airstream appraisal & hail damage question
1. For those who can't find an appraiser, try to find an independent insurance adjuster with RV experience to assist you. In some states, such as Texas, a licensed adjuster can perform vehicle appraisals. The rule was create to allow purchasers of used vehicles to obtain an appraisal for determination of purchase value to base the sales tax on. Before a buyer could walk into the tax office an state any purchase price without proof then pay the sales tax when having the title transferred. Now, Texas uses an online valuation, but many purchases are below that amount. In this case the adjuster may be able to give you an appraisal for insurability depending on the state law, and will charge for it. If not, the adjuster probably can lead you to one of the national firms used by insurance companies to do an appraisal with your assistance. Sometimes individuals are fighting these companies because they appraise too low trying to prove a total loss for the insurance company. To help with the appraisal you can search the internet to find comparable trailers for sale, make a copy of the ad or forum posting with the price and how it is equipped, and try to find out how much some have been sold for. Then bundle that info with a copy of all of your receipts for improvements and base cost if you have it, and supply it to the appraiser along with digital photos and ask for a confirmation of your own appraisal amount, and if they think it is more, ask for the max they can come up with. You should be able to get an appraisal over the phone and internet in this manner.
2.Hail Damage Question: Both my airstream ('72 31' Soverign updated with new 110v fridge, drop in range, new a/c unit with heat pump, faucits, free standing microwave, pex plumbing, new toilet & water heater, new power module, floor & carpet) and my 24'x8'x8' enclosed car hauler were hail damaged in the Oklahoma storm last Thursday. The dents are all over the top and on the curved side and broken plastic vent covers that allowed water inside.
I am an adjuster and have adjusted a lot of mobile homes that included travel trailers being used as a permanent residence, but I don't remember ever doing an airstream. How is this normally repaired? The only way I can see it being done is to drill out the rivits and have aluminum shaped to match the removed section, drilled, and installed. I assume this requires removing the a/c unit. But to do this from front to rear would probably exceed the value of the trailer. I have this one insured for around $8500, If I am remembering correctly.
One other note: normally the amount a vehicle, home, or trailer is insured for is the "limit" to be compensated in the event of a total loss. It has been my experience that if a policy does state that the limit is an "agreed value" then when the cost of repairs reaches that amount, it will be a total loss and no depreciation will be applied. However, normally the actual cash value is what is paid regardless of the limit. If you insured a car for $20k but can buy the same year make, and model, condition, and miles, for $10k, that is all you would be paid in a total loss.