August 12, 2021 by Canadian Underwriter
Personal lines clients who own Recreational Vehicles (RVs) need specialized insurance, and the coverage they need depends exactly on how the clients plan to use the units.
Specialized RV coverage includes guaranteed replacement cost for newer trailers, emergency roadside assistance, Canadian snowbirds travelling south for the winter, and for those who are temporarily living in their RVs while renovations are going on in their place of residence, says Michelle Ng, Lifestyle Product Development Manager at Aviva Canada.
The iconic, stereotypical image of an RV is a shiny aluminum Airstream, or a luxurious multi-million-dollar motorhome, but the reality is that there are many types and styles of RVs in the marketplace. Typically, they are classified into two types: recreational trailers, and motorhomes.
For those who own relatively new recreational trailers — up to 10 years old — Guaranteed Replacement Cost or Replacement Cost Plus coverage is available.
“With Guaranteed Replacement Cost, your unit will be covered, even if it costs more, in the event of a covered claim,” Ng explains. “Replacement Cost Plus is another great option, covering up to 110% of the unit’s value in the event of a covered claim. With inflation going up year-over-year, the cost to replace a unit is on the rise.”
Emergency roadside assistance is also available as an endorsement for RV owners who experience a breakdown on the road. “When you’re on the road and have a mechanical breakdown, whether it’s three o’clock in the morning or on Christmas Day, you’re going to need immediate assistance with your unit,” says Ng.
Coverage is available that offers basic emergency roadside assistance services, including towing up to 15 km, battery boost, flat tire service, and lock-out service. This is available anywhere in Canada and the United States, all day, every day, 365 days of the year.
For RV owners who want more comprehensive coverage, an endorsement is available for a small surcharge that covers everything in the basic plus trip planning, worldwide travel, emergency medical advice, and more.
For Canadian snowbirds who enjoy travelling to south of the border in the winter months, an RV policy provides coverage for up to six months. Beyond that timeframe, there is no coverage if a customer travels with the unit in the United States. However, a customer has the option to purchase an extension for up to 180 days beyond the basic six months of the policy.
“If you’re not on an adventurous road trip but you’re just living in the RV because you have a renovation going on, an optional endorsement can be added during this time, called the ‘Temporary Primary Residence.’” Ng says. “It provides additional living expenses, in lieu of emergency vacation expenses, in addition to limited sub-limits on jewelry, gems and portable electronics.”
As the name of the endorsement implies, “temporary” is the key word. “This endorsement is used for clients who temporarily use the RV as a primary residence, but the RV is not intended to become a permanent home.”
Clients need to be careful if they want to rent their RV to other consumers, Ng cautions. This is because RV insurance is intended to cover the RV when it is in the care, custody and control of the insured. “If it is your spouse who is driving, that’s totally fine, but that’s completely different from when you are sharing it with a friend or renting it out,” says Ng.
Typically, coverage would not apply to an RV that is rented out or leased to others unless it is done specifically through Outdoorsy Inc, adds Ng. The online platform matches consumers who want to rent trailers and motorhomes with private RV owners looking to rent out their vehicles to other consumers.
An optional Rental Network endorsement is available for Aviva clients who list their vehicle through Outdoorsy.
Feature image by iStock.com/stockstudioX