Travel Trailer Insurance VS Travel Trailer Warranty
Posted On 04/07/2019
Have you ever been confused with the differences between: a factory/manufacturer warranty, an extended warranty or even an insurance coverage? It is very common for people to get them confused. I am not an attorney nor an insurance agent. I am a service adviser for a RV Dealership who finds myself explaining the general differences from time to time for consumer consumers. I am writing this article in hopes of explaining the general differences between the three. When time comes to purchase your dream travel trailer, wouldn’t it be nice to have the confidence of knowing the differences between each. No one likes to be caught off guard, especially when it comes to money. A small amount of knowledge in this area has the potential of saving you a lot of money
How do we know what questions to ask?
Chances are, if you reading this, you are probably new to owning a camper. And, if you are new to this experience, chances are someone dear to you already owns one. Grab that beer or glass of wine and start chatting. Ask them what they would have done differently, or what they wished they would have know before buying that extended warranty or insurance policy. Even asking them about the travel trailer manufacture warranty is helping you to understand. I am a huge fan of Asking Questions. There are NO stupid questions!
RV/Travel Trailer Factory Warranty:
Pretty much, no matter what we buy, factory warranties are all the same. A factory warranty is a warranty that the manufacturer holds, which ultimately means, if the item we purchase breaks as a defect in the product, the manufacturer agrees to replace the item. With a travel trailer, it usually needs to be brought back to a dealer where they will get the necessary information to the manufacture. It is the manufacture of the travel trailer that decides if it is a defect or not. Please remember, the dealership is only the middle man between you and the manufacture, the manufacture of the RV is the warranty company in this case.
The factory warranty covers just about anything on the RV if it breaks from a defect. There are very few items that may/may not be stated as, “a limited warranty” or “only covered for a limited time” on the RV. Tires and sealant on the main 2 that I can think of. (Motorhomes are a little different in this area) Factory/manufacture warranties will NOT cover abuse, neglect, or damage from lack of maintenance. Sealant is one of the few items that are only covered under the factory warranty for 90 days. Even though the factory warranty comes with the purchase of the travel trailer, do not assume something is covered, ask questions!. Be sure to know when the travel trailer factory warranty expires, as well.
RV Extended Warranty:
Have you ever purchased an appliance to be asked by the cashier “would you like to purchase an “extended warranty?” In my experience, they are not usually worth the money. After all, most everything we purchase comes with some sort of “limited factory warranty.” And if it is going to break then it should happen during that allotted time the manufacture says it should, right? Warranties cover everything, don’t they? Not even close. I describe warranties like health insurance for our appliances – if the warranty company can get out of paying something – they will.
A few months ago, I bought my daughter a violin and of course the cashier asks, maám, would you like to purchase the extended warranty? Immediately, I said NO and without missing a beat my 12-year-old daughter says, “does it cover damage caused by a 4 year old or a 2-year-old?” We all had a good laugh on that one. Trying to reassure me, the cashier did say – if the violin is on the school bus and gets stepped on the extended warranty will cover it.” In this case, what they were selling was a type of ïnsurance” on the violin, meaning if it was broken from anything other then a defect in workmanship. These words should not be able to be used interchangeably, but they are. “Warranty” sounds better to most then “insurance”. Even so, at the request of my daughter I did purchase this insurance policy the cashier was calling an extended warranty, just in case.
Getting back to travel trailers:
An extended warranty on your travel trailer typically will only cover mechanical items. Some of these items may include the a/c, furnace, refrigerator, and slide out components. They usually do not cover the gaskets or seals. They definitely do not cover the sealant or water leaks from lack of sealant or torn/dry rotted seals. Make sure to keep up with these items. Unlike most factory warranties on the travel trailer, purchased extended warranties can usually be transferable if you decided to sell the camper. May want to look into this just in case the decision to sell ever comes up.
I have seen a lot of articles on the internet saying that extended warranties cover everything that factory warranties do. In my experience, I have never seen that before! I do not deal with every extended warranty policy out there in the world, but, I do work with 3 of the largest ones in the United States. Make sure to get a copy of the exclusions and again, ask questions!
One other large difference between a travel trailer factory warranty and an extended warranty is: an extended warranty is going to have a deductible, a small out-of-pocket charge usually. Most policy’s will allow you to choose the deductible that works best for you.
Last but not least, make sure the extended warranty is nationwide. If you are one to travel to Canada or even Mexico with your travel trailer, then make sure the extended warranty will cover you in those countries too. It does us no good to pay good money for something if we cannot use it where we are when our travel trailer breaks.
I am not a licensed insurance agent. What I do know is, insurance is required in all areas of the United States.
To read up on the Wikipedia definition of insurance, click the blue highlighted word: insurance.
There are numerous types of insurance policies with all different levels of coverage. Different states as do differently finance companies have different requirements of coverage. There are also levels of coverage, or additional policies, that can be purchased in a “what if” situation.
Again, ask as many questions as you can. Do your research. Ask family and friends that own travel trailers what other c overages they may have that are not included in the required policy’s.
I have seen water damage in campers that some insurance policies will cover and some will not. Water damage from lack of sealant/neglect, to water damage from an impact on the roof to a plumbing leak may or may not written into your insurance policy. If this may be of a concern to you, then look into what kind of policy will cover it. Keep in mind: Factory warranty will not cover damage from a water leak if caused from lack of sealant or a storm or impact to the roof. An extended warranty policy will probably not cover the subsequent damage from a plumping water leak, as an average insurance policy will not cover water leaks from lack of sealant, abuse or neglect.
Do your research before purchasing any policy. If this is your first travel trailer it may be a good idea to talk to friends & family to see what insurance companies and types of policies they have. It may be a good idea, if you have an insurance broker or agent for your home and or vehicles, that you trust, speak to them.
Just like when making any kind of large purchase like your home, automobile, boat, or travel trailer, always understand the fine print. Ask all the questions before putting signing the contract. If you feel better to “sleep on it” before making the big decisions, then do it. If the person helping you in any of this is rushing or pushing you to make a decision – always walk away! This is your investment we are speaking of, not theirs. Ultimately, the best person to look after you and your investments is you. Having the knowledge with in you will be what helps you to make the best decisions you can for you and your family.
I hope you have enjoyed reading this, and that the general differences between factory warranty, extended warranty & insurance is a little more clearer. As I have recommended to you above, always ask questions and if you have any questions or comments for me, please leave below. I can also be reached by email at: firstname.lastname@example.org
I would love to hear from and thanks again for stopping by,