Gather any group of RVers, whether in an online forum or around a campfire in a campground, and often the conversation will turn to RV insurance. Why? Because an RV is an investment and having the right RV insurance is important – and complicated. Why is RV insurance so confusing?
One reason for the confusion is that there are so many individual factors that affect the type of coverage you need for your RV. Is your rig drivable or towable? What level of coverage is required by your state or residence? How often do you use it and where do you prefer to park it? Do you own your RV outright or are you still making payments?
Answering these questions is just the beginning of determining what type of insurance you need. The next decision is which insurance company can best meet your RV insurance needs. Most companies that provide auto insurance will also have RV coverage options.
If you have a relationship with an insurance agent who you trust, and a history with a company that you have experienced to be reliable, reach out to your agent directly and find out what he or she can offer you for your RV.
When it comes to RV insurance, researching online may not be the best option. Calling a knowledgeable insurance agent, who can ask you specific questions about your individual circumstances, is the simplest and quickest way to cut through the confusion.
There is a lot of information available online, but there is also a lot of misinformation. For example, I recently read on a popular RVing blog that State Farm does not insure travel trailers.
I know this can’t be true because State Farm has insured my travel trailer since long before that particular post was written. Beware of even the most reputable online sources if they speak in absolutes when it comes to RV insurance.
I can’t tell you whether or not State Farm is right for you and your RV insurance needs. What I can do is describe why our family has chosen State Farm and give a review of our experiences. After that, I will give some suggestions for questions to ask when you call your local State Farm agent to help you decide for yourself.
Our RV Insurance Journey
We had been long-time State Farm customers for auto and renters insurance prior to purchasing our travel trailer. When we called State Farm about adding the trailer to our auto policy, they would cover it for occasional use but not if we were living in it.
Since our plan when we bought the trailer was to travel full-time, we needed insurance that would cover the trailer and our belongings, like a traditional homeowner’s insurance, for full-time RVers.
We were in a hurry since we had already purchased the trailer and needed insurance in order to pick it up and complete the registration paperwork. We knew that Good Sam had a good reputation, so we purchased full-timer’s RV insurance through Good Sam, which was provided by National General.
Six months later, when it was time to pay the premiums again, we did more research and found that we could get similar coverage with a much lower premium through Progressive, so we switched. All the while, our tow vehicle was still insured through State Farm.
Fast-forward a few months, and we decided to change our residency from Pennsylvania to Texas. We assumed our insurance rates would go down, since our Pennsylvania address was in a major metropolitan area, and our new Texas address was much more rural. Instead, when we called Progressive to change our address, the premium nearly doubled.
Changing states with our tow vehicle insurance through State Farm was a simple process and our premiums remained about the same. Doubling the rates on our trailer insurance was not in our budget, so we did some research and went back to National General through Good Sam.
Down the road, an agent from National General reached out to us about our tow vehicle. He rightly assumed that since we were insuring a towable RV as full-time travelers, that we must have our tow vehicle covered by another company. He explained to us the risks in having two different insurance companies involved if we should have an accident while towing.
At the very least it would mean we owed two deductibles and would have double the paperwork and phone calls if we were dealing with two different companies. These issues had never occurred to us, but they should have.
We suddenly felt very uncomfortable with our insurance arrangement and, since we assumed State Farm wouldn’t give us full-time coverage on our travel trailer, we switched our tow vehicle to National General to have everything on one policy.
With heavy hearts, we called State Farm to discontinue our auto policy. Since we were such long-time customers, she asked us what had led us to this decision and we explained. That was when we found out that State Farm had changed its policy regarding full-time RV insurance for existing customers.
Since we had just renewed with National General, we waited out our six month premium period to avoid losing money. Then, we moved both our travel trailer and tow vehicle “home” to State Farm.
State Farm for Full-Time RVers
There are insurance companies that offer specific “full-time” coverage that’s marketed to full-time RVers – and State Farm is not one of them. Many full-time RVers don’t realize that State Farm will insure an RV if it is used as a full-time residence, because in the past this was not the case.
Most full-timers insurance will cover extras such as food and lodging, since an accident with your rig essentially leaves you homeless until it can be repaired or replaced. If this is important to you, then State Farm might not be the right choice for your RV insurance needs.
For us, the most essential part of full-timers coverage was having our belongings insured. The amount of money we’re saving each year on premiums would pay for many nights in hotels if the need should ever arise.
Our Experiences with State Farm
Thankfully, we have not had any accidents with our travel trailer or our tow vehicle. I do not have any personal experience of working with these companies after an accident.
Most insurance companies have a majority of satisfied customers, but also a group who are unhappy with the service they receive, or who feel cheated in some way after filing a claim. State Farm has fewer than average that fit into the latter category.
While I can’t speak from experience about State Farm’s claims process, I can relate my experiences with other aspects of being a State Farm customer.
I have called State Farm’s roadside assistance twice, and both were for tire-related issues. The first time, we started by calling the roadside assistance that we paid for through our vehicle warranty company.
We were stranded with the trailer on the side of a major interstate, but this roadside company was going to take hours to arrive. Not only were they going to charge us an additional fee, but they were going to expect payment in cash before helping us.
Since we didn’t have enough cash and there are no ATMs on the side of the interstate, we were still stuck. In desperation, we decided to see if we had any assistance through our State Farm insurance. We had not paid extra for roadside assistance, but it was included in our policy. They had us back on the road within an hour, free of charge. We were very happy campers.
The second time we were less satisfied. Our tire was damaged and we took it to be repaired. The inexperienced mechanic we stumbled upon was not able to remove the tire, and stripped the lug nuts in the process. He apologized and sent us on our way.
The tire was still damaged but we didn’t have tools with us to get it off. We called State Farm’s roadside assistance, explained the issue and exactly what kind of tools we needed. The person that came to help us was in a small sedan with a small toolbox in the trunk.
He was inexperienced with tires and said he was typically called to lock-out situations. With completely inadequate tools, he did less than we could on our own then apologized and left.
We called State Farm back and they said all they could do was tow us to a (different) repair shop, but since it was late in the day on a Saturday, nothing would be open until Monday morning. We opted not to spend two nights in a car with our three small children, and solved it on our own, at our own expense.
State Farm’s roadside assistance might come in handy in a pinch, but RVers should be sure to have an RV-specific roadside assistance plan. It is not a reason to choose, or not choose, State Farm for your RV insurance. It is nice to have a back-up, though, since there is no additional cost.
Companies choose their taglines and mottos very carefully. It is no accident that State Farm is known for its “Like a good neighbor…” slogan. We appreciate getting to know our State Farm agent and having a long-term relationship with one person and one office. When we call, we know who we will talk to and we don’t have to explain our full history to a new operator every time.
As we’ve changed from one company to another, we’ve met with different reactions when canceling. Most have simply canceled the policy. At State Farm, they said, “We are sorry to see you go. What can we do to earn your business back.” It was personal, and they meant it. They found a way to solve our issue and they did earn our business back.
State Farm is an insurance industry leader for good reasons. While they have not marketed themselves heavily in the RV community and don’t seem to be targeting RVers specifically, they do offer good insurance coverage for all types of RVs.
Questions to Ask Your Local State Farm Agent
What kind of coverage is required for my RV in my state?
Every state is different when it comes to RVs and liability insurance. Drivable RVs (Class A, B, and C motorhomes) will usually need to be insured in the same way as a car or other drivable vehicle. Towable RVs (including travel trailers, fifth wheels, and pop-up campers) may be covered by the insurance on your tow vehicle, but this is generally only for liability.
The legal requirements may be different depending on whether you own your RV outright or if you have financed it and are making payments on it. Your agent will be able to explain all of this in more detail based on your circumstances and where you live.
Does my auto policy cover liability on my towable RV while it is being towed?
If you have your auto policy with State Farm already, your agent can review your policy and let you know if you’re covered, and if so, for how much.
Remember that liability only covers any damage you may cause to others if an accident is deemed to be your fault. It does not cover the cost of repairing or replacing your RV. In order for these things to be covered, you will need a separate policy for your rig.
Are my belongings inside the RV covered?
This depends on your policy. If you have a homeowners or renters policy through State Farm, ask your agent if you are covered for the contents of your RV. If you would like to add or increase this coverage, your agent can give you more information about adding this to your RV policy. As full-timers, we do not have homeowners insurance so we choose to make sure our belongings are well-covered through our RV insurance.
What kind of discounts do you offer for good driving records, driving safety courses, etc.?
State Farm has a number of different discounts available, including discounts for bundling multiple vehicles or other types of policies, vehicle anti-theft devices, and accident-free driving records. The “Drive Safe and Save” program is very popular, so ask your agent if you’re eligible for this discount program. Availability of discounts varies by state, so ask your agent what he or she can do for you.
Frequently Asked Questions
Yes. State Farm offers insurance for RVs, including motorhomes, travel trailers, and more. Contact a State Farm agent for more information or visit their website.
Yes and no. State Farm doesn’t offer a specific full-time plan that covers all the extras often included in a full-timer’s policy. They will, however, insure the RV if you’re living in it full-time, and you can make sure your personal belongings inside the RV are also covered. This policy may vary depending on your location to talk to a local agent in your domicile state to find out more.
When it comes to RV insurance, the best company for you depends on your insurance needs and where you live. If you have an older, less-expensive pop-up camper, your insurance needs look much different than someone driving a brand-new Class A motorhome. If you use your RV for the occasional weekend getaway and once a year on your summer vacation, your needs will be different than someone who lives in their RV for six months or more each year. Premiums vary based on your location and driving record. There is no one company that is best at everything, so you’ll need to do research to determine which company best meets your needs.