I wanted to give the resolution to our little tree limb encounter its own post as it’s instructive. At least it was for me. I had no idea how much fiberglass repair costs! I also had only vague ideas about several other things about which I should’ve been an expert.
What I should’ve done was this: Call my insurance company immediately upon seeing the damage. Taken a picture of it. Allow them to find and make an appointment with an adjuster based on where we would be over the next couple weeks. Let the adjuster work with their preferred maintenance facility to get the hole fixed. Pay the deductible and move on.
What I did was this: Looked at the jagged hole in our roof and said “shoot, that’s just a fiberglass repair, no big deal. We’ll get it fixed when we can.” I was thinking San Diego since we had a non-RV place already booked, but I didn’t find a repair place or make an appointment right away. My gross wag on what the cost would be, based on absolutely nothing at all, was a couple hundred dollars. I even looked into doing it myself, but reluctantly opted not to when I saw how involved it would be, particularly given that it was a curved surface that had crunched. Thankfully. That would’ve been an unmitigated disaster.
Turns out I wasn’t even close with my cost estimate. When we finally got down to San Diego and got the official estimate (after significant logistical aerobatics involving a rental mini-van I picked up at the airport), it came out to somewhere just north of $2700. !!! That changes things.
As that’s not the type of money we can afford to just toss around, I made a quick call (aggressively encouraged by Tacco, who recognized the time criticality far better than I had) to USAA in order to see if I could start a claim. Understandably, they asked why I hadn’t called immediately when the incident happened, a question for which I had no good answer. I had made things quite difficult for them by squeezing this repair into a short time-frame box and already selecting a repair shop. Evidently insurance adjusters tend to need a few weeks lead time to work their magic.
Well, I need to give a shout out to USAA in this case. They came through for me enormously. There was no small portion of luck involved, too – it just so happened that the USAA insurance adjuster that this repair shop liked to work with had had a cancellation that morning and furthermore was in the area, so was able to pop by and do his thing with Davista. Had this not been the case, we’d have been stuck either paying for the full repair (I presume) or sticking around in a hotel in San Diego until we could get everything sorted out, likely well into November.
So it worked out! Despite my best efforts, we picked up Davista at the end of our San Diego time with a beautifully repaired roof and paid only a deductible. Please don’t do what I did.