There is no doubt that RVs can give you some of the best traveling experiences you could ever wish for. Even though camping and traveling around the country in a motorhome is not a new trend, it is certainly one that has remained popular throughout the years. Unfortunately, a lot of fun things in life require a hefty investment, and owning an RV happens to be one of them. Aside from the large initial cost of an RV, there are other expenses that need to be taken care of. RV insurance is one of the variables that can alter the process of buying or owning an RV.
Since RV insurance can be a legal obligation in some states, we’ve created a guide that should help you know whether your motorhome needs to be insured or not.
Defining RV Insurance
While everyone is familiar with conventional car insurance, not a lot of people realize that RV insurance can be a separate type of liability insurance in some cases. Since RVs can extremely vary in features and size, RV insurance takes into account specific details to input in a risk-management formula. The class of the RV and the type of usage of the vehicle are taken into consideration by the insurance company. Living in the RV as a permanent housing option is also assessed by the insurance service provider. Factors like RV class, miles per year, custom or attached equipment, previous claims, deductible costs, and traffic violations are all variables that will affect the premiums of the insurance.
The coverage that RV insurance provides is quite similar to the one that auto insurance companies provide. From complete liability coverage to collision coverage, RV insurance includes options to customize the insurance policy to add theft insurance and coverage of equipment in the RV. Some additional coverage policies depend on the insurance provider, such as total loss replacement, campsite coverage, towing coverage, and others.
The General Requirements of RV Insurance
Similar to auto insurance laws, an RV should have at least the minimum amount of liability coverage, which is mandatory in all states. There are some exceptions to the rule that require a completely separate insurance policy than the one used in auto insurance. If you own a Class A or Class B motorhome, you are legally mandated to obtain motorhome insurance in most states. Those who are still financing their RV or are renting it are also required to obtain RV insurance. If a motorhome is driven on the roads of any state, it must be covered under liability insurance. Full coverage is often optional, but it is mainly enforced when the vehicle is still being financed.
Even though some people opt-out of full coverage, it’s wise to think about the odds of a complete loss or serious damage to the RV. Even if you can handle the loss out-of-pocket, it is better to avoid bearing the full cost. This is extra important for people who live in the RV full time since the possibility of it getting damaged is relatively higher; additional coverage policies are also recommended. If you purchase the RV through a financing medium, it will automatically cover it if you don’t take out a policy, which isn’t optimal in terms of premiums and liability.
Benefits of RV Insurance
As an RV owner, RV insurance acts as a liability shield from expenses that result from accidents or unfortunate losses. If you are involved in an accident where someone or something was hurt due to a fault of yours, insurance can help you cover the damages. If you happen to have a type of insurance known as uninsured motorist coverage, the insurance company can cover the damages if you collide with an uninsured driver. The liability protection will ensure that even if you are at fault in an accident, the insurance company will be handling the costs of property damage, legal fees, medical injuries, and other fees. Depending on the type of comprehensive insurance policy, if your RV is stolen, the insurance company can provide complete coverage for your losses.
Can RV Insurance be Optional?
If you own an RV that can only be on the road if it’s towed but has no motor to drive on its own, you don’t need to buy insurance. Fifth wheels, pop-ups, and trailers are all considered towable RVs that require no insurance, aside from an extension that’s added to your car insurance policy. This means that any damages caused by your towable RVs are covered under the auto insurance liability, so specific RV insurance not a legal requirement for owning towable RVs. Towable RVs need another requirement to opt-out of insurance. Loan-free or cash-bought RVs means that there is no lending institution financing the purchase of the RV. But a lot of people choose to go with insurance even if it’s optional because of potential risks. Heavy losses can cost a lot of out-of-pocket money, which can affect you financially.
Additional Coverage in RV Insurance
A lot of RV owners may think that owning the basic liability insurance is enough, but it can be easily argued that it may not provide enough coverage to the average RV user. Additional coverage policies are optional, but they can be a pretty solid safety net if you purchase the ones you think you’ll need the most.
- Custom equipment coverage handles losses or damages to the equipment in the RV that didn’t come pre-installed from the manufacturer.
- Safety glass coverage will repair or replace the windshield if it gets damaged
- Vacation liability will cover damages if you were using it as your secondary residence on vacation.
- Full-timers package provides comprehensive coverage to those who live in their RV permanently without having another residence.
Even though a lot of people dread the paperwork involved in purchasing an insurance policy for their RV, it’s very important to have the necessary information to decide whether you need it or not. The most recommended course of action is to get it insured as soon as possible, even if it’s optional. After all, it’s better to be safe than sorry.