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Old 05-26-2022, 04:33 PM   #1
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Fire Lesson

Last week we lost our 2010 Tiffin Phaeton and our 2019 Ranger Lariat to a vehicle fire while running down the road. The fire started in the rear of the coach and the first I noticed was white smoke when I looked in the rear-view mirror. I thought it was a blown radiator hose cause the smoke coming out the rear was white. By the time I got off the road and ran back to check, fire was coming out the roof.
Long story short, today the adjuster valued the totaled coach at $143,000. Our insurance policy will only pay $99,999 cause that is what we valued it at in the spring of 2020 when we purchased it. Yes we just lost $43,000 for not updating out insurance to today's crazy values.
Lost contents is another whole rats nest, adjuster wants us to itemize everything lost, who made it, where purchased, how much, when, and where it was in the coach. We should have taken lots of pictures and stored them in the cloud. I'm fairly certain we're going to take a beating on the contents value.
I strongly urge everyone to check your insurance policies to make certain you keep up with today's RV values.
Yes, we'll survive this rainy day and be "snow birds" again before winter.
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Old 05-26-2022, 04:38 PM   #2
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That really sucks and am sorry to hear about the loss. It is a good reminder though for people to check their policies to hopefully avoid the same thing if something did happen.
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Old 05-26-2022, 07:56 PM   #3
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Geez sorry to hear of your misfortune. It's a shame the fire had to start but then to have it underinsured. Wow. Thank you for the heads up on checking our insurance.
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Old 05-27-2022, 05:25 AM   #4
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Wow. That is terrible. Thanks for this warning. I have not even thought about this as being a possible issue. I will check mine today. I'm glad you guys made it out safely.
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Old 05-27-2022, 07:29 AM   #5
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Most people think the contents of a home or RV are covered at the policy stated amount. But actually the contents are covered UP To that amount.

When we lost our loved Discovery to a fire. settling the value of the coach was easy. My State Farm insurance company found a like coach, made adjustments in the value and we settled.

But the contents was a 2 year long process. Sharon and I, individually listed listed the contents of each room. Then we compared each list and came up with a master list. Don't forget toilet paper, pens and pencils, pictures, hair spray etc.

I set up a spreadsheet listing all items and their age, and current Amazon value. State Farm sent me a check for the deprecated total value of the items right off the bat. Then as we purchased items I sent them receipts for the new items showing the cost including sales tax. State Farm then sent me checks for the difference between what they had already sent and the new current cost.

As we went through the process we kept remembering things we had forgot to put on the master list. That quart of oil, or the hiking poles, or the flash light in the bedside table, the knitting needles, games, computer printer paper, dog Frisbees, disposable gloves etc. State Farm allowed us to admen our list. ...don't forget about those smelly things some people drop into the toilet.


Like I said, it took a lot of time but it paid off! I feel very comfortable we were reimbursed fairly and made whole. We were reimbursed over $25,000! tHE SMALL STUFF ADDS UP!!! Let me repeat, THE SMALL STUFF ADDS UP. Don't forget the Scotch tape or that package of thumb tacks how about chewing gum. Oh under the sink where the Windex and wipes are kept..................

You don't have to "take a beating on the contents value."
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Old 05-27-2022, 10:56 AM   #6
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Really sorry for your loss, but thanks for the advice to all of us who are probably in the same boat!
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Old 05-27-2022, 11:00 AM   #7
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You had an agreed value policy? That seems odd.

We have an actual cash value policy, which is the standard policy.

I have a collector car I paid 50k for 20 years ago. It’s worth more than the average house now… State Farm asked what it was worth when I bought it, and I said 50k.

Since then I’ve asked multiple times if there’s a ceiling on what they pay, if it gets totaled. Been told several times, “no ceiling.”

You may want to look at your policy, never heard of one with a ceiling for reimbursement…
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Old 05-28-2022, 07:31 AM   #8
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Insurance versus Suppression & Prevention

Quote:
Originally Posted by Armor Top View Post
Last week we lost our 2010 Tiffin Phaeton and our 2019 Ranger Lariat to a vehicle fire while running down the road. The fire started in the rear of the coach and the first I noticed was white smoke when I looked in the rear-view mirror. I thought it was a blown radiator hose cause the smoke coming out the rear was white. By the time I got off the road and ran back to check, fire was coming out the roof.
Long story short, today the adjuster valued the totaled coach at $143,000. Our insurance policy will only pay $99,999 cause that is what we valued it at in the spring of 2020 when we purchased it. Yes we just lost $43,000 for not updating out insurance to today's crazy values.
Lost contents is another whole rats nest, adjuster wants us to itemize everything lost, who made it, where purchased, how much, when, and where it was in the coach. We should have taken lots of pictures and stored them in the cloud. I'm fairly certain we're going to take a beating on the contents value.
I strongly urge everyone to check your insurance policies to make certain you keep up with today's RV values.
Yes, we'll survive this rainy day and be "snow birds" again before winter.
We have a customer that looked in his mirror, just like you, and viewed white smoke coming from the rear of his RV. He had put an automatic engine fire suppression system in his engine compartment.

He pulled over where it was safe, got out, and boom, the fire suppression system triggered. To his luck, a guy following him had a large fire extinguisher, it was needed!! This is because the fire resumed after the automatic suppression system activated.

Long story short, he had a hydraulic line rupture, the turbo ignited the fire. Do you know the source of the fire?

He had a NAPA make him a new hydraulic line to fix the rupture, and drove his beautiful Country Coach home with minor damage.

THE BEST INSURANCE:

#1: Fire Prevention, that is what we are all about

#2: Fire Suppression, that is what you are all about

#3: Insurance, we have all faced these battles.

Fires cannot always be prevented, remember what smoky said , but modified, only you can prevent RV fires
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Old 05-28-2022, 08:21 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bpu699 View Post
You had an agreed value policy? That seems odd.

We have an actual cash value policy, which is the standard policy.

I have a collector car I paid 50k for 20 years ago. It’s worth more than the average house now… State Farm asked what it was worth when I bought it, and I said 50k.

Since then I’ve asked multiple times if there’s a ceiling on what they pay, if it gets totaled. Been told several times, “no ceiling.”

You may want to look at your policy, never heard of one with a ceiling for reimbursement…
I have been an insurance adjuster for over 25 years.

A stated value policy on anything other than an automobile is the standard. Most policies on specialty items (collector cars, boats, RV's, campers, utility trailers, golf carts) are stated value. It is possible to buy an "actual cash value" policy but you have to make sure it has "actual cash value" endorsement in your policy. IT IS A SPECIAL POLICY OR AN ENDORSEMENT.
The only exception to that is a policy written by a specialty company. Haggerty is the one that comes to mind on classic, street rod, and antique cars. There are a couple of others that write those policies also.

I would not believe what the agent says. READ YOUR POLICY. Unless it says somewhere in it "actual cash value" it will not cover the increase in value due to market conditions. Not if you gave a STATED value when buying the policy. Not saying you don't have it, but if it is not in writing you don't. I can tell you how many times I have handled a claim and when I hit one of these obstacles I ask the customer "what does it say in your policy" The usual response is "I don't know. Nobody reads those" Well yes we do.

I am so sorry the OP lost value that could have been insured. But to put the other hat on, the OP paid $100,000 for his coach. Paid premium on $100,000 worth of coverage and that is what was lost. Yes, replacement is $143,000 and the OP is out $43,000 to buy a replacement. And I thank him for bringing this up so others can avoid suffering a loss. He didn't sound angry or think he was being cheated. Only helpful.

On the personal property note. Realize that if you have a standard RV policy, for someone who uses occasionally (and that can mean just about anything except full time) it is not your RV insurance that will cover personal property. It is your homeowners. And most homeowners' policies (AGAIN READ YOUR POLICY) will have a certain amount of covered personal property that is not on the premises of your home. Just like an auto policy. If your car is destroyed, fire, flood or stolen, and you have things like a laptop, a tv, or lots of clothes, it is your homeowner's policy that covers those.

I just sold my house to go full time. I have a very good agent. The first thing she asked me when I went to cancel my homeowner's coverage is personal property. How much did I want? I took $20,000. The next is liability. When you have an RV if somebody comes over, falls over your step, and decides to sue you, it is your homeowner's coverage that defends and protects you. Most companies sell a "full-timers policy" but it has to be quoted by underwriting. In my case, to be protected, I chose to take $1,000,000. Neither of these two changes was very expensive. I also upped my "stated value". She actually thought I might want to lower it as it had been a couple of years since I bought my coach. Kinda surprised her when I said to up it by 20k.

I really thank the OP for bringing this topic up. In the crazy market, we have I have been seeing more and more underinsured losses. Its sad that it takes his loss to educate the rest of us. When I try and suggest upping coverage to people I know it's always "oh you just want us to buy more insurance because you work for them. I already have full coverage" I'm sorry you suffered this loss. On a side note, I am going to guess your Ranger was covered for replacement cost. After many years in the industry, I have never figured out why insurance is done like this. You would think you buy a policy on "X" that it would just pay for you to buy another "X" but that's not the case.
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Old 05-28-2022, 10:34 AM   #10
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All very true amosnandy

When I was working in disaster recovery after major events like hurricanes, I was always surprised at the number of homeowners that didn't have a clue, not only how much they were covered for, but many of them didn't even know who the insurance company was!
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Old 05-28-2022, 05:32 PM   #11
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First off thankfully you are ok.
We just came up for renewal and once again increased the insured value of our rig to reflect current prices.

Our content insurance is for a set amount ...10K

It is a good idea to review your policy yearly and not just accept a renewal notice.

Again thankfully you are ok.
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Old 05-28-2022, 05:45 PM   #12
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Amor Top, The majority of RV fires occur in MH's, the majority of MH fires are in the engine compartment.
Your suppression system probably saved your MH from destruction long enough for the bystander to finish off the fire with his extinguisher.



Quote:
Originally Posted by momdoc View Post
First off thankfully you are ok.
We just came up for renewal and once again increased the insured value of our rig to reflect current prices.

Our content insurance is for a set amount ...10K

It is a good idea to review your policy yearly and not just accept a renewal notice.

Again thankfully you are ok.
You only get that $10K if you can PROVE/document your personal items add up to that amount is what amosNandy said.
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