All About Insuring Pop-up Campers and Motorhomes
Summer is finally here. What sunshine-filled adventures do you have planned? Maybe they involve tents, towable pop-up campers, or luxurious motorized vehicles. You’re ready, but are you properly insured? Here are some factors to consider before wandering into the great outdoors:
Tents or gear: Your car is covered under your auto insurance policy, but the policy typically doesn’t provide coverage for personal belongings. If your tent and/or camping gear is damaged in an accident, fire or storm, auto insurance won’t cover your losses. That said, these summer essentials can be covered under renters or homeowners insurance.
Motorhomes: Motorhomes need to have the same minimum liability coverage required for any vehicle. Since risk of serious injury is greater due to a motorhome’s size, it is highly recommended you carry liability limits higher than state minimums. For physical damage to the motorhome, you’ll need comprehensive and collision coverage, just like any vehicle. Unlike standard auto policies, most insurers will provide contents coverage on motorhome policies.
Towable pop-up campers: Whenever you pull something with your vehicle, the vehicle’s liability coverage extends to the item you’re pulling. Since the risk of injury to others or property damage is higher if you’re pulling a camper, opt for the highest liability limits available.
Note that this coverage is for liability only. Physical damage coverage isn’t extended from your vehicle’s policy to whatever you’re pulling. To cover damage to your pull-behind, add specific comprehensive and collision coverage for it.
Once Upon a Time—Canine-Style
Question: What has four legs, barks, and can help your child read? Answer: A canine tutor.
If your child is struggling with reading or behind in homework, there is a wonderful proven solution that works on several levels. READ, or Reading Education Assistance Dogs, is a literacy program that started in Utah with the goal of helping children develop their reading skills. Now the program, or a variation of it, has spread across North America, and it’s likely available at a school or library near you.
The precious pooches help improve confidence and motivation to read, and are great reading buddies who won’t bark back any harsh comments or criticisms if a child stumbles or reads slowly.
Best of all, you can try this at home – with your own dog. Simply make this a learning experience for both dog and child, and chances are they’ll respond eagerly.
Feline-lovers haven’t been forgotten; a similar program has been tried with shelter cats, and despite the challenge of getting the cat to focus, child and animal delight in the experience.
You’re Not Finished: Spring Cleaning Round 2
So you thought you’d finished your spring cleaning a couple of months ago? Not so fast. The act of spring cleaning has become a deeply ingrained habit for most of us. And when something becomes habit, we often get lazy about it, assuming we know what to do. Sure, you went through your summer clothes, wiped out the fridge, and cleaned off the lawn mower. But did you wipe under the taps?
For spring cleaning round two, use the following list to help make your abode truly sparkle:
The area surrounding the stove
You scrubbed your stovetop and turned on the oven cleaner setting, but what about the surfaces? The cabinets above your stove are probably still covered in a thick layer of grease. Wipe it off! The same goes for the backsplash and nearby walls.
…and the fridge
When was the last time you looked underneath or behind your refrigerator? Thought so. Take a deep breath, pull the fridge out, and give those hidden floors and walls a good sweeping and scrub. Wipe down the top of the fridge and the inside and outside of the handles, which can get grimy from sticky hands.
Window sills do get dusty. Home expert Charles the Butler recommends vacuuming window sills not once a season, but once a week. He also suggests using a toothbrush and baking soda to scrub hard-to-get-at areas around your bathroom and kitchen taps.
Give your plants some TLC
Indoor heating and a winter spent inside makes for dusty houseplants. Take a cue from Martha Stewart, and give them a wash. Martha suggests you rinse off larger plants in the shower, using your shower-head attachment to spray them with lukewarm water. For smaller or delicate plants, cover the soil with paper towels and hold the pots upside down while swishing the leaves in a bowl of water.
Protect Your Assets With Extra Liability Coverage
These days, it’s not just large companies or high-profile individuals who are at risk of having a lawsuit filed against them. According to the Association of Trial Lawyers of America, civil lawsuits cost the U.S. economy more than $230 billion annually. That’s an average of $809 for every citizen.
Most people are surprised to learn just how vulnerable they are to being sued. They’re also shocked at the potential cost of losing a suit; their homes, their businesses, and most other assets could be wiped out.
The solution is personal liability insurance, which is liability coverage above and beyond what is included in your homeowners, malpractice, or car insurance policies.
You are at risk, if:
- you own your own business, act as a consultant, or are in private practice
- you have investments in land, rental properties, or other important assets
- you hire contractors who don’t have their own liability insurance, or you don’t pay workers’ compensation for your employees
- you have a pool or a trampoline on your property
- you have a teenager – whether he or she is living at home or is away at college, you are responsible for any car accidents or other liability situations your teen might be involved in before he or she reaches the age of adulthood, usually considered to be 18 years old
- you are a member of the board of directors of a corporation or not-for-profit agency
Personal liability insurance is one of the most affordable types of insurance available – typical personal liability policies cost between $200 and $450 annually for coverage of $1 million to $2 million. When you consider the alternative, it’s a great price for peace of mind.
Your insurance advisor can provide you with information on inflation and valuations and help you decide how much personal liability coverage you’ll need.