A camper/RV can be an expensive item to own. If you’ve ever purchased a camper you know how much time and effort goes into buying one and it is natural to want to protect it. It is also natural to want to know how you’ll replace or repair it if it’s damaged or stolen.
Are campers covered by car or homeowner’s insurance?
A towable camper is partially covered by your car insurance policy as well as your homeowner’s insurance policy. For full coverage on a camper, you’ll need to get specialized insurance that specifically covers it.
A motorhome is different and you’ll need either a separate RV insurance or car insurance to cover it.
In most cases, it’s best to get RV insurance over car insurance as it will be less expensive to purchase and more specifically geared towards your RV.
Let’s take a closer look at what you need to know to be insured the best way possible.
Facts You Need To Know About Camper/RV Insurance
A towable camper is usually covered by your car insurance while on the road. However, your auto insurance policy will only cover basic liability. This means that if your camper were to come unhooked or if you hit someone with your camper while towing it, your car insurance would cover you.
Unfortunately, this same auto policy would not cover damage to your camper. This is true even if you are the victim and your camper is hit by someone else.
A homeowner’s insurance policy may cover your camper while it is parked on your property or inside of your garage. For example, If your house burned down and your camper was in the garage, your homeowner’s insurance might cover the camper.
This is because, in this instance, the camper was just a possession inside of your home. If your insurance policy would cover your television, it would cover your camper. Of course, this only applies if you got a policy which covered your belongings.
Let’s take a further look into what the different types of insurances cover and how they apply to your camper.
Car Insurance and Campers
An automobile insurance policy will usually extend its liability coverage to any type of towable camper.
Examples of towable campers that are covered are:
- Pop-up campers.
- 5th wheel campers.
- Gooseneck trailers.
- Toy Haulers.
- Travel trailers.
- Caravan Trailers
The reason these types of campers are covered is that they are considered the same way that trailers are considered. Unfortunately, your auto insurance policy usually will not cover anything other than liability.
This means that if your camper is damaged or anything inside of it is damaged, your camper will not be covered.
It also will not be covered in the event of a theft. Imagine having your camper stolen only to find that your auto insurance policy will not cover it at all.
Now imagine your camper was stolen and it somehow caused personal damage to someone else. Since it’s no longer attached to your vehicle, your car insurance won’t cover the liability on the camper either.
For these reasons, it is usually best to get other policies in addition to your auto insurance policy. Often-times, the same company that provides you with your auto insurance policy can extend RV or umbrella insurance to you at a discounted rate.
Here are our best tips on how to ensure your camper or RV doesn’t get stolen or robbed.
Homeowner’s Insurance and Campers
Most homeowner’s insurance policies will help to protect your camper while it is parked inside your garage. The main issue will be how much coverage you have and whether or not that coverage will actually extend to your RV.
Some policies will explicitly state that they do not cover RVs or automobiles even if they are parked inside an attached garage. These details might not be apparent to you especially if you did not have an RV when you first purchased your home. In this case, you may want to contact your homeowner’s insurance company to ask them for a copy of your policy.
Also, you may find that you need to increase the coverage on your homeowner’s insurance. For example, you may have $200,000.00 worth of homeowner’s insurance and it may cover all of your belongings as well as your house.
However, what happens when you buy a $50,000.00 camper? Will the $200,000.00 be enough to replace your house, your camper, and all of your other belongings?
In most cases, adding a camper will mean adding additional coverage. You may even need to document the addition of the camper by taking pictures and placing the title somewhere safe.
Also, remember that campers can depreciate quite quickly.
If you financed your camper, you may find that the insurance company pays out less than what you actually owe on your camper. For this reason, most people will decide to go with an RV insurance policy that has full coverage built into it.
Umbrella insurance can be used to essentially cover everything you own. According to Geico, “this type of insurance policy is designed to help protect you from major claims and lawsuits and as a result, it helps protect your assets and your future”.
This type of insurance is great for providing additional liability coverage but does not effectively cover an RV from damage or theft. Umbrella insurance is insurance that works along with your other insurance policies and provides you with an extra level of financial safety.
You may want to consider umbrella insurance if you have a lot of expensive assets or if your camper is worth enough money that it would be a financial hardship to lose it.
For example, the retiree that just sold his house and purchased a $250,000.00 class A motorhome might want to get RV insurance as well as umbrella insurance.
Good Things To Know About RV Insurance
Standard RV insurance is the best way to cover your RV.
An RV insurance policy can help protect your RV from loss due to damage or theft. It can even provide for the entire replacement cost of an RV loan that is worth more than the actual RV is worth. This will ensure that even if your RV is totaled in an accident, you’ll still have enough money to satisfy the loan.
An RV insurance policy can also help provide you with emergency assistance. Motorhomes tend to break down a bit more often than cars and they can be difficult to repair.
These vehicles often have diesel engines so even if you know how to work on your gas-powered car, you may not have the skills to work on your RV by yourself.
Even if you have a towable camper, you may still run into problems on the road. Axles can break and tires can go flat and it may become impossible for you to tow your camper home by yourself. For instance, my father’s boat trailer axle went out from under him on a trip to the boatyard.
A standard tow-truck could not come to pick up the boat trailer and we ended up having to wait for a specialized truck to come to take the boat to a repair shop. Their automobile insurance would not have covered this but luckily their boat insurance did. The same holds true for RV insurance policies and you may find you need to take advantage of it when you least suspect it.
RV insurance may also provide coverage for the items inside of your RV. A camper has many expensive items inside of it and they all have the potential to break. For example, a camper may have a 3-way refrigerator, a hot water heater, a gas stove, an expensive battery bank, and a robust electrical system.
Replacing any of these items could cost up to several hundred dollars. RV insurance can be purchased that will cover all of your appliances as well as your electrical system. This is especially useful for RVers who do not have the tools or technical knowledge to work on these aspects of owning an RV.
You can read a lot more here about what an RV insurance SHOULD cover.
There are many different insurance policies that you can use to help protect your camper. However, the most comprehensive plan you can get is an RV insurance plan. These plans are generally inexpensive and will cover parts of your camper that the other policies will not protect.
If you’d like additional protection for your RV, add an umbrella insurance policy to your RV insurance policy and you’ll be covered regardless of what happens to you or your RV.
Do Campers Need Insurance?
Legally you do not have to have insurance on your towable camper. Liability for the camper will fall under your automobile insurance.
This being said, if you finance a camper, they may demand that you carry full coverage RV insurance on it. In this case, not having insurance would be a violation of your finance terms and you could face legal issues.
Should I Get Insurance on My Camper?
It is almost always a good idea to get insurance on your camper. The exception would be if you had a camper that wasn’t worth much and was willing to self-insure it. For example, you purchased an old pop-up camper for $300.00. In the event that something happens to this camper, you can easily replace it yourself just by saving up another $300.00.
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Morten is the founder of GoDownsize. He has filmed and interviewed people living in tiny houses and RVs since 2011. He grew up on the coast where his dad took him boating from a young age. He has completely rebuilt two RVs in which he travels with his family for months at the time. Read more about Morten here.