,000). If you think you carry more than this amount you may want to increase it.
Coverage for Permanent Attachments: Remember that it is a done up vehicle with cooking, sleeping and showering facilities and collision and comprehensive should include these fittings regardless of them being fitted in the factory or at a later stage. Also, you can include permanent fittings like awnings, satellite dishes and antennas.
Emergency Expense Allowance: It is your home for the time being (or permanently) and losing it as a result of a listed peril would mean that you will need alternative accommodation. It will pay for travels, accommodation and food in case you need it. Otherwise you should enquire about it.
Hitch Assembly Coverage: You may have had alterations or special gear installed to hitch especially the fifth wheel trailers onto the tow vehicle. These could be costly and you can have them included as well.
Full-timer Coverage: If the RV is a permanent address you could choose this that will offer owners protection similar to homeowners insurance.
Points to Consider When Insuring a Recreational Vehicle
Various companies may have different provisions in their packages and questions on their quote forms. You need to consider what you want and how you want to it. Here are a few points to consider
- Implications and costs of having a trailer are different from having a Motorhome. For example, a trailer is cheaper to buy especially second hand. Depending on its costs some people may decide to include towing coverage within the policy of the tow vehicle and be done with it. However, a recreational vehicle with its own engine will definitely need at least liability to be legally driven on the roads.
- Implications of being a full time or seasonal occupant are generally different and premiums will probably reflect it. So you should take the plans into account when you are arranging anything. For example, seasonally used vehicles may get much lower premiums if the owner chooses and allowed to choose storage option.
- If you have made a few modifications and additions to a Recreational Vehicle you should discuss this with the carrier to make sure that all those improvements are taken into account if the vehicle is ever totaled or sustain significant damages.
- Some companies may have qualification requirements for certain RV policies. For example, they may require that a vehicle has cooking appliances, bathroom, refrigeration, self-contained heating and/or air conditioning, drinkable water supply and 110-125 volt electric system to consider it as an recreational vehicle.
- You should consider what you will do in case of breakdowns. Some of them may have this optional. And also independent roadside assistance providers like AAA offer this service. You should check the options carefully instead of just bundling it in. Independent breakdown providers generally offer much wider services and quicker response times.
How to Lower Premiums
Owners should be pleased that they can take advantage of many discounts including the ones offered to auto and home owners. For example, increasing security in the vehicle can qualify you for discounts. They can probably get cheaper quotes if they pay the premium in full and shop around too.
Storage option can offer huge discounts for seasonal users. If you are using it for few months only and storing it in the rest of the year you are not driving it on the roads. So, you can reduce some of the protection like collision and still protect it for fire, theft, natural disasters and other accidents. This is something you should keep in mind and make sure that a policy will allow storage option and discounts that come with it.
Another easy way of getting discounts is to have a multi-car policy for cars and RV. You can normally get about 10% discounts by choosing this route. Also, you should make sure that you will only pay one deductible if a tow vehicle and trailer gets damaged in the same accident.
Where Can You Buy RV Insurance?
Perhaps the first thing come to people’s mind is to look for a specialist broker. There are a few companies that are specialized in this area. They can offer good coverage at reasonable prices. You should certainly check such companies. However, some companies have the habit of charging premium prices for these packages, just because they call themselves specialist.
Therefore, you should never discount the traditional carriers. Companies like GEICO, Progressive, Nationwide and Esurance have packages. You can talk to them as well and see which one is better and cheaper.
Naturally, you would want the company you know what they are talking about and can provide what you are looking for. Also, they should have specialist claim departments. Otherwise, it will be difficult to deal with a typical agent who hasn’t got a clue what you are talking about. The carriers mentioned above claim to have specialist agents to deal with requirements and claims.
It isn’t generally the right move to buy a typical auto policy for them. As documented above RV packages come with a few additional protections that offer you extra piece of mind. It recognizes that you have a specially designed vehicle and takes your lifestyle into account. Besides, you can still take advantage of discounts and use the methods used to get cheap car insurance when buying tailored coverage.