Whether it is an RV, motor home, travel trailer or camper van there is a way to insure it properly. Whether you have adopted a RV lifestyle, just starting or it is a seasonal way of life there is an insurance policy to fully satisfy you and an insurer to work with you. Insuring automobiles is certainly more straightforward. However, insuring RVs isn’t too complicated but you need to know what you want to cover and what you can cover.
RV insurance is not a lot different from car insurance. It just incorporates some of the features of home insurance and takes into account that a RV is slightly different from a car. It is a vehicle with homely facilities. These features, liabilities arising from it and investments on it should be insured 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? RVs may not have the full home comfort but they are the closest thing to home on wheels. They are homes away from homes and for some people the only home. You could start the day as a tourist cruising in style on the roads, settled by the evening to your new location and having guests over.
There are a few elements to it than just having a car. And those various aspects require insurance. Luckily you don’t need to have several policies to cover them all. 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 a home insurance.
What Should RV Insurance Coverage Include?
First of all it is a vehicle and you can include all the covers that come with a standard auto insurance policy. Here are some of these covers you can consider or have to buy.
Liabilities Coverage: Every vehicle that is driven on the roads must have liabilities auto insurance for injuries and damages you caused to others. If you have a motorized recreational vehicle it will have to have liabilities coverage. If you are towing your home as a hook-on trailer or fifth wheel trailer you need to check with your auto insurer to see if they include liabilities coverage for towing a trailer. Otherwise, this could be bought as part of your recreational vehicle insurance or as a standalone cover.
Collision and Comprehensive Coverage: This is the section that covers your own losses due to collisions, fire, weather damages, theft, vandalism and other occurrences.
Uninsured and Underinsured Motorists Coverage: This is a good way of protecting yourself against the possibility of being hit by an uninsured motorist. If they are not insured your own policy can pay for your losses.
Personal Injury Protection: If you live in a no-fault state you will need to buy this coverage. Otherwise, you can decide to have it or not depending on your health insurance arrangements.
Additional protections are available under RV policies (as well as above) and they are;
Liabilities Coverage for Your 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 insure them against any injuries. Also, other people may be injured due to your activities in and around the RV. For example, people may trip over the awnings and demand compensation. You are liable for such damages and your liabilities coverage include 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 RV policies may come with this coverage up to certain amount (like $3,000). If you think you carry more than this amount you may want to increase the coverage.
Coverage for Permanent Attachments: Remember that your RV is a done up vehicle with cooking, sleeping and showering facilities and your collision and comprehensive coverage 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 an insured peril would mean that you will need alternative accommodation. Your policy may come with this coverage that will pay for your travels, accommodation and food in case you need it. Otherwise you should inquire 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 coverage for them as well.
Full-timer Coverage: If the RV is your permanent address you could choose full-timer coverage that will offer owners protection similar to homeowners insurance.
Points to Consider When Insuring Your Recreational Vehicle
Various companies may have different provisions in their policy packages and questions on their quote forms. You need to consider what you want and how you want to insure your RV. Here are a few points to consider
- Implications and costs of having a trailer are different from having a RV or Motorhome. For example, a trailer is cheaper to buy especially second hand. Depending on its costs some people may decide to include towing coverage with the policy that insures the tow vehicle and be done with it. However, a recreational vehicle with its own engine will definitely need at least liabilities coverage to be legally driven on the roads.
- Insurance implications of being a full time or seasonal RV occupant are generally different and your premiums will probably reflect it. So you should take your plans into account when you are arranging coverage. 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 your Recreational Vehicle you should discuss this with your insurer to make sure that all those improvements are taken into account if your vehicle is ever totaled or sustain significant damages.
- Some companies may have qualification requirements for certain RV policies. For example, they may require that your 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 RV.
- You should consider what you will do in case of breakdowns and arrange breakdown recovery coverage. Some RV policies may have optional breakdown coverage. And also independent roadside recovery assistance service providers like AAA offer RV roadside breakdown coverage. You should check your options carefully instead of just bundling it into your insurance policy. Independent breakdown service providers generally offer much wider services and quicker response times.
How to Lower Your RV Insurance Premium
RV 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 your vehicle can qualify you for discounts. They can probably get cheaper policies if they pay the premium in full and shop around too.
Storage option can offer huge discounts for seasonal RVers. If you are using your RV 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 coverage 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 your policy will allow storage option and discounts that come with it.
Another easy way of getting discounts on RV policies is to insure your cars and RV in a multi-car policy. You can normally get about 10% discounts by choosing this route. Also, you should make sure that you will only pay one deductible if your 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 insurer or 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 insurers that offer RV policies. Companies like GEICO, Progressive, Nationwide and Esurance have RV Insurance policy packages. You can talk to them as well and see which policy coverage is better and cheaper.
Naturally, you would want the company insuring 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 auto insurance agent who hasn’t got a clue what you are talking about. The insurers mentioned above claim to have specialist agents to deal with your coverage requirements and claims.
It isn’t generally the right move to buy typical auto insurance for your RV. As documented above RV insurance 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 vehicle insurance when buying tailored RV coverage.