Jonathan and Ashley Longnecker, full-time RVers and bloggers of TinyShinyHome.com, sold their new and oversized 5th-wheel trailer for a much smaller, compact vintage Airstream. Although a family of six, their original RV was very heavy, long, and tall, which made it more difficult to travel long distances without worrying about parking, turning, and hitting low overpasses. The family decided they’d sacrifice the extra space in order to travel lighter and with greater peace of mind.
By law, any type of registered vehicle must be insured. Motorhomes, like cars, are required to at least have liability insurance. Travel trailers and other towable RVs, on the other hand, cannot be driven and therefore aren’t required to have insurance. Keep in mind that towable RVs, although not vehicles, are still susceptible to theft, damage from natural disasters, vandalism, and collision, so it is highly recommended for them to still have coverage.
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Most car insurance providers will offer to include your RV as part of your auto insurance policy, as such you will get traditional car insurance coverage. This will include bodily injury and property damage liability coverage, personal injury protection, collision, comprehensive, medical payments, and uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage, which essentially protects you against accidents and physical damage while on the road. (For a more detailed explanation of coverage see below.)
National General’s list of discounts is varied enough to provide every type of customer with a chance to lower their premiums and/or deductibles, but Baby Boomers are particularly well positioned to capitalize on them. For example, the company allows customers to bundle RV and auto policies under its One Convenient Policy program. National General also offers homeowners discounts that are easy for them to qualify for, as Boomers are more affluent than other generations on average and thus more likely to own a house and additional vehicles.
Choosing the lowest price/inadequate coverage. The lowest prices will typically leave you vulnerable on the back end; should an accident or collision occur, your lower premium will require you to spend much more out of pocket. The same goes for inadequate coverage. Specifically, don’t cut corners when it comes to liability coverage; instead, shop around for the provider that will protect you most while also catering to your needs, lifestyle, and budget.
Drive Other Car insurance is similar to an Individual Named Insured Endorsement. If you need to borrow, test drive, rent, or lease a vehicle, Drive Other Car insurance will extend the coverages you’ve purchased for your commercial auto insurance policy - like Liability insurance, Physical Damage insurance, Medical Payments, and Uninsured Motorist Insurance, to a non-owned car.
While some auto insurance policies extend liability coverage for towable RVs, they are still significantly large investments, especially if your RV is financed or is a motorhome in which you live. Most RVs contain personal belongings, home essentials, and attachments, all of which require coverage beyond what’s offered in a basic car insurance policy. For this reason, RV insurance usually has comprehensive coverage plans, which covers personal injury, theft, and natural disasters in addition to liability. RV insurance providers also offer a variety of specialized coverage options.
RV Insurance companies take these type of risk factors into account, which makes it more difficult for bus-conversion homeowners to find the best coverage. Also, buses first need to be registered as RVs with the department of motor vehicles beforehand. If not, they’re still considered commercial vehicles instead of personal, and will not qualify for RV insurance. Different states have different requirements as to what qualifies as an RV, many of which include repainting the bus a different color, having a potable water supply, installing a toilet, and having cooking appliances onboard.
Let's use the aftermath of a major storm to illustrate the differences between collision and comprehensive. Within that storm, let's consider two hypothetical events: First, a heavy telephone pole was blown down and fell on your truck, or second, you swerved to avoid a falling tree and wound up crashing into a guardrail. In the first event, you couldn't control when or why a tree fell on your car. This kind of accident would get reimbursed under your comprehensive policy. In the second situation, you were driving the car and ultimately swerved into the guardrail. This makes it a collision, and collision insurance pays for the damages.
Fifth-wheel trailers offer similar accommodations and amenities to those of Class A or Class C motorhomes, but are towed behind a vehicle, so you don’t have to take them everywhere you go. Toy haulers are basically mobile garages, they can be used to store things like cars, motorcycles, and snowmobiles. Horse trailers, just as the name suggests, are towable trailers used to carry horses or other animals. Cargo or utility trailers are towable metal boxes that are strictly used to store your belongings.
1 In Texas, the Auto Program is underwritten by Southern County Mutual Insurance Company through Hartford Fire General Agency. Hartford Fire Insurance Company and its affiliates are not financially responsible for insurance products underwritten and issued by Southern County Mutual Insurance Company. The Home Program is underwritten by Trumbull Insurance Company.
For this review, we focused on national providers and left out any companies that only insure RVs locally. Odds are, national insurers are able to provide coverage no matter where you are in the U.S., and they are more likely to have the financial strength to support you. If you’re trusting a provider to come through when you’re most in need, it’s reassuring to have a company with years of experience and a history of financial success at your back.
Tech-savvy consumers have probably heard of or have been inspired by the “digital nomad” lifestyle, where people have been ditching their office cubicles to work remotely. Social media strategists, photographers, and web designers can all work from the comfort of home, as long as there’s a stable internet connection. Hit TV shows such as HGTV’s Tiny House Hunters and Travel Channel’s Going RV are shining a light on younger couples and families that save money by downsizing to a motorhome for a non-traditional life on the road.
A quick look at the company’s page on the Better Business Bureau shows just how satisfied consumers are with its customer service. Most insurance companies display a large amount of negative feedback online—it comes with the territory—National General, however, enjoys largely positive customer reviews and averages fewer complaints than many of its competitors. Baby Boomers highly value good customer service, and this level of satisfaction with National General can also be seen on other online review outlets.
National General’s mechanical breakdown service provides coverage for up to one hour of labor at the site of a breakdown. Vehicles will be towed to the nearest RV repair facility without dollar or mileage limits. Additionally, once their RV has been repaired after a claim, the company re-inspects it upon request in order to ensure it is in top condition.
As long as a customer’s RV breaks down within 100 feet of the road, Progressive will pay to tow it to the nearest repair shop. It will also pay for any necessary labor done to repair it when disabled due to a mechanical or electrical breakdown, battery failure, insufficient fluid supply, flat tire, lockout, or wheel entrapment. This service costs nothing out of pocket and is available 24/7.
Good customer service is especially essential when you’re in a crisis after an accident or theft. Excellent insurance providers make it easy for you to file a claim online or over the phone. They also offer accessible service 24/7 through a customer helpline or roadside assistance. If a company’s a hassle to deal with when you truly need help, it may make an already difficult situation even more trying.
Do you live in your RV full-time, or does it sit in storage for most of the year? Do you have any permanent attachments like a satellite dish? Every company offers basic RV coverage, but the right provider for you also offers the set of add-ons that speaks to your main concerns, whether it’s full-time residency insurance or roadside assistance. Our top picks all have plenty of add-ons in addition to basic coverage.
Usually, when people think of RVs, the first thing that comes to mind are the typical campervans packed with small appliances and elevated roofs, or the spacious and luxurious Class A motorhomes that cruise America’s Interstate Highways. While these are amongst the most popular RV models, RVs come in many shapes and sizes, and some are even designed just to store belongings, with no sleeping quarters or mini fridges in sight. However, RVs oftentimes include amenities such as cooking equipment and storage space. They can be self-motorized or towed behind a vehicle.
The amount of insurance your RV requires will mainly depend on the type of motorhome or towable you own, how often you use it, and whether you plan to reside in it for six or more months out of the year. There are two types of recreational vehicles, the towable trailer and the motorhome, which falls into three categories: Class A, B or C motorhomes. Class A motorhomes are the largest and tend to be the most expensive. They often include luxury features, customized amenities, and permanent attachments that may require additional protection. Class B vehicles are the smallest type of RV, also known as “camper vans,” and are generally much cheaper to insure than larger motorhomes. Class C vehicles are a hybrid of Class A and B.
While State Farm’s website recommends speaking with an agent to see what discounts are available to you for motorhome insurance, it doesn’t list any universal discounts. It’s still possible to save on your premiums, but there’s less transparency about what you may qualify for. If discounts are important to you, it’s best to get clarity from a State Farm agent on what to expect before signing up.
We evaluated each company’s track record with its customers by looking at the available complaint data on online regulatory organizations' pages and by searching for company pages on independent consumer review websites such as the Better Business Bureau. Some companies also provide unfiltered reviews on their own websites, helping to give greater insight into customer satisfaction rates.