RV Insurance 101: How to Choose the RV Insurance you need

May 4, 2021 | Personal Insurance

Owning a Recreational Vehicle, otherwise known as a camper or an RV, will give you the luxury to travel far and wide. It will give you the chance to see the country and visit family and friends in the most comfortable way possible. Once you have your RV, the most basic thing to do first to secure you and the people inside your RV when it is on the move is to check out RV financing. You have to have the information on how to choose the RV insurance you need.

Traveling is so much fun and relaxing for a lot of people. Sometimes, travelers use guided tours as they are convenient since you just have to pay for the places to go, all you need is to hop on to the tour bus and off you go. There are also times that you wish you could travel at your own pace and convenience and that you do not have to follow a rigid itinerary. This is where Recreational Vehicles set in.

RVs are designed for drivers and their families who want to savor every moment of the trip. Imagine the comfort when you can stop over whenever it is needed or you can take an alternate route for sunset viewing or you can just simply drive slowly to feel the mountain breeze. Those things do not just ease, they make you free– time freedom is something that travel and tour agencies can rarely offer. 

Regardless of your plan to use your Recreational Vehicle as a full-time home or as a vehicle for random road trips, you should have RV insurance. Adding your RV to your existing car insurance policy may be an alternative but you have to remember that your RV is much more than just a car. To choose the RV insurance you need means choosing better financial protection. No matter how cautious you are on the road, unforeseen circumstances are still likely to happen.

RV Basics

Before answering the question, “How to choose the insurance you need?” we need to answer the question “What is an RV?” first. Now, a recreational vehicle, often abbreviated as RV, is a motor vehicle or trailer which includes living quarters designed for accommodation. RVs are vehicles that are used for traveling, camping, and other recreational activities. What makes RVs a standout compared to other regular-type vehicles is that they offer the luxury of a home that your average vehicles do not have. Inside these RVs are accommodations that include bathrooms, beds, a kitchen, panoramic front windows, and other amenities. 

The rules and regulations concerning the insurance for Recreational Vehicles are governed by state laws and these laws vary depending on the state you are in. RVs may also be treated the same way as other vehicles on licensing and registration or a particular state may have separate laws that are intended solely for RVs.

In most states, the cost of the insurance coverage for an automobile has the same coverage as RV. Note that without RV insurance, the risks such as fines, license cancellation, and even jail time can be among the consequences. That is why choosing the RV insurance you need is essential.

The insurance coverage for your Recreational Vehicle may apply both on and off the highways. For example, any offense that occurs within a public right-of-way can be deemed as a vehicular offense and when an offense is committed, it is subject to punishment or penalty. Situations like that may affect the driver’s license of the person behind the wheel.

RVs may also be bound by lemon laws. Lemon laws are state laws in the US that provide help to rectify car purchases and other consumer goods, compensating consumers for products that do not pass the standards of quality and performance over and over. You must discuss lemon law protection with your local dealer and your insurance agent, especially if you are from Washington D.C. since they have their own laws.

As a whole, owning an RV is ideal to explore the beauty of the country and be with people that you consider special while doing recreational activities but with a great vehicle comes great responsibility. You must know the classification of Recreational Vehicles to make sure that you know how you should be quoted when you do insurance shopping.

RVs include a wide array of motorhomes, from campervans, camper trailers, popup campers, truck campers, fifth-wheel trailers, to bus conversions. RVs also come with three major classes– Class A, Class B, and Class C. RVs have their own set of benefits depending on what suits your needs.  Your RV insurance will depend on the type or class of your vehicle, the frequency of the usage, among others.

The classes of RVs:

Class A

This class includes models such as the luxury coach, motorcoach, and converted bus. These RVs can be up to 75 feet long. Class A RVs are the biggest and most expensive. They also have the biggest cargo storage. Luxuries you see in a home such as living and dining areas, kitchen, and bathroom areas are found inside.

Class B

This class is often referred to as campervans. Class B type is the smallest Recreational Vehicle but the easiest to drive. They are also perfect for day trips and short-distance trips. These vehicles do not have a cab-over, and can also include basic amenities like kitchen and bathroom areas. Class B RVs may have designs like those of a cargo van. One more thing, If the RV is built inside an existing van, it is a Class B. 

Class C

This class includes vehicles that use a standard cargo van as the driving section of the RV. The camper section extends over the cab area. Most Class C RVs, despite being less expensive compared to Class A, are complete with amenities. This class includes fifth-wheel vehicles. Usually, Class C RVs are mid-sized that can fit the entire family. 

Now that you have finally made the purchase of your dream Recreational Vehicle and know which class it belongs to, you probably ask how you are going to plan to ensure your RV and how to choose the RV insurance you need.   

First, you have factors to consider like if you own a motorhome, for example. Motorhomes have a very large windshield and get hit occasionally. Even if you own a different RV and it has been with you for years, it is still recommended that you revisit the clause of your insurance policy to be certain that you have all of the coverage you need, at the most reasonable price. You have to take into account that purchasing an RV is a big investment for you regardless of its size and what you bought it for.

Tips in Choosing your RV Insurance

So how to choose the RV Insurance you need? It depends. The type of RV Insurance that fits you depends on the type of RV you drive or own. It is not a one-size-fits-all kind of coverage but here are some RV Insurance 101 that can help you in choosing what RV insurance you need:

  1. Travel Trailer Insurance – Your car insurance will likely cover your RV travel trailer but you still need to purchase a specific RV insurance because standard insurance only covers a trailer when it is hooked up to the car or truck that is pulling it. Your standard car insurance will not cover your motorhome. To have special coverage for RV insurance means to make you assured that your RV is covered, even when it is not hooked up.
  1. Medium Trucks –  If you own a truck bed camper on a truck that is 10,000 pounds or more in weight, you are likely not covered under your standard car insurance policy so purchasing RV insurance is a must.
  1. Collision and Comprehensive – Some insurance companies bundle up these two although there are differences in their functions. Collision helps protect you against damage or loss to your RV, regardless of who is at fault. Collisions involve hitting another vehicle or hitting an object, like a lamppost, a mailbox, or a tree. 
  1. Comprehensive Insurance helps you against non-collision incidents that damage your RV and does not count colliding. For example, your car has been damaged due to theft, vandalism, falling objects, and fire. Natural disasters like floods and storms are covered by comprehensive insurance.
  1. Uninsured/ Underinsured Motorist (UM/UMI) Uninsured motorist helps protect you against accidents and injuries when the other driver does not have any liability insurance to pay for injuries and damages they cause you, your passengers, or your RV.
  1. Underinsured motorists help protect you against accidents when the driver does not have enough funds or does not have enough insurance to cover for injuries and damages they cause you, your passengers, and your RV.
  1.  RV In Storage – Some do not frequently use their RVs for a reason and if you are one of those who store their RV in a safe place for a lengthy period, you may even save half of your insurance premiums with this type of option. If you store your RV for an extended time, you may need to check if your policy includes coverage during its storage and see what specifics an insurance carrier can offer so you will not end up overspending when your RV is parked or not in use.
  1. Liability Insurance – RV owners can be held liable for injuries and damages that occur as a result of an accident in or around their RV. If you hit another car causing damage to their vehicle, your RV insurance would pay for the repair of the damaged car. If another driver or passenger is injured, your RV insurance would pay for any medical bills. If another driver or passenger sues you as a result of the accident, your RV insurance liability would pay for the legal costs. This type of insurance is required by all states for those who drive a motorhome and not a travel trailer.
  1. Replacement Cost –  If you have this as part of your coverage, you can be sure you will not end up with zero and will even receive a comparable new recreational vehicle if your RV gets stolen or becomes too damaged to repair. Note that when you do the insurance shopping, inquire from your agent if your quote includes Actual Cash Value (ACV), Agreed Value, or Total Loss Replacement. Some insurance companies have different takes on RVs that are either over or under 5 years old.
  1. Personal Property – The personal effects that are inside your RV but not attached to it are part of the coverage whether it is due to the loss or damage. Examples of personal effects inside your RV that can be covered by this type of insurance would be, a CD player, laptop, and camping gear. Your insurance will either replace or repair the damage to your personal belongings. 
  1. Emergency Expenses –  If you are living in your RV full time, you may want to check if you have a policy that reimburses you for living expenses should damage occur. Living in an RV can be great but it can also become a source of stress if it breaks down. If it actually does, and it is 80 miles away from your home, your emergency expenses will pay for your hotel bills, meals, and transportation during your trip.
  1. Medical Payments (MedPay) – MedPay helps protect you and your passengers if you are injured in an accident. This covers emergency transport, hospital bills, and follow-up doctor appointments. Some states require RVs to have MedPay but some states do not. It is better to inquire about them from your insurance agent as well.
  2. Roadside Assistance – In some road emergencies, an RV can cost more than double to tow than a standard vehicle. Having roadside assistance insurance is a great feature. If you drive across highways regularly, it is important to prepare yourself and your RV in the event of a road accident or mechanical breakdown. In general, the coverage extends when your RV becomes disabled 100 meters off the road. Most of the partner companies specialized in emergency roadside assistance operate 24/7.

So, there you have it! You can get started by choosing the RV insurance you need. Finding other options will be helpful when you speak to an insurance agent as soon as you purchase your RV.

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Give us a chance to help you find the coverage that is right for you today! Call us toll-free at (855) 973-1202 or (855) 712-6584.