Can You Add an RV to Your Auto Insurance?

Fran Majidi
February 7, 2019

RVing has become very trendy, and it seems more and more people are doing it every day. But how do you insure a trailer or RV? Can you just add a trailer onto your car insurance? The simple answer is yes, you can add a towable trailer to your auto insurance in many cases. In fact, it’s what most people do, even though they are not getting the most amount of coverage available. Let us explain more fully.

Your car insurance extends to your trailer, at least the liability portion of it does. What that means is that you’re covered if your trailer gets unhitched on the highway and hits another car (God forbid!). It does not mean, however, that your property is covered if you’re in an accident that is your fault. No, the damage to your trailer will not be paid for by the insurance company, at least not fully, usually not even when you have collision and comprehensive coverage on your car or truck. Having your trailer piggy back off your auto insurance is like having basic car insurance only (all the way around). You are covered for any damage the trailer may cause -- up to a point and only in taking care of the other party when you’re at fault.

Most agents will try to sell you specialty RV insurance. There’s no denying that RV insurance is the better option if you really want to protect your asset. Remember also that if your trailer has a bathroom and wet bath, it’s almost a home and should be treated as such. Say you get into an accident that is your fault and your plumbing needs fixing (or worse yet, replacing!). That’s a very expensive job, which you’ll likely be left digging into your pockets to pay for -- unless you have specialty RV insurance, which may cover a nice portion of your claim. However, if you are extending your auto insurance coverage over to your trailer only, you’re out of luck. You’re on your own paying for the fixes.

Do Most People Have Specialty RV Insurance for their Trailers?

Most RVers do not have specialty RV insurance for their trailers, no matter how much insurance companies hate that fact. With that said, most RVers are disappointed when they do find themselves in an accident because they are underinsured, meaning that most of the damage to their property was not covered because they didn’t have a separate policy on their trailer.

Are Motorhomes (Class A and B) Covered by My Auto Insurance?

No, in most states, your motorhome must have its own RV liability insurance at the very least. Trailers are different from motorhomes and are often covered as an extension of the car. However, they are only covered for liability. If you are at fault, your insurance company will not pay for damages to the trailer and belongings.

If you fully own your RV and live in a state where RV insurance is not required you still need the minimum liability coverage on your RV but it doesn’t need to be specialty RV insurance. Some states may require that you carry uninsured or underinsured motorist insurance.

When Is My Trailer Not Covered by My Car Insurance?

If you are still paying off the trailer and have a loan out on it, the trailer does not technically belong to you. Most lenders and lienholders require that you have full coverage or specialty RV coverage for any vehicle that is being financed. You should contact your lienholder to find out what they require of you, if you still owe on the RV.

Should I Put My Trailer on My Car Insurance?

If you’re still reading that means you’re torn. Should you or should you not just put the trailer on the car insurance and save a bunch of money? If you plan to use your trailer once in a blue moon or on the occasional weekend, you could maybe get away without buying two insurance policies because you’re using the RV less so you’re less likely to have an accident. With that said, you are open to liabilities on the campsite and it only takes one day out to have one accident. So consider that in the event that something does go awry, you’ll likely have to pay for a bulk of the damages on your own. Plus, your belongings in the RV won’ be covered. The only other option, if you want full coverage, is to pay for two policies (car insurance and RV insurance) and worry a bunch less. Only you know which is the right answer for you.

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