Canadian Underwriter

Aviva’s RV adventure: insuring homes on wheels

December 15, 2017   by David Gambrill, Editor-in-Chief

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In its second major ridesharing announcement in less than a week, Aviva Canada has joined the RV adventure, insuring the expansion into Canada of Outdoorsy, an online platform to rent recreation vehicles.

Outdoorsy is billed as the largest online RV rental marketplace, allowing RV owners to rent their units to people traveling across Canada or the United States in motorhomes, campervans, travel trailers and adventure vehicles. It has 140,000 users in the United States, and boasts 1.2-million interactions, with 240,000 vacation nights booked through the U.S. platform.

“I’m a proud Canadian, born and bred,” says Jen Young, Outdoorsy’s chief marketing officer. “The company was started in my home in Vancouver Canada but scaled in the United States. We’re pumped to finally launch it with Aviva. This is an incredibly special homecoming for me.”

Aviva Canada has underwritten a $2-million third party liability insurance program in partnership with Outdoorsy and backed the company’s launch in Canada. The fleet policy covers Outdoorsy for RV units rented on the Outdoorsy platform.

Essentially, RVs are “homes on wheels,” which does raise an interesting twist to coverage. While a commercial auto policy provides the underlying RV unit, if it’s a trailer, there is a chance that property coverage also comes into play.

“There will be some opportunity for an owner and a renter to add contents items (kayak, barbecue), and that would be provided under a property policy,” said Daniel Ignoto, vice president of lifestyle personal insurance at Aviva Canada. The date when contents coverage would be available is not yet public.

Plus, Aviva Canada saw an opportunity to offer personal property coverages for certain types of RV units.  For example, RVs might be drive into a trailer park, and then the plates are taken off while the RV owners stay parked in the location for any number of seasons.

“Anything that’s plated is covered under the auto, but you will have some units that aren’t plated,” said Ignoto. “Some customers might have a parked model unit that you would leave in a park, and it’s still considered part of the RV lifestyle. That can’t be insured on an auto policy, so that would be insured under a property policy.

“That was a gap we noticed, that the parked model units, there are not many of them, but they are still part of the lifestyle, so we created the property solution to cover that off.”

Ignoto said Aviva was impressed by Outdoorsy’s commitment to a Canadian RV renter’s safety and security. Those who rent RVs through the online platform must meet minimum maintenance standards such as regular maintenance checks, tire replacement, and inspections.

Plus, drivers must have the appropriate class of license to drive the particular class of motor home. Big rigs, for example, may require the license class for air brakes.

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