Travel Trailers, Fifth Wheelers and Motorhomes are all classified as Recreational Vehicles, but there are differences in how the units are used, which also affects the coverage offered by RV insurance carriers.
When considering RV insurance, there are some key differences between a motorhome and a travel trailer or fifth wheel trailer. The main consideration is how the different types of units are moved from one point to another. While a motorhome has an engine and drive train that enables it to be moved on its own, travel trailers and fifth wheels require a separate vehicle to tow them from one location to another. This difference also affects some of the most basic coverage that is associated with recreational vehicle insurance policies. Motorhomes, because they are drivable units, require Bodily Injury and Property Damage Liability insurance coverage, while travel trailers and fifth wheel trailers do not.
Now, there may be some who are scratching their heads, wondering “...what is meant by Liability?” Simply stated, being liable means you are legally responsible for a debt. Whenever you are involved in a motor vehicle accident, the cost of treating injuries and repairing damages can often be very expensive. If it’s determined you are responsible for a vehicular accident, then you are indebted for the costs for medical treatment for injuries caused and to repair property damage done by your vehicle to other persons and/or vehicles. Purchasing Liability insurance not only satisfies most state’s requirement to register vehicles, but also helps to ensure that you are financially protected, in the event you are responsible for an accident.
Now that we have a better understanding of what Liability means, let’s get back to our original question: “why doesn’t a travel trailer policy include Bodily Injury and Property Damage Liability insurance coverage?” The easiest way to understand where the responsibility or liability falls is to think about where the driver sits while the vehicle is in motion. A Motorhome, because it moves under its own power, requires Bodily Injury and Property Damage Liability coverage. However, Travel Trailers and Fifth Wheel Trailers cannot be moved without the use of a tow vehicle, so the responsibility instead defaults to the vehicle that tows the trailed unit. So, if you are insuring a Travel Trailer or a Fifth Wheel, be sure to also consider the liability coverage limits associated with the vehicle you use to tow them.
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This coverage explanation is for illustration purposes only and is general in nature. Coverage explained here may not apply to your policy, State, company, or situation. For more information about how your policy would respond in the event of a loss, please refer to the terms and conditions and declarations page of your policy.