Gap insurance is insurance that may be required if you lease or finance a car. Gap insurance covers the difference between what your car is worth and what you owe on your auto loan should your car be a total loss in an incident. For example, let’s say you have a car loan with a balance of $20,000, but your car is only worth $15,000. If it’s totaled in an accident, your insurance will only pay out $15,000 and you will owe $5,000 to settle your loan. If you have gap insurance, that policy will pay the $5,000 to settle your loan balance.
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.
While all car insurance companies offer a similar product, they differ in how they deliver it. Some car insurance companies are basically self-service, allowing you to shop for and choose a policy completely online. Others use local agents who can meet with you and talk you through the process of buying a policy and personally handle any claims you have. Some companies use a mix of the two. Make sure you find a company that has the type of service you want.
Liability insurance usually includes bodily injury coverage and property damage coverage. Bodily injury coverage is designed to cover all of the other party’s medical expenses resulting from any injuries received in an accident for which you’re at fault, while property damage coverage helps cover the costs of any damage to another person’s property, such as vehicle repairs, replacements, or damaged structures resulting from said accident.
Both part-timers and full-timers can find coverage geared towards their type of RVing. Part-timers can opt for Progressive’s vacation liability coverage, which offers up to $10,000, with an upgrade of up to $500,000 if someone is hurt in or around their RV while they are on vacation, and emergency expense coverage, which provides $750 for transportation and hotel costs plus meals, again, if they are on vacation. Full-timers can enhance their coverage with Progressive’s full timer’s personal liability, replacement cost of personal effects, and total loss coverages.
The best companies will also have several supplemental coverage options, or endorsements, that you can add to your homeowners policy. Endorsements can vary, as some provide higher coverage limits for certain types of personal property like jewelry or fine furs; or they can provide supplemental coverage for risks — like water backups, floods, or earthquakes — not covered by home insurance.
Policies typically use vague language when referring to acts of terrorism, but they are generally insured by the comprehensive portion of your policy. For example, if there is an act of terror and you need to make a claim on your car, that can only be made if you have comprehensive coverage. Since some circumstances are out of our control, comprehensive insurance is certainly important to have in your policy.
Insurers don't determine your actual cash value (ACV) settlement based on what you owe, but rather on what the car is worth just prior to the accident. Let's say you owe $20,000 on your new car, but it's only worth about $16,000. If your car is totaled, you might get a settlement check of $16,000 but still owe an additional $4,000 on your loan or lease.