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Motorhome Insurance for Those Who Roam

Written by Todd Clay. Posted in Definitions, Research Last Updated: 04/26/2011

Motorhomes are a unique mix-up of an auto and a home and you have the option of protecting your motorhome with your home and auto insurance or a specialty policy just for recreational vehicles.

Motorhome by a Mountain Lake

Having motorhome insurance protects you and the serenity of your vacation.

Motorhomes are a great way to get out and see the country. You take all of your belongings with you and you get to still sleep in your own bed every night even though you are on the road.

Motorhomes do offer a challenge to insure though as you can insure them on your auto policy and let the little bit of homeowners “off-premise” coverage protect what is inside or you could purchase motorhome insurance in the form of a RV insurance policy.

Insuring the Motorhome on Auto Insurance

There are circumstances that you can simply put your motorhome on an auto insurance policy. It is quick and easy if you already have an active auto policy and it will provide you instant coverage. The only problem is that it also only offers the same coverage as an auto policy and a motorhome is a little more complex than that.

With a motorhome you keep valuables inside and they are not covered by your auto insurance policy unless they are attached to the motorhome itself. Your homeowner’s policy could step in and cover the items inside the motorhome in the event that they are destroyed or damaged, but it is only done so at 10% of what personal belongings coverage you have on your homeowner’s policy as the items are considered to be “off-premise”.

You also have liability issues with motorhomes that are outside the coverage of the basic auto insurance policy.

Specialty RV Insurance for your Motorhome

The best avenue to take in insuring your motorhome is to purchase a specialty policy for it, also known as RV insurance. RV insurance offers coverage beyond the auto policy and also the homeowner’s policy for the motorhome and what is kept inside of it. At the same time it also offers additional insurance for issues that may arise in the use of the motorhome such as:

  • Liability coverage for injuries and damages to visiting parties at campsites
  • Replacement of the items kept in the RV
  • Higher limits for towing coverage
  • Living expenses if you are living in your RV and it is a total loss due to damages
  • Gap coverage
  • Reimbursement for hotel stays and transportation if your RV is incapacitated

These are just some of the additional coverages that may be available on a RV policy for your motorhome. The actual coverages depend on the insurance company that you purchase the policy from.

Protecting What’s Inside your Motorhome

The valuables that you keep inside your motorhome should be treated just the same as the valuables that you keep inside your home. You need to keep high priced items tucked away out of the sight of would be thieves and you have to take extra care in making sure that breakable items don’t shift around and break while you are in transit.

Another good practice is to inventory everything that you keep inside your motorhome. You can use a video camera to record everything or you can simply write it all down. Don’t forget to include the make, model and serial number of the items and if you are adding higher priced items, keep all the receipts. You are completing this inventory in the case that your motorhome is destroyed or stolen so that you have a record of everything to provide to your insurance company for compensation.

Should I Drop Full Coverage?

Written by Michele Wilmonen. Posted in Research Last Updated: 04/26/2011

You should drop full coverage on your vehicle when the premium exceeds the amount the insurance company would pay for your vehicle or you simply cannot afford the premium of full coverage.

Woman Pondering if she Should Drop Full Coverage

Dropping full coverage from your insurance policy is something that needs to be carefully thought about.

An insurance policy that has full coverage is a policy that has comprehensive and collision coverage on the policy in addition to the mandatory liability coverage.

Having full coverage on your vehicle protects you from financial hardships if you are in an accident and your vehicle is damaged. This coverage will pay for most damages to your car and all you have to pay out of pocket is your deductible.

Before you make any changes to your policy always consult your insurance agent as there are times that keeping the full coverage on your vehicle is mandatory or will save you more money in the long run than what you would save if you dropped the coverage. But, if you feel that having full coverage on your vehicle may not be what you need right now, you need to ask your agent: “should I drop full coverage?”

Vehicle is Not Worth Much

If your vehicle is an older model and not in very good condition or the vehicle just does not have a high value the premium that you may be paying for full coverage on your older vehicle may be more than the insurance company will ever end up paying out for it. Instead it may be a good idea to cancel the full coverage on your vehicle and just put the money that you would be paying for the insurance aside to cover any damages that may happen to the vehicle.

If you are good at not spending this money, you will even have a down payment for a new vehicle if you older vehicle is totaled in an accident.

You Have the Cash to Pay for Damages

If you can afford to pay out of pocket for any damages that may happen to your car or a down payment on a new car if your vehicle is totaled, it makes no sense to pay an insurance company to do something that you can do yourself. If you never get into a car accident and the insurance company never has to pay out on any claims, you basically just wasted your money

You Cannot Afford Full Coverage

Sometimes no matter how hard you try the ends just don’t meet. To save money in your monthly budget you may want to consider dropping your full coverage on your vehicle as you only need the liability coverage to legally drive. However, if you were to get into an accident you are on your own to get your vehicle fixed and if your vehicle is declared a total loss by an adjuster you will have to find a different mode of transportation to get where you need to go until you can get the money together to get a new vehicle.

So keep in mind the consequences if you do drop full coverage on your vehicle and consider if the risk is worth the money you will be saving each month.

What Causes Auto Insurance Increases?

Written by Michele Wilmonen. Posted in Rates, Research Last Updated: 04/23/2011

Auto insurance can increase because of your own driving habits and also for reasons that are out of your control, like other drivers — and the economy.

Car Climbing the Increasing Stacks of Insurance Premium

Many factors can make your auto insurance continue to increase.

Insurance rates go up for all different kinds of reasons, some of the reasons you can control and some you cannot. Factors such as other driver’s unsafe driving, weather and the economy are all factors that you have no control over.

But, the one thing that you can control is your own driving habits, which is the one factor that is what causes auto insurance increases the fastest.

The Economy Increases Auto Insurance

While this one can’t be seen immediately it does have an effect on your insurance premiums.  An insurance company usually doesn’t just have their business dealings in auto insurance. They have investments, they are insuring businesses and homes and they themselves are usually owned by stock holders.

So when the economy takes a down turn and stocks start to fall, businesses fail and homeowners stop paying their insurance premiums insurance companies start to lose money. They have to still turn a profit so that their own stock holders don’t start selling their stock and they do this by raising rates on the clients they still have, including car insurance customers.

Statistics Increase Auto Insurance

Insurance is all about numbers and insurance companies love statistics.  Statistics show what categories of drivers are the safest, what geographic locations have the highest theft rates and what credit ratings are most likely to commit insurance fraud. A negative change in the statistics of any of the categories that you are in can make your insurance go up at your next renewal.

Other Drivers Increase Auto Insurance

Your driving record is not the only driving record that can make your insurance premiums go up. Drivers that are not even insured with your insurance company have a large impact on making insurance premiums go up, especially uninsured drivers. When an uninsured driver hits another driver that is insured with your insurance company, your insurance company has to pay out for the damages for their driver (if there is coverage).

This means that there is no other insurance company to reimburse your insurance company and getting the money that was paid out for the accident from the other person can take a long time. So to make up for the money they had to pay out, they increase everyone’s premiums.

You Make Auto Insurance Increase

The only factor that you have any real control over is your own driving habits and how safe of a driver you are. Drivers that cause accidents and are ticketed for unsafe driving are going to be charged higher insurance rates. Insurance companies want to collect as much premium as they can on these unsafe drivers before they cause the accident that they are at high risk to.

Driving safe and obeying traffic laws will keep your insurance premiums down. Also if you are a good driver and go a certain period of time without a ticket or an accident, not only will you be paying lower rates, you could also qualify for good driver discounts that could decrease your premiums even further.

Car Insurance Card for Proof of Insurance

Written by Michele Wilmonen. Posted in Definitions, Research Last Updated: 04/23/2011

Car insurance cards are the compact version of your insurance policy and should be kept in your vehicle at all times to provide proof that you have valid insurance.

Evidence of Insurance

Not all proof of auto insurance comes in the form of a card.

A car insurance card is your verification of proof that you have insurance coverage in place on your vehicle and are carrying the minimum amount of insurance required by your state.

Insurance cards come in many different shapes and sizes and are needed for a wide array of reasons. But, one thing that is the same no matter what is that just like your driver’s license, you have to have it with you whenever you drive your vehicle.

What’s On an Insurance Card?

The front on an insurance card contains all of the important information that pertains to you and your coverage. It includes the name of the company that you are insured with, your vehicle information, the name of the person that holds the policy, policy number and your policy effective dates.

The back of the card can vary from company to company, but usually contains how to contact your insurance company with questions about your policy or how to file a claim. It could also list the steps that you need to go through in the event of accident, to keep everyone safe from any additional harm and to gather the information that you need for an insurance claim.

What Insurance Card?

Not every insurance company sends out an actual insurance card. The insurance card is simply proof of insurance and can take many forms; the phrase insurance card has just become a universal term for all small sized verifications of insurance.

Some companies provide two 4”x4” pieces of paper that are separated from the rest of the paperwork in the insurance packet. Others have a single insurance verification that is the same width as the rest of the insurance packet but only 1/3 the length. No matter the size, it is important to pull the verification out of the packet and keep it with you when you drive.

Why Do I Need a Car Insurance Card?

Your car insurance card is your proof that you have at least the minimum liability insurance that is required to be able to drive in your state. This verification is needed first and foremost in the case you are pulled over for a traffic violation. The officer that pulls you over is also going to check that you are carrying the minimum insurance on your vehicle or you will be getting a second ticket.

Insurance cards provide the needed information that needs to be exchanged with the other party in the case of a case accident. They are also required when you want to drive a vehicle that is not yours, such as test driving a new vehicle from a car lot or if you are renting a car.

Where Should I Keep My Card?

A good number of people keep their insurance card in their wallet thinking that this is the best place to put it as they always will have it with them. But what happens if you have multiple drivers in the house or you allow someone else to drive your vehicle?

Insurance coverage follows the vehicle you are insuring, not the driver so it is best to actually keep your insurance car with the vehicle.

Auto Insurance Call Center Tips

Written by Michele Wilmonen. Posted in Research Last Updated: 04/18/2011

How to get what you need when you call an auto insurance call center, not be treated as a hostile client and have your issues resolved without additional agitation.

Auto Insurance call Center Agents

Agents working in auto insurance call centers are people just like you.

We all have horror stories of being treated badly by someone on the other end of the phone when we call a company’s call center. But, call center agents have the same horror stories to tell about the clients that they have talked to. Here are some tips from a former auto insurance call center agent on how to get more from your phone call and not end up as one of the horror clients that they talk about.

1) Being Nice Could Save You Money

Call center agents are attached to their phones anywhere from 8 to 12 hours a day and no matter how good at customer service they may be, all call center agents get tired and have a snapping point. If you call in and are immediately rude we do everything that we can to get you off the phone as quick as possible even if that means not offering any additional assistance that you may benefit from.

The nicer and more friendly you are with the person that you are talking to the more they will do to assist you, which could include offering you tips on how to save more on your insurance rates.

2) You Only Get One Warning

If your call takes a turn for the worse and you allow a certain category of explicatives to escape your lips, you will only be warned once to stop. Call center agents are here to help you with your insurance needs, not to be abused. If you insist on continuing to use these types of words you will be hung up and then will have to start over with the next person that you get on the phone.

In addition to being hung up on, you can almost be certain that the person you spoke to at the auto insurance call center will have put very detailed notes on your file as to the conversation that you had with them. Every person you speak to at that company from there on will read those notes and you will be treated as a hostile client every time you call in so it is best not to go down that road.

3) Keep It Short

Auto insurance call center agents are timed on everything. How long they are away from the phone if they need break, how long they take in between phone calls to finish up work and how long they take to help you. A good call center agent will help you until your problem is resolved and will not rush you through any call. But, as polite as they act they really don’t want to hear about your vacation, your kids, pets, entire insurance history and especially about any medical procedures that you have had or will have.

4) Ask for a Call Center Supervisor

If you are already upset before you even call, you need to immediately ask to speak to a supervisor. The first person that answers the phone generally cannot do anything for you and you will just get angrier if they attempt to help you and either doesn’t understand your problem or they end up defensive and argue with you.

Supervisors have usually been with the company longer and have dealt with all types of issues so they most likely can resolve your problem if it is reasonable. They are also paid more to handle upset callers and asking to speak to a supervisor also prevents you have having to tell your story more than once.

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