Insurance for HDT Conversions

Insurance for HDT Conversion

7/28/2015

As you can see by the number of threads on the subject of insurance below, this is a very volatile subject.  
 

Disclaimer:  The following material has been derived from the Escapees Forum threads, Internet searches, and discussions with insurance agents. The final word in all cases will be from the insurance companies through the insurance agents.
 

 

First, let's think of HDT owners in five insurance categories:

A)  Full-timer with the HDT being the only form of transportation.
B)  Full-timer with another form of transportation in addition to the HDT (car or motorcycle).
C)  Part-timer using the truck for non-RV driving.
D)  Part-timer with another form of transportation in addition to the HDT (Car or motorcycle)
E)  Part-timer where you use the HDT to commute to work.

Each of these categories is viewed very differently by the insurance companies.  So when someone says they have insurance with an insurance company, with features or restrictions, you need to know what category that person is in and whether you are in the same category.  If you are not in the same category, that same insurance company may have very different features or restrictions for you.  Ergo, when you read the threads on insurance, keep in mind the five categories.

Likewise, insurance companies have rules and regulations they have to follow in each of the states they write insurance policies in.  Just because some feature may be available from an insurance company in Texas, does not mean the same feature will be available from the same insurance company in Kansas.

After reviewing the Forum threads, some determinations can be made:

1)  Shop through an agent, not by Insurance brand names.  All too often, when directly contacted, insurance companies will deny they cover HDT's while knowlegible agents will write insurance through those same companies.  In some cases, the policies needed by HDT are only available through certain agents, not just any agent that represents the insurance company.  When necessary, the agent will move you to other insurance companies as things change.

2)  Shop through agents who understand HDTs.  There are just a few. (The main players from the table below, Farm & City, PoliSeek, Miller's, Thum, Dougherty, RV America, Allied).  Agents find insurance companies with policies that fit your needs.  Agents cannot create policies for the insurance companies.  Blaming agents for changes in insurance company policies is "shooting the messenger."

3)  Often, the insurance underwriter wants both the truck and trailer covered by their company.  This requirement may be just as proof that the truck is really for pulling a RV trailer. 

4)  Some companies want some other form of transportation (car, motorcycle) for them to cover the truck.  I.e., the insurance company wants the truck not to be the main form of transportation.  (Categories B, D, & E).

5)  A truck used as a daily driver used to go to work probably won't get covered by anything near RV rates. (Category E)

6)  Insurance is not forever.  Just because your rig is covered by insurance today, it does not mean you will be covered with the next renewal.  Grand-fathering is rare when an insurance company decides not to cover your type of vehicle anymore.

7)  Your domicile state has a major determination on what companies will cover you and how they will cover you.  What is okay in Texas may not be okay in Wisconsin.

8) "Declared Value" coverage may be available but in almost all cases, an independent appraisal will be necessary.
 

Relevant to Item 4 above

There has been much discussion of coverage of your truck when it is not connected to your trailer.  It ranges from no coverage unless it is connected to be covered under any driving situation with the exception of commuting to work.

What complicates this discussion is the variances of what the insurance companies say, what the agents say, and the variations on how we use our HDTs.  Since few of us are in a position to accurately and totally understand the language in insurance policies, secondary confirmation seems to have a great comfort level.

Here is a dialog Sibernut (Ron) had with Progressive Insurance in regards to what extent his Volvo 610 is covered when not towing his RV (Item 4 above).  Ron is a category D HDT owner.  Others have indicated that they also have received confirmation from Progressive Insurance that their trucks are covered when not connected to their trailers.  However, it is not clear if the confirmation was made from the viewpoint of a "daily driver" (used for all driving activities) or for associated to camping driving (fueling up, grocery shopping) or from which domicile state.

In general, since the insurance company writes to policy (not the agent or you), if something isn't stated, you get the benefit of the doubt.  But verification never hurts.
 

Relevant to Item 8 above

"Stated Value", "Agreed Cash Value", "Declared Value" all sound the same, but aren't.

To start, "Declared Value" is just a starting point.  This is the value of your truck at the time the policy is being issued.  By the nature of the usual way a HDT gets created, it is a custom vehicle.  Ergo, there is no Blue Book or Black Book for the insurance company to get a value for your truck.  Therefore, the insurance company may require an appraisal to establish the "Declared Value" of your truck.

"Stated Value" and "Agreed Cash Value" are insurance policy terms on how much the insurance company will pay in the case of your truck loss.  This pdf document is a good description of the two insurance terms, Stated_vs_Agreed_Value.pdf

In either case, strong documentation of all the costs of your HDT Conversion should be kept in a safe place, or better yet, places in case your should have to debate the insurance company at the time of a loss.   Some agents like to retain the documentation for your HDT Conversion (and sometimes your trailer) in their files.  This isn't a bad idea if you don't have "off-site" (someplace other than your RV) document storage.

Escapees HDT Forum threads on United States Insurance:

Escapees HDT Forum threads on Canadian Insurance:

Agents are arranged in order of numbers of mentions in Forum threads.

State City Provider Comments
California Artesia PoliSeek Recreational Vehicle Insurance
= formerly AON Recreation Insurance
P.O. Box 6500,
Artesia, CA 90702

Phone: 866-520-7335
Email:Maribel_sanchez@asg.aon.com
Ask to speak with Maribel Sanchez
 
California Simi Valley RV America Insurance
15 McCoy Pl,
Simi Valley, CA 93065

Toll Free: 800-400-0186
Fax: 818-735-6778
Email: info@rvainsurance.com
 
Illinois Winchester Peak Insurance Agency
16 S. Hill St.
Winchester, IL. 62694

Phone: 800-742-9595
Attn: Pat
 
Iowa Des Moines Allied Insurance
1100 Locust St,
Des Moines, IA 50391

Phone: 800-532-1436
 
Iowa Forest City Farm & City Insurance Service
P.O. Box 248,
Forest City, IA - 50436

Phone: 800-331-1520
Ask to speak with Trese Hallet F&C's
RV insurance manager
Plus Angie, Monica, and Twyla
Most used agent from scanning the forum threads.
Michigan Grand Rapids Thum Insurance Agency
3310 Eagle Park Dr NE. Suite 210,
Grand Rapids, MI 49525

Toll Free: 800-866-0777
Phone: 616-957-2400
Fax: 616-957-1204
Ask to speak with Melissa Thum
Thum Insurance Agency specializes in all types of RV and water craft insurance.
Montana Missoula Destination Insurance Services
323 West Pine St,
Missoula, MT 59802

Toll Free: 800-270-1479
Fax: 406-721-3032
Email:info@destinationfinancial.com
Ask to speak with Lexi Johnson,
or to Robin Green 
 
Montana Missoula Garden City Insurance
2910 S Reserve St #C,
Missoula, MT 59801

Phone: 866-444-1084
Fax: 406-549-8527
Email: info@gardencityins.com
Ask to speak with Keith Nelson,
or in his absence
ask to speak with Leslie Nelson
Garden City Insurance is also well versed in insuring HDT's that are registered through Montana LLC's.
Nevada Las Vegas Marsh Insurance
7251 West Lake Mead Blvd, Suite 401,
Las Vegas, NV 89128

Phone: 800-814-5500 Ext 7259
Fax: 866-627-7439
Email:janice.fleming@marsh.com
Ask to speak with Janice Fleming
 
Ohio Akron Blue Sky RV Insurance
PO Box 4425,
Akron, OH 44321

Toll free: 866-484-2583
Email:sales@blueskyrvinsurance.com
 
Ohio Amelia American Modern Insurance Group
7000 Midland Blvd
Amelia, OH 45102-2607

Mailing Address:
PO Box 5323,
Cincinnati, OH 45201-5323
Toll free: 800-759-9008
Phone: 513-943-7200
Customer service: 800-543-2644
Email:customer_care@amig.com
 
Ohio Richfield Explorer RV Insurance
P.O. Box 568,
Richfield, OH 44286-0568

Phone: 888-774-6778
Fax: 330-659-6687
 
Oregon Lake Oswego Miller Insurance Agency
5805 SW Willow Lane,
Lake Oswego, OR 97035

Phone: 800-622-6347
Fax: 503-699-9348
Email:info@MillerRvInsurance.com
Ask to speak with Cheryl Miller
 
South Dakota Sioux Falls Dougherty & Associates, Inc.
3704 S Westport Ave,
Sioux Falls, SD 57106

Toll Free: 866-725-6318
Phone: 605-361-6318
Fax: 615-361-0596
Dougherty knows how to cover HDTs.  Uses Progressive and National Interstate.
Texas Houston Sherry Delaney
- a Farmers Insurance Agent

17000 el Camino Real,
Houston, TX - 77058

Phone: 281-282-2091
trailertrash (Bobby) has his HDT insurance through this Farmers agent.
Texas San Antonio USAA
P.O. Box 659464,
San Antonio, TX 78265

Phone: 800-531-8080
There are basically three ways you can qualify with USAA: If your parents are members, you are a member of the military (active or reserve) or if you separated from the military since January 2005.
    GMAC RV Insurance GMAC is another insurance alternative, therefore if your shopping for rates you might want to call GMAC for a rate quote also.

 

30 Day Interim Trip Insurance:

From 5th Wheeler:
If you need interim trip insurance to cover your new HDT while in transit from the selling dealer to your home town call this number "1-800-444-0077 X 200".

My selling dealer "Gatr Volvo" in Sauk Rapids, Minnesota provided me with the number when I purchased my 770 and said they are a good alternative insurance source for those looking for quick interim insurance coverage.

 

Canadian Insurance Providers

State City Provider Comments
Alberta Calgary RV Direct Insurance
#200, 2417 - 51 Ave SE.
Calgary, AB, CA T2C 0A2

Toll Free: 1-866-771-7831
Phone: 403-271-7851
Fax: 403-271-7835
Email:info@rvdirectinsurance.com
RV Direct specializes in insuring RV's. Reportedly they will also insure your rig for replacement value. The person who posted this information said they sounded like they were on the ball.
Alberta Calgary Palmer Salmon Insurance
2404 Centre St Ne,
Calgary AB, CA T2E 2T9

Phone: 403-230-3000
Ask for Mike Aitken
These people are creative and think outside the box. A novelty these days. If they are not able to help they may be able to steer you in the right direction.
Alberta Calgary Anthony Clark Insurance
#355, 10333 Southport Road S.W.,
Calgary, AB, CA T2W 3X6

Phone: 403-278-8811
Fax: 403-225-5745
Email:ray.inkster@aclarkinsurance.com
 
Alberta Grande Prairie JB Insurance
#101, 10712-100 Street,
Grande Prairie, AB, CA T8V 3X8

Phone: 877-532-2373
Fax: 780-539-7374
Email: info@jbinsurance.ca
From Darryl&Rita (Darryl):
JB Insurance came through for us. One of the lines they carry is Wawanesa, who had no problem covering our singled T 2000.  They are covering us through their commercial line, but rates are similar to private vehicle coverage.  The insurance policy also states "Recreational Vehicle" in several places, so private plates were'nt an issue.