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How Much Does It Cost to Live in an RV Full Time

Recreational vehicle (RV) sales have exploded in the recent decade. According to the RV Industry Association, over 11 million households in the United States own an RV. Everyone from millennials to baby boomers are purchasing RVs because they want the flexibility and freedom to travel wherever they want, whenever they want.

Having an RV, like owning a house, or personal vehicle, comes with particular risks, whether you’re parked or on the road. So you’ll need to get an RV insurance policy that meets your state’s regulations to secure your RV and your financial duties as the owner.

Average RV Insurance Cost

According to Overland Insurance Services, depending on the class of RV, full-time RV insurance can range from $1,500 to $2,000 each year. A Class A RV can cost up to $2,000, while a Class C RV can cost half that amount. The monthly rates for your RV insurance should be around $220.

The cost of RV insurance can vary greatly depending on several other criteria, such as location, usage, driving experience, etc. According to Progressive, the average 12-month RV insurance premium in 2020 was $502 for a travel trailer and $848 for a motorhome. The insurance company also offers liability-only RV premiums starting at $125 per year. 

RV Insurance Cost Factors

According to NextAdvisor, the cost of RV insurance is influenced by a variety of factors. Select coverages, deductibles, storage location, and RV value are just a few of the primary aspects of determining your RV insurance cost.

From RV class to theft and accident coverage, here are some of the things to consider when getting your RV insured:

Factor #1: RV Type 

NADAguides states that RV insurance cost varies based on the type and class of RV:

  • Motorhomes, often known as Class A RV, are the most extensive and most expensive recreational vehicles. The average yearly insurance premium for a gas-powered Class A motorhome is estimated to be between $1,000 and $1300 (based on 140 days of use per year)
  • The smallest of the three types are Class B RVs, also known as camper vans. A typical vehicle insurance coverage can cover these recreational vehicles. Annual rates are computed in the same manner as for regular auto coverage.
  • Mid-size motorhomes are classified as Class C RVs. Premiums for class C recreational vehicles are computed based on variables that vary by state, type/frequency of use, and age/value. Annual premiums for Class C RVs go from $800 to $1,000+ on average.
  • Insurance for fifth-wheel trailers and other travel trailers is less expensive. State, age, value, size, and usage can influence insurance premiums. Typically, standard policies cover the bare minimum of collision and comprehensive coverage. For newer, regularly used trailers, premiums can cost around $200 to $1,000.

Factor #2: Usage  

Full-time insurance is an optional plan that protects RV owners who live in their vehicle full-time (residing in the RV for more than six months in a year). Liabilities, injuries, and other risks are covered by full-time RV insurance.

On the other hand, a part-time or recreational RV insurance policy covers you for injuries or damages in or around your RV during brief excursions. 

Full-time RV insurance prices vary depending on the amount and quantity of coverage chosen, but it is generally more expensive than a recreational policy. However, having full-timers coverage is always a good idea if you utilize your RV as a home.

Factor #3: Age and Condition of the RV 

Unlike travel trailers hauled by another vehicle, Motorhomes are driven and require additional liability insurance. 

Again, because of the difference in resale value, a new, deluxe RV will cost more to insure than an older utility trailer. Wear and tear on an old RV is also an aspect that factors your RV insurance cost estimates.

Factor #4: Theft Coverage 

The probability of theft, break-ins, and criminal damage is also factored into RV insurance cost estimations. While RVs aren’t as likely to be stolen as cars, they can be targeted by thieves and delinquents. 

This is especially true when the RV is left unattended at a campground or RV park. As a result, RV insurance providers use ZIP codes and area information to determine the risks of RV damage.

Factor #5: Location

Your state determines RV insurance costs, area, and ZIP code. Motor vehicle accidents are more likely in densely populated locations, which raises the cost of RV insurance. 

RV insurance may also be more expensive in areas prone to severe weather and vehicle theft.

Factor #6: Driving Record

While first-time drivers are a greater risk, experienced RV drivers are safer for insurance companies. Again, drivers with a history of traffic violations or multiple documented accidents are a higher risk to insurance providers than drivers with a clean record. 

Factor #7: Time on the Road

Time on the road is also a factor weighing in on the insurance cost of your RV. If an RV spends more time on the road, it is more susceptible to damages and accidents.

But if you only cover short distances, you are less of a risk to insurance providers. As a result, your costs are minimized.

Factor #8: Insurance Claims History

While RV insurance is designed to protect if your motorhome is damaged or you’re at fault in an accident, too many past claims could indicate to your insurer that you’re a risk on the road. Therefore, drivers with a history of motor vehicle insurance claims will typically have to pay more for RV insurance.

Factor #9: Road Accident Coverage 

Accident risk can have a significant impact on RV insurance premiums. Regularly driven RVs incur the risk of severe accidents because most driving occurs on high-speed freeways and country roads. 

Moreover, due to parts scarcity and high resale value, the expense of repairing an RV is much higher than the cost of repairing a regular car. 

Factor #10: Coverage Selection

When financing your RV, lenders usually require comprehensive and collision coverage, raising the policy cost. But if your RV is paid in full, you can opt-out of physical damage coverages to reduce insurance costs. 

Additional coverages such as roadside assistance, vacation liability, and total loss replacement can be beneficial, but they also increase the insurance cost.

Tips to get the best RV Insurance

Though a necessity, the cost of getting your RV insured isn’t cheap. Thankfully, insurance providers offer multiple ways to get a better deal on your RV insurance. 

Liability-only coverage can be a cost-cutting strategy if your RV is paid in full. Raising your comprehensive and collision deductibles can lower the cost of your policy if you’re insuring a travel trailer or need physical damage coverage for your motorhome.

There are many ways RV insurance discounts can get you a very competitive annual premium rate. Here are some deals you should ask about:

  • Combining multiple plans, such as home and auto insurance
  • Being the original owner of the RV
  • Full payment of the annual premium
  • Having a three-year driving record that is free of traffic violations
  • Savings on online statements and payments
  • Discounts for a healthy, non-smoking lifestyle
  • Having anti-theft and break-in prevention systems installed in your RV

Many insurance providers provide discounts for extra considerations such as membership in an RV association, completion of a defensive driving course, and so on. 

Final Thoughts

Insurance is required to safeguard yourself and your RV, regardless of its class or whether you use it full-time or part-time. Many of the same coverages you can find on a typical auto policy are included in RV insurance, but you can’t rely on a car insurance policy to safeguard an RV.

Keep in mind that you can get better deals on insurance from multi-policy bundling, responsible driving records, claim-free renewals, and more, depending on the insurance provider you pick. 

So, when choosing where to get your RV insurance from, take some time to browse around, get multiple quotes and compare providers to discover the best RV insurance carrier for your needs. 


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