The time has finally come: you’ve purchased your RV, and the open road awaits. Or perhaps your RV is in storage for the winter, and you’re inching towards sunnier days. There’s a lot that goes into finding your perfect rig, and planning your vacations, but most RVers fail to plan for the one thing that could sideline their adventures altogether: RV repair costs.
The fact is, RVs are more expensive than ever to fix. Part and labor costs have seen a dramatic increase in the last few years alone, and this rise is expected to continue to meet the growing demand for quick, efficient, and technologically savvy repair. It is always recommended that travelers plan for these unexpected costs when making their travel budget, and there are a few different ways to do this. From a “rainy day fund” to formal RV protection, it’s important to know the options available to you before you need them.
A growing number of RVers are choosing to secure an extended RV warranty to help mitigate these repair costs, and this type of coverage can go a long way toward protecting your budget. However, the question remains, how do you find an RV warranty that will actually be there for you when you need it most? When shopping for coverage, it can be tempting to jump at the lowest cost offered, or fall for impossible coverage promises made by your salesperson, but this will likely result in purchasing a contract that isn’t worth the paper it’s written on.
The right RV warranty can protect your travel budget and keep you on the road, but how do you find “the one”? Here are 4 things to keep in mind when looking for RV coverage you can count on:
Who is the RV Warranty Provider?
We all know that the topic of RV extended warranties can be a touchy one for many travelers, and some of these hesitations are justified. Over the course of the last 10-15 years, there have been a few warranty companies whose business practices left travelers vulnerable, and this gave the entire industry a bad name. The good news is the RV protection market is taking a turn in the right direction, and a little bit of research can put your mind at ease when choosing a provider.
When working with an RV warranty provider, always research the following items:
- What do your fellow RVers have to say? Check the provider’s reputation on consumer advocacy organizations like the Better Business Bureau, and online RV forums like iRV2 to see how the seller stacks up.
- Are they an RV industry favorite? Look towards major RV groups like Escapees RV Club and the FMCA to see who they recommend.
- Is the coverage fully-insured? It is essential that the policy you choose is backed by a stable insurance carrier. This backing ensures your claims will be paid even if you warranty seller or administrator were to go out of business.
Don’t Take Anyone’s Word for It: View the Full Contract Before You Buy
We get it, reading the fine print on a contract isn’t exactly a task you look forward to. It can be intimidating, especially if you’re unfamiliar with the subject matter, not to mention a bit mind-numbing after a while. So…you aren’t going to like our next piece of advice: do it anyway! It is incredibly important that you stick it out and read the fine print of the policy before you buy.
When working with a specialist on a warranty quote, always request a copy of the exact terms and conditions for the coverage you are purchasing before breaking out your wallet. Reading through the coverage terms allows you to verify the information the salesperson has provided you, and gives you first-hand knowledge of what is included in the coverage. A warranty should protect the investment you’ve made in your rig, and provide you with peace of mind while traveling. Reading and understanding the contract you’ve purchased is the best way to confirm that your money is going toward a reliable policy that will do exactly that.
What Isn’t Covered?
Even the most comprehensive extended RV warranty on the market has exclusions, and understanding what will not be covered is a key part of finding the right policy for you. When working with an honest RV warranty provider, they will be upfront about the limitations of the policy they’re offering. Always review the “Exclusions” list, which you will find in the terms and conditions of coverage.
Examples of items that are not covered by any policy on the market include maintenance items like oil changes, aesthetic items like flooring, glass and cabinetry, and failures caused by collision or weather that are covered under your comp and collision insurance.
Knowing what isn’t covered helps set realistic expectations for the policy you’re purchasing, allowing you to travel with an informed budget.
Quality & Quantity
Looking around at a couple of different RV warranty providers could yield quite an array of cost quotes. As with any other purchase, it’s important to keep in mind that a lower price may not provide the same value, or even the same level of coverage. For the most part, lower rates will be linked to less coverage, or higher deductibles. If a price seems too good to be true, ask the provider to for a copy of the coverage they’re offering. Pay attention to which level of coverage they’ve selected, and make sure it meets your needs. It’s okay to go with the lowest cost plan as long as the potential breakdowns you’re most concerned about will be covered by the program you’ve chosen.
RV protection isn’t for everyone, but if you’re looking at safeguarding your rig this travel season, make sure you follow these 4 easy steps towards peace of mind.