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Old 10-02-2008, 04:14 PM   #1
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Insurance

I just purchased a Ford 2005 RB50 4x4 6.0 Powerstroke and insured it with Allstate explaining them the sportsmobile conversion and that I needed to be insured for the value of a sportsmobile and not a E350 Ford Van. They told me not to worry and next week my policy arrived. On the Policy my vehicle was listed as a 350 truck. Called my insurance agent and he told me once again not to worry that I was covered. My premium was so low that I just didn't believe I was covered for 70k. I called several people at Allstate to find out that I was only insured for the blue book value of a 350 Ford Van. Good thing nothing happened in the month that I owned the vehicle... Any recommendation on insurance carriers?
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Old 10-02-2008, 06:18 PM   #2
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I know this subject comes up from time to time. I am an insurance broker and I've been having a difficult time with my own coverage.

My company, Allied, in their standard private passenger auto policy, limits coverage for "modified" vehicles or "customized" vehicles to the actual cash value of the stock vehicle plus an additional $5,000 for "after market" parts used to "enhance the look or performance" of the vehicle.

My van has an actual cash value of about $15,000 but the modifications add another $27,000.

Today I convinced Allied to cover the van as a recreational vehicle. I had to provide all of my receipts and some photos to document it's value at about $40k. That is what I would expect to negotiate up to if the van was totaled tomorrow. This value will change as the van ages. Understand also that it is up to you to be able to document and establish the actual value of your van at the time of a loss.

I only write auto insurance with Allied so I'm not familiar enough with other carriers to be able to say what they will or won't do. I have heard of some writing a "replacement cost policy". It may be GMAC through Good Sam or AARP but don't quote me.

I can be absolutely certain of one thing. Many insurance agents will tell you almost anything and most do not understand the policies they write or even clearly understand what their company offers!

You HAVE to read the section of your policy that explains your physical damage coverage. I had to go back and read mine twice to understand exactly what was being said. And I've been at this for 32 years!

Most agents have never seen or insured a Sportsmobile and most will assume you have read your policy.

Don't be afraid to question your agent until you are convinced he understands what you are insuring. If you are still unsure ask for the agent to write you a letter stating you are covered for the actual cash value of your van without limitations related to the conversion. At that point he/she should pay more attention and make very certain you either have the right coverage or are advised clearly that you don't.

Marchesi, If I were you I'd get back to your agent and ask if Allstate will cover you as a motorhome or recreational vehicle.

I know others in this forum have had success with other insurance companies so it's not impossible.

You just have to be persistent. Also understand that insurance underwriters don't like anything that's "out of the box". There aren't enough Sportsmobiles out there to give any one company enough experience with covering them.

Agents add to the problem by being too lazy to do it right and get the coverage you need. Not all....but enough to give my business a bad name.
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Old 10-02-2008, 11:47 PM   #3
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After talking to 10 different insurance companys/agents/brokers, I found two that would insure my class B, porta potti containing 2008 SMB with total loss replacement for 5 years: National Interstate for $832 and GMAC for $790. (all items at max coverage available and $500 deductible for everything).

Today, I called GMAC 800 # to find out the exact procedure to get insured (I am going to get insurance before I pick up the SMB so I will not have any surprises). They had the vehicle as a 2008 moto Sportsmobile on the quote I got in the mail and I thought it should say class B. She said the quote was wrong, I had been charged for total loss replacement and that was not available for class B motor homes.

Tomorrow, I will call National Interstate.
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Old 10-03-2008, 09:05 AM   #4
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Progressive covers my SMB Sprinter for replacement costs.

Regards,

Keith
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Old 10-03-2008, 09:32 AM   #5
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We have all of our home and car insurance through USAA - have had for decades. When we bought our very used 1993 E-350 SMB earlier this year, USAA seconded us to Progressive, with whom they have a working relationship. I found Progressive to be fully conversant in RVs in general and about Sportsmobiles in particular. We got full replacement cost coverage, but then our SMB isn't worth a whole lot. As I recall, I had to answer a lot of questions concerning whether the vehicle had beds, a sink, cooking facilities, a toilet etc. Good luck!
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Old 10-03-2008, 02:30 PM   #6
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National Interstate confirmed that my quote was for a 2008, porta potti contained, class B, Sportsmobile. The policy will be for total loss replacement for five model years which means that if I have a total loss in the next five years they will replace my SMB with a current model of the year in which the loss incurred, then year 6 and on they will give me the purchase invoice $ of what I am paying for my SMB now. I will start the policy a week before I pick up the SMB and find out then if they are infact telling me the truth.

Progressive says they need a factory installed tolet and SMBW putting the porta potti in my SMB with the marine hold down brackets would qualify but I do not want to leave that to chance.

If my SMB was not new I would stay with Mercury, through AIS, because they paid me replacement value (what it would cost me to buy another class B in the exact condition as the one I lost) when it burned. AIS had me bring the camper to them and they took pictures before they insured it. Wonderful idea!

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2000 Isuzu Rodeo V6 4WD
2006 Chalet LTW 15ft. Folding Travel Trailer with flipped axle & 14 in. tires
2001 Kia Rio
1971 Super Beetle VW Bug "Restored by Papa and Me"

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Old 10-06-2008, 12:53 PM   #7
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We went with National Interstate as well.... there is a thread(or two) out there somewhere with lots of discussion on this...

.
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Old 10-07-2008, 02:47 PM   #8
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Insurance

I have a policy with National Interstate on my 2007 SMB. the policy states it is a "2007 Sportsmobile camper van". The policy has a total loss replmt cost feature and costs $803/year. They didn't ask about toilets, beds, etc. I had a policy with them on a previous RV for about 8 yrs and had one towing claim for $500 to tow it 1/2 mile in Tonopah, NV. The agent said she'd heard of worse than that.

Philrod

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Old 10-10-2008, 12:09 PM   #9
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I decided to check out National Interstate. Got an online quote from a broker in Simi Valley for "agreed value" coverage at $45k. The annual premium for full coverage with limits of $250k/500k/100k and deductibles of $250/$500 is $500. Seems like a pretty good deal!
Progressive is the underwriting carrier so I presume National Interstate was more expensive. In order to bind coverage I have to provide copies of bills of sale to document the van's value. With agreed value coverage I'll get paid $45k if the van is totaled within the next 5 years.
As a broker I don't like or trust Progressive. They have a bad reputation among many brokers for heavy handed adjusting and poor customer service. I only use them as a last resort. Just my opinion of course.
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Old 10-10-2008, 04:21 PM   #10
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State Farm here. My premiums are low because its a "RV". They figure RVs aren't used as much as a daily driver. Told my agent its a daily, but that didn't matter. They (State Farm) are aware of SMBs and the various models, so that made me feel good.

Consumer Reports did not rate Allstate very well (read it a few years back).
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