You’ve found your perfect rig, done your research, landed on the right RV protection policy, and you’re ready to hit the road! This is a sweet spot for RVers, with nothing but adventure laying ahead. Well, adventure… and the occasional RV breakdown.
An important part of having the peace of mind of an RV warranty is knowing how to make the most of the coverage you’ve invested in! Filing a claim looks a bit different for each warranty policy, but most every warranty provider on the market will require you to follow these basic steps:
RV Warranty Claim Step #1: Check Your Coverage
Because each warranty contract is different, you’ll want to take a quick look at the specific verbiage of the policy you purchased. Additionally, you’ll need a few key pieces of information from the contract in order to move onto the next steps of the process, including the correct phone number for the claims department, as well as your contract number. Both of these can usually be found on the first page, or “declaration page”, of your RV warranty.
If the situation allows for a little breathing room, this is also a great time to make a visual review of the failure yourself—if possible—and snap a few photos. The more details you can provide to the mechanic, the better!
RV Warranty Claim Step #2: Find a Repair Facility
If you purchased your RV warranty through a dealership, there may be a contract requirement that states you’ll need to take your RV to the dealership’s repair facility if you are within 100 miles when you experience a breakdown. Additionally, some policies may have a network of repair facilities they would like you to take your vehicle to.
However, the majority of policies on the market, and all Wholesale Warranties policies, will generally allow you to take your vehicle to any licensed repair facility in the United States or Canada. This will also include mobile RV mechanics! So, what does “licensed” mean? Simply put, the repair facility needs to have a valid Tax ID Number, and be in the business of repairing RVs. That’s it!
Once you’ve chosen your desired facility, give them a call to schedule an appointment or time for them to come out to you.
RV Warranty Claim Step #3: Diagnosis
Once your RV is in a shop or being reviewed by a mobile mechanic, you’ll want to let them know that you have an extended RV warranty you’d like to use, and that the first step is to diagnose the problem. They will then put together an invoice detailing the cause of breakdown, and expected parts and labor costs. At this point, your mechanic will call into the warranty company to open the claim, and request approval of the expected repair work.
Please note: no repair work should begin until the diagnosis is reviewed and approved or denied by the warranty company. If actual repairs begin before the claim is approved, the claim will be denied.
RV Warranty Claim Step #4: Preauthorization
If the claim is approved as a covered repair, the RV warranty adjustor will provide a preauthorization number to your mechanic. At this point, your mechanic can move forward with beginning repairs.
It’s important to remember that just calling in the claim is not a sign of authorization, and no repair work should begin until the preauthorization number is formally given. This may sound like a lengthy process, but most claims are actually adjusted on the very first phone call!
RV Warranty Claim Step #5: Complete the Repair
If your claim has been approved and a pre-authorization number has been provided, your mechanic can now get to work! From here, the repair facility takes over and completes the repair, including any ordering of parts required to get your rig patched up.
RV Warranty Claim Step #6: Final Invoice and Hit The Road
Repairs are now complete, meaning it’s time for your mechanic to submit a final version of the invoice to the warranty company, reflecting the actual parts and labor needed to complete the repair. Oftentimes this will match the original estimate invoice exactly, but the final copy does need to be provided.
The warranty company will then pay for the claim, less your deductible. With most RV warranties, this will mean paying directly to the repair facility via corporate credit card.
Once you’ve paid your deductible and any non-covered services, it’s time to get back on the road where you belong!
Tips for Smoother RV Warranty Claims
Six easy steps to peace of mind—not bad, right? We’re not quite done yet, though! There are a few bonus points to keep in mind to ensure quick, easy, and efficient claims processing.
While the claim is processed between your mechanic and the warranty adjustor, there are a few steps you can take to ensure things go smoothly. Remember that “diagnosis” step? Let your mechanic know that the initial estimate they provide to the warranty company should always include part numbers and costs, labor hours, and the suspected reason for failure.
Additionally, make sure all correspondence includes your vehicle’s VIN and mileage. Detailed information up front makes the whole process easier. Often a claim comes to a standstill purely because basic details—like vehicle or customer information—are missing on paperwork.
If you’re a full-timer or plan to travel far from home, consider getting an RV Roadside Assistance product that contains trip interruption benefits. Complicated repairs or breakdowns that happen during busy travel seasons can sometimes take additional time to complete due to repair facility demand. Many Roadside Assistance programs will include benefits that help pay for lodging, meals, towing expenses and more, should you be delayed and forced to stay outside of your rig due to a mechanical failure.
Lastly, always keep a copy of your contract in your rig. Whether this is an electronic version saved to a device you travel with, or a hardcopy in the glove compartment, easy access to your coverage details is a must while traveling.
RV warranty protection can offer invaluable peace of mind, but it’s important to know how to use it effectively when the time comes. Breakdowns happen, and they’re pretty much always stressful, but quick and easy claims processing can relieve a bit of that headache. Keep these steps in mind the next time you hit the road!
Jeff is the owner of Wholesale Warranties, a leading provider of RV protection direct to consumer. Jeff grew up in his family marina business along the St. Croix River, and has kept his passion for travel and the outdoors ever since. Jeff is a former full-time RVer, and enjoys hitting the road as often as possible.
Jeff is dedicated to serving the RV community through Wholesale Warranties, and built his company on a foundation of education, quality RV warranty products, and reliable customer service.