Insuring an RV is an odd prospect because you’re not only insuring a vehicle, you’re insuring its contents and your portable home. It takes a bit of time to research the best deal, but we have you covered.
First of all, we’ve got to define what an insurance company considers a “recreational vehicle.” It’s basically any vehicle that you’re going to sleep in, whether you can drive it or tow it. Most RV insurers will cover either a vehicle like a motorhome as small as something based on a van, as large as a 45-foot pusher, or as small as a tent trailer to something as gigantic as a fifth-wheel.
We sampled information from a number of sources and developed a range of what RV insurance should cost. According to data from the University of Michigan, the average RV owner is 49 years old, so we’re using a 49 year old male for our quotes. We’re assuming a good driving record, and a good credit score. We’re sticking with motorhomes for our comparison, but it’s easy enough for you to run a quote on a travel trailer.
We chose three different RVs to quote that represent a van or truck based (Class B or C) and larger Class A motorhomes:
For the purposes of this exercise -- since these things are between $65,000 and $210,000 -- we answered that we financed all of these. That forces a comprehensive insurance package that includes fire and theft, which most shoppers are going to select.
NOTE: All of the insurers asked if we planned on loaning or renting this RV to anyone else. In the era of AirBnB, be aware that this could add a lot to your insurance bill every year.
DISCLAIMER: There are numerous other factors that are going to impact the cost of insurance on your RV.
Large Insurance Carrier: Progressive - Progressive’s prices look significantly higher than The Hartford, but remember, we’re not exactly comparing apples-to-apples here because that’s bundled with a car insurance policy.
Smaller Insurance Carrier: The Hartford - The Hartford LOOKS cheaper, but they won’t insure an RV unless you have a car insured with them, too. To get a quote, we threw a 2003 BMW 525i in there just to satisfy the requirement. We then subtracted the insurance cost of the BMW to determine what it would cost to ADD an RV to an existing policy. It doesn’t provide an accurate picture of the actual cost if you were able to just insure an RV as your only vehicle, though, so keep this in mind when comparing prices.
Best Overall: RV America - While the “online quote” only came via email, these folks provided a comprehensive breakdown of costs, were competitive with the big guys and specialize in insuring these vehicles.
Because RVs vary so widely in terms of size and luxury, we really felt like we needed to sample three different types of RV when we created this table. We sampled:
|2020 Gulfstream||2020 Fleetwood 29M||2020 Winnebago 34T|
|RV America Insurance||$590.00||$892.00||$1,935.00|
NOTE: We were told we’d get a quote from GEICO via email in 24 hours, but that hasn’t happened at the time of publication. Our GUESS is that they may be cheaper than the alternatives, but we can’t tell you that for sure because we couldn’t get an online quote.
GEICO - We couldn’t get an online quote on an RV in Massachusetts, North Carolina or Massachusetts from GEICO. In fact, we couldn’t get an online quote at all, which is surprising because GEICO will insure pretty much anything with wheels, and they’re open about the cost. When we quoted motorcycle insurance, we got a quote immediately.
Progressive - Progressive was quick and easy with the online quotes, along with follow-up via email. You input the data and you can run as many RVs as you like to see the cost. The pricing LOOKS a lot higher than one of the competitors, but there’s a reason for that and we’ll get into it in a minute.
The Hartford - The Hartford looks super-cheap here, but it’s because they’ll ONLY insure an RV if you have a daily driver registered with them as well, so you’re automatically getting a bundling discount which may be available to you through other insurers as well. Getting an online quote was easy, and you could back out to the vehicle information page and edit it to change the year, make and model of RV to compare what a larger or smaller RV would cost.
RV America - RV America isn’t really RV America. It’s administered by a company called Brown & Brown. You put all the information in online, but you don’t get an online quote. You get an email quote the next day. If you have time to wait for a quote, the rates are competitive, and the .pdf they send along includes all the information you’d want for an educated decision.
Like ordinary car insurance, there are a million discounts that you can apply to cut the cost of your RV insurance. When we got quotes, we didn’t select any of these, but they were all questions on the quote engine that would impact the overall insurance rate:
Finance vs. Own - As we mentioned, because of the cost of a current RV, we didn’t anticipate that a lot of people would pay cash, but if you did, you could eliminate comprehensive coverage. Not sure why you’d want to do that because you’re not only covering your transportation, but your “house,” too, but people have done crazier things to save money.
RV Association Membership - There are some really good RV associations that provide a lot of benefits for their members, including cheaper site rental, and significant insurance discounts. If you’re buying an RV, look into membership. You could easily save the membership dues in insurance cost every year.
Anti-theft device - If your RV has an anti-theft device, you can realize some savings on your theft coverage.
Safe Driver Course - If you’re over the age of 50, you can take an AARP safe driver course and save some money on your RV insurance, and possibly your car insurance.
Storage - If you store your RV inside, or at least at your home, you may be able to realize a slight insurance benefit.
Compare quotes from multiple providers to get a good deal.
A: It’s expensive because you’re not only insuring your conveyance, but your home as well. Plus, RVs are way more expensive than the average car, and you’re insuring your rolling home as well as your transportation.
A: Start with buying a super cheap RV. If you don’t mind living in something that looks like the dormitory for one of the Manson family at Spahn Ranch, you can buy an older Class B or Class C RV for pennies on the dollar, and they can be just as fun as something new and modern. If you’re buying something newer and don’t have to put comprehensive coverage on it, you can do that, but you might look into another means of insuring the contents of that RV if you’re going to have anything more expensive than a box of Saltines in it.
A: Don’t bother. You need to insure your RV when it’s not on the road, too, in case somebody breaks into it, or a tree falls on it in your yard. If you financed your RV you have to keep coverage on it whether you’re driving it or not.
The best way to save is to compare multiple quotes. Start now.