RV Insurance 101

Selecting your RV insurance is an important part of the process in your RV purchase experience. To start, you’ll have to decide what company and what types of policies are available to best fit your needs. Since RVs are a second home to many who purchase them, it’s important to carefully select the right insurance and coverage options to protect your investment for the long haul.

When you begin your search, you may notice that insuring your recreational vehicle is going to be a bit more expensive than what you’re used to paying for auto insurance. So comparing coverage and rates from several insurance agencies is important.

The first thing you need to do is to familiarize yourself with the license requirements of the state where your vehicle is registered, as these will determine your insurance needs. If you’re located in Oregon like we are, check the Oregon DMV website for more information. Here is a list of other tips and tricks of RV insurance that you may not be as familiar with.

RV Insurance
Insurance agencies have separate types of insurance for towable versus motorized RVs, so the type of RV you own will impact your coverage. One of the major differences between the two is where the liability coverage falls in the event of an accident. With a towable RV, the liability falls under the insurance of the vehicle towing the RV, under most policies. This means you’ll need to make sure that your coverage on the vehicle you’re using to tow your RV has the proper liability coverage. For motorized RVs, the liability is covered in the RV’s policy.

RV insurance expert, Melisa Knudsen, of Hi Sage insurance in Escondido, California warns that it’s not always best to skimp on the liability coverage. “We strongly suggest not doing a low-limit liability coverage due to the damage an RV can cause in an accident. Comprehensive and collision limits are more likely to cause a raise in your premium, not liability,” says Knudsen.

For those who spend more than five months a year in their RV, you’ll want to look into a “full timers” policy. This will provide you with personal liability coverage similar to what you have on your home in addition to your other coverage.
What else should you look for in an insurance plan?

Selecting a deductible that you can afford is very important, but you’ll want to make sure your insurance covers everything you’ll need if something goes wrong with your vehicle, such as roadside assistance, fire department expenses and other emergency expenses. Look to see if you’re covered for a rental vehicle, locksmith charges, theft and flood damage, too.

Companion auto coverage could be right for you as well, which covers the vehicle that you are towing behind your RV. And, see if you will be covered for damage to permanent attachments to your RV, such as awnings.

Do you plan to spend a lot of time staying at campsites? Check your coverage for campsite or vacation liability—in most campsites, the renters are considered liable for whatever happens on the site, such as personal injury.

If you’re purchasing an RV, then chances are you’re an avid traveler, but does your hobby ever lead you out of the country? Confirm whether or not your policy covers you for RVing out of the country, like a trip to Mexico.

Some RV-specific insurance companies also offer an emergency vacation policy. This would pay up to a certain amount (usually around $2,000) to cover hotel costs, food and other expenses that may occur in the event of an accident when you’re more than 50 miles from home.

You should also keep in mind that many standard auto insurance agencies are limited in they type of coverage they can offer you. RV specific agencies, like Hi Sage, offer items such as total loss replacement coverage on new, untitled RVs. This gives you the ability to get a current year RV to replace your RV, in the event that it is totaled beyond repair. For pre-owned RVs, they offer similar policies such as a purchase price guarantee. This would cover you for the actual price you paid for the RV, not just what it was worth at the time of the loss or what was owed on the loan.

Discounts that may benefit you
One of the most common discounts for RV insurance is from bundling auto and RV insurance together, so it may be useful to look into insuring your RV with the agency that covers your regular automobile, or investigating other options for agencies that could cover both

Do you only RV during the summer months? Then see if you can suspend some of your coverage while your vehicle is sitting in storage, like collision and liability coverage.

You know that there are plenty of extra discounts offered for your automobile, and RVs are no different. Discounts might be offered for supplemental braking systems, completing a safe driving course, even being a member of an RV association or club. Some companies, like Hi Sage, even offer a disappearing deductible plan that will deduct 25% a year of your deductible. That means after four years, your deductible is zero!

Be sure to ask your insurance agent for all the possible discounts that may apply to you and your RV’s coverage. Although some of these discounts are small, they will certainly add up over time and save you a lot of money in the long run.

Choosing your RV insurance can seem like a grueling task, but exploring all of your options, in terms of agencies and various discounts, is the best way to go. If you have questions about which type of insurance you’ll need, please check out our website at guaranty.com for more information.

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