Insurance coverage for recreational vehicles (RVs) can be a complicated issue. RVs combine many aspects of regular traveling vehicles with aspects of a home. There are several issues that need to be considered when purchasing RV insurance. First, all conventional car insurance issues must be covered. Second, it is a good idea to insure items inside the RV as well. Other issues arise for people who live predominantly in their RV and do not have a permanent residence anywhere else.
The definition of an RV is somewhat loose. An RV is traditionally viewed as a motor home, but many travel trailers, fifth wheels, and tour buses are considered RVs as well.
Since RVs are motor vehicles, they must be covered for conventional car insurance issues such as liability, collision, and uninsured or underinsured motorists. It is a legal requirement to have liability insurance, which covers all damages and bodily harm that is caused by the insured RV motorist. This protects people who the RV owner may collide with, and guarantees that they will receive compensation. Collision insurance covers any damage done to the RV when a collision occurs. This includes situations in which the RV collides with an object or an object collides with the RV. It is a good idea for RV owners to purchase uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage as well. This type of coverage protects the RV owner from having to pay for any damages caused by another vehicle driven by someone who does not have enough insurance to cover the damages.
RVs usually include appliances; it is a good idea, though it is not legally required, to insure these as well. The main difference between RV insurance and standard car insurance is that RV insurance policies can cover appliances and personal items in the RV. Plumbing, electrical problems, and other issues can be covered by RV insurance policies. Other items in the RV -- like TVs, stereos, or furniture -- can also be insured. This is similar to homeowner’s or renter’s insurance. Usually, people must ask for coverage of internal items because the law does not require it.
People who live in their RV full time and do not have a permanent residence have additional options. Many insurance companies offer full time coverage specifically designed for people who live in their RV. These types of policies often provide total vehicle and home insurance for the RV.
It is important for RV owners to purchase appropriate coverage for their vehicle. Many RV owners foolishly purchase the bare minimum of coverage, and then have to pay out of pocket for costly repairs on appliances and other items inside the RV.