Recently it seems that almost every time you turn on the tv, an insurance company is suddenly offering roadside assistance for your RV. As a consumer, on the surface, it seems like a great idea. Who wouldn’t love a convenient one-stop-shop? But in the long run, is it really a convenient solution? More importantly, is it the best solution? As an RVer, are you really getting everything you need when you purchase roadside assistance via an insurance company? Below are a few things you should consider before you purchase roadside assistance from your insurance company.
Read the Fine Print.
Often roadside assistance serviced by insurance companies will only cover the tow of your RV if the RV itself is broken down and needing a tow. I was recently speaking with a friend in Florida whose boyfriend had purchased an upgraded plan of roadside assistance for his towable RV through his insurance company. While they were glad to tow his broken-down truck, they denied him service for towing his trailer even though it was currently attached to the truck. They said there was nothing wrong with the trailer, so there was no need to tow it. Consequently, his truck was towed away and his trailer was left on the side of the road. He failed to read the fine print in his plan and he was literally left stranded because of it.
Another member recently informed us that when he tried to have his RV towed through his insurance company that they only cover the tow of the RV in the event it is involved in a wreck. So even though his RV was mechanically disabled and needed to be towed in for service, his insurance company denied him. He had also paid extra for his “roadside” coverage and didn’t fully realize the limitations of the service until he was on the side of the road needing help.
Your Insurance Premiums WILL Increase?
Often with roadside assistance via an insurance company you will have to pay per person and per vehicle. Many people won’t mind paying a little extra if it will give them peace of mind knowing that their family is safe and will be taken care of in an emergency. But sometimes having multiple people covered by the same roadside assistance plan can be detrimental if your provider is an insurance company.
One customer was purchasing his new RV and when attempting to purchase insurance for it he was quoted an outrageous amount. When he contacted his insurance company to inquire why they quoted him an amount much higher than he was previously paying they informed him that it was due to his excessive usage. He couldn’t understand how his needing one tow that year could be considered excessive. The insurance company then informed him that he had used it once, his wife had used it twice, and his kids had used it a total of 3 times that year. He had no clue that his entire family had used it multiple times that year because they all failed to tell him so he was blindsided by the increased rate.
The one thing many people don’t think of is that when you get roadside assistance via your insurance company is that they will track your usage and use that information to dictate your rates. When you purchase roadside assistance through your insurance company you will ultimately be punished for using it. Kind of defeats of the whole purpose of having it, right?
Are They RV Experts?
RVs are an entirely different beast than a normal car or truck. They’re complex and quirky. While many insurance companies are quite competent in handling claims, most are probably not what you or I would classify as “RV Experts.” Simply put, they don’t typically have RV certified technicians on staff supervising and arranging tows and other roadside services. As a result, they often don’t have the necessary training to ensure you and your RV are taken care of properly. Certain information about your RV needs to be communicated to the tow provider sent to help you. Furthermore, you often need someone highly trained to confirm the tow provider’s qualifications.
For example, if you drive a big Class A RV diesel pusher, then not only does the tow truck need to be of a certain weight, the tow provider also needs to make sure they tow your RV in the correct manner. I’ve heard countless stories from customers who had a Class A diesel pusher and when they went through a roadside provider that doesn’t have their own in-house RV trained expert technicians, their RV was severely damaged. In almost every instance the roadside provider sent out a tow truck that was not heavy enough to properly tow the unit. Then in order to account for the extreme weight in the rear of the RV due to the rear placement of the engine, the tow provider towed the RV from the rear and ended up shattering their windshield. The tow provider was not qualified to tow an RV of that size and the roadside provider didn’t realize the tow truck wasn’t qualified because they honestly weren’t qualified either.
And I can’t tell you how many times we’ve heard from RVers who went through a non-RV-Expert roadside assistance company only to have their RV towed to a repair facility that isn’t qualified to repair their RV. Then the customer was left completely responsible for towing their RV to a qualified facility because the insurance-based roadside assistance provider fulfilled their obligation of getting the RV to a safe place. And in many instances, the customer ended up paying even more money than they would have paid had they not relied on their insurance company provider because the provider towed them in the opposite direction of the nearest qualified repair facility.
Ultimately, the only real question you need to ask yourself is do you really want to gamble with your RV? When you find yourself on the side of the road needing help, you want to be confident that the people you’re calling can actually help you. You want to know that the people you’re calling have special RV training and your roadside assistance is not simply being treated as an afterthought. Furthermore, you want to call in confidence knowing you won’t be punished for needing help. Buying your RV is a huge decision, but sometimes the even bigger and more important decision can be choosing a roadside assistance provider. At Coach-Net, we are RV experts. We understand your RV needs because we have our own in-house RV technicians, and we have specialized in providing roadside assistance for RVs for over 30 years. And as RVers ourselves, we understand that everyone needs help sometimes and you shouldn’t be hesitant to call for help because you’re worried about being punished for using the services you’ve already paid for. If you have any questions about RV roadside assistance don’t hesitate to give us a call so that we can be your connection to carefree RVing.
Gail S.~ “Your employees were so friendly and supportive! I’m so happy we chose Coach-Net for our RV roadside!”