Buying your first RV? You would be wise to understand your insurance needs and then shop around for quotes that include appropriate coverage to get your RV insured properly.
If you, like most folks, are financing your RV then you will be required to have the insurance in place when you take possession of the RV. You may be offered insurance at the RV dealer where you are purchasing the unit and you could easily buy and drive away. But this may not be the best coverage or best price to get your RV insured.
The coverage you need is different depending on what kind of RV you are purchasing.
* Travel Trailers and Fifth Wheel Campers * Any towed RV can usually be added to your car insurance policy for physical damage coverage- this will be required if you are financing your RV- you do not need liability, since travel trailers and fifth wheel campers are towed by your car or truck and the liability insurance that is on the vehicle will extend to the towed vehicle while it is on the road.
* Motor homes *- you will need liability (check limits and coverages required by your state) and physical damage coverage- this will be required if you are financing.
There additional optional coverages available when you get your RV insured.
* Personal Property *-any personal items you have in your RV that are not a permanent part of the unit are considered personal property. The amount you are given for this coverage varies greatly with each policy. If you are a full-timer you will have more personal property and should purchase more coverage than the average amount.
* Attached Accessories * This coverage includes items such as awnings, screens attached to the awnings, TV antennas, and satellite dishes.
* Guaranteed Loss Replacement * Some companies offer this coverage for RVs that are new when purchased. The coverage will guarantee that if you RV is a total loss, you can get a new replacement that is the same size, model, etc. The coverage is available until your RV is up to five years old. Beyond that it continues with the reimbursement amount equal to the purchase price of your unit.
* Actual Cash Value * This coverage is offered on used RVs and locks in the price you paid for your RV as your reimbursement for a total loss.
* Full-timers Coverage * If you are one of those free spirits who decide to live in your RV with no permanent address, you will need a full-timer’s policy. The policy is designed with more extensive coverages and protects your property and liability in a much broader way than traditional policies. For instance, you can purchase more personal property coverage, liability for when you are parked, loss assessment fees if you live in a permanent park and even coverage for items stored in an shed on your site.
* Vacation Liability * This will cover your personal liability when you are parked. (If you add your travel trailer to your auto policy, the liability that extends to it is only available while you are traveling on the road.) If someone visits you at your site, whether in or out of your RV and gets hurt, you need medical payments to pay for the injuries, and liability for any situation in which you can be held legally responsible for damages.
* Emergency Expense Coverage * If you are doing a lot of traveling, or are a full-time RV’er, this is an important coverage. It will pay for the transportation of your vehicle back to your home, as well as emergency transportation for you, and motel expenses.
Shopping for RV insurance * Keep the coverages in mind that you will need and then get quotes.
There are many choices of companies available to get your RV insured.
* Your Auto Insurer * If you are only going to use your RV for a few weekends and your summer vacation, this will be your least expensive insurance, but may not include any of the optional coverages listed above as some companies will just add the RV to your auto policy.
*Traditional insurers * Some have separate policies that are specific for RVs. It will be in these separate policies that the optional coverages listed above will be offered.
* On-line * The are many companies on-line who offer very good RV policies. Progressive is one company that has all of the optional coverages discussed and even an additional physical damage coverage when you are traveling in Mexico!
* Travel Clubs * Travel clubs are a good source of insurance. They have agreements with traditional companies and can offer discounts and special coverages. Examples of some are Good Sam Club, Travel America and Camping World. They all have on-line sites and provide details that will help with your decision. Keep in mind that most all require an annual membership fee before any of their services are available.
* Your RV dealer * You should get a quote from the dealer where you are purchasing your RV. This will give you a starting place so you can comparison shop. They may be the best choice but you will not know unless you shop around.
Once you have decided on the date you will take ownership of your RV, you can sign and pay for the insurance policy. You will need proof that your vehicle is insured before you take possession if you are financing.
Now that you have done the hard work necessary to get your RV insured, and know that both you and your RV are well protected, you can happily hit the highways and have fun!