Ah, campervan insurance! The most exciting part of vanlife. Forget about the freedom of the open road, the spectacular sunsets, the fascinating people you’ll meet along the way. Insurance. That’s the stuff you can’t wait to get stuck into, right?
Obviously, I’m kidding. No one sits at their desk daydreaming about insurance. Unfortunately, it’s a necessary evil when it comes to van living. Your van is not just your vehicle, it’s your home, so it’s important to understand your options and make sure you get the right coverage.
Do You Need Special Insurance for a Campervan?
This is the first question most people have when it comes to van life insurance. Campervan insurance is a bit more complicated than other types of insurance. There are several factors that influence the type of insurance you’ll need for your van.
While it is possible to insure some vans with regular auto insurance, you will probably need more comprehensive coverage to protect the full value of your campervan, especially if you have invested a lot of time and money in building out that van into a home.
Additionally, if you live in your van more than six months out of the year, you are considered a full-timer, which means your coverage will not be the same as for people who use their vans part-time.
Auto Insurance vs. Campervan Insurance
I’ve broken down the main differences between auto and campervan insurance below. It can be useful to enlist the help of an insurance broker to help you understand all the options available from different camper insurance companies.
Regular Auto Insurance
Regular auto insurance only protects the vehicle itself. It won’t cover any additional work you’ve done to the van, or your personal possessions. If your van is very old, doesn’t have any custom work, and the value of your personal belongings isn’t very high, it may be possible or even desirable to insure your van with regular auto insurance.
Class B Motorhome Insurance
If your van has custom work and you keep a lot of expensive personal possessions in it, you will need class B motorhome insurance. Class B motorhome is the term used to describe a typical van or truck shell that has been converted to a home on wheels.
Professional Build vs. Self Build
One thing to keep in mind is that many insurance companies will not insure DIY builders. Progressive, for example, will not insure any van that has been self-converted. In order to qualify for insurance through Progressive or a similar company, you must be able to prove that your van buildout was professionally done (i.e. by a company that specializes in van buildouts.)
If you do plan to self-build, shop around first to make sure you can find a policy that will insure your build. Keep all your receipts, tax paperwork, time sheets, and license fees and title. You will need to present these to the insurance company to prove the worth of your van.
Is Campervan Insurance More Expensive?
As a general rule of thumb, larger, more expensive campervans are more expensive to insure. However, that doesn’t mean that campervan insurance is necessarily more expensive than regular auto insurance.
A cheap, old van with minimal customizations might be cheaper to insure than a brand new car. Other factors that influence how much your insurance costs are your driving record, whether you live in your van full-time, and where you drive and park your van.
Retitling Your Van as an RV
Some insurance companies require that you retitle your converted van as an RV. Other companies offer lower premiums if your van is retitled as an RV. Retitling is a fairly straightforward process, but it varies state by state.
Check with the insurance company you are considering to see if they offer lower premiums for retitled vans.
Camper Insurance Providers
Here are some of my favorite camper insurance companies. Some of these are companies who specialize in motorhome insurance, while others are general insurance groups who offer class B motorhome insurance.
Roamly specializes in RV insurance for both personal and commercial use. The website details lots of the nitty gritty about the different types of motorhome insurance available.
Roamly claims to be able to save first-time buyers up to 25% compared to other companies on comprehensive insurance.
Good Sam RV Insurance
Good Sam is a long-standing, highly reputable insurance company that is known all over the US for having good rates and reliable service. They deal with auto, boat, RV and home insurance, and customers can save up to 30% when they bundle their RV insurance with other policies.
RV America Insurance
RV America Insurance offers plans for everything from motorcycles to boats, homes, and everything in between. They understand that a class B motorhome is a special case when it comes to insurance, and are familiar with the pitfalls and nuances of insuring a vehicle that also doubles as a home.
Wayfarer Insurance Group
Wayfarer Insurance Group offers class B motorhome insurance with all-perils coverage, third-party liability, and up to $5000 in contents coverage. They also offer add-ons like a disappearing deductible and emergency roadside assistance.
American Adventure Insurance
American Adventure Insurance do not actually underwrite the insurance themselves—rather, they are an agency that researches insurance options for you and finds the best deal with companies like Roamly or Progessive.
As mentioned, Progressive will not insure campervans that have been self-built. Other than that, they are a well-known insurance provider with competitive rates. You can also save with Progressive by bundling your motorhome insurance with your existing Progressive policy.
Summing It Up
Getting campervan insurance can feel like a daunting task, but it doesn’t have to be! Just make sure to do your research, save your build receipts, and chat extensively with your provider before you commit to a specific policy.
Before you know it, you’ll be done with the paperwork and enjoying the peace of mind that comes with knowing your home is well-protected!