- Unlike commercial truck drivers, RV and motorhome drivers do not require special training or certifications to drive these large vehicles.
- Motorhome insurance coverage is the same for passenger vehicles, even though these heavy recreational vehicles can result in more serious (and costly) accidents.
- Whether you are the at-fault driver or other party involved in an RV accident, we advise you to consult with an attorney to protect your rights.
Why Motorhome Accidents Happen in Atlanta
RVs and motorhomes can be just as large and heavy as some commercial trucks. Yet, motorhome drivers do not require the same training and special certifications to drive these large vehicles. This means when you pass a motorhome on the highway, it’s possible that the driver has little to no experience and is unaware of the physics involved in driving a “big rig.”
Some common causes of motorhome and RV accidents are listed below:
- Inexperienced drivers
- Large blind spots
- Miscalculation of stopping distances
- Vulnerability in high winds
- Excessive speed
- Senior drivers
- Fatigued drivers
- Overloaded and unbalanced RVs
- Runaway trailers
- Rollovers caused by the vehicle’s higher center of gravity
- Tire blowout
Not only are motorhomes and RVs more physically difficult to drive, but other factors also make accidents more common.
While the highway has its own distractions, an inexperienced driver towing a trailer or driving a large vehicle can have their hands full with speeding traffic and unfamiliar surroundings. In addition, people moving around inside the cabin can also be distracting as it speeds down the highway. These situations can increase the likelihood of a serious accident.
Do Motorhomes Require More Insurance Coverage?
Accidents involving motorhomes can be expensive. Moreover, crashes often involve serious injuries or death because the vehicles are much larger and heavier than most cars. Therefore, having adequate insurance coverage is essential.
In Georgia, RVs that can move under their own power – such as a motorhome – have the same minimum insurance requirements as passenger vehicles, like cars. If your RV is a Class A, Class B, or Class C motorhome, you are required to carry a policy with the following minimum coverage limits:
- $25,000 in bodily injury per person
- $50,000 in total bodily injury per accident
- $25,000 in property damage per accident
If you rent a motor home, the insurance process will be similar to renting a car. Typically, your auto policy for your own vehicles may provide coverage for driving-related incidents while you’re operating a rented RV or motorhome. However, it’s important to check with your auto insurance company first to ensure your policy’s coverage extends to the rental RV or travel trailer. (You can learn more about RV insurance on the Escapees RV website.)
Compared to the cost of emergency medical care today, the mandated insurance coverage amounts are likely inadequate in a serious accident. In addition to the required minimums noted above, it might also be wise to consider adding Uninsured Motorist Bodily Injury (UMBI) coverage and Property Damage (UMPD) coverage. These options can help you financially if you happen to get into an accident with an uninsured driver.
Uninsured Motorist policies are not required but usually cover:
- UMBI: $25,000 per person, $50,000 per accident
- UMPD: $25,000 with a $250, $500, or $1,000 deductible
Recreational vehicles that are towed – like travel trailers, fifth wheels, pop-ups, and cargo trailers – aren’t required to carry any of the coverages listed above. Accidental damage caused by a non-motorized RV is included under the liability coverage of the vehicle that’s towing it.
What Happens If You Are in an Accident with a Rental Motorhome
As noted above, RV or motorhome insurance works like auto insurance, so accident claims are processed similarly. The driver who is at fault for the accident will be expected to bear the liability. In cases where the blame for the accident is shared, the liability may also be distributed among the parties.
In some situations, these accidents may need to be handled by an attorney who can determine how your claim should move forward. For instance, in cases where the rental motorhome was improperly maintained or a mechanical failure occurred, the rental company and/or the manufacturer could also be at fault. An experienced attorney can help you know how to proceed with such a complicated claim.
What If the Motorhome Is From Another State?
Most people traveling in motorhomes and RVs are often driving through multiple states. When an accident happens outside of the driver’s home state, it can make an insurance claim more complicated.
Minimum insurance coverage limits can vary by state. However, when an accident occurs in Georgia, our laws apply. Therefore, minimum coverage requirements and comparative negligence rules are based on Georgia law.
For example, when a nonresident driver causes an accident in Georgia, their insurance company must provide the amount of coverage applicable in Georgia, even if the minimum requirement in the insured’s home state is lower. This obligation is based on a “broadening clause” that most insurance policies contain, increasing the coverage limit under these circumstances.
The Millar Law Firm Handles Motorhome Legal Claims
If you were in an accident with a motorhome or RV, consulting with an attorney familiar with the complexities of these accidents can help. The damages and injuries possible in such an accident can be devastating and amount to far more than the insurance coverage provides.
Retaining an experienced attorney who knows how to help you get a full and fair settlement may be your best hope to avoid serious financial consequences.