RV Nirvana

Red Capes, Plastic Bubbles and Batwings in the Sky

[aka] RV insurance in plain language

I wish that this was all the protection Betty and I needed, but alas, it isn’t . . .

apparently, RV Insurance is the next best thing . . .

talk about a riddle within a conundrum buried in quicksand – this stuff will get your head spinning faster than you can cross your arms . . . [ahem]

DO keep in mind that each RV owner’s needs vary wildly from the next, so just because Aunt Jackie uses so-and-so, don’t automatically assume it’s perfect for you – and if you don’t have a trusted insurance agent that is well versed in RV insurance, then put on those reading specs ‘cos the fine print matters . . .

After getting “advice” from several random sources, this was my take away . . .

Lady, you really need to do your homework !

This is a summary of RV Insurance Lingo – know that each company and each policy differs wildly as to the specifics of all these terms . . .



  • Liability – covers any injury or damage to others caused by your RV
  • Uninsured and Underinsured – covers you and your passengers when someone without (UM) or not enough (UIM) insurance causes a collision with your RV.
  • Collision – covers damage to your RV after a collision with another vehicle regardless of fault
  • Comprehensive – covers other-than-collision damage to your RV after a collision with another vehicle regardless of fault
[none of these include any medical coverage – you may opt to add additional medical coverage to your policy – see Medical Payments listed below]



TOTAL LOSS COVERAGEThese are the types of coverage if your RV suffers enough damage to be considered a total loss.

  • Market Value or Actual Cash Value – this is the basic coverage included in most RV policies – you are paid the fair market value of your RV at the time of its loss
  • Agreed Value – where you are paid the agreed amount or value placed by you and your insurance company at the time of your policy signing – this is really good if you got a great deal when you purchased or if your RV is a custom build
  • Custom Equipment Replacement – separate coverage for the cost of additional permanent modifications or equipment added to the RV after purchase
  • Total Loss Replacement or Purchase Price Guarantee – the insurance company will pay for a NEW [never previously titled] RV that is the same [as much as it can be] as the RV you lost.  Normally only available for models up to 2 years old and can be valid for up to 5 years – this option protects you from depreciation but the premiums reflect that


  • Personal Effects Coverage – usually requires comprehensive coverage and pays actual replacement cost (not current value) of your items – if you have homeowners insurance this may already be covered
  • Vacation Liability Coverage – aka campsite liability coverage – similar to homeowners accident insurance and only available to part-time RVers looking for liability protection when parked
  • Emergency Expenses – pays for reasonable living expenses and transportation if the RV becomes disabled due to a covered loss
  • Emergency Roadside Assistance – optional 24/7 emergency roadside assistance [Hymer’s come with 2 years free roadside assistance . . . yay DOUBLE yay]
  • Medical Payments – covers costs of medical care for you and your passengers if injured in a covered accident regardless of fault. This may be a good idea if you have high deductibles on your personal health insurance coverage
  • Personal Injury Protection – (PIP) expanded version of medical payments including lost wages or, in worst cases, funeral expenses
  • Personal Umbrella Policies – not RV specific, but can provide additional peace of mind – usually an add-on to, and requires an existing, high limit liability coverage
  • Disappearing Deductible – your deductible is reduced each year you don’t file a claim – sometimes included with collision or comprehensive and sometimes an additional premium option

Be aware that your VIN# is important in determining your RV insurance . . .

in my case, the Hymer Aktiv was soooo new to the market that Betty was only recognized as a 2016 Ram Promaster Cargo Van – I had to go through the insurance company that works hand in hand with my RV dealership to bypass this glitch and get accurate RV coverage.  It is wise to make sure you receive proper documentation for your RV at time of purchase . . . just saying . . .

it is usual for an RV model year to be built on the previous chassis model year . . . Betty is considered to be a 2017 Hymer Aktiv even though she’s built on a 2016 Promaster chassis.

* FYI – I decided to get maximum coverage initially with the thought that if I was going to “do something stupid” it was probably going to be in the beginning while I was still figuring it all out . . .


NOTE: This is intended for the USA market and does not include policies specific to Mexico & Canada travel or FULL-Time RV Insurance Info . . . stay tuned for more on that coming soon[ish]

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One Comment

  1. This is great info on the insurance. I was very overwelmed by this but your comments break it down perfectly. Thanks.

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