RV Warranties vs Insurance: What’s the Difference and Which One Should You Choose?

Published on May 31st, 2023 by Chelsea Gonzales

Deciding whether to purchase a warranty, insurance, or both for your RV can be overwhelming. However, understanding the difference between the two and asking the right questions can help you make a sound financial and coverage decision. So, where should you start? By asking yourself some good questions. For example:

Do you know the difference between an RV warranty and RV insurance?
What is the value of the item? Does it have sentimental value?
What kind of warranty or insurance do you currently have?
How long will it take for you to get a covered item replaced?

By considering these factors, you can determine whether an RV warranty, RV insurance, or both are the right choice for your RV.

The Key Differences Between RV Warranties vs Insurance: A Complete Guide

Are you trying to decide whether to buy an RV warranty, RV insurance, or both for your camper? It’s crucial to understand the difference between the two. The first question you should ask yourself is whether you know the key differences.

Sign up for the newsletter today!

Please enter a valid email address.

An error occurred. Please try again later.

× logo

Thank you for subscribing to the RV Living newsletter, keep your eye on your inbox for updates.

An RV warranty covers things you expect may happen, such as appliance breakdown due to normal wear and tear.

spoiled food in RV refrigerator
A broken RV refrigerator may be covered by an RV warranty.

While RV Insurance covers unexpected events like accidents, theft, or natural disasters.

burned out fifth wheel trailer
A fire is usually covered by RV insurance.

The differences can be better explained by taking a closer look at specific events. For instance, you may expect your RV refrigerator to break down over time, due to age. But you may not anticipate a wheel falling off and tearing open the back of your camper.

Severe weather damaging your trailer’s roof is another unpredictable event.

By understanding the difference between an RV warranty and insurance, you can make a more informed decision. Know which coverage option may be the best fit for your RV before buying.

What is the value of the item you want to cover?

When deciding on whether to purchase a warranty or insurance for your RV, it’s essential to consider the value of the item you want to cover. If this is a low-priced, long-lasting item, it may not be something you want a warranty to cover. You may well end up paying more for the warranty than the value of replacing the item yourself. 

What if the item has sentimental value or is irreplaceable? RV insurance coverage may be the better option. That item ight be hard or impossible to replace but insurance can ease the loss – maybe. For example, do you have a vintage RV with unique features that are hard or impossible to replace? If so, insurance coverage can provide peace of mind in case of an accident or theft.

If the item is an appliance that may run for years, your warranty may play out before the item does. Decide a balance between the items’ long-term value and what the replacement cost would be versus a warranty. Insurance may be a better way to go to cover irreplaceable items and items you lose unexpectedly. Consider the item’s long-term value and replacement cost. Then you can make an informed decision about whether an RV warranty or insurance is the right choice.

RVer Insurance Exchange logo

What kind of warranty or insurance do you have?

When deciding between RV warranties and RV insurance, it’s important to know their coverage limitations. Warranties will cover the replacement of items while under warranty. But there are all kinds of exceptions.

Know the warranty coverage well. If it won’t cover the item in the way you plan to use it, it’s a waste of money.

RV insurance may not cover the loss of the item itself, only medical, legal, or property damage costs. It can take longer for items under warranty to be replaced. And it can take longer for items under warranty to be replaced. How long will it take for you to get an item replaced?

woman on phone next to motorhome
What items will not be covered by an RV warranty or RV insurance policy?

Is the item something you can secure and replace yourself?

When considering RV warranties or insurance, it’s crucial to determine if an item falls under any coverage gaps. Warranties often have age limits or maximum years of coverage. RV warranties may not cover visual defects, scratches, dents, or pest damage. Insurance may not cover cosmetic issues, misuse, or neglect. It’s important to check if the item can be replaced without legal issues or written rules.

What things can go wrong with your RV item?

Whether you are getting an RV warranty or insurance coverage, you should know what things traditionally go wrong with the item you are purchasing or want to get covered. You may find that a part on this item is an ongoing issue. But what happens if neither an RV warranty nor RV insurance will cover the problem?

For example, in vehicles with engines, tires, brakes, batteries and exterior paint jobs could be things not be covered by RV insurance. Nor will RV warranties cover parts that usually wear out from extended use. 

If the things you are concerned about going wrong on your RV purchase aren’t covered, you might need to consider an extended RV warranty or specialty insurance coverage. 

The Takeaway: Two Key Differences Between RV Warranties and Insurance

No matter what you are thinking about covering, it is important to know two key differences between RV warranties versus RV insurance:

RV warranties usually cover traditional breakdowns and repairs.

RV insurance usually covers unexpected collisions or destruction.

As you can see, RV warranties and RV insurance do share commonalities. Both have a long list specific things they don’t cover. For example, natural disasters, operating while under the influence of drugs or alcohol, or misuse of the item (such as off-roading with your motorhome).

To ensure your RV warranty or RV insurance always protects you when you need it most, keep records. Document your RV repairs, cleanings, RV maintenance, and other costs of RV ownership. This shows the items are being well cared for. So when things go wrong, you can get a replacement or payment as quickly as possible.

Support RV Living

RV Living is run by RVers who share the most up-to-date and valuable content on camping and RVing every week. We couldn’t do it without the support of our readers just like you.

You can help support the efforts of RV Living by becoming an RV LIFE Pro subscriber, which gives you access to:

  • RV LIFE App, an RV Safe GPS™ with voice- and lane guidance, even offline.
  • RV LIFE Trip Wizard, a visual RV trip planner with custom RV-safe routes and a comprehensive directory of RV parks, resorts, and campgrounds.
  • RV LIFE Maintenance, a cloud-based service that tracks your RV maintenance and provides reminders, reports, and related documentation.
  • RV LIFE Masterclass, an online educational platform where RV experts share tips and advice on everything you need to know about RVing.

If you value our site and want to see us continue to grow, please consider supporting us by becoming an RV LIFE Pro subscriber today.