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Old 03-20-2023, 08:41 PM   #1
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Toad Insurance: Turn On and Off As Needed

Here's the dilemma: we have a GX470 that is a DD and all set up for toading. It's great because it's a tank with V-8 power, very safe and smooth driving. Can seat 7 or 8 in a pinch, very capable off-road. Locked up in 4x4 low, could probably pull our 40' coach out of many stuck situations. Some of those traits deter from both its DD and toad suitability: 13-15 mpg generally speaking, maybe 17+ on a mellow freeway cruise, and 5000+ lbs. to tow. She's got nearly 200,000 miles and there are zero worries about continued piling on of miles on major components, but lots of little things go wrong on a regular basis. The decision has been made to acquire a modern luxury hybrid SUV that is not flat towable (RX 450H). It will double our mpg and be an awesome DD, but now what to do for a toad ... keeping the GX is on the table, but a TJ Wrangler or a Tracker are possibilities to shed some weight and still retain some off-road trailblazing ability. Sadly, the Geo is overpriced due to a fanatical cult following, just like Samurais. TJs have a bit of that going on, but I think i can ferret-out a deal, which is hopeless for a Tracker.

Regardless of what we choose, a dedicated toad that will sit around 300 days a year presents concerns.

I could see shedding down to bare minimums on insurance except for robust liability coverage, but I'm guessing annual the premium will still be close to $2500. As retirement and a fixed income loom, we are thinking this is a wasted overhead cost for something that sees little use, but serves an important role that we don't want to forgo. Any suggestions for insurance, including coverage that might be flipped on and off at will? So far we have kept all our vehicles, including the coach, with one major brand auto insurance company. They do not do "on and off."

Surely we are not the first Class A drivers to grapple with this issue. Insight appreciated!
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Old 03-20-2023, 09:38 PM   #2
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I'm with State Farm & actually do that with my RV. It sits from Nov-Apr so no reason to pay for collision while it's in storage. They let me drop down to liability only during the off months. Did the same with a motorcycle for decades. So it can be done. Caveat was there could be no loan/lien on the vehicle. SF requires full coverage if it wasn't paid off.
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Old 03-20-2023, 10:47 PM   #3
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If you're still a Las Vegas resident as your profile indicates, I believe you'll find that Nevada does not allow you to temporarily suspend your insurance. You might call the DMV to verify.
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Old 03-21-2023, 12:06 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by BobGed View Post
If you're still a Las Vegas resident as your profile indicates, I believe you'll find that Nevada does not allow you to temporarily suspend your insurance. You might call the DMV to verify.
I believe this is true. Being a NV resident previously, I remember researching that as we were considering leaving a vehicle in storage but also possibly using it every once in awhile when we were back in the area. Therefore, we checked into pausing the insurance. However, even if the insurance carrier allows it --as I believe Progressive does-- the state of Nevada requires that the registration be cancelled first.

My understanding is that NV considers it a "dormant vehicle." At any time liability coverage is dropped, paused, suspended, etc., registration must be cancelled before doing so. A dormant vehicle affidavit then must be filed. Then, when wanting to use the vehicle again, you'd have to re-register and I believe even getting new plates again --I think that was the case. <--sorry, that's not true about the plates. We didn't want to go through all that red tape each time we wanted to use the stored vehicle so we left the insurance and registration in tact. Also, when re-registering, I think there are also quite a few fees involved. Not worth the hassle and I don't think you'd be saving much money if any money at all if done enough times.

I looked up in my notes what the NV DMV had printed at the time:
My vehicle is under repair or in storage

You must cancel the registration before dropping the liability insurance on a vehicle for any reason.

If your registration is suspended, you must follow the Reinstatement procedures.

If the owner of the vehicle declares it dormant due to mechanical or seasonal circumstances during the period in question, the owner must sign a Dormant Vehicle Affidavit (NVL-003) and present documentation to verify the status.

Here is the Dormant Vehicle Affidavit (NVL-003):
Attached Files
File Type: pdf nvl003.pdf (665.3 KB, 5 views)
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Old 03-21-2023, 12:11 AM   #5
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^ But to add, I bet you could have the insurance carrier drop everything but liability and then reinstate it each time you use the vehicle ...maybe they'd give you a small refund every time you drop everything sans liability and then charge you for it each time you declare it again?? ...but even that sounds like it would be more hassle than it's worth.
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Old 03-21-2023, 06:13 AM   #6
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This varies from state to state,unfortunately it seems more and more states are making this hard to do. I know in my state of Louisiana such things require a trip to the DMV to turn in the plates whenever insurance is dropped, even with this I know people that do it for seasonal vehicles. Though I would certainly check those rates, we are paying around $800 per year for liability / uninsured motorist, etc. for our cheap 2007 Toyota Yaris TOAD.
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Old 03-21-2023, 12:04 PM   #7
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This definitely must vary from state to state. Here in Iowa it is a simple call to my insurance agent. I often will leave comprehensive coverage on a vehicle I will not be driving for a while depending on where it is stored and the risk of theft/fire/vandalism/etc. Other times I suspend all coverage. If it ends up I need to use the vehicle for a day all it takes is a call or email to my agent.
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Old 03-21-2023, 12:15 PM   #8
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If you have more vehicles than drivers on the policy, you may find that the liability of that occasional use vehicle isn't too terrible because it is clear the vehicle is not on the road all the time. Call your agent and discuss the situation and see what they suggest. At the very least you should be able to cut the liability limits back to state minimums when you aren't using it, and you probably don't need collision or comp on the old tank either.
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Old 03-21-2023, 12:40 PM   #9
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Look into Nationwide Smart Miles (pay by mile)
Saves us a ton of money annually on our three rigs…only one of which is our DD, sorta. We’re retired…
That’s the beauty of an independent insurance broker, flexibility. We have Nationwide on our vehicles, including the toad. Progressive on the coach. Haggerty on the boat, motorcycle and classic Willys PU. Annual premiums are about 2k on everything, full coverage with declared replacement value on the coach.
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Old 03-21-2023, 02:11 PM   #10
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If you qualify for USAA they allow what's called storage of your vehicles with a reduced rate. We have two we put into the garage when we're on the road and call and take them off of storage a day before we get back.
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Old 03-22-2023, 12:35 PM   #11
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You all are spot on about the Nevada Revised Statutes regarding dormant vehicles. I guess the insurance industry as a very effective lobby in Carson City! I have coped with the dormant vehicle b.s. many times over the years. Yet another government entity telling us how to live our lives!

Funny that the only presumed reasons (per the affidavit) for going dormant are mechanical repairs conducted at a shop under a work order or storage at a facility other than your home. Since I do all my own mechanical work and have plenty of storage at my property, that simply does not work for me. I will decide when I'm parking a vehicle, and for any reason of my choosing. The state can kiss my a**!

Okay, rant over. And thank you for the comments everyone. This is an issue that must be dealt with. I have never encountered resistance from the insurance company in removing coverage, but electronic verification methods lead to receiving "nasty grams" from the state. You are also supposed to turn in non-utilized license plates, but I do not. As long as you keep the registration valid, that aspect is not a problem. Technically in violation of NRS, but in compliance with the intent - vehicle never touches the road. Just provide proof of insurance at the next renewal, and all is well.

Playing the games above is a pain, so going down to bare bones liability coverage is probably the way to go. I have never worked with an insurance broker, so that is probably a path worth exploring. Certainly we have more vehicles than drivers. Mileage based coverage seems worth exploring as well.

Thanks to all for the feedback.
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Old 03-22-2023, 03:43 PM   #12
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Playing such games in my state will get your drivers license suspended
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Old 03-24-2023, 07:17 PM   #13
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We have vehicles that we leave in WI for 6 months and also in AZ that are stored for six months. We drop all coverage except comprehensive. They are are then covered if the home is destroyed. We get a nice refund on all of them. I see no need for liability, as they are locked in an insured building. Unfortunately, from what you and others have said, that might not be an option in your state.
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