It’s more than a car, obviously. In addition to all the road hazards to which a car is
vulnerable, a motorhome’s stairways, power and sewer hookups, and cooking facilities
present special opportunities for personal injury and liability. And, because it tends to
be heavier than most autos, a motorhome can do proportionally more damage in an accident. Motorhome-specific insurance policies combine the appropriate features of auto and homeowners’ policies.
The Basics In addition to property damage,
per-accident and per-person liability coverages found in standard auto-insurance policies,
good motorhome policies should include the following:
- Total loss-replacement coverage that replaces the vehicle during the first five
model years of its life and pays the purchase price of the vehicle afterward. For
classic vehicles, conversions and customizations, agreed value coverage locks in the
vehicle’s value. Most companies use the bill of sale or qualified appraisers to set
that replacement value.
- Personal contents coverage. Specialized policies replace stolen or damaged items.
Many companies start coverage at $2,000.
- Unlimited towing and roadside assistance. Good policies pay unlimited mileage for
towing to the nearest qualified repair facility. Many policies pay for an hour of
- Emergency expense allowance to pay for meals, housing, rental cars or a ticket
home, if the motorhome is incapacitated by a covered loss. From many insurers, the
allowances kick in 50 miles from home.
Full-timers and people who use their motorhome more than 150 days a year also want to cover
their personal liability, additional living expenses and stored personal effects.
Mexico Taking a motorhome into Mexico presents additional, special
problems. Mexican law considers motor-vehicle accidents criminal offenses, as well as civil
wrongs. After an accident, authorities will want to see that a driver can pay for damages,
according to Mexican consular officials. A driver who is not carrying liability insurance
from a Mexican-licensed company might face jail time and impoundment of the vehicle. Also,
U.S. adjusters cannot legally enter Mexico to deal with claims, so a damaged vehicle might
have to be towed back to the States to have permanent repairs made. Good motorhome
insurance policies continue physical damage coverage (generally as long as separate
liability coverage is in effect) into Mexico and reimburse towing and transport costs back
to a U.S. facility, as well as for temporary repairs in Mexico. Some U.S. carriers have
agreements with Mexican companies to extend coverage across the border. Otherwise, Mexican
insurers have offices at most border crossings from which liability coverage can be
Price Quotes To compare prices, we went online and sought bids
on two vehicles and drivers. We got seven quotes, ranging from $1,020 to $2,412 per year,
for the first vehicle and four, ranging from $728 to $1,092 per year, for the second. It
may be worthwhile to check with third-party providers — organizations selling another
company’s insurance — because we have seen lower prices through a third party than the
insurer quoted directly.
For more details about proper coverage, pick up the April 2002
issue of MotorHome on the newsstand.
Sources Camping World Insurance (800) 727-7300 www.rvinsurance.com
Farm and City Insurance (800) 331-1520 www.rvadvantage.com Farmers Insurance Group (208)
239-8400 www.farmers.com/FarmComm Florida Hiway and Marine Insurance Company (800) 959-3313
www.fla-hiway-marine.com Good Sam Club (800) 847-2886 www.goodsamvip.com Miller Insurance
(800) 622-6347 www.millerrvinsurance.com Progressive Insurance (800) 309-RVRV
www.progressive-rv.com RV Alliance America (800) 521-2942 www.rvaa.com RV America Insurance
(800) 400-0186 www.rv-insurance-coverage.com RV USA (a Web site listing several insurance
companies) www.rvusa.com/rvinsurance.asp Thum Insurance Agency (800) 866-0777