Problems with Progressive: An RV Insurance Review

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Update: Since originally posting this message, Progressive has decided to pay out on our claim. The entire process took nearly a month. It required at least twenty phone calls, continuing to go up the chain of supervisors until one of them finally called me back and indicated that they do believe our claim was valid and did in fact pay out. They actually totaled the vehicle, so we ended up getting more than the cost of repairs, but are no longer allowed to have insurance with them on this particular Airstream. Additionally, they ended up going out of their way to pay hotel expenses. Note that covering hotel expenses in the case of a loss or damage that is the result of a coverable claim is part of our coverage. However, once they declared the Airstream totaled, they didn’t have to cover any additional hotel expenses, but they did anyway. I feel it important to mention all of this as the overall outcome was favorable, even if they made us jump through a crazy amount of hoops to get there.

While I don’t typically take this space to talk about things as boring as RV insurance, I feel it’s important to put this information out there somewhere, in case it might help other travelers seeking insurance make a better decision.

I own a 1976 Airstream Sovereign. It’s a 31′ travel trailer, and my family and I live in it full-time. When weighing my insurance options, I ended up choosing Progressive because they provide a “full-timer package”, where in the event my Airstream is damaged, they’ll not only pay for those damages but also pay for hotels and similar expenses while we are effectively out of a home.

Two weeks ago I hit the back of my trailer on a speed hump in Boulder, Colorado. The auto body shop I took it to said it was frame damage, and due to the size of the trailer, they were unable to work on it. I contacted Progressive and was told that I could take it to any shop I wanted, and they would take things from there.

Two weeks later, and over a dozen phone calls, my family and I are still out of a home and looking at upwards of $7500 in hotel and repair expenses. Progressive would not return my calls for days. Eventually I found out that while we were stranded, the person responsible for our case was on vacation. That didn’t mean the case went to someone else, it meant no one was doing anything while we waited patiently for a call back.

I was told that we need to prove that the damage occurred during our coverage period, which it did, and that it wasn’t from wear and tear.

Several months ago I had new tires put on the Airstream at a Les Schwab in Warrenton, Oregon. Last summer I had new brakes put on it by a different Les Schwab, this one in Columbia Falls, Montana. Both places have a policy that clarifies that they need to make a customer sign a waiver if they find any major damage with a vehicle they’re working on, such as frame damage. Neither shop required me to sign a waiver, neither said anything about frame damage, and neither have any notes that indicate there would be any damage to the frame. I have a recent photo showing that the trailer is not sagging in the rear to the point that it is practically touching the ground. Granted, these old Airstreams do not have as much clearance as modern trailers, and I’ve learned to avoid substantial bumps and drop offs, but we certainly weren’t hanging as low as to warrant only 2-3 inches of clearance in the back.

Every requirement Progressive asked me to prove has been proven. Still, they refuse to pay for the damages or the incurred fees, which are all covered by our policy.

So while my family and I run dry our savings waiting on a shop to find time to fix our home, during the entire two weeks it took for Progressive to “make a decision” about whether or not they’d like to provide coverage they owe, they get to simply deny us what we’re owed and go about their merry way.

If anyone is seeking full-time RV insurance, I would highly recommend seeking out other options than Progressive.