The following is a continuation of a previous blog which you can read here.
Research insurance policies carefully before purchasing your plan. Reading all that legalese, especially in such fine print can be a real headache, that’s for sure. But could it be as big a headache as finding out, too late, that you are not covered as you believed you are?
Make sure you transfer your insurance as soon as you trade your RV in so that your new RV is covered sufficiently, and that you are not responsible for damage the next driver of your former RV causes.
Notify your insurance when you sell or trade your RV. “RV Purchase Scams” talks about how some unethical RV dealerships don’t pay off the loans on RVs they take in trade, leaving the previous owner liable for the loan. The same can happen with insurance and with titling. An unethical buyer or dealer may intentionally attempt to file an insurance claim against your policy if they think there is any way they can make a buck doing so.
If the RV remains in your name and is involved in an accident, you may be held liable, and your insurance company may be brought into the claim, even if they don’t cover the loss. Such claims can cause them to raise your rates.
Notify the DMV when you sell or trade your RV. If you haven’t taken steps to notify the DMV and your insurance carrier that you no longer own your old RV, you may end up with a claim filed against your insurance, or a liability suit because the RV is still titled in your name. While this, too, is not necessarily an insurance company-caused scam, it is a potential scam involving a claim against your insurance.
As for notifying the DMV about a title change, just do it ASAP. In one example, my daughter failed to notify the DMV when she had her car towed to a junk yard, expecting it to be sold for parts. The junker fixed up the car, which was later given a parking ticket. The ticket was issued to my daughter because no one else registered the car in their name. She had no other proof or recourse, and ended up paying the ticket. Fortunately, the ticket was just for a parking violation and not an accident or something more serious.
Protect yourself when consigning an RV. If you choose to sell your RV on consignment make sure your insurance covers any losses from damage on their lot, by their customers or staff, or if it is stolen. Better yet, make sure the company taking your consignment has insurance to cover your losses, and that they sign a contract assuming responsibility for your RV while under their control, including anyone they allow to test drive your RV.
Protect yourself when renting an RV. If you’re renting an RV for your trip, make sure that your personal auto insurance is not responsible for your RV rental. Do a thorough walkthrough and test drive the RV you are renting. Note every single flaw including normal wear and tear. Take photos or video of each and have the date appear on the image if possible.
Some unethical RV rental agencies rush renters through the paperwork, skip the checklist, and have you verify that you have homeowner’s or vehicle insurance that covers your rental. When you return the RV they file a claim with your insurance company for every bit of damage claiming that it all occurred during your rental period.
Is It Really Insurance?
Insurance is regulated by your state insurance commission. Insurance is sold by licensed agents and you can confirm your agent’s license with your state commissioner. Legitimate travel insurance won’t use terms like trip protection or protection plan. Your policy should clearly state that it is travel insurance, liability insurance, etc. Ultimately you will be responsible for your coverage. Rather than take the agent’s word for what is covered, read the policy itself, so, know, don’t just trust.
Some travel agents have been offering insurance coverage that has turned out to be a scam, unknown even to them. You can check at A.M. Best to find out whether your agent represents a highly rated company, or the U.S. Travel Insurance Association to see if the company is a member required to adhere to legal and ethical standards.
RV Warranty Scams
Some RV owners have lost even “lifetime” warranty coverage after the company that provided the original RV warranty sold out to another company, which, in turn, did not honor the lifetime warranty provision.
Warranty scams can be searched on the Internet under “warranty fraud.” The numerous reports are enough to make anyone pause before signing that dotted line. While one company seemed to be named in most RV warranty complaints on one website, another RV warranty company seemed to be the focus on another site.
Carefully research any warranty you plan to purchase, including those that come with your RV, RV appliance or RV parts purchase. You may not have much to say about what the included warranty covers, but you should know whether it’s enforceable should another company buy it.
RV insurance and warranties are ripe for scammers. Both are areas where RV buyers can be taken in very easily. It’s wise to research these policies before you buy. And don’t just investigate the kinds of insurance or warranty coverage you need, but the track record of the company that covers you, as well. Find out who has the best rates, reputation, and how long they’ve been in business.