It’s important to have an RV unit insured not only against loss or damage but also against liability. Public liability insurance protects the owner in the event of an accident that causes damage to property, or an injury to a person.
RV insurance is a specialized field. RV insurance combines features of both car insurance and house insurance and is designed to meet the specific needs of RV owners. Most states and provinces require that any motor vehicle – which may include motor homes (Class A, B, and C), and truck campers – be properly registered and insured.
Towable travel trailers, pop-up tent trailers (folding trailers), hybrids, and truck campers may be treated differently but should still be insured to protect them against loss or damage and liability.
Basic RV Insurance Protection
An RV insurance package will provide for reimbursement to the owner in the event of loss or damage to a motor home, travel trailer, camper, fifth wheel, tent trailer, or hybrid.
- Loss and damage protection can be either against all perils (subject to some listed exclusions) or against a list of specified perils such as theft, wind or hail damage, vandalism, or fire.
- In the event of a total loss, the coverage may range from total replacement cost to a payment equal to the depreciated or fair-market value of the RV.
- If damage occurs that can be repaired, there will be a deductible amount that the owner has to pay regardless of the size of the insurance claim.
RV Insurance for Public Liability and Property Damage
Beyond loss or damage coverage, however, it is necessary for the RV owner to have financial liability protection in the event of an incident caused by or in connection with the RV or its operation that results in
- Damage to someone else’s property
- Injury to any person
While most people will think of liability in regards to a collision or RV crash, other events can cause injuries or damage for which the unit owner may be held liable. Public liability insurance can save the owner from having to pay a settlement out of pocket. Examples might include
- A visitor is injured by falling off a step (or tripping on the outdoor carpet, or walking into awning support, or…)
- Equipment blows from one campsite to another and damages someone’s rig
- The owner’s pet may cause injury to a person or damage to property
Some RV insurance will include Public Liability and Property Damage (PL&PD) coverage that comes into effect if the RV owner (or designated driver) causes an accident that results in damage or injury. This is typically a minimum of $2 million, and the premium will be higher for a higher amount or if the owner/driver has a poor driving record.
Camping Card International
According to the Australian Automobile Association, “The Camping Card International (CCI) is a useful and widely recognized document throughout Europe and Africa at camping and caravanning sites.”
The site goes on to explain the relevance of the CCI to RV Liability: “The CCI …covers third party insurance claims which may be made against a member for compensation for bodily injury to third parties, and/or damage to property resulting from any accident occurring while camping.”
RV Insurance Buyer Beware
Not all specialized RV insurance includes liability coverage, so it is important to see if this is part of the package or if it is necessary to purchase it as a separate product.
This article is intended for information only. The reader is urged to contact a qualified insurance broker or agent with experience in RV insurance.