Recreational vehicles do more than just carry you from one place to another; they transport you with an eye toward maximum fun and/or comfort along the way. Just because some of these vehicles are associated with playtime, that doesn’t mean they don’t need the same insurance protection as any other piece of expensive property you own. In fact, they may need more insurance since they also create a potential for liabilities.
Liability Insurance for Recreational Vehicles
Your recreational vehicle is, just like an automobile, a moving vehicle that can cause bodily injury and property damage to others. In order to help pay for any damage you inadvertently inflict, you should secure liability insurance. This policy can also help cover the cost of environmental cleanup after an accident that causes the spillage of a toxic chemical or other pollutant.
Liability coverage will have limits that work on both a per-incident and per-policy basis. They may also have a deductible that requires an out-of-pocket contribution for each incident or year.
After you’ve considered the potential liabilities you are exposed to while operating a recreational vehicle, it’s time to secure coverage for the value of the vehicle itself. Recreational vehicle coverage can include financial compensation in the event of physical damage, vandalism, theft and collision. In addition, your policy may allow for reimbursement of personal effects stored on a vehicle such as an RV, boat or snowmobile.
In some cases, you may want to consider adding specialized coverage for additional risks including the loss or damage of awnings and custom equipment. If you have an RV that you live in part or full time, you may need extended protection so be sure to discuss that with your agent.
Why do you need insurance for your boat or personal watercraft?
You’ll enjoy the water even more when you’re not worried about the safety of yourself, your passengers or your investment. Here are a few things to consider:
- If you’re in an accident or your watercraft is stolen, it costs money, often a lot of money, to fix or replace it.
- If you or any passengers are injured in an accident, medical costs can be extremely expensive.
- If your watercraft is responsible for damage or injury to others, you may be sued for much more than you’re worth.
- Your watercraft also needs protection when it’s on land. Accidents can happen while towing a watercraft.
Things to consider and questions to ask your agent
Here are a few things to consider as you prepare for the discussion:
- How much can you afford to pay if your boat or personal watercraft is in an accident, damaged or stolen?
- Is my boat or watercraft covered for use year-round?
- What discounts and programs are available?
- How much medical insurance and liability coverage is enough?
- Do I have coverage if I need to have my boat towed in an emergency?
- What’s the process for filing and settling a claim?
- Does the insurance company have a good reputation for customer service? Is it known for paying claims fairly and promptly?
Home and auto insurance policies may provide limited coverage for personal watercraft. Talk to your insurance representative about coverage limits. You may want to consider purchasing a personal watercraft policy to protect yourself and your water vehicle in the event of an accident.
The personal watercraft policy covers:
- bodily injury
- property damage
- guest passenger liability
- medical payments
Liability limits start at $15,000 and can be increased to $300,000.
Typical policies include deductibles of $250 for property damage, $500 for theft and $1,000 for medical payments.
Additional coverage can also be purchased for trailers and other accessories.
You should talk to your insurance representative about the type of coverage that would best suit your needs.