The Best RV Insurance: Everything You Need to Know

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A recreational vehicle (RV) is part vehicle, part vacation home. Because it's a mixed breed, it has special insurance needs.

RV insurance has to meet minimum state car insurance mandates but also cover additional risks unique to RVs.

An RV is not just a big investment. It can also be a place where families spend time bonding together as they explore the country. To help protect something so precious, this article offers examples of the best RV insurance, so you can match the right type of coverage with your needs and budget.

Best RV Insurance Overall: Foremost Insurance

SmartFinancial reviewed the features offered by RV insurance policies from several different companies, focusing on customer service, ability to bundle insurance with auto and other policies, the number and types of discounts available, roadside assistance programs and more.

Based on this analysis, SmartFinancial has selected the Foremost Insurance Group as having the best RV insurance overall.

Here are some of the characteristics that made Foremost Insurance stand out:

  • A specialty insurance company focused on providing niche insurance products rather than mass-market insurance

  • 65 years of experience

  • Created the very first mobile home insurance policy

  • Outstanding roadside assistance program

  • Wide variety of discounts

  • Endorsed by AARP for mobile home insurance

  • Licensed in all 50 states and Washington D.C.

  • Represented by a nationwide network of more than 38,000 agents

Best Customer Service: State Farm

Customer service is a crucial part of insurance. You'll need an agent who can make a complex subject understandable. Then later, if something bad happens to your RV, you'll need help filing a claim.

The best customer service options for RV insurance offer a choice between online service and live help via telephone as well as access to roadside help. Several of the insurers SmartFinancial reviewed offered these services, but State Farm stood out as having the best customer service:

  • Highest average JD Power Customer Service scores

  • Broad nationwide presence, perfect as you travel the country

  • Online claim tracking

  • 24/7 access to roadside assistance

  • A team of 19,000 agents offering personalized service

Best Auto and RV Bundle: Nationwide

One of the best ways to save money on insurance is to combine policies on two different vehicles.

Many companies offer the ability to bundle RV insurance with auto or other policies. The best auto and RV bundle will vary depending on the type of RV you have, the car you drive, your driving record, etc.

Nationwide stood out as a company you should strongly consider when looking for the best RV insurance bundle. Here's why:

  • Multiple ways to save by bundling your RV insurance, including RV and auto bundle.

  • Bundling can also include policies for other recreational vehicles, such as boats, ATVs, snowmobiles and motorcycles.

  • If you have more than one other vehicle, you can get an additional discount by bundling these policies with your RV.

Best RV Insurance Discounts: National General

Most RV insurance companies offer a variety of discounts. The value of these discounts comes down to the specifics of your situation - what your starting quote is, and what types of discount you may be eligible for, etc.

National General Insurance stood out for the range of discounts it has available, including:

  • Up to 20% savings for multi-vehicle discounts

  • Combined deductibles - valuable for RVers who tow a family car, because if both vehicles are damaged in the same accident you'd only have to pay one deductible

  • Upfront payment discount

  • Online payment discount

  • Ability to save by suspending on-road coverage while your RV is in storage

  • Safe driver discounts

  • Low mileage discounts

Best Roadside Assistance Program: Foremost Insurance Group

Roadside assistance is useful for any driver, but it's especially important for an RV. After all, that vehicle is not just your transportation, it's also your shelter.

In recognition of this, several RV insurance companies offer good roadside assistance programs, though often at extra cost. The one offered by Foremost Insurance Group stood out for the following reasons:

  • Roadside assistance is part of the standard coverage.

  • Emergency assistance such as tire changes, jump starts and fuel delivery.

  • Towing is included.

  • Locksmith services are included.

  • Roadside program includes emergency lodging allowance if your vehicle is incapacitated more than 50 miles from home.

Other RV Insurance Providers

Besides the companies already mentioned in this article, there are several other RV insurance providers. Insurance always comes down to the specific quotes and coverages available for your situation, so it pays to shop around.

Foremost Insurance Group has the best RV insurance overall.

Here are some of the other RV insurance providers that may be worth considering:

  • Auto-Owners Insurance

  • Farmers

  • The Hartford

  • Safeco

What Special Risks Are RVs Exposed To?

More exposure to elements

As you travel the country in your RV, you will be exposed to a wide range of different climates, and you'll experience everything nature can dish out.

Even once you're safely home, you may not have the option of tucking your RV safely away in a garage. So, even when it's not in use an RV needs some types of coverage that are more like home insurance than vehicle insurance.

Accident Risk

An RV must combine home insurance with auto insurance coverage while taking into account the broader range of perils it will face. Also, an RV is more complicated to maneuver and back in and out than a car. Driving an RV has more in common with driving a truck than it does with driving a car, yet no state requires a commercial drivers license to operate an RV.

RVs also have these heightened risks. The force of high winds, a tendency to roll over due to a high center of gravity, a wide turning radius, increased stopping distances due to vehicle weight and large blindspots are all among the special risks that should be taken into account when you drive an RV - and when you insure one.

Theft Risk

RVs can be tempting targets for thieves. Like a home, an RV's contents may include valuable personal possessions. Unlike a home, you may be parking your RV in all kinds of places, some of which may be quite isolated and dangerous.

Your RV insurance needs to account for the risk of theft to the vehicle itself, and to the possessions inside it.

Save on RV Insurance

Are There Different Types of RV Insurance?

As with all vehicle insurance, there are several coverage options for RV insurance.

Virtually every state requires that you have liability coverage. However, liability insurance does nothing to cover the potential cost of loss or damage to the RV itself and your possessions in it.

Below is a list of coverage options for RVs, followed by a highlighting of coverage that might be especially important to people who live in their RVs full-time or close to it.

Coverage options

  • Liability

  • Collision

  • Comprehensive

  • Medical

  • Deductibles

  • Coverage limits

  • Personal property coverage

  • Coverage for custom fixtures inside and outside the vehicle

  • Roadside assistance

  • Homeowners features (coverage for damage from perils like fire, storm damage, etc.)

Best coverage features for full-time RVers

For some people, their RV is also their primary home. Certain aspects of insurance coverage are especially important for these full-timers. For an occasional RVer, theft or an accident might ruin a vacation. To a full-timer, it might leave them homeless.

Here are some coverage options full-timers should seriously consider:

  • Unlimited mileage or a high mileage ceiling

  • Excellent roadside assistance with food and lodging allowances

  • Collision coverage

  • Comprehensive coverage (includes theft)

  • High-limit personal possessions coverage

  • Full replacement cost coverage

Types of RVs

From an insurance standpoint there's a key distinction between a motorhome, which is an RV with its own engine, and an RV trailer which is towed behind another vehicle.

A motorhome is required to have its own liability insurance by the vast majority of states that have minimum requirements for this type of insurance.

An RV trailer is covered by the liability insurance of the vehicle that's towing it. Keep in mind that liability insurance only covers you for damage to other vehicles.

In either case then, you may want insurance specific to your RV. The cost of this will depend on the type of RV you have.

Besides the distinction between trailers and motorhomes, there are three classes of motorhomes. These include:

  • Class A for motorhomes more than 20 feet long

  • Class B for smaller motorhomes sometimes known as camper vans

  • Class C for motorhomes built onto the chassis of a pickup truck

Insurance for a class A motorhome is likely to be most expensive. That's because these vehicles are the hardest to operate and are often the costliest.

How To Buy RV Insurance

With so many coverage options and so much at stake, buying RV insurance is a serious business. Approach it methodically, covering the bases outlined below.

State Farm stood out as having the best customer service.

Plan your usage

One thing that often makes RV insurance more affordable is that if you only plan to use the vehicle occasionally insurance companies will reflect that in your quote.

Think ahead so you can give the insurance company an accurate estimate of how often you'll use the vehicle and for how many miles. That could save you from paying for more insurance than you need.

Prioritize your needs

Think about what's most important to you. You're going to need to meet the mandatory minimum insurance requirements for your state, but beyond that consider the various other coverage options designed to save you money in the long-run.

Things like roadside assistance and personal property coverage might be crucial if you plan to spend a lot of time in your RV. Collision and comprehensive coverage may be essential if you have a high-priced rig. The coverage limit should also be based on the cost of your RV and its contents.

Finally, if you plan on just taking the RV for the occasional weekend away, you might save money with a plan that has a very limited mileage ceiling. However, full-timers who plan on touring the country won't want to be bound by those kinds of limits.

Get quotes from different RV insurance companies

Once you know what you want, get quotes from multiple insurance companies for that type of policy.

No matter what you might read about such-and-such company having the cheapest rates, the actual rate you get will depend on a long list of particulars. You won't know what the best deal is for your situation until you get quotes from multiple RV insurers or car insurance quotes if you own a trailer.

Compare quotes for different coverage options

Once you see the quotes, choose which coverage options you want.

There's always a relationship between more coverage and higher cost. If the quotes you get seem too high, decide which options are must-haves and which you could do without. Then compare quotes based on what you chose.

Read the policy before you sign

Even though you may have selected the list of options, deductibles and coverage limits you want, the exact meaning of these things depends on the language in the policy.

Read any policy carefully before you sign it. Make sure there aren't any "gotcha" exceptions (exclusions) that could burn you when it comes time to file a claim.

How Much Is RV Insurance?

The cost of RV insurance can vary a great deal. Factors include:

  • Type of vehicle - is it a single-axle trailer or a 45-foot class A motorhome?

  • Custom features and contents

  • Your coverage limits

  • Deductibles

  • Your driving record

  • Planned usage - where, how often, and for how many miles?

On the low end, you might be able to get by with a policy for less than $100 a year. At the other end of the spectrum, if you plan to be a full-timer in a top-of-the-line rig, your insurance costs may run into the thousands.

Nationwide stood out as a company you should strongly consider when looking for the best RV insurance bundle.

For most people, expect the price tag to run a few hundred dollars. But, don't make any assumptions until you get quotes that are relevant to your needs.

What Does RV Insurance Cover?

The list of coverage options earlier in this article spells out some of the specifics, but broadly speaking you need to consider six coverage areas:

  • Collision

  • Comprehensive

  • Contents

  • Liability

  • Medical payments

  • Personal injury protection

Liability coverage should be part of any policy, but the others are likely to cost extra. When you think of what's at stake, you may well decide that cost is money well spent.

What Kind of Insurance Do I Need To Rent Out My RV?

If you plan to rent out your RV, be advised that standard RV insurance policies will not cover any damage or loss that occurs while it's being used in this way. You - or the person renting the vehicle - will need commercial insurance for that.

Some platforms that match renters with RV owners offer short-term insurance as part of the package. Typically, the person renting the RV pays an extra fee based on the length of the rental.

RV Insurance FAQs

Will my regular auto insurance cover my RV?

Not if the RV is a motorhome but you are covered if you have a trailer that is towed behind another vehicle. Even with a trailer, your car insurance is not likely to cover the full range of coverage that an RV needs.

Will RV insurance be more expensive than my car insurance policy?

Probably not. Most RV insurance reflects the fact that these vehicles are generally used only part time, while car insurance typically assumes full-time use. The cost of RV insurance might be a different story if you are a full-timer with a high-priced RV carrying valuable possessions.

What if I only use my RV once or twice a year?

Make your planned usage clear when you get insurance quotes - it has a big effect on how much you'll pay. Low mileage plans can help you save a lot of money. Depending on your insurance carrier, you might even be able to suspend certain aspects of your coverage while the vehicle is not in use. You should, however, keep active the parts of the coverage that apply to damage or loss that could occur while the vehicle is in storage.

Shop for the Best RV Insurance Before Your Next Trip

The wrong time to find out that you don't have the right RV coverage is when you're miles from home. Shop for the best RV insurance now, so you'll be ready for your next trip.

Choosing an RV insurance policy may sound complicated, but an experienced insurance agent can walk you through the process. Clarifying your coverage options and getting competing quotes can make it easier to make the right choice for your needs.

If you want to save money bundling your RV insurance with a new auto insurance policy, compare car insurance rates first and speak with the agent about adding RV coverage. Enter your zip code below and answer a few questions to get free car and RV insurance quotes.

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