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View Full Version : To file a claim or not to file a claim that is the question



tomseeley
11-10-2008, 09:55 AM
I have had a couple close encounters of the wrong kind, with my travel trailer and stop signs, gas station awning overhangs, etc. I've also blown out a tire, which broke off both water line low point drains when the tire disintegrated. I've dealt with the tire and piping at my own expense, but I haven't had the fiberglas damage repaired yet. I plan to do that at a local RV service/body shop before the end of this calendar year.

My question now is: what should I expect to happen to my RV insurance rates if I submit claims for any or all of these problems? Assuming one or more of them is covered at all. Obviously, if a claim isn't covered at all, I wouldn't expect my rates to go up, but how could I find out whether they would or not, other than by revealing to the insurance company that I had the problems at all!?

I can't very well say "IF I had such and such a problem and I filed a claim and you covered it, would you increase my rates?" and expect them to forget that I ever asked, even if I decide not to file a claim at all!

I'm already paying almost 25% more per year because when I applied I was honest and I told them I had totalled my former RV (with a different insurance company), so they're already charging me extra. I don't want to make a bad situation worse, but I do want to avail myself of whatever protection I'm paying for, I think.

What should I do?

Burt Gifford
11-10-2008, 11:15 AM
Tom, I don't know with whom you're insured but why not just call them and ask, "How much would my rates go up if I file this claim." People ask that frequently of their insurance companies. OTOH, if your cost to repair is low, why bother?

foxyrvlady
11-10-2008, 11:18 AM
Speaking from experience, Tom, you probably will see your rates on the Comprehensive go up. We carried zero deductible on all our vehicles on our USAA policy--still do on the car and truck. Our bad luck wasn't the same as yours--two breakins at the storage lot on our Nash--small claims--one for a small window--but a rather spendy one on that trailer when our awning deployed on the road in a 35 mph headwind. Our complete awning ripped off--including the frame, when we hit a roadside fog/snowplow marker. Had some siding and window frame damage. We also blew a tire and ripped up the wheel well--luckily on a 26J there wasn't any critical things routed through that side. The Fox was the straw that broke the camel's back--a $2800 repair bill (no deductible!) when the line my husband installed from the accumulator tank blew off when we weren't in the trailer and the tank emptied--all water going underneath. The trailer was 3 months old--but it wasn't covered under warranty--our fault. On our next 6 months renewal we were given the choice of a $500 deductible (same cost as the zero) or drop the coverage. Since then we had another awning disaster, caused by a repair shop, and another $700 bill. We didn't claim that one--so it has now been 6 years since a claim. Hopefully a member with insurance experience will chime in--our insurance company knew about the Fox awning--I told them and that we were't filing a claim. I personally would be up-front with my insurance--depending on the company of course--weigh the cost of higher premiums against the costs of repair. USAA isn't a company that will cancel your insurance for asking questions!

b7xv
11-10-2008, 01:50 PM
I would ask your insurance company what they would do if you filed one or more claims and if any of the damage would be covered. If it is covered, depending on your company and their rules for the state that you are in, you may see an increase in your premium, an increase in your deductible, non renewal, a combination of the above, or nothing. It should have no effect on the claim or lack there of, if all you do is ask. Then get estimates of the repairs and you can figure out from that if you want to turn anything in or not. I have sold insurance for 32 years, and this is a common question on any type of possible claim. Some are easy to answer, some take some research and others we just need to file to see if there is any coverage at all. Once filed, then you may see an action taken by your company if they pay out somemoney on your behalf.

How the coverage works, and what can change varies from company to company and from one state to another, so it is best to call your agent and find out.

foxyrvlady
11-10-2008, 02:08 PM
That's the kind of answer I wanted to see from an insider! That's what is great about this forum--we have members from all walks of life on it and input fromsomeone that has intimite knowledge of the subjectis usually more valuable that the rest of us "supposing!" :D Thanks.

Shane
11-10-2008, 02:14 PM
A couple of year back, we had a limb fall on our 5er and tear a 4" gash in the rubber roof. I obtained an estimate from our Fox dealer of about $5000 to replace the roof. Sooooooo, I called State Farm and they sent an adjuster out to look. Given our prior experience with "frugal" State Farm, I expected an Eternabond (very good stuff) recommendation. But I nearly fell off the roof when the adjuster said, "Oh yes, the roof should be replaced. Let's get down and I'll write you a check — if it turns out to be more, let me know." It was that fast and easy! I couldn't figure it out then and still can't. Our rates did not increase, and we have $500 deductible. Suggest you contact your company — that's what insurance is for.

foxyrvlady
11-10-2008, 02:34 PM
Tom, who is your insurance company? A member may have good/bad experiences with them.

tomseeley
11-10-2008, 03:25 PM
progressive, but don't tell 'em I told ya!

kj
11-10-2008, 04:07 PM
I have not been in insurance as long as Gary (b7xv); only 22 years. Since you have Progressive, I would be careful about calling them directly with the question. If you get the wrong person, they will insist on setting up a "claim" just to discuss it; payment is not the issue. If you wrote the policy through an independent agent, talk to them.

One thing to remember is that each incident will have a seperate deductible. But all damage done by one incident would be under the same claim even if repairs are seperated.

foxyrvlady
11-10-2008, 04:08 PM
That's the company I was thinking I read some problems with on the Open Roads forum. Many people rave about them--but I remember someone got cancelled when they filed a claim--however, not all facts re given and there are two sides of every story!

b7xv
11-10-2008, 08:51 PM
kj wrote:
I have not been in insurance as long as Gary (b7xv); only 22 years. Since you have Progressive, I would be careful about calling them directly with the question. If you get the wrong person, they will insist on setting up a "claim" just to discuss it; payment is not the issue. If you wrote the policy through an independent agent, talk to them.

One thing to remember is that each incident will have a seperate deductible. But all damage done by one incident would be under the same claim even if repairs are seperated.

I agree, the company I work for would do the same thing if you call the claims people and not your agent. One reason not to have the 1-800 companies. You need someone in the middle to help out.

foxyrvlady
11-10-2008, 09:24 PM
The exception to having an agent is USAA! 43years of flawless service by telephone. Now that I have taken us off topic, I will slap my own hand before the sheriff does! :D

BigFoot
11-11-2008, 10:28 AM
For what it's worth, read this (http://www.investopedia.com/articles/pf/08/claim-raise-rates.asp)article.

After reading it, you might have an understanding of how insurance companies think but there doesn't seem to be any hard and fast rules. It contains good advice on keepingyour deductibles high and saving on premiums to make up the difference. The closer you come to being self-insured, the better off you are financially.

foxyrvlady
11-11-2008, 10:43 AM
Thanks for posting the link. For what it's worth I think it had some helpful information! :D