You have purchased an expensive recreational vehicle (RV), either new or used, from a retail dealer or direct from another family. With thousands of mechanical components, you want to ensure you have protection against the inconvenience, stress, and high cost of unexpected repairs when something breaks down. Manufacturers have continued to improve their manufacturing and assembly processes. They offer a limited warranty on their manufacturing and the providers of appliances, electronics and many other components offer varying warranties on their products. The biggest issue? Those warranties are most often far shorter in duration than the number of years you will enjoy your RV. So, what options do you have to protect your investment? The best option is the purchase of a mechanical breakdown service agreement, commonly known as an extended warranty.
What is an Extended Warranty?
An extended warranty for your RV will be based on your requirements and your RVing style. It will provide peace of mind by covering the high cost of repairs and alleviating the stress of dealing with a repair facility for the term of your service agreement. Your extended warranty can also offer an excellent selling benefit if you plan to sell your RV in the future.
When you purchase an extended warranty for your RV, you are paying for up to seven years of protection in today’s dollars. We all know the price of a refrigerator, power jacks or any component will be considerably more expensive in years to come than they are today.
What to Consider When Purchasing an Extended Warranty for your RV
The key is to determine the best extended warranty for you. All service agreements are not created equal, as with any contract, the details will greatly determine your satisfaction. When looking at your options, take the time to consider a few things:
- Is the extended warranty supported by a reputable and strong insurance company? The only service agreement you should purchase is one with insurance underwriting coverage. If the contract is not insured, there is little to no guarantee that claims will be paid by the contract provider.
- Does the provider have service agreements in both Canada and the United States? If you are travelling outside of Canada, you want to make sure the provider is known by servicers wherever you travel, not just in Canada.
- In addition to mechanical breakdown coverage, does your contract provide you roadside assistance if you breakdown while on the road? Does it provide car rental and accommodations in the event your breakdown requires more time to repair while travelling?
- Can you transfer the extended warranty for your RV to the purchaser in the event you decide to sell your unit prior to the service agreement expiring?
- Does the provider pay the servicer their reasonable labour rate and manufacturer suggested retail price for parts? If they do not, you will be required to pay any short fall prior to getting your RV back.
- Can you have your repair completed at any licensed repair facility? Some extended warranty providers may require you to use only their approved repair facilities, and that is often impossible to do while you are travelling.
- Is there a 1-800 number for you or the service provider to contact the extended warranty company?
- Does the extended warranty include on-site service calls? If your RV is permanently placed, having coverage that will pay for a repair facility to travel to your RV to complete repairs can be a major benefit. This will also be useful if a mechanical breakdown causes your RV to be immobile, for example an awning motor breaking while the awning is out.
Be sure to check the coverage level and have the extent of the coverage thoroughly explained to you. We recommend purchasing the coverage level referred to as “exclusion coverage”. This level of coverage provides protection for mechanical breakdowns of all nature unless it is listed in a specific list of exclusions. The alternative is referred to as “component coverage” and only covers a list of components provided in the contract. For the little more you will pay for exclusion coverage you will be glad you did.
How to Use Your Extended Warranty
Once you have purchased your extended warranty it is important to understand clearly how you and your family take advantage of your protection.
- Contact a licensed repair facility in Canada or the United States. If you are not able to move your RV without causing further damage, have the unit towed. If your RV is permanently placed or the mechanical breakdown makes the unit immobile, you can contact a mobile repairer to travel to your location.
- Have the servicer identify the mechanical breakdown.
- The servicer will call the 1-800 number, detail the breakdown and get authorization to complete the repair. It is imperative to have the repair authorized prior to any repair work being started, as failure to do so will result in the claim not being covered.
- Once authorization is provided the servicer will complete the repair.
- The extended warranty provider will pay the servicer directly for all authorized repairs.
- You get on the road or back to enjoying your vacation.