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While you may be familiar with your auto policy, a RV, while it is a vehicle, is used differently and needs to be insured differently. However, it is still a vehicle, and so, most insurance companies are happy to issue a policy.
Be aware, though, insuring an RV with an auto policy will not provide for complete coverage. So, to know just what needs coverage, please read on.
RV's, motorhomes, and bus conversions should be insured with a special policy which covers the things an auto insurance does not, such as:
- Higher liability limits — RV insurance policies allow for significantly higher liability limits than auto insurance. Because most RV's are much larger than cars, they have the potential to cause a significant amount of damage in a mishap. Higher limits provide greater financial protection after an unfortunate incident.
- Total loss replacement — This coverage is applicable to buyers of new RV's in the first five model years. It replaces the RV with a similar unit, even if the replacement costs more than the original. This coverage is good protection against steep RV depreciation, in case of total loss.
- Emergency expenses — Reimburses expenses related to living outside the RV while it is being repaired, as long as the covered loss occurs a set number of miles from your fixed residence (usually 50 miles). Common expenses covered are lodging, meals, and travel back home.
- Personal Belongings Replacement — Auto policies usually cover a limited amount of content in a vehicle. RV policies give you the option to specify a limit to include all of your personal belongings destroyed by most events.
- Fulltimer's Liability — Offers liability coverage similar to homeowner's insurance when the RV is parked and is used as a residence. This coverage includes emergency treatment and medical expenses for others injured in or around your RV.
- Campground Site Liability — Similar to fulltimer liability, but designed for short-term stays within camping parks.
- Medium duty tow trucks — Covers trucks over one ton when used to tow a trailer or fifth wheel.
There's no need to continue paying when you're not on-the-road, so, it's a good idea to suspend collision coverage when in storage — You can suspend portions of the policy which normally apply only when the RV is moving on the road. This saves you money because you are not paying for unnecessary coverage while your RV is not in use.
Be aware, different companies call the above types of coverages by different names. Be sure that you understand the terms used in a policy quotation, and what they cover.
If you have a trusted insurance provider who will talk candidly to you about coverages, then, by all means, talk to them. Find out what your options are, and be sure to ask what that means when you are not on the road. Don't spend money you don't need to.