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Old 10-28-2014, 08:19 PM   #1
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Join Date: Oct 2014
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Year: 1981
Coachwork: Blue Bird
Chassis: International Harvester
The White Elephant

Hello everybody!

With two of my best friends (risky!) I am the proud owner of a diesel 1981 International Harvester Blue Bird school bus. We bought the bus from a camp for mentally challenged kids in Santa Cruz, CA. They were using it, with a commercial license, just once a year to go to the Sierras, so the bus is in great shape, with only 30,000 miles.

We took on the project about a year ago with the intention of turning the bus into a living space and mobile artist's open studio. Since then, life has taken its many turns, so we are moving pretty slowly along. We've cleared out the interior, in preparation for the carpentry. The California DMV gave us a new title for the vehicle, registering it as an automobile with a motor home body type (MH) and vehicle type "17J" and license type "11". They did this, even though we hadn't finished the conversion.

Now I've been trying to get insurance, which we need before we can renew our (now late) registration. I've been denied by one state farm agent and two all state agents, each giving me a different explanation for why it's impossible for them to even submit the application through their system.

I'm here now, hoping that some of the experienced folks on this forum can lend me a hand, sharing the wisdom or experiences they've gathered in this frustrating process.

We're still thrilled to own this beauty and are so excited for the conversion to move forward!

Thank you in advance.

Brian
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Old 10-29-2014, 08:33 PM   #2
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Location: Danville, California
Posts: 345
Year: 1988
Coachwork: Crown
Chassis: Supercoach
Engine: DD6-71T
Rated Cap: 78
Re: The White Elephant

I have insurance on my two Crown buses with Good Sam Insurance Agency. You have to be a member of the Good Sam Club. However, it is well worth it for both the ride side assistance and the really cheap RV insurance coverage on my buses.

I also understand that Progressive Insurance has gotten into the bus conversion coverage business lately. I don't know if that is true. However, if so, that is great news. The more players in the market the cheaper prices can be.
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Old 10-31-2014, 02:57 PM   #3
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Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: Iowa
Posts: 120
Year: 1996
Coachwork: Honey Badger RV Co
Chassis: tc2000
Engine: 5.9 cummins
Rated Cap: 74
Re: The White Elephant

Liberty Mutual, tell them it's a Blue Bird.
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Old 10-31-2014, 04:53 PM   #4
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Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 49
Year: 1986
Coachwork: Blue Bird
Chassis: P30
Engine: Chev 350 gas-replacement
Re: The White Elephant

I got insurance from GMAC.
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Old 11-18-2014, 06:45 PM   #5
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Re: The White Elephant

Thank you folks for your suggestions. I'll try these out.
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Old 11-20-2014, 08:11 AM   #6
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Location: Eustis FLORIDA
Posts: 12,107
Year: 1992
Coachwork: Ward/AmTran
Chassis: International
Engine: dt466
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Re: The White Elephant

Progressive if its not fully converted, Good Sam if its done. Go with a local agent and it will go a bit easier. I've got a commercial policy through progressive at 750 a year till I'm done converting it. Then Good Sam says they'll give me full RV coverage for 385. Good Luck. Lack of insurance cost me a bus once...
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