Summertime activities, like camping and boating, are rituals for many Montanans, complete with a checklist of must-have essentials. From sleeping bags for warm nights under the stars to the perfect lunch on the water, every adventurer has necessities they cannot bear to leave at home.
Invisible essentials, like insurance, are often an afterthought. Yet when conditions challenge big equipment like travel trailers, boats, and ATVS, protection for these items can make or break a trip. Here are five tips for insuring your toys this summer and beyond.
Recreational Vehicle Insurance Covers First-Time Mishaps
Driving or hauling a travel trailer, fifth-wheel, or pop-up camper, takes practice. When mistakes happen, recreational vehicle (RV) insurance creates a support system for vacationers becoming newly acquainted with maneuvering these rigs on the road.
“They can be tricky to operate at first, so protecting your camper from yourself is just as important as protecting from the elements,” says State Farm agent Pam Hansen Alfred.
Overcorrection and other accidents can happen at any time. Alfred recalls, “In one instance, a first-time owner of a travel trailer had not quite gotten the hang of towing it just yet, and in one sharp turn, hit a tree limb as well as a cement barrier.”
RV insurance provides coverage for drivable or towable campers. It operates outside of the normal liability coverage your car insurance may already extend to drivable RVs. RV insurance covers accidents involving damage to your motorhome, bodily injury, theft, vandalism, and other losses.
Your Home Away From Home Qualifies for Roadside Assistance
Much like your house, RVs are a large investment in comfort and safety. These domiciles on wheels include a special set of insurance concerns. In addition to damage and loss coverage like typical car insurance, many insurance companies provide emergency roadside assistance for RVs.
Fuel delivery, lockout services, jumpstarts, and even trip compensation are just some of the available benefits. Plan coverage varies, so comparing your needs with your options is essential. For example, some services are limited to a radius around the nearest office of your insurance provider.
Mechanical repair coverage is typical of most policies, taking care of small and large mechanical issues. Alfred reflects, “A retired couple decided to take a road trip last summer in their motorhome to get out of the home and stretch their legs. On their way to the Midwest, they experienced a flat tire! Changing a tire to begin with is tricky, imagine how much more difficult it is in a motorhome! With the emergency roadside service, we were able to arrange someone to come out and help change their flat tire and get them back on the road.”
Boat Insurance Uniquely Benefits Montanans
Time spent in the great outdoors goes hand in hand with time on the water for plenty of adventurers. Though boat insurance is not required in the Treasure State, it is a generally wise investment.
“Boat insurance in Montana is a stated value policy which means if you have your boat insured for $15,000 and it is damaged and not repairable, you will receive $15,000 as opposed to fair market value,” instructs Alfred.
Montana presents its residents and visitors alike with innumerable waterfront locations to enjoy, and rivers are a notable favorite for boating activities. Though vast and breathtaking, Montana’s rivers are accompanied by a distinctive insurance concern: sand bars.
Alfred cautions boaters, “If you’re using your boat in the Missouri River, keep in mind sandbars are always moving. If you have boat insurance and the of the boat is destroyed on a sandbar, it is a covered loss.”
Off-Road Vehicles Require Their Own Insurance Coverage.
This last year spent close to home has inspired an influx of off-road vehicle purchases. It is only natural for adventurers to load up their new toys for exploration of the backroads outside of their own backyards. ATVs, dirt bikes, dune buggies, see the hardest use out of any recreational equipment and because of this, insurance covering loss, damage, and theft is just as essential as insurance for your car or truck.
Off-road vehicle insurance steps in to cover liability in the event of an accident resulting in bodily harm and protects against damage or theft when your off-road vehicle is stored at home or in use on your property.
For some insurance companies, camping trailers are also defined as off-road vehicles. Consult your insurance provider for details on what is covered and what replacement values entail in the event of a claim.
Do Not Drop Your Coverage When Summer Ends
It can be tempting to pocket a few dollars by eliminating insurance coverage once your toys are stored for the winter. Keep in mind events such as fires, theft, vandalism, and natural disasters are largely independent of the season.
Alfred recalls, “I had a customer that was not wanting to keep their boat coverage on for the winter. He said that his boat was parked by his house and nothing was going to happen to it. He thought insurance was a rip off. He then cancelled the coverage. Later that year, lightning struck the boat and burned up the boat and started his house on fire.”
Not only does cancelling coverage altogether leave your property vulnerable, adding coverage back into your insurance plan can lead to increased premiums. Instead, consider altering your RV, boat, or off-road insurance costs by temporarily increasing the deductibles during timeframes where the equipment is not used. Going this route will foster peace of mind and reduce the likelihood toyless summer the following year.
To learn more about protecting your favorite camping and boating equipment against chance, reach out to Pam Hansen Alfred and her team at (406) 453-6010, stop by their offices at 2817 10th Ave. So., or visit www.pamhansenalfred.com
2817 10th Ave S
Great Falls, MT