Phil and I have always had a love/hate relationship with insurance. And I’m sure we’re not alone.
I mean it’s there to protect us when we need it most, but sometime we must fight tooth and nail for our claims to be covered.
Phil and I both used to work in the insurance industry. He sold insurance policies and I did the accounting. We understand each type of insurance and policy will have its own set of nuances and restrictions, and its important to understand the different types of coverage options before you commit to any.
So today, we’d like to answer the question of what is RV insurance, what different types of policies are offered, and how much does it cost to have.
Let’s dive in.
What is RV Insurance?
RV insurance is meant to protect us in the unlucky event that there is an accident with our motorhome or trailer, someone gets hurt or our rv gets damaged. In order to receive this financial assistance, the accident must be covered by our chosen policy.
Whether you use your RV for vacations only or as a full-time home, there are many types of coverages available. However, the options will also be dictated by the type of rv your use.
You review the different options of rv insurance coverage for for each type of motorhome (like Class As, Class Bs, and Class Cs), travel trailers (like fifth wheels), or even popup trailers and hybrid trailers.
For example, if you found yourself in a motorhome, you’ll need to find specific liability coverage that will allow you to stay on the road. If you’re only towing a travel trailer, you can get by with a more standard auto insurance policy.
How does RV insurance work?
You can make a claim on your RV insurance if you damage the rv, someones property or someones person. Your insurance company will compensate you for the losses and injuries up to your policy’s maximum if your accident is covered.
To get you covered, your independent insurance agent will ask basic questions about you, your RV, and your driving habits when you apply for RV insurance. Then, you can decide which coverage options are best for your rig.
Insurance for towing an RV is available, along with the usual options like liability, collision, comprehensive, and protection against uninsured/underinsured motorists. And if you notice a higher insurance premium when increasing coverage, know that is completely normal.
How Much Does RV Insurance Cost?
As with most long-term decisions, it’s helpful to have a ballpark amount in mind for the average RV insurance cost before you start shopping for your own coverage.
The average cost of insuring a RV can be hard to pin down without first finding individual estimates. From what we’ve read and heard, the annual premium for camper insurance is roughly $1,500, although the price of your RV policy could vary greatly.
So with RV insurance in the U.S. averaging around $1,500 per year (or about $125 per month), how could that price be affected by your overall usage of the rig?
Well, full-time RV users could expect to pay upwards of $3,000 year (double the average), while travelers who only use their RV on occasion could pay as little as $200.
Types of RVs
As we’ll talk on more below, the type of camper you need covered is a major contributor in determining the cost of your RV insurance. A variety of factors, including the RV’s features, amenities, and price range, determine your premium. Most rv’s are either towable or motorized, so we’ll start there.
Towable RVs have fewer mechanical systems than motorhomes since they cannot move without being towed by another vehicle. Because of this, the cost to insure them is generally lower.
Teardrop campers are often the cheapest and most compact RVs available.
To insure a motorized rv, you will probably spend on insurance than you would for a towable RV. According to Progressive’s website, the average cost of a motorhome insurance coverage in 2020 was 69% more than the average cost of a towable policy.
Motorized RVs generally fall into one of three categories: Class A motorhomes, Class B motorhomes, and Class C motorhomes. And while there is insurance you need to get with owning a motorhome, you should know sometimes they require a special rv drivers license too.
Class A Motorhome Insurance Costs
What you can expect: $1,000 to $4,000 Per Year
Insuring your Class A motorhome can be expensive, but it’s something you will need to do if you want to be able to drive it out of your neighborhood.
The price isn’t a one size fits all though. It can vary depending on the rv model you have, the amount of coverage you need, and your (if you’re the driver) home state.
Different insurance agencies can offer a range of protection options, which make its essential to compare prices and policies from a variety of providers. Once you’ve reviewed your options, you can better decide how much coverage you will really need.
The National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA) reports that, assuming 140 days of use annually, the typical insurance rate for a gas-powered Class A motorhome is between $1,000 and $1,300. However, depending on the value, extras features, and frequency of use, a Class A diesel pusher, the highest-end luxury RV, can cost $2,000 or more yearly.
Class B Motorhome Insurance Costs
What you can expect: $500 to $1,000 Per Year
The smallest of the three motorhome classes is the Class B, also known as a camper van. Insurance agencies also include conversion vans in this group. The annual cost of motor vehicle insurance for Class B RVs can range from from $500 to $1,000 depending on the age/value of the RV and a number of other factors.
Honestly, we were a bit surprised the cost of insurance is this high despite the Class B motorhome’s smaller size.
Class B motorhome insurance rates vary greatly from one location to the next. Rates are often higher in regions with greater costs of living compared to those with lower costs of living. Because of this, moving to a new postal code could help you save money on insurance premiums.
Class C Motorhome Insurance Costs
What you can expect: $800 to $3,000 Per Year
Class C rvs are the inbetweeners of the motorhome classes. They offer sleeping arrangements for more people than their class B counterparts, but are smaller than the class As. The average annual premium for a Class C motorhome is between $800 to $3,000, although this can vary widely based on its age, value, the location of the policy, the driver’s age, and the vehicle’s use.
Full-Time RV Insurance Costs
What you can expect: $3,000 Per Year
Full-time RV insurance can be on the pricier end, but it’s a must if you plan on hitting the open road indefinitely. Luckily, there are a ton of insurance companies to compare and choose from.
Many of these insurance companies also offer plans tailored specifically to recreational vehicle owners like us. The benefit with working with them is they can provide lower priced insurance plans than their competitors.
Some other options you have is working with an independent insurance agent who can help you find some of the best policies or working with one company on multiple policies.
For instance, some insurance companies will grant discounts for having multiple policies with them. The discounted rates are available when you bundle your policies for the rv, with renters insurance or with a life insurance policy.
Keep in mind RV insurance premiums are higher in major cities compared to more rural areas. So if you live in a place like Austin, Tx (thats where we are), then you are bound to pay higher fees.
A few other factors that can raise your insurance cost include your age, the number of miles you typically drive each year, and if you have a record of accidents or traffic offenses.
If you really need to lower the payment there are ways though. Some insurance providers will also offer discounts if you take a driving class.
Factors Considered When Determining RV insurance Costs
The Type of RV Insured
It’s probably no surprise that the type of rv you drive will directly affect the cost of your insurance.
Insurance premiums for motorhomes are typically higher than those for travel trailers. Since motorhomes are driven and not towed, liability insurance is mandatory.
But there will even be differences in cost between the different types of motorhomes too.
How Much Usage Your RV Will Get
If you plan to make your RV your primary abode for over six months out of the year, you will probably end of paying more for insurance.
Thats because, one, you probably want to invest in supplemental insurance that provides similar protections to those found in a standard homeowners policy (think personal liability, medical payments, and loss assessment coverage).
If you use your RV for vacations only, your insurance company will most likely want to know how many days a year you intend to take out your motorhome or travel trailer.
There are insurance companies that will increase your premium in proportion to how often you use your rv.
The Cost of Your RV Insurance Can Vary by Location
Did you know RV insurance premiums vary by state, location, and even ZIP code? This is the same way it works with auto insurance.
Vehicle accidents are more likely to occur in densely populated locations, driving up the cost of your RV insurance. Equally, RV insurance premiums will probably be higher in areas with frequent natural disasters and higher rates of car theft.
To give you an idea of what to expect, let’s lay out some examples.
- Insurance for a RV’s in Washington D.C is about $2,610 per year, on average.
- Texans, however, spend less than $1,500 year (on average) on their RV insurance.
- While those stationed in Oregon seem to spend even less, at just under $1,100.
- Michigan has the highest RV insurance costs due to the state’s mandate that rv owners also carry personal injury protection insurance. The average cost of insurance for rv owners in Michigan is $4,500 per year, the highest rate in the country.
Your Overall Coverage
Lenders typically need comprehensive and collision coverage to safeguard your motorhome or travel trailer when financing an RV, which will increase the cost of your insurance policy.
The good news, once you’ve paid off your RV completely, you can save your money by dropping the insurance protection against physical damage.
This isn’t to say you don’t need insurance if you aren’t financing your travel trailer. You still need to get comprehensive and collision insurance coverages.
Vacation liability, roadside assistance, and total loss replacement are all optional add ons too, but they can significantly increase your premium.
RV Driving Experience
Towing a travel trailer or operating a motorhome is a very different experience from driving a regular car. As I’m sure you can imagine.
I mean we’ve all heard the stories of rv park neighbors gathering around the camping spot while the new RV owners try to park their brand new rig…. it can get pretty feisty in those moments.
With that being said, you can expect RV insurance premiums to be typically lower for seasoned rv drivers then for newbies.
Overall Driving History
Most insurance providers that are getting ready to cover your RV will take a look at your driving history when determining the cost of your policy.
Having a spotless driving record can get you a lower insurance premium or even a discount from some companies.
While having some incidents reported can increase your payment.
While you may have caught your self in an impossible situation in the past and had to file a claim, your insurer may view this as you being a higher risk on the road.
Especially if you’ve filed multiple claims about your motorhome or travel trailer being damaged or you were found at fault in an accident.
Being higher risk will definitely raise your insurance cost a bit.
Types of RV Insurance
To a large degree, the cost of your rv insurance will depend on the levels of protection and liability you select. These are the typical types of RV insurance you will find.
Standard RV Insurance
The usual types of coverage that are available for recreational vehicle insurance are very similar to the types of coverage that are available for auto insurance. These are the following:
- Bodily injury liability insurance – Pays for the damages caused by an accident, such as medical bills and missed pay, if you are at fault.
- Property damage liability insurance – Pays for other people’s automobiles and property if you’re at fault in an accident.
- Collision coverage – Reimburses you for expenses associated with repairing your recreational vehicle, regardless of who was at fault in an accident.
- Comprehensive coverage – Provides coverage for damages to your recreational vehicle due to causes other than collisions, including fire, vandalism, and natural disasters.
- Uninsured motorist/underinsured motorist – In the event that the at fault driver does not have adequate insurance, your medical costs and property damage will be covered.
- Personal injury protection (PIP) – Covers your medical bills and lost wages if you or someone in your party is hurt in an accident, no matter who was at fault.
- Medical payments coverage (MedPay) – Covers your medical bills and those in your party in the accident, but not lost wages, no matter who was at fault.
Optional RV Coverage
Add-ons to your policy can help you pay for some of the other costs that come with having an RV. These plans vary by provider and sometimes by area. Most RV insurance policies offer the following extra coverage options:
- Rental reimbursement – If your camper breaks down, this insurance will pay for the cost of renting a car or, in some cases, the cost of renting an RV.
- Full-timer liability – Covers damage or injuries your RV causes in the same way that homeowners insurance does.
- Towing and labor – Covers the cost of fixing your RV on-site and having it towed if it breaks down.
- Safety glass – Covers the cost of fixing or replacing your windshield, which most standard policies don’t cover.
- International coverage – Covers your RV for damages if you take it to a different country.
- Roadside assistance – Covers some or all of the cost of emergency roadside services, such as getting gas, fixing a flat tire, or being towed.
- Vacation liability – Covers liability claims made against your RV when it is parked while you are on vacation. A regular policy will not normally cover this type of liability.
- Pet injury coverage – Covers medical expenses for your pet if they are harmed in a covered accident.
- Emergency expense coverage – Food, accommodation, and other travel expenses are covered if your RV breaks down and needs to be repaired.
- Sound system – Covers your camper’s audio equipment if it is broken or stolen.
How To Lower the Cost of RV Insurance
While many of the variables that go into determining how much you pay for RV insurance are beyond your control, there are steps you can do to lower your premiums.
Raise Your Deductible
It’s not ideal to be on the line for more money when you need a repair, but it can help lower your premiums if you are more worried about the recurring payments. Raising your deductible can help you save money on RV insurance if you are willing to face the risk of having to pay more out of pocket.
Saving money on your RV insurance could be as simple as doing some comparison shopping. You probably did this already when you insured your automobile by comparing policies.
Insurance estimates can vary widely, even when different companies are considering the same travel trailer, policy limits, and drivers. This is due to the fact that each company places a different value on various risk factors and variables.
Ask For Eligible Discounts
Did you know you can also score discounts on your rv insurance? Discounts can help significantly reduce the cost of your insurance if you qualify for multiple of them. The actual discounts will differ by whichever company you choose to work with though.
Discounts for RV-specific activities, like completing a safety course, sit alongside discounts more common to the auto insurance. You can check an insurance company’s website to see if they provide any discounts that might be useful to you.
But know, there are discounts available from insurance providers that aren’t always advertised online. Your insurance agent will know all of the ways you can cut costs.
The following are some of the more typical RV insurance discounts available:
- Association Discounts – Some insurers will give you a discount if you belong to particular RV or camping associations.
- Military Discounts – Some insurance firms provide discounts to active-duty military personnel, veterans, and their families.
- Multi-Policy Discounts – When you combine your RV policy with another policy, such as homeowners insurance, renters insurance, or life insurance, you can typically earn a discount. However, not all insurance companies provide RV coverage, and those that do may not let you package it with other policies.You should look for a new insurance provider that will cover your recreational vehicle if your present one won’t. You can ask them for the cost to cover all of your insurance needs to see if the bundle really helps.
- Private Passenger Discounts – Unlike a multi-policy discount, some insurers will cut your price if you combine your RV policy with your auto policy.
- Multi-Vehicle Discounts – Some insurers can give you a discount if you insure many RVs under the same policy.
- Storage Discount – Some providers, similar to boat insurance companies, allow you to set up a storage period for when your RV is not in use. If you agree to keep your camper in storage for a set number of months out of the year, several insurance companies may give you a discount. While this will reduce your overall rate, your RV will not be protected in most circumstances during this period of time.
- Claim-free Discounts – Some insurance companies will give you a discount if you don’t make a claim for a long time. The amount of time exactly can differ with each company.
- Responsible Driver Discounts – A little similar to the claim-free discount, certain insurance companies will offer a discount if you don’t have any accidents or tickets for a certain amount of time.
- Paid in Full Discounts – To encourage people to pay for their insurance policies all at once, as opposed to making monthly payments, several companies provide discounts for this.
- Safety Course Discounts – We found that most insurance companies are willing to offer a discount to their policyholders who have successfully completed a recognized rv safety training program. These classes will teach you how to operate an RV more safely and protect it from the most common hazards.
Popular RV Insurance Providers
Finding out how much RV insurance would actually cost you requires requesting quotes from many companies. Because to discover the optimal balance between price and protection for your RV, it’s wise to compare the options.
The following companies can serve as good starting points for your research!
As an industry leader, Nationwide provides comprehensive protection for a variety of risks for rvers. Coverage options for motorhomes, travel trailers, and campers include liability, collision, and comprehensive insurance.
Nationwide is a wonderful option for full-time RV insurance due to the variety of coverage options they can provide. If you’re like us and want to make your recreational vehicle your primary residence, but still have personal liability coverage as well as coverage over your belongings, then Nationwide can do just that.
Of course, options exist for more recreational campers as well.
We also recommend Progressive to RVers who live in their rigs full-time because the company offers a specialized liability policy for full-timers. Personal liabiliy, medical payments, and loss assessment coverages are all provided with their insurance.
When it comes to price and options, Progressive is a clear winner for rv insurance. When you look at their unparalleled selection of discounts and coverage options, you’ll see it too.
Allstate is where you find the best deal for bundled insurance policies. When you combine multiple lines of coverage with Allstate, you can save money. You can save money on your RV insurance by bundling it with other policies for your car, house, rent, motorcycle, and life.
Allstate does not provide a safe driver discount, but it does provide discounts for combining policies, transferring RV insurance from another company, and for policyholders aged 55 and older.
We should note too, they don’t offer specific full-timer or vacation coverage choices, so you have to speak with an agent to get a good estimate.
Good Sam Insurance Agency
If you are looking into RV life then chances are you have already heard about Good Sam. I mean they provide discounts and deals for so much in the rving world. So it should be no surprise they help with insurance too.
They connects you with insurance firms that offer RV policies in other countries too. It collaborates with MexicoInsuranceOnline.com to provide specialized Mexico travel insurance.
The majority of other RV insurance policies only cover you within 25 miles of the border and for no more than 10 days. If you plan to drive further out of the country and for longer, thats where Good Sam can help.
You can receive the travel insurance you need and you can choose a coverage that fits your needs and your budget, whether you’re going to Mexico for a few days or a few months.
The cost of rv insurance is highly sensitive to a wide range of factors and because of this, its best to shop around for quotes before you make your final decision.
Although the annual premium for an RV is typically around $1,500, it can vary substantially from one policy to the next. Fees typically range from several hundred to thousands of dollars annually.
Motorhomes are the only RVs required by law to have insurance, although towable RVs would benefit greatly from having coverage too. Your rv and its contents can be safeguarded by purchasing comprehensive insurance.
How much does average insurance typically cost?
The annual premium for a comprehensive RV insurance policy is typically around $1,500. The price of RV insurance, however, can range widely depending on a variety of criteria such as the value of your RV, your driving record, and other personal information.
What kind of insurance do you need for an RV?
You need to have at least the state minimum for auto insurance if your RV is driveable. A towable recreational vehicle does not normally need insurance.
Is RV insurance cheaper than regular insurance?
Depending on the type of camper you drive and other criteria, your RV insurance can be more affordable than your standard car insurance. When compared to auto insurance, the cost of insuring a towable recreational vehicle is often substantially lower for a given level of protection. Class A motorhomes are the pinnacle of RV luxury, yet they can cost far more to insure than a regular vehicle.
Which states have the cheapest RV insurance?
Automobile insurance premiums in Maine, New Hampshire, and Ohio are among the lowest in the United States. You may expect camper coverage to be reasonably inexpensive in these states, yet it doesn’t imply they have the cheapest average RV insurance rates.