All of us can agree that there are some necessities in life that just aren’t fun to do. Shopping for insurance is one of them. And, while price is an important consideration, understanding available coverage options is vital to making an informed decision that will ensure you have the coverage you need should an unfortunate incident occur.
It is important to note that not all insurance coverage is created equal. Owning an RV is a significant financial investment. An RV can be a home away from home or, in many cases, a primary home. Standard coverage may not adequately protect you and your belongings from an unplanned mishap while on the road. The following options are included on most standard auto policies:
BODILY INJURY & PROPERTY DAMAGE covers your legal liability to a 3rd party as the result of an accident involving your motorized vehicle. Required in most states, this coverage will pay medical bills and lost wages of the injured party, as well as damage to property involved in the accident.
MEDICAL PAYMENTS will pay medical costs to you or a family member due to an accident in your RV, regardless of who is at fault.
UNINSURED/UNDERINSURED MOTORISTS provides protection to you when a person at fault for an accident does not have insurance or does not have enough insurance to cover your damages. This includes medical bills and lost wages and may include repairs to damaged property, including your RV.
COMPREHENSIVE & COLLISION cover the cost to repair your RV if it is stolen or damaged in a covered accident or damaged by a weather event.
TOWING & ROADSIDE LABOR provides coverage to tow your disabled vehicle to the nearest qualified repair facility as well as provide roadside labor at the point of disablement.
Coverage for a recreational vehicle differs from your automobile in that it is not only your mode of transportation, but also your residence. In addition, most standard policies do not extend to those who use their RV on a full-time basis. That is why it is important to consider specialized coverage. The following options are not typically available under a standard auto policy:
ADJACENT STRUCTURES provides protection for structures set up next to your RV such as screen rooms and sheds, and provides coverage for the contents of the adjacent structure as well.
ATTACHED ACCESSORIES covers damage to accessories that are permanently attached to your RV, such as awnings, antennas, satellite dishes and mounted solar panels. Coverage varies by carrier. Some offer this coverage as part of their standard policy, subject to a depreciation and deductible, while others offer a depreciation-free coverage option.
DIMINISHING DEDUCTIBLES reduces your Comprehensive and Collision deductible by a certain dollar amount or percentage for every loss-free year. Terms for this option vary by carrier. Most plans decrease the amount until it reaches zero, others have a cap. Most carriers reset both the comprehensive and collision coverage after an incident, others will only reset the coverage utilized in a claim.
EMERGENCY EXPENSE reimburses you for 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 and transportation back home.
FULL-TIMER COVERAGE provides protection to policyholders who use their RV as a residence for an extended amount of time (usually more than five months out of the year) or who do not own or lease a residence. Coverage options vary from carrier to carrier but may include liability protection, medical payments and personal property kept in commercial storage facilities.
REPLACEMENT COVERAGE protects you from depreciation in the event of a total loss. Most auto insurance policies pay a depreciated amount (actual cash value) for the value of your unit in the event it is totaled in a covered loss. Replacement coverage will provide a new unit, or provide payment toward the purchase of a new unit, without the application of depreciation. Coverage terms vary from carrier to carrier; some carriers will select the replacement unit on your behalf, while others will allow you to choose.
PERSONAL EFFECTS protects your personal property inside or outside of your RV. This option will pay the replacement cost for damage to, or loss of, contents used in conjunction with your RV such as clothing, jewelry, cameras, cooking equipment and other belongings not permanently attached to the RV.
VACATION LIABILITY provides personal liability protection when using your recreational vehicle as a vacation residence.
Now that you have a good idea what kind of coverage options are available, take a moment to review your policy to ensure that you have the protection you require based on your investment and lifestyle. If your current coverage isn’t up to snuff, it might be time to consider requesting an additional quote for comparison.
Kimberly holm is marketing coordinator for Blue Sky Insurance, a specialty RV insurance program based in Akron, OH. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org