It feels great to finally purchase a new camper van or finish your own DIY conversion. But if you want to take it on the road, you’re going to need camper van insurance first.
There are a number of things to consider when insuring a camper van. Two major factors in the cost of your insurance will be:
- What kind of van you have
- How much time you spend in it
Let’s take a look at how camper van insurance works for DIY vans versus other vans, and for full-timers versus weekend warriors. We’ll also look at the best companies for campervan insurance.
Insurance for DIY Vans Vs. Professionally Converted Vans
Building your own van is a great way to save some money and get a van built exactly how you want it. However, the downside is that insuring a self converted van is much harder than insuring a Class B or a van converted by trained professionals.
With a Class B RV or a professionally converted van, insurers are able to trust the build quality a bit more. There are more quality assurance systems in place to prevent major issues, especially for big companies like Winnebago or Thor. But for a DIY build, insurers have to put a lot more faith in the quality of your build, making them much less eager to insure you.
One option is insuring your camper van with normal auto insurance. Keep in mind that this will only cover the van itself – none of your build materials or anything else inside! This isn’t the most attractive choice, especially for those who live in their van, because you won’t recoup much (or any) of your total costs in the case of an accident.
That said, it’s not impossible to get camper van conversion insurance for your DIY campervan. There are insurers out there who will happily cover your DIY van, although you likely pay higher costs because of the greater risks to the insurer.
To help you get van insurance, you’ll want to carefully document your build process.
- Keep every receipt and invoice you receive
- Take photos and videos of the process
- Title your vehicle as an RV, and not just a normal passenger vehicle
Camper Van Insurance for Van Lifers vs Part-Timers
Whether you live in your van full- or part-time, it’s a good idea to have comprehensive coverage that protects both your van and everything inside it. If you live in your van full-time (aka you’re a van lifer), you’re going to have greater insurance needs than someone living in their van part-time or just using it for weekend trips away.
If your van is your primary residence, you’ll want to protect it just like your home. And particularly for full-timers, lenders will usually require comprehensive insurance to qualify for an RV loan. Full-timers pay higher insurance rates because of this, but it’s well worth it for the extra protection.
Consider how much it would cost to replace everything in your van build – from the building materials to your linens, cutlery, and electronics. That’s a lot of money so you’ll want coverage for that.
In addition to standard liability coverage, van lifers will want personal articles coverage for their possessions. Someone who only lives in their van part-time may be able to cover these items under a homeowner’s or renter’s policy. But full-time van lifers won’t typically have those options.
Instead, a personal articles policy is a separate insurance policy that covers the replacement of your personal possessions in case of loss. Some comprehensive RV insurance for full-timers can also include this type of coverage as part of your policy.
If you’re a part-timer who can’t take advantage of a homeowner’s or renter’s policy, a personal articles policy might also be a good option for you. Some insurance companies will also let part-time RVers pause their policy when the RV is in storage, helping them save money.
#1 Option For Camper Van Insurance
The simplest way to get proper insurance for whatever RV you are driving is to visit the RV Insurance Exchange at RVerinsurance.com. Why spend your time filling out multiple forms on multiple websites trying to find camper van insurance when you can do it in one place and let the agents do all the hard work? RVer Insurance has been a trusted resource for vehicle insurance, and health insurance for RVers. Get a free quote for your RV insurance needs today.
Top 5 Alternative Options for Camper Van Insurance
Now that you know about the ins and outs of camper van insurance, let’s look at the best companies to get it from.
Good Sam is one of the biggest names in camper van insurance, and for good reason. Provided by the same parent company as the massive Good Sam RV club, this insurance is created with RVers of all kinds in mind.
They have tons of perks for van lifers such as:
- Multi-vehicle discounts if you cover your van and another vehicle under the same policy
- An option to halve your premium when your van is in storage
- Full-timer coverage
All this makes Good Sam among the best camper van insurance available. Membership will also net you discounts on van life essentials like stays at campsites, gear for your camper, and more.
There are a ton of reasons that National General is a top option for the best camper insurance.
For one, they offer full replacement of your van up to five model years old. Most insurers only offer this for the first one or two model years. With a camper van (especially a brand-new one) being such a big investment, it’s nice to know you can get that coverage.
Plus, National General offers a wide variety of insurance that’s highly customizable, so you can get a policy that’s perfect for you. For the part-timers, they let you suspend your coverage while your van is in storage. So if your van’s not in use, you don’t have to pay for the insurance.
Roamly is a great option for the best camper van insurance because it’s created by RVers, for RVers. Besides providing great rates for van life insurance, they also provide insurance designed with renting your van out in mind.
If you want to rent your camper van to make extra money and put your van to use when you’re not in it, you’ll need insurance that accepts that. For many insurers, renting out your van can mean higher rates, or worse, a canceled policy. But with Roamly, you’ll never have to worry.
Besides these benefits, Roamly will also insure your DIY van conversion. Getting insurance for your DIY build can be tough, but as long as you properly document everything, Roamly can get you covered.
Everyone loves a discount and Nationwide offers tons of them.
You can get discounts for being part of an RV club, completing safety courses, renewing with no claims, and more. That’s a lot of ways to save! They even do free reviews of your policy to make sure you’re getting all the discounts possible.
Nationwide also offers high-quality coverage to van lifers. So you can get great coverage at a great price.
There are also other perks, such as offering coverage for those traveling to Mexico and optional roadside assistance in case of trouble on the road.
If you live in your van less than 250 days out of the year, consider Safeco. This is one of the best camper van insurance options for part-timers.
A part of Liberty Mutual, Safeco only provides insurance to part-time van lifers. But, if you qualify, they provide high-quality insurance that has custom equipment coverage by default. They also offer coverages like roadside assistance, personal effects, and other coverages that are key for part-time, van lifers.
Safeco can also help you save money with a disappearing deductible. Every year you go without making a claim, your deductible drops by $100, up to $500 max.
Now You Know Everything To Know About Camper Van Insurance
Getting camper van insurance is essential if you want to take your van on the road.
If you have a DIY campervan conversion, you might have some trouble getting insurance. But as long as you carefully document your build, you can still get coverage. If your van is professionally converted, or comes from a major dealer, you’ll have a much easier time getting coverage.
Whatever your situation, with a little shopping around, you’re sure to find campervan insurance that’s right for you. And once you’re insured, you’ll be ready to hit the road!