Terry Bone and Tim Heintz talk about Vintage Trailer Insurance on a recorded zoom session
Contact the Tin Can Tourists preferred insurance agent to get a quote on your vintage trailer or RV
We have great news at long last for those of you who have been searching for Agreed Value Physical Damage for your vintage rv/trailer! That’s right…Agreed Value! Not “Actual Cash Value” (ACV), which means virtually nothing regardless of the amount you see on your policy’s Declarations Page, and not “Stated Value,” which is open to considerable interpretation by a claims examiner in case of damage, but Agreed Value, the amount you and an appraiser determine what your rig is worth before you actually receive coverage. This means you have full coverage for that amount should you incur a total loss. We have been searching for an insurance company/broker who is willing to write this type of coverage for 15 years! If you think you’re covered now for Agreed Value Physical Damage, please read your RV policy. I would bet the coverage is ACV, and the Actual Cash Value is zero for a vintage rig because unlike antique automobiles, there are no books to determine what your old rig is worth. A few may have Stated Value which is what you believe it may be worth, but not necessarily your carrier, as that amount is open to interpretation.
FCIS (Farm and City Insurance Services) in Forest City Iowa is an insurance agency/broker licensed to write a policy with Agreed Value Physical Damage and other important coverage’s for your vintage rig. Policies are written through four major carriers in all states except Massachusetts and Hawaii. The all-important Physical Damage (Comprehensive and Collision) is Agreed Value. Other important elective coverage’s for vintage rigs include Vacation Insurance (for Open House to cover bodily injury for liability for the public when your trailer is unhitched), Personal Effects, Towing and Labor, and Extra Expense for lodging when your trailer/rv is laid up while on the road. Further options are also available, and a list of more applicable coverage’s can be chosen for Vintage “Full Timing” where the rig is used as a primary residence. An entire package is offered for vintage motor homes too.
The premium for these coverage’s is surprisingly reasonable.
To qualify, you will need to call 1-800-331-1520 and let the menu direct you to the correct department to answer some questions for an application. Or, you can go to FCIS’s website rvadvantage.com for a quote. Either route will subsequently require photos of all four sides of your rig plus the interior. You will also need a typed appraisal on letterhead from a trailer/rv restoration specialist or ask FCIS for a certified appraiser in your area/state.
This is a rare opportunity for all of us. Take advantage of it through www.rvadvantage.com!
For Agreed Value, it is a good approach to call the 800 number and establish a relationship with an agent to obtain the quote and start the appraisal procurement.
Special thanks to Hunt Jones for his tireless work on informing TCT members concerning important insurance issues regarding vintage trailers and vehicles.
Neither Hunt or TCT is receiving any financial remuneration for our work with the insurance companies. They may be asked to support TCT through a banner ad at the site or by sponsoring the North American Vintage Trailer and Motor Coach Concours.
Vintage RV Insurance tips from Tim Heintz (TCT Southeast Representative)
“I know we all talk about insurance constantly and I have talked about the many aspects and issues with getting the right policy. I had been lucky in the past that my insurance on my vintage trailers was with my auto insurer and I was able to get an agreed upon value policy many years ago. Well now I can share a personal experience that is a bit of a warning that can happen just as easily to you!
Living where I do (Panama City, Florida) it was only a matter of time before my insurance was going to go up from Hurricane Micheal (bad Hurricane years are always bad for we Floridians when it comes to insurance hikes). Well my policy runs out July 1st and I got a call that my policy would be increasing just over 25%!! So I decided to start looking for another insurance company.
I called around and it is not easy to find insurance companies that will write an agreed upon value policy, but I did find a company that told me they would write a Stated Value policy and the man on the phone kept assuring me it was the exact same as an Agreed Upon Valuepolicy.
No matter how much I pushed the issue that the two were not the same, he kept insisting that both allowed the client to state the value that the trailer was worth (with or without an appraisal) and insure it for that amount, no questions asked.
Knowing a little bit about this subject I demanded that he ask his supervisor who agreed with the agent that the two were the exact same. I continued to push the issue and the supervisor contacted the manager who also stated that both were the exact same.
Finally I had enough and wanted them to contact the underwriter and get it in writing from the underwriter stating that both kinds of policies where the same with no depreciation ever added.
You see the difference that I was telling them was that a stated value policy did in fact allow you to insure your trailer for a set amount (appraisal or no appraisal), but it allowed the insurance company to use blue book values and/or depreciation as a determining factor for payout and they would choose which ever amount was the least.
I soon got an apology from the insurance company as they were shocked to find out from the underwriters that everything I had said was correct, the two policies may seem similar at first, but when it comes to paying out on a claim, they are nowhere near the same! Who knows how many other people were told the same thing and just went with it?
So make sure you know the ins and outs of the kind of policy you have, and do not trust any agent when they tell you your trailer is covered for the amount you think. Basically an Agreed Upon Value policy bases the value of your trailer on an appraisal and that amount only will be paid out if you file a full loss claim. You also need to ask your insurance company how long they will honor such an appraisal as most insurance companies will only use an appraisal that is five years old or less, a few will honor it for as many as 10 years, but make sure you keep up with the age of your appraisal.
I am now happy that I did not listen to the agent and get a stated value policy, I ended up calling Farm and City Insurance (FCIS) and they were able to find me an Agreed Upon Value policy for the same price I was paying before the 25% increase!
If you think you have the right insurance on your trailer please call and ask before it is too late: “If I have to file a full loss claim three+ years from now will I get the full amount of the actual policy?” That is when they will realize they have to tell you ‘no’!”
Heintz Designs offers all sorts of great services to the vintage RV world and Tim Heintz has an incredible knowledge of vintage RVs. He’s also a great guy who has shared much to further the field of vintage RV restoration and we appreciate his sharing his experience here.
From posts on social media he has had a rough go of things lately with a combination of hurricanes and burglaries so we continue to wish him the best moving forward and sure appreciate his sharing his beautiful work on vintage RVs.
If you are looking for an incredibly well restored vintage RV or just parts and tips, look up Heintz Designs.