// RV Insurance Buyer Beware | Rolling Shoe Box //
About everything in life requires Insurance, and RV living, is no exception, and that brings us to this article on RV insurance. For years, we insured all of our vehicles, and our home through USAA which we love. Our first travel trailer new off the lot in 2003, cost us a whopping $9.00 a month for full coverage insurance. Later on, in 2009 we purchased our first new class A’ Safari Passage, a 32′ gasoline powered rig RV for just under $70,000. USAA changed its policy and was no longer insuring Motor homes in-house; but began contracting the policies out to progressive insurance. They gave us a $100,000 liability policy for about $480 per year. When we converted to full-time RV’ing the insurance jumped to $980.00 a year, but $250,000 liability policy was added. This full-timers policy adds coverage in case someone gets hurt while in your campsite and sues you for the injury. The policy also covers you in the event that one of your kids rearranges the side of a parked car with their bike. This policy even covered the hole a contractor put in our RV while washing it. Like all insurance companies, Progressive does raise their rates from time to time. The second year out on the road, they increased our rates to $1,400.00; but to be fair we got a traffic ticket in the great state of Texas for doing 10mph over the speed limit. Small town cops are an incredible nuisance when revenue generation overshadows the duty of deterrence by presence. That is another story for another day.
We purchased a 2006 Holiday Rambler diesel pusher in December 2011. Progressive wanted $1,800 per year for the same coverage; that was too much to stomach. We shopped high and low, and were not getting any warm fuzzy feelings. The dealer Paul Everett RV whom we really like turned us on to Allied Insurance a subsidiary of Amco insurance which is a subsidiary of Nationwide insurance. Since we give these companies a rating of “F” in customer service, we are not including a link to their site. We purchased a one year policy through them for $1,100 a year. This is excellent, and the full coverage policy refunds our purchase price in the event the rig is totaled or stolen. What could possibly go wrong. (Research their complaint records)
While doing our annual year end number crunching session in December of 2012 we noticed they never sent us a bill for a policy renewal. Athena called Allied up and was told to call an agent: Brown and Brown of Kentucky. They were very nice, gave her a new number of $1,097 for 2013, we were impressed as this was even less than last year. Athena did not want to pay the full year up front this time, so she asked them to switch to monthly payments automatically drawn from our checking account. They agreed to do this and told us the first withdrawal may not come out in time for the bill and that they would like the first payment done manually. We waited for the bill, but it did not arrive in time for us to pay it on the due date, so we logged on to their customer payment portal and saw the money had been withdrawn from our checking account. So we assumed all was good.
Now comes a peril of RV Living!
When you live on the road, mail does not get to you as rapidly as it did in your house. Most of us are prepared for that, we have our bills automagically taken out of our checking accounts, have automatic bill pay, and do internet banking. This for the most part works great. Until now, we have not had even one issue. The person who handles our mail is awesome, but since he is family, he is not for hire, just in case you were wondering. He looks over every piece of mail we get, if it is an overdue notice due to a fee change, or even a letter from aunt Mildred, he is all over it. Most of our mail he scans into his computer and sends to us vial email. So we like to think we are up on the snail mail side of things. Athena on Friday was looking at the checking account, and it was showing we had $200.00 more than we should have. Fortunately she did not just walk away and buy me a well earned steak dinner. She instead did the research, and found that the payments to Allied had not been going out. I got on the computer later in the day logged on to Allied, but it would not let me on to the site, it said we no longer had any accounts with them. Thinking that was rather strange I called the number on our insurance card and spoke to the representative at Allied. We were told our policy had been discontinued due to non payment back in December. He noted that they had taken the payment out of our bank account, but new accounts cannot be paid via auto pay until a manual payment is made, therefore they put the money back in our account and when we did not manually pay the premium within a few days of the December 19th due date; they cancelled our policy. We asked them why they did not call us, send us an email, or a cancellation notice. The reply was “Nationwide is a very large company, and we do not have time for such things”. I told him, it was obvious Nationwide is much too big of company for me, and I would be looking for a smaller company that recognized customers as an asset.
I nearly had a nervous breakdown that day and am still barely recovered. Earlier in the day we drove to town so Holly could take an exam on her computer, we could not do that at the RV park here as the park internet was down, and our Verizon Hotspot was barely getting a signal even with the booster up. Att had no signal at all. While Holly was in the library taking her exam, Athena, Sarah and I decided to go to Barnes and Nobles. I can walk, but standing and bending are not my forte, so when looking for and getting gooks from the bottom shelves, I will often sit on the floor. I am telling you, California is a weird state! A lady working at the store told us it was against the rules to sit on the floor. When I told her I was looking for books about colleges and financial aid, she said that’s nice, but I could do it somewhere else. We promptly left Barns and Nobles and we left the $100 worth of books we were planning to buy at the store. Even though Amazon insists on shipping via US mail which is a pain for us to get because the RV parks will not accept it, I would rather deal with Amazon, than be treated like that.
Now that you know how the earlier part of the day went, you can only imagine the lump in my stomach when I found out that we have been driving the RV all over California for the last month with no insurance! Then to top it off, when I told the Nationwide rep I needed better service and maybe a smaller company would be the right answer, he said, call Brown and Brown, they will find you a smaller company. He also said Brown and Brown was only open weekdays, so we have to go a few more days without insurance.
Few Time in our lives was a decision so clear
Being the neurotic individual that I am, I got on the internet as soon as I could get a connection. I checked out USAA, but they were still farming out to Progressive, Geico, then I remembered that I am a Good Sam Club Life time member, so I thought I check out the benefits they had to offer. Turned out that they use GMAC insurance. They had a very simple form that we had to fill out. They came up with a quote that matched what we were getting from Nationwide for about the same price. In less than half an hour, we replaced Nationwide with Good Sam Club RV Insurance and had our new proof of insurance in hand; hot off our printer. Few times have we had so much instant gratification. Can think of only a few since we bought and inhaled that five-pound Girradelli’s chocolate bar in San Francisco.
We hope, we never need the insurance and we hope we never get to write an article about how Good Sam Insurance handles claims.
Good Evening and good night…