If you’re anything like me, the first thought you have when you hear the word “RV” is the 2006 movie featuring Robin Williams on a classic dysfunctional family vacation filled with unbelievable scenarios and the gradual destruction of a rented RV. Whether you’ve seen that movie or not, I’m pretty confident that if you own an RV, you don’t want to deal with the cost of repairing an RV that has sunk into the bottom of a lake (and many of the other damages the poor RV in “RV” took on). Let’s take a look at RVs, campers, and the insurance that can save a lot of pocket change for their owners.
What is an RV?
The abbreviation “RV” stands for “recreational vehicle” because it is a motor vehicle (or trailer) that includes living quarters which are designed for recreation accommodation (recreation accommodation sounds like it could be in a jingle!). There are different types of RVs, including motorhomes, campervans, caravans (which are also known as travel trailers or camper trailers), fifth-wheel trailers, popup campers, and truck campers.
Is it an RV or is it a camper?
The name RV usually refers to motor vehicles or trailers that are equipped with amenities of home. Camper, on the other hand, is used to refer to trailers that are towed by trucks or ride on the back of trucks. Basically, an RV is an all-in-one recreational vehicle, but you’d have to provide your own means of transportation for a camper.
What is RV insurance, and what does it cover?
You might think that RVs can be covered by auto insurance, as they are vehicles (surprise!). But, keep in mind that RVs are not only vehicles; they are also living spaces. On top of that, campers are also covered by RV insurance, and they are even less vehicular. That’s why RV insurance needs to be able to cover both. It’s a hybrid home and auto insurance policy, which functions very similarly to an auto insurance policy. You’re protected while you’re on the road, and your personal belongings inside the living spaces are protected as well. There are a couple additional coverage options that can be added to RV insurance policy:
Personal attachments coverage: this covers things like TV antennas, satellites, and awnings that are attached to the outside of the RV to improve quality of recreation.
Roadside assistance coverage: this covers you if you break down from mechanical or electrical failure. Nothing stops a relaxing vacation faster than breaking down, not to mention paying for that unexpected expense entirely out of pocket.
Pet injury coverage: vacation isn’t complete if the ole’ family turtle (or other pet) goes with you! This covers incidents that come from living with a pet in the RV.
There are also different types of RV insurance that will depend on how you plan to use the RV:
Full-time insurance: this will provide liability coverage (making it more similar to a homeowner policy). Consider this especially if you plan to live in your RV.
Part-time insurance: for those of you who plan on breaking out the RV for vacation every summer for some campsite fun, or generally are only using the RV part-time, this is the insurance type for you.
Do You Have to Have RV Insurance?
If you are driving your RV, it is required that you have insurance. If you are only towing your RV, insurance is likely optional. In either case, if you purchase an RV through a lender, it might be required that you have insurance, which is something to keep in mind as well. No matter what, insurance will never be a bad idea, so no matter the situation, I strongly recommend getting RV insurance!
Myths about RV Coverage
One last thing to cover before you can go off and purchase your own coverage from your local independent insurance agents at T&C Insurance:
Myth#1: RVs can be covered by an auto policy.
This is not true! As I mentioned earlier, an RV is not only a vehicle, and it is not only a living space. If only an auto policy is used to cover and RV, it means that, at the loss of the RV, you will be responsible for these expenses:
- personal belongings within the RV
- attachments on the outside of the RV
- the expenses typically covered by liability insurance when an RV is parked at a residence,
- if the RV is used as a residence, the expenses for lodging or travelling will be covered at the loss of the RV.
Myth#2: Homeowners insurance will cover personal property on the road.
As I mentioned, an auto policy will not cover personal belongings. But, a homeowner’s insurance policy follows strict limits on what is covered, and this is especially true when the personal belongings in question are off the residence. So, you have to have a proper RV insurance policy that takes the unique circumstances of an RV into account. RVs have the best of both worlds and need the coverage to show it!
So before you load the family up and act out your best Robin Williams impersonation, be sure to check with us, your local Missouri independent insurance agency to make sure that policy of yours can handle all the twists and turns that you may put your RV through. See you at the campground!
How do I Insure My AirBnB or VRBO Property?
Short term rentals through hosting sites like AirBnB or VRBO are increasingly more common in our area. As they should be! We've got a little slice of heaven down here in SWMO and it needs to be shared. But, will that homeowners or condo policy you bought for your new investment property ACTUALLY cover you in a claims scenario?