Sunday, June 28, 2015

Motorhome Insurance Issues


Wesley Chapel, Florida (high hot and sticky, low almost as hot and equally sticky)


It’s too hot to do anything fun so we’ve been binge watching old TV series. We just finished Homeland and are going to start The Americans next. 

We had hoped to leave for Blairsville on July 8th, but Al has an emergency dental issue so it looks like we’ll be delayed another week.  It’s too bad because a cold front has moved in  up there, and the high tomorrow is supposed to be 78 with a low of 52.  Perfect!


Ok.  On to the insurance issues.

We have our cars insured with USAA and would prefer to have the motorhome insured with them as well since I know from personal experience how great they are when you have a claim.

Unfortunately, USAA doesn't offer insurance for RV’s or full-timers, so we went with National Interstate when we bought the coach.

The first two years we had no rate increases, but last year it went up about $200.  I called and was told it was due to a rate increase.  I didn’t go any further and just let it go.

This year when we got our renewal it was going up another $200. This time I decided I had better do some research and see if I could do any better.

Since I used to be an Insurance Adjuster, price is not the most important thing to me. I would rather have a company that has a great record in handling claims, than an insurance company that is cheap, but after two rate increases in two years, I decided enough is enough.

I called  Gilbert Insurance Agency who was the agency that handled our insurance for our old motorhome.  When we bought the coach from Lazy Days, I got a quote from their insurance department (yes, Lazy Days has their own insurance department) and saved quite a bit of money so we went with the Lazy Days Insurance Agency.

When we first bought our coach, we had “Agreed Value” on the policy.  This means that whatever value you agree on  at the time, is the value you get should you have a total loss.   The problem with that is that once your coach is so many years old (eight I think), they will no longer continue to insure it for the agreed value and it reverts back to ACV or actual cash value.

I noticed the additional premium for the agreed value coverage had dropped off last year, so I assumed all was well.

As it turns out, they had dropped the additional premium but still had the “rating basis” showing the higher amount that the coach was valued at when we bought it.

Like any vehicle, they drop in value each year and after 4 years it’s significantly less than when we bought it.  In the event of a total loss,we would only get the ACV (actual cash value) on the coach.

If you don’t have a new, or newer coach and have the Agreed Value coverage, you should check the first page of your Declaration Page to see if you have anything stating “rating basis” with a dollar amount.  Just because it says one amount, it does not mean you would get that amount if you had a total loss.  You would get ACV.

Since they dropped the coverage and the extra premium but neglected to change the rating basis, so we were actually still paying several hundred dollar more each year.

Once they changed the rating basis, our premium dropped $522 annually!

I got a few other quotes, one of which was from Progressive and they were higher than National Interstate even with the lower ACV value.

After a little research the agent at Lazy Days found coverage for us with Blue Sky for $765 less than what the renewal with National Interstate was going to be.  She insured me it was an A+ company.    I decided to increase our liability and UM limits and still saved a significant amount of money.

The only thing I don’t like about Blue Sky is that the maximum you can get for personal contents coverage is $15,000.   I would prefer that amount to be higher, but truthfully with the limited coverage you would get for contents coverage, you probably won’t need it anyway, unless you have a catastrophic loss like a fire. 

When you own a home and have your contents insured, the coverage is for covered losses anywhere in the world.  When you have contents coverage for a motorhome, the coverage is for the contents inside or attached to the motorhome, or in some cases within a few feet from the motorhome.

If you have expensive bikes and have them on the back of your car and they are stolen. No coverage from the RV policy and no coverage from the auto policy.  If you have an accident in your car which is your fault, no coverage on the auto policy because the bikes are not a part of the vehicle. The bicycle rack MIGHT be covered.

If it’s someone else’s fault, their property damage liability insurance would cover the bikes, provided they have high enough limits.   Just a heads up because I think many people are misinformed on how their contents in the motorhome are covered under their insurance.  As full-timers, we have a LOT of stuff inside our rigs.

If you still have a home somewhere, then your contents coverage would come from your homeowners insurance, and you should be fine, providing you have high enough limits.

If you have a home (like us) that you rent out, then you have what is called a “fire policy” on the home.  Your personal property is not covered, except for a small amount you have for appliances and the like inside the rental house.  The renters property is not covered either and if they are smart, they should have a renters policy, which is very inexpensive.

So, I would recommend you review your Rv policy and make you adequately insure yourselves.  I’ve seen too many cases where people had some sort of catastrophic loss and no insurance, or not enough insurance.   I’ll never forget the guy I spoke to once who’s house was flooded half way up the walls.  He neglected to buy flood insurance because “he wasn’t in a flood zone.”  The only thing he had left was the one car that had comprehensive coverage.  The other car had no comp coverage so wasn’t insured for the flood.  I felt very sorry for him.


  1. We just renewed too, and went thr several conversations about the declared value vs the actual value. We decided to lower the declared value too. Insurance is something you want to have but hope you never need. Soon we have to reconsider extended warrantee programs. Yuck.

  2. Great information Karen. We are looking forward to seeing you guys in Blairsville. Although it looks like it will warm up a bit before we get there.

  3. To my knowledge I have an "agreed value" policy, but I am going to review my policy today. I haven't had the opportunity to keep up with blog reading because of our poor connectivity location so I was surprised to see you are still in FL. The mountains are calling.

  4. Thanks for any other excellent post. Where else may just anyone get that type of info in such a perfect means of writing? I’ve a presentation next week, and I am at the look for such information.

  5. We have Blue Sky insurance and so far haven't had to use them which is a good thing. Lots of good information in this post so I hope a lot of folks read it and heed it.

  6. I am heading to the file folder now to read my insurance policy again. We're with National Interstate, and they will only give us $5,000 on the contents of the RV. We're carrying a fairly expensive rider on the bikes, and I often wonder if it would do any good if they were stolen. Thanks for writing this, it was very informative.

  7. great info at a great time for us as renewal is just around the corner...

  8. I'm with Nationwide, have been for over 20 years and have had great service from them. I'm a "happy camper". ;c)

  9. We have Blue Sky, and when we lost our motorhome in that RV Storage Park fire in March 2014 we had nothing but GOOD to say about how it was all handled. One thing I learned was that when it came to personal property, they did depreciate items if they were over a certain age. Since we don't FT, we only have $3,000 in personal property, and I struggled to reach $3,000 since all of our clothing, food, etc. was out of it since we were not using it at the time. Plus it is a Class C and not a Class A (can't hold as much stuff)

  10. We carry minimal insurance, with maximum deductibles. The very best way you can save on your insurance policy is to go with high deductibles.

  11. I'll make sure to double check our coverage as well. We're very happy with Miller as our broker, and our insurance is through National General.

  12. Great post Karen! Thanks for all the information and things to consider. I'm going to take a look at ours too. All our motor vehicles registered in Florida went up quite a bit these past two years and we were told it was "Florida" that did it. Looks like you've got a polite spammer a few comments up.

  13. Great info! I need to check our coverage out a little more carefully.

  14. Some excellent advice to those out on the road. Thank you for sharing this today! Bet it will help a lot of people!

  15. Very Nice blog content , Its really Helpfull to me same like this baby car safety seats


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