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When is Car Insurance Not Good Enough? When You Use It to Cover Your RV


From the quirky to the commonplace, Progressive warns many mishaps not covered by common car policies; urges considering specialized RV insurance.

MAYFIELD VILLAGE, Ohio .— Imagine leaving your RV set up at a campsite and returning to find that a family of bears has moved in and, because they weigh hundreds of pounds and are not the best housekeepers, the RV is torn apart. Or accidentally flooding your neighbor’s coach with “black water” by mistakenly hooking your water connections up to the trailer next door. These incidents may sound far-fetched, but they actually happened to Progressive customers. Fortunately for them, they were covered because they had specialized RV insurance, but a lot of RVers wouldn’t be.

“Some people make the mistake of adding their RV onto their car insurance policy, only to find out too late that the car policy doesn’t cover a lot of things that can go wrong in an RV,” said Cathy Pelfrey, RV product manager, Progressive. “An RV is much more than a car — it’s a house on wheels. So an RVer really needs a specialized policy that covers more than what standard car insurance covers.”

As the number one brand of RV insurance sold through independent insurance agents in the country, Pelfrey says Progressive has seen its share of oddball claims over the years, as well as everyday mishaps that may be excluded from standard auto coverage. For example, if your RV is damaged during a trip, an auto policy could leave you out in the cold but Progressive’s RV insurance would pay up to $2,000 for lodging and transportation so you could still enjoy your vacation. Similarly, expensive items like outdoor gear, laptops or other electronics stolen from inside your RV would be covered by an RV policy but typically would not be covered by an auto policy.

Specialized RV coverage can also protect you against depreciation if your RV is totaled. A car insurance policy could only pay the RV’s actual cash value, but an RV Agreed Value policy would pay the amount that you and the insurance company agreed the RV was worth when you bought the policy, regardless of the RV’s value at the time of the loss.

“We’re sharing this information about claims and coverages because we want RVers to understand what their policies cover and to make sure they have the protection that best meets their individual needs,” said Pelfrey.

While RV insurance covers most of what can go wrong in an RV, there are exceptions. Take the case of the customer who let his motor home fall into such disrepair that the roof seals were leaking, resulting in a small forest of mushrooms growing underneath his couch. Because RVers are required to maintain their coaches, this claim was denied.


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