The answer to this question really depends on your insurance company. If you have insurance that covers your driving another vehicle, then it is likely that you will be covered while test driving an RV. However, if you don’t have this extended coverage, then you will be driving illegally. The other issue here is the uninsured vehicle.
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Some insurance companies extend the coverage to other cars only if that other car has insurance coverage as well. While this many not specifically be mentioned in your insurance policy, it doesn’t have to be. Most state laws back up the insurance company’s position that no driver should be driving an uninsured vehicle.
Before you make the decision to test drive an uninsured RV, or any other uninsured vehicle, take the time to call your insurance company to see if you are covered for the test drive. If you don’t, you could end up being liable for an accident that occurs in the vehicle.
Should I test drive an uninsured RV if my insurance will provide me with coverage?
This is an excellent question and the answer is a resounding no! The truth is that you should never get behind the wheel of an uninsured vehicle, even if your own insurance will cover you if you have a car accident.
Why? The answer to this is simple. If you have an accident, then it is your insurance that will pay the claim and it is you who will be paying the penalties for that accident for the next 3 years, even if you choose not to purchase the RV.
When you get behind the wheel of a vehicle that you have never driven before, then the risk of having an accident increases exponentially. You want to ensure that the vehicle you are you are test driving has the necessary protection so that you don’t pay the price for the next 3 years.
This is actually something that many people don’t think about when test driving a vehicle until they actually have an accident.
My insurance covers my test drive but I got a ticket because I couldn’t provide proof of insurance; is that legal?
While the laws vary a bit between states, if you live in a state that requires you to provide proof of insurance on demand, which many states do these days, then it is legal for a police officer to give you a ticket. What’s more, in many states you will be unable to contest this ticket, even if you can provide proof of insurance.
The reason for this is that the ticket you are receiving isn’t because you don’t have insurance; it is because you didn’t have proof of insurance. Your total fine may be reduced once you produce your proof of insurance; however, the fine for driving without that proof will stand.
Even if the vehicle you are test driving is insured through the owner, you could still get a ticket if you are pulled over and the owner doesn’t have proof of insurance in the RV. In most states it is the law that you, the test driver, ask for proof of insurance from the car owner before getting behind the wheel. He or she is not responsible for that ticket.
Does a dealership have insurance on their RVs?
Yes, in the US, any car, truck or RV dealer is required to carry commercial auto insurance on their vehicles. This insurance protects them against theft as well as accidents when their vehicles driver by potential buyers.
In most states, you won’t have to have any insurance if you are test-driving your vehicle through a dealership. We say most states because, in places like North Carolina, you are required to have insurance before you can get your driver’s license. Without a driver’s license, you cannot test drive a vehicle.
Should I consider non-owner insurance for a test drive?
Non-owners insurance is something to consider, however, keep in mind that if you have an accident, your insurance company is still going to raise your rates if they have to pay an auto insurance claim.
What’s more, you may have to purchase non-owners insurance for a longer period of time than you actually need it, so if you are going this route, then you need to be prepared to spend a little money.
If you are planning on test driving cars from private owners, you might want to consider a non-owners policy and then plan for all of your shopping to occur in a two-week time-frame so that you can take advantage of having that additional coverage.
The truth, however, is that your best bet is to test drive vehicles with their own insurance coverage.
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