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.
According to the Insurance Information Institute’s table of Automobile Financial Responsibility Laws by State, 49 out of all 50 states, as well as the District of Columbia, require you to have some sort of liability coverage for all vehicles on the road, including RVs. The only exception to this rule is the state of New Hampshire, which has no mandatory insurance law, and only requires financial responsibility from the person at fault in a car accident.
Nationwide's insurance professionals can quickly design a car insurance quote that meets your precise needs, even for those on a budget. Rather than going with the cheapest car insurance quote, make sure the company you choose provides flexible coverage and billing options. For instance, Nationwide allows members to pay monthly, quarterly or semi-annually online, through the mail or over the phone. It’s important to keep long-term flexibility in mind when deciding on an insurance carrier, not just go with the cheapest car insurance option.
RV insurance isn’t the same thing as auto insurance, though many providers give you the option to bundle the two. But RVs have specialized concerns. To start, they can carry many more people than cars, and they cost more to repair. In addition to basic coverage, RV insurance can also offer more extensive protection, with coverage for personal belongings, emergency expenses for lodging, and higher damage rates.
Regardless of how often you use your RV, Safeco is worth a look. Safeco offers coverage for anyone who lives in an RV fewer than 250 days (about eight months). While this won’t cover policyholders who live in their RV full-time, it serves as a nice middle-ground for people who only plan to store their RV away during the winter months, for instance.
So now that we understand the difference between auto and RV coverage, let’s take a look at the specifics of what you get under an RV policy. Essentially, RV insurance acts as a hybrid between car and home insurance, offering additional protection for home and living essentials through specialized coverage plans. Depending on the policy you choose, it may include:
The cheapest car insurance, period, will likely carry the minimum coverage required in your state. In most states, this is liability insurance only, which covers property damage and medical bills for others due to accidents you cause. Some states also require uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage, which pay for your injuries or damage if an at-fault driver doesn’t have enough insurance.
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.
While not all large insurance companies are the same, some of them might be selling insurance policies for vehicles that they do not have much experience covering. RV insurance in particular is offered by many auto insurance companies who may not be well prepared for handling the intricacies of an RV insurance claim. When choosing who is going to insure your vehicle, make sure it is a provider who specializes in RV insurance—regardless of its size—or that at least has a good track record of dealing with RV insurance policies and claims.
According to Greg Gerber, “Most car insurance firms don’t have a clue of what can go wrong with an RV and don’t provide the coverage to get it fixed adequately,” which is why he advises consumers to get a separate policy for their RVs instead of bundling, to “avoid the hassle that can come if the RV itself is broken and they’re trying to get their car insurance company to fix it.”
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.
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Full-time RVers can enjoy coverage similar to that of homeowners insurance through the Good Sam Insurance Agency’s specialized protection plan for full timers or first-time weekend RVers. Full-Time Insurance goes above and beyond what traditional Auto Insurance policies can protect because it covers a number of other incidents and situations that regular RV insurance does not.