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Katy1985

Need help with rv insurance

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Hello, So.. we sold our house and now have a Phoenix Cruise we love.  Still getting organized, Soooo much stuff to go through in storage. Plus we are vehicle heavy also. I guess we are a work in progress.

We have registered cars we keep in Mexico in Clay County, SD.  It’s easy, quick and they are very helpful on the phone. But those vehicles do not need USA insurance. Our old Rv that was registered in SD had minimal insurance and my DH used an address he made up. That’s what the Liberty Mutual agent told him to do. This Rv is much nicer and I started to wonder about an insurance company denying a claim if the address is not legitimate. 

We have a rental in California that is in an LLC that I dont want to change.  And we have an ACA medical plan that works for us so I dont want to rock that boat. So because of this I do not want to change our domicile which is California.  But... the RV is never in California, we are seldom in California. So to register the Rv in SD i think is fair as we dont want to return to smog every 2 yrs.

The thing that baffles me is auto/rv insurance. I think I need a physical address. I thought of using the escapes address. But if anyone knew of a company that gives an address in Clay County, SD it might be helpful as we have been dealing with them for yrs. I think the office is in Vermillion, SD, Clay County.  The title for the new to us Rv is on the way as we bought from a private party so I am trying to get something figured out.  Thanks for any help and I apologize for the confusing first post. But you guys seem to be the go to people for  the fulltime help.  I have already searched this forum before I asked for help.

Edited by Katy1985
Easier to read spacing

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Technically vehicles should be licensed and insured where they are garaged. How often are you in South Dakota? Is there somewhere else you stay long term--maybe wintering in one park in Arizona or Texas?

Linda

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Having rental property in CA doesn’t require you to have a CA domicle. I have rental property in CA and just file a non resident State tax return. I use the Escapees SD address to registure and insure my vehicles, and I have a SD drivers license. No individual income tax in SD. Health insurance is another issue. Thankfully I just turned 65 and now have Medicare. 

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I really think that you need real legal advice, rather than getting opinions from us. None of us have exactly the situation that you have and you will be taking a big risk if you don't make sure you get the right advice from a qualified attorney.

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    Thanks for your help.  We are not eligible for Medicare yet. We finally are happy and settled with our healthcare and that is the biggest reason for not wanting to change away from California yet.  We use a family members address since we sold our house. We usually travel around vs spending  a lot of time in 1 Rv park or area . We travel mostly western usa and canada. The western SD area is very nice, though definitely not in the winter. When not in use for a few mos in the winter we park the rv at a covered storage area in Nevada. We found a great, secure, reasonable place to store it and dont give it up as they are getting hard to find for a reasonable $.

     Guess its time for more homework. Being lucky enough to retire early is great but keeping good health ins is important. We might still use the escapees address. It also seems like a good club. 

     Thanks again for your input.

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So, I jus got off the phone with the Nevada DMV. Ends up i can register the RV in NV even though I have a California license. The storage facility I keep it at is in Fallon, Nv which is rural. So I can register it there, it will only be a few hundred $ due to its a 2004. I also didn’t realize that since we bought it from a private party we dont have to pay sales tax. Escaping tax was not a goal but it is a bonus. The  rv never lives in California so we dont want to register it there.  

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Wow! You have your fingers in a lot of places - California, Mexico, Nevada, South Dakota, made up address and now thinking of Texas.  I really think you need some professional help sorting all this out.

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I don't have any “made up addresses”  and never mentioned Texas. (The “made up address” was the previous insurance agents suggestion.  I store my rv in Nevada, have for yrs. Rv never goes to Cali.  No lies there.. Dry, little snow and not $. I owned a house in California near the Nevada border for 30 yrs recently sold. Not made up.  We had and have many ties in both states. My domicile  address is in central Cali at mom in laws since we help her out due to her age and her partners age and health. But we dont live there full time, I do have a rental that we pay California taxes on. We travel a lot. I feel lucky.   Once again legit.   I own a home  in Mexico., keep car in mex  Car registered in SD following SD law. It’s insured in Mex,  

My reason for the question was knowing that some full timers or close to full timers have situations more complicated than someone living fulltime in stick home.  Now that I dont own a home or rent in Cali, and my RV doesn’t live in Cali I see no reason to register, smog, jump through the hoops California has for that vehicle. . But... I was not totally comfortable using a SD address for my RV insurance. The reason for this is that insurance companies look for reasons not to pay a claim.  So I felt at this time the SD was a grey area for me regarding my insurance and registration. I know it works for many I just wasn’t super comfy. I might work for us in the future as we really like western SD and plan to spend time there. 

SInce talking to the Nevada DMV and my insurance co, I now know that it is totally legal to have my drivers license in California, but since my RV is stored in Nevada I can register and insure it in NV.  So license in one state, register and insure in another is totally legit depending on your circumstances.. I just want to pass that info along since that is what this forum is about. 

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21 minutes ago, Katy1985 said:

SInce talking to the Nevada DMV and my insurance co, I now know that it is totally legal to have my drivers license in California, but since my RV is stored in Nevada I can register and insure it in NV.  So license in one state, register and insure in another is totally legit depending on your circumstances.. I just want to pass that info along since that is what this forum is about. 

Yes, you are licensing and insuring the RV where it is garaged. That is the recommended thing to do. Glad to hear you got the right answer.

Linda

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I am confused.  Where is the domicile state?  Looks like CA if that address is being used as the legal address for health insurance and driver's license with the RV being licensed, insured and housed out of  NV.   I can't imagine another state coming into play at that point.

I would encourage everyone to look at their particular situation and domicile, etc. before finalizing their plan.  While it doesn't happen often,  there can be serious consequences involved if thinking one has found a loophole where there isn't one, not that the OP is doing this, but advising something can be done, well check your personal circumstances against what is allowed under your set of circumstances.

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5 hours ago, SnowGypsy said:

I am confused.  Where is the domicile state?  Looks like CA if that address is being used as the legal address for health insurance and driver's license with the RV being licensed, insured and housed out of  NV.   I can't imagine another state coming into play at that point.

Vehicle licensing is required to be in the state where the vehicle is garaged, or kept when not in use and is not necessarily the state of domicile. For example, a person who owns 2 homes, one in the north for summers and one in south for winters might domicile in the northern state and spend most of his time there, and so register any vehicles that he travels back and forth with in the state of domicile, but if they own a second vehicle that is kept in the winter home and not taken north, that one is legally required to be registered in the state where it stays, even when that state is not the owner's domicile state. 

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I understand the part about NV, but am confused at how many states are going to be involved.  If the check had the SD address drawn on a local bank, I'm not seeing the issue.  If the check has the CA address, I could see an issue there.

Also, making up an address for insurance purposes is probably fraud no matter who tells someone to do it, so I would discourage people from doing that.  I realize OP is no longer doing this, but want to make sure everyone understands that is not a good practice to follow.   And, I don't understand how a vehicle belonging to someone domiciling in CA for health insurance purposes can be registered in SD as the domicile state in that case, as neither the vehicle or the person calls it home.   NV part I understand.

Again, everyone should individually look at their circumstances and the state(s) they are dealing with before leaping into something.   In the age of the computers, all your info can be lined up in a matter of seconds!

 

 

 

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11 hours ago, Kirk W said:

For example, a person who owns 2 homes, one in the north for summers and one in south for winters might domicile in the northern state and spend most of his time there, and so register any vehicles that he travels back and forth with in the state of domicile, but if they own a second vehicle that is kept in the winter home and not taken north, that one is legally required to be registered in the state where it stays, even when that state is not the owner's domicile state. 

With all due respect, I'm not sure your example need be the only way this issue can be handled.  We own an RV lot in Rockport TX and have a second car which stays at that location all year regardless of whether or not we are traveling in the MH.  Both our cars are registered in SD which is our domicile state.

The deal that Miller insurance worked out with Progressive Insurance is that our TX-based car would be insured at rates appropriate for where it is garaged--Rockport. The car that is our toad is rated as being garaged in SD.  We are not TX residents (property ownership doesn't make you a resident) and my understanding of TX law is that I can keep my vehicles in TX as long as they are properly registered in my domicile state.  If this is an incorrect interpretation of the law, no one has objected to date about it.

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6 hours ago, docj said:

Both our cars are registered in SD which is our domicile state.

You need to check TX law. The following quote comes from the TX-DMV site.

Quote

 Additionally, you must register the vehicle within 30 days of bringing the vehicle to Texas, and the vehicle must pass a Texas inspection before it can be registered. After having it inspected, take the following to your county tax office to title and register the vehicle:

You may not get caught but that doesn't make it meet the legal requirements.

Edited by Kirk W

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32 minutes ago, Kirk W said:

Additionally, you must register the vehicle within 30 days of bringing the vehicle to Texas, and the vehicle must pass a Texas inspection before it can be registered. After having it inspected, take the following to your county tax office to title and register the vehicle:

What you have cited is the section of the vehicle code that applies to people coming into TX with the intent of becoming a resident.  Yes, they have to register their cars within 30 days.

However, I am  not a TX resident and the following is the section of the code (502.0079. VEHICLES OPERATED BY CERTAIN NONRESIDENTS)  that I believe applies to our situation and that of other "winter Texans":

A nonresident owner of a privately owned passenger car 
that is registered in the state or country in which the person 
resides and that is not operated for compensation may operate the 
car in this state for the period in which the car's license plates 
are valid.  In this subsection, "nonresident" means a resident of a 
state or country other than this state whose presence in this state 
is as a visitor and who does not engage in gainful employment or 
enter into business or an occupation, except as may otherwise be 
provided by any reciprocal agreement with another state or country.

The key point is that I am a "visitor" who does not engage in gainful employment or any other activities that would indicate that I am seeking TX residency.

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7 minutes ago, docj said:

The key point is that I am a "visitor" who does not engage in gainful employment or any other activities that would indicate that I am seeking TX residency.

No, the key point is that you leave this vehicle garaged in TX fulltime, year round. Somewhere in the Tx code, like most other states, their is a limit of how many months you or your vehicle can be considered visiting. You may be visiting for less than x months. But your vehicle is not visiting for 12 months a yr.

Edited by JRP

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5 minutes ago, JRP said:

Somewhere in the Tx code, like most other states, their is a limit of how many months you or your vehicle can be considered visiting

I've yet to find a section of the TX code that states that.  As long as my insurance company is happy with the arrangement, that's all I really care about.  

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1 minute ago, docj said:

I've yet to find a section of the TX code that states that.  As long as my insurance company is happy with the arrangement, that's all I really care about.  

Yes I doubt you'll ever have an issue as long as Progressive goes along. Most insurance companies would refuse to write a policy for a vehicle they were told is garaged in TX fulltime but is registered in SD. 

TX & SD don't really care enough to investigate. Some other more aggressive states do go after these types of violations.

But for others reading this, the general rule in most states is that if your vehicle is garaged within that state for the majority of the year, then it should be registered & insured in that state, regardless if you are a resident or not. I have personal experience with spare vehicles left at properties that had to be reg & insured in CO, NM & FL, even though I am a SD resident and 6 of my 9 vehicles are SD reg & insur. It would be simpler & cheaper for me to do all in SD, but when asked, both states DMV's, my insur and my lawyer all said the proper way was to reg & insur where garaged.

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JRP, what if you are a fulltimer and your car in never garaged anywhere? I am a fulltimer and domicled in SD. All my vehicles are registured and insured in SD. I am almost never in SD. My insurance company knows this because they wrote me a fulltimers policy. I have stayed in AZ for 5/6 months in the winter. This year I will be in FL for 5/6 months. My vehicles travel with me, and I am a visitor everywhere I go. 

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completely different situation when you & your vehicles are on the move year round.  

since you don't garage your vehicles for more than 6 months in any other state, your garaged location is your domicile.

 

Edited by JRP

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1 hour ago, JRP said:

ince you don't garage your vehicles for more than 6 months in any other state, your garaged location is your domicile.

Since I don’t garage my vehicles how can my garaged location be my domicle. You can choose any State to domicle. Where you domicle is where you get your drivers liscense, and usually registure your vehicles, unless your vehicle is in another State and does not enter your Domicle State. Where your vehicle is registured is where you insure it. It’s where it is registered that determines what location you insure it, not what your domicle is. 

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"Garaged" is the insurance term for where you 'live' or where the car spends a significant amount of time.   In the case of Fulltimers, the insurance company that writes your insurance knows that you are traveling all of the time, but that is the term that they use because most people's vehicles are garaged at their residence and that is the field in their database.      I'm not sure why you feel it necessary to tilt at this term?

 

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2 hours ago, JRP said:

completely different situation when you & your vehicles are on the move year round.  

since you don't garage your vehicles for more than 6 months in any other state, your garaged location is your domicile.

 

NO, you can be in another state(s) for more than 6 months.   There are states that allow people to stay more than 6 months and still not be considered residents for licensing, etc.  

 

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6 hours ago, docj said:

However, I am  not a TX resident and the following is the section of the code (502.0079. VEHICLES OPERATED BY CERTAIN NONRESIDENTS)  that I believe applies to our situation and that of other "winter Texans":

Where is Big5er when we need him? 

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It is strange that such a question was addressed here. This is a legal issue, here you can only hear advice, and not a plan of correct action. I would rather consult a lawyer. I hope you solve your situation

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