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Manage Your Recreational Vehicle Insurance Premiums

Recreational vehicles, or RVs, are a top-of-the-line transportation and housing option for vacationers. They are spacious and generally appointed with many features which tend to give them a home away from home feel for those fortunate enough to own one. Recreational vehicles can be costly to own and maintain, and car insurance costs associated with RVs are no exception. Managing your recreational vehicle insurance premiums can help take a bite off the sometimes outlandish cost of owning these vacation dream machines.

Reasons for the High Cost of Recreational Vehicle Insurance

Recreational vehicles are expensive to insure in comparison to regular cars and trucks. One reason for this disparity is their average value and replacement cost. Since they are so large and usually cost so much money, auto insurance providers have to charge more money to insure them against damage or destruction. The expansive size of recreational vehicles also leads to an indirect reason why they are so expensive to insure. Since they are so big, they are more difficult to drive than ordinary vehicles. They have a wider turning radius, for example, and require greater following distances for the driver because they take longer to stop, owing to their heavy weight [1].

Recreational vehicle owners sometimes find themselves a bit overwhelmed by the skill needed to operate them safely out on the road. Lack of advanced driving skills can sometimes lead RV owners to get involved in car accidents they wouldn't get into in their regular cars or trucks. Things like the large blind spots drivers of RVs have to deal with, and the slow rate of acceleration they have when getting on a road or freeway can contribute to these accidents if the drivers are not prepared to operate the vehicles properly. Thus, accident rates tend to be higher simply due to a lack of understanding of how to operate them efficiently and safely. Because of statistical information pointing to high rates of claims, recreational vehicle insurance providers have to adjust their policy premium rates upward to meet the higher risk they are taking on.

A third reason for the high cost of recreational vehicle insurance is the fact that this coverage in some ways resembles homeowner's insurance. Typical RV policies contain provisions for protecting personal items like televisions, laptop computers, linens and appliances, as well as attached items like generators. The coverage of these types of items makes RV insurance that much more expensive relative to the average auto insurance policy.

Car Insurance Money-Saving Tips for RV Owners

While every recreational vehicle owner or lessee probably goes into their RV ownership experience with an understanding that the vehicle is going to be costly to own and to maintain, there are some ways you can drive down the cost of recreational vehicle insurance to make it more affordable. One thing you can do as an owner or lessee is to take advantages of discounts available from auto insurance companies providing RV coverage.

The first and probably easiest place to start is to investigate the savings that can be had if you bundle your coverage. Combining your recreational vehicle coverage with your existing auto and even homeowner's coverage can yield great savings on your combined package of policies. Before you go price shopping for coverage on your new recreational vehicle, make your first call to your existing auto coverage carrier to set a benchmark for the kind of price you may expect to pay for your personal policy.

Many other discounts are available to recreational vehicle owners, some of them similar to discounts available on standard auto insurance policies. For example, you may qualify for a safe driver discount on your RV policy if you have an excellent driving record with no tickets or accidents. Another similar discount made available by some recreational vehicle insurers is one tied to the successful completion of an RV driver's training course. Taking and completing this kind of course can actually save you money in two ways. First, you can get the discount to reduce your initial policy premium; and second, you can gain the skills and experience to help you more safely operate the RV and avoid accidents and other claim situations down the road, helping to increase your likelihood of keeping your rates low.

Other discounts which may be available on RV insurance policies include homeowner's discounts; paid-in-full discounts for customers who pay the entire policy premium at policy inception; and anti-theft and safety device discounts for RV features like anti-lock braking systems, automatic seat belts, and anti-theft alarm systems. Check with individual insurance providers regarding their specific list of applicable discounts you may qualify for, and be sure to get multiple quotes from different companies to ensure that you are getting your best deal.

One particularly large potential discount in recreational vehicle insurance pricing is the storage option discount. It allows you to temporarily suspend coverage you do not need during the months when your vehicle is not on the road, while still keeping other coverage active. While your RV is in storage, you do not need comprehensive and collision coverage, for example, but you do still need theft and storm damage coverage. The storage option discount is particularly appealing for snowbirds that live in the northern part of the country during the summer months, then travel down south and live in their RVs in the winter. This discount type can save you as much as 50 percent on your annual premium [2]. Whether you plan to live in your RV for part of the year, or you will only be using it for camping during the warm-weather months, the storage option is likely the very best way you can directly reduce the annual cost of your recreational vehicle insurance.

Drive Safely to Keep RV Insurance Premium Costs Down

In a more indirect way, the maintenance of a solid driving record will do wonders for your RV insurance costs. Since insurance costs can be prohibitive to begin with, it is essential to keep your costs as affordable as possible by keeping your driving record clean and free of accidents or tickets. Maintaining your auto insurance status as a preferred driver will not only keep down the cost of your recreational vehicle insurance, but will also help hold down your personal auto policy premium in general.

Recreational vehicles are wonderful for people who love to travel and spend significant time out on the road seeing the sights and visiting friends and family. If you do a great deal of cross-country traveling, they can actually be less expensive than the comparative cost of hotels and car expenses. Investing in a recreational vehicle can give you the freedom to come and go as you please, allowing you to see more of the countryside and spend more quality time with those you love. To make it more financially realistic to afford an RV and its associated operating costs, make sure to do all you can to keep the cost of insurance as low as possible. Do not miss out on opportunities for savings by assuming your current provider will be cheapest.

[1] http://campingrving.suite101.com/article.cfm/rv_insurance_safety_tips_for_drivers Retrieved 2009-12-13.
[2] http://www.gmacinsurance.com/rv-insurance/rv-insurance-faqs.asp Retrieved 2009-12-13.

 

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