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When you’re driving an RV — a vehicle with a price tag anywhere from about $35,000 to $300,000 — you want to know it’s properly insured. That’s an issue more than 11 million U.S. households should confront.
Like insurance policies for the cars parked in your garage or driveway, insurance policies for RVs vary based on factors such as where you live and what kind of RV you own. Here’s what you need to know about insuring your RV so that your adventures aren’t tripped up by financial woes due to accidents and mishaps.
Do You Need RV Insurance?
Whether you need RV insurance depends on what kind of RV you own.
In nearly every state, you need to buy insurance for an RV if it’s considered a motorhome. In short, a motorhome is a home on wheels that can be driven. Only two states, New Hampshire and Virginia, don’t mandate RV insurance, just as they don’t require liability insurance for cars. However, it’s smart to buy both auto and RV coverage in those two states.
It’s worth noting that if you finance the purchase of a motorhome, the lender generally will insist that you carry liability insurance as well as comprehensive and collision coverage.
Now, if you can tow your RV, such as a camper or trailer, you normally don’t need to buy a standalone RV insurance policy. That’s because auto insurance likely covers this type of RV. You can, however, buy extra coverage for a towable RV.
RV Insurance Basics
If you’re buying RV insurance, what sort of coverage can you expect to get? Normally, it’s the same sort of coverage you’ve purchased for your cars. Here’s a rundown of the basic coverage:
- Liability insurance. This pays other people when you cause injuries to them or damage their property. In addition, it can cover legal bills if somebody who was injured or whose property was damaged takes you to court.
- Collision coverage. This pays for damage to your own vehicle when you crash into an object such as a utility pole, tree or another car.
- Comprehensive coverage. This pays for theft of your RV, or damage to the vehicle due to fire, falling objects, vandalism, weather such as hail and collisions with animals.
Aside from that broad-based coverage, your insurance might offer optional RV coverage such as:
- Roadside assistance, including jump-starts and towing.
- Total loss replacement coverage, which pays to replace your RV with a comparable make and model if it’s been declared a total loss.
- Coverage for injuries of you and your passengers caused by uninsured or underinsured motorists.
- Personal effects coverage for belongings inside your RV, such as dishes.
- Vacation liability, which pays for your liability when your RV is parked at a vacation site.
- Emergency expense coverage. Let’s say you need to spend a couple of nights in a hotel after your RV is mangled in a wreck. In this case, the coverage can pick up the tab for your hotel stay and other transportation.
- Accessories coverage, which pays for damage to items like satellite dishes and awnings.
- “Full-timer coverage,” which would apply if you live full-time in your RV and cover your liability when you’re parked for an extended period of time.
- Pet coverage, which can kick in if your dog or cat is injured in an accident while they’re riding in your RV or your pet is stolen along with the RV.
How Much Does RV Insurance Cost?
An auto insurance company (like Allstate, Farmers, Nationwide, Progressive or State Farm) or a specialty insurer will weigh several factors when figuring out how much it’ll cost to insure your RV. These include:
- Where you live.
- What kind of RV you own.
- The age of your RV is. (A new RV may cost more to insure than a used RV.)
- Whether you use the RV for road trips or as a permanent residence.
One key to determining the cost of your coverage is the class of RV that you own: A, B or C.
- Class A describes large motorized RVs that look similar to tour buses and measure up to 75 feet in length.
- Class B includes small-scale RVs that are similar in size to an oversized van.
- Class C splits the difference between RVs in Class A and Class B. Class C RVs have an overcab sleeping area.
Class A RVs cost the most to insure, followed by Class C and Class B.
The yearly insurance premium for an RV may range from $200 to more than $2,000. You may qualify for a variety of discounts if, for instance, you’ve maintained a clean driving record or you’ve got more than one policy with the same insurer (known as bundling).
Keep in mind that if you file a claim under the comprehensive or collision portions of your RV policy, you’ll have a deductible (such as $500 or $1,000). That dollar amount will reduce the claim payout. So, if an insurer agrees to pay $10,000 for a collision claim and you’ve got a $1,000 deductible, your claim check would total $9,000.