RV Extended Warranty
There is no way to address the topic of an RV extended warranty without stepping on someones toes. So put on your saftey shoes and we will jump right in.
RV extended warranties are not the same as a manufacturer’s warranty. A manufacturer’s warranty says the manufacturer will stand behind their design and workmanship for a specified time after you make the purchase.
An extended warranty is more like a bet that is placed on a football game complete with picking a winner and point spreads. The warranty company is betting that your refrigerator will make it through the three years of the warranty, for example, and you are betting that it won’t.
They also are betting that even if your refrigerator does fail, they can somehow make it your fault.
You are betting that you can convince them that the failure should be covered.
RV Extended Warranty – Considerations
If your refrigerator, microwave, generator, or other component fails, would it put you in jeopardy to replace it yourself? If you have a motorhome, would engine failure or transmission failure put you out of commission? When looking at those scenarios, is replacement the only option? Could the problem be repaired? Really, is it any different in an RV or a house? Life has few certainties. Death and taxes, as the old saying goes, being the only ones.
That probably explains why about half of the RVers I have talked with like extended warranties, and the other half think they are a total waste of money.
The one area in which there seems to be more consensus is in the type of RV extended warranty. The exclusion type policy seems to be the most favored. This type of policy spells out what items are NOT covered if they fail. The more exclusions, the lower the premium. Also the type policy where the dealer or RV service center gets paid directly is preferred by most RVers. That seems to take some of the options out of the company’s decision as to whether or not a component is covered. Most RVers prefer to know up front if the service is covered rather than having to be reimbursed afterwards. Know for certain that there are people being paid to find a way NOT to cover your claim.
When we bought our RV we decided to buy the RV extended warranty the dealer offered, mostly because of fear of the unknown. We knew very little about RV’s or RVing and the idea of three years of coverage didn’t sound too bad. Of course we barely looked at the price of the overall policy, buying into the phrase , “If we had to replace an engine the cost of the extended warranty would pale in comparison.” Later we learned that the engine and transmission we have in our motorhome, if properly maintained, are designed to last upwards of half a million miles. If we continue to travel as we do now, and we maintain our unit with proper preventative maintenance, we can expect to have to do an overhaul when we reach 105 years of age.
We did have to replace an AC unit. The RV extended warranty paid for that. We had to replace a microwave oven unit. Our policy did NOT cover that, because we were impatient to have our oven back, and ended up installing it ourselves. This was apparently all the company needed to deny the claim. If we had waited the three weeks for an appointment to have the service center install the unit, it probably would have been covered. The total of those expenses hardly made a dent in offsetting our premium costs.
We have chosen not to renew our RV extended warranty when our initial policy is up. We will instead put away the premium costs to build up a reserve for future expenses. In our case the premium also increased from about $4000.00 for the initial 3 year policy to about $2500 for only 1 additional year. The older your RV, the higher the premiums. Are we throwing caution to the wind by not renewing? As many of our followers can tell you, we have had a tendency to do that at times. See our (about us page) Only time will tell. We will let you know whether our decision was prudent or folly.
If you choose to go with an extended warranty or service contract, carefully read the fine print. Know what is and what is not covered in advance of paying out your hard earned money, and learn all the details of the contract and the financial strength of the company writing the contract.