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Interviewing an Insurance Agent that Specializes in RVer Coverage
During these trying times of COVID-19, social distancing, face masks and lockdowns, I thought that I would share an interview that I had recently with an insurance professional that specializes in writing health care policies geared toward the full time RVer. His name is Zach Roberts, and he has an office in Colorado. I highly recommend checking him out when it comes to needing an insurance policy for heath or other policies.
Zach is a full-time insurance agent, but like me, he enjoys chasing storms. He is also an accomplished author and I would highly recommend that you read his book The Anatomy of Severe Weather which is available at book stores, online or from Amazon.
That said, I had the opportunity to speak with Zach, and he shared with me some great answers that address the issue of health care insurance for full time RVers. In this article I’m going to share our interview and I hope that you all will find it informative and useful as you travel our great land as a full time RVer or traveler.
Hi Zach, thank you for taking the time to speak with me today, can you tell me a little about yourself? For example, as opposed to me, you seem quite young…how long have you been an insurance agent and when did you decide you wanted to be in your line of work?
Hello, Brian. No problem and I appreciate the opportunity to chat with you. I am a Colorado native, which is rare these days. I have been an insurance agent for 18 years. I always knew I wanted to be in business, and I developed a passion for helping my clients immediately after starting my career with New England Financial in 2001. I am also proud that I have a Bachelor of Science degree in finance from Metropolitan State College of Denver. I majored in finance during college and I also had the desire to be my own boss. I found that insurance industry allowed me to help everyday families while still building a business of my own.
Do you have a family…wife or children?
Yes, I do. My wife Hannah and I are approaching our 14th wedding anniversary on April 22nd and we have three children. Our daughter Jade 20 years old and our other daughter Ava is 13 years old. We also have a son Carter, who is eight years old.
Do you yourself, and your family travel in an RV while on vacation? If so, what type of rig do you travel with and how has that been for you?
I do travel. Last year, Hannah and I spent two weeks in Aruba which I would certainly recommend visiting. My wife and I have a ten-year plan that will allow us to become full time RVers. However, at the moment we don’t RV often. That said, with so many RVers as clients, we have a great group to help us prepare.
Can you tell me a little about what type of health care policies you offer for the full-time RVer?
The most critical aspect of a health insurance policy for full time RVers is the ability to see a provider nationwide. As a true broker, I have an extensive list of carriers that provide nationwide coverage. Some with a PPO that includes over 3,000 doctor’s offices and hospitals.
What are the variables? For example, I know some policies have high deductibles, while other policies are lower deductibles with higher premiums, what is your range in policies and what would you recommend for a full-time RVer that is recently retired, in their 50’s and traveling full-time in their RV?
Many variables exist and that’s why it’s critical for me to go over individual circumstances with each of my clients. I customize plans based on the needs of my client. Many of my clients are healthy and would like to have basic care such as a doctor visit copay and a copay for medications. One unique aspect of my custom planning is the ability to assure that in the event of an accident or critical illness, my clients have no exposure to out of pocket costs. I can focus coverage to keep the premium as low as possible while still focusing those benefits where they are needed the most. Also, as I mentioned previously, the need to have nationwide access to doctors and other health care providers.
What about younger RVers? Do you have policies for them as well and if so, are their options to cover their family members?
I have RV clients in every age range and family dynamic. No insurance plan is ever one size fits all and I have access to a wide range of options to assure that I can take care of any specific need that my clients may have.
During my travels as a full-time RVer, I have encountered issues when trying to use my health insurance in states other than the one listed as my “primary residence”. Are there policies that exist for a full-time RVer that allow them to use their insurance nationwide without those problems?
The Affordable Care Act has been helpful in many ways. However, one problem is plans under this umbrella are required to be used in the state of primary residence. This of course causes a major problem for RVers who think that these plans are the only option. I have many clients that have plans under the Affordable Care Act marketplace, but most of my RVers are insured with private carriers. Private insurance carriers are the only option to allow nationwide access and having that knowledge and access to these carriers gives me a distinct advantage in assuring my RVer clients can avoid this problem.
Do I need to have a “primary residence” address and if so, will it directly affect the cost of my insurance policy?
Yes, we do need to have a primary mailing address. Premiums can vary depending on which state an RVer has chosen as to domicile. The good news is, I am licensed in 41 states and have the ability to compare premiums prior to making the decision on domiciling.
In terms of insurance for a full time RVer, where is the best place to establish permanent residency?
Great question. Some states are more flexible than others and that’s is why it’s critical to review all state options before deciding on health insurance. The decision is of course dependent on many variables, so it’s not possible to say one state is better than the other. This would be narrowed down based on my client’s needs.
For work, I occasionally travel abroad. Do you offer policies that would allow me to be covered in places such as Thailand, the Philippines or Europe?
Yes! Many carriers cover international travel, which is another topic I make a priority to review with each client.
Thank you for taking the time to answer my questions Zach. We’re in a trying time right now because of the COVID-19 problem. Are your providers stepping up to address this issue and if so, how are they doing that?
There’s no question that they are. This is a unique and unprecedented time for our country, and I am honestly proud of how the insurance industry has stepped up to address this situation. My team and I are working extra hours to assure all of our clients are taken care of and understand how their benefits cover COVID-19 related treatment. Each insurance carrier has laid out specific guidance on COVID-19 coverage and many insurance carriers are waiving any cost for testing and treatment of the virus. I take extra time with each client’s plan, so that they can feel confident in COVID-19 coverage (especially with a 2nd wave of cases upon us).
Thank you so much, Brian. I do appreciate the opportunity to speak with you. Happy RVing!
My final thoughts
There you have it my fellow travelers. Choosing the proper or appropriate health care policy to fit your needs can be complicated. My advice to you all is to contact an insurance professional that can walk you through your needs and concerns and you should consider Zach Roberts. He’s truly as good as it gets for the full time RV traveler.
Thanks again my friends. Stay safe, stay healthy, and I hope to see on road some day in the future.
For more on RVing and insurance, read my guide to insurance for full-time RVers.