Is Full-Time RV Insurance Necessary And What Are Your Best RV Insurance Options?
If you’re a full-timer (full-time RV traveler) or considering becoming one, you’re no doubt reading this in anticipation of your next move. Many miles of road to navigate and some amazing experiences to enjoy!
At this point you may be wondering about full-time RV insurance: Is this really necessary and where can you get great quotes for cheap full-timers RV insurance?
In this article, we cover everything you need to know about full-time RV insurance, including what exactly it is and where to get it.
What Is Full-Time RV Insurance?
Unlike regular RV insurance, which only covers you as a recreational vehicle owner, full-time RV insurance protects you when you use your RV as a permanent residence.
Full-time RV insurance can be thought of as a combination of auto insurance and homeowners insurance.
This is because it protects the RV itself, and the people and contents inside of the RV.
Key Point: When Can You Be Classified As a Full-Time RV Insurance Client?
If you live in a motorhome or travel trailer for more than 150 days (or six months) out of the year, you will qualify for full-timers RV insurance.
Why is Full-Time RV Insurance Important?
Living in an RV full-time means that you are exposed to more risks than part-time or recreational RV users.
You will be traveling the roads of the U.S. with your RV more often, which means that you could be at a higher risk for accidents.
Living in an RV means that the weather is likely to be a concern as well. What about hail, slippery, icy roads, hurricanes, and so on?
RV insurance offers protection for you in these instances.
Not only will you need to insure the RV itself, but as a full-time RV traveler, you will need to insure yourself, your passengers, and all the belongings that you drive around with.
While minimum liability insurance coverage is legally required for any vehicle traveling the roads of the U.S. (with the exception of New Hampshire), comprehensive RV insurance has been designed to protect your most valuable assets—your motorhome and its occupants.
This makes RV insurance essential no matter where you drive.
What Does Full-Time RV Insurance Cover Typically Include?
Full-time RV insurance includes everything you need to cover, whether you are traveling on the road, or parked at a campsite.
Your full-time RV insurance will include both short-term cover, which is the very minimum cover required for your RV, as well as a long list of additional coverages to protect you and your assets.
Short-term RV insurance cover
Short-term RV insurance comes with the most essential protection, which is similar to auto insurance. You can expect this cover to include:
Bodily injury and property damage liability coverage
This covers you or another driver of the RV if you are at fault in an accident. This cover is also known as minimum liability coverage and is required in every state, except New Hampshire.
Comprehensive and collision coverage
This coverage protects your RV against car crashes, vandalism, and theft, regardless of who is at fault.
Medical payments coverage
If you or your passengers are injured in an accident, medical payments coverage settles expenses such as hospital bills and other medical costs.
Underinsured motorist coverage
If your RV is hit by a driver who does not have enough insurance coverage, or has no insurance coverage at all, underinsured motorist coverage will pay out for any damages to your property.
Full-time RV insurance
Full-time RV insurance covers everything offered by short-term RV insurance, plus additional cover that ensures you and your belongings are fully protected.
As a full-time RV owner, you have all the responsibilities and risks of a homeowner, so it’s important to be covered for everything while on the road or parked.
Full-time RV insurance includes:
Vacation liability coverage
If a guest is injured while in your RV and sues you, or if you accidentally damage something on another person’s RV, vacation liability coverage will settle any medical and legal costs if you are held liable.
Personal property coverage
When you need to replace or repair any personal belongings, personal property insurance will cover you. Personal property coverage also includes pet insurance in most states.
Scheduled medical payments
Medical payments coverage helps to pay for your passengers’ hospital bills and covers medical expenses, regardless of who is at fault.
Full-time RV insurance extends medical payments coverage to include someone who may be injured while inside or around the RV while it’s parked.
This coverage includes hospital fees related to stitches, ambulance rides, X-rays, and more.
If you live in an RV community, there may be a homeowners association.
Loss assessment will cover you for fees that a homeowners association would charge you in order to pay for damaged property to common areas.
Emergency expense coverage
If your RV is damaged to the point of you not being able to live in it, emergency expense coverage will pay for temporary accommodation while your RV is being repaired or in the process of being replaced.
Adjacent structures coverage
This covers the cost of stand-alone structures that you may have on the site where your RV is parked, such as sheds, decks, porches, or carports.
Total loss replacement cost coverage
This coverage is not always automatically included in full-time RV insurance, but it can be added at an additional cost.
Total loss replacement cost coverage pays to replace your RV if it is totaled.
If your RV is totaled in the first four years, this insurance will pay to replace your RV with a new, comparable RV.
If your rig were to be totaled in years five to seven, you are more likely to be reimbursed for the actual cash value of the RV.
If it is totaled after year seven, you will be compensated for its actual cash value.
If your RV breaks down in any way, or should you need a jump start, run out of gas, or get a flat tire—roadside assistance will provide you with 24-hour assistance.
How Much Does Full-Time RV Insurance Cost?
While RV insurance companies provide fairly standard insurance cover, RV insurance for full-timers is usually personalized to suit your specific needs.
There are a few factors that will influence the cost of your RV insurance policy and they include:
The class of your RV
The larger and more luxurious your RV is, the more it will cost to insure. This is because the costs to repair or replace the RV will differ depending on the class of RV you own.
RVs come in three classes, being A, B, and C. Each class has a different build and amenities.
Class A Motorhome
This RV class will be built using a strong and heavy frame. These frames are usually built on a commercial bus chassis.
There is usually space for two to four people to sleep in an RV as there is a bedroom located in the back. The interior will resemble a home and generally, a class A RV is very luxurious.
Class B Motorhome
Class B motorhomes are the cheapest of all three types and also the smallest. They are considered to look somewhat similar to an oversized van.
They are also commonly known as camper vans. You will find a kitchen, living room, and bathroom in one of these motorhomes.
Class C Motorhome
The class C motorhome is a combination between classes A and B. These are built on a cabin chassis and feature an over-cab sleeping area.
Between four to eight people can live in one class C motorhome and it is also able to tow a car.
Your driving history
If you have been a responsible driver and maintained a clean driving record, you will pay low to standard insurance rates.
If you have a list of traffic violations on your driving record—for example, speeding tickets, you may be considered a high-risk driver by RV insurance companies.
In this case, your RV insurance policy premiums will be higher.
Your past claims
If you have filed multiple insurance claims in the last few years, your RV insurance policy rate will be higher.
Always weigh up the pros and cons of filing smaller insurance claims, since this may push up your insurance premium.
Your deductibles and limits
As with all insurance, a lower deductible will mean a higher insurance premium on your RV insurance policy.
Key point: What Is a Deductible?
A deductible is the out-of-pocket amount that you will need to pay as the policy holder, before an insurance company will pay out any covered expenses.
Although all of these factors will impact your final insurance quote for RV insurance, you can expect to pay between $1,000 and $2,000 per year.
The best way to get a good idea of how much your insurance will be, is to run your needs through our free quote generator.
When you enter your zip code, you’ll be able to browse through quotes from RV insurance companies and select those that suit your needs.
How Do You Get Full-Time RV Insurance?
Once you have used our free quote generator and found a few quotes and insurance companies that you like, you will need to provide specific information to the insurer you’ve chosen.
From here, they will be able to provide you with your formal quote.
This information includes:
- Your full name and surname.
- The names and surnames of the passengers who will be living in the RV with you.
- Your social security number.
- Your driver’s license.
- Your phone number.
- Your email address.
- Your permanent address or domicile.
- The make, year, and model of your RV.
- The vehicle identification number (VIN) of your RV.
- Any additional vehicles you will be towing, such as a truck, and the details of these vehicles.
- The value of personal belongings that you will have in the RV with you.
There may be some additional details that the insurer will require from you, but be sure to have these details handy when you decide to request your formal full-time RV insurance quotes.
What Do You Use as Your Address on a Full-Time RV Insurance Policy?
Every insurance policy needs a physical address on it, so as a full-timer, what can you use as this address?
You will need to establish a domicile before you hit the road.
Key Point: What Is a Domicile?
A domicile is a legal connection with land, and not related to residency. A domicile is also the state which a person treats as their permanent residence, or has a substantial connection with.
For full-timers, this is often referred to as a ‘garaging address’.
There are three popular states that full-timers use when setting up their domicile. These are:
- South Dakota.
You don’t need to choose any one of these states, but full-timers often do because the laws in these states work in their favor.
For example in Florida, you do not need to pay property tax or state income tax on an RV. They also offer health care plans that allow citizens to use health care services outside of the state.
A few things you will need to keep in mind when establishing a domicile include:
- Vehicle insurance rates.
- Vehicle registration fees.
- Health insurance costs and availability.
- Vehicle inspection and registration laws.
- Homeschooling laws.
- Drivers license renewals.
- Jury duty.
- Trust and estate laws.
As a full-time RV traveler, you need to choose a state that you have ties with.
This could mean that you own property in one of these states, or that you have friends or family who live in one of these states.
Here are the steps you will need to take to set up your domicile:
- Get the details of your new address (your property, or the address of a friend or family member).
- Have your vehicles, including the RV, registered to this new address.
- Switch your driver’s license to your new state.
- Register to vote.
- Establish support in your new state, such as doctors, lawyers, etc.
- Spend some time in your new state.
Once you have established your domicile, you will be able to secure full-time RV insurance in this state.
What To Look for from Good RV Insurance Companies
Since there are so many options out there, choosing the best RV insurance companies for your specific needs can be challenging.
To get the best RV insurance, here are a few requirements you should look for from your insurer:
Offers RV insurance for full-timers.
Not all insurance companies will offer comprehensive insurance for full-timers, so it is important to find a company that does.
Provides policies for all types of RVs.
Although there are many insurance companies that offer RV insurance coverage, there are some that may not cover all types of RVs.
It’s best to find an insurer that specializes in RV insurance and provides comprehensive coverage to a wide range of RVs. These insurers will likely have the best level of experience.
Easy to contact online.
While you are out on the road, you may not want to continually phone your RV insurer, so selecting a company where you can easily manage your insurance plan via an app or their website is something to consider.
Offers valuable add-ons.
Some of the best RV insurance companies offer amazing add-on benefits, such as discounted stays at campsites, discounted gear, and discounts on bundled insurance.
Be sure to ask that all their add-on benefits are explained to you.
Provides roadside assistance.
This is a very important benefit that we would recommend you to insist on. The last thing you want is to be stuck on the side of the road with no support.
From helping you with a flat tire, to towing, jumpstarting, fuel delivery, and more—you need the peace of mind that comes from roadside assistance.
Has a nationwide presence.
It is best to choose an insurance company that has a network of support across the country. If you are traveling to Mexico or Canada, you will also need a company that offers support across our borders.
Ability to turn coverage off and on.
You may find that you wish to settle somewhere in a house for some time, and park your RV.
In this case, you won’t want to be paying for full-time RV insurance when you aren’t using your rig.
Try to find an insurer that will let you turn coverage off and on when you need it.
Is It Hard to Get Full-Time RV Insurance Coverage?
As long as you have your domicile and all the details that the insurer needs from you available, signing up for your full-time RV insurance should not be difficult.
The only time you may encounter a small hurdle is if you require an SR-22 form in order to secure your insurance.
An SR-22 form is a certificate of financial responsibility. This form is required for some drivers by their state or due to a court order being issued.
This form is a car insurance provider’s guarantee to the state department of motor vehicles (DMV) that you have obtained and will maintain the legally required auto insurance coverage.
An SR-22 certificate is often needed as a result of any one of these situations:
- You were found responsible for a car accident that caused bodily injury.
- You’ve been convicted of DUI, DWI, or another major traffic offense.
- You were driving without an auto insurance policy when you were involved in an accident.
- You were pulled over by law enforcement and did not have car insurance, or have received a high number of traffic violations in a short period of time (such as three or more speeding penalties within six months).
- Your driving license has been suspended or revoked.
- You failed to pay court-ordered child support.
RV insurance and auto insurance for people needing an SR-22 form is more expensive.
The good news is that an SR-22 certificate may only be needed for a short time (usually a few years).
Once you have maintained a clean driving record for two or three years, your insurance premiums will once again decrease to normal levels.
Who Are the Top Full-Time RV Insurers in the U.S.?
Many auto insurance companies will provide insurance for full-timers, but there are some insurance companies that remain very popular choices for full-time RV insurance.
Usually these companies are popular because of the range of coverage and support that they offer.
Here are just three of the best providers we have found:
This company specializes in RV insurance and offers a very wide range of benefits for its members.
They have a comprehensive website with plenty of useful information and offer great support.
Progressive has a specialized RV insurance division. You can cover your RV no matter the class, and also cover your horse and cargo trailers. They offer highly competitive rates.
This company has been protecting RV-ers for over 75 years and offers specialized cover to protect your RV, your passengers, and all your belongings.
Thinking of Hitting the Long Road Full-Time with Your RV? We’ve Got You Covered with Cheap RV Insurance
Whether that travel bug has bitten you, or you simply want to downsize your home and enjoy the great outdoors from the comfort of your RV, be sure to first use our free quote generator and get cheap RV insurance quotes.
This will give you an immediate idea of how much you could be spending on your RV insurance.
From here, you can choose an insurer that best suits your pocket and head toward step two of the process, which is to secure your formal quote.
Getting RV insurance should be a stress-free process. With CheapInsurance.com we’ve got you covered with an insurance finder that’s quick and accurate!
Once you’ve entered your zip code, you can start comparing quotes today.