Updated on June 6, 1999
The rig we owned in 1997 was burned in the forest fire that hit the Lake of the Springs Thousand Trails Resort that fall. We learned lots of things about RV insurance at that time. Here are some of the important points.
1. DO NOT UNDERINSURE your rig or its contents!
We were adequately insured. Our homeowners policy covered the contents at "replacement cost". We have since found out that when we go on the road, it is hard to find a good "homeowners" policy. We had friends at Lake of the Springs who suffered severe smoke damage in their trailer and had only $1,500 coverage on contents. Our contents loss was over ten times that amount. Insurance does cost, but the alternative can be devastating.
We recently did an inventory of the contents of our current rig. Now that we are full-timing, everything we own is traveling with us. Being conservative, we found we had over twice as much as we had lost in the fire, and that did not include any allowance for jewelry, artwork, or firearms. Our insurance company does not normally cover more than $15,000, but they wrote a special rider (with added cost) to cover our current contents.
2. KEEP AN INVENTORY of what is in your rig in some safe place.
List each and every item in your rig and its cost. Keep receipts if you have them. We had to create our list from memory, and four months later we are still remembering things we forgot to put on the list. You may not think so, but socks and underwear are expensive! And all those trinkets you bought at Camping World -- they do add up. Send a copy of that inventory to one of your children or a friend, so if there is a loss, you can still recall the information.
3. There is nothing wrong with running away from trouble.
Our rig was in onsite storage at Lake of the Springs, and we were not there at the time of the fire. Had we been living in the rig, we would have known of the fire (it started 12 hours earlier over 10 miles away) and could have pulled out. After this experience, that is probably what we will do next time. We can always come back at a later time.