If you can drive your RV, you will need to carry motorhome insurance that meets at least your state minimum auto insurance requirements. For the most part, you don’t need insurance for a towable camper.
However, even if you aren’t required by law to have insurance for your RV, it’s almost always a good idea to have it. Even the least expensive campers cost several thousand dollars and may house some pricey personal effects. Insurance can help you protect what you’ve invested in your RV.
Sources of RV Damage
There are many risks that come with using, moving and even storing a camper. Full coverage RV insurance can cover most of them. The most common sources of damage and loss for an RV include:
- Traffic accidents: Damage from a crash on the road
- Water damage: Leaking roofs, windows or fixtures can cause water damage to the inside of your camper
- Weather: Severe weather events such as tornadoes, hurricanes or floods are a threat to RVs, even while in storage
- Treefall: Falling trees and tree branches pose a real risk to RV owners, especially if they spend a lot of time in forested areas
- Theft: RV theft isn’t as common as automobile theft, but it does happen
Traffic Accident Statistics
When you drive or tow your RV, you’ll be sharing the road with other drivers. No matter how skilled of a driver you are, other drivers can be unpredictable or make mistakes at any time and cause an accident.
Data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) shows the number of vehicle accidents has increased significantly in recent years. The U.S. saw 6.76 million motor vehicle accidents in 2019, a nearly 25% increase from 2010. That increase represents a heightened risk for everyone on the road when it comes to getting into a traffic accident.
While the most recent NHTSA data from 2020 indicates that accidents were down overall, these numbers coincide with a dramatic drop in vehicular traffic during that year. Since this is a statistical outlier, we removed it from our analysis.
When you consider that any camper — whether towable or motorized — adds an element of difficulty to navigating traffic, the risk of an accident is something every RV owner should be aware of. Even the most experienced drivers are at risk of an accident, which can result in bodily harm or high property damage costs to your RV.
RV Fire Statistics
Fires are one of the more common sources of loss for RV owners, as many RVs are outfitted with stoves and electrical appliances. According to data from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), U.S. fire departments reported an average of 4,200 RV fires every year between 2018 and 2020, which resulted in an average of 125 injuries and 15 deaths each year. During that same period, RV fires accounted for an average of $60.3 million per year total and $15,350 per incident in property damage costs.
Damage to your RV from a fire is covered under a comprehensive policy from State Farm. However, if a fire that starts in your RV causes property damage or injuries to others, your standard liability policy won’t cover those claims.
Some insurers offer vacation liability policies that do provide coverage in those situations. If you use your RV as your primary residence, you can purchase a full-timer liability policy that covers you in these cases. State Farm doesn’t specifically list these types of coverage but may offer them.