Noticing more people in your socialfeeds showing off their vans turned into tiny homes? They might be part of the growing #vanlife movement.
If you’re thinking about becoming a “vanlifer,” remember: living on-the-road comes with unique risks, and you’ll need an insurance policy to help cover your bases.
Here, we’ll look at the types of insurance policies vanlifers should consider – and how a digitally accessible insurance agent can guide you toward the right insurance solution. But first, a brief explanation of the #vanlife movement.
What is #Vanlife?
First used as an Instagram hashtag in 2011, #vanlife symbolizes a nomadic and adventurous life on the road. The movement has boomed in recent years, thanks in no small part to social media and the pandemic’s disruption of daily life.
Scroll through tagged #vanlife Instagram posts or Pinterest boards, and you’ll notice a common aesthetic: outdoorsy, bohemian, and carefree. Most vanlifers typically post photos with their tricked-out camper vans – a sort of compact RV. Others have gotten more creative with their vehicle dwelling, converting school buses into cozy mobile homes (affectionately known as “skoolies”).
No matter which kind of vehicle you’d like to live in, you’ll need an insurance policy to mitigate your risk. Let’s look at the policy types best suited for your #vanlife.
DIY Conversions in Progress Will Likely Need Auto Insurance
For many vanlifers, building your own livable camper van or skoolie is a rite of passage. Buying a new, prebuilt camper van costs upwards of $110,000. With a DIY conversion or a prefab conversion kit, you get a fully customized living arrangement at a fraction of the price.
There’s one problem, though: you need insurance to drive your vehicle anywhere. While you’re building your camper van or skoolie, consider purchasing an auto insurance policy to cover your risks on the road.
A standard auto insurance policy typically includes these coverage types:
- Medical payments
- Uninsured and underinsured motorist
But wait – if you’re converting your vehicle into a mobile dwelling, shouldn’t you get RV insurance?
Not quite. Fully converted camper vans and skoolies are considered Class B motorhomes (i.e., an RV). But unconverted vehicles likely won’t qualify for an RV insurance policy because they’re not technically motorhomes yet.
If you’re taking out an auto insurance policy, keep in mind standard variables that can impact policy pricing, such as:
- Your age
- Your driving history and experience – specifically for your vehicle type
- Your location – which will likely vary since you’ll be constantly on the road
Read on to learn which insurance policy you may need after you’ve completed your conversion.
Converted and Prebuilt Camper Vans and Skoolies May Qualify for RV Insurance
For fully converted camper vans and skoolies – including prebuilt models – RV insurance can help you mitigate the risks that come with #vanlife.
RV insurance policies typically include standard auto coverages. But certain specialty coverages can more narrowly address the needs of your on-the-road lifestyle. Consider these:
- “Full timer:” This is similar to a standard homeowners insurance policy – it can cover the costs of injuries and property damage incurred in and around your parked vehicle
- Personal effects: This can cover valuables inside your vehicle, like a laptop or cooking equipment
- Pet coverage: If you have a pet with you on the road, this can cover vet bills for any injuries
As with auto insurance, keep in mind certain factors that can affect pricing, such as:
- Vehicle age
- Vehicle usage
- Vehicle location
- Personal camper van or skoolie driving experience
Understanding these details can help you find the best RV insurance policy to meet your needs.
An Agent Can Help You Assess Your Unique Risks
Between long-distance driving and on-the-go living, #vanlife comes with complicated risks. Thankfully, an insurance agent can talk you through your situation’s specifics to help you find the right policy.
To assess your risks, an agent might ask:
- What do you carry in your vehicle? High-value items may require greater coverage limits.
- How much do you carry in your vehicle? You’ll need to stay within your vehicle’s weight limits to limit your liability on the road.
- How many people typically travel in your vehicle? The more occupants in your vehicle, the greater your liability exposure.
Once you’ve found the right policy, don’t worry about managing your insurance policy in person or via snail mail – digital insurance tools can help you handle the logistics with ease while you roam the open road.
Get the Right Tools to Manage Your Insurance Policy on the Road
If Instagram posts are any evidence, #vanlife is only set to grow: the number of tagged posts jumped from nine million to nearly 13 million between February 2021 and May 2022.
Thinking about joining the booming #vanlife movement? Make sure you get the right insurance – and get the right digital tools to manage your insurance policy on the road.
A We Insure agent can guide you toward the right policy wherever you are. Interested in learning more? Talk to an agent today.
The information contained in this page is provided for general informational purposes only and may not be applicable to all situations. We Insure makes no guarantees of results from the use of this information.