Can an ACA Help Me with My RV Insurance Claim?
Yes, absolutely! An accredited claims adjuster can help you with your recreational vehicle insurance claim. Filing an RV insurance claim is very similar to filing an auto insurance claim.
What constitutes as a recreational vehicle?
A recreational vehicle, also known as an RV, is a trailer or motor vehicle that includes sleeping and living accommodations, also known as living quarters.
A recreational vehicle can be motorized, so it’s drivable, or non-motorized which means it’s towable. An RV can be a Class A motorhome, Class B motorhome, Class C motorhome, a bumper pull camper, a gooseneck camper also known as a 5th wheel, a pop-up camper, a truck camper, a travel trailer or a campervan.
These types of RV’s all have sleeping quarters in them, typically have running water, holding tanks, propane, heat, air conditioning, refrigerator/freezer, shower, toilet, and pretty much all the essentials to live in whether it be full-time or part-time living.
What types of RV claims can an accredited claims adjuster help with?
An RV can experience the same types of damages that a typical vehicle can experience. An RV can be involved in accidents, damaged by hail, broken into, have water leaks, be victim of mechanical/engine problems, have tire damage, have trees fallen on them, be caught in flood waters, and be flipped over by strong winds or tornados. An RV claim can be thought of like an auto insurance claim.
How does an accredited claims adjuster review my RV insurance claim?
After the RV damage is discovered, the owner would call their insurance company to file their claim. Many of the insurance companies now require claimants to file their claim online as opposed to verbally giving the information over the phone. Once the claim has been started an accredited claims adjuster (ACA) would be assigned. This ACA can be a staff claims adjuster or an independent insurance adjuster. No matter the type of adjuster, either of them will be an accredited claims adjuster with their 6-20 all lines adjuster license.
Depending on the nature of the damage, if the RV has hail damage or was flipped over or in flood waters, there is probably an independent insurance adjuster working in your area to help other storm victims. If your RV is damaged from an accident, water leak, was broken into, has frame damage, the claimant will most likely work with an inside adjuster as these types of claims are not widespread so an outside claims adjuster is probably not stationed in the claimant’s area for a long period of time.
As in any auto accident, the recreational vehicle owner will need to submit all documentation of the incident to their accredited claims adjuster for review. All photos, videos, receipts, police reports, witness testimonials, repair estimates should all be submitted. The ACA will review each piece of information to understand the claim. If the information submitted is lacking, the adjuster may lean on an outside accredited claims adjuster to personally inspect the recreational vehicle.
Once all documentation and any personal visits to review the damage(s) are assessed, the ACA will reach back out to the RV owner and discuss next steps in the claim process.
How will my ACA determine if my RV can be repaired of if they will claim it a total loss?
In order for the ACA to make a decision on whether the RV should be repaired or totaled, he or she must look at the value of the RV in comparison to others in the immediate area. If there are not many comparable units in the claimant’s area, the ACA may expand his/her geographic scope for looking at comparable RV’s.
Once the comparable RV value is established then the ACA will evaluate the cost of repair vs the cost of replacement, meaning totaling out the RV and the claimaint purchase a new/used one. Typically, if the repair estimate is at least 75% of the RV cost, most insurance companies will total the RV meaning they will deem it a “total loss.”
In the case of repairing the RV, the claimant will submit repair estimates to their accredited claims adjuster for review if they have not done so already. Keep in mind, it is customary for the claimant to pay a deductible prior to any payment processed by the insurance company. The deductible amount can vary depending on the claimant’s RV insurance policy. It could be $250.00, $500.00 or more for the deductible. This amount will be deducted from the repair reimbursement.
Once the repairs are completed the claimant will produce the repair receipts to the ACA and the ACA will submit the information to the payment processing department. Within a few weeks the claimant will receive a check in the mail from their insurance company made payable to the claimant. Some insurance companies may not require the repairs to be completed prior to policy pay out. They will require a written estimate from the repair center in order for the reimbursement funds to be distributed.
In the event the RV is considered a “total loss” the claimant will receive a much larger payout compared to a payout for repairs. The total loss payout is based on comparable RV value rates in the claimant’s local geographical area. Prior to payout their insurance company will reduce the total amount for any deductible that is required as part of their RV insurance policy. In some cases, the insurance company will allow claimants to keep their RV despite the fact that it has been deemed a total loss. In this case the RV owner will get both the insurance payout for the total loss AND will keep their RV. They will be able to choose how they will proceed with the insurance payout and keeping their RV.
In the case where the RV owner elects to keep their RV, there will be time spent in getting the title reclassified. The RV owner will need to sign the title back to their insurance company. The insurance company will then reclassify the title and send it back to the owner. In some cases, the title will be deemed a salvage title which if the RV owner decides to sell their RV it could make it difficult for the new owner to acquire financing and insurance coverage. In other cases, the title may be classified as salvage rebuildable.
In Florida, this would mean that if the owner makes the repairs, has the State of Florida inspect the repairs and puts their stamp of approval saying the repairs were done correctly, the word salvage can come off the title and the new title would be classified as a “rebuilt” title. A rebuilt title is typically more favorable to any buyer.
Throughout the RV insurance claim process, the accredited claims adjuster will walk RV claimants through each step of their claim. We highly recommend submitting as much claim documentation as possible to the ACA for this person to have full knowledge of the claim and for ease of speeding up the claim process. When claimants are not diligent in sending all information pertaining to the claim, it can drag the RV claim process out much longer.
If you are looking to take your career in a different direction and you have a passion for customer service and helping others, you may want to consider a career as an accredited claims adjuster. In Florida, once you earn your 6-20 accredited claims adjuster designation, you can apply to the state for your all lines adjuster license. This will enable you to work on home insurance claims, auto and RV insurance claims and property insurance claims. You would have the flexibility to work as a staff claims adjuster or an independent insurance adjuster.
For more information on how to earn your 6-20 ACA designation, we invite you to call our Clermont, Florida office at 1-800-309-2459 or read more about the accredited claims adjuster certification process on our website.
Curious to learn the differences between a staff claims adjuster and an independent insurance adjuster? Click here to read more!