How To Get Campervan Insurance: The Best Companies To Approach

How to get campervan insurance for your van, especially if you're trying to insure a self-built conversion or get coverage for full-time van life.

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Campervans, with their dual nature as both vehicle and home, present a particular set of challenges and considerations when it comes to insurance, especially if you are looking to insure a custom DIY van conversion rather than a factory-built Class B campervan or conversion done by a professional campervan company.

To put it simply, it can be really hard to find an insurer that will give you the coverage you need.

To help with your van insurance search, in this post I’m sharing tips to help you work out what type of coverage you need, the potential costs, and how to find the best policy for your nomadic home, whether you’re simply looking to insure your new weekender camper van or if you’re looking for an RV insurance policy for one that you currently or plan to live in full time.

Understand the difference between auto and RV insurance

Without getting into all the nuts and bolts of various insurance coverages, RV insurance is essentially auto insurance with extra coverage for the different contents and usage of your vehicle as something you cook, sleep and ‘live’ in while you’re using it.

Like auto insurance, RV insurance should cover you for essential liability coverage, with collision and comprehensive, and uninsured/underinsured motorist protection options. However, it will also provide additional coverage for areas such as the contents of the RV such as appliances and your personal belongings.

Many auto insurers are just selling auto, not RV insurance, so they will only insure your vehicle, and not its contents or use as a campervan.

So, it makes sense that you may want to track down a suitable RV insurance policy that will cover your vehicle’s use as a camper van.

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How to get campervan insurance for diy self build camper van conversion

Your insurance options differ depending on who did your conversion

There are generally three types of campervan conversion:

  • A turnkey campervan conversion (usually referred to as a Class B RV) by a company such as Airstream, Winnebago, Westfalia or Storyteller Overland, to name a few.
  • A professional van conversion – that is, where your cargo van has been converted into a camper van by a professional van build company
  • A self-built / DIY camper van conversion you did yourself (or the previous owner did).

Getting insurance for a turnkey campervan conversion should be simple. Most RV insurance companies are going to have those companies and various models on their list of ‘RVs’ that they will insure.

We hear mixed reports of people’s ability to get affordable RV insurance for professional van conversions. It helps to have the conversion done 100% by the conversion company (rather than you doing part of it), but that’s not always a guarantee as some insurance companies lack the flexibility or desire to consider custom conversions.

Know up front that getting the level of insurance you want for a DIY, self-built campervan can be very difficult – I know, I’ve been there, too.

You may have already experienced challenges finding insurance for your van and found this out for yourself – perhaps that’s why you’re reading this article! Don’t worry, though – I have some tips which should help.

Your insurance requirements will be different depending on how your van will be used

  • for full time van life
  • a camper van you don’t live in full time
  • a van that you have minimal camping gear in and equipment that can easily be removed from the van altogether (a modular van conversion)

Getting insurance for full time van life, ESPECIALLY if your van is a DIY rather than professional conversion or turnkey ‘Class B’ RV, is also difficult.

Not all insurers will insure camper vans that are used for full time van life.

Even fewer RV insurance companies will insure camper vans that are lived in full time AND were a self-built (DIY) conversion – and will cite any number of reasons for that, usually related to the lack of information they have regarding the quality and safety of the conversion materials and installation methods used to produce your custom van creation.

You may find re-registering your camper van as a Class B RV or ‘Van Camper’ will help you get RV insurance

If your van has the right features to be considered an ‘RV’, then consider whether it’s worth re-registering it as a Class B RV, which may make it easier for you to get appropriate insurance. It’s worth specifically asking an insurance company cold, whether this will help in your situation, before you go to the hassle.

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Some states have specific camper van classifications. Having your cargo van reclassified as a campervan may also (but not necessarily) help you get better insurance for it.

For example, in California, my first camper van was registered as a ‘Van Camper’, or VC class, which the CA DMV defines as ‘a complete vehicle purchased from a recognized vehicle manufacturer and converted (usually by the installation of carpet, curtains, additional seating, etc.) for human habitation or camping purposes.’

So the Van Camper definition is actually quite vague and, unlike the RV or motorhome definition, doesn’t specify that it must have ‘life-supporting’ features like cooking or toilet facilities – although as my van did have all those permanent systems I could have potentially argued it should have been registered as a Class B RV.

diy sprinter van conversion sprinter campervans web wm 9
This electrical system cost in the region of $8,000+, definitely worth getting insurance coverage for that!

Itemizing van modifications for auto insurance purposes

If you already own your van and have it insured as a basic cargo van under an auto insurance policy (which is what most people who buy the van ’empty’ would initially do – myself included), then as you start to spend significant money on your van conversion and start adding expensive components such as the electrical system and exterior modifications then you’re probably going to want to get that covered by your insurance.

As an interim step you could ask your insurance company to insure specific van modifications. This is something I did during our van conversion process when we converted our first camper van, with my insurer State Farm.

Because it wasn’t technically a camper van, it was simply a cargo van with some electrical equipment, a water tank, additional windows and a side ladder installed, I was able to work with my local State Farm agent to provide them with an itemized list of the van modifications, together with photographs. He then edited the auto insurance policy to cover those modifications.

Getting RV insurance for self-built camper vans and full time van life

It can certainly be a murky world out there in camper van insurance-land.

Among the camper van owners community online and on social media there’s a variety of anecdotal evidence of certain insurance companies insuring (or rather, not insuring) their camper vans.

To further complicate matters, sometimes different agents from the same insurance company will give completely different responses, so it may pay to be persistent and try in-person / by phone calls with local agents rather than the main phone lines, or vice versa.

It also helps in every scenario to keep records of your receipts and photos of the modifications, so you can provide this to potential insurance to help them assess what you’re asking them to cover.

The companies listed below are those I recommend contacting first if you are having difficulty finding appropriate insurance for your camper van, especially if you plan to (or already do) live in it full time:

I’ve never heard of Roamly, what is it?

Roamly, in particular, is a relative newcomer to the van insurance space. It’s owned by Outdoorsy, which is like Airbnb but for renting camper vans, campers and RVs.

Roamly provides coverage for a range of the more ‘unusual’ van conversion situations that the larger, more traditional insurers may seek to avoid.

This includes covering you if you rent your van out on Outdoorsy, as well as DIY conversions, and insurance for van livers living in their van full time.

So I definitely recommend including them in your list of insurance companies to speak to, they could well be the best option for you, especially if you’re struggling to get adequate coverage elsewhere.

State Farm camper van insurance

As mentioned above, my LOCAL State Farm agent was very helpful in customizing the coverage for my van insurance, including while it was part-converted and I wanted to cover specific expensive components as soon as possible.

Progressive camper van insurance

Progressive’s website specifically states that all campervan conversions, including DIY projects, may be covered with an RV insurance policy from Progressive—even if your campervan is the only vehicle in your household.

I hope this article has provided you with some helpful insights for finding appropriate insurance for your camper van, especially if you’ve been finding it difficult to get specific insurance for the more ‘niche’ circumstances that standard insurance companies can struggle with.


  • Helen

    One of Trail & Kale's co-founders and Editor In Chief of Sprinter Campervans, Helen not only brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to our van conversion guides and camping gear reviews, she also shares finance expertise to help our readers budget for their DIY van conversions and living the van life.

    Helen [email protected]


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