If you're like most RVers, you'd like nothing better than to pack a couple of bags, grab the dog, and hit the open road as soon as the weather turns warm enough, but you also know that adequate insurance coverage is an absolute necessity before you leave your driveway or storage facility. Like most RVers, you probably also want the best possible coverage at the lowest possible rate. Whether you own a truck-bed camper, a travel trailer, or a traditional RV, then, there are several points to consider:
If your RV is a travel trailer, you should know that your car insurance only extends to cover the trailer when it is actually attached to the towing vehicle. You'll need a specific RV policy to cover it when it's unhitched and parked in a campground or RV lot. Your cheapest insurance options will probably be through a specialty car insurer, or through a company that offers special lines for non-traditional vehicles. To save money, be sure that all drivers on the policy are over twenty-five years old and have clean driving records.
RVs as Residences
If, like many people, you've turned your RV into a full time residence, either seasonally or year-round, you'll need an RV policy that will cover your living expenses in addition to repairs to the actual vehicle if it should become damaged or destroyed. As well, it's important to insure the contents of your RV, just as you would with the contents of a home on a permanent foundation. If you own a lot of expensive equipment, like a television, computers, a satellite dish, or personal possessions like jewelry, you may need to purchase a rider to your basic RV policy, in order to ensure that such things are replaced if stolen.
Also, if you tow a car with your RV (the reverse of the travel trailer scenario), for use when the RV is parked in a campsite, you'll need to have a regular auto insurance policy on the car. If your travels routinely take you across state lines, and you no longer have a permanent residence, be sure to set up a mailing address in a state with lower insurance costs, in order to reduce what you spend on this coverage.
Since the cost of towing an RV is much greater than the cost of towing a passenger car, you should make sure that your recreational vehicle is covered for roadside emergencies. This will help defray costs if you experience mechanical failures or are in an accident.
Storing Your RV
If you are not a full-time RVer, but store your RV for long periods of time, i.e. winter, you can save money by eliminating collision coverage while your recreational vehicle is in long-term storage, so long as you replace the coverage before you return to the road. If you have an indoor, locked facility where your RV can overwinter, you may even be able to scale the insurance coverage down enough to make it incredibly inexpensive.
Mainstream vs. Specialty Insurance
In the past two years, more and more mainstream insurance companies have added recreational vehicle insurance to their product lines, but in some cases it's still cheaper to check out the specialty companies first. When comparing policies, make sure you get comprehensive quotes, and ask about everything from deductibles to roadside assistance to contents insurance.
As with conventional auto insurance, RV insurance is less expensive for experienced drivers with clean driving records, safe employment and good credit, but there really is a policy to suit everyone, as long as you do your research.