Just like any other vehicle or property, recreational vehicles and their drivers or operators must be insured against potential hazards, risks or perils. Recreational vehicle insurance is very different from car insurance in that there are a number of additional risks that come with the operation of a recreational vehicle. Plus, RVs are usually several times more expensive than your average small car, truck, or van.
Similarities to Car Insurance
RV insurance is similar to car insurance in that it can be purchased with bodily injury protection, property damage liability, uninsured motorist bodily liability, uninsured motorist property damage, underinsured motorist coverage, personal injury protection (in no-fault states), medical payments, collision and comprehensive coverage.
What is very different from car insurance, however are the extras profiled below:
Full Glass Coverage
This insurance covers all glass and rarely comes with a deductible. As most can imagine, the larger windshield of an RV as well as multiple windows on either side and rear of the vehicle can be expensive to purchase, and even more expensive to install.
While towing coverage may not be entirely necessary with your day to day automobile (as it's less costly, less necessary to tow) optional towing insurance on your RV pays for all towing related costs. This is especially convenient when on the road, and you and your family are on a very short timeframe to get back on the road. Be sure to get towing insurance in an amount suitable for a recreational vehicle, not just basic car towing service. Generally, $500 of coverage should be suitable for most tows.
Emergency Relocation Coverage
Recreational vehicles see their most use on the road as a vehicle, and also as a home. Should your RV be damaged beyond immediate repair, or destroyed in a natural disaster, or accident, emergency insurance will provide for a certain amount in temporary housing or travel costs, and may even cover the cost of towing or moving your RV back to your permanent home.
A RV used as a home in an RV park or on a camp site creates additional liability for the RV owner. This type of coverage protects the owner from additional risks of liability due to injury or property damage to others while their RV is parked. Other additions, such as room or awning coverage, is meant to protect the RV owner from the risk of loss and liability resulting from RV extremities.
Total Loss Replacement, Agreed Value, or Market Value Policies
The last, and most important part of your policy is protection against the total loss of a recreational vehicle. The owner has a choice between total loss replace protection, agreed value, or market value policies.
With a total loss replacement policy, the RV owner will be provided with cash equal to the replacement cost of the recreational vehicle. Most frequently, this kind of insurance is available for newer model recreational vehicles with a model year five years or less from the current year. A total loss replacement policy will buy a new recreational vehicle for the owner, often with no questions (other than documenting the loss) asked.
Agreed value policies are written with an agreed replacement value at the time of purchase. This kind of policy will pay an agreed value for full replacement, regardless of the RVs current market value. Typically, this policy replaces a replacement cost policy once the RV reaches an age at which it can no longer be insured under a replacement cost policy.
Finally, market value policies for RVs provide for a cash payment for the market value of the RV at the time of full loss. RV owners should be sure to document their recreational vehicle and its condition, as the market value as determined by the insurance company is based upon the condition at the time of the loss. As one can imagine, total loss damage or theft may make the pre-damage conditions difficult to prove. However, a combination of pictures and service records may aid in getting the best possible price for replacement.