Tips for Insuring Your RV

Insuring an RV is different than typical auto policies

Insuring an RV is different than typical auto policies (image by fernwoodbigsur.com)

If you’re considering the purchase of a recreational vehicle (RV), you should know beforehand that such vehicles require much more complex coverage than most car insurance policies. That’s probably not a shock, but since RVs are much larger and because they can even act as a residence during your time on the road, the policies attached to them have a number of features you won’t find in a typical auto policy. Before we cover these differences, we suggest talking to a tax advisor about an RV purchase. You may be eligible for a tax write off as part of a home mortgage deduction on your RV.

Trailer or Vehicle

There are different types of RVs: one model is towed behind a truck or automobile; the other is a fully mobile and drivable vehicle. In terms of the trailer type, they’d be covered in terms of liability from the moment you hitched it to your truck. However, comprehensive coverage would have to be added to your auto policy in order to protect the trailer. Drivable RVs have to have their very own policy.

Coverage Amounts and Lien Holders

One thing that is not different between typical automobiles and RVs is that you will be required to maintain at least the minimum coverage amount of insurance on either. Most lien holders will request that your coverage go beyond these minimum coverages as to protect the vehicle, since it represents their collateral in the financing process.

Personal liability when not driving your RV

Because RVs can act as homes, it’s likely you’ll have guests in them, just as you do at your primary residence. Homeowner policies normally provide liability coverage for guests, but standard auto policies do not. You should ensure that the policy that covers your RV will provide this type of liability coverage, because accidents happen. People fall and family pets can also injure others.

Personal Property Coverage

Because you’ll likely use your RV as a home away from home, it will contain items just like a house: televisions and other advanced electronics like video games for kids, clothing, camping gear and more. Normal policies don’t include personal effects coverage like this, so if you’ll have items like this stowed away on your RV, you should insist on this coverage as well.

Size Matters

We’ve discussed minimum coverages. However, because RVs are so much larger than the typical automobile, they can cause much more damage in collisions. Are you sure that the coverage amount you have on your other vehicles is appropriate for your RV? It may very well not be enough, so select your coverage amounts wisely. And because of their large size and weight, towing of an RV can be more expensive than a car would be.

Off Season Breaks

If you’re planning on placing your RV in storage in the Winter, for example, inquire with your insurer about temporarily suspending coverages of liability and collision insurance. If your insurance company provides these suspensions, you may be able to save money.


About Cecil Helton

Cecil Helton Cecil Helton is a U.S.-based writer and editor with passions for cars, motorcycles, boats, technology and social media. Much of his professional life since 1996 has been web-centric, and he’s written and developed content on a variety of subjects. His work in the houseboat industry received wide acclaim, such as winning the 1999 Cisco Systems Growing with Technology award and being named one of five finalists in the manufacturing sector of the 2000 Computerworld-Smithsonian Awards. As an Air Force brat, he spent much of his childhood in a two-year cycle of moving to a new place, making new friends, establishing a life, and then moving again. Destinations included: Kentucky, Illinois, Texas, the Greek isle of Crete, California and Ohio. Today you’ll find Cecil coping with his 15 year old son’s decision to pursue a motorcycle license at the same time he gets his driver’s license, being active across the web on multiple social media sites, and of course, writing articles and creating content on automotive and car insurance related topics right here at CarInsurance.org.


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