Owning an RV is the ultimate combination of comfort and convenience, but that home away from home comes at a cost: An RV can set you back anywhere from $10,000 to well over $100,000. Like any big investment, it should be treated as such. While you’re accounting for the maintenance, financing, and general upkeep costs of owning an RV, don’t forget to factor in insurance.
Depending on where you live, the type of RV you have, and other details, you may or may not be legally required to carry RV insurance. However, just because you’re not required to have RV insurance doesn’t mean you shouldn’t purchase it.
Since it can be confusing, this guide will help you determine whether or not you’re obligated to have RV insurance, as well as its benefits and the risks you run going without it.
Do I Need RV Insurance?
Most states require the same amount of liability coverage for an RV as a car. You will definitely need to take out an RV insurance policy if:
- Your RV is a self-propelled motorhome (Class A or B)
- You do not own your RV (i.e., you have a lienholder)
- You are renting an RV
Financed RVs are usually required by the lienholder to carry physical damage coverage. If you’re renting an RV, the vehicle is considered your responsibility while it’s in your possession. Before you hit the road in your rental, it’s essential to ensure you have insurance coverage. Verify with your auto insurance provider to see whether your coverage extends to a rental RV. If not, most rental services offer short-term RV rental insurance or automatically include it in the rental price.
RV insurance can be optional if:
- Your RV is towable and not drivable (Class C)
- You own your RV outright, and you live in a state where liability insurance and RV insurance are not required by law
For towable RVs (Class C travel trailers, campers, pop-up campers, and fifth wheels), liability insurance usually extends from your existing auto insurance policy to the RV while you are towing it. You’ll need to verify your coverage with your insurance provider.
Minimum RV Insurance Liability Limits
Minimum liability limits for RVs are required in every state but New Hampshire. You will need to adhere to your state’s minimum limits if:
- You have a Class A or B motorhome
- You don’t own the RV outright
- It is a rental vehicle
Minimum RV Insurance Requirements in Louisiana
- $15,000 bodily injury liability per person
- $30,000 bodily injury liability per accident
- $25,000 property damage liability per accident
Minimum RV Insurance Requirements in Texas
- $30,000 bodily injury liability per person
- $50,000 bodily injury liability per accident
- $15,000 property damage liability per accident
It’s important to understand that your state’s minimum liability limits might not be enough for your needs. It’s crucial to carry enough liability coverage to protect yourself in case of an accident or lawsuit because, without it, your financial health could be at stake.
What Does RV Insurance Cover?
RV insurance requirements vary from state to state. However, most RV insurance policies include liability, comprehensive and collision, and uninsured motorist coverage (underinsured motorist coverage may also be included).
Liability coverage comprises bodily injury and property damage coverage. Bodily injury liability coverage can cover injury to other people, not your motorhome. Property damage liability coverage can provide coverage if your motorhome damages a person’s property. It can also provide legal defense if a lawsuit is filed against you. Bodily injury limits apply on a per person, per accident basis, while property damage limits are applied only on a per accident basis.
Comprehensive and Collision Coverage
Comprehensive and collision coverage pays for damage to your RV. Collision coverage can pay for damage to your RV if you hit another vehicle or fixed object. Comprehensive coverage, or “other than collision” coverage, can cover just that: damage to your RV other than collision. This can include flood, fire, theft, vandalism, falling objects, and animal-related damage.
These coverages feature deductibles, or the amount of money you are responsible for paying if you file a claim. Deductibles for comprehensive and collision coverage vary. A higher deductible typically indicates a lower premium, which can help you save money on RV insurance. However, if you are ever involved in an accident, that higher deductible means you assume greater financial responsibility.
Uninsured and Underinsured Motorist Coverage
Some states require drivers to carry uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage, while others do not, including Louisiana and Texas. Uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage can provide protection in the event of an accident where the other party either 1) does not have insurance, or 2) does not carry enough coverage to pay for medical expenses for injuries caused in the accident.
RV Insurance Add-Ons for Customized Coverage
While liability, comprehensive and collision, and uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage represent a more basic, not to mention affordable, RV insurance policy, it’s important to understand that it may not provide adequate protection depending on your individual needs.
You can customize your insurance coverage based on how you use your RV, the items you have on board, and more. For example, if you have a souped-up motorhome packed with high-end features or if you live out of your RV full-time (six months or more out the year), you’d be wise to include additional coverages in your policy.
Additional coverages include:
- Full-Time Coverage
- Personal Property and Attachment Coverage
- Emergency Expense Coverage
- Vacation Liability Coverage
- Total Loss Replacement Coverage
- Roadside Assistance
- Storage Option
Most RV insurance policies require you to use your RV for six months or more out of the year to be eligible for full-time coverage. Full-time coverage is kind of like having homeowners insurance for your RV. It can provide coverage for personal liability and medical expenses for injured visitors in situations other than an auto accident. Full-time coverage can also protect any items you have in storage while you’re traveling.
Personal Property and Permanent Attachment Coverage
Unlike auto insurance, RV insurance can provide coverage for your personal belongings. Of course, deductibles and limits vary, but personal property and permanent attachment coverage can be used to cover items including, but not limited to:
- Camping supplies
- Sporting equipment
- Tow kits
- Satellite dishes
Emergency Expense Coverage
If your RV is ever deemed inoperable due to a covered loss and you’re far from home, emergency expense coverage can help cover lodging, transportation, and meal expenses, like the additional living expenses portion of a homeowners insurance policy.
Vacation Liability Coverage
Vacation liability coverage can protect you in the event of non-accident incidents, such as slip-and-falls or campfire-related losses.
Total Loss Replacement Coverage
If your RV is fewer than five years old and it’s totaled or stolen and not recovered, total loss replacement coverage could replace your RV with a comparable model. For RVs that are older than five years, you could receive the full original purchase payment toward the cost of a replacement.
As an RV owner, you spend a lot of time in transit, and roadside assistance can provide invaluable peace of mind. Coverage varies from provider to provider, but a roadside assistance add-on usually includes high-limit coverage given the large size of the vehicle.
Why pay for insurance during the months you aren’t using your RV? Some insurance companies offer a storage option that suspends the coverages you don’t need when your RV is off the road, such as liability and collision coverage.
Get a Free RV Insurance Quote
Remember: You may not be legally obligated to have RV insurance, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have it. It’s ultimately your decision, and ABC Insurance Agencies can help you make it. To learn more about your coverage options or for a free RV insurance quote, call 1-800-708-0123, click, or come in to meet with your friendly, local ABC Insurance Agent.
The information provided in this blog is designed to give helpful advice on the topic discussed. It is not intended to provide legal or any other type of advice and is not meant to be a thorough discussion of every issue that a person should consider or may encounter. ABC is not responsible or liable for the availability of links to websites or resources, or for any content, advertising, products, services or other materials on or available through these websites or resources or your reliance thereon. Any references to third party rates or products are subject to change without notice. Trademarks are property of their respective owners. ABC Insurance Agencies-members of the National General Insurance Group, Winston-Salem, NC.