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what's your insurance going to cover?


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Just as a reminder to folks

Many of us have added equipment to our rigs, toads and tow vehicles

 

Are you aware you need to call your insurance company and add those things to your policy. Don't assume that your agent or the company underwriters will know you need this equipment and have added it. A few examples are::

Base plate to your toad

Breaking system for your toad

Tow bars

5th wheel hitches

Added tool boxes to your truck

Washers and dryers that did not come installed into your rig

While your at it make sure that you have photos and receipts for all your personal toys in a safe place that won't be destroyed in an accident

 

Having a huge claim from an accident is not the time to be surprised that you aren't covered for all this stuff

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My travel trailer caught fire after a grease plug blew and all the grease for my wheel/hub came out. I was lucky that only the axle/wheel area burned but I learned a lot about my insurance after the fact. I'm currently staying in a hotel because my RV is still waiting to be repaired after 5 days - the incident happened this past Friday and Camping World Service was closed over the weekend. I'm having to pay for my hotel and meals myself as Good Sam Extended Warranty - which is covering the damage since it was a mechanical failure - only pays for one night up to $100 for lodging and meals per 8 hours of labor. Doesn't matter how long you have to stay in a hotel because Camping World will not allow you to stay in your RV on their property. You can only stay out in the driveway dry camping. I don't have a generator so I can't boondocks - it is too hot to live without a air conditioning here - and they probably wouldn't move it anyway. There is an RV park next door, but since the TT only has one wheel on one side, they don't want to move it because if the wheel should blow from the extra weight, insurance wouldn't cover it as it's not NECESSARY to move it. While you are waiting on parts and waiting on repairs - it's not covered. My TT can't be moved, I can't live in it, so this is the only alternative. I had stocked up on food and all the food that needed to be cooked that can't be frozen is ruined. I did get them to plug me in so my things wouldn't melt in this heat and so some of my food would survive. But what I can't cook is gone. Luckily Motel 6 is cheap and they don't charge for dogs but this is night 5 coming up and the costs are adding up pretty fast. I also found out, after hoping to get some assistance from my regular RV insurance policy for lodging, that they only help if it's an accident and you file a claim with them. I started thinking about what would have happened if the trailer burned - just which of my possessions would have been replaced. I listed the solar equipment, new tow setup, new electric tongue jack, etc. in additions to my TT. But I have about $5k in computers in my RV. Big iMac desktop, Macbook Pro laptop, new iPad, new iPod, and an HP mini computer. The insurance only pays $1k for computers. I have about $4k in camera equipment. Canon 60D & 7D with a 100/400 zoom lens and other lenses and paraphernalia. They only pay $500. It doesn't matter what you have in there and how much your stuff is worth - it's not covered. UNLESS you own a home and you can insure it under your homeowners insurance. So if the trailer had gone up - I would have had to prove what was in it and then they still would have only covered the amounts I listed above. The expensive jewelry or clothing or whatever you might have - there's a limit as to how much they will pay even if you have photos, receipts, etc. It doesn't matter. I took out $10k in content coverage, thinking that I could get clothes and stuff myself - the important things were my cameras and computers. Now I learn that even though I paid for $10k in coverage - I don't get the $10k. I get what the policy dictates for what I have in the RV. Not for what I actually have. I'm shocked and unhappy to say the least. I'm not even sure it's worth traveling anymore when I think of all that I will lose if something happens to my RV. Close calls have a tendency to put things into perspective. So read your policy, ask questions. Plan ahead. Never in my wildest dreams did I ever think I'd be sitting in a Motel 6, eating takeout, trying to keep four dogs amused and bleeding money while my TT is sitting in a fenced in area at Camping World for who knows how long instead of enjoying the coolness of the Colorado Mountains in August. Last estimate was 2 to 3 weeks as the axle that has to be replaced is no longer stocked and is going to have to be custom made.

 

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Insurance coverage is also a problem on stix and bricks. I have full replacement coverage. However they only pay used value until you replace and pay for the items and there is a very limited time. This can be a real drain on your finances. We had accumulated quite a few tools when we built our house and the insurance would only pay after we replaced them with like items. So at a time when you are trying to recover from a crisis, pay deductibles and arrange repairs you also need to shop and spend.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I started thinking about what would have happened if the trailer burned - just which of my possessions would have been replaced. I listed the solar equipment, new tow setup, new electric tongue jack, etc. in additions to my TT. But I have about $5k in computers in my RV. Big iMac desktop, Macbook Pro laptop, new iPad, new iPod, and an HP mini computer. The insurance only pays $1k for computers. I have about $4k in camera equipment. Canon 60D & 7D with a 100/400 zoom lens and other lenses and paraphernalia. They only pay $500. It doesn't matter what you have in there and how much your stuff is worth - it's not covered. UNLESS you own a home and you can insure it under your homeowners insurance.

 

I found out about all of this the last time I was shopping for fulltimers insurance, and was just as surprised as you were. I'm really really glad I never had a claim in the previous 8 years because my insurance was all wrong.

 

The only reason it came up was because the amount of personal property coverage I could get was limited to a certain percentage of the value of my RV, and that wasn't going to be nearly enough to cover our stuff because of computers and bicycles. And then I found out that the limit on any one item was $500.

 

But I could get valuable personal property coverage for the big ticket items. (This is sometimes referred to as "scheduled property.") It's similar to what you can get with homeowners insurance, and maybe it's available because I have fulltimers coverage. My premium for valuable personal property is 1% of the item's value and it also covers the item if it's stolen while away from the RV.

 

Another advantage to insuring those items separately (as if actually being fully insured was not enough) is that they get taken out of the pool for the general personal effects coverage, and that amount then becomes much more feasible for replacing housewares and clothes and all that. At least it's in the realm of possibility.

 

Check with your insurance people to see if you can schedule your computers and cameras separately as valuable personal property. I got my coverage with Blue Sky from Thum Insurance, as a Texas "resident."

 

And if you check with them and find out something different from what I'm saying, by all means post about it here because I swear, it's so hard to get straight information about all of this. I went for a few years unwittingly not having true fulltimers coverage, and once I got that taken care of, I thought I was all set, but then a few years after that I found out about the personal effects business.

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So a good question to ask here is what insurance company (RV class A and toad) do you like for a FT RVer?

The only way to really get a good review of any company is to look at the way that they pay, or do not pay claims. A great deal of the answer to this is contingent upon what sort of coverage the RV owner chose to pay for. There are many personal items that you can only have insured if you list them as specific items and usually pay an additional premium for them. You really need to take a list of things with you to be sure are covered when you buy the insurance and even then you are to some degree at the mercy of the agent and his knowledge. With National Interstate insurance, I did get them to happily pay for a camera that cost a bit over $600 when it was stolen from our unlocked care while parked in our campsite back in 2001 and the camera was not a "listed item."

 

Part of the question is how much is the additional coverage actually worth to you? If you can get added coverage for housing and food in the event your RV is disabled, how much is that worth to you? Would you pay an extra 10 - 30% on the premiums for years on the chance that you may one day need it? If the loss of the RV for a time would force you to live under a bridge it is probably wise to pay that but if it would only mean getting extra money from your savings, probably not. I have never seen an extended warranty that covered much more than Molly's does, but if you could find it the price increase would be significant and I suspect that if an option most of us would not pay that added premium.

 

One of the major problems with most insurance is that very seldom do the buyers really understand the limits of coverage, completely. Some of that is our faults and some is that of the agent selling it. Very often when we start to compare the cost of different insurance policies, whether RV insurance of what is called extended warranties, we fail to grasp the differences in coverage that might explain price differences. Insurance is a very complicated thing and all policies have limits on what they will pay for various losses, particularly with regard to the things that we keep inside of our RVs. If you have anything that is of greater value than the typical RV owner in your RV, you then need to make sure that the insurance will cover it and if not, add an additional coverage rider to the policy to do so. Even a home owner's policy usually has some pretty limited coverage for personal items and for housing in the event of a loss, unless you add additional coverage at an additional cost.

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