Photo courtesy of Flickr user Dwonderwall
So, you’ve found the RV of your dreams. You’ve secured great financing. You’re anxious to hit the road, free from the paperwork. Not so fast. As an RV owner, you need to protect your investment. As a responsible driver, you need to protect yourself and others in the event of an accident. And . . . about that financing . . . your lender won’t cut a check until you provide an insurance binder listing the lender as a loss payee. Here are three quick tips for purchasing RV insurance.
- Don’t Insure Your RV Like a Car
You don’t need to be an expert in insurance (hey, it’s complicated) to make wise decisions. You just need to find someone who is—and your local auto agent isn’t necessarily that someone. You want an experienced agent who understands the risks associated with owning and operating an RV. Your agent needs to be familiar with RV-specific coverage terms like agreed value, personal belongings, trip Interruption, zero-deductible windshield, and vacation liability—to name a few.What’s more, different types of RVs are insured differently, and there are lifestyle considerations. For instance, how frequently will you use the unit? Are you a full time RVer? Will your unit be parked in a fixed location? A knowledgeable agent will factor these and other variables into the RV insurance equation, and help you find the right plan with the appropriate amount of coverage.
- Poke Around for RV Agent Referrals
Your RV dealer is an obvious source for an insurance referral. Some dealers belong to buying groups that have marketing alliances with established insurance carriers. Insuring through one of these might not be cheaper, but the coverage will be a bit better. You can also search “Priority RV Dealer Network” and “Route 66 RV Dealer Network” online for leads.RV-owner clubs are good sources of information. Some manufacturers sponsor clubs, so search by manufacturer to find them. In addition, look for insurance discussions or post your questions in the online forums of the Good Sam Club, Woodall’s, Family Motor Coach Association (FMCA), and the Escapees Club. Finally, check the website of the Recreational Vehicle Dealer Association (RVDA), which has members who are RV insurance providers. (Look for links to them under “associate members.”)
- Look into Established RV Insurers
Several large insurance companies sell policies designed for RVs. (Their websites are another great source for local insurance agents, by the way.) These include Progressive, GMAC, Allied, Foremost, and GEICO, and, as they’ve been insuring RVs for a long time, it’s no accident that they write the majority of the RV policies. Why would you purchase a specialized policy? If you ever have a claim, you’d find out why soon enough. Some companies have specialized RV training facilities to ensure that personnel understand the intricacies of RV ownership. These policies might not be the cheapest, but the coverage they provide will be well tailored to the type of RV you own and how you use it.