RVs are vulnerable to expensive hail damage, especially when you don't have time to batten down the hatches. Even a seemingly minor part like an awning, however, can raise issues with your insurance company. If there is more extensive damage to your roof, or if the awning proves difficult to replace, you may need to choose between forgoing repairs or totaling your RV. As you begin the process of making a claim for your damaged awning, keep these four steps in mind to arrive at the right decision:
Assessing Your RV for Damage
Your first instinct after a surprise hail storm should be to check the entire RV over for damage. If you can safely access the roof, look for dents and bubbles in the paint. These may indicate more serious damage to the roof that can shorten the lifespan of the RV. Secure any loose pieces at this time. Check the awning for holes in its fabric, metal, or plastic. Try to extend and retract it, watching for any problem with its joints. These awnings can cost hundreds or even thousands of dollars to replace. They are typically covered by insurance plans but are frequently overlooked in claims.
Checking Your Insurance Coverage
The next step after finding signs of damage is to bring the claim to your insurer. The company will send an appraiser to your home or ask you to take the RV to a designated shop. There, a professional should examine the damage and write up a formal estimate for repairs. This will include the materials and parts needed as well as the labor-hours to replace them. At the same time, the appraiser will note your RV's condition and determine its fair market value.
Determining Whether to Repair or Total
Once your claim is submitted, your insurer will crunch the numbers for your specific case. It will examine the salvage value of the RV and compare it to the cost of repairs. An RV worth less than its repairs will be totaled, meaning your insurer will offer to purchase the vehicle for its estimated worth. Depending on your policy, this figure may be based on the vehicle's depreciated value or its initial sales price.
Exploring Your RV Repair Options
So long as your RV is worth more than the replacement parts, your insurer should agree to pay for its repair. Some companies insist on taking vehicles to a partner shop for repairs. Many, however, will simply write checks for the appraised value of the work. In this case, you will need to find a professional RV repair service to complete the work within your budget. Check your area for local, reliable RV experts to get started.
Contact a company like Rv Service Center Of Santa Cruz for more information and assistance.