Roadside emergencies can ruin a vacation. Should you purchase RV roadside assistance insurance or self-insure? If buying insurance, which one? Here are my tips on selecting the best RV roadside assistance plan to fit your travel needs.
Even the newest vehicles can break down anywhere. Older vehicles, especially RVs that have seen many years but not many miles, are more susceptible to roadside emergencies. In addition, RVs are combo-vehicles: driving and living. What will you do if a tire blows, a refrigerator quits, or a water tank leaks? As an RV owner, you need to consider these emergencies and plan — in advance — what to do about them.
Road service can include changing a tire, replacing a tire with a new one, towing to a repair facility or your home, jumping or replacing a battery, bringing fuel to your location, unlocking a vehicle, returning your RV to the road, and related vehicle services. Extended service can cover greater limits on calls or the repair of “house” systems and appliances such as the refrigerator, air conditioner, electrical system, or water system.
In addition, roadside assistance policies can cover related emergency costs such as vehicle rental, lodging, or even medical expenses. Some policies cover medical emergencies including transporting an RV back home and even shipping traveling pets home if the driver has a medical emergency.
Selecting a Policy
The first step in being a Frugal RV owner is to determine which of these roadside services you need and which you don’t, based on your travel plans and experiences. A policy for a young couple in a pickup camper on a budget is different than one for a retired couple with pets in a luxury motorhome and towed vehicle. Also, RVers should compare the estimated long-term cost of roadside insurance to self-insuring.
Next, summarize your type of travel. How many miles will you take your RV in the coming year(s)? From, through, and to which states? How long will your trips be? How much of your travel will be parked and how much driving? During the off-season, will your RV be parked at home, in storage, or somewhere else? Does your roadside assistance policy cover all of your vehicles or just your RV? Does your towing vehicle policy cover the trailer? If so, for what?
Other questions to ask an insurance broker or agent include: Are there age or length restrictions on RV road assistance policies? What’s the difference between the “standard” and “premium” policy (if available)? Are there service call or towing mileage limits? Is the policy good in Canada and/or Mexico (if you travel there)? Does the insurer have a mobile app, dedicated emergency numbers, or online contact resources? Do they offer trip planning services or assistance? Also, check with your auto insurer to see if they offer roadside assistance for your RV; some are just a few dollars a month extra.
One more tip: Ask if you are eligible for AARP, AAA, military, education, introductory, or other discounts. Shopping for the best RV roadside service insurance isn’t easy — but you’ll be glad you spent the extra time and effort turning an emergency into an inconvenience. Enjoy your Frugal RV!
>>Dan Ramsey, FrugalRV.com
Travel more – spend less!