An Expert Guide To Finding
The Best RV Insurance
TLTR: This blog explains what RV insurance is, what it covers, how it works, and how much it costs. It also discusses the factors that influence premium rates.
On August 21, 1915, the Conklin family left Huntington, New York, on a cross-country trip to San Francisco in a custom vehicle that they aptly named the “Gypsy Van.” Designed by Roland Conklin’s Gas-Electric Motor Bus Company, the vehicle was unlike any the world had ever seen. The 25-foot, 8-ton vehicle was a house on wheels. It was designed to provide maximum comfort and convenience to its passengers as they traveled on their two-month-long journey.
The Gypsy Van was the world’s first recreational vehicle, or RV. Since their introduction, RVs have become a staple of American culture. RVs allow you to travel virtually anywhere and call the place your home for the day. With an RV, you don’t need any separate lodging facilities such as a hotel or motel while traveling.
RVs are gaining in popularity. According to Statista, the number of wholesale shipments of RVs increased from 406,000 in 2019 to 430,000 in 2020. And a survey from the RV industry association (RVIA) has found that Millennials and Gen Z’s make up 84% of those who currently own an RV or are planning on purchasing one in the next five years. Of course, RVs, like any other type of vehicle, are not immune to accidents and damage. So, if you want to make sure that you and your mobile home are financially protected against any unfortunate event, finding proper RV insurance is a must.
In this blog
What Is RV Insurance?
RV insurance protects you and financially covers your RV from any unexpected out-of-pocket costs in the event of an accident. (The term “RV” encompasses motorhomes, travel trailers, and campers.)
How Does RV Insurance Work?
When you purchase RV insurance, your insurance provider will ask specific questions about you and your vehicle, such as how often you plan on using it and how old it is. You can then customize the coverage that you think will best protect you and your RV. While your state or your lender might mandate some policies, others are optional. Generally, the more coverage you choose, the higher the amount you’ll need to pay in premiums.
If you get into an accident and end up damaging your vehicle or someone else’s vehicle or property, you will file a claim with your carrier. As long as the specific peril is covered, your RV insurance will financially compensate you up to your coverage limit.
Note: Having an RV insurance policy is mandated in all states except New Hampshire.
What Does RV Insurance Cover?
Bodily Injury Liability
If someone gets injured in an accident with your RV, this coverage can help with the medical bills and loss of income.
Property Damage Liability
If you cause an accident in which someone else’s property is damaged or destroyed, your RV insurance coverage can help pay for repairs or replacement.
Collision coverage helps pay for any damage to your RV that resulted from colliding with another vehicle, regardless of who is at fault. This coverage can also come into effect if your RV rolls over or skids into a ditch. In most cases, if your RV is financed or leased, collision coverage will be required.
Comprehensive coverage helps pay for any non-collision damage to your RV. This includes damage as a result of vandalism, fire, storm, floods, falling objects, theft, and other similar events.
Uninsured And Underinsured Motorists
There are instances in which the other driver is at fault and doesn’t have liability insurance, is uninsured, or can’t afford to pay for the injuries and damage. This coverage can help cover you in such situations. It also protects you from covered hit-and-run accidents.
Regardless of who’s at fault, Medical Payments Coverage (MedPay) can help pay for any medical bills for you and your RVs occupants if you get into an accident.
Some optional policies that you can apply to your RV are:
This coverage can help if your RV has a flat tire, runs out of gas, needs a jumpstart, or needs to be towed to a location of your choice.
Safety Glass Replacement
This can provide the necessary coverage to replace or repair your RVs’ windshield.
If your awning gets damaged or destroyed in a covered loss, this coverage helps pay for a new one.
This helps provide liability coverage if an accident that causes bodily injuries or property damage occurs while your RV is being used as a temporary residence.
Is RV Insurance Expensive?
Rates can range from $800 to $2,000 annually. On average, you can expect to pay around $1,400. RVs are categorized into three main classes, and rates break down for them as follows:
These are large luxury motorhomes. These types of RVs are expensive.
The estimated average annual insurance premium for a gas-powered Class A RV is around $1,000 to $1,300.
These are camper vans and they’re comparatively smaller and have fewer utilities than Class A RVs. Camper vans also cost less to purchase and insure. They’re among the most common types of RVs you’ll see on the road.
Class B RVs also have a variant known as Class B+. While generally having the same features as the Class B RVs, the B+ variant is a bit larger and can accommodate a few additional occupants. So, that makes them somewhat more attractive for people who want to travel with a larger number of friends or family. It also means that these RVs will be a bit more expensive to buy and insure.
The estimated cost for insurance on a class B is around $500 to $1,000 per year.
This class of RVs falls somewhere between Class A and Class B motorhomes in terms of size. While they are larger than Class B motorhomes, they are not as luxurious or rich in facilities as Class A motorhomes. They are much cheaper than the Class A variant, and while being more expensive than Class B variants, they’re more spacious and can fit more people.
Premium amounts on Class C RVs are calculated based on various factors and differ from state to state. Factors like the age of the vehicle and the frequency of usage can affect the premiums. You can expect to pay anywhere between $800 to $1,000 on premiums per year.
If you’re renting an RV, getting RV renters insurance can help offer the same range of coverage. Similarly, if you use your RV full time, getting RV insurance for full timers is definitely an option that you should consider.
What Factors Influence RV Insurance Rates?
Besides the class of the RV, there are various additional factors that influence the average RV insurance cost, such as…
Age And Condition
The newer the RV, the more it will cost to insure. Most modern RVs come with state-of-the-art features and technology built into them. Hence, if you were to get into an accident, the cost of repairs or replacement would be high.
Insurance companies will be wary of this and set high insurance rates on newer RVs.
RVs serve as permanent homes to a considerable number of Americans. According to The Washington Post, as of 2020, around a million Americans live in RVs full time. As with homeowners insurance, people may need to purchase additional coverage such as liability coverage, medical compensation, and loss assessment coverage.
Even if you use your RV only for recreational activities, you may need to inform your carrier exactly how many days a year you plan on using it. Furthermore, some insurance providers will increase your policy’s premium in accordance with the rate and frequency of usage.
In the same way the rate of your premium for your auto insurance depends on your location, RV insurance rates also depend on several geographical factors. Insurance carriers will calculate the rates based on the state you’re in and the ZIP code.
If you live in a region with high population density, your carrier will increase the RV insurance price. This is because highly-populated areas are more prone to vehicular accidents. Furthermore, the rate of annual vehicle theft and catastrophic weather conditions can also increase the cost of RV insurance.
Type Of Coverage
If you’re still financing your RV, most lenders will require you to have both comprehensive and collision coverage. While it will raise the price of your policy, it’s normal for lenders to want to protect their assets as long as they have a claim on them. If you have paid for your RV in full, you can opt-out of paying for physical damage coverage and lower your rate.
You also have the option of adding additional coverage such as roadside assistance, total loss replacement, and vacation liability. However, doing so will come at the cost of higher premiums.
Your Claims History
Your claims history shows your proficiency as a driver. Too many claims can indicate that you’re a reckless driver in the eyes of insurance companies. If you have a history of auto insurance claims, you will need to pay more for RV insurance.
Your Driving Experience and Record
Driving and handling an RV is different from driving traditional cars. If you have prior experience of operating any type or class of RV, you may be able to lower your insurance premiums.
Almost all insurance companies will check your driving record to reach your premium amount. A clean driving record can earn you more competitive rates, and you may also get discount opportunities that may help you find cheap RV insurance.
Companies that Offer the Best RV Insurance Coverage
Investopedia reviewed 11 different carriers who offered RV insurance. They then shortlisted seven companies based on various categories such as the best customer service, the best discount offers, the best bundles, and so on.
According to the research, the seven Best RV Insurance Companies of 2021 were as follows:
- Best Overall: Nationwide
- For Insurance Bundles: Allstate
- Best Available Discounts: National General
- If traveling to Mexico: Good Sam Insurance Agency
- Best for Full-Timers: Progressive
- For Weekend Warriors: Safeco
- Best Customer Service: The Hartford
RV Insurance vs Car Insurance
RV insurance and car insurance are similar in most aspects. They both provide the same range of coverage. However, there are two key differences between them.
Higher liability threshold
Specialized RV insurance has higher liability thresholds compared to car insurance.
This is because RVs tend to act as the owner’s home, and the cost of owning and operating an RV is also high. Since almost all RVs are larger than cars, they can cause and sustain more damage.
Higher liability threshold
Another prominent difference between the two is that RV insurance can be temporarily suspended when the RV is placed in storage.
This is because RVs do not get used as frequently as cars are, and they’re not involved in as many accidents.
Finding the right coverage for your RV can feel overwhelming and confusing. While you might find the perfect insurance on your own, it can be a difficult and time-consuming process. So, the best way to find the right insurance for your RV or motorhome is by asking for assistance from an insurance agent.
An insurance agent can assess your situation and help you find the perfect coverage that meets both your budget and your needs.
Find a local insurance agent to help you with finding the right RV insurance today!
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Is RV insurance required in my state?
Having RV insurance is mandated in all states except New Hampshire. Furthermore, all states will require you to have at least a minimum amount of liability insurance. Some states even require you to have uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage.
Does car insurance cover RV insurance?
Technically, your car insurance coverage extends to a trailer. But it will generally only apply to liability coverages. This means that if you get into an accident with your trailer, your car insurance will cover the other party’s expenses, whether for bodily injury or property damage.
But your car insurance likely won’t cover damage to your own trailer. If they do, the limit will be set very low.
Does RV insurance cover water damage?
As long as you have comprehensive coverage, your RV insurance will cover water damage.
A comprehensive policy will protect your RV from a vast array of damage that isn’t caused by a collision, such as floods, fire, wind, vandalism, and theft. It won’t, however, cover water damage that resulted from manufacturing defects, negligence in maintenance, corrosion or rust, exposure to freezing temperatures, and water leaks.
Is RV insurance cheaper than car insurance?
Even though the smallest of RVs tend to be larger than most automobiles, the average RV insurance cost will be less than for cars. This is because insurance companies have found that there are fewer risks associated with RVs.
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