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I'll come right out and start this article by saying I don't like insurance companies. You always hear about how people get dropped after being clients for years and then they make one claim. I've seen my mother run out of business by insurance companies in Arizona who refused to pay her nurse midwifery birthing center the same as they pay hospitals, even though it was required under law. I knew an insurance executive that told me in confidence that one more hurricane and his company would declare bankruptcy to keep from paying on policies in Florida. They did and he just moved to another company.


So I don't like insurance companies, but they are a required part of our lives like them or not. Here I'll talk mainly about two types of insurance: Auto/RV and Health/Life.


Auto and RV Insurance

Since this is required by most states, you are going to have to pony up the money to cover your RV, tow or toad vehicle, and any motorcycles, ATVs and other toys you bring with you. But don't forget you need to cover all the valuables in your rig, as well as property issues.


Most of my life we have used USAA Insurance. This is for citizens who have performed military service and their families. If you qualify for their services, and they do the full range of financial services, make use of them. Unfortunately, if you are a full-time RVer, you're going to have to find another service like Progressive that will cover you..


When we started full-timing we kept our truck and fifth wheel insured through USAA. When we added the RV to the policy we said several times that we were going to be living in it full time. They gave us a good price and good coverage, and it was only a year later when it was time to renew the policy that we read the fine print excluding full time use of the RV.


So we switched to the Good Sam's insurance through GMAC. They gave us good service, and the coverage was pretty comprehensive. The best part is they have policies geared towards full-timers with higher coverage for belongings in the RV among other key issues.


When our rig broke down, they were on the ball and paid for towing, reimbursement for our hotel that night and worked with us and the dealer that said they could repair our RV. But after a month of dealing with their representatives, and them not totaling our RV even though it would be next to impossible to repair, we decided to switch insurance companies.


Once we dropped GMAC we went with Progressive. They also offer comprehensive insurance for full-timers and have been easy to work with even after we settled down.


Whatever company you go with, make sure you get adequate coverage. Full-timers usually have more "stuff" in our RVs since they are home. You need to be covered against fire, theft and personal liability for your RV as well as accidents and mechanical problems. And don't assume that your buddy who has been handling your insurance needs all your life will have an inkling of what is needed for full-timing.


Health and Life Insurance

The life insurance is pretty easy. Most policies will not care if you are traveling across the US. It is good to have since you don't want to leave your partner, family, or estate short of funds if anything happens on the road. You know better than anyone else what amount of coverage you need. We are fortunate to be young enough that term life is still a good option, but we have started to covert to whole life.


Health insurance is another game all together. Many full-time RVers are over 62 and qualify for medicare. For those of us too young for medicare things have changed dramatically with the Affordable Care Act. Now I am a supporter of Obamacare because it helps keep the insurance companies from dropping or refusing service to people with pre-existing conditions, and makes sure there is more equal coverage for women.


That being said, the ACA has its problems. To my knowledge, there is not a good health insurance plan for full-time RVers. A big problem with most health insurance is they require you be in one state most of the time. For some people keeping a home base that is not a big issue, but for those of us with no ties it is more complicated.


When we are on the road Sue and I didn't bother to get coverage in our "home" state of South Dakota because we would never be there to see a primary care doctor. Our solution was to not have health insurance. This was a short term solution only viable since we were relatively young, in good health, and in denial about our own mortality. But we know this is not an option for a lot of people out there.


There are countless options of HMO's and Blue Cross Blue Shield that have a national footprint. When shopping for insurance look online for the latest options. A good article on insurance needs that covers health options better than I could can be found at RV Dreams, run by Howard and Linda Payne (no relation).


If you can't make your way through the maze of red tape by yourself, make sure to consult your insurance agent, but be clear on your changing needs. If you are on Medicare or Medicaid, and there are plenty of full-timers who are, make sure to factor that in your decision if you are changing home states.