Thinking about buying your first RV? Did you know RV insurance is a whole different arena than your normal automobile insurance? When you bought your new car it was a simple call to your insurance agent to request a full coverage policy, and you were good to go. RVs insurance can be that simple, but before you make the call there are many other issues to consider. What type of insurance you need is dependent on what you plan to use your RV for.
Existing Auto Insurance: In most states when your tow vehicle is properly insured the liability portion of the policy automatically covers any trailer you may be towing. This means if your trailer damages someone else’s property you’re covered. Of course the damage done to your RV isn’t covered so you can lose everything this way.
Standard Full Coverage Automobile Insurance: The financial institution that lends you the money for your RV is only interested in protecting their interest in your collateral. To satisfy them, a standard full coverage automobile insurance policy from any legitimate insurance company is good enough. If the RV is damaged or stolen it will be repaired or replace.
If you have little or no investment in additional equipment and belongings in your RV, and you own a home covered with homeowner’s insurance, this may be an acceptable level of coverage. Be sure to address personal injury liability with your homeowner’s insurance agent because if someone is injured while you’re stationary at a campground your auto style insurance won’t protect you.
RV insurance provided by your standard automobile insurance agent only covers the very basic originally equipped RV. Add on accessories that didn’t come from the factory are not covered in most cases. That $1,500 awning you had installed may or may not be covered when a wind storm on Hwy 10 East of Tucson rips it completely off your motor home while you’re driving. Believe me, I’ve seen it happen.
While your gone sightseeing away from your RV, someone breaks in and steals the expensive camera equipment you brought with you? To bad, so sad, not covered. No personal items will be covered by an automobile style insurance policy.
Specialty RV Insurance: There are a handful of insurance companies, both independent and associated with RV clubs, that offer proper insurance that will protect you as if you were living in a sticks and bricks home.
Homeowner style RV insurance has a wide umbrella that covers personal items, jewelry, guns, contents of most any kind. In the event of an accident, or any other kind of damage where alternate housing would be needed, this would be a covered expense with this type of RV insurance.
It also protects you from personal injury lawsuits if someone is injured around your RV, or because of the actions of someone within your family. In reality your RV becomes your home when you’re on the road.
If you live fulltime in your RV, or travel extensively in your RV, this is the type of RV insurance you need to be properly protected. Sure it’s more expensive, but it is the only way you will be safe from legal consequences when things go bad.
Additional Riders: Another area of great concern with RVs is towing insurance. When your car breaks down, and needs to be towed, the bill may generally come to $50-$75. Not the end of the world. When your 35′ motor home dies on the side of the hwy 100 miles from the nearest city of any size you better have some deep pockets. The tab will start at $500, and climb rapidly depending on how difficult and how far the tow.
Making sure you are properly insured is your responsibility. The bank, the dealer, even the government only care about the minimum requirement to be legal. Protecting your family, your belongings, even at times your lively hood, will require specialty RV insurance. Something most automobile insurance companies don’t offer.