Lessons Learned from Our Truck Break-In

Last week, while we were enjoying a bike ride over the Chain of Rocks Bridge, someone broke into our truck.

First Time!

This was the first time in 5 years of fulltime RV travel that we have experienced any theft or vandalism.

We take responsibility. We ignored our gut feelings while parking the truck and getting the bikes down, and got carried away trying to get a bike ride in on a nice day.

Making the Calls

We quickly accessed the damage to the driver’s door and inventoried the items missing (totalling around $700). I called 911 to report the vandalism and theft. MsBoyink followed up with a call to Progressive to make a claim on our auto policy.

Items Not Covered

A Progressive claim rep called the next day. She would handle the damage to our truck and also replace any items that were “bolted down” - which one item was.

She made it clear that the other stolen items were not covered by our auto policy. She suggested I contact my homeowner’s insurance company for coverage on those.

One & the Same

The auto rep evidently only had visibility of our auto policy - she was unaware that our “homeowners policy” is also with Progressive.

I use quotes around “homeowners policy” because we don’t own a house. Instead we have a “Fulltiming” RV policy. We opened a second claim on that policy to cover the stolen goods.

Later that day a second Progressive rep called to tell us that our RV policy does not cover items stolen from the truck.

Outta Luck

So two insurance policies and neither one would cover the stolen items.

I’ll admit - we were feeling victimized in more ways than one at this point.

Agent Time

We contacted our insurance agent. He was as surprised as we were to hear that our truck contents were not covered.

The key point of contention seemed to be:

It was vandalism & theft while our truck was not attached to the RV, not parked by the RV, away from the campground and not on land we owned.

Our agent got involved as he didn’t feel that described the policy that he sold us (and other fulltime RV clients). He thought the truck contents should be covered by our RV policy. He both promised his agency would “make it right” and also went up the chain of command at Progressive.

A Re-Think

After review Progressive decided to cover the truck contents under the RV policy. They also waived the deductible (for our hassle), and (according to our agent) will be rewording the policy to make it clear that the contents should have been covered to begin with.

Expect some limitations - per incident and per-item, but that seems reasonable.

Lessons Learned

  • Our truck is inherently no more secure than our RV - and often less so because of where the truck is parked (by attractions or in downtown areas).  My assumption was our truck was harder to break into than our RV. Now I know they are equally as easy to break into for an experienced thief.
  • Trust your gut. We saw yellow flags and ignored them.
  • A break-in can take the wind out of your sails even if the monetary value is low and it could have been much worse. It’s taken over a week to realize what all was taken so we feel “freshly violated” each time we discover something else missing.
  • It’s hard to reclaim a stop after a break in. While we had some bright spots in our St. Louis visit it’s not likely that we’ll return. It’ll always be “that place we got broken into”.
  • Check your insurance coverage to see if the contents of tow rigs or towed vehicles are covered by your RV policy in case of vandalism/theft.
  • Don’t take the insurance company’s first answer as final - push back & get your agent involved.
  • Consider scheduling out specific policies on important gear (laptops etc) so that it doesn’t matter where they happened to be if stolen.

Shout Outs

Progressive

In the end we’re satisfied with Progressive as an insurance provider. They acted quickly to get the truck repaired and have been flexible in handling our case.

Meyering Insurance / Tom Vanden Bosch

We started with Tom at Meyering Insurance in Zeeland, MI when we first started fulltime RVing - our previous agent just couldn’t get proper coverage for us. Tom’s been great at coming to our aid during this process.

Carstar Auto Body

These guys rocked - we dropped the truck off to Carstar in Bridgeton, MO on a Tuesday morning and had it back on Thursday noon. They had a loaner car for us to use and handled all aspects of the process in a timely and professional manner.

Have You Been Vandalized?

What did you learn from it?

7 Comments Lessons Learned from Our Truck Break-In

  1. Picture of Heather Gebbia Heather Gebbia November 05, 2015

    I’m sorry this happened to you. I could relate to what you said. We had a bike stolen in Santa Monica and even though there are much worse things that can happen, it really ruined our day, made us feel violated, and makes us not really want to visit that area again. Glad to hear your insurance agent worked for you!

  2. Picture of Carla Carla November 06, 2015

    1st year two backpacks with all our favorite expensive goodies from the truck….still sick about it two years later.  P.s. Had a throwed roll hit my mashed potatoes and landed all the gravy in my lap! :)

  3. Picture of Michael Boyink Michael Boyink November 06, 2015

    @Heather - it’s funny, the impact of it snuck up on us.

    @Carla - ah no (x2!)

  4. Picture of kevin kevin November 10, 2015

    Man, we just started full-timing a week ago.  And since we’re in our hometown, we still have 2 cars. We’re in a Class-A so we generally can only have 1 car in the campground at a time and even otherwise, with only 2 drivers, we can only drive the rig and a car (we’re not towing yet as we get started).  A few nights ago, we got an offer from a friend 2 blocks over from our house we just sold to park the extra car in front of their house. 
    My wife had to get something out of it and apparently forgot to relock it.
    We showed up the next night to move it to a more secure place and found it had been ransacked and nearly everything stolen out of it - including the registration and insurance papers - even part of a cupholder!  Ugh!  we didn’t bother to report it as the value wasn’t a huge loss. But it was under a street light on a cul-de-sac on a residential street in front of a friends house in a “safe” neighborhood - 2 streets from our own house.
    Not the best start. Frustrating.

  5. Picture of Michael Boyink Michael Boyink November 10, 2015

    Ah no! That sucks!

    Can you report it still? I’d be worried about ID theft with the papers getting taken.

  6. Picture of kevin kevin November 10, 2015

    Didn’t think about that. I guess I’d need to have a report if there was some ID stuff going on??

    Good idea.

  7. Picture of Boyink Boyink November 10, 2015

    I’d expect so - might be worth checking into.

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