Solved! Does RV Insurance Cover Water Damage?
Before taking to the road, RV owners may want to know, “Does RV insurance cover water damage?” If the policy includes comprehensive coverage, the answer may be yes, with certain exclusions.
Q: I just bought an RV and am planning to travel in it full-time. While I’m excited to get on the road, I’m a little worried about what could happen if I’m in an accident that damages my RV’s pipes. Does RV insurance cover water damage?
A: A busted pipe, a leaking RV water heater, or a collision could all potentially cause water damage to an RV. With the many ways for water damage to happen, it’s understandable that RV owners would want to know, “Does RV insurance cover water damage?” For those with comprehensive insurance coverage, the answer may be yes.
However, RV insurance usually doesn’t cover all types of water damage; most RV insurance policies have exclusions for certain types of water damage. For example, insurance generally won’t cover water damage in an RV if the damage is due to poor maintenance or negligence. This is one of the surprising things about owning an RV that many RV owners may not be aware of.
Comprehensive insurance covers RV water damage that’s caused by a covered event.
The best way for an RV owner to protect themselves from paying out of pocket in the event their RV sustains water damage is by taking out an insurance policy with comprehensive coverage. An RV insurance policy that includes comprehensive coverage often pays for water damage repairs when the damage is due to a covered event outside the RV owner’s control.
For example, a storm might cause a branch to fall onto the RV, puncturing the roof. This could cause rain to enter the camper, causing damage to the interior. The RV owner’s insurance can help pay for RV water damage wall repair if the policy includes comprehensive coverage.
The RV owner will need to pay their deductible before their insurance policy covers RV water damage repair. The deductible is the amount an RV owner is responsible for before insurance takes over to cover costs. For instance, if a storm causes $4,000 in damage to an RV and the owner has a $500 deductible on their comprehensive coverage, the insurance will pay $3,500.
Collision coverage can help pay to fix a water leak if it’s caused by an accident—whether or not you are liable.
As RVs and travel trailers are often found out on the road, an RV policy functions more like car insurance than homeowners insurance. RV owners can add collision coverage to their policy, and it may be required if the RV is financed. Like car insurance collision coverage, RV collision insurance protects the RV owner from expensive repairs after a collision with another vehicle or object.
Collision coverage usually covers repairs regardless of who is at fault in an accident—although if the other driver is at fault, their liability insurance would cover the damage and the RV driver wouldn’t be out of pocket their deductible. If an RV owner accidentally backs their RV into another vehicle in a parking lot, their collision coverage will likely help cover the cost of repairing their RV, less the deductible.
Even investing in the best propane tankless water heater or the best water softener for an RV won’t protect owners from potential problems. Many common sources of water damage in RVs, such as an RV water heater leaking or water softener causing backups, are not covered by collision coverage, unless the damage results from a collision. However, collision coverage may cover water damage if it’s the result of a covered collision or accident. For instance, if the RV is in an accident with another vehicle and the collision causes a pipe inside the RV to break, collision coverage may cover the RV water damage floor repair cost and RV water leak repair. Water coming from the bottom of the camper may be a different story, and whether it’s covered or not will depend on what’s causing the problem.
Personal effects replacement coverage can help repair or replace any belongings in your RV that are damaged by water.
One of the unique features of owning an RV is that RV owners generally carry a lot of personal belongings in their vehicles. Unlike a traditional car, an RV often serves as a secondary—or even a primary—home for its owner. This means the total value of items in an RV is generally quite a bit higher than that of standard cars on the road
Personal effects replacement coverage helps RV owners repair or replace their personal belongings that are stored in their RV (such as one of the best RV mattresses or one of the best propane generators) in the event of a covered loss. If an RV owner experiences damage to their RV as the result of a storm, and with it damage to their belongings inside the RV, personal effects coverage may help pay to replace or repair the damaged items.
RV owners may want to consider how much their RV-stored belongings are worth, however. It’s common for personal effects replacement coverage to have a maximum coverage limit of around $5,000. This may not be enough to cover the full cost of replacing an RV owner’s belongings in the event of a covered loss. Luckily, most RV insurance companies give RV owners the ability to increase coverage limits or add endorsements to cover specific personal items.
Towing and labor cost coverage can help relocate your RV if the engine sustains water damage.
Many types of RV water damage happen somewhere in the living area of the vehicle, but RV insurance could help RV owners if they find their engine suffers water damage as well. As many RV owners find themselves in remote locations, such as national parks or along less-traveled highways, a waterlogged engine could spell disaster. Towing an RV generally costs a lot more than towing a standard car due to the higher weight and other factors.
The good news is that for RV owners who have towing and labor cost coverage, their insurance may cover an expensive tow if water damage renders their RV inoperable.
Additionally, this coverage could help pay for the cost of lodging and a rental car if the RV has to stay in the shop for several days due to water damage.
RV insurance won’t cover water damage caused by recklessness, freezing weather, manufacturer defects, or negligence.
RV insurance doesn’t cover all incidents that result in water damage. The key to coverage is that damage must be sudden and accidental. Poor maintenance, improper care, and recklessness could all cause an insurance company to deny an RV insurance claim. For example, if an RV owner neglects to reseal the area around the roof vent of their RV and the vent starts to leak and rots the wood of the roof, the insurance policy is unlikely to cover the RV roof repair for rotted wood since the owner didn’t keep up with regular maintenance that would have helped prevent the issue.
RV owners also usually have to winterize their campers for cold weather. If sewer hoses freeze, leading to a sewage backup in the trailer, the resulting damage isn’t likely to be covered—even if the owner has invested in one of the best RV sewer hoses. If RV owners plan to camp in cold weather, they may want to take precautions against the temperature, including draining their plumbing.
Some RV owners are surprised to learn their RV insurance also doesn’t cover manufacturer defects. If an RV is defective, an RV owner is expected to use their manufacturer’s warranty to fix any issues rather than looking to their RV insurance for coverage.
In some instances, your homeowners insurance policy may cover water damage to your RV.
A specific RV insurance policy isn’t the only way for RV owners to protect their investment. If the RV or travel trailer is parked on the owner’s property or a local storage facility, their homeowners insurance may cover some types of water damage.
It’s recommended that RV owners carefully read their policies to get a better idea of under what circumstances their homeowners insurance may provide coverage to their camper. RV owners may even want to ask their homeowners insurance agent what is and isn’t covered under their policy. They may also want to find out what the coverage limits are for each type of coverage.
Although homeowners insurance and RV insurance may cover water damage under certain circumstances, it’s still recommended that RV owners do their best to mitigate the chances of damage occurring to their travel trailers. Investing in one of the best small dehumidifiers, for example, could help lower the moisture in the travel trailer and potentially prevent water damage from humidity.