How Do Insurers Handle RV Accidents?
The average weight of an RV is around 10,000 pounds—nearly 6,000 pounds more than the average weight of a new vehicle in America in 2021 (4,289 pounds), according to the Environmental Protection Agency. However, some RVs can weigh 30,000 pounds or more.
When RVs are involved in crashes with passenger vehicles, they can cause serious injuries and vehicle damage due to the weight and size mismatch.
If you’re ever involved in an RV crash, here’s what you need to know about how insurers handle these claims.
Liability Insurance Pays for Injuries and Property Damage
Motorized RVs are classified as motor vehicles in Wisconsin, and that means they must be covered under their own auto insurance policies. Like standard passenger vehicles, RVs have minimum coverage requirements, and they include:
- $25,000 for bodily injury coverage per person
- $50,000 for bodily injury coverage per accident
- $10,000 for property damage per accident
Because RVs weigh much more than most vehicles, RV owners should consider purchasing insurance coverage that’s well over the minimum requirement. The larger and heavier a vehicle is, the more likely it is to cause serious injuries and significant vehicle damage in a crash.
When RV owners cause serious crashes and their liability insurance isn’t enough to cover the victims’ expenses, they may have to make up the difference out of pocket.
Non-Motorized RVs Are Covered by the Towing Vehicle’s Liability Insurance
Many RVs aren’t motorized and are instead towed behind trucks, SUVs, or other vehicles with sufficient towing capacity. These RVs don’t require separate liability insurance policies. Instead, they’re covered by the liability policies of the vehicles that are towing them.
As with motorized RVs, it’s recommended that owners of towable RVs purchase coverage beyond the minimum requirement for their vehicles. Some travel trailers are dozens of feet in length and weigh tens of thousands of pounds.
When drivers who are towing these behemoths cause crashes, there’s a good chance the injuries and damage they cause will exceed the minimum liability coverage requirements for their passenger vehicles.
Medical Payments Coverage Pays for Injuries
RV insurers offer Medical Payments coverage to help cover the cost of any injuries suffered by the RV’s driver and/or passengers. It’s considered no-fault coverage, which means it kicks in to pay for medical bills even when the injured person caused or contributed to their injuries.
Collision Insurance Pays for Accident-Related Damage to RVs
Collision insurance is optional by law in Wisconsin, but RV owners who finance their vehicles are often required to purchase it. As with collision insurance for passenger vehicles, collision insurance for RVs pays for any damage an RV sustains after a crash involving another vehicle or object, including a road sign or tree.
RV Insurers Don’t Want to Pay Fair Claims to Injured Victims
The insurance companies offering coverage for RVs are mostly the same as the companies offering coverage for passenger vehicles. That means they use the same tactics to avoid paying fair settlements after RV crashes as they do after crashes involving sedans, pickup trucks, and SUVs.
First, they offer lowball settlements on claims they know they can’t win. They hope that injured victims will accept the compensation they’re offered soon after their accidents without pushing to get full and fair compensation.
Second, they deny claims because of minor mistakes and oversights. Even when claims are valid, they hope that victims will simply give up and stop trying to get the money they’re owed.
And finally, they delay the compensation process for months or even years. This is another tactic they use to encourage victims into dropping their claims entirely.
Our Wisconsin Auto Accident Lawyers Know RV Injury Claims
Whether you were injured while driving an RV or were injured by a negligent RV driver, Brian Hodgkiss Injury Lawyers is here to help. Our experienced legal team has handled many claims involving oversized vehicles, including both motorized and non-motorized RVs, and we know what it takes to help injured victims get the compensation they’re owed.
The insurance claim process after an RV crash is similar to the process after a passenger vehicle accident, but because the damages are often greater, insurance companies are even more uncooperative and reluctant to pay. Don’t go it alone, and don’t accept any settlement offer that’s less than what you deserve. Contact us today for a free consultation.