How to protect your vacation trailer.
Say you’ve got a sweet new travel trailer for camping trips and other outdoorsy activities. Before you hook your new trailer up to your car or truck for a weekend in the woods, you’ll want to make sure it’s protected by insurance, preferably insurance that’s designed for the unique risks and needs that come with owning a camper.
Your regular auto insurance will offer you some protection on a trailer that’s hooked up to your vehicle, but it will still leave you unprotected when it comes to damage to your travel trailer. Most major auto insurance companies offer specific travel trailer insurance, which can cover your travel trailer so you’re not left paying out of pocket for any damage or loss.
Travel trailer insurance generally costs a few hundred dollars a year. We got a sample quote for a 2016 Rockwood Mini Lite from a major car insurance carrier for between $294 and $429 a year, depending on the coverage limits and add-ons. But, as with regular auto insurance, insuring a pricier camper or one with lots of customizations will mean higher premiums.
If you’ve got a travel trailer or camper that hooks up to your regular car or truck, then your liability coverage from your regular auto insurance policy will cover your trailer while it’s hooked up, assuming that you’ve told your insurer about your travel trailer and it’s listed on your policy declarations page. But the liability coverage from your auto policy would only cover damage or injury that your trailer causes, not damage to your trailer itself. And your car’s other types of coverage, like comprehensive and collision coverage wouldn’t extend to cover your towable camper.
That’s why, if you want your travel trailer to be covered in case of damage or loss, it makes sense to invest in travel trailer insurance. Most major car insurance companies offer travel trailer insurance, and so do smaller, specialty RV insurance providers.
Yes — travel trailer insurance is meant to cover trailers you have to hook up to your vehicle to tow, while RV insurance usually covers drivable motor homes, which have the same state-by-state minimum insurance requirements as other vehicles. Some insurance carriers may list RV and travel trailer insurance as one product, and then ask you to specify whether your RV is a motorhome or a towable travel trailer when you’re applying.
Like with auto insurance, travel trailer insurance breaks down into different types of coverage.
Comprehensive coverage - Covers damage to your travel trailer that can happen while it’s not being towed, like damage from fire, wind, theft, vandalism, hail, flood and other extreme weather. Also covers impact with an animal.
Collision coverage - Covers damage to your travel trailer from an accident, no matter who was at fault.
Emergency expense coverage - Pays for lodging and transportation for you if your travel trailer is damaged and becomes unusable more than a certain distance from your home.
Campsite/vacation liability - Covers up to a certain amount for bodily injury and property damage that occurs in and around your travel trailer when you’re using it on a vacation.
Roadside assistance - Covers towing, tire changes, fuel delivery and locksmiths.
Replacement cost coverage - Covers the loss — up to a certain limit — if personal items in your travel trailer are stolen or damaged.
Total loss replacement coverage - If your travel trailer is totaled, this coverage pays to replace it with a brand new one.
Full-timer coverage - If you use your travel trailer as your permanent home, this gives you coverage similar to what you would get from a homeowner’s policy.
Like with regular auto insurance, most travel trailer insurance providers offer a range of discounts. When purchasing travel trailer insurance, see if you qualify for discounts through your employer, your alma mater, or other organizations you belong to. You can also usually save by bundling your travel trailer insurance with your home, auto and condo insurance. And, as always, shop around and compare quotes before you settle on a policy to make sure you’re getting a good deal.
Anna Swartz is a Managing Editor at Policygenius in New York City, and an expert in auto insurance. Previously, she was a senior staff writer at Mic, writing about news and culture. Her work has appeared in The Dodo, AOL, HuffPost, Salon and Heeb.
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