Recently we had a customer come into our RV collision repair shop here in the Dallas Fort worth area with damage to his RV from his own towed vehicle. When searching the web for information about RV towing and insurance coverage, I learned that there is not much information out there. So we will cover some of the basics here for you.
When towing with an RV, most people assume that the same insurance policy covering the RV will also cover any vehicle in tow. Since the trailer is technically attached to the RV, wouldn’t the RV plus the towed vehicle and the trailer be considered one unit and covered under your policy?
Assuming that your RV policy covers a car or anything else you’re towing with your RV is absolutely incorrect. All RV coverage and RV policies vary by company and state due to state regulations, before you tow anything, it is imperative that you have a conversation with your insurance agent before heading out on the road to make sure you’ve got all the coverage you need.
The reality is that even though many RV’ers tow cars, or trailers for their “toys”, very few, if any, RV insurance includes coverage for a vehicle in tow in their standard out of the box form. When you plan on towing anything you will need an insurance policy for both your RV and the vehicle you’re towing.
Accidents can happen, mistakes can be made, and hitches can sometime break. If your towed vehicle ever detaches from your RV while driving and hits another car, you could possibly have as many as three or more claims involved in the accident. The first will be a collision claim filed to repair any damage to your towed vehicle or trailer. The second claim will be one to repair any damage done to your RV (as in the case with this recent customer) or to repair any damage to the trailer. This is why you need an insurance policy for the towed vehicle. The claim you’ll make to your insurance company will be against the collision portion of the policy.
The other possible insurance claims might involve any claims filed by the drivers of any vehicles if your towed vehicle hit any other cars, or other property owners or people your out-of-control car hit after it became detached. These claims will most likely be against the liability portion of your RV insurance. This is why you also need full coverage including liability for your RV.
With regards to culpability, any towed vehicle that breaks loose is considered the fault of the driver of the RV or motor coach pulling the towed vehicle. Note: it is a vey good idea to also have liability coverage on the towed car, to protect you from lawsuits from the driver of the vehicle your towed vehicle hits, or from the property owner whose property your runaway trailer hits.
If you are towing a car on a trailer, or a toy hauler trailer, then the trailer is covered for liability as long as an insured vehicle is towing it. The liability on the pulling unit will extend to the trailer. However, you will not have any automatic comprehensive or collision coverage on the vehicle unless you elect that specific coverage which will incur additional premium. You will also not have any comprehensive or collision damage coverage to the contents of trailer unless you specifically insure them in the policy.
Other important RV coverages worth considering
If you are one of the many people who live in your RVs at least 150 days per year, you will also want to look into a full-timers comprehensive personal liability policy. This type of policy is unique to recreational vehicles and extends your coverage to allow you to treat your RV like your home. This is like slip and fall liability coverage. Part of RV ownership is an inclusion in to a community of fellow RV’s and with that a lot of socializing and entertaining with people that you have just met. But you never know what some people are capable of and it is wise to be protected.
If someone trips inside your RV and breaks their leg, they may make a claim against you just like they could if the incident happened in your own home. This type of coverage is designed to cover such claims. This type of policy is somewhat exotic and many people who travel full time in their RVs don’t realize they need it until their insurance company denies their claims because they use their RV as their primary residence.
There are other worthwhile RV policy additions that RV owners should consider. Some insurance coverages will pay for hotel stays while the RV is under repair. Other coverage options offer full replacement of a new model or upgrade if you total your RV. Keep in mind that policies can change from company to company and are different in every state since insurance policy coverages are set on a state by state basis. It is always a good idea once a year to ask your insurance agent to find out what policies are offered.
If you find yourself in need of RV repair resulting from a collision in the Dallas or Fort Worth Texas area, then be sure to contact Coach Specialists of Texas for a free estimate.
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