If you’ve ever compared car insurance rates, you know how many options are available. Depending on a variety of individual rating factors, certain companies will price your insurance differently. You could end up paying more by choosing the wrong company or failing to compare enough companies. We've outlined the factors that go into your car insurance premiums, as well as some tips for how to find the best possible rates. Let’s get started.
According to the Insurance Information Institute’s table of Automobile Financial Responsibility Laws by State, 49 out of all 50 states, as well as the District of Columbia, require you to have some sort of liability coverage for all vehicles on the road, including RVs. The only exception to this rule is the state of New Hampshire, which has no mandatory insurance law, and only requires financial responsibility from the person at fault in a car accident.
While State Farm’s website recommends speaking with an agent to see what discounts are available to you for motorhome insurance, it doesn’t list any universal discounts. It’s still possible to save on your premiums, but there’s less transparency about what you may qualify for. If discounts are important to you, it’s best to get clarity from a State Farm agent on what to expect before signing up.
An insurance provider and you might not consider your RV to be worth the same. By settling on an agreed value with your potential RV insurance provider, you are ensuring that both you and your insurance company have the same value of your RV in mind if you face a worst-case scenario—the total loss of your RV. It’s also important to ask about the next lower threshold for an agreed value premium. By agreeing to a slightly lower level of coverage, you might be able to save plenty on your premiums.
Bus-home conversions are a rapidly-growing trend that several RV insurance companies are adapting into their policies. The type of bus, however, is a prominent deciding factor in coverage, since bus axles differ from traditional RVs and aren’t built to carry a certain amount of weight. Many RV insurance companies avoid school bus-converted homes, as they have a higher risk of rollover accidents. Also, your bus-converted home must be registered as a recreational vehicle for personal use to be eligible for RV-insurance. Depending on the state where you register your vehicle, it may require your bus to comply with several requirements and meet certain standards before registration. It’s important that you check with your local department of motor vehicles beforehand.
So now that we understand the difference between auto and RV coverage, let’s take a look at the specifics of what you get under an RV policy. Essentially, RV insurance acts as a hybrid between car and home insurance, offering additional protection for home and living essentials through specialized coverage plans. Depending on the policy you choose, it may include:
The type of vehicle you insure will impact your car insurance rate. Insuring a large truck or luxury vehicle is more expensive than insuring a sedan with standard trim. This is because collision and comprehensive coverage are designed to replace your vehicle in the event of an accident. The more it costs to replace your vehicle, the more it costs to insure it. Simple as that.
Unfortunately, the cost of claims has been rising in recent years for cars on both sides of the list, mainly due to technology. “All of the sensors and other technology in today's cars have pushed up the cost of insurance claims,” says Walker. What was once a minor repair has become much more complex and costly. Complicated repairs also add to the time a car spends in the repair shop and usually requires the use of a rental car.”
If you live in an area with unusual state regulations or heightened risk of weather-related claims, shopping car insurance options will be vital. Not every car insurance company offers policies in every state, which can make pricing less competitive. If you live in storm-prone states like Louisiana or Florida, you might find it harder to get a competitive rate.
Jeeps are rarely considered luxury vehicles. They tend to be pretty bare bones. That makes them cheaper to insure. “The Jeep Wrangler is the iconic off-road vehicle, which implies a rugged lifestyle. However, most Wranglers don't spend a lot of time off the pavement, so they are spared the rough service life. When they do get damaged, the body-on-frame vehicle is easy and inexpensive to repair, and parts are plentiful,” says Harley.
The Honda Odyssey moved back into the top spot this year after dropping to second place last year, behind the Jeep Wrangler. The Odyssey costs a mere $1,298 a year to insure. That’s $514 less than the national average of $1,812. In 2010, the first year Insure.com began its rankings of new models’ insurance costs, the Odyssey cost $1,095 to insure, so its coverage price has increased just $203 in nine years.
All of these vehicles are a bargain to insure but insurance prices have definitely gone up from last year. Our cheapest option, the Odyssey, costs $1,298 to insure compared to the last year’s top choice, the Jeep Wrangler, which ran $1,169. This is an 11 percent increase. The Jeep Wrangler saw a significant rate increase, going from $1,169 to $1,304, a jump of $135 or 11.5 percent.
The amount of insurance your RV requires will mainly depend on the type of motorhome or towable you own, how often you use it, and whether you plan to reside in it for six or more months out of the year. There are two types of recreational vehicles, the towable trailer and the motorhome, which falls into three categories: Class A, B or C motorhomes. Class A motorhomes are the largest and tend to be the most expensive. They often include luxury features, customized amenities, and permanent attachments that may require additional protection. Class B vehicles are the smallest type of RV, also known as “camper vans,” and are generally much cheaper to insure than larger motorhomes. Class C vehicles are a hybrid of Class A and B.
Basic coverage — which is required by law — offers you protection for personal injuries and damages to the vehicle, but it won’t cover extras like your belongings inside. If you live in your RV full-time, it might also be a good idea to invest in additional protection that covers your housing expenses or RV replacement costs. Before shopping around, draw up a list of necessary coverage options and make sure they’re offered by your prospective provider.
“Florida has a larger percentage of riskier drivers,” points out Karen Kees, press secretary at the Florida Office of Insurance Regulation. “There are a high number of students due to the many universities in Florida, older drivers due to the large number of retirement communities, and drivers unfamiliar with the local roads due to our popularity with tourists.”
Jonathan Longnecker and Greg Gerber both experienced mechanical issues with their brand new RVs, requiring frequent repairs. As a result, both bloggers suggest buying used or vintage RVs and renovating them, learning your machine’s ins and outs during the process. This way, owners can take care of repairs themselves instead of losing travel time waiting for overbooked RV service shops under their insurance policy.
RV insurance isn’t the same thing as auto insurance, though many providers give you the option to bundle the two. But RVs have specialized concerns. To start, they can carry many more people than cars, and they cost more to repair. In addition to basic coverage, RV insurance can also offer more extensive protection, with coverage for personal belongings, emergency expenses for lodging, and higher damage rates.
Auto insurance is financial protection, and not just for the investment you made when you bought your car. After a really serious accident, bills for damage and injuries can easily reach into hundreds of thousands of dollars. If you happen to cause such a wreck, the victims could sue you. In the worst case scenario, assets such as your savings and home could be seized.
I don't believe it is fair that insurance companies are allowed, by law, to check your credit report. I have worked my fingers to the bone to attain good credit. My credit score was excellent. After having a new HVAC system put in it went down to "good." My car insurance went up $139. It it very unfair to pay more for insurance because my debt increased. My finances should not be any business of the insurance companies. I always pay my bills on time and have never been late with a premium payment. So So UNFAIR!!
Coverage for a wide variety of RV types may be obtained through RVInsurance.com. Class A, B, and C Motorhomes, Fifth-Wheel and Conventional Travel Trailers, Airstream Trailers, Trucks Campers, Bus Conversions, Toy Haulers, Horse Trailers, Pop-up Tent Trailers, and other specialty and custom RVs can all be covered by the company’s insurance options. The experts at RVInsurance.com are able to find insurance coverage for any kind of RV or motorhome clients might drive.