Insurance that Truly Covers Actual RV Value - Fiberglass RV


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Old 04-14-2020, 08:41 PM   #1
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Name: Darryl
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Insurance that Truly Covers Actual RV Value

I am looking for a top rated insurance company that specifies how it covers replacement value on claims for damage and theft losses.
Ive had State Farm for years. I just called my agent and he claims vaguely that the replacement value is based on MSRP, which doesnt make sense. I asked for that detail in writing and he deferred, saying he had never serviced such a RV claim and would get back to me.
Ive read that typically insurance companies establish value using book value from the old Kelly Blue Book and NADA Guides for fiberglass travel trailers. Fiberglass trailers dont depreciate at the rate of stick built trailers, so those guides are wildly inaccurate in estimating current market value.
Please share your experience and knowledge.
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Old 04-15-2020, 05:33 AM   #2
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We have a true replacement policy through Progressive. For the first 5 years, if anything happens to our Escape, they would replace it with a new one.
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Old 04-15-2020, 05:51 AM   #3
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If your buying new then I would second the suggestion of Progressive's full replacement option.
If insuring an older FBRV then I guess you would have to establish the fair market value through comp sales and present that data to the insurance company when making a claim. If they don't agree then you have recourse through regulatory agencies or even a lawsuit. Self-insurance is another option.
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Old 04-15-2020, 06:07 AM   #4
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What trailer are we talking about, and what kind of policy are you looking for?

I am familiar with three types of policies, full replacement, actual cash value, and agreed value. Full replacement is only for new or near-new units, and the full replacement provision only applies during the first so many years, then it reverts to...

Actual cash value means the fair market value at time of loss. These are the garden variety plans, like yours from State Farm (I have the same). As you have noted, they typically pay out based on NADA, which significantly undervalues used molded fiberglass trailers. However...

You can fight for a higher valuation at time of loss by collecting comps- recent sales of similar units on the various fiberglass listing sites. A number of members have reported getting satisfactory settlements that way. I am prepared to do so. I have no illusions it would allow me to fully replace the trailer with one in like condition but expect it would at least cover my purchase cost 8 years ago and give me a running start toward a replacement. I bear some of the risk, which I accept in return for a very modest premium.

Agreed value policies are a specialty product, typically used by owners of vintage units that have undergone a comprehensive restoration. Receipts and/or an independent appraisal are required to establish the agreed value. Not too many insurers offer this type of coverage.
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Old 04-15-2020, 06:24 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by GregandTeresa View Post
We have a true replacement policy through Progressive. For the first 5 years, if anything happens to our Escape, they would replace it with a new one.
Yes, that sounds like the best plan for a new trailer. After that I think we are stuck with less than satisfactory options. At least we don't have to pay a lot for it
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Old 04-15-2020, 06:58 AM   #6
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Yes, that sounds like the best plan for a new trailer. After that I think we are stuck with less than satisfactory options. At least we don't have to pay a lot for it
Exactly. When you remember that insurance is a game in which the house always wins, I don’t think it makes sense to over-insure a non-essential item like an RV.

I can understand for a brand new one, you might want strong coverage during the time you rebuild your savings or pay off a loan. I can also understand if the RV is your primary home, you might want stronger coverage to be able to replace it quickly. A loss could have significant lifestyle implications.

Finally, I can understand those who have invested substantial amounts of time and money in restoration resulting in an irreplaceable, a one-of-a-kind trailer wanting to protect that investment.

Much as I would hate to lose my Scamp, my lifestyle does not depend on it, and it is replaceable.
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Old 04-15-2020, 07:55 AM   #7
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Yes, that sounds like the best plan for a new trailer. After that I think we are stuck with less than satisfactory options. At least we don't have to pay a lot for it
So we are basically about 3 1/2 years in, after the 5th year, we will definitely re-evaluate to see what we really need. But yes, for the money that it's costing each month, it's nice to know that we could get a new one if worst case did happen.
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Old 04-15-2020, 09:44 AM   #8
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A friend of mine completely restored a 1970's Airstream that he put $10K of materials and countless hours of his own labor into. The insurance appraisal was based on "book" value and was quite low. He was able to establish a value of $38K by sending lots of photos to a business that does appraisals of trailers and subsequently has it insured for that amount.
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Old 04-15-2020, 01:49 PM   #9
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I would say, in general, insure for the risk you want to avoid. For example, hypothetical $20K trailer with an $8K NADA value might cost $200 to insure per year. You are taking $12K of the $20K risk. If you want to buy all $20K, and insure completely, that might cost $500 per year. If you are a betting person, and bet your risk is really lower than priced, keep the $300. If not, spend it and enjoy risk-free trailer life.
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Old 04-15-2020, 01:57 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Spongelander View Post
I would say, in general, insure for the risk you want to avoid. For example, hypothetical $20K trailer with an $8K NADA value might cost $200 to insure per year. You are taking $12K of the $20K risk. If you want to buy all $20K, and insure completely, that might cost $500 per year. If you are a betting person, and bet your risk is really lower than priced, keep the $300. If not, spend it and enjoy risk-free trailer life.
I'm not clear how you would do that- insure a trailer with a NADA value of $8K for $20K. Other than specialty insurers offering agree-value policies, I don't anyone who will write that policy. And for an agreed-value policy you have to prove the value. It's not like life insurance. Thoughts?
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Old 04-15-2020, 02:03 PM   #11
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we have 'declared value' converage through Progressive. We simply showed them what we paid for our used trailer, and some examples of even older ones with similar high values, and they accepted our declared value and wrote the policy accordingly. I really like the plain language of their policy, its not obfuscated in piles of legalese, and spells out exactly what they cover.
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Old 04-15-2020, 02:48 PM   #12
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Insurance

You can insure anything at any value, as long as you are willing to pay enough for it. To get higher coverage, you will pay the appropriate price for it -- as determined by the insurance underwriters. Some of the auto insurance companies brag in their TV ads that their policies cover more value. Yes, that might be true, but you will be paying for that added coverage. There is no free lunch, and no free coverage.

I learned a long time ago in my university business management class that insurance is, on the average, a losing proposition. The insurance company knows what the risks are (including the chance of loss and the amount covered), and they charge you for that -- plus their operating costs and their profit. As my professor told the class, the only time that insurance makes sense is if the insured would be financially unable or greatly damaged by having to pay for the loss on their own.

In the long run and on average, the more insurance and kinds of insurance you have, the more of your money is taken out of your pocket and enriches the insurance company owners or stockholders.

The only other time insurance is not a losing proposition is if one has a very special situation that the insurance company does not realize, such that the insurance company has not included that special risk in calculating the price that they charge you. For example, if the only good place you have to park your trailer is next to a huge old tree that you fear may fall and destroy your trailer some day, the insurance company probably will not inspect your property and will not realize that risk when they offer you a standard insurance policy for your trailer. The price for that policy would be the same for a trailer that was not normally parked in a dangerous place, so you would avoid the special risk of the tree falling on your trailer without having to pay for it.
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Old 04-15-2020, 02:50 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by GatorCasita View Post
....
The only other time insurance is not a losing proposition is if one has a very special situation that the insurance company does not realize, such that the insurance company has not included that special risk in calculating the price that they charge you. For example, if the only good place you have to park your trailer is next to a huge old tree that you fear may fall and destroy your trailer some day, the insurance company probably will not inspect your property and will not realize that risk when they offer you a standard insurance policy for your trailer. The price for that policy would be the same for a trailer that was not normally parked in a dangerous place, so you would avoid the special risk of the tree falling on your trailer without having to pay for it.
and even then, the insurance company might just try to sue the owner of the tree, claiming its their negligence that caused the loss.
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Old 04-15-2020, 02:56 PM   #14
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and even then, the insurance company might just try to sue the owner of the tree, claiming its their negligence that caused the loss.
Yes, they might...but very hard to prove and win that in court. Even so, that is just another point that shows insurance is, on average and in the long run, a losing proposition.

Folks can make their own decisions as to how much they are willing to pay for the comfort of insurance...but they should know that they are paying for it, plus operating costs and profits.
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Old 04-17-2020, 08:05 AM   #15
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One way to determine the REAL MARKET VALUE of your Older or Vintage RV/Trailer is to PAY for a professional appraisal on your RV from a professional appraiser that is recognized in the insurance industry for RV valuations. Do this BEFORE you attempt to secure an "Agreed Value" or for that matter any insurance policy on your RV or Camper Trailer.

Having a professional appraisal from a recognized professional in your hand before attempting to bind "Agreed Insurance Coverage" on your trailer at the proper valuation amount of coverage will will make the whole process of binding proper insurance coverage much easier from the git go.

Yes it will COST YOU MONEY upfront for the professional appraisal however that upfront expenditure might save you LOTS OF MONEY down the road if you have an insurance claim loss in the future.

Here is a good place to start for a Professional RV Appraisal. James Polk has many years of experience and is a professionally recognized and accepted RV appraiser by all the major insurance carriers:

https://polkassociates-llc.com/rvs/
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Old 04-23-2020, 01:08 AM   #16
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We bought a 2005 Bigfoot 25RQ last summer, 1,800 miles away from us. Before we left on the trip, I wanted to get our insurance lined up. I called Geico and explained that fiberglass trailers held their value over the years compared to the typical RV even though it was a 14-year-old trailer. If it was ever totaled or stolen we very likely would not be able to replace it right away since finding any used 25RQ for sale was like finding a needle in a haystack. I went on to say that we would have to travel very far to get it and we would be competing against other buyers. She checked her Bigfoot file and said they could go up to $51,000. They have an RV division and knew all about the Bigfoot. We even got a discount since we have Berkshire stock and they own Geico!
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