Ah! The beauty of RV’ing! You get to have a different view outside your bedroom window every day (if you like). Wake up to the sounds of mountain streams or crashing waves, birdsong or trees swaying in the wind. Discover wildlife, explore nature, or simply sit in the sunshine. And if it’s raining? You sit under your awning. And when it’s too cold? You go inside. And the best part of it all? You get to sleep in a comfortable bed at night. YOUR bed!
An RV can take you all across the country, without you ever having to leave the comfort of home behind. Traveling in an RV – whether it’s just for the weekend, or for months on end – allows you to get just the right amount of adventure that you crave. What could be better?
But to keep the adventure in check, it helps to be prepared. A good RV Insurance plan goes a long way in giving you the peace of mind that allows you to truly enjoy your travels. After all, your RV isn’t just any vehicle. It’s your home on wheels. Call Ted Hamm Insurance for a customized RV Insurance plan that provides you with the protection that your home away from home deserves.
Can my RV be covered under my Auto Insurance policy?
You and your wife made the decision to buy an RV. You’ve been dreaming about it for years now, and you finally made it come true. Since it is likely to be your retirement "vacation home", you’ve invested in a higher-end model and splurged on a couple of extras.
Now comes the question: How to insure it? It’s a vehicle, so can it be added as another “car” to your auto policy? Then again, it’s most definitely not just a “car”...it's so much more than that. Plus, you will be carrying so much more stuff…all the stuff that makes it a home. So, perhaps a stand-alone RV insurance policy might be better. You wonder...how do I insure my new RV?
Well, first, congratulations on a lifelong dream come true! An RV is a great way to see the country. And it only makes sense that you will want the best protection for your new investment.
It is true that an RV can be added to an Auto insurance policy with a special endorsement. However, we strongly recommend a stand-alone RV insurance policy because it provides much broader coverage.
Ah! You may think that a stand-alone policy must come at a much higher price, too? But not always! In fact, in many cases, a stand-alone RV policy actually costs less than the endorsement to your auto insurance, although it provides broader coverage.
One of the biggest advantages of stand-alone RV insurance is that it offers “replacement coverage” while your auto policy will only cover your RV for “actual cash value”. That means if your RV is totaled and insured on a separate RV policy, your insurance will pay the cost to replace your RV. Your auto insurance will only pay what your RV was worth at the time of the loss. At the quick rate that all vehicles depreciate in value, that won’t be as much, especially if your RV was an older model.
Also, RV insurance provides better Roadside Assistance, Personal Property and Vacation Liability coverage that an auto policy can’t offer. Think about it this way: An RV is much bigger and much more expensive to repair than, say, a small sedan. Just a simple windshield replacement on an RV can cost up to $1,000! Your auto policy is made for a car, and its limits likely can’t keep up with the ‘needs’ of an RV.
Another perk of a stand-alone RV policy is the ‘disappearing deductible’. For every year that you drive your RV claims-free and accident-free, your deductible will drop 25%! Yes, your math is correct: This means that after four years without a claim or an accident, you will have a zero deductible on your RV insurance.
Give us a call 805-238-1818! We have many options, and we will customize a plan that protects your new investment at the best value for your dollar.
What does an RV insurance policy cover?
An RV policy is very similar to an auto insurance policy in that it provides some of the same coverages as your car insurance, just adapted for the larger size (and the usually higher cost for repairs) of an RV. Here they are:
- Bodily Injury / Property Damage Liability: This coverage pays for any damages or injuries that you cause to another party
- Uninsured / Underinsured Motorist: Pays for your losses if the person who hit you does not have insurance or the financial resources to compensate you for the damage
- Medical Payments: This coverage may be used to pay for your necessary medical expenses in case of an accident regardless of who is at fault. You can select the amount of coverage that you like.
- Comprehensive / Collision Coverage: Pays if your RV is stolen or damaged in an accident, regardless of who is at fault.
In addition to these, RV Insurance provides extra coverage that applies specifically to the size and exposure of an RV:
- Roadside Assistance: If your RV breaks down and needs to be towed, it can trigger major efforts and huge expenses. After all, an RV is not a car. It likely requires a semi-truck to be towed, which can cost you a pretty penny (often several hundred, if not a thousand, dollars). Your RV policy is made to cover bigger expenses for Roadside Assistance and towing.
- Emergency Expense: This coverage is automatically included with Comprehensive / Collision coverage and kicks in to cover the cost if a fire department needs to be called to save your RV.
Does my RV insurance cover me outside the US?
Plans are made, the new GPS is installed, and your bags are packed. You are planning on spending the summer road-tripping with your RV. From Canada to Mexico! Oh, all the things that you’ll see! You even plan on writing a blog about your adventures!
Except, three days before your departure, it hits you like a ton of bricks: Is your RV covered in Canada and Mexico? Or only in the US?
Your RV Insurance extends to the United States, its Territories, and Canada. That means you have coverage to the full extent of your policy if you travels to these places.
If you drive to Mexico, things are a little different: Your liability coverage does not extend to Mexico. If you plan on taking your RV to Mexico, you should purchase Mexican Liability Insurance from a licensed Mexican insurance company. ‘Mexico Physical Damage’ coverage is included with your Comprehensive / Collision coverage and covers physical damage that occurs to your RV while in Mexico, but only if you purchased Mexican Liability coverage.
What if I use my RV for several consecutive months at a time?
You and your spouse love your RV. It was probably one of the best investments of your lives! You are not quite ready yet to give up your house to live in your RV year-round but you sure love the life on the road that allows you to travel to places, see the country, and visit friends.
So...that’s what you do! Every year, you are sure to take 3 or 4 trips, spending 6 to 8 weeks traveling with your RV each time.
You have homeowner’s insurance for your little house in the suburbs (your command central that allows you to plan the next trip). And, you have RV insurance to cover your ‘home on wheels’. Is there anything else that you should know?
Yes! If you are traveling with your RV for longer periods of time, you should consider two aspects:
- Vacation Liability: Imagine your RV is parked at the campground, where you peacefully stoke your fire while your wife reads a book, when you hear a scream, a thunk, and a rumble. And it sounds like it’s way too near!
You drop your stick and hustle over to your RV, when you see the little girl, screaming in pain, blood running from a wound in her head, and a little bent pink bicycle a few feet over. Evidently, the little girl came down the hill too fast, wasn’t able to stop, and ran straight into your RV.
The good news is: The situation looks much worse than it is, and the little one got away with just a broken arm and a few bruises. No concussion.
The not-so-good news is: Since she ran into your RV, you are liable. That’s what Vacation Liability is for. It can protect you if you are held liable for bodily injury or physical damage to another person. Coverage limits are available from $10,000 to $500,000.
- Contents Coverage: Contents coverage protects your personal property that you take with you on your RV trip (all your luggage, sports gear, camera, electronics, jewelry, or other items that are not part of the basic installed equipment of your RV.) If you have homeowner’s insurance, your homeowner’s policy will extend to cover your personal belongings, but after 30 days this coverage drops to $10,000. If you plan on taking high-value items that exceed this limit, consider Contents Coverage for your RV. (Keep in mind that your TV, stove, and other built-ins are actually not part of your ‘personal property’ but are considered built-ins and are covered under your RV insurance)
Give us a call 805-238-1818 before you take off and we’ll be happy to review your policy and make suggestions for adequate insurance protection.
What if my RV is my primary residence?
Your dream has come true! You’re free! Free as a bird! You can go wherever you want, whenever you want, because your home is on wheels. Don’t like the weather anymore? Move on! Ready for a new view? Find one you like!
No longer are you bound to a house that comes with chores and maintenance! From now on out, your RV is your only and primary residence! How cool is that?
Congratulations! You are brave! The step from settled to nomadic life is not easy…We admire you for your courage!
It is somewhat more rare for folks to take this jump, but it is not unheard of: A number of insurance companies are prepared for this question and offer adequate protection plans for folks like you who decide to make your RV your home.
If you use your RV as your primary residence, a Full Timer’s Package will provide you with the coverage you need: This package offers protection for your RV that’s similar to a homeowner’s policy, while accommodating the ‘moving’ lifestyle.
It includes Liability coverage, Personal property coverage and Medical Payments coverage, and even Loss Assessment coverage (applicable while you rent a location in a community) and Storage Shed Contents coverage (up to $5,000 for items you left stored while you traveled).
For more information, please give us a call 805-238-1818. We are happy to help!
My friends and I bought an RV together. Can we get an RV insurance plan that covers all of us?
There are four of you – yourself, your wife and two great friends...a couple you have been close with now for 57 years. The four of you go way back. You’ve always enjoyed each other’s company and all you’ve always dreamed about owning an RV.
Neither one of you had the money or vacation time to justify such an investment in the past but now that you are all approaching retirement it’s a different story.
And the more you’d been chatting, the more the idea materialized in your minds: Why not buy an RV together?
If you are thinking about purchasing an RV or Travel Trailer together with a group of friends, you are not alone. We count several RV owners among our clients who have decided to ‘team up’ to fulfill this dream for themselves while sharing the financial responsibilities.
There are RV insurance programs that specialize in protection plans for a number of co-owners. Call the experts Ted Hamm Insurance at 805-238-1818 today and we will help you to customize a plan that works for all of you, while giving you the protection you need.