Hefty gas prices have not deterred the American love for road trips in those rolling homes-away-from-home otherwise known as RVs or motorhomes. Despite the fact that mileage hovers around 10 or 12 mpg (depending, of course, on size of the vehicle, what you’re carrying/towing and aerodynamics), motorhome sales remain brisk. The Recreational Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA) estimates that 8.5 million U.S. households currently own RVs, a 15% increase since 2001. The growth is fueled by the record number of baby boomers lured by the romance of the open road. RVIA research reveals that the average RVer spends between 28 and 35 days a year traveling and logs 4,500 miles. If you own an RV or are thinking about getting one, make sure you have the right motorhome insurance.
You can (and many people do) insure your motorhome through automobile insurance carrier. But you should be aware of the additional coverage a specialized RV insurance policy can provide that may not be part of your standard auto insurance coverage. Before assuming that your auto policy provides the level of comprehensive motorhome insurance you may need, review it. Here are some of the things to look for:
- If your motorhome is destroyed in an accident, fire or flood, would your RV insurance pay to replace it? It will if you have a Total Loss Replacement (TLR) policy. Typical TLR coverage will either replace your totaled motorhome with a new one of comparable value or reimburse you for the initial purchase price. Sounds good but there are some caveats to consider. This cover does not include contents in your motorhome or after-market add-ons. The pay-out will also depend on the age of your motorhome. And, as a rule, TLRs are only in effect for the first five model years. Beyond that, you’ll probably want to convert to a Purchase Price Guarantee (PPG) or Actual Cash Value (ACV) policy.
- A PPG policy will pay you back an agreed-upon amount (written into your policy) to be used to buy a new motorhome. Depending on your policy, coverage can extend for the life of your policy or for the first 10 model years. After that, you can switch to an ACV policy, which will reimburse the depreciated fair-market value.
- Many motorhome owners now live in their homes full-time. If you’re one of them, look into full-time motorhome insurance coverage. This is similar to a homeowner policy and will provide you with personal liability coverage and reimbursement for living expenses if your motorhome become uninhabitable because of accident or other damage.
- Personal contents coverage is another add-on that will reimburse you for the loss or theft of equipment, tools, furnishing, sporting goods, clothing, etc. While your traditional homeowner’s insurance may provide some coverage for this, it typically involve a number of exclusions and limitations.
- Vacation liability will cover you while your RV is parked.
Be sure to ask if you qualify for any motorhome insurance discounts available such as affinity discounts, safe driver course discounts and multiple policy discounts.