RV insurance: what to know
Recreational vehicle insurance comprises many of the same aspects as renters and auto insurance, but it comes with its own quirks. Typically, insurance companies won’t allow RV owners to add their recreational vehicles to personal auto policies. In order to get complete coverage, you should purchase a separate policy for your RV.
What does RV insurance include?
Most RV insurance policies include liability, comprehensive and collision, and under/uninsured motorist coverage.
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.
Comprehensive and collision insurance
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, sometimes called "other than collision," covers incidents 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).
Uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage
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.
Additional coverage options for RVs
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.
Personal property and attachment coverage
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.
Full-time RV coverage
If you’re using your RV as your full-time residence, this is the type of coverage you need. It works like 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.
What's not covered by RV insurance?
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 your insurance company.
While coverage in Canada varies, typically Mexico is not a covered location for insurance companies. Coverage for RVs in Mexico can sometimes be added to your policy for an additional premium increase.
Does coverage vary for different types of RVs and trailers?
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, review the below list:
- Class A motorhome: The largest of the motorhomes, these vehicles can range in length from 21 feet to 40 feet.
- Class B motorhome: The smallest motorhome category, commonly known as campervans.
- Class C motorhome: Mid-sized motorhomes that measure up to 33 feet in length.
- Conventional/Fifth-wheel trailers: These often have larger living spaces and are pulled behind a vehicle. Separate coverage may not be required if you have a robust auto policy, though it should still be considered.
- Pop-up campers: These contain expandable living spaces and are hauled behind another vehicle. Coverage may not be required, though it's worth considering as a way to protect the camper and the personal belongings therein.
In recent years, Class B motorhomes — commonly known as campervans — have grown more popular. These are the smallest vehicles in the motorhome category and are valued for their smaller size, making them more maneuverable without sacrificing comfort.
Best RV insurance companies
Many popular home and auto insurance companies provide coverage for recreational vehicles. In some cases, you may be able to pair your RV coverage with a car or home insurance policy for bundling savings.
Below are some popular RV insurance providers:
Some companies are dedicated to travel trailer and RV insurance specifically, including Good Sam Insurance and RV America Insurance.
How to insure a DIY camper
Many people who purchase an RV or camper decide to make their space even more comfortable for long journeys by installing amenities like cabinetry, plumbing, and appliances. Insuring a DIY camper is a bit different than your standard RV insurance policy. Before you get started customizing your camper, it’s important to insure the vehicle as is with RV insurance. This will keep you at least partially covered during the buildout.
While you are renovating the campervan, it’s a good idea to keep detailed records of supplies used in the making. This allows the underwriting department of your insurance company to understand the new value of your camper and write an appropriate policy. Receipts, photos, order numbers and associated documents should all be kept safe and organized for the insurance process. The insurance company might not ask for this level of detail but it could help in ensuring that the policy is sufficient for the campervan’s new value. The value of your vehicle will impact the cost of your new insurance plan.
Your current insurance company may not be willing to cover a DIY campervan that was not built professionally. Customers who have gone through this process suggest speaking to a local agent to discuss your options rather than calling the insurer’s main company line. Not every agent has written this kind of insurance before, so be prepared to talk to a few different agents to find the right policy for your situation. It’s possible, depending on the level of renovations made, that you may have to register your campervan as a motorhome and get motorhome insurance post-buildout. It’s necessary that you be honest with your insurer about the state of your RV— if you aren’t and you have to make a claim, you may have a difficult time getting reimbursed. Once insured, read your insurance agreement carefully and make sure everything is covered.
Often with RV and camper insurance, items within the vehicle are not covered. These items are typically covered by your homeowners or renters insurance, but if you are living in the campervan full time, you will need coverage on your personal items. To insure your property, you will need to purchase personal articles coverage. You may choose a blanket policy alone or you may wish to insure specific items that are more valuable. This would require scheduled personal property coverage.
Full-time vs. recreational RV 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 camp sites 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.
State insurance minimums for RVs
Keep these limits in mind when getting RV insurance quotes. Review the minimum required coverage limits for your respective state, found below.