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Old 08-04-2005, 10:18 AM   #1
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Insuring an Older Airstream

Probably most of you have seen the thread regarding the accident that made a mess of Barkingspiders Excella. Rear ended by an 18 wheeler. What's particularly painful is that this restoration was one of the classiest ones I've seen and the issue of dealing with the insurance company will probably be a nightmare.


It brings up the point though that when you are dealing with restoration of a vintage unit, what can you do to protect that investment of $$$ and time spent getting your unit up to snuff?

Most of us deal with a similar situation with our tow vehicles which eventually become worthless in the eyes of our insurers after a length of time. Unfortunately an errant driver can turn your paid for excellent vehicle into a settlement that can't buy squat. But most of us can replace these vehicles and other than our TLC, we most likely haven't done much other than to keep them running.

But an Airstream is a different beast. And for most of us its our second home. Unfortunately it doesn't appreciate much so we can't get that same level of protection as we have for our primary palace.

Maybe some of you can chime in with your experiences both in obtaining coverage, but also in dealing with what happens after an accident occurs. What alternatives are there? Take the settlement, buy it back, go to court?

Tell us your story. You may help Barkingspider, and a lot of others here who keep the vintage units alive and well.

Regards,

Jack
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Old 08-04-2005, 11:19 AM   #2
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Excellent question. I've been wondering about the same thing myself. I know that my Safari will be worth signifigantly more when I'm done restoring it than was when I bought it. Any suggestions about estimating it's new value and getting accurate insurance would be great.
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Old 08-04-2005, 11:24 AM   #3
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I,too, have pondered this question. I figure I'll have $8-10k in mine by the time I'm finished with the restoration. At present, we have only minimum coverage on the TT because it can't even be moved, but when we're done......

Surely there is a way to buy "overvalue" insurance on a vintage/classic/antique camper. Any insurance guys or gals out there got the answer? What is the term of art for such coverage? Is it "Loyds of London" expensive or reasonable?

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Old 08-04-2005, 11:33 AM   #4
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Good question! Here are two links to two existing threads already started on this important topic:

Thread #1

Thread #2
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Old 08-04-2005, 11:47 AM   #5
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Rivet An excellent topic to evaluate ...

Jack,

I'm glad you have started this thread because I was going to. How well a claim on a loss is serviced and how the insured is compensated for the loss is much more important than being economical when judging the premium cost.

Who was it that said "Penny Wise & Pound Foolish"? Maybe someone from the U.K., but just the same ...

That is why I posted this in Barkingspider's thread about his loss:
Quote:
I personally, and others on this Fourm, will be very interested in who you are insured with, what type of policy (ACV or agreed value), and how quickly they handle the claim and your indemnification.
There have been other fairly recent threads on this subject and this one will lead you to three others in post #4.

http://www.airforums.com/forum...ad.php?t=17212

This is a very real and serious consideration for the owners of valuable Vintage Airstreams; and although none of us want to have a loss, we all should plan for one when contemplating what Company to use for adequate coverage.

I personally contend that an Agreed Value Policy, with an A or A+, 'AM Best' rated Company, is the only way to go.
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Old 08-04-2005, 12:39 PM   #6
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I am also quite interested in this topic--my 79 Excella will need insurance in a couple of weeks as the sale of my house will occur (fingers crossed) on the 15th, closing date, and my current insurance is part of my homeowner's policy. Off-hand I think my current policy is just under $500 a year.

I'll be fulltiming in the trailer, in a MHP, and don't have a tow vehicle, to add to the complexity. It's in extremely good original shape inside and out, so I do want decent protection ($10K? would be near replacement cost). I looked at the other threads but most seem geared towards considerably newer trailers. I would greatly appreciate advice on what companies to get quotes from and what I should expect to pay, etc...
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Old 08-04-2005, 12:57 PM   #7
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Last Febuary the engine in my Classic 280 died due to the wrong oil filter being used. You can read the entire thread under $14500.00 oil change. The final cost went up to $19,000.00. My insurance company paid the claim and only took off 20% for depreciation due to the fact that this was an Airstream! The insurance company is American Family. And to you naysayers and doubters out there I have not gotten a rate increase or a cancelation notice from them. They were wonderful to work with and fully understood the nature of a classic vehicle. The adjuster had done his homework.
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Old 08-04-2005, 01:01 PM   #8
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I recently had a similar experience as Barkingspider. We were traveling N. of I-75 when our Airstream was sideswiped by someone not paying attention (talking on their cell phone). Quite a jolt on impact and quite a site see our Airstream with all four wheels off the ground going 70MPH. No one was hurt and only limited damage to our Airstream.

Fortunately we were able to travel on and was only a slight distraction to the beginning of our trip to NC. Insurance adjuster and repair people alike attested to the fact that if it were not an Airstream it would have disintegrated upon impact. Yet another reason to own one of these fine units.

As for my experience with the insurance company (Progressive) of the car that hit me I could not have a better experience as they were very polite, thorough and quick to respond to my calls and needs. They have helped to make sure that I am happy and if the compensation check runs short they will cover any cost overages. Also, the repairs are guaranteed for life.

My personal insurance coverage is through Nationwide and I pay $37.00 every 6 months for a replacement type policy.

Best of luck to Barkingspider.

Jon
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Old 08-04-2005, 01:13 PM   #9
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There are some good threads out there and I think most of us agree that having an independent appraisal and finding a company who will take that obligation on is the way to do it. I'd also like to see some experiences with folks who handn't gone the appraisal route and were offered a total loss settlement from the insurance company.

Specifically, did any of you then buy back the trailer and have it repaired? Any regrets or hardships in attempting this? What about the insurability of a trailer which has been totaled out. I thought I heard that this isn't possible.

Keep the info and links coming!

Regards,

Jack
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Old 08-04-2005, 05:11 PM   #10
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Funny you mention this....

I was horrified to see Barkingspider's thread today and that got me motivated to call my insurance company today. Through USAA, I got mine insured for $10,000 with a $1,000 deductible. Only $9.25 every six months!!! Not too bad!!

Mike
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Old 08-05-2005, 06:05 AM   #11
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Rivet Learn from other's ...

In the current thread 'Help! Value for Insurance' you can follow some of the progress of a claim on an older unit ...

...
Quote:
believed that it was insured at a fixed value of $15,000 and the original claims agent said the same thing, but when it came time to cut the check, the fine print actually said "not to exceed" $15K
...

It cannot be overly emphasized "READ YOUR POLICY" understand fully what your coverages are and what the stated limits are. Particular attention should also be given to the Exclusions listed in the contract.

If you can't figure out what the contract says, continue the discussion with the agent until you comprehend all the details.

If you are sourcing new insurance it is possible to get a copy of the basic policy for review, prior to your commitment. Each Company will usually have their own, individual, 'boiler plate' verbage - each with their own idiosyncrasies.
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Old 08-05-2005, 08:27 AM   #12
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Rivet

I've seen plenty of these threads about insurance and claims on Vintage Airstreams. They float for awhile and then are lost in the bowels of the forums on which they appeared.

Sort of surprising that this thread was started by a moderator. Instead of revisiting an older thread which might have kept things less strung out. But no great harm I guess because it is certainly a good and always timely subject.

I think a separate forum for Insurance and Damage Claims is in order, where all the scattered threads can be rounded up and removed to. Not only would that make searching easier, it could provide a "journal" of experiences that others might surely benefit from.

Perhaps it would also provide a platform that eventually could lead to a more uniform ability of "assigning value" to our trailers. By way of idea exchange and documentation of claims experiences and horror stories.

One thing is sure, there needs to be an appraisal process that can be uniformly respected by the insurance industry. And trusted by the vintage Airstream owners.
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Old 08-05-2005, 10:42 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by roadeo
I think a separate forum for Insurance and Damage Claims is in order.... Not only would that make searching easier, it could provide a "journal" of experiences that others might surely benefit from....
Good idea!

Quote:
Originally Posted by roadeo
.... provide a platform that eventually could lead to a more uniform ability of "assigning value" to our trailers.
Even better idea! I'll pass this along to the site administrator.

A forum for insurance, trailer value and money issues...
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Old 08-05-2005, 11:16 AM   #14
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First let me say a forum for insurance, etc... is a great idea.

I am paying Foremost $298 a year for insurance on my 78 Excella. The policy does not give a dollar amount for the coverage. It uses ACV or actual cash value and I don't really know what that means. I asked the Foremost agent on the phone and she said the "Blue Book" value. But when she tried to find it for a 1978, she couldn't. The book stopped at around 1984 and that amount wasn't much.

There is a BIG gap between $10-$15 every six months and $298 a year. I wonder what I am getting from Foremost that those paying the minimal amounts are not... or am I paying too much.

One of our good airstreamforums folk must be an insurance agent. Perhaps he or she could shed some light on the subject.
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Old 08-15-2005, 03:56 PM   #15
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Does anyone know where to get an appraisal for a 1979 safari? I just spent thousands of $$ to remodel and when I asked Progressive for a quote with an agreed value they asked for an appraisal certificate..but the agent was unable to say who actually does the appraisal. Any ideas on who the mystery appraisors might be? Thanks.
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Old 08-15-2005, 06:16 PM   #16
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Rivet A little help !!!

atvmcg,

Not an easy task, as you have already experienced.

Where does the Airstream live? You failed to list any data in the 'Additional Information' section of your profile. If you provide those details, others on the Forum will know where you're coming from in future posts. Forum members may today know of someone near-by if we knew where by was.

For the appraisal, your best bet will be to find an Airstream dealer and/or an RV retail store that will agree to put a value in writing. Not many of them will, mostly because they don't truly have an understanding of values other than late models. There are some very knowledgable and qualified Airstream dealers scattered around the country that are capable of giving you an honest appraisal on a classic or vintage unit, you just have to find one. Call around and ask.

There are other methods outside of an apprasial, although they are painstaking, arduous and not always effective. Such as collecting the original bill of sale, receipts of all major expenditures (and throw your labor out the window). The underwriter should be queried before hand to determine if they will accept that form of data for establishing a value.

You may be able to assemble ebay information over a period of time and educate an auto dealership that specializes in classis and vintage cars & trucks. You may even get lucky and find a classic auto dealer that is familiar. An appraisal on that type of letterhead may be acceptable. Again, check first before paying out the appraisal fee.

One thing you don't want to do is 'create your own' or present them with a misrepresentation (not that you would), because if a major loss is adjusted by a real pro, it will be discovered as over insured and your entire claim may be denied.
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Old 08-15-2005, 08:02 PM   #17
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Gee and I was told my AS was too old to be insured. Where did you guys find insurance? I would sign up in half a heart beat if I could get a rate as quoted in this thread. Are you guys pulling my legs? I have very short legs that need stretching but come on guys.
Please prove me wrong.
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Old 08-16-2005, 05:45 AM   #18
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I want to agree with the need for a forum on insurance and appraisal. I have gone through it and was lucky but saw how it could have gone the other way. The opposing insurance company refered to my classic motorhome as an old used beater and my insurance company refered to it as a "classic." They used Fred's Airstream Motorhome web page http://www.airstreammotorhomes.com/ to help establish a value and the fact that it indeed was a classic. There are resources like this available for our trailers as well. What we need to do is get it together and what better place than on this forum. The wealth of knowledge that is available here will allow us to get information so we can appraise, insure and protect our cherished treasures.
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Old 08-16-2005, 10:20 AM   #19
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I want to agree with the need for a forum on insurance and appraisal. I have gone through it and was lucky but saw how it could have gone the other way. ....
You (several of you) asked..... so..

We have added the new forum and a couple of others, Check out "dollars and Cents" Insurance, trailer values, claims issues. We've also just added and "global 'Streaming" - for international issues, including shipping, modifications and paperwork... Change happens!
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Old 08-16-2005, 02:20 PM   #20
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Keeping Up !

Great to belong to a progressive Forum.
Way to keep up with the times! ... Good job!
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