Insurance for HDT Conversion
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:
- 6/11/2009 Need Insurance Options
- 6/15/2009 Progressive Insurance "Surprise" for TVs
- 8/09/2009 Progressive Insurance for HDT
- 9/02/2009 Who Uses State Farm for Your HDT
- 9/10/2009 Hdt Insurance
- 9/28/2009 Who Will Insure an HDT RV with Commercial Plates
- 11/24/2009 Insurance Woes
- 1/12/2010 Insurance in Michigan
- 2/03/2010 Progressive Insurance Cancelled
- 2/10/2010 Insurance Question
- 2/25/2010 HDT and 53 foot Trailer
- 3/18/2010 Any Recent HDT 5er Insurance Developments
- 3/22/2010 Progressive
- 3/26/2010 State Farm Local Agent Has Beat Our Current Insurance
- 4/15/2010 Looking for Insurance in Texas
- 5/20/2010 Geetting HDT Insurance
- 5/23/3010 Has Anybody Had to Use Their HDT Insurance
- 6/15/2010 Montana LLC and Truck Insurance
- 6/23/2010 HDT Insurance in Wisconsin
- 12/16/2010 Insurance Question - Tandem
- 1/13/2011 Towing a Different Trailer
- 2/23/2011 Tandem Axle HDT Insurance
- 7/19/2012 Insurance and Maximum GVWR
Escapees HDT Forum threads on Canadian Insurance:
Agents are arranged in order of numbers of mentions in Forum threads.
|California||Artesia||PoliSeek Recreational Vehicle Insurance
= formerly AON Recreation Insurance
P.O. Box 6500,
Artesia, CA 90702
Ask to speak with Maribel Sanchez
|California||Simi Valley||RV America Insurance
15 McCoy Pl,
Simi Valley, CA 93065
Toll Free: 800-400-0186
|Illinois||Winchester||Peak Insurance Agency
16 S. Hill St.
Winchester, IL. 62694
|Iowa||Des Moines||Allied Insurance
1100 Locust St,
Des Moines, IA 50391
|Iowa||Forest City||Farm & City Insurance Service
P.O. Box 248,
Forest City, IA - 50436
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
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
Ask to speak with Lexi Johnson,
or to Robin Green
|Montana||Missoula||Garden City Insurance
2910 S Reserve St #C,
Missoula, MT 59801
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
Ask to speak with Janice Fleming
|Ohio||Amelia||American Modern Insurance Group
7000 Midland Blvd
Amelia, OH 45102-2607
PO Box 5323,
Cincinnati, OH 45201-5323
Toll free: 800-759-9008
Customer service: 800-543-2644
|Ohio||Richfield||Explorer RV Insurance
P.O. Box 568,
Richfield, OH 44286-0568
|Oregon||Lake Oswego||Miller Insurance Agency
5805 SW Willow Lane,
Lake Oswego, OR 97035
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
|Dougherty knows how to cover HDTs. Uses Progressive and National Interstate.|
- a Farmers Insurance Agent
17000 el Camino Real,
Houston, TX - 77058
|trailertrash (Bobby) has his HDT insurance through this Farmers agent.|
P.O. Box 659464,
San Antonio, TX 78265
|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
|Alberta||Calgary||RV Direct Insurance
#200, 2417 - 51 Ave SE.
Calgary, AB, CA T2C 0A2
Toll Free: 1-866-771-7831
|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
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
|Alberta||Grande Prairie||JB Insurance
#101, 10712-100 Street,
Grande Prairie, AB, CA T8V 3X8
|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.