Types of RV Coverages
This section covers the basic types of RV coverages available. While we've done our best to be as generic as possible, general explanations may vary from state to state and company to company. A good source of information is your local insurance broker who deals with RV insurance. You can also always review your policy or speak to an agent of your insurance company for specific definitions and clarifications.
Liability or Bodily Injury and Property Damage (BIPD)
This coverage is similar to the Liability coverage that your state or local government requires you to carry for your car. Liability covers damages for bodily injury or property damage caused by an accident, for which the insured is responsible. This does not generally cover punitive damages.
Uninsured Motorists and Underinsured Motorists (UM/UIM)
Uninsured motorists coverage reimburses an insured for the amount of bodily injury damages sustained when the at-fault party does not have insurance. This is identical to the kind of coverage that you would have on your auto. Underinsured motorists coverage reimburses an insured for the difference between actual bodily injury damages sustained and the amount of coverage the at-fault party carries up to policy limit's. This is coverage worth having.
Uninsured Motorists Property Damage (UMPD)
This is similar to UM or UIM coverage, but deals solely with damage to property, rather than bodily injury. This coverage deals with property damage sustained by an insured when the at-fault party does not carry insurance.
This is insurance for you and your passengers or occupants. It covers the insured, as well as the insured's passengers, for medical expenses incurred in an accident, regardless of fault. This is additional protection in the case of an accident in which severe injuries are sustained.
Personal Injury Protection (PIP)
This insurance may be required by your state. It provides medical expense coverage regardless of who is at fault. Some states require that this coverage provide medical benefit's, work loss benefit's, death benefit's and funeral benefit's in addition to medical expense coverage. If you are unsure whether your state requires this kind of coverage, check your state's website or speak with a local insurance broker.
Comprehensive or Other Than Collision
This is another type of coverage that is identical to the options available on an auto insurance policy. It provides coverage for damages to an insured vehicle by means other than collision, which can include such things as theft, glass breakage, hail, wind or fire.
Generally, you shouldn't carry collision on an older vehicle. However, you might want to carry it on your RV due to the cost of repairs. This coverage also protects you in an at-fault accident. It provides coverage for damages to an insured vehicle caused by a collision with another object.
Vacation (Campsite) Liability
If you are making use of a variety of campsites, you might want to consider this coverage. It provides protection up to your policy limit's for your legal liability resulting from lawsuit's if you are negligent while using your RV as a vacation residence.
Total Loss Replacement
An added coverage that will allow you to receive a new unit of the same model, body type, class, size and equipment, if you decide to replace your RV in the event of a total loss due to a covered accident. Most RVs, up to five model years old, are eligible for this coverage. But be aware: this kind of coverage is likely to cost you a lot more. However, if your RV is your home, it may be worth the money.
This is fundamentally "contents" insurance for your RV. It covers replacement costs (usually depreciated) for loss of or damage to the insured's personal belongings (like clothing, dishes, cookware and other items not permanently attached to your unit). Be sure that you understand what is and isn't covered under your policy. You may need additional insurance for some of your personal effects if they are very valuable or hard to identify and quantify.
Scheduled Valuable Personal Property
Do you keep valuables or expensive jewellery with you in your RV? These kinds of valuable possessions kept in your RV can be covered on your policy. A recent appraisal will normally be required.
Want to cross the border? This coverage provides comprehensive and collision for the insured vehicle while traveling in Mexico. If you want liability coverage in Mexico, you will likely need a separate coverage.
Adjacent Structure Coverage
Renting an RV space that provides you with a storage shed? This coverage provides a specified amount of coverage for a storage shed or other unattached structure located on a lot owned or rented by you.
Golf Cart Coverage
What's life on the road without a little recreation? This coverage provides physical damage and liability for golf carts, mopeds or small boats.
Some policies will have special benefit's. For instance, for each claim-free policy year, the selected deductible will be reduced by 25%. With this benefit, if you have four consecutive claim-free years, you'll have no deductible to pay in the event of a loss. Once a claim is paid, your deductible is restored to the original level shown on your policy.
If you use your RV as a primary residence for more than five months out of the year, you need the Full-Timers' coverage. Protection for your special needs will generally include:
- Personal Liability coverage, similar to homeowners' liability, at limit's up to selected auto liability limit's. After all, if you can drive it, you need to insure it.
- Value property coverage for items such as jewellery, cameras and sports equipment (because you can't just assume that all these items are covered).
- Golf cart coverage for leisure items not attached to your RV.
- Coverage for storage shed at an RV camp or other location, where personal items are stored.
- Insurance for "companion autos", since you will likely want to leave your RV parked sometimes, but you'll still want to explore. Many RVs now have the capacity to tow a car or other vehicle behind. Be sure to insure your towed car in addition to your RV.
If you are a full-timer, you will also generally need higher Liability limit's. You should consider Liability and uninsured/underinsured motorists coverage up to $1 million.
Some insurance companies will offer towing and labor reimbursement insurance, as well as their own Emergency Roadside assistance programs. In general, you should get this kind of program through your local RV association. It is likely to be better priced.
Do consider Emergency Expense Coverage of some kind. If your RV is damaged or destroyed, you will likely have to temporarily live in other accommodations. This can be expensive. A policy that can cover living costs can be extremely helpful.