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A separate RV insurance policy is required for self-powered motorhomes in most states. Your existing auto insurance policy usually covers travel trailers, which are towed behind your vehicle.

Look into additional coverage beyond the state minimums before you leave on a trip to ensure you have the correct coverage in place.

KEY TAKEAWAYS
  • Motorized RVs need a separate insurance policy and must meet state minimum liability limits
  • Travel trailers, which are towed behind your vehicle, are covered by your existing auto liability policy
  • Additional coverage for both types of RVs can be added to protect the RV itself and the contents you are traveling with

What kind of insurance do RVs need?

RV insurance is required for self-powered motorhomes and campers in most states.

Drivable motorhomes require a separate RV insurance policy. Because they have a motor and are considered a vehicle, most states require you to purchase the same liability insurance you would for a car or truck.

You can add a motorhome to your homeowner’s policy, but this only covers it against damage while parked or stored at your house.

What kind of insurance do travel trailers need?

Travel trailers do not need a separate insurance policy, but you must have a valid auto liability policy when towing. Since they do not have a motor of their own, they are considered an extension of your vehicle, and your liability coverage extends to the trailer.

It’s essential to understand that this coverage does not pay for damage to the actual trailer – it pays for injuries and damages you cause to another person or their property.

If you want to protect the trailer from dings, glass breakage, water damage, etc., you should purchase a separate RV insurance policy that includes comprehensive and collision coverage. Your auto insurance doesn’t cover damage to the trailer.

What's the difference between motorhome and travel trailer insurance?

The main difference between motorhome and travel trailer insurance is that a motorhome requires a separate policy no matter what. Motorhomes are self-powered vehicles and are subject to state minimum liability laws just like a car or truck.

Your auto policy covers travel trailers because they are considered an extension of your vehicle. The liability coverage on your car or truck extends to whatever you are towing behind it.

For both types of RVs, additional coverage is a good idea. The liability minimums only cover damage to another person or their property – not your RV. You can add more options to the basic RV policy for your motorhome. For your trailer, you need to purchase an RV policy for the additional coverage.

Is insurance required for a travel trailer or RV?

Insurance is required for any vehicle on the road. Technically, you aren’t required to have insurance on a travel trailer when it’s not being towed. A motorhome, however, is a vehicle and, as noted above, must be insured.

The amount of coverage you need to carry will depend on a combination of your state’s minimum liability laws and the added protections you want for your RV.

You can add these RVs to your homeowners policy, but keep in mind they will only be covered when parked or stored at home – and they aren’t covered 100%. They are often listed as “other structures” on your homeowners policy.

Once you take the RV on the road, you will need additional insurance. Living in an RV full-time has added considerations and additional coverage might be necessary.

What do travel trailer and RV insurance cover?

A basic RV insurance policy covers the same minimum liability you would have for your car. It includes:

  • Bodily injury per person
  • Bodily injury per accident
  • Property damage per accident

The liability amounts required vary per state and can range from $10,000 to $100,000.

Comprehensive and collision, which cover repairs and damage to the RV itself, can be added. This is usually optional, so be sure to ask about this coverage. Many RV policies have other add-on features such as a towing option and protection if you're hit by an uninsured driver. Some policies have roadside assistance.

“It's smart to shop around after your insurance company gives you a quote because the companies that specialize in RV insurance could be less expensive,” says Sheri Fuller of Fuller RV in West Boylston, Massachusetts. "Some examples of these companies are Good Sam, Foremost, Progressive, Liberty Mutual, A-Affordable, GEICO, American Adventure Insurance."

She adds that RV dealerships can assist and point you in the right direction.

“Depending on the coverage you personally require it will typically run between $300 - $1,200 per year,” Fuller says. Costs run higher the bigger and fancier your RV and the more coverage options you add. It also depends if you live in your RV full-time or just vacation in it.

Insurance for living in an RV full-time

If you plan on living in your RV for six months of the year or more, you should consider additional insurance. You can add your RV to your homeowners insurance, covering some of the belongings accompanying you on the road, but not 100%. You may want to add coverage to your RV policy for personal property (the contents inside the RV) to protect any valuables you bring on the road.

Another add-on for RV full-timers is a hotel option, so you have a place to stay if your RV is out of commission.

Ask the insurance company about total loss replacement. This coverage fully replaces your RV if it’s stolen or destroyed – it doesn’t just pay a blue book value or a depreciated cash value.

Premiums are higher for full-time RV living, but if this is your home, it's worth protecting.

How does insurance work with a rental RV?

The most serious insurance-related issue these days is the number of RV owners renting (peer to peer) their unit and not communicating the fact to their insurance company, Fuller says.

“Because they accepted money for the rental, the insurance coverage must now be commercial instead of [a] private policy, and most peer-to-peer rentals either don't realize this or simply do not add the extra coverage because of the cost,” Fuller says. “The difference between personal RV insurance and commercial RV insurance is usually 800% more and [if] a serious issue occurs– both the peer-to-peer owner and renter could lose all their assets because they tried to save money.”