Many residents of our nation’s capital are discovering the joys of recreational vehicle ownership. When calculating the costs of owning one of these RVs, it is important to factor in RV insurance costs. Whether you prefer to drive your RV to nearby Virginia or Maryland to relax in a scenic RV park or you like to take it cross-country on extended family vacations, you may be able to save a significant amount of money by comparing motorhome insurance quotes in Washington, DC.
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RV Registration Requirements in Washington, DC, 2014
- All owners must register their RVs with the District of Columbia Department of Motor Vehicles.
- Prior to registration, your RV must pass a safety and emissions inspection.
- You must complete first time registration in person at a DMV service location, while you can renew online or by mail.
- To register your vehicle the first time you will need to bring the following:
- Your DC-issued driver license or permit
- Your vehicle ownership papers
- Documentation of your vehicle’s dollar value
- Proof of insurance
- Proof that the RV has passed a safety and emissions inspection
- The number of miles on the RV
- Vehicles weighing more than 5,000 pounds, which includes virtually every RV, cost $155 to register each year.
- You will be unable to register your RV if you have any outstanding tickets or are delinquent in child support payments.
Residents of Washington, DC Own Many Kinds of RVs
Recreational vehicles come in a variety of shapes and sizes. Regardless of the type, if your RV is motorized, you will need to cover it with an RV insurance policy. Non-motorized RVs such as towable trailers, fifth-wheel trailers and camper trailers, on the other hand, must have trailer insurance coverage.
RVs fall into three separate classes:
- Class A RVs: The most high-end and luxurious RVs typically fall into this category. Class A RVs resemble touring buses in their shape. They are fully equipped with all the amenities you might find in an apartment, including climate control, one or two bedrooms, a bathroom, kitchen and laundry area. These RVs typically weigh between 15,000 and 30,000 pounds. They are easy to drive on the highway but can be very difficult to navigate through residential and urban areas.
- Class B RVs: Usually built on a van chassis, class B motorhomes, sometimes referred to as conversion vans, are the smallest of the RV types. They include pop-out or pop-up campers. Although the interior living quarters are small and cramped, these vehicles have the advantage of being the most affordable and the easiest to drive through urban and residential areas. These RVs typically weigh between 6,000 and 11,000 pounds.
- Class C RVs: These RVs are very similar to class A vehicles as far as amenities are concerned, but they differ in appearance, as the class C RVs feature a separate cab with an overhead bunk. These RVs typically weigh about 10,000 to 15,000 pounds. Though not as luxurious as the class A vehicles, class C RVs are generally easier to navigate through urban and residential areas.
Insurance Is Mandatory for RV Owners in Washington, DC
Just like with any other kind of vehicle, residents of Washington, DC must carry insurance for their RVs. Insurance mandates for these large vehicles are the same as for cars.
Liability insurance will cover you for damage and injuries you cause to a third party if you are responsible for an accident while driving your RV. All DC drivers must carry liability coverage that meets or exceeds the following amounts:
- $25,000 in bodily injury coverage per person, per accident
- $50,000 in bodily injury coverage per accident for two or more injured parties
- $10,000 in property damage coverage
In addition, DC drivers must also carry uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage. This will provide you with compensation if your vehicle sustains damage or you or your passengers suffer injuries in an accident for which a third party is responsible but lacks sufficient insurance to cover your losses. Uninsured motorist coverage for DC drivers must meet or exceed the following amounts:
- $25,000 in bodily injury per person, per accident
- $50,000 in bodily injury per accident involving two or more injuries
- $5,000 in property damage coverage, minus a $200 deductible
RV owners should take into consideration that their larger, heavier vehicles have the potential to do far more damage in the event of an accident than would a traditional passenger car. For this reason, owners should purchase coverage in far higher amounts than is required.
RV Insurance Provides Important Coverage Features
In addition to the liability and uninsured motorist coverage required by the District of Columbia, RV insurance offers customers the same vehicular coverage they can get with their regular car insurance policy, as follows:
- Collision coverage: This will cover damage to your RV related to an accident, regardless of fault.
- Medical payments coverage: This covers medical expenses for you and your passengers for injuries suffered in a motor vehicle accident for which you are at fault.
- Comprehensive coverage: This will cover non-collision-related damage to your vehicle. Some covered events include flood, fire, vandalism and theft.
- Roadside assistance coverage: This covers towing or roadside assistance expenses if your RV becomes inoperable while on the road.
RV insurance goes beyond traditional vehicle insurance by providing coverage for things that are unique to RV owners. Remember, an RV is also a home and will have homeowner-type insurance coverage needs. Specialized RV insurance coverage options include the following:
- Contents coverage: This covers the personal property you keep inside your motorhome. It can include such things as clothing, furnishings, appliances, window treatments and cookware.
- Campsite liability coverage: This affords you the same liability protections offered by traditional homeowners insurance policies during the times you are using your RV as a home. This coverage protects you for a specific length of time such as a week or a month.
- Full-timers liability coverage: This is similar to campsite liability insurance but provides the added protection year round for those who use their motorhomes as their primary residence.
- Pet injury coverage: Most RV owners bring their pets with them when they travel or vacation in their RVs. Pet insurance will provide veterinary treatment and medicinal coverage for injuries to your pet due to a motor vehicle accident, fire or other covered event.
How High Do RV Insurance Quotes Usually Run?
Insurance companies consider several factors when they calculate your RV coverage rates. The most influential factors are these:
- The make, model, year and value of your RV
- How much your RV weighs based on its VIN number
- How much liability insurance you purchase
- How much contents coverage you purchase for the belongings kept inside your RV
- The coverage options you choose to include with your policy
- The amount of your deductible
- Your personal driving record
In general, an RV insurance policy can cost anywhere from $700 to $4,000 a year. Because premiums for this type of coverage are relatively high, you may find that you'll receive a wide range of quotes when you are comparing motorhome insurance policies. Be sure that you pay attention to the coverage offered by each policy. A very low rate may be lacking in a lot of the coverage you need.
Compare Motorhome Insurance Quotes in Washington, DC
When you are shopping for an RV insurance policy, you may have several policy-related questions. An insurance agent in the Trusted Choice® network can provide you with answers as well as save you time and money by simplifying the comparison-shopping process.
Find a Trusted Choice agent with an office in Washington DC to get more information and to start reviewing a variety of competitively priced motorhome insurance quotes.