Camping World covers gap on RV loan


It’s called GAP insurance not just because GAP stands for “guaranteed asset protection” but because it’s supposed to cover the gap between what you’ve paid on a loan and the loan’s total value.

In Amber Green’s case, that gap totaled about $3,900 and her GAP insurer, Safe-Guard Products International, wasn’t stepping in to cover it.

Green, 38, of Portage, said she and her husband took out an approximately $20,000 loan on Memorial Day weekend to buy a 2013 Coachmen Freedom Express camper from Camping World in Roscoe, Illinois, as well as associated maintenance programs. 

While other people evacuated or hid in a public restroom nearby, one man stayed in an RV near Pensacola when Hurricane Sally made landfall nearby.

At the time, the salesman asked if the couple was interested in GAP insurance, and they “were told if anything happened to the trailer, they would cover the balance” of the loan, Green said in a Nov. 30 email to SOS. So they bought that, too.

Two months later they were in South Dakota on vacation and a tire blew out. Because it was one of two tires on the same side, they didn’t hear or feel the blowout and didn’t know it occurred until they’d traveled about a mile and two more and a passing motorist alerted them. 

That extra travel on a blown tire, though, caused enough damage to the camper for their collision and liability insurer to declare it a total loss.

“Our insurance paid out what they were told to pay out,” she said — or $13,500. That left nearly $7,000 remaining on the loan. Refunds for the roadside assistance programs they got little use out of further brought the total down, she said.

Safe-Guard was only willing to pay off about $60 of what remained, however, because the camper had been valued, for the purposes of their collision and liability insurance, at what the couple had paid, or $14,000, she said, and that was less than its actual value, or about $19,000. Green said that in buying the camper and filling out all the insurance and other paperwork, this competing-valuations issue never came up.

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SOS did not entirely understand all of these particulars when it contacted Camping World, Safe-Guard and Safe-Guard’s private equity firm owner, Stone Point Capital, on Nov. 30, but it hoped to bone up on the matter with further documentation from Green.

As it turned out, Camping World, at least, didn’t need much convincing.

On Dec. 1, Safe-Guard Legal Services Manager Kenyetta Dorsey said she was looking into the case and asked for seven to 10 business days to prepare a formal response.

Camping World never responded to SOS’ inquiries, but it did contact Green and “all of a sudden I was getting emails” from company officials, she said.

On Dec. 4, Green emailed to say that “they are planning on paying the remaining balance of my loan on the camper and they will internally be dealing with the GAP insurance company.” By mid-December, she had used $3,924.65 from the company to pay off Safe-Guard, she said. 

Dorsey confirmed as much on Dec. 8, saying that while Safe-Guard had properly handled Green’s claim, “Camping World has decided to cover the remaining balance on Ms. Green’s loan as a matter of customer service and in a gesture of goodwill.”


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