When you imagine yourself in your RV, you probably think about the open road, sleeping in a different place every night (or at least every weekend), the adventures you’ll have, the people you’ll meet, and the memories you’ll make.
What you probably don’t think about is RV insurance. But you should, especially before you get on the road again.
The right insurance coverage will help you get back on the road faster after an accident. It’ll also help you when someone trips and falls in your RV, when you break down on the side of the road, and when you’re stranded far from home because your RV needs to be repaired.
Here’s what you need to know about RV insurance.
What is RV Insurance?
RV insurance is exactly what it sounds like – a form of insurance that protects your RV in case of an accident, storm, theft, or vandalism. In many ways, it functions like auto insurance with a lot of the same type of coverage. At the same time, it also offers protection similar to homeowner’s insurance, especially if you’re living in your RV full-time.
Whether you’re a weekend camper, a seasonal roadtripper, or living the RV life all year long, you need RV insurance to protect yourself and your RV from the accidents that will inevitably happen.
What Types of RVs are Covered?
All types of RVs are included in RV insurance, including trailers that aren’t necessarily homes on wheels. Owners of smaller campers or trailers often think they don’t need coverage, but that’s not true at all.
Here are the types of RVs that can be protected with a policy:
- Class A motorhomes (the largest RVs coming in at 21 to 40 feet long)
- Class B motorhomes aka camper vans
- Class C motorhomes (mid-sized RVs measuring 20 to 33 feet long)
- Travel trailers (typically 12 to 40 feet long)
- Fifth-wheel trailers with a raised front section
- Pop-up campers with collapsible walls
- Truck campers that include living space in the bed of the truck
Other types of trailers that can be covered under RV insurance include:
- Cargo trailers
- Horse trailers
- Utility trailers used to carry light cargo, boats, motorcycles, ATVs, etc.
If you own a motorhome and tow a trailer, make sure your trailer is included in your coverage. Anything can happen out on the road and you want to make sure everything is protected.
Is RV Insurance Required?
Because RVs of all types travel on the road, you are required to carry a certain amount of insurance. Most requirements around the country center around liability coverage in case of an accident. The minimums required by law won’t be enough to fully cover you after an accident, so it’s best to purchase as much coverage as you can afford.
In North Carolina, you must purchase liability coverage for your RV. The minimum amount required is $30,000 bodily injury coverage for one person/$60,000 total bodily injury and $25,000 in property damage. Uninsured motorist coverage is also required, and it’s a good idea. It protects you in case the person at fault for an accident doesn’t have insurance.
In South Carolina, you’re also required to carry liability coverage, just like in NC except the minimum required is different: $25,000/$50,000 bodily injury, and $25,000 property damage.
If your RV is financed, your lender may also require you to purchase RV insurance, and they may require more coverage than just the state minimum. It’s not uncommon for a lender to require you to purchase a full coverage policy, which includes comprehensive and collision coverage.
Just remember, the minimum insurance required by state law is unlikely to be enough in a serious accident. Treat these requirements as a starting point only.
Types of Coverage Available for RV Insurance
You have a lot of options when putting together the right RV insurance policy for your needs. Not all forms of coverage will apply to all types of vehicles. Trailers that are towed don’t qualify for some types of coverage that motorhomes need.
Talk to your independent insurance agent about your RV and how you travel so they can recommend the right coverage for you.
Below are several types of coverage that may be available for your RV. Remember that exclusions will apply and coverage may vary from policy to policy.
Just like auto insurance, if your RV is stolen, vandalized, damaged in a fire or storm, collides with an animal, or has broken windows and glass, comprehensive coverage pays the claim. Claims are paid up to your policy limits minus your deductible.
Collision coverage takes care of you if you’re in an accident with another vehicle or an object, no matter who’s at fault.
Liability coverage is required in North Carolina, and it pays for bodily injury and property damage to the other driver if you’re at fault for the accident. It doesn’t cover damage or injuries you suffer, however.
Even though auto and RV insurance are required, not everyone has it. If you’re in an accident and the other driver is at fault, their liability insurance should cover your damage. If they don’t have insurance, uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage is there to help you. Without it, you’ll have to pay for your own damages.
Medical payments coverage is useful because when an accident is your fault, your liability coverage won’t pay for your medical bills – or those of your passengers. This makes sure you’re not paying out of pocket for your injuries.
Another similarity to auto insurance is roadside assistance. When you break down and need a tow, you don’t have to worry about who to call or how to get help. Roadside assistance typically includes mechanical breakdowns, flat tires, dead batteries, and fuel if you run out of gas. Towing an RV is not an easy or inexpensive thing making roadside service essential.
Not everyone will need this coverage, especially if you have homeowners insurance and only use your RV occasionally. But if you live in your RV full-time, consider covering your personal belongings – clothes, electronics, jewelry – with personal effects coverage. This will help you replace them in the event of a serious accident or other damage.
When you add customization and modifications like awnings, satellite dishes, and more to your RV, they are not typically covered under a standard RV policy. You can add additional coverage to protect those upgrades so you don’t have to pay out of pocket to replace them after an accident.
Total Loss Replacement
Total loss replacement coverage makes sure that if your RV is totaled, you can replace it with what you had before, even if the value has decreased over time. Without this coverage, you’ll only receive the current value of your RV if it’s totaled which means you’ll have to pay out of pocket for the rest if you want what you had before.
Basic liability coverage takes care of the accidents you have on the road. But what about on a campsite? Vacation liability coverage pays for injuries or property damage other people experience in or around your RV while you’re on vacation.
If you’re living the RV life full-time, you need more protection than just comprehensive and collision coverage. That only protects you while you’re driving. Full-timers liability pays for injuries and damages to people who are hurt while in or around your RV.
When you’re on vacation in your RV, you don’t always have another place to stay until you’re back on the road. Emergency expenses coverage can offer assistance with transportation and hotel costs, depending on how far away you are from home.
For RVers who leave their RV in a storage facility during part of the year, you may want to consider storage coverage. It can help protect you in case of theft or damage while in a facility. It’s something to consider even if the facility offers their own insurance protection.
RV Gap Insurance
If your RV is financed through a lender, and you owe more than it’s worth, you may want to consider gap insurance, especially if you decline total loss replacement. You don’t want to owe a payment on an RV that’s been totaled and you’re no longer able to use it.
How Much Does RV Insurance Cost?
The big question on most people’s minds when thinking about insurance of any kind is cost. How much will all of this cost?
As always, the price you pay for RV insurance depends on a variety of factors:
- How you use your RV
- Size and type of RV
- Age and condition of RV
- Your driving history
- Amount and type of coverage you choose
- Available discounts
The more coverage you have, the more you’ll spend but you don’t have to pay top dollar for insurance you can count on. Choose policies that fit your needs, a deductible you can afford, and continue to be a safe driver, and you may be surprised at what’s available in your budget.
And always buy as much coverage as you can afford. Your RV is a financial investment, and while you’re using it, your home. You need enough insurance to make sure you don’t have to pay out of pocket (other than deductibles) to rebuild your RV life after a major accident.
Commonly Asked Questions About RV Insurance
You may still have a few questions about whether you really need RV insurance or not. Here are the most common we hear:
Will my homeowners insurance or auto insurance cover my RV?
Not really. Your homeowners insurance will cover your RV while it’s parked at home but not while you’re on the road or at a campground. Your auto insurance will only cover a trailer while it’s hitched to your vehicle, and even then, it only provides liability coverage.
Do trailers and motorhomes need the same RV insurance?
While both definitely need some form of RV insurance, the types of coverage available to a motorhome will differ from a trailer. That’s because the liability, potential damage, and coverage needs are different. It’s important to talk to your independent insurance agent who can help you find the right coverage for your RV.
Isn’t RV insurance the same as auto insurance?
There are definite similarities between RV and auto insurance, but they’re two separate types of policies. Both offer protection and coverage while you’re on the road and driving, whether you’re the victim of an accident or the cause of it. But RV coverage also covers you when you’re parked and living in your RV which auto insurance can’t do.
Is RV insurance expensive?
RV insurance doesn’t have to be expensive. There are plenty of ways to make sure you don’t pay too much: only purchase policies you need, choose higher deductibles, take advantage of discounts, and shop around.
Why is RV insurance important?
Whether you’re on a weekend getaway or traveling across the country for months at a time, your RV is your home while you’re using it. You’re at risk of damage, loss, and liability while driving on the road and once you park.
The costs to replace your RV and all of your belongings would be expensive if you had to pay out of pocket – not to mention your liability if you’re responsible for an accident. RV insurance is important because it protects you and what you’ve invested into your vehicle and your RV life.
Where Can I Buy RV Insurance?
Here at Charlotte Insurance, we work with a variety of insurance providers to help you find the best coverage at a price you can afford. When you’re ready to protect your RV and your family, contact us. We can provide free estimates, answer your questions, and help you choose the policies that suit your specific needs.
Contact us today!