Insurance Basics: Recreational Vehicle Insurance

If you own a recreational vehicle, you probably will want to protect yourself by buying a recreational vehicle insurance policy. Be aware that this is a legal requirement of such owners. Recreational vehicles include a family of vehicles that serve as transportation, temporary living space and even permanent living quarters for some. They include motorized RV’s and towable RV’s. Insurance agents usually will advise owners to buy true recreational vehicle insurance instead of common car insurance to secure the often large investment in these vehicles.

Types of RV Insurance Coverage

When contemplating the purchase of insurance, the recreational vehicle owner initially needs to define their needs and decide what type of policy would best meet those needs. Total loss replacement coverage and collision coverage are most commonly recommended to recreational vehicle owners. If an owner lives and travels in areas subject to storms, floods and/or elevated crime levels, then specific insurance to protect against those eventualities is advised. Vacation liability insurance will cover expenses incurred for hotel room rental and meals while an owner’s recreational vehicle is under repair after an accident and a claim is being filed.

A number of special types of policies available are collision insurance for low branch or overhang, accessories coverage, RV stray animal damage and 24/7 roadside assistance. Disappearing deductibles coverage reduces your comprehensive and collision deductibles by one fourth for each year you do not file a claim. If you have a loss after the fourth year of remaining claim-free, you will pay no deductible.

Someone who lives full-time in their recreational vehicle probably will want greater recreational vehicle insurance coverage with higher liability limits. Full time coverage provides comprehensive and personal liability coverage as well as coverage for all personal possessions in the vehicle and parts of the RV such as awnings, stairs and extensions. Special personal effects coverage will protect your electronics, clothing, sports equipment, household equipment, and TV’s.

Insurance Discounts

As is true of other kinds of vehicle insurance, a safe driving record will improve your candidacy for a recreational vehicle insurance policy. It also is likely to reduce your premiums. Other discounts may be offered to you if you complete a safe driving course, join a recreational vehicle association, install an anti-theft device, or already have an insurance policy on another vehicle. Many RV owners will have previous auto insurance. The reverse is true also. Premiums may increase for an owner with a poor driving record or who is a new driver.

Place of residence affects the amount you can expect to pay for your recreation vehicle insurance rate. The state that issues your policy will play a major role in determining the cost of premiums. Another influential factor is your RV type and model. Then, too, driving record and amount of coverage requested will influence costs. Number of claims filed while driving any type of vehicle will affect costs negatively. It pays to inquire around and get recreational vehicle insurance quotes twice a year to keep your premiums at a minimum. Meanwhile, keep your RV in optimum condition.

Special Considerations

Many recreational vehicle owners typically drive long distances in their vehicles. Distance covered may include other states and even Canada and Mexico. When shopping for recreational vehicle insurance, it is important to ask insurance agents what policies and types of coverage will protect you on trips through these regions. If you intend to share driving on trips, then inquire from insurance agents about applicable policies and recreational vehicle insurance rates for two or more drivers. Coverage varies with different insurance companies.


The three most common claims made by recreational vehicle owners are for backing their RV into an object, tire blowout, and awning and antenna damage. Keep in mind that claims made increase a driver’s premiums. If a RV owner takes precautions, they can limit or even eliminate these claims. Before backing one’s RV, look around to make sure there are no objects hanging low or protruding up from the ground. Take awnings and antennas down in windy weather and when driving at high speeds. Get regular tire maintenance and avoid overloading the vehicle. Careful attention to these factors should help you limit your recreational vehicle insurance rates.

A good idea is to draw up a recreational insurance plan that includes steps to investigate all requirements and possible sources of discounts that apply to your situation before you buy either the vehicle or the insurance.

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