Purchasing an RV is an incredible investment. Depending on the size and type, you could spend tens of thousands, if not hundreds of thousands, of dollars. As when buying a house, you would never consider making such an investment without insuring your RV. However, unlike your home, an RV travels on highways, spends the night at campsites, and sits in parking lots, making the risk of damage theft far greater.
An RV is potentially your biggest physical asset and, in some cases, may have a higher worth than your primary home. Without the right type of insurance, each trip on the road with your RV represents a chance at financial ruin and, for those who live full-time in their RV, losing their home.
What to Know When Shopping for RV Insurance
The typical insurance policy features three areas of coverage: liability, collision, and comprehensive. Liability pays for any damage you cause to someone else’s property, while collision covers any damage to your vehicle due to an accident. Comprehensive covers the rest, such as damage caused by weather or theft.
Since RVs are large vehicles capable of doing massive damage in an accident, you need to pay close attention to your liability coverage. For Class A and B RVs, only an RV insurance policy will cover the liability of a motorhome. For tow-trailers, liability coverage is usually tied to the towing vehicle’s policy.
Collision and comprehensive coverage will vary. Depending on the type of policy you purchase, the insurance provider may elect to cover a severely damaged RV in various ways. The cash value of the vehicle is the industry standard and pays the owner the value of the RV at the time of the accident. Total loss replacement provides the money needed to fully repair any damage an RV suffers.
Because of an RV’s unique role as both a home and means of travel, you may want to consider adding additional benefits to your motorhome policy. For example, you may want to add coverage that pays for hotel stays if your RV needs repair and you can’t live in it until those repairs are complete.
Roadside assistance is another type of added feature you may want to consider. Towing an RV can be very expensive, and you may need help changing a tire on the side of the road.
For claims on issues like vandalism and theft, the contents inside an RV are usually protected under homeowners or renters insurance policy, though with far lower limits for covering property away from home. If your motorhome contains the latest gadgets, you may want to consider purchasing additional coverage. Permanent fixtures, such as kitchen appliances, are usually covered under the RV’s collision and comprehensive policy.
In general, it’s advisable to over-insure your RV rather than have too little coverage should the worse happen. Even if you’re not responsible for an accident, you can’t know for sure that the responsible party will carry a large enough insurance policy to fully cover the damage or any resulting medical bills.
How Much Does RV Insurance Cost?
The cost for insuring a camper or RV will run anywhere from a few hundred to a few thousand a year. The type of RV, how often it’s used, your driving record, and the cost of the vehicle will all factor into the cost of insurance premiums.
As a general rule, consider that the larger your vehicle, the higher your premium. Insuring a small towable camper may only require adding more coverage to your current car insurance plan. Conversely, insuring a massive Class A RV that you use as a primary residence may require a policy more similar to homeowner’s insurance than car insurance.
Typically, you can save money on yearly premiums by purchasing plans with a higher deductible. That means if you ever need to file an insurance claim, the damage must exceed the deductible before receiving any reimbursement. The higher you set the deductible, the more money you’ll need to pay out-of-pocket before your insurance sets in to take care of the rest.