What is RV Insurance and Who Does it the Best?
When you purchase your new motor vehicle, your manufacturer will likely recommend RV insurance. Many people believe that this is nothing more than their manufacturer trying to get them to buy another add-on. However, this may not necessarily be the case.
RV insurance could be incredibly useful for owners, especially those who plan to use their vehicles frequently.
Your motorhome is an investment, and you’d be wise to take measures to protect this investment. RV insurance can help you protect your investment. Much like car insurance, RV insurance will protect your vehicle were you to get into an accident or another rare event occurred. The reduced cost that you pay for a repair is likely less than the cost of buying a new motorhome.
As we’ll detail below, the cost of RV insurance depends significantly on the type of motor home you own. When looking for insurers for your motorhome, you’ll want to find those who are available and provide excellent customer support.
You’ll also want to compare the rates that they offer and the coverage that you’ll get when purchasing one of their plans.
Through our experiences, we’ve found that national insurance groups provide excellent RV insurance. Consider obtaining quotes from groups such as State Farm, Nationwide, and Farmers Insurance. Progressive also tends to have low deductibles, while Safeco provides coverage for accessorized motor vehicles.
Below, we’ve provided a more extensive breakdown of the criteria you’ll want to consider when comparing RV insurance policies.
RVs are unique in their coverage needs. For instance, you likely wouldn’t need to think about mold or rodent insurance for your car, but it could be a necessity in your RV. We hope that the information below proves useful in your hunt for RV insurance.
What Does it Cost to Insure an RV?
The cost to insure an RV will depend significantly on the type of RV that you own. If you own a small trailer and seek nothing more than basic insurance, you can expect to spend between $800 and $900 per year.
If you own state-of-the-art luxury motorhomes with fantastic amenities, your insurance could push $5,000 per year.
The average annual costs for motorhomes are:
- Class A = $1,150 per year
- Class B = $1,000 per year
- Class C = $900 per year
Keep in mind that these are us-nationwide averages and that the cost to fully-insure an RV can vary drastically from state to state. For example, the average cost to insure a motorhome in Oregon is about four times less than the cost to insure an RV in Michigan. If you’re worried about insurance costs, we recommend that you look into your specific state’s policy before making your purchase.
Much like car insurance, your previous driving record will also play a significant role in determining your premium costs. This is the case for Class A, B, and C motorhomes as well as those that you attach to a hitch, like fifth wheels, Toy Hauler Trailers, and Camper Trailers.
Any accidents with which you were involved or speeding tickets you’ve obtained could drive up the cost of your RV insurance.
Other factors that determine the cost of RV insurance include the age of your motor home and how much you anticipate to use the vehicle. The older a motor home, the more likely it is to breakdown or damage. This will result in higher insurance premiums.
Furthermore, if you’re looking to drive your RV frequently and place a lot of miles on it, your premiums will inflate.
Do You Have to Insure Your RV?
Much like car insurance, if your RV operates as a motorhome with the driver sitting in the front seat, you’ll need to secure primary liability insurance. At the minimum, you’ll need to acquire the same amount of protection as you would for a car. Class A, B, and C motorhomes will require insurance before you can drive on the road.
Additionally, if you do not own your vehicle, you’ll also need to purchase some form of protection to insure your RV. This most generally applies to those renting an RV. We highly recommend that you buy additional RV insurance when dealing with an agency. In some cases, agencies may require you to do so.
The same would also apply to those who secured a loan to pay for the RV. Financial lien-holders will likely require that you purchase insurance because they want to receive the full value of the investment back in case of an accident.
If you choose not to buy insurance, some lenders will select a policy and add the premium amount to your bill. Talk this through with your lender before buying.
The only times when you’re not required to purchase insurance are when you can tow your trailer. The vehicle that you’re using to pull the RV will be the one necessary to insure. That’s not to say that you still can’t purchase optional coverage to protect your towable RV.
Additionally, if you live in a state that does not require insurance and you own your vehicle, you won’t need to purchase a policy.
Does RV Insurance Cover Mold or Flooding?
Motorhomes are often susceptible to mold and water damage. Many RV owners wonder if their insurance policies will protect against flooding and other catastrophes. Unfortunately, mold and flooding insurance typically does not come standard in RV insurance packages.
Furthermore, many insurance companies do not offer a mold or water damage package.
The only type of coverage that could potentially cover your RV in case of water damage is comprehensive coverage. These policies help protect your vehicle from damage that does not occur due to an accident. Examples include:
- Damage from a fire
- Some water damage
Insurance companies will evaluate incidents on a case-by-case basis. Gradual wear-and-tear, or water damage that occurs over time due to lack of maintenance will likely not qualify as suitable water damage under a comprehensive plan.
Insurers could potentially cover an RV flooded during a storm, but even this is not guaranteed.
Other standard exclusions include freezing temperatures and accumulations of ice that occur in the off-season. Dry rot and rust are also not protected. Lastly, your insurer will probably not cover water damage due to a leak. RV owners should never operate under the assumption that they have protection from mold and flooding.
Instead, they should make efforts to ventilate their home to ensure that mold does not grow inside the vehicle. If owners are genuinely worried about mold or flooding damage, they should talk with their insurance agent to see what policy is best.
Does RV Insurance Cover Rodent Damage?
Another common issue with RVs is that they are prone to rodent damage because they are outdoors for extended periods. Rodent damage is much like water damage in that RV owners cannot purchase an exclusive policy to protect against it.
Like water damage, the only chance that insurance coverage would protect against rodent damage would be if it fell under your comprehensive coverage.
Again, your insurer would consider your claim on a case-by-case basis. Damage from routine rodents like ants or mice is likely not covered under your policy. Damage from carpenter ants is more of a toss-up, although you’re still probably not going to find coverage. Comprehensive coverage will likely protect against rare events that the average RV owner would not suffer. Think of unusual circumstances.
This is a critical reason why RV owners must clean their vehicle after every use and keep it in pristine condition. If rodents were to infest your motorhome, there is likely no way to recoup the cost of the damage they caused.
You can further discuss the issue with your insurance provider to determine explicitly what your plan covers.
What’s the Average Monthly Cost of RV Insurance for a Full-Time Traveler?
If you plan to use your motorhome as a full-time residence, you should prepare to pay more than those who use it less frequently. That’s because there are more risks associated with living in the home, and you’ll also likely travel more miles.
Insurance companies consider you to be a full-time RV traveler if you do not own or rent another residence, thus making the motorhome your primary home.
Full-time RV travelers should expect to pay between $125 – $150 per month for their insurance plan, which breaks down to roughly $1,500 per year. Remember that this is a nationwide average and the state from which you purchase your insurance could cause a change in price.
Additionally, if you plan to live in a campground for an extended period, you may need to pay additional insurance and fees.
Prices could also escalate if you choose to live in a luxurious Class A motorhome. However, the cost of insurance for a full-time traveler should still be less than homeowner’s insurance. If you are in need of a discount, you could potentially pay your entire policy upfront once per year.
Many insurance companies reward those who do so.