Renting RVs and Insurance Issues
Updated: Dec 19, 2019
Every year my family goes to the Alive Music Festival. My wife has gone every year since she was born. I married into the tradition nine years ago and now we have taken our two children since they have been born. We have always stayed in a hotel close to Atwood Lake park where the festival has been held the last few years. This next year we are planning on staying in a rented camper on site.
This has drawn my attention to an ever growing market; RV rentals. There are many RV rental sites like RVShare and Outdoorsy that are basically airbnb for RVs. You are able to find a find a tow behind camper or motor-home that is in your local area for pickup. Then you're able to select a few options such as insurance, delivery, and generator use and pay with in a few minutes. It is not only affordable but will completely change the experience of Alive for my family and we won't have to commute in each day.
It all seems so easy and painless. However, my insurance mind is concerned with all potential coverage issues. Do the owners of these campers have commercial insurance to cover me and their camper? If I damage it am I responsible for their deductible? Does the insurance you purchase through the app act as a damage waiver like a rental car company? What happens when there is no insurance option and the lease says I'm responsible? Can I cover the camper on my own insurance by adding it on for the time in use? The insurance is mainly complicated because it has the problems of renting your house and car all in one. The leases vary and so do the insurance options leaving no one sure who is covering what.
I believe the key is being aware of these issues and having good communication with the owner and their insurance company. I have noticed that some owners have multiple RVs and run it like a business. While others are just trying to offset the cost of the RV and make some extra money. This can leave very scary gaps if not worked out with the owner. For example, according to my lease I am responsible for all damage done to the RV while it's in my possession. This includes acts of God like wind, hail, fire or comprehensive claims. Obviously on a very expensive camper that is an unacceptable gap of insurance.
My advice is to work out a plan to cover those gaps with your own insurance agent and the owners a head of time. The key is don't assume that because you used a service like the apps I've mentioned that they take care of this for you. They have made it easy to book, sign, and pay but the insurance isn't standardized between owners leaving you to figure out the details. I highly recommend Alive Music Festival especially to families looking to create lasting memories. If you have never attended before, at least get a day pass and check it out next July 17th - 19th. I would also still recommend using RVshare or Outdoorsy because they do simplify the process, just do your homework on figuring out the insurance implications.