Should I add my travel trailer to my home insurance policy?

By joanne lemna | May 19, 2016

You’ve bought a travel trailer and now you can’t wait to hit the road to try it out. But before you get started you should have your investment protected. Not a problem right? You’re probably thinking “I can just add my travel trailer to my home insurance policy.” Think again.  Home insurance policies don’t always cover your travel trailer. In fact some will specifically exclude trailers. While some homeowner or even car insurance policies will allow you to tack on your trailer as an extra for a fee it may not be your best option. Just because you can add your travel trailer to a pre-existing home or auto policy doesn’t mean you should.   Part of the problem with just adding your travel trailer on home insurance policies is that you probably won’t get the best type of coverage to protect you and the investment you made. For example while the coverage may reimburse you for the cost of your trailer if it is damaged or destroyed but the amount will not be the full value of your RV. Instead it will be the depreciated value based on the fair market value.  Your typical home insurance policy may cover your belongings stored inside your RV like clothing dishes jewellery and firearms but it won’t cover damage or loss of the RV itself – at least not automatically. On the other hand typical automobile policies may cover the trailer but not your personal possessions. This insurance will also fail to cover any item that’s attached or towed behind your travel trailer which means boats or recreational vehicles are often left with little or no coverage. This lack of coverage is often why this extra insurance that’s tacked onto a pre-existing policy is much cheaper than official speciality RV insurance policies . They’re not comprehensive enough to protect you and your belongings from the most common catastrophic loss or damage. To fully protect yourself and your RV investment you need coverage that’s designed for you and your trailer . These types of policies cover standard risks such as collision repairs and replacements theft and damage but they also cover some specific liabilities that can arise only with a trailer as well as the full replacement of your RV and a reimbursement for the damage or loss of personal belongings.    One last reason why simply adding your trailer onto your home or auto insurance policy isn’t sufficient is the damage a claim can do to your insurance record. If your RV is an accident you’d have to file a claim with both your car insurance and home insurance providers. That means paying two deductibles in order to get reimbursed for one tragic event. Also if you’re like most people these two claims could actually end up being with the same insurance provider (as many companies offer big discounts if you keep your auto and home insurance together). Suddenly you’ve gone from being a claims-free client to filing two claims in one year. This will eliminate any discounts you may be getting for your claims free history which will raise your annual home and car insurance rates. It may also prompt your rating to rise— meaning you could end up paying a higher premium because you’ve filed more than one insurance claim. Instead if you’d bought a speciality RV insurance policy you’d only have one deductible one insurance provider and one claim—making it a smoother and cheaper process. As a separate policy you could also avoid losing your claims-free discount on your home insurance policy. Yes speciality travel trailer insurance policies are a bit more expensive but in the long run this small amount each year will better protect your investment and result in less out-of-pocket expenses should the worst happen. Talk to your local insurance broker to find out what options are best for you.