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Renting An RV: Navigating And Understanding Your RV Insurance

Conceptual photo about RV Insurance Coverage with written phrase.

Renting an RV for your vacation has become a popular vacation activity. According to the Recreational Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA), RV shipments in the U.S. reached a new all-time high in 2021, with nearly 500,000 units shipped.

Suppose you’re considering renting an RV for an upcoming trip. You may wonder whether you need recreational vehicle insurance if you just rent an RV. It can’t be answered by simply Yes or No, as it depends on the coverage offered by the rental company and your circumstances.

In this blog post, we’ll explore the different factors to consider when deciding if RV insurance is necessary for your rental experience. At Lake Region Insurance Agency, we’d be happy to review your specific situation. 

What Makes Insuring an RV Different than Insuring a Car?

RV insurance combines auto and homeowners insurance features, as RVs often have both driving and dwelling capabilities. They usually come equipped with sleeping areas, cooking, and bathroom facilities, making them suitable as temporary homes.

Would My Existing Auto Insurance Apply to Renting an RV?

There may be some coverage under your existing auto insurance policy, but several factors must be considered. Most auto insurance policies define a vehicle eligible for coverage as a four-wheel land motor vehicle licensed for use on public roads with a vehicle grossing less than 10,000 pounds.

No coverage would apply if the RV you rent exceeds 10,000 pounds or has more than four wheels. If you’re taking a long trip, your policy may also limit how many consecutive days they will extend coverage to a vehicle you rent. 

Does Homeowner’s Insurance Apply to Renting an RV? 

Auto insurance policies are not designed to cover your personal property inside your car. However, your homeowners’ policy typically provides coverage for any personal property you take with you on your trip. 

Liability coverage may be limited, however, because most homeowner’s policies exclude coverage for liability arising from the maintenance or use of a motorized vehicle. 

Would My Umbrella Provide Protection?

Car insurance, accident protection for vehicle, safety or assurance service concept, insurance agent stand with car under umbrella protection shield

Umbrella policies provide broad excess liability coverage over your home and auto insurance policies. If an accident occurred, your umbrella policy would typically provide coverage.

Still, you may be subject to self-insured retention, like a deductible imposed when neither of the underlying insurance policies extends coverage. 

Do You Need Recreational Vehicle Insurance if You’re Renting an RV?

Even though you may only be renting the RV, accidents can happen that you could become financially responsible for, which is why ensuring adequate coverage is so important. 

Should I get insurance Coverage Offered by the Rental Company?

Some rental companies offer insurance as an optional add-on as part of the rental process. If the RV rental company offers insurance, review the coverage limits and determine whether they are sufficient. 

Some RV renters only provide the minimum liability limit required by law. In a state like California, that’s only $15,000. Insufficient liability limits could expose your personal assets if there’s a serious accident. 

If the rental company’s coverage is insufficient, consider your options outside the company. These will give you peace of mind knowing that you and your personal belongings are protected in case something happens or other unexpected events.

Additionally, RV insurance may offer coverage for liability, which can protect you from financial loss if you’re found responsible for damages or injuries to others.

What Coverages are Available with RV Insurance?

Compared to regular car insurance, RV insurance companies offer a wider range of coverage options. Unlike car insurance, RV insurance considers that RVs are used for extended stays and living purposes. Homeowners insurance, on the other hand, does not cover damages from collisions, travel, or moving incidents.

Here are the most common types of RV coverage:

Liability coverage: Liability coverage is required by law in all states. It can help pay for legal fees, property damage, and medical expenses if you are at fault for an RV-related incident. RVs tend to cause more damage and pose a higher risk, so they typically require higher liability coverage.

cash and RV insurance policy - Renting an RV

Collision coverage: In the event of a collision with another vehicle or a stationary object. Collision coverage helps pay for damages to your RV 

Comprehensive coverage: Comprehensive coverage covers losses and damages to your RV that is not related to a collision, such as natural disasters, theft, vandalism, and more.

Personal effects coverage:  personal effects coverage covers your personal belongings on board the RV. 

Uninsured/Underinsured coverage: This type of coverage is similar to standard auto insurance. Suppose the other driver in an accident is uninsured or lacks insurance. In that case, your insurance company will help pay for your property damage, bodily injury, or medical expenses under uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage.

Towing and Roadside Assistance: Many RV insurance policies include free towing and roadside assistance. Insurance companies often have a network of specialized service providers to cater to the needs of RVs.

Emergency Expenses coverage: If your RV becomes unusable, you may need to find emergency lodging and transportation. Emergency expenses insurance will help cover these RV-specific costs, even if you are on vacation.


If you need clarification on your needs, it’s best to speak with an insurance professional who can help you understand your options and determine the best coverage for your needs.

With the right insurance coverage, you can confidently enjoy your RV adventures, knowing you’re protected from unexpected events. Contact us today to review your situation.

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