As the RVing season continues to ramp up and hit full stride, the RV insurance claims season will also continue to ramp up. Because of the nature of RVs, motor homes and travel trailers spend much of their time parked. While they remain subjected to the elements, a very real risk, the risk of damage is decreased as their road exposure is minimized. However, there are two interesting trends we have seen in our agency, when it comes to RV insurance claims.
1. The majority of claims occur within the first 90 days of ownership or at the beginning of the season. This is due to the nuances and size of RVs. Most drivers aren’t accustomed to the wide angles, required clearance, and space in general that is required to maneuver their rig. There is no question that there is safety in experience when it comes to driving RVs or towing travel trailers.
2. Experience does not eliminate claims, but it seems to change the nature of the claim. With experience, claims are less about hitting the post at the gas station, taking out the top of the rig trying to fit under an underpass with low clearance, and become what we call the “I forgot” claims. “I forgot to unhook the utility and or plumbing connections.” “I Forgot to lock the slide/pop up or awning.” The list goes on and on.
What’s interesting is the number of claims that fall into the “I forgot” category, and while many of these are not catastrophic, they can exceed the deductible, and claims equal higher insurance rates. There are many checklists one can find regarding the purchase, storage, or RV season preparation. What about a checklist to help you avoid the “I forgot” insurance claims? Below is a checklist provided by RV Insurance provider International Insurance Group, Inc. (http://www.iigins.com) which should be used before you pull out of the campground to hit the road.
1. Check all fluids and tire pressure on your tow vehicle.
2. Check your battery charge.
3. Check RV wheel lug nut torque and tire pressure.
4. Check propane tanks and generator levels – fill if necessary.
5. Fuel tow vehicle before hooking up.
6. Items inside camper secured, counters cleared, and cabinets latched?
7. TV Secure?
8. Roof vents and windows closed?
9. Air conditioning off?
10. Awning stowed and secured?
11. Slides checked for water and debris?
12. Inside RV clear of items in slide path?
13. Slides closed and locked?
14. Refrigerator off or running on DC?
15. Black and gray takes empty?
16. Black and gray tank valves closed?
17. Treatment chemicals and small amount of water added to black tank?
18. Cable/phone, electricity, sewer hose, and water hose disconnected and stored?
19. Water pump off?
20. RV lights off?
21. Propane tank valves closed?
22. All trash removed?
23. Stabilizer Jacks raised or removed?
24. King pin lock removed if applicable?
25. RV breakaway switch, umbilical cord, sway bars, and safety chains attached where applicable?
26. Tongue or leveling jacks raised? Leveling blocks stored?
27. Chocks removed and stored?
28. All doors and panels on RV locked?
29. RV and tow vehicle lights working?
30. RV brakes checked?
31. RV brakes checked?!?
32. Walk around RV complete? No items left behind? Jacks up?
By using this checklist, RVers can help to avoid some of these pesky "I Forgot" claims.