The allure of the open road and the comfort of home come together in the form of recreational vehicles (RVs), which have surged in popularity since COVID-19 lockdowns as a travel choice for adventurers and families alike.

RVs present unique challenges for drivers due to their size, required maintenance, and the lifestyle they accommodate. As a result, the way insurers handle RV accidents can be a bit different than what most automobile owners are used to.

Special Considerations when Shopping for RV Insurance

Securing the right insurance for your recreational vehicle (RV) is not just a legal necessity; it’s an important way of ensuring peace of mind while living on the road. RV insurance policies can vary widely based on several factors, including how you use your RV and what you keep inside it. Below, we’ll explore key considerations RV owners should keep in mind when shopping for RV insurance.

Insurance for Part-time vs Full-time RVers

The first consideration when purchasing RV insurance is whether you need a part-time or full-time policy. For those who use their RV part-time for vacations or seasonal travel, insurance policies can be structured similarly to auto insurance, but with some modifications for the periods when the RV is not in use. These policies can be paused or adjusted to reflect off-season storage, which can help owners save on premiums while still protecting their investments from theft or environmental damage.

If your RV is your primary residence, on the other hand, a more comprehensive policy is necessary. Full-time RV insurance covers a broader scope of potential issues that reflect a home-like use, including liability coverage that extends to the area around your parked RV. It’s akin to a hybrid of home and auto insurance, covering everything from road accidents to personal liability when stationary.

Do I Need Personal Contents Coverage?

Personal contents coverage is an often-overlooked aspect of RV insurance. While your RV is a vehicle, it also houses many personal items that could be costly to replace if damaged or stolen. Evaluating the value of your personal belongings inside your RV is the first step in determining the level of contents coverage you need. 

Just like home insurance, personal contents coverage for an RV protects against the loss of personal items inside your RV. This can include electronics, clothing, kitchenware, jewelry, and more. RVers should inventory their possessions and consider replacement costs when selecting their policy limits.

Tow and Toad Vehicles

‘Towing’ and ‘toad’ refer to the vehicles you may pull behind your RV or drive separately for day trips once your RV is parked. Insurance coverage for these vehicles is not automatically included in standard RV policies and often requires additional or separate coverage.

For towed vehicles, like a car or boat, you may need to extend your RV’s liability coverage or purchase a separate policy, especially if the vehicle is also used independently of the RV.

Toad vehicles, which are vehicles towed by the RV with all four wheels on the ground, may need supplemental coverage to protect against the unique risks associated with this towing method.

In each of these considerations, the goal is to align your insurance with your lifestyle, ensuring that your policy provides the protection you need for how you actually use your RV. Given the diversity of RV usage, there’s no one-size-fits-all policy, and owners are best served by policies that consider the specifics of their RV life.

Common Challenges in RV Accident Claims

RV accident claims can be particularly complex due to the unique nature of RVs. Here are some common challenges that claimants may encounter:

  • Determining Liability: Establishing who is at fault in an RV accident can be complicated. Issues like road conditions, RV maintenance, and driver actions all play a part. Insurers will scrutinize these factors closely, which can make the liability determination process challenging.
  • Assessment of Damages: Due to their size and the living amenities they contain, RVs can incur substantial damage in accidents. Accurately assessing the extent and cost of these damages for insurance purposes can be a lengthy process.
  • RV Classification Confusion: RVs come in various classes based on their size and weight, and each may have different insurance coverage requirements and limitations depending on the state and scenario.
  • Multiple Insurance Policies: RVers often have separate policies for the vehicles themselves, personal belongings inside their RVs, and any towed vehicles. Coordinating claims across multiple policies can be cumbersome and confusing.
  • Policy Exclusions: Insurers may have specific exclusions in RV policies that can complicate claims. Understanding what is and isn’t covered is crucial, particularly for incidents that may fall into gray areas, like mechanical failures or incidents at campgrounds.
  • Negotiating Settlements: Insurers may propose settlements that do not fully cover the cost of repairs or the replacement value of the RV, not to mention the associated medical expenses or lost personal items.
  • Legal and Jurisdictional Issues: Given that RV travel often crosses state lines, there may be jurisdictional issues to consider in the event of an accident. The laws governing RV accidents can vary from state to state.

Dealing with the fallout of an RV accident can be a daunting task, so it’s important to remember that while challenges are part and parcel of the claims process, you don’t have to face them alone.

Should you find yourself overwhelmed, Great West Injury Law can be your helping hand. We will guide you through the maze of paperwork, negotiations, and legal proceedings, ensuring that your interests are well-represented and that your claim is given the attention it deserves.

Contact us today for a free consultation on your case.