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Insurance is always important whether it is home, auto, or health insurance is always a smart idea. But, what a lot of people fail to consider is insurance for their RVs (Recreational Vehicle) or recreational toys like motorcycles and jet skis. Coverage for these is always smart but it is a necessity if you travel. As an example assume you live in San Rafael, CA and have a summer home in Bozeman, Montana should something happen on the road or out of state will you have coverage?

Let’s take a look at some basic points you should look for when shopping for RV coverage. Remember policies and coverage will vary with providers so shop around. All basic policies should cover you in two situations, first should the vehicle become damaged or stolen you will be reimbursed. The second is financial liability protection in case of a crash or accident where someone else or their property is damaged. The fine points under these two situations are where providers differ.

There are two basic types of RV coverage, “All Perils” and “Named Perils”. All Perils means that everything is covered except what is on the provider’s exclusion list. Named Perils is just that, you get to name what dangers you want covered like theft or wind damage for example. The more you add the higher the premium.

There are three types of loss protection, Replacement Cost or Total Loss Replacement (TLR), Actual Cash Value (ACV) and Purchase Price Guarantee (PPG).

Total Loss Replacement pays a specified amount for a fixed time period. A policy might be for a maximum of $100,000 for the first five years on a new vehicle. TLRs generally have a higher premium.

Actual Cash Value is the most common type of policy. It pays a depreciated value. As the RV ages it loses value, it depreciates. You would be paid “fair market” value which is what the vehicle is worth at the time of the claim. This type of coverage usually has a lower premium than Total Loss Replacement.

Purchase Price Guarantee is similar to a Total Loss Replacement it is for a fixed amount for a fixed period of time. The difference is the fixed amount is the amount actually paid for the vehicle. When the time period expires this policy usually reverts to an Actual Cash Value type policy

So these are the two primary situations in which you want insurance to cover you and the type of policies that cover those situations. These are just the broad strokes there are several other details you should look for. A good RV insurance policy will provide coverage for property damage, protection for the contents of the vehicle, public liability, roadside assistance, and emergency vacation expenses like in the example above.

This is the short list the best thing to do is to compare a few different providers and the best way to do that is through an insurance broker. Brokers deal with more than one provider and can help you define what you need and get the best insurance product for your recreational vehicle.