Learn how to sufficiently protect your recreational vehicle with the right insurance coverage.
Insurance can be incredibly specific. If you have vehicles that fall under different category types, chances are your insurance provider has a separate policy for it. Consider recreational vehicle insurance: it encompasses many of the same aspects as renters and auto insurance but with its own quirks. Typically, insurance companies won’t allow RV owners to add RVs to personal auto policies. So in order to get complete coverage, you have to get a separate policy for your RV.
Most policies include liability, comprehensive and collision, and under/uninsured motorist coverage. Let’s break it down.
Liability coverage ensures that any damage you cause to someone else’s property or vehicle is covered. For simplicity, it's broken down into bodily injury and property damage limits, just like your auto. Bodily injury limits are specified on a per person and per accident basis whereas property damage coverage is on a per accident level only. For instance, if your policy has limits of 30/60/25, you would be covered up to $30,000 per person for bodily injury damages and $60,000 maximum if you injure multiple people in an accident. The final 25 refers to the $25,000 of coverage for damage you cause to someone else's property.
Just like your auto insurance, minimum RV insurance matches the auto insurance requirement for each state. Check out our RV limits table to find the minimum insurance required in your state.
Like your car, collision and comprehensive insurance pay for physical damage to your RV. Collision refers to damages that occur when your RV hits another vehicle or fixed object. Comprehensive, or sometimes called "other than collision", covers things like theft, animal collision, falling objects, and vandalism.
Collision and comprehensive coverage also feature deductibles, which is your portion of financial responsibility for claiming damage to your RV. The amount of deductible for comprehensive or collision coverage varies per your choice but can range from $250 to $2,500. A helpful hint if you're trying to lower your insurance premium by changing your deductible is the inverse relationship between the two — meaning that if you increase your deductible, you decrease your premium (AKA your bill).
This extends to your RV in the event of an accident where the other party either does not have insurance or does not have enough coverage to pay for all of the injuries they caused in an accident. Uninsured or underinsured motorist (UM/UIM) coverage is broken down similarly to liability, using a split-limit format where the coverage amounts correspond to a per person/per accident limit. Some states require you to have uninsured or underinsured coverage, while others do not. Check our state-by-state breakdown below to see if it's required in your state.
While the above coverage describes more of a basic form of coverage for your RV, if you live in your RV full-time or have expensive upgrades or features, you should consider the following insurance add-ons.
This coverage extends to personal effects like furniture, satellite dishes, sporting equipment, or camping supplies that you might have in your RV. This is unique to your RV policy as auto insurance usually doesn’t extend to personal property. The exact deductibles and limits of personal property vary per policy as well as per individual.
Considering the amount of time you spend with your RV on the road, having a towing service can be vital. While it varies per insurance company, roadside service for RVs typically has high-limit coverage to account for the large vehicle size.
If you’re using your RV as your full-time residence, this is the type of coverage you need. It works similarly to homeowners insurance in that it offers higher personal liability and medical payments for injured visitors, in addition to coverage for any items you keep in storage while you’re traveling. See more about insurance for full-time RVers below.
The exclusions for your RV vary per insurance carrier. Typically, however, travel trailers or other towed vehicles would require a separate policy — didn’t we warn that insurance was specific? Moreover, if you plan on taking your RV out of the US and into Canada or Mexico, you should consult with your insurance company. While coverage to Canada varies, typically Mexico is not a covered location for insurance companies though it can sometimes be added onto your policy for an additional premium increase.
In general, whether you are driving a 40-foot motorhome or hauling a pop-up camper, you will want to make sure that you are covered. Motorhomes will require a special policy all their own, while travel trailers or campers pulled behind a vehicle may not. However, trailers or campers can oftentimes still be covered with a policy to protect damage to the trailer or personal belongings inside.
For a better breakdown of the different types of RVs and the coverage that they require, have a look at the list below:
Recent years have seen an increase in the popularity of Class B motorhomes, commonly known as campervans. These are the smallest vehicles in the motorhome category and are valued for their smaller size, making them more maneuverable without sacrificing comfort.
Many popular home and auto insurance companies provide coverage for recreational vehicles as well. In some cases, you may even be able to pair your RV coverage with a car or home insurance policy for additional savings. Have a look at some of the common RV insurance providers:
There are also carriers dedicated travel trailer and RV insurance specifically that could also be worth looking into, including Good Sam Insurance and RV America Insurance.
When you're quoted for an RV insurance policy, it's likely your insurer will inquire how many months out of the year you'll be spending traveling in your RV, and rate your premium accordingly. Whether you're a full-time or part-time RVer, RV insurance covers you while traveling and at the campsites you stay at.
If you're a full-timer whose primary residence is your RV, your coverage needs would differ compared to someone who occasionally takes the RV out for vacations and weekend trips. The full-timer coverage you would want if you lived in your RV would look more like a union of a homeowners or renters policy and a car insurance policy. In addition to coverage for your personal property, it would also be a good idea — for some extra peace of mind — to add personal liability if your full-timers policy doesn't already include it. Though a typical RV policy comes with liability insurance, this only covers you for accidents while on the road as opposed to liability for injuries that may occur in or around the RV. You can also consider adding an endorsement for replacement cost — instead of actual cash value, which deducts for depreciation — so you don't find yourself financially underwater if your motorhome or camper RV is totaled.
If you're more of a recreational, or part-time, RV traveler, it could be a good idea to have additional coverage like vacation liability as another layer of protection in your RV insurance policy. While your auto liability covers you for accidents while driving the RV, vacation liability extends your liability coverage to cover accidents that may happen in or around the parked RV while you're on vacation or a road trip.
Keep these limits in mind when getting RV insurance quotes. Review the minimum required coverage limits for your respective state, found below.