RVs and campers are a great way to travel and see the world, but they also come with their own set of insurance needs. Whether you’re just hitting the open road or taking your camper on a cross-country trip, it’s important to make sure you have the right coverage in case of an accident or other unfortunate mishap.
While RV and camper policies are similar to traditional auto insurance in many ways, there are a few key differences that every owner should be aware of. To that end, here are five things you may not have known about RV and camper insurance.
1. THERE'S A DIFFERENCE BETWEEN FULL-TIME AND PART-TIME CAMPER INSURANCE
If you only use your RV or camper for occasional weekends or vacations, you likely fall into the part-time category. Part-time campers are typically covered under a standard RV policy. However, if you live in your recreational vehicle full-time, you will need what’s called a “specialty policy,” which is designed specifically for those who live on the road.
A specialty policy will offer more comprehensive coverage than a standard policy, and it will also take into account the fact that your RV is your primary residence. This means that things like personal property coverage and roadside assistance are included in the policy. Full-time coverage is generally more expensive, but it’s worth the extra money because it provides full protection for your RV or camper—even when it’s not in use.
2. COMPREHENSIVE RV INSURANCE ISN'T ALWAYS COMPREHENSIVE
When you purchase RV insurance, you may think that you are getting comprehensive coverage for your vehicle. However, that’s not always the case. RV insurance policies can vary greatly in what they cover, so it’s important to read the fine print before you buy.
Some RV insurance policies will only cover the RV itself and not any of your personal belongings inside. If you want those to be covered, you may need to purchase additional personal property coverage. This is typically offered as an add-on to a standard RV policy.
At Christensen Group, we’ve seen a lot of different carriers and policies. Two that are less common are roof and pest protection. Progressive—a carrier that we work with often on RV insurance—has a policy that covers both.
RV insurance coverages to look for include:
- Roof protection: While not very common, some RV insurance policies may protect the roof of your RV in case of leaks or other damage.
- Pest protection: This is a coverage that is unique to Progressive and covers the cost of pest control if your RV is infested with insects or rodents. It may also protect your vehicle from damage caused by birds, squirrels, and other wildlife.
- Awning replacement: If you have an awning on your RV, it may be covered under your policy in the event of wind damage or other accidental damage.
- Custom equipment protection: If you have installed any custom equipment on your RV— aftermarket audio systems and custom lighting—it may be covered under your RV policy.
- Safety glass replacement: If a window or windshield is damaged, this coverage will typically cover the cost of buying and installing replacement glass.
Of course, whether or not something is covered under a policy can hinge on what caused the damage. For instance, you may have roof coverage, but if you intentionally set the roof on fire, that obviously would not be covered. That’s why it’s important to speak with your agent to fully understand your policy and what types of events are covered or not.
3. YOU CAN ADD COVERAGE FOR YOUR "TOAD"
If you plan on bringing along a smaller car or boat behind your RV or camper (known as a "towed" or “toad” vehicle, for short), you will need to purchase separate insurance for it. Most RV policies will not automatically cover damage to a toad car or boat, so it’s important to have the right coverage in place before you hit the road.
4. YOU CAN GET A DISCOUNT FOR PASSING AN RV SAFETY COURSE
If you are a safe driver, you may be eligible to receive a discount on your RV insurance premium by taking an RV safety course. Many RV insurers offer discounts of up to 10% for drivers who successfully complete a safety course, so be sure to ask your insurance agent if this is something they offer and if there are courses available in your area.
5. YOU MAY QUALIFY FOR OFFSEASON STORAGE COVERAGE
If you live in an area with cold winters, you may need to store your RV for several months out of the year. When choosing an RV insurance policy, be sure to ask about offseason storage coverage because you may be able to get a significant discount on your premium.
Some insurers offer “storage” or “laid up” coverage, which reduces or suspends your coverage during the months when you are not using your RV. This can help save you money on your RV insurance premium. Some policies will even cover the cost of storing your RV in a secure facility, while others will only cover the cost of storing it on your property.
WANT TO LEARN MORE ABOUT RECREATIONAL VEHICLE INSURANCE?
By following these five tips, you can be sure you are getting the best RV and camper coverage for your recreational needs. If you still have questions or would like a quote for your recreational vehicle, contact Christensen Group today and one of our personal insurance experts will be more than happy to help.