There’s nothing like the freedom of being able to stop whatever you are doing, hop in your RV, and go on an adventure. Being on the open road, exploring new states, and meeting new friends are just part of the fun when you own an RV. To protect you and your passengers, the best coverage for an RV is not car insurance or home insurance, but separate RV insurance.
Of course, it’s not all fun and games. Driving an RV takes practice, and when you’re behind the wheel of such a large vehicle, things can sometimes go wrong.
Last month (2015), a man and his wife made the long journey from Florida to Ohio in their RV. Dean and Lucille had traversed the country for years and were very experienced drivers. Even so, a mislabeled construction sign warning stating closed lanes ahead resulted in a deadly accident. The sign noted that one of the lanes was blocked, but it was actually two. By the time the pair had realized their predicament, they had no room to switch lanes or come to a complete stop. They rear-ended a police car, killing the officer inside.
In February, a man robbed an RV parked at a church in San Diego. He took several watches, purses and stole laptops from the building as well. The police apprehended him shortly after the incident and only some of the stolen items were recovered.
Theft, fire, and accidents on the roadway: each of these scenarios is possible when you own an RV. That doesn’t mean it will happen, but it is best to insure yourself anyway.
Since an RV is both a home and a vehicle, it is difficult to know whether it needs to be insured under an auto or homeowners policy.
Gregory Blanchard, associate vice president of Nationwide Insurance, is familiar with the confusion RV owners face when determining the best policy options available. “While some of the coverage an RV policy offers is similar to regular car insurance to cover accidents, you also need specific coverage that’s like property insurance because you essentially live in the vehicle when you’re using it…You also need liability insurance to protect you if someone trips and falls on your campsite or slips inside your RV.”
Special RV/Trailer Equipment
An endorsement on your auto insurance or a rider on your homeowners insurance might not be enough. An RV carries equipment that a car doesn’t, like a generator and a refrigerator that would need to be insured in the event that they stop working. Unless you purchase personal property coverage under your homeowners policy, you could have thousands of dollars worth of merchandise stolen from your RV and have no way to recover your losses. With so many aspects to consider, it’s simpler to roll both car and home insurance into one policy. Insurance experts recommend that you purchase separate coverage designed especially for RVs called RV insurance.
In general, RV insurance is fairly reasonable and usually less expensive than auto insurance, especially if you choose to insure it seasonally.
RV/Trailer Insurance Coverage Options
There are several different coverage options available, but if you speak with your knowledgeable independent insurance agent, it may be possible to create a combination policy. Also most policies include coverage for items like satellite dishes, awnings, roof racks, and trailers at no additional charge. Below is a list of the most common RV insurance choices:
Total Loss Replacement: For the first five years, a new RV can be covered under this option. The insurance company will replace or pay the purchase price of your RV if you total it in an accident. Once the RV is over five years old, the policy can be converted to a Purchase Price Guarantee or Actual Cash Value option.
Purchase Price Guarantee: If you total your RV, the insurance company will reimburse you for the amount you paid when you purchased the unit. Usually after the vehicle is over 10 years old, the policy is converted to Actual Cash Value coverage.
Actual Cash Value: This policy will pay you the market value of your RV in the event of a total loss. This is the most common type of RV insurance purchased.
Vacation Liability: If you are camping and a guest is injured at your campsite, this liability coverage will help to pay for their medical bills.
Full-Timer Coverage: If you travel or live in your RV full time, this type of policy works in much the same ways as homeowners insurance; it includes personal liability and living expenses coverage.
Diminishing Deductible Coverage: This policy is designed to reward good driving behavior. Each year that you go without an accident, the insurance company will reduce your comprehensive and collision deductibles.
Personal Contents Coverage: Similar to a homeowners policy, this coverage protects you in the event that your personal items within the RV are stolen or damaged. The insurance company will help you pay to replace those items.
Speak with your local insurance agent today. They will have the knowledge and experience to recommend the best policy for you.
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