Insuring a vintage Airstream or travel trailer

Insuring a vintage remodeled airstream

Insuring your newly renovated vintage Airstream can be one of the toughest parts of ownership. The key word here is renovated. Getting an insurer to underwrite a policy was more difficult than I expected. The first step is to hire an appraiser who will compile all relevant information (VIN, model, year, length, condition, etc.) along with detailed images and market price comparisons. Your appraiser will then provide a detailed report with all information and a market price. It’s important to know I am not an insurance expert, but I did learn a lot along the way. First, there are two very different types of policies (actual cash value and agreed value). Actual Cash Value pays the price as new and depreciated over time. For example, our actual cash value was around $1,800, not nearly enough to cover the real value. Next up is the more accurate, and expensive policy. Agreed Value policies (from my experience) are much more expensive, however, it assigns a cash payout value to your total loss. Should your Airstream be stolen, that’s the cash price your insurer would pay out. Please be sure to read the fine print as I’d imagine not all are created equal. My process when comparing insurance was to talk directly with all the insurers and see what they offered. You’ll be surprised how many either don’t want to write a policy or can’t insure your Airstream for the market value. Start with the big names, local insurers, and vintage/class auto insurers. Do your research, take lots of notes, and see what works best for your budget. In the end, we went with a major local insurer who was willing to work with us on the value so long as we kept the appraisal up to date. As a basis of comparison, I found appraisals to be priced between $250 and $500, while one year of insurance ranged from $200 to over $1,000.

Jason renovated a 1975 Airstream in 2016 and travels the US with his wife and mohawk-sportin’ poodle. He’s a student pilot, FAA Certified sUAS Pilot, self-taught Airstream plumber/electrician, natural navigator and a lover of the outdoors.

5 Comment

  1. Hi there! Are there any carriers you suggest? We’re going through this process now and would love any guidance you can provide. Thank you!

    1. We had luck with State Farm but you could also check with some of the classic car insurers. We had hit and miss luck with some of the big auto insurers. It seems to all come down to the agent and if they’re willing to do anything. 🙂

  2. This information is SO helpful. Thank you for sharing your experience!!

  3. Thanks so much for posting this! I just got off the phone with my insurance rep and I’m so confused! She never mentioned having our vintage trailer appraised, which seems like a common and easy way to assess the value! Going to do some research and get my policy changed, Thanks again for writing about your experience.

    1. Glad to help! Yes, it seems many agents are confused themselves about insuring a vintage trailer. We had a terrible time with it so figured others must be in the same boat! Good luck!

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