My blog on Insurance from last year was getting the most views out of all my blogs, so I figured it was worth to re-visit some of the information I have learned the past year.
Most, if not all of the things I learned 2 years ago still applies today.
- From what I have seen, "Liability" is in most cases the only coverage that companies will provide for you and your bus. Rarely have I seen people being offered any additional coverage.
- Vehicle liability insurance has two components: Bodily Injury coverage and Property Damage coverage. Vehicle liability insurance is the basic insurance coverage that covers injuries or damage to other people or property if you're at fault for an accident.
- Liability is also one of the few coverage options that's mandatory in every state.
What that means, as I have been told by my insurance agent at Progressive, is that if I am ever in a reported accident, the bus would no longer be insurable. I do not have tow coverage or any sort of road side assistance through my motor home insurance. If anything gets stolen, there is no way to reclaim any of the lost property.
Some states offer AAA Recreational Vehicle Insurance and have this to say:
"AAA Insurance Agency offers a specialty insurance policy designed just for RVs that can save you money. A separate RV policy from AAA can cover several types of vehicles including Motor Homes, Travel Trailers and Campers.
Plus, it can give you far more protection than simply adding your RV as an endorsement to your auto policy. If an accident occurs or a repair is needed, it can help you avoid paying a lot out of your own pocket. And, a specialty RV policy might also include coverage for these extras: Lodging and transportation if the RV is damaged during a trip and Personal effects such as laptops, camping gear, electronics, etc."
GoodSam offers specialized RV Insurance. Their seperate RV Roadside Assistance Program offers discounts at campgrounds, RV supplies, and comes with limited towing and other assistance in case you break down.
How Does Specialized RV Coverage Compare to “Ordinary” Car Coverage?
The trouble is that Skoolie Bus conversions are a huge risk and "liability" for insurance companies. They would rather NOT have anything to do with you and your new home. So you have to fight for your right to drive and live in your Tiny Home.
What still applies:
1. Do not bother calling 1-800 numbers for major car insurance companies. Instead call local brokers, with in town phone numbers and have them write you a custom policy.
2. Work with the DMV and the DOT in your state (check state requirements for Conversion Requirements) and get your Bus Title and its associated VIN number written over to a Motor Home when registering it with the DMV. That will make it easier and less of a hassle for the policy writer to write you a policy. When they pull up your VIN, it will say MOTOR HOME.
3. It will always be a hassle, and you will have a hard time finding insurance, and then you may get dropped or rates may rise unexpectedly.
4. Be honest with the companies. You do not want to be in an accident and then have trouble working with the insurance. However, I would not tell them you CONVERTED A BUS, rather that you REMODELED a motor home.
5. Some companies have issues with folks living in their motor home full time. From my experience, 3-4 months is the cut off point/starting point of being considered full time. Most RV/Motor Home policies are written for families and folks who travel with it occasionally on weekends or a few extended trips throughout the year. Be honest, but I wouldn't necessarily tell them you'll be living and roaming 24/7/365 in it.
I have been insured through a local insurance company in Vegas, who under-wrote the policy with Progressive. Meaning that I have an RV/Motor Home liability coverage for my Bus with Progressive. The broken window in the title picture? I was going to call them and see if they could get it fixed, and how much it would cost. I didn't bother. I didn't feel like explaining that my windshield has a crack in it because of rocks on the road, in fear that they might drop me if I spoke with them about it. I'll get it privately done so that I can keep my insurance to be able to ride.
Stay calm and do your research. Sound confident on the phone, and don't tell them more than what's required of you. Make sure you are looking out for yourself, are smart about your choices, and always think about you, your families, and other people's safety. Our buses aren't called Land Yachts for nothing. They are huge, heavy, fast moving pieces of potential danger.
Drive careful! Happy Living!