Solved! What Is Vacation Liability RV Insurance?
RV owners may find themselves at fault for an accident when parked at a campsite. This can have them wondering, “What is vacation liability RV insurance, and how can I get it?”
Q: We’ve just bought a motorhome and plan to travel throughout the summer months. However, we’re not sure what type of insurance for travel trailers we need. What is vacation liability RV insurance, and do we need it to camp?
A: Whereas the owner of a vacation home will need a policy from one of the best short-term rental insurance companies to protect their investment, RV owners will likely want to carry vacation liability RV insurance to protect their investment while parked at a campsite. This type of insurance protects RV owners in the event someone is injured in or near their RV while it is parked.
If a covered incident takes place in the RV owner’s campsite or camper, their vacation liability RV insurance could help cover the cost of defending themselves from legal action, as well as helping cover damages or injuries. RV owners who are liable for injuries or damages that occur in or around their RV may find that their RV insurance can help cover those costs.
Vacation liability RV insurance is designed to protect the RV owner financially if they cause property damage or injury to a third party while parked at a designated campsite.
Like other types of liability coverage, vacation liability RV insurance can help protect RV owners financially if they are responsible for property damage or an injury to a third party. Vacation liability RV coverage can help pay for property damage, medical bills for injured third parties, and even legal fees if a lawsuit results. With vacation liability RV insurance, the coverage kicks in when the RV is parked at a campsite.
As an example: The owner of an RV is parked at a campsite in an RV park and decides to build a fire in the fire pit and invite their neighbors over to enjoy it with them. During the evening, one of the neighbors gets up and trips over a piece of firewood nearby, breaking their arm and requiring emergency medical care. The RV owner could be liable for the accident—and the cost of the associated medical bills. However, their vacation liability insurance will likely cover the accident and pay for some or all of the injured party’s medical bills.
Vacation liability RV coverage can also kick in if someone is hurt inside the RV while it’s parked and the owner is found liable.
In a lot of ways, vacation liability RV insurance works for travel trailers similar to how homeowners insurance works for houses. Like homeowners coverage, vacation liability recreational vehicle insurance typically pays for injuries to guests or to fix damages to another’s property if the RV owner is liable for the incident. This coverage usually extends to the interior of the camper as well. If a guest is injured or sustains property damage while in an RV owner’s trailer, the RV owner could be found liable. Vacation liability RV insurance coverage helps cover the cost of damages in the event the RV owner is liable for a covered incident.
For instance, if an RV owner invites neighboring campers over for dinner and a small fire flares up and ignites the guests’ expensive hiking gear near the door of the camper, vacation liability coverage may cover the cost to repair or replace the damaged gear.
This type of coverage only applies when the RV is parked in a designated area; owners will need to purchase liability insurance to protect their RV on the road.
If vacation liability RV coverage is similar to homeowners insurance, some RV owners might wonder if this coverage extends while they’re driving. The short answer is no; vacation liability coverage doesn’t apply to an RV if it’s moving—it has to be parked. Additionally, most vacation liability policies won’t cover an RV unless it’s parked specifically in a designated campsite. RV owners may want to check with their RV insurance provider to see what their policy considers to be a campground. This could prevent RV owners from bearing the cost of expensive accidents by avoiding parking in an area that’s not considered a designated campsite.
In addition to vacation liability insurance, RV owners will want to ensure they have adequate liability coverage while they’re on the road. Liability insurance is required by law and provides financial protection to the driver in the event they are liable for any injuries or damages caused to a third party while driving the RV. RV liability insurance is similar to car liability insurance, and it’s possible a policy may qualify for a discount when it’s bundled with another auto policy or a homeowners insurance policy. Liability insurance kicks in anytime the RV is moving, whether it’s leaving a campsite or driving on the road.
RV liability insurance is not the same as vacation liability RV insurance—the former is required by law, while the latter is optional coverage.
Anyone with an RV that’s self-contained and drivable—such as a motorhome or conversion van—is required by law to carry RV liability insurance. These drivable vehicles work the same as cars when they’re on the road. Owners of these types of vehicles will likely have to carry at least the minimum amount of RV liability insurance their state requires to legally drive on the road.
Nonmotorized campers, such as fifth-wheels or pop-up campers, generally don’t require liability insurance while they’re on the road. For these situations, the liability insurance would extend from the towing vehicle to the nonmotorized camper. However, many pull-behind camper owners invest in fifth-wheel insurance, which provides coverage for the camper itself.
On the other hand, vacation liability RV insurance is an optional coverage. It’s not required by law as is car insurance for motorhomes. It can still be a useful insurance option for RV owners, however. Vacation liability RV insurance provides coverage when the motorhome is parked, which isn’t something that would be covered under a standard liability insurance policy.
A vacation liability RV insurance policy may exclude campsites on public lands or non-campsite areas such as a store parking lot; owners will want to check their policy to understand what is and is not covered.
While vacation liability RV insurance helps protect RV owners in the event they are found liable for injury or property damage to others, coverage can be complicated. Some policies won’t cover RV owners when they’re parked overnight in a store parking lot. Additionally, many policies exclude coverage when an RV is parked at a campsite on public lands. RV owners who enjoy camping in national parks, Bureau of Land Management land, or in public areas without designated campsites may have limited coverage options in these areas.
The best way for RV owners to know what their insurance company deems to be a covered campsite is to check their policies. When getting an insurance quote for RV vacation liability, RV owners are encouraged to ask about campsite policies. They may also want to ask their RV insurance agent directly about what is covered under their policy and if coverage is customizable. Some of the best RV insurance companies may let RV owners add extra coverage for the places where they camp most often, such as public lands.
Full-time RVers may not be able to get vacation liability RV insurance; they may need to purchase a full-time RV insurance policy instead.
Those who live in their RVs for more than 6 months of the year are generally considered full-time RVers by insurance companies. This means they’ll likely need to purchase a full-time RV insurance policy rather than a vacation liability policy. Insurance companies may deny any claims from full-time travelers if they only carry vacation protection instead of full-time coverage.
However, many full-time RV travelers are happy to pay more for this coverage. Full-time RV insurance generally includes more coverage than vacation insurance. For example, full-time RV insurance from Progressive or another RV insurance agency often includes liability coverage and comprehensive coverage for the RV. Additionally, full-time RV insurance helps cover the personal belongings that travel with someone who uses their RV as a residence. Those who wonder, “Does RV insurance cover water damage?” will need to check the terms of their policy. Certain types of water damage may be covered, but coverage is often dictated by what caused the water damage to occur.
An RV owner can purchase vacation liability RV insurance for a motorized RV, a travel trailer, a fifth-wheel camper, or a pop-up camper.
Vacation liability RV insurance is generally available specifically for RV owners. Someone renting an RV may want to look into other types of liability protection through RV rental insurance. However, someone who owns an RV can often get vacation liability coverage for almost any kind of travel trailer. Whether they drive a converted van, a motorhome, or a pop-up camper, vacation liability RV insurance can provide financial protection in the event they’re liable for damages or injuries that occur while they’re parked at a campsite.
The cost of RV insurance can vary widely depending on the RV owner’s coverage needs, the type of camper, and how much traveling they do. It’s recommended that RV owners get RV insurance quotes from several different providers to find the right vacation liability RV insurance for their situation. They can also look into the best home and auto insurance bundles from companies such as Allstate to see if they can get a discount for carrying RV insurance through the same provider they use for their home and auto policies. In many cases, RV owners can get the coverage they need and still find cheap RV insurance that fits their budget.