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Standard Auto Insurance Vs. RV/Camper Insurance: Understanding The Difference


Although a recreational vehicle, or RV, is similar to a car in many ways, the insurance needs for the two types of vehicles differ. Limiting your RV insurance to a typical auto insurance policy would leave you with dangerous gaps in coverage.

Basic Differences between RVs and Cars

RVs are towable trailers or large motor vehicles that typically include a kitchen space, bathroom, and living space. They are intended for camping or extended travelling. Full-time RV owners may spend a great deal of their time in an RV. Unlike a car, an RV could potentially serve as a primary residence.

What Does RV Insurance Cover?

Special RV insurance is designed to fill in the gaps left when an RV is covered under a standard car insurance policy. This type of insurance often covers total loss replacement (or agreed value), along with emergency expenses, campsite liability, tow-truck coverage, and full-timer liability.

What Is Full-Timer RV Insurance?

A full-timer RV insurance policy provides coverage similar to homeowners insurance. It covers loss or damages associated with parking an RV or using it as a primary residence. Since full-timer RV owners are using their vehicles much more extensively than car owners or occasional RV users would, this type of RV insurance covers medical expenses for individuals who are injured in and around the RV, as well as emergency treatment.

What Is Campsite Liability Insurance?

This type of coverage is designed for non-full-time RV users who only occasionally use the RV as a dwelling. RV campsite liability insurance includes many benefits offered by full-timer RV insurance, such as medical expenses for RV residents or bystanders.

What Is RV Emergency Expense Coverage?

Some RV insurance policies cover expenses that owners incur while the RV is being repaired. Typically, two conditions must be met for this coverage to go into effect:

  • The losses must have been incurred within a specific distance from the RV (such as 60 miles).
  • The losses must have been incurred while repairs were being made to the RV.

For example, covered expenses may include interim housing and meals while repairs are being made, or the cost of travel back to a stable residence.

How RV Insurance is Different from Car Insurance

RV insurance typically features higher liability thresholds than standard auto insurance. This is due to:

  • The additional size and difficulty of handling a massive RV.
  • The fact that RVs are often used as a primary residence.
  • The higher cost of owning and operating an RV.

Another difference is that, unlike car insurance, most RV insurance policies can be suspended while the RV is in storage, providing cost savings for RV owners.

What Type of RV Insurance Do You Need?

If you own an RV, the type of coverage you need will depend in part on how frequently you use it. Our knowledgeable agency can help you find the best RV insurance policy to suit your needs.

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