In the United States, the most prevalent form of self-insurance is governmental risk management pools. They are self-funded cooperatives, operating as carriers of coverage for the majority of governmental entities today, such as county governments, municipalities, and school districts. Rather than these entities independently self-insure and risk bankruptcy from a large judgment or catastrophic loss, such governmental entities form a risk pool. Such pools begin their operations by capitalization through member deposits or bond issuance. Coverage (such as general liability, auto liability, professional liability, workers compensation, and property) is offered by the pool to its members, similar to coverage offered by insurance companies. However, self-insured pools offer members lower rates (due to not needing insurance brokers), increased benefits (such as loss prevention services) and subject matter expertise. Of approximately 91,000 distinct governmental entities operating in the United States, 75,000 are members of self-insured pools in various lines of coverage, forming approximately 500 pools. Although a relatively small corner of the insurance market, the annual contributions (self-insured premiums) to such pools have been estimated up to 17 billion dollars annually.
In managing the claims handling function, insurers seek to balance the elements of customer satisfaction, administrative handling expenses, and claims overpayment leakages. As part of this balancing act, fraudulent insurance practices are a major business risk that must be managed and overcome. Disputes between insurers and insureds over the validity of claims or claims handling practices occasionally escalate into litigation (see insurance bad faith).
Most car insurance providers will offer to include your RV as part of your auto insurance policy, as such you will get traditional car insurance coverage. This will include bodily injury and property damage liability coverage, personal injury protection, collision, comprehensive, medical payments, and uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage, which essentially protects you against accidents and physical damage while on the road. (For a more detailed explanation of coverage see below.)
Rental RVs are your responsibility while in your possession, so it's important to make sure you have insurance coverage on the RV. Check with your auto insurance carrier to see if coverage extends to a rental RV. If not, the RV rental dealers usually either automatically include insurance in the price of the rental or have short-term policies available for purchase.
You might also qualify for discounts with certain companies by paying your insurance in full or getting more than one type of coverage from that insurance company. You could also save money if you have a clean driving record, use your RV less, or belong to certain affinity groups. Each insurance company offers different discounts and their pricing can vary significantly. To get the best RV insurance, shop around and get multiple quotes before purchasing.
"Insurance? I knew absolutely nothing about it, at all. I started looking around and found that there are a lot of companies out there and a lot of information to sort through. So much in fact that I became overwhelmed and didn't know which way was up. Unfortunately, I didn't have a trained advisor guiding me and helping me select the right coverages and ended up paying too much for limited coverage. After my first accident, I found an insurance agent that took me step-by-step through what I needed. What a refreshing experience!"
There are two main types of RV insurance. The first is for recreational use and the second is for those who live full-time or more than six months of the year in their RV. Insurance companies have different definitions of a “full-time” RV user, so read the fine print and compare the best RV insurance companies if you use your RV for several months of the year. It’s cheaper to get recreational coverage, so you could save a significant amount of money if you qualify.
Michigan weighs in with the highest RV insurance rates, at a median annual premium of $4,490. Why are the average rates in Michigan so expensive? Because the state has mandatory personal injury protection (PIP) coverage, which results in much higher costs for the insurance companies whenever there is an RV insurance claim. The second highest is Louisiana, with a median annual premium of $2,912.
1 In Texas, the Auto Program is underwritten by Southern County Mutual Insurance Company through Hartford Fire General Agency. Hartford Fire Insurance Company and its affiliates are not financially responsible for insurance products underwritten and issued by Southern County Mutual Insurance Company. The Home Program is underwritten by Trumbull Insurance Company.
According to the Insurance Information Institute’s table of Automobile Financial Responsibility Laws by State, 49 out of all 50 states, as well as the District of Columbia, require you to have some sort of liability coverage for all vehicles on the road, including RVs. The only exception to this rule is the state of New Hampshire, which has no mandatory insurance law, and only requires financial responsibility from the person at fault in a car accident.
Companies also needed to offer full-timer coverage for those who live year-round in their RV; full replacement coverage in the event the RV is totaled or stolen; personal belonging coverage for the property inside the RV, including electronics, appliances, and jewelry; vacation liability coverage for injuries that occur at the vacation site where the RV is parked; and permanently attached items coverage for items like satellite dishes, wheelchair lifts, or retractable canopies. Finally, companies also were required to cover most, if not all types of recreational vehicles.