Date Published: 2023/05/20

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RV Insurance vs Regular Auto Insurance

Truck parked in front of a travel trailer in a campground with evergreen trees and a large forest behind them.

RV insurance is definitely a necessity whether you use it for family vacations, frequent travel, or if you’re living the RV full-timer lifestyle. When you set out to insure your recreational vehicle, or RV, you may have questions. 

And quite frankly, it can be rather confusing. Is RV insurance the same as auto insurance? Can you get an auto policy for your RV? Many times, you can, but is that really the right course of action? 

So, where do you begin? This little primer will help you figure it all out. 

What is RV Insurance? 

Simply put, RV insurance covers travel trailers, motorhomes, and park models. The policies are specifically written to address the unique needs that come with owning an RV. 

When you look at traveling in your RV as opposed to traveling in your car, there are some considerable differences. While you do tend to have many of your belongings in your car, your RV is much more like home. You may even stay in your RV instead of a hotel. So, if something happens to your RV, you could be looking at some considerable expenses such as paying for a hotel room, transportation, and eating out instead of cooking in your RV kitchen. 

These are the types of needs that are addressed specifically in an RV insurance policy. 

RV Insurance: Travel Trailer vs. Motorhome 

Travel trailers are separate RVs that are moved with the use of a towing vehicle. They are not self-contained like motorhomes. Regular travel trailers, fifth wheels, truck campers, and tent trailers all fall under this category. Basically, if it detaches from the tow vehicle, it’s a travel trailer. 

Insurance for this type of RV is a little different. Many insurance companies will write trailers on auto policies. At Orbit Insurance Services, we recognize that this is not the best way to handle trailer insurance. It is better for trailers to be written on standalone property policies so that if there is a claim, it does not affect your home or auto rating. For example, an awning claim or a slight mishap with the trailer does not affect your auto rating. However, if the accident occurs on the road, there is the potential for liability from the tow vehicle involved. 

It also allows us to offer contents coverage for the RV as well as associated structures like sheds and decks. You don’t see that very often in the RV insurance world. 

Because motorhomes are driven, they do fall under an auto policy that includes uninsured automobile, third party liability, and accident benefits. This is important because you are driving your RV and want the best protection possible. Motorhome insurance covers those needs. 

How is RV Insurance Different from Auto Insurance? 

The most notable ways that RV insurance is different from auto insurance is what exactly is covered under a policy. For instance, an auto policy does not cover your car’s contents, but a trailer policy does cover the things that are typically kept in an RV, including detached structures like decks and sheds. RV policies are specifically designed to cater to the RVing lifestyle. 

What to Look for when Shopping for RV Insurance 

When you start looking for trailer or motorhome insurance, don’t let a fancy website or clever mascot be your deciding factor. Take the time to research what your policy will actually cover and choose one that lines up with your own RVing needs. 

Some things to look for include: 

  • Do they offer compensation for emergency vacation expenses?
  • Is there any flexibility in your deductible so that you can choose how much you pay up front if you have a claim? 
  • Do they have any incentives like Orbit’s Disappearing Deductible? (After you go five years with no claims you have no deductible). 
  • Coverage for losses caused by windstorms, fire, earthquakes, rising water, lightning, and hail? 
  • Do they offer replacement cost coverage for RVs that are up to five to ten years old? 
  • Do they allow their customers to tailor their policy to fit their RVing needs and budget? 
  • Are travel trailer policies written on the more effective standalone property policy or an auto policy? 
  • Do they offer emergency roadside service and lockout service? 
  • Is the company actively involved in the Canadian RVing lifestyle and community? 

Whether your RV is your home away from home or it’s your home all the time, you want to make sure you have the best, most complete protection possible. 

Do you have any burning questions about RV insurance? We’d love to help! Give us a call or send us an email and one of our knowledgeable, friendly staff will make sure you get the coverage you need right away.