While I’m out gallivanting around on a paradise island in the Atlantic I thought I’d leave you with a post on insurance. I know, I know…it’s rather mean of me and you may want to stick your head in the sand rather than think about it (I sure know I do), but it’s one of those inevitable things that come up and just need doing. So, I thought now would be as good a time as any.
Now I should say up-front that I have no particular allegiance to any one insurance company and I rather suggest that you shouldn’t either. Insurance companies compete for business and regularly go through rate-raises (those “vanishing deductibles” always come back in $$ somehow). So, once a year I go out and shop . I stick with well-known companies, but I don’t discriminate as long as I get what I want. Our RV & car policy is currently with Geico and we’re happy with them, but if I got equal coverage at a better price from one of the other many reputable companies I’d be just as happy to leave them.
But I DO want fulltime RV insurance, it IS a slightly different beast than regular car insurance and for those of you considering this lifestyle it’s worth understanding the difference. I’m not an insurance broker so I won’t give you detailed info, but I’ll outline the general facts so you can go off a-happy insurance shopping on your own:
1/ Liability – When you fullime your RV becomes your home, so things that might have been covered under a “homeowners” insurance now needs to be covered under your RV insurance. With liability that usually means a higher value so that, for example, if someone slips and falls inside your RV you’re covered. Ask your insurance if you’re covered in camp (while parked) as well as on the road. Some insurance companies call this “fulltime” insurance.
2/ Personal Property – Since you carry everything you own in your RV you might want to look at the $$ of property coverage in your policy. Most standard policies come with some token amount (maybe about $5,000) of coverage, but if you’ve got a bunch of expensive stuff (computers, TVs, tow-bar, satellite dish, GPS, solar etc.) that you want to cover consider increasing this value. Ask the insurance whether coverage includes stuff attached to the RV which you’ve added after-market.
3/ Replacement Coverage – If something catastrophic happens and you manage to total your RV, you should be really clear on what kind of $$ you’ll get from your insurance. Some offer purchase price replacement, but this is usually only on new coaches. Most companies will cover the NADA (National Automobile Dealers Association) fair market value of your RV.
4/ Towing - My stance is that the majority of insurance companies really don’t know much about towing bigger rigs. So I always recommend ditching whatever they offer you and getting a separate towing package from one of the “experts”. CoachNet and Good Sam’s are the most-used companies and both get decent reviews from long-time RVers.
5/ Discounts and Deductibles - Of course you should always ask for discounts (good driver, anti-lock brakes, multiple vehicle etc.) and you always want to look at deductibles. My personal feeling on insurance is that it’s there to cover catastrophic events so I want the highest deductible I can afford. Remember that every single claim you make through your insurance company can potentially increase your coverage costs (sometimes by several magnitudes!) so you have to ask yourself if it’s really worth it. Our policy is never to claim the stuff we can afford to pay ourselves.
Rather than do all the work yourself I highly recommend going through brokers who are experienced in RV insurance and “talk the RV talk”. Here’s a couple of good names that make the rounds on the RV forums on a regular basis:
And with that I think I’ll take a tall drink by the pool overlooking the ocean….oh wait…I’m already there