Health Insurance for RV Nomads

Being self employed and working out of your home is a dream for many of us.  Having internet access makes this possible for a lot of people.  Wifi coverage is available in metropolitan areas and satellite technology is available for those areas not covered by the traditional internet providers.  This allows anyone to live in an RV and run their business literally anywhere in the country. This provides some unique challenges.  One major one is finding health insurance.  We live in a country that regulates the health insurance industry on a state by state basis.  The portability of health coverage can be restricted and limited. Currently, there is no one carrier that can offer a health plan that provides HMO coverage for all 50 states.  Normally, HMO (Health Maintenance Organization) coverage provides the most comprehensive coverage at the best price, but normally limits access to specific providers and hospital except in an emergency. To get around this issue, PPO (Preferred Provider Organizations) plans and Indemnity plans are available.  These type of plans offer coverage that are not as restrictive as HMOs. The first item on the RV Nomad’s agenda would be to have a permanent or local address when looking to purchase a policy.  This can be accomplished by getting a PO Box at the UPS store, Mailboxes, Etc or using your home address.  What is important is in what state and your purchase your policy. Different states have different medical costs and regulations.  You need to shop around and find what a similar plan would cost in the state you want to have as the permanent address.  This can be accomplished online by using your favorite search engine and looking for health insurance. Note:  the HealthCare Reform Act will require all US citizens to have health coverage.  This will come into effect on January 1, 2014.  When this comes into effect, health coverage will be costing more.  This is due to mandated benefits and guaranteed issue.  Depending on your circumstances, you may want to look at quotes for coverage effective before January 1, 2014 and those that become effective on January 1, 2014.  Getting a policy sooner if you qualify may save some money. The easiest way to do your comparison shopping is to select a PPO Plan with a $1000 or $5000 deductible and $20 or $30 copays and 20% coinsurance.  Most carriers will have a plan close to this benefit configuration. With the selected plan, look at coverage costs in several states you may want to purchase your coverage in.  Also look for carriers that offer coverage in each state.  Blue Cross/Blue Shield has a national PPO network.  Aetna, UnitedHealth, Cigna and Humana are also national carriers that can offer nation wide PPO coverage. If you find this process overwhelming, contact a Broker that specializes in individual health insurance.  The first place to start is with the agent you get your other insurance coverage from.  If they do not offer health insurance, they will know someone to […] Read more »

Why Your Next Car Will Be Cleverer Than You

Science fiction films will have us believe that the future holds self-driving cars that can fly through the air while we sleep, text or watch television. However, the reality is much more prosaic than this. The future of motoring is less likely to be about flying cars and much more about automated systems to deal with the boring parts of driving. We look at the forthcoming developments in car technology and why your next car could be smarter than you. Advanced driver assistance systems set to take over the boring parts of driving The recent GPU Technology Conference in San Jose, California highlighted many of the new technologies that you can expect to see in cars in the next few years. One of the most important is ‘advanced driver assistance systems’ (ADAS) which are designed to automate the mundane parts of driving such as driving in traffic or parking. One such system under investigation is the European Commission’s “Safe Road Trains for the Environment” (SARTRE) project. Here, cars would platoon behind a professional driver piloting an 18-wheeler, for example and their cars would semi-autonomously bunch up behind the truck in a tight convoy. This allows the drivers of the cars to engage in otherwise illegal activities such as testing or talking on their mobile phones. However, before cars even become partly self-driving, ADAS-enabled vehicles are set to provide you with road and traffic information, help you park, assist in changing lanes, and help you refocus on the road should your attention wander from the task at hand. “We spend a lot of time thinking about how we can improve safety and how can we avoid accidents in urban areas,” said Mario Tippelhofer of his team at the Volkswagen Group of America Electronics Research Laboratory in Belmont, California. “Our approach was to help the driver to be less stressed, more focused, going into those urban areas in a more relaxed manner,” he said. “We’re trying to paint a vision of what urban mobility can look like for our Audi customers in the near future.” Cars that are personalized to you Mr Tipperary also believes that ADAS systems should be personalized for each individual driver. “Right now,” he said, “your car is mostly generic, for a generic driver. But if this car would be really tailored to your needs, it would know about your needs, it could assist you in a much better way.” The Register reports that ‘this personalization includes not only what the driver is doing and focused on in real time, but also what his driving patterns and history are.’ Cars will also be able to use predictive modelling to learn your normal route to a frequent destination, predict traffic congestion on that route at a specific time and without you having to use your navigation system reroute you when the congestion is bad enough that avoiding it would be more efficient than driving through it. In addition, cars in the future are likely to feature multiple in-car cameras. […] Read more »

What You Need To Know About RV Insurance

People often travel long distances in their RVs, treating them as second homes. As a form of transportation, state minimum insurance coverage is necessary for RVs- however, there are some special insurance needs and options when it comes to covering all bases in insuring an RV. What is the most basic RV insurance? How does it differ from car insurance? The most basic insurance coverage available for RVs is comprehensive and collision coverage, which can be provided by many auto insurance companies. The difference between insuring an RV and insuring a regular motor vehicle is that the living quarters of the RV contain personal effects that require additional insurance in order to assure adequate coverage. Liability and loss of personal belongings are not covered by policies offered by most auto insurers. What other types of insurance may be appropriate for an RV? The amount of use the RV gets and the personal effects it generally contains are relevant to the types of insurance coverage that would be appropriate. Two of the most commonly used specialty insurances for RVs are liability insurance and personal property insurance. Liability insurance ensures that any damage caused by the RV to the property of someone else for which the owner of the RV would normally be liable is covered. Personal property insurance covers damage or loss to personal belongings. For people who use their RV as a full time home, full-timers insurance is available. This covers personal belongings, comprehensive personal liability and some living expenses. What companies offer RV insurance? Specialized RV insurance is available through a variety of sources with coverage and cost depending on a variety of factors including the type and model of the RV, the insurance laws in the state of policy issuance, other vehicles on the plan, driving history and level of coverage. Some of the most highly recommended companies for RV insurance include: Good Sam VIP Insurance Explorer RV Foremost Progressive RV America Twin Peaks Insurance What other considerations should be taken by owners of RVs? Some primary considerations that should be taken include maintaining the safety of the vehicle, its occupants and other people on the road by driving safely and using carbon monoxide, smoke and gas detectors with regular battery changes. Propane systems should also be maintained to prevent incident. When traveling internationally, RV owners should be aware of the efficacy of their insurance in the country in which they are traveling. For individuals who are renting an RV, consideration should be given to the insurance policy chosen for the rental duration, as options beyond those offered by the renter are available. As with all automotive insurances, it’s important to take the time to compare rates and insurance coverage with different providers in your area. Depending on your prior driving history, age and state, you will find a wide range in pricing and policy premiums. Thanks to the internet, we can rely on insurance coverage comparison sites to discover the many different policies that are out there […] Read more »

How To Beat The Dealer – Get the Best Price On Your Next RV

Buying a vehicle of any sort is a nerve-wracking experience. When it is an RV that will become your living quarters, you really need to do your homework. Unless you’re sitting on a pile of money, payments will comprise a large chunk of your monthly budget for years after you actually select your ride. Consequently, the process of negotiating over the price can mean the difference of hundreds to thousands of dollars over the life of the loan. No wonder the buying process causes so much stress. I learned this process the hard way. Although I’m satisfied with the last vehicle I bought, I realized later how much the dealer got the better end of the bargain due to my lack of planning. There are things you can do to overcome nerves and be prepared for anything at the negotiation table. Strangely enough, learning to negotiate well on a big purchase will help you in all aspects of your life. You can turn conversations to your advantage by educating yourself about the options and utilizing a calm demeanor in your bargaining. What follows are some tips to help you get the deal you want. Go Online Rather than have a face-to-face encounter at the onset, where you are likely to be charmed into paying more, it is better to spend some time comparing costs before stepping foot on a dealership lot. Start by listing reliable dealers near your area. From here, you can gather contact details and send out quotation requests to begin comparing prices. Prep Up The biggest advantage you can have over these crafty dealers is your knowledge. The more you know, the less likely you will fall for their sugar-coated words and high pressure tactics. As you negotiate for a better deal, make sure to feel and, more importantly, look calm and collected. Never divulge to the dealer just how much you are willing to spend and let the salesman know that you are in control and not the other way around. Price, Not Payments Don’t get suckered into talking payments before settling on a final price of the vehicle. This was my downfall when I purchased my first car. Payments hide all manner of sins and extra fees. Agree on the sales price first. Then, you can start to discuss payment terms and loan periods. Financing It really does not matter whether you pay in cold hard cash or through financing. When choosing the latter, however, it is better to get a preapproval from an accredited bank or lending institution rather than go through the dealers themselves. Dealerships are likely to put in an extra markup to earn a bonus for themselves. Use an automobile calculator to set your maximum purchase price and plan for the monthly cost of your new RV. Ask for Rebates and Freebies Never hesitate to find additional ways to save. Rebates, for instance, are typically offered by dealers and manufacturers. Apart from the standard discounts, some providers also offer special deals […] Read more »