Extended RV Warranties - Are They Worth the Money?
Extended RV Service Contracts or Extended RV Warranties confuse many RVers. We explore the pros and cons of Extended RV Warranties and offer some insight into how they can benefit your RVing experience.
By Guest Author: Barry Wilder
Many consumers are uncertain when it comes to the question of Extended Service Contracts, or RV Warranties, as they are more commonly called. They’re not sure if they need the additional protection and coverage that an extended RV warranty can offer.
Many people have been lead to believe that extended RV warranties are simply a profit center for the RV dealer. This is true to some extent. Many RV dealers mark up the warranty prices from 100% to 300%, however Internet based companies can be much more competitive when it comes to RV warranty prices.
You shouldn’t allow yourself to be pressured by the dealer to add the coverage when you are signing the purchase papers on your new RV. You may decide to add it at that time, but you should shop around and compare coverages and costs, just as you did when you purchased your RV.
Most RV manufacturers warranty their new units from 1 to 2 years. If the RV is motorized, the chassis manufacturer may warranty the engine and drive line for a longer period.
If you have purchased a used RV from a dealer, there is generally a very limited warranty, if any… normally lasting approximately 30 days. If you have purchased a used unit from an individual, there is generally no warranty whatsoever.
In most cases, you must initiate your warranty coverage before your manufacturers warranty runs out. Many companies however, will allow you to warranty a vehicle which you have purchased used, or after the manufacturer's coverage has expired.
An extended RV warranty is an excellent way to protect your investment. Many RVs cost nearly as much as a new home, and in some cases, even more. Why not spend a little extra for a LOT of additional peace of mind while you travel?
Internet Based RV Warranty Companies
Just as the RV dealer has a very high overhead, commissions and other costs to consider when pricing the coverages he offers; Internet based companies usually have much lower operating costs. Don’t assume that the Internet based RV Warranty coverages are less comprehensive than what the dealer has offered.
Internet companies can normally provide many of the same warranty programs available from RV dealers. The are not only able to provide the same, or very similar warranty program the dealer offers, but at a much lower cost.
Consumers should always investigate the company that administers the warranty and claims, as well as the company that re-insures the policy. In other words, if the primary company went out of business, you are insured that the "re-insuring" company would step in and continue to honor and administer claims on existing policies.
Points to Consider When Purchasing an RV Extended Warranty
You need to be aware of how the claims are paid. The preferred method of claims payment is through the Warranty Company’s corporate credit card. This allows payment to be made directly to the repair facility. Some companies require you to pay for the repairs first - and then submit the claim. It can take weeks or even months to recover your out of pocket expenses in this case.
You will have a choice of deductible amounts, normally ranging from ZERO to $200, or more. There is normally very little cost difference between the lower and higher deductible amounts. It is usually advantageous to choose a lower deductible amount since the deductible will apply to each and every repair done to the RV.
Termination and Transferability
Your warranty coverage should be transferable if you sell your RV. It should have a prorated refund policy if you decide to terminate the coverage at any time during the warranty period.
Repair Facilities and Coverage Areas
You should also be sure that you could have any covered repair done at any authorized RV repair facility. The coverage should be good anywhere in the United States or Canada. Rarely, if ever will a warranty cover you in Mexico, so keep that in mind if you decide to take a vacation south of the border.
Many RV warranties have additional benefits such as towing reimbursement, rental car allowances, towing and road service, and lost key and lockout service. Some plans will even pay for your meals and lodging while your RV is being repaired.
Most policies also offer optional benefits at an additional cost. These options can cover items such as: Seals and gaskets, audio and video components, additional towing benefits, commercial use and even normal wear and tear.
You should also be aware that California is now a "dealer obligor" state. The dealer is responsible for the performance of the service contract, and not the administrator, nor the insurance company. Online and telephone solicitor warranty companies are prohibited to sell directly to California Residents and that means any online or warranty company.
Most experienced RV'ers will tell you that a good warranty is like a gun... It is better to have it and not need it, than to need it and not have it. The key is to find the best coverage possible for the best price.
You depend on your RV when you’re on the road for lodging and transportation and you want it to work properly, especially when you’re hundreds or even thousands of miles from home.
Extended RV warranties can provide peace of mind and are usually well worth the money spent. It’s up to you to research the various companies and programs offered to obtain the best coverage for the money. Thanks to the Internet, it is much easier to compare pricing and plans and chooses the coverage that’s just right for you and your RV.
President – Best Rate, Inc.
Barry Wilder has been associated with his family RV business for over 25 years. He is currently the owner of Best Rate Financial Services, providing loans and refinancing for RVs, boats and aircraft. They also provide RV and Boat Warranties.
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Note from Steven & Fran: We offer web space for guest author articles because we believe there is always room for another viewpoint and because we surely don't know everything there is to know about RVs and the RVing lifestyle. in that spirit we invite you to submit your own articles. We're happy to give you credit and provide a link to your website.