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What is the Coverage of RV Liability Insurance? Guide for Travel Enthusiasts

vacation liability rv insurance

For many, their recreational vehicle (RV) is more than just a vehicle; it’s a home on wheels. As such, ensuring it’s protected against potential hazards like property damage is crucial. Property damage coverage forms an integral part of any comprehensive RV insurance policy, offering peace of mind to owners who know that their investment is protected. 

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, there were over 6 million reported motor vehicle crashes in the United States in 2019 alone. With such statistics in mind, the importance of having proper insurance coverage for your RV cannot be understated.

RV and RV Insurance

An RV is a motor vehicle or trailer equipped with living space and amenities found in a home. They range from campervans, which are equipped with basic facilities, to luxurious motorhomes, which can provide all the comforts of a permanent home. 

RV insurance is a type of coverage specifically designed to protect these unique vehicles. It covers a wide array of potential risks that standard auto insurance might not cover, such as full-timer and vacation liability, personal belongings coverage, and more. The importance of RV insurance lies in its ability to protect your investment and provide financial security while you’re on the road.

What are the Different RV Liability Coverages?

RV liability coverage is the cornerstone of any thorough RV insurance policy. It’s structured to offer financial protection if you’re responsible for an accident that results in bodily harm or property damage to another party. Let’s delve deeper into the specifics of this coverage:

Bodily Injury Liability

Bodily injury liability is a critical part of your RV insurance. If you’re deemed at fault in an accident while operating or using your RV, this coverage assists in covering the other party’s medical bills. Expenses such as hospital stays, rehabilitation services, and even lost income due to injury are typically included. Additionally, it offers financial safeguards in the event you face litigation related to the accident.

Property Damage Liability

Conversely, property damage liability coverage compensates for damage you inflict on someone else’s property while driving or using your RV. This could encompass damage to another vehicle, a building, a fence, or any other property involved in an accident. Similarly to bodily injury coverage, it also offers protection in the event of a lawsuit stemming from property damage.

Additional RV Insurance Coverage

Beyond the basic liability coverages, there are several other types of protection you might consider for your RV, depending on your usage and lifestyle. These additional coverages can provide a more comprehensive safety net.

Full-Timer Liability Coverage

Full-timer liability coverage is designed specifically for those who live in their RVs full-time, essentially treating the RV as a permanent residence. This coverage offers a level of protection comparable to a traditional homeowner’s insurance policy.

This coverage typically includes:

  • Personal liability: If someone is injured in your RV or on your property, this coverage can help pay for their medical expenses and any legal fees if you are sued.
  • Medical payments: This pays for necessary medical treatments resulting from an injury that occurs in your RV, regardless of who is at fault.
  • Loss assessment: If you’re a part of an RV association and the association levies assessments for certain damages, this coverage can help pay for your share.

Living in your RV full-time presents unique risks, and full-timer liability coverage is designed to address these.

Vacation Liability Coverage

Vacation liability coverage, sometimes referred to as “campsite” liability coverage, kicks in when your RV is parked and being used as a temporary residence, such as when you’re camping or parked at an RV park.

If someone is injured near or around your RV during its use as a temporary living space, vacation liability coverage can help cover the associated costs. It can also help pay for property damage that may occur at your vacation site.

Personal Belongings Coverage

Your RV likely houses many personal belongings, from clothing and electronics to outdoor gear and kitchenware. Personal belongings coverage helps protect these items from risks like theft, vandalism, or damage due to an accident or other covered loss.

While some home or renter insurance policies may offer limited coverage for personal belongings in your RV, having this specific coverage ensures you have ample protection. It’s important to conduct a home inventory and estimate the value of your belongings to ensure you purchase enough coverage.

Differentiating Between Motorhome and Trailer Coverage

The specifics of your RV liability coverage can differ based on whether your RV is a motorhome or a trailer. A motorhome, being self-propelled, necessitates liability coverage akin to what you’d need for a car, covering both bodily injuries and property damage incurred while driving.

In contrast, a trailer, which is towed by another vehicle, may only require coverage when it’s being towed. When stationary or detached from the towing vehicle, the trailer might be safeguarded by other types of insurance, such as vacation liability coverage or even homeowners insurance.

Steps to Apply for RV Insurance Coverage

Applying for RV insurance coverage might seem daunting, but by breaking it down into manageable steps, the process becomes far less intimidating. Here’s a more detailed look at each step:

Gathering Information About Your RV

Before you can start comparing quotes, you’ll need to gather some basic information about your RV. This includes its make, model, year, and current mileage. The value of your RV, including any custom features or upgrades, will also be considered, as this affects the cost to replace or repair your vehicle in case of damage.

Providing Your Personal Information

Next, you’ll need to provide some personal information, including your driving history and any claims you’ve made in the past. Most insurance companies will ask about accidents and traffic violations within the last three to five years. Your intended use of the RV—such as whether you plan to live in it full-time, use it for occasional trips, or rent it out—will also impact your insurance rates.

Deciding on the Type of Coverage

Once you have all the necessary information, you’ll need to decide what type of coverage you want. Basic RV insurance typically includes liability coverage, which covers bodily injury and property damage that you might cause to others in an accident.

However, you might also want to consider additional types of coverage. Collision coverage pays for repairs to your RV if it’s damaged in an accident, regardless of who is at fault. Comprehensive coverage pays for damage from non-collision-related incidents, such as fire, theft, or vandalism.

If you’re living in your RV full-time, you may need full-time coverage, which provides more extensive protection, similar to a homeowner’s policy.

Shopping Around for Quotes

After deciding on your coverage, it’s time to start shopping around. Reach out to several insurance providers for quotes, ensuring you’re comparing like-for-like coverage. Don’t just consider the cost; also look at the company’s reputation, customer service, and claim handling process.

Wrapping Up: Understanding RV Insurance Coverage

A comprehensive understanding of RV insurance coverage is vital for any RV owner. From basic liability coverages to additional protections like full-timer liability, vacation liability, and personal belongings coverage, there’s a lot to consider when choosing the right policy.

When it comes to cost, the average premium for RV insurance can vary significantly based on factors such as the type and usage of your RV, your driving history, and the level of coverage you select. Research indicates that in 2022, the average premium for a 12-month RV insurance policy at Progressive was $573 for a travel trailer and $958 for a motorhome.

However, costs can range widely across the country. The overall average cost of RV insurance in the US is approximately $1,500 annually, but depending on how much you use your RV, annual insurance premiums can range from $200 to $3,000. For gas-powered class A RVs, the average yearly insurance cost is around $1,000–$1,304.

Remember, the cheapest option isn’t always the best when it comes to insurance. It’s crucial to ensure you have the right coverage to safeguard your RV and give you peace of mind while you’re out exploring the open road.


  • RJ Sinclair

    RJ is our resident money guru, with a knack for keeping finances neat and organized. With previous experience as a budget manager in supply chain companies, he brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise to the table. Count on RJ as a trustworthy source for valuable money tips and advice to help you make the most of your financial journey.