How to Choose RV Insurance Policy Coverage

When embarking on the adventurous journey of owning an RV (recreational vehicle), it’s important to ensure that you have the right insurance coverage in place. RV insurance is similar to automobile insurance but can incorporate features of home insurance to protect this unique mode of transportation and living. In this article, we will explore the key aspects to consider when selecting an RV insurance policy, including coverage options, factors to consider, and tips for reducing premiums.

Understanding RV Insurance Coverage: 

In most states, the minimum insurance requirement for RVs is liability coverage and other state mandated coverage. However, the regulations vary for travel trailers due to their non-motorized nature, making insurance optional. Nevertheless, if you have obtained financing for your motorhome or travel trailer, it is customary for the lender to mandate physical damage coverages. So, depending on the value of your vehicle, your budget and risk tolerance, you can choose from following coverage options;

RV, caravan, travel trailer, camper

  1. Liability coverage: Just like any vehicle on the road, RVs must have liability insurance to cover injuries and damages caused to others.
  2. Collision and Comprehensive coverage: Collision coverage compensates for damages resulting from accidents, while comprehensive coverage extends protection to fire, weather damages, theft, vandalism, and other incidents.
  3. Uninsured Motorists Coverage: Safeguard yourself against the possibility of being hit by an uninsured motorist by including this coverage in your policy.
  4. Personal Injury Protection: Depending on your state’s regulations, you may need personal injury protection. It covers medical expenses for injuries sustained by you or your passengers, regardless of fault.

Additional Coverage Options:

  1. Liabilities coverage for guests and others: As an RV owner, you may entertain guests or have people around your vehicle. It’s essential to protect them against injuries and cover any potential claims arising from accidents or incidents involving your RV.
  2. Coverage for personal belongings: Since an RV is essentially a home on wheels, it’s likely that you’ll have personal belongings and clothing items onboard. Some policies include coverage for personal effects up to a certain amount, but if you carry more valuable items, consider increasing the coverage limit.
  3. Coverage for permanent attachments: RVs come equipped with essential facilities like cooking, sleeping, and showering areas. Collision and comprehensive coverage should include these fittings, whether factory-installed or added later. Additionally, consider coverage for permanent attachments such as awnings, satellite dishes, and antennas.
  4. Emergency expense allowance: In the event of a covered incident that renders your RV uninhabitable, this coverage reimburses expenses for alternative accommodations, travel, and food.
  5. Hitch assembly coverage: If you have modified or installed special gear to hitch your RV, ensure that the policy covers these attachments, as they can be costly to repair or replace.
  6. Full-timer coverage: If your RV serves as your permanent address, full-timer coverage offers protection similar to homeowners’ insurance, accounting for the unique aspects of living in an RV.

Factors to Consider When Insuring an RV:

  1. Type of vehicle: Different implications and costs are associated with motorhomes and trailers. Motorhomes require at least liability coverage to be driven legally, while trailers can sometimes be included under the policy of the tow vehicle. Consider the specific insurance requirements for your RV type.
  2. Intended use: Whether you plan to be a full-time or seasonal RV occupant can affect your premiums. Seasonal usage may offer lower premiums if storage options are available, while full-time occupancy may require specialized coverage.
  3. Modifications and additions: If you have made any alterations or additions to your RV, ensure that these improvements are accounted for in the insurance coverage. Discuss these modifications with your insurance carrier to ensure proper valuation and coverage in the event of total loss or significant damages.
  4. Qualification requirements: Some insurance companies have specific qualification requirements for RV policies. They may include criteria such as cooking appliances, bathroom facilities, refrigeration, self-contained heating and/or air conditioning, drinkable water supply, and a 110-125 volt electric system. Verify that your RV meets the carrier’s requirements.

Tips for Lowering Premiums:

  1. Increased security: Enhancing the security measures in your RV, such as installing alarm systems or tracking devices, can make you eligible for discounts on premiums.
  2. Storage option: If you only use your RV for a few months of the year, storing it during the off-season can significantly reduce premiums. You may be able to remove collision coverage while maintaining protection against fire, theft, natural disasters, and other accidents.
  3. Bundling policies: Consider bundling your RV insurance with other policies, such as auto or homeowners insurance, to receive multi-policy discounts.
  4. Full payment discounts: Paying the premium in full rather than in installments may qualify you for additional discounts.

Choosing the Right Insurance Provider: When selecting an insurance provider for your RV, consider both specialist brokers and traditional carriers. Specialist brokers are knowledgeable about the specific needs of RV owners, but traditional carriers like GEICO, Progressive, State Farm and Nationwide also offer comprehensive RV insurance packages. Ensure that the chosen company understands your requirements, has specialized claim departments, and provides coverage at a reasonable price.

Choosing the right insurance coverage for your RV ensures peace of mind during your travels and residence on wheels. By understanding the different coverage options, considering specific factors related to your RV, and implementing strategies to lower premiums, you can confidently protect your investment and enjoy the freedom of the open road. Remember to review the policies of insurance providers and consult with them directly to address any specific questions or concerns you may have.