“Be prepared” is the traditional motto of the Boy Scouts of America. Basically, like so many things, it is better to have some things and not ever need them than to need the same things and not actually have them. Insurance definitely fits this category, as well, whether the vehicle rides on two, four, or twelve wheels.
“When is RV insurance required?” ALWAYS. Depending on your specific state laws, there are a range coverages required based on where you call home. Most states require RV owners to have a certain amount of liability in case they are involved in an accident with a pedestrian or another vehicle.
Figuring out how much coverage you want over the mandated state amount becomes a personal decision when you own a RV. There are several things you want to think about to make a prudent choice so you don’t leave yourself vulnerable. Consider the following questions.
Do you own your RV?
If you are renting or leasing your RV, you will likely be required to furnish proof of comprehensive, full-coverage insurance. Although you may be allowed to shop around and find your own, sometimes the lender will require you use a company they provide and add the expense into your payments.
Do you live in your rig full-time?
If so, then you probably want to get extensive insurance. If you owned a brick or stick house, you would want to ensure that your investment and the contents within are fully secured.
If you don’t live in it full-time, where do you keep it between uses?
A locked garage or storage unit is the most secure option. If you leave your RV in an unlocked, outdoor environment, you leave it open to several risks that may cause you to pay a little extra for the insurance.
First, it may be broken into or vandalized. Any possessions within are possibly subject to theft. Additionally, the vehicle itself may be stolen.
Second, it could be damaged from exposure to the elements. Wind, hail, and ice may wreak havoc on the body and windshield. Excessive sun exposure can cause the trim, as well as the tires to deteriorate.
What is the value of your RV?
This is a multi-faceted question. It is a bit of a cliché that cars depreciate as soon as you drive them off the lot of the dealership, but there is a bit of truth to this as well. RVs, however, tend to hold their value for a greater length of time. So, how much was your personal investment and how much would you suffer from its loss?
As stated above, if you live in your coach full-time, you would likely suffer more than if you use it twice a year as a truly recreational vehicle. But, when it comes down to it, dollars are dollars and investments are investments. This is another aspect to consider when choosing between comprehensive or liability coverage.
How much did the belongings within your RV cost?
Whether your RV or camper is old or new, chances are you put some time, money, and effort into it. Perhaps you installed a hi-tech video/audio system. Maybe you entirely renovated or restored a classic model with updated or even vintage appliances. With the love and attention you’ve given your home on wheels, you want to make sure it’s protected.
So, what are your options?
There are a range of options available, including the following:
◾Liability covers the bodily injury and property damage for others.
◾Collision coverage takes care of damage done to your own RV.
◾Comprehensive coverage includes insurance for non-accident damages like those from falling objects, fires, or theft.
◾Personal effects coverage handles damages to the personal belongings within your RV.
◾Medical payments coverage addresses injuries to you and any passengers within your vehicle from an accident.
◾Personal injury protection handles expenses whether you or another person is at fault. It covers a variety of expenses, such as medical bills, lost wages through recuperation, and funeral expenses. This coverage is not available in all states, so contact an agent or check out RVInsurance.com to find out if you qualify.
Truly, the choice of the level of insurance is dependent upon the needs, wants, and personal preferences of the owner.
Insurance truly is peace of mind. The level of insurance you choose is based on the level of reassurance you desire. Make sure that you buy the amount that makes you feel most comfortable and offset the cost of the premium against the deductible. Remember, though, do you really want to come up with a large amount of money when you’ve just suffered a loss?
That's it! Those are my top 10 tips for buying an RV. Oh, and don't forget to test drive the unit. I guess that's an obvious one, right?