What Kind of Insurance Do You Need for an RV?

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  • An RV can be expensive to buy, so it's important to have the right insurance.
  • The types of insurance to buy can vary depending on the type of RV. 
  • Most RV drivers should have comprehensive coverage, along with a few other types.

RV owners need to make sure they've protected their big investment. 

An RV is a big investment, so owners of this type of vehicle will want to make certain they have sufficient insurance coverage for it. Some RVs, such as motorhomes, can also be driven independently -- which means the driver could cause a crash in the RV and injure others or damage their property. This could cause serious harm, especially given the size of many RVs.

But, what types of insurance should RV owners have in order to protect their investment in their camper as well as their other assets? Here's what motorhome or trailer owners need to know. 

The type of insurance needed can vary depending on RV type

The first thing that owners of RVs need to know is that the kinds of insurance needed will vary depending on the type of recreational vehicle. 

For example, motorhomes are driven independently so these types of vehicles will require liability insurance. If a driver crashes a motorhome, the liability insurance that was purchased on the RV will pay for resulting property damage or injuries that others experience. 

Drivers may also want to buy collision coverage on these vehicles, even though state law won't require them to. Their RV lender may mandate this type of protection, or those who own their RVs free-and-clear may want to buy it to ensure they do not have to pay out-of-pocket for repair or replacement if they cause a crash in their motorhome. 

Travel trailers, fifth wheels, toy haulers, truck trailers, and other kinds of campers that are towed behind a vehicle will not need separate liability policies, though, unlike motorhomes. That's because these are not driven independently but rather pulled behind another vehicle. The liability auto insurance for the towing vehicle would pay out to victims who were hurt or whose property was damaged by a towable trailer. 

There are certain kinds of RV insurance most owners should have

While the rules for liability insurance vary based on RV type, there are certain kinds of coverage owners of most recreational vehicles should consider investing in. These include:

  • Comprehensive coverage: This type of policy pays for physical damage to an RV from a cause other than an accident. If a tree falls on the vehicle on the campsite, then comprehensive coverage would pay. Likewise, if the camper is stolen, comprehensive coverage would be the policy the owner relies on. 
  • Uninsured or underinsured coverage: This insurance pays out for damage to the RV if it is involved in a collision with a driver who has insufficient insurance or no insurance. Since RVs are so expensive, many drivers will not have enough liability insurance to pay for their repair or replacement after a crash. 
  • RV roof protection: Roof protection is an optional add-on that can pay for damage done to the roof of an RV. It can also cover problems caused by a leaky roof on the camper. 
  • Pest protection: Insects and other pests can sometimes do serious damage to an expensive RV. Pest protection is an optional add-on to RV insurance policies that will pay for fixes that need to be made if mice, birds, or insects cause harm. 

Some types of RV insurance may be optional, such as roof protection. But for people with RV loans, lenders may require certain kinds of protection to be put in place, such as comprehensive coverage.  

RV owners need to know what their state law mandates, what their lender requires, and what kinds of optional insurance make sense to protect their investment. By carefully researching this, it's possible to get the right protection to ensure your RV will provide you with great vacations for years to come.

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