Taking to the open road in a home on wheels is a dream for many Americans. If you are considering purchasing a recreational vehicles (RV) this summer, it’s important to understand what type of insurance you’ll need in order to make an informed decision.RVs come in many shapes and sizes: generally, Class A RVs are the most expensive to insure. As with auto insurance, your rates will be based on the make and model of your RV, your driving history and other factors. You may have the option to add RV coverage to your regular auto insurance, but this isn’t always recommended. Because your RV is both a home and a vehicle, it may require specialized insurance to provide the right kind of coverage.
Here’s what you need to know about Recreational Vehicles and Insurance:
Do I have to get insurance?
Insuring your RV is mandatory, but depending on which state you live in and whether you financed your RV, you may be required to purchase specific coverages, such as collision or comprehensive.
Full-time vs. part-time coverage:
RV insurance takes into account whether you live in your motorhome year-round, or only use it for part of the year. Part-timers can save a significant amount of money by purchasing a “storage option,” which suspends certain coverages (like collision) during the months you are not traveling. Although policies vary, your RV will likely still be protected in case of fire, theft or other damage.
Specialized coverage options:
As with many types of insurance, there are multiple options for insuring your RV. Here are some specialty coverages you may want to consider:
- Liability insurance is required in most states, and will cover any costs related to damage or injuries to others if you are responsible for the accident.
- Collision Coverage will help pay for damages to your RV if you are in an accident.
- If you live in your motorhome year-round or use it frequently, you may want to consider Comprehensive Coverage, which will protect you in case of non-collision damage, such as fire or theft.
- Similarly, Total Loss Replacement is a great option if you would be significantly impacted by the loss of your RV–this coverage will reimburse you the full original price rather than the depreciated value of your vehicle if the loss occurs in the first five years.
- If you plan to park your RV at a campsite or other location for extended periods of time, Vacation Liability Coverage may be a good option. This policy protects you if someone is injured at your campsite or in your motorhome while it’s off the road.
- Frequent road warriors may want to add Emergency Expense coverage to their policy. If your travel plans are disrupted, this will help cover the cost of hotels and other expenses until you can get back on the road.
Protecting your valuables:
Those who use their motorhome often or live in an RV full-time probably travel with many if not most of their important personal belongings. If this describes you, make sure your precious cargo is protected by purchasing Personal Property Coverage, also known as Contents Coverage. Similarly, consider insuring costly additions to your RV such as a satellite dish, grill, or awning.
Protecting your vehicle on the road:
You also have the option to purchase riders similar to the ones you would find on an auto insurance policy, such as uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage, roadside assistance, and total loss replacement coverage.