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RV / Motor Home Insurance Explained
Owning a campervan or motorhome can be a great way to explore Australia with a family. Just like with your personal vehicle, your motor home or recreational vehicle (RV) will need to be insured. Unlike your car or truck, an RV provides a home-away-from-home atmosphere that has additional insurance needs.
Who is a potential candidate?
Anyone who drives a campervan or motorhome should think about an insurance policy. While some car policies will cover you no matter what you're driving, for the protection of your passengers and everything you're carrying in the RV for your trip, you need to have an actual RV policy. This sort of cover also provides assistance in the event of a breakdown.
What typically does it cover?
While RV insurance can vary widely from one insurance company to the next, there are some points that are standard:
- Personal and third party liability, to cover you, your passengers, and any other vehicle, person or property that may be damaged in an accident.
- Comprehensive cover for repairs to the RV after an accident, typically including windscreen replacement.
- Contents cover. The standard amount included in your policy ranges from $1,000 to $10,000, depending on the company insuring you.
What typically does it not cover?
RV insurance frequently pays out only the market value of the campervan or motor home when it is destroyed or stolen, rather than paying the full price for a replacement. Also, many policies will not cover certain personal items you carry inside the RV, such as computers and other electronic items.
Additional coverage that policy holders might take out in this area
Some RV policies do include some sort of emergency assistance, such as towing in the event of a breakdown. Depending on what your policy offers, it can really add to your peace of mind to purchase a Roadside Assistance policy, which will cover everything from bringing emergency fuel, helping fix a flat, the cost of a rental vehicle for a few days if your RV is immobilised, towing, and more.
Another very helpful policy is Travel Assistance, which can get you emergency medical care, cover you for accidental death, and escort your children safely home if you end up in the hospital.
Always check the dollar amount of your policy's liability cover, and apply for additional amounts if you can. Policies can range from $5 to $20 million as a standard amount. Though that seems like a lot, costs of hospitalization and litigation are steep these days, and you'll be responsible for costs above and beyond the amount on your policy.
Pay more if necessary for the policy to cover the actual replacement cost of your RV rather than just the current market value, so you will be able to buy a new motorhome if yours is destroyed or stolen.
You can also apply for additional contents insurance if your items are of a higher value than the amount offered as standard in the policy.
What will it typically cost?
The costs are determined by the make, model, age, size, type and retail value of your campervan or motorhome. Insurers often have one RV policy for vehicles valued under $50,000, and another for those valued over $50,000. Prices vary from one insurance company to the next, so be sure to get quotes and compare policies from more than one company before selecting coverage.
To save money on your policy premiums, look into joining a motor home group or organization, such as the Campervan and Motorhome Club of Australia (CMCA). Such groups may offer insurance for members, and other insurance companies may offer discounts for membership in a group. You can also save by having no claims, or carrying more than one policy through the insurer.
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