What is RV Insurance and When Is It Needed?

Posted on Dec 29, 2020
What is RV Insurance and When Is It Needed

If you’re thinking about purchasing or currently own a camper or recreational vehicle (RV), you might be wondering if you require camper insurance coverage.

Like vehicle insurance, RV coverage is required. Most states require underinsured or uninsured insurance, and each state requires you to have minimum liability coverage if you drive the vehicle on the road.

What Is RV Insurance?

Through your insurance policy, RV trip insurance is an agreement between your insurance provider and you that protects your:

  • Travel trailer
  • Motorhome
  • Fifth-wheel
  • Camper
  • And more

You’ll pick from various types of coverages meant for protecting your vehicle and providing you with peace of mind on vacations and trips or if you’re living in your RV. You’ll also require liability coverage if you’re “driving” your RV to stay legal on the road. 

How Does RV Insurance Work?

When you purchase travel trailer insurance, your insurance agent will ask you some simple questions about:

  • Your RV
  • You
  • How often you use your RV

You’ll then choose the coverages that you believe will best protect your vehicle and yourself. Typically, more coverage will mean a higher price tag. If you’re responsible for injuries or damages to someone else or if you damage your vehicle, you’ll file a “claim” with your insurance provider. If your claim is covered, your insurance company will pay for the injuries or losses up to your coverage limits.

Why Is RV Insurance Important?

RV insurance is essential coverage because you made a large investment in your RV. It’s also necessary because an RV is a large vehicle that could cause significant damage and major injuries to other property and vehicles in an accident.

You’ll also want to take into consideration if you purchase an RV that costs between $35,000 to more than $200,000 and you don’t have full replacement cost coverage; you could wind up with substantial costs if it’s totaled in a crash.

When You Need RV Insurance

At a bare minimum, you’re required to have the same amount of RV liability coverage as you would for a car in all states. Aside from a few exceptions, you’ll need to take out a separate RV policy if:

  • You don’t own the RV outright (i.e., you’re financing it through a loan)
  • The RV is a motorhome
  • The RV is a rental vehicle

You’re required by law in most states to have liability insurance on a motorhome if you drive it on the road. While it’s optional whether or not you should obtain full coverage, depending on if you’re financing the vehicle or not, just because it’s optional doesn’t mean you shouldn’t get it.

You’ll want to determine your RV’s value versus the chance of a loss to decide if you can afford the price to insure your RV’s physical damage risk yourself. If you’re living in your RV full time, it’s particularly essential to consider extra insurance coverage.

Financial lien-holders typically require financed RVs to have full coverage since lenders want their loan reimbursed in the case of a loss. If you don’t buy full coverage, the lender might take out coverage on the vehicle and send the bill to you. Lender-bought insurance usually comes with no liability and a much higher premium, so it’s a smarter financial decision to take responsibility for insuring your RV yourself.

It’s your responsibility to ensure a  rental RV is adequately insured when you have it in your possession. Check with your vehicle insurance provider to see if a rental RV is covered in your policy. If it isn’t, the RV rental dealers typically have short-term policies you can buy or automatically include coverage in their rental prices. You could also check with your credit card provider since some companies have special provisions where rental RVs are covered through your credit card.

What Does RV Insurance Cover? 

1. Bodily Injury Liability

If you cause a crash with your RV and a person becomes injured, bodily injury liability coverage will help pay their loss of income and medical bills. This coverage is required by most states.

2. Property Damage Liability

If you cause a crash with your RV, this coverage will help pay for damages to another individual’s property or vehicle. This coverage is required by most states.

3. Collision

No matter who is at fault, collision coverage will pay for any damage to your RV if you’re in a crash with another vehicle. It will also cover your RV rolling over. If you lease or finance your vehicle, you might be required to get collision coverage.

4. Comprehensive

This coverage is also referred to as “other than collision” and could help pay for non-collision RV damage. It will include damage from:

  • Failing objects
  • Theft
  • Vandalism
  • Storms
  • Floods
  • Fire
  • Other natural disasters

Do You Have to Have Insurance on a Travel Trailer? 

You may be wondering, do you have to have insurance on a camper? Since you’re not actually driving your travel trailer, you’re not required by law to carry insurance if you’re towing it with your car or truck.

But, it is a valuable asset and needs to be protected just like you would your car or home.

Many travel trailer policies will also include comprehensive coverage. You’ll need to decide if you wish to take out collision, but most lenders will require you to have both.

Where to Buy RV Insurance?

You can obtain RV insurance through us here at Otterstedt Insurance Agency.

Contact us at  201-227-1800, and we’ll find you the appropriate RV insurance for your needs at the right price.

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