Like most motor vehicles, RVs need insurance coverage. Most states require it of all registered drivers. With it, you’ll receive financial help if you ever face a costly RV accident or other loss. However, even though the right coverage can pay a lot for your troubles, it might not pay for 100% of losses. Some costs, such as your deductibles, you will have to agree to pay on your own.
RV deductibles are quite easy to understand. However, you still must choose the deductible options that are best for you. Let’s take a deeper dive into RV insurance deductibles. That way, as you set up your RV insurance, you’ll know how to choose them correctly.
Where do Deductibles Fall Under RV Insurance?
The purpose of RV insurance is to help motorists cover the costs of accidents and other unexpected mishaps that damage their vehicle or harm others. Policies will contain many terms and conditions that influence when a policy pays.
For example, by adding a deductible to your policy, you state that you can afford to pay certain costs on your own. You take on a cost burden yourself so that the insurer does not have to.
RV insurance usually contains multiple types of coverage. However, not all of them will include deductibles:
- Most states require RV owners to carry liability insurance. Liability insurance is coverage that will pay for harm the RV owner causes to third parties (like other drivers) when they are at fault for an accident. So, if you hit a stopped vehicle, liability insurance can cover the other driver's car repairs or injuries. Liability coverage is a cost paid to others. Therefore, it will usually not contain deductibles.
- An RV's physical damage insurance can consist of both collision and comprehensive coverage. Collision coverage will pay for the vehicle’s repairs after wrecks. Comprehensive damage insurance can pay for damage from hazards other than wrecks, like theft, vandalism, severe weather or fires. The insurer will pay you a settlement for these repairs. Therefore, claims will likely include deductibles.
- If you have medical payments coverage, then your policy pays you and your passengers for injuries sustained in wrecks. This coverage does not have deductibles attached.
- Many RV drivers buy uninsured motorist coverage. It will pay for your own damage costs when someone else is at fault for your losses but lacks liability insurance to compensate you. Ideally, you should get a settlement from someone else when the accident is their fault. Therefore, this coverage usually doesn’t have deductibles attached.
- Since your RV often functions as both a motor vehicle and a residence, you will likely need to extend coverage to the furnishings, utilities and contents you carry with you. Claims for these items will likely also include deductibles.
Insurers might offer a variety of deductible choices on a given type of coverage. Some policies also waive the deductible obligation for certain damage. As a result, you can choose the deductible structure you can afford to pay on your own.
How Does the Deductible Work?
When you make a claim on your RV insurance, your insurer will check to see which part of your policy will cover it. They will then review terms that will determine how much they will pay you for the damage. If they see that your coverage has a deductible, then they will subtract this deductible from the final settlement. You are responsible for paying this portion of your losses on your own.
Suppose you have an engine fire in your RV that causes a lot of interior damage. Under your comprehensive insurance, you will probably have coverage for this loss. However, your comprehensive coverage also includes a $1,000 deductible. This deductible can apply in different ways based on how the insurer handles the claim.
- If the value of your damage is more than the value of the deductible, then your policy will pay you a settlement minus your deductible cost. For example, if you have $5,000 in fire damage, then you pay $1,000 for repairs as stipulated by your deductible. Your insurer will compensate you for the remaining $4,000 in repairs.
- When damage costs less than the value of the deductible, then your policy will not pay. So, if a fire only causes about $500 in damage, then the damage cost does not even equal the cost of the $1,000 deductible. You will have to pay this repair cost on your own.
In the end, your chosen deductible will reduce your overall claim amount. As a result, carrying a higher deductible can help you lower your premium. This occurs because by taking a higher deductible, you take on more of a cost burden. All the same, the results of a claim might still be expensive in the moment. Therefore, don’t choose one that is so high that it could cost you a lot out of pocket to repair your own RV's damage.