Do I Need RV Insurance?
Whether you’ve just purchased your first recreational vehicle or you’ve owned one for years, you’ve got plenty of company these days.
More than 430,000 RVs were purchased in the United States in 2020, and that number is expected to increase by nearly 24% in 2021. RVs offer a social-distancing-friendly way for all ages to enjoy an outdoor vacation experience.1
Taking steps to protect your RV helps to ensure many years of fun and adventure. That includes routine maintenance to keep your vehicle in good condition. It also means purchasing an insurance policy to cover the risks that come with owning and using an RV.
There are two main categories of recreational vehicles that will affect the type of insurance coverage you’ll need:
- Drivable RVs, also called motorhomes
- Towable RVs, also called travel trailers or camper trailers
Let’s go over some of the questions you’ll want answered when selecting the best insurance policy for your vehicle.
What Type of Recreational Vehicle Do You Have?
Drivable RVs are permanently attached to a motor vehicle chassis or van. These types of RVs feature permanently installed amenities for cooking, refrigeration, sleeping, bathroom facilities, heating and air conditioning, drinkable water and electrical power. There are four main categories of motorhomes:
- Class A includes conventional motorhomes, professional bus conversions and non-professional bus conversions.2
- Class B includes camper vans.2
- Class C includes mini-motorhomes.2
- Toterhomes are built on a semi-truck chassis for towing other vehicles such as cars, boats or trailers.3
Non-motorized portable RVs, also called travel trailers or camper trailers, are designed to be towed by a car or truck for recreational or camping use. Like drivable motorhomes, travel trailers include permanently installed cooking and sleeping quarters.2
Is RV Insurance Required?
Insurance requirements vary depending on whether you have a drivable motorhome or towable travel trailer.
Most states have insurance minimums for motorhomes that are similar to what you’re required to have for your car. That includes liability coverage for third-party bodily injury and property damage for an accident in which you are at fault. Medical payments coverage takes care of medical bills and lost wages for other drivers and passengers. Uninsured or underinsured motorist insurance covers your expenses if another driver is at fault and lacks adequate coverage of their own.4
For towable camping trailers, insurance is optional if three conditions are met:4
- The trailer cannot be driven on its own and must be towed by another vehicle,
- You own the trailer free and clear and aren’t making payments to a lender, and/or
- Your state does not require insurance coverage for camping trailers.
For example, the state of Missouri requires you to title and pay sales tax on a trailer within 30 days of purchase, but does not require insurance.5 In many cases, your auto liability policy can include your trailer when you are pulling it.6
What Other Types of RV Coverage Is Available?
As with other vehicles, it’s a good idea to purchase insurance for your motorhome or trailer beyond what is required by law. Here are some of the coverage options you’ll want to consider.
- Collision insurance covers damage to your RV from an accident, regardless of who is at fault.4
- Comprehensive coverage protects against damage not caused by a collision, such as theft, vandalism or natural disasters.4
- Roadside assistance pays for towing to a nearby repair facility, along with labor costs. It includes damage due to mechanical, electrical or battery failure; lack of fuel, oil, water or other fluids; flat tire; or lock-out. You can also get roadside assistance if your RV is trapped in snow, mud, water or sand.2
- Replacement insurance covers items inside the vehicle, such as computers, TV sets or appliances.2
- Vacation liability covers bodily injury or property damage for which you are legally responsible while traveling.2
- Emergency expenses coverage pays for reasonable living facilities, transportation and the cost of returning your RV if it is disabled while you’re more than 50 miles from home. It also covers temporary living facilities if your RV is also your permanent residence.2
- Roof protection covers repair or replacement to the roof of your vehicle due to general wear and tear. It also protects other parts of the vehicle which may be damaged by roof malfunction.2
- Total loss replacement (TLR) and agreed value (AV) protect against depreciation caused by total losses.2
- Medical payment coverage pays for medical or funeral expenses for insured individuals due to an accident involving your RV.2
- Pest protection covers damage caused by rats, mice and other rodents, insects, birds and other non-domesticated animals.2
- Pet injury coverage helps with veterinary fees if a dog or cat is injured or killed in an accident involving your RV.2
- Water damage protection covers damage related to showers, sinks, toilets or pipes freezing, bursting or leaking.4
What Insurance Is Required If You Live in Your RV?
It’s estimated that as many as one million Americans live in an RV as their primary residence.7 If you’re one of them, you’ll be required to get a full-time RV insurance policy, which is similar to traditional homeowners’ insurance.
This insurance includes four basic types of coverage:2
- Personal liability coverage takes care of bodily injury or property damage as a result of an accident that occurs inside your RV.
- Medical payments to others coverage pays for injuries that occur on property occupied by the RV, such as your lot in an RV park.
- Loss assessment coverage pertains to assessments charged to you while you are an owner or tenant of property in an association.
- Storage shed contents insurance covers items inside of a shed that you own or lease at the time of a loss.
What If You’re Renting an RV?
Rented RVs have gained in popularity during the recent pandemic, as they offer safe accommodations without having to rent a hotel room.8 In many cases you will be required to purchase insurance while the RV is in your possession. The dealer will often include the cost of insurance in your rental payment.9
Can You Get a Discount on RV Insurance?
You can often get a discount on RV insurance if you bundle it with a home and auto policy from the same company.4 There are many other potential discounts you’ll want to ask about before purchasing a policy. These may include:2
- Advance quote discount
- Association discount, such as one for members of USAA
- Claim-free renewal discounts
- EFT discount if payments are automatically deducted from your bank account
- Original owner discount, as long as title remains with original owner
- Paid-in-full discount if you pay your whole premium once a year instead of making monthly payments
- Responsible driver discounts
- Accident forgiveness
- Small claim forgiveness such as claims of less than $500
Contact Us With Your Insurance Questions
Do you need RV insurance for a motorhome, camper or travel trailer? The Resource Center offers policies from a number of partners to help you select the best type and amount of coverage for your vehicle.
Contact us to schedule an appointment with one of our independent insurance agents today.
2: Progressive Insurance. RV: Motorhome and Travel Trailer.