Getting Insurance for Your Summer Roadtrip

Fran Majidi
November 3, 2020

With coronavirus hotspots blazing across the nation, many Americans are hesitant to take an extended summer holiday. Those adventurers who decide to travel to a faraway vacation destination are doing so with caution. Americans are spending their vacations differently this year due to coronavirus. They’re avoiding all shared forms of transportation, including traveling in cramped compartments of airplanes, buses and trains. They seek more private forms of transportation. Most people are using self-contained spaces, like RV campers or rental cars, to avoid exposing themselves and their loved ones to potential coronavirus carriers. Many travelers understand that unforeseen incidents can happen when journeying away from home. If you’re taking a long road trip to another state, you’ll need insurance to protect yourselves and your fellow passengers. In this article, we’ll tell you what coverage you’ll need to insure yourself against the unexpected. You’ll learn about the two choices most Americans are using for their summer getaways in 2020: RVs and rental cars.

Road Trip Option One: The RV Summer Getaway

The RV Industry Association surveyed to learn about American’s summer travel plans. According to consumer research, 46 million people plan to take an RV trip within the next 12 months. The peer-to-peer vehicle rental company, RV Share, revealed that bookings have expanded by 1,600% since April. RV Industry Association President Craig Kirby says that RVs provide ways for consumers to explore the great outdoors and enjoy recreational trips. They include motor homes, trailers, pop-up campers and truck campers. According to Outdoorsy, first-time renters made up 93 percent of rentals between May and June. “RVs provide a great way for consumers to enjoy vacations with their families, while still adhering to social distancing policies that are likely to remain in place in some fashion as we move forward,” Kirby explained in an interview with the RV Industry Association staff.

USA Today recently interviewed vacationers that plan to take a road trip this summer. Many admitted that traveling by RV feels safer since they can avoid using public restrooms or sharing spaces with others. RVShare also found that 93 percent of its customers wanted to avoid crowds. Sixty-five percent traveled by RV to explore nature. Riders also take longer holidays in these vehicles, averaging seven to ten days. Besides social distancing concerns, another reason that some Americans prefer to take RV vacations is affordability. Almost 79 percent say that RV getaways are cheaper than other transportation modes, even when fuel prices are higher. Almost 85 percent say that RV trips can save 25 percent over flying, riding the train, or staying at hotels.

In addition to social distancing concerns, additional reasons for increased RV journeys include:

  • Flexibility to take mini-vacations (69%)
  • Chance to enjoy outdoor activities and nature (61%)
  • Opportunity to spend quality time with relatives and family members (53%)
  • A way to escape pressure and stress

The most popular destinations for RV travelers to visit include:

  • Yellowstone National Park
  • The Grand Canyon National Park
  • Zion National Park

The KOA Campgrounds are the perfect place for road trippers searching for a place to stay overnight. These recreational grounds offer many outdoor activities, including playgrounds and pools. Travelers can use their laundry facilities if they need to wash your clothes. Others have gift shops, restaurants, and Wi-Fi access. These areas, located throughout the country, charge $35 - $45 per evening for an overnight stay. Their rates vary depending on the tourist location and how many utilities renters will need for their group during an outing.

Get RV Rental Insurance to Protect Yourself on the Road

Most RV companies require their customers to obtain rental insurance, because their vehicles are so expensive, and they want to make sure that you have coverage in case an accident occurs on the road. Most rental businesses require their customers to have the following insurance coverage: Liability insurance: This coverage pays when drivers injure another person or damage their property during an accident. The rental company generally provides this coverage. You’ll also receive roadside assistance if you break down while on the road. RV rental insurance – It works similarly to car insurance, offering limited liability, collision, and comprehensive coverage. The coverage protects a driver when they get into an accident, or if the person accidentally damages an RV during a road trip. The RV company requires renters to purchase this coverage.

RV renters have three options:

1. A Temporary RV Rental Insurance Binder – This coverage allows a person to extend their auto insurance policy to their RV rental. The drawback is that the binder may not be enough to pay for motorhome damage since they’re so expensive. It doesn't cover non-auto damage, for instance, if a renter accidentally breaks an appliance. Additionally, this coverage doesn't reimburse the costs of personal property within the RVs. Not all auto insurance providers offer insurance binders.

2. Buying insurance through the rental company - An RV business may offer this coverage as an add-on purchase. When selecting this option, double-check the policy's limits. Some leave drivers underinsured with high deductibles of $2,000 or more


3. Getting a third-party RV renter’s insurance policy – Another choice is to buy plans that offer liability, collision, and comprehensive coverage. Some policies will pay for total loss replacement, towing fees, personal belongings, RV accessories, and emergency expenses.

How Much Does RV Rental Insurance Cost?

Full coverage for large RVs will cost more, but the price will depend on your provider. It typically ranges from $15 - $30 per day. Just like car insurance, the cost of RV insurance coverage will depend on several factors:

  • Your driving record
  • The RV type you’re renting and its features
  • The vehicle’s age
  • The state’s coverage limits
  • The deductible and limits
  • Supplemental coverage

Drivers should speak with several companies to get an insurance quote before making their final decision. SmartFinancial can make the process easy if you want to compare car insurance rates while you’re at it. SmartFinancials insurance technology can help you compare coverage with different companies. Just fill out the form on the linked page for auto insurance to get the process started.

Road Trip Option Two: Driving to a Fantastic Destination by Car

Americans are also driving directly to their destinations by automobile. The U.S. Travel Association and MMGY Travel Intelligence recently surveyed people nationwide and learned 45% said they would rather use a car to travel to their summer destination. Almost 68% of their respondents said they felt safer using their vehicles to visit national parks, beaches or other destinations. Most people are likely to travel with their family, relatives or close companions they have quarantined with over the last few months. You should wear masks if your passengers have had outside contact. If you’re traveling alone, avoid wearing a mask to prevent contact. Another reason that people prefer driving to vacation spots this summer is due to low fuel prices, which average under $2 per gallon. Make sure you have adequate coverage on your auto insurance policy. Considering adding more if you’re traveling. Make sure you have the best car insurance rates and superior coverage by comparing car insurance quotes.

Should You Get Rental Car Insurance or Use Your Own Coverage?

Many Americans will use their car for their private summer getaway. This option is cost-effective and can save vacationers money over the long haul. Unfortunately, this choice may not be the best one for every person. Renting a car provides many outstanding benefits as well. There are several reasons why drivers should consider using a rental car for their vacation. First, drivers won't need to put mileage on their vehicle's odometer, especially if it's a newer model. Others may use a rental car because it is more reliable than their current automobile. Most companies generally offer rental insurance policies to protect customers who may damage a vehicle during an accident.

Which Insurance Will Cover Your Car Trip?

Rental insurance generally adds around $30 to your daily total, depending on the type of insurance you purchase. Some companies offer Rental Car Damage Protector Coverage. It is a policy that primarily provides collision loss/damage insurance coverage up to $40,000 and may cost slightly cheaper. Some of these policies, unlike your personal auto insurance coverage, have no deductible. If you already have auto insurance coverage, your policy only applies if you’re using the rental car for a personal purpose, unrelated to business. For instance, your insurer may not provide coverage for your vehicle if you’re using it for a business road trip. Before you take your trip, speak with an insurance representative to find out what your policy will cover. You may want to see if you can get a better car insurance rate while you’re at it.

Insurance that Covers Damaged or Stolen Cars

Drivers who are renting vehicles for their summer vacations can ask for a loss-damage waiver (LDW) from their rental company. It is also called a collision damage waiver (CDW). LDWs protect drivers against accident-related damages to their rental car, or if a thief steals the vehicle. These waivers are not insurance policies but will absolve you of the above damages or situations. Since they are legally binding, the rental car business can’t come after you if the worst happens. Comprehensive and collision coverage on your auto insurance will pay for damages when you drive a rental car. They will only reimburse you if your policy is current, and you will still need to meet your deductible. Speak with an insurance agent before your trip to see if your insurance covers road trips and to see if you’re paying too much for car insurance. You can start by entering your zip code at the bottom of this page.

Third-Party Damages

Rental agencies offer Supplemental Liability Protection that will pay for damages you cause to others’ vehicles and property. Renters should buy this coverage if they don’t have an auto insurance policy. Your automobile’s liability insurance will cover people who drive rental cars. You may have to buy additional supplemental coverage if your policy only covers minimum damage.

Accident-Related Injuries

Personal accident insurance can help when you get into an accident. This policy will cover your medical expenses for you and your passengers. It pays for health care costs such as ambulance rides, hospital stays, and death benefits. If you have personal injury protection on your automobile policy, you won’t need to buy personal accident protection through the rental car agency. You may also consider purchasing a life insurance policy.

Stolen Items

Drivers who are concerned about protecting their belongings can purchase the rental agency's Personal Effects Coverage. This insurance will pay for things that are damaged or stolen. They will only reimburse each item up to the policy’s limit. Other options to consider are homeowners or renters insurance policies. They can cover your belongings that someone steals or damages, even away from home. Drivers will have to file a police report or theft claim. If an insurer greenlights the claim, policyholders will still need to pay the deductible.

Tips to Stay Healthy during Your Road Trip

Here are some things that you should remember before taking a road trip this summer.

1. Ask yourself if you need to travel this summer?

Public health officials recommend against nonessential travel this summer, such as road trips. The United States has had a spike of COVID-19 cases, and there is widespread community transmission of the virus throughout the country. Experts advise people to stay at home as much as possible and practice social distancing. Don’t travel if you don’t need to do so.

2. Pack Personal Protective Equipment for Your Journey

If you decide to leave on a summer getaway, pack some cleaning supplies to protect yourself from the virus. Bring some personal protective equipment for your trip. These include hand sanitizer (with 70 percent alcohol), dispensable soap, disposable gloves, and disinfectant wipes. Additionally, enough masks for your journey, since some stores and states have recently passed mandates due to COVID-19. You can use single-use coverings or reusable cloth ones that you can wash after each use.

3. Thoroughly Disinfect your Vehicle

Good hygiene is a must on the road, so bring some sanitizing spray, disinfecting wipes and cleaners. If you’re renting an RV, thoroughly clean your vehicle with cleansers proven to kill traces of the coronavirus. This virus is hardy and can live on surfaces, like plastic, for days.

4. Reduce your number of stops and contact with other people while traveling

Vacationers who use a rental car or RV will still have to interact with the other people on the road. You'll have to buy gas or even grab some groceries. Always have enough hand sanitizer and disinfecting wipes to use after getting gas, making a rest stop, or buying some supplies. If possible, pick up food curbside or use drive-thru restaurants.

Do you need an RV Insurance Rider or car insurance to protect yourself during your summer road trip? SmartFinancial can help you save money on coverage. Our company has made it easy to find a high-quality RV or car insurance policy. All you’ll need to do is fill out a simple application, and we’ll provide you with a list of quotes from multiple local insurance companies within a few minutes. You’ll have the option to buy a policy online, over the phone or in person. To get started, complete the application on this page or contact us today.

Get a Free Auto Insurance Quote Online Now.

Related Articles

Auto Insurance How To Find Insurance for Low-Income Drivers in 2021

The cost of car insurance is rising at an annual rate of up to 12 percent. Your income isn’t technically a factor in setting your car insurance rates.

Auto Insurance All You Need to Know About Rebuilt Title Insurance

Once a salvaged title is rebuilt and passes all requirements, it can be registered. Once the car is registered, you can buy rebuilt title insurance.

Looking for Auto Insurance?

Compare rates from dozens of companies in less than 3 minutes.