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Old 02-05-2014, 02:28 PM   #1
Mini-Skoolie
 
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Insurance for 6 months US and 6 months CANADA

Hi,

My boyfriend and I (Europeans) are planning on buying a skoolie in California, converting it and turning it into a mobile hostel.
We're now in Mexico and hope to buy the bus in July in the California, does anybody know a good place to find a 40ft one? (5000$ or less)

We're super excited as the whole plan is ready but we're struggling with one thing: insurance.
Our plan is to drive for 6 months in the US, 6 months in Canada and the same for a second year.
I contacted Blue Sky insurance (who National General referred me to) who answered me:

Quote:
You could take out an annual policy and cancel it with us when you travel to Canada. You can then purchase a Canadian policy but we are not sure if they will do that with a vehicle registered in CA USA. You may want to find that out first. We could then write another annual policy for the following year that you can cancel. All premium not used would be pro rated back to you.
Does anybody know a Canadian insurance company in BC who would do this?
And one more question about seatbelt regulations: can it just be a seatbelt around the hip or does it have to go crosswise over shoulders for all passengers? Can they sit sideways on a bench (with seat belts) against the wall?

Thanks heaps for helping out!

Cheers,

Val
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Old 02-05-2014, 04:09 PM   #2
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Re: Insurance for 6 months US and 6 months CANADA

Are you talking about normal vehicle insurance? If so, I'm sure you can find an insurer who will cover you in all of North America. I'm in Canada and all of my insurers past and present include coverage while in the states (RBC, Desjardin, other one I can't remember)
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Old 02-05-2014, 05:08 PM   #3
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Re: Insurance for 6 months US and 6 months CANADA

Stop telling the insurance agents more info than they need.

Get a US residence, insure, drive where ever you want.

The more you tell a insurance agent, the more trouble you will have, and the more it will cost you.

The interior of a bus has no insurable value.

The bus is only worth $2000 max to the insurance agent.

No insurance for the bus, just for the other people involved. This brings the price down to as much as half.

Tell them its a steel tent with a few cots in it. The more basic it sounds the better. With the exception of the needed items, toilet, fridge, blaw, blaw. This all depends on what state you choose.

I only made that mistake once.

Nat
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Old 02-05-2014, 06:06 PM   #4
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Re: Insurance for 6 months US and 6 months CANADA

Are you planning on transporting people for hire? If so you become a commercial vehicle and the rules are different.
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Old 02-07-2014, 01:23 PM   #5
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Re: Insurance for 6 months US and 6 months CANADA

thanks for the help,

Netster:
If I don't tell them we go to Canada and the bus crashes there.. what happens if we have been there for two months (two weeks is the max)?
They can see on our pasport when we got in right?

The state we choose is California, and saying it's only 2000$ worth sounds good, but what IF we do crash..
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Old 02-07-2014, 09:26 PM   #6
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Re: Insurance for 6 months US and 6 months CANADA

where your bus is registered is where you get insurance. and it should be good where ever you drive, no need to buy insurance for Canada. to buy insurance here in Canada you would have to register it in what ever province you want which would mean a address , a safety inspection, and try to fine a insurance company that will insure a skoolie , so just insure and stay with what ever state your bus is registered in best way.
and for seat belts, a lap belt is ok to use, you have to have one for each person .
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Old 02-08-2014, 09:10 AM   #7
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Re: Insurance for 6 months US and 6 months CANADA

Only advice I have is pick a state other than California... With there stupid laws and regulations.....you might have more issues than its worth
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Old 02-09-2014, 01:31 AM   #8
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Re: Insurance for 6 months US and 6 months CANADA

Quote:
Originally Posted by bansil
Only advice I have is pick a state other than California... With there stupid laws and regulations.....you might have more issues than its worth
I second this. California has crazy tax/resident laws. Buy the bus there, sure (that's where oursand renewed is from) but register it elsewhere.
Try a state that has less taxes, like Texas, Florida, New Hampshire, etc. NH does not have income tax, excise tax or sales tax and does not require insurance on vehicles (but you still need it if you drive in other states).

You definitely don't need a separate insurance plan for Canada, especially considering you are not and will not be a resident there. As for the two week limit, I've never heard of such a thing. I have a friend that drives tour buses and was in Canada for months and came back into the states with no hassle about the time there (they were hassled because there were dead animal heads in the band's part of the bus - gross) but I will check with him just in case.
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Old 02-14-2014, 04:46 PM   #9
Mini-Skoolie
 
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Re: Insurance for 6 months US and 6 months CANADA

Thanks everybody,

We were very honest with the insurance company about our plan, first they said we could be insured for 1300$ a year, then they said their guidelines changed so they can't insure our bus.

A few questions I still have:
- I heard a lot that it is cheaper to register the bus in another state. For us it's best to convert the bus in California as we have lots of contacts there. But can we drive to another state to register our bus? Don't we have to get insurance first in order to get into another state or is that not true?

- The fact that you guys know people who drove in Canada without a problem sounds great, but in this case we're not just talking about us but we have 7 clients (snowboarders who stay in our bus) with us. We won't be a commercial vehicle, we try everything to avoid that, but we are still responsible for our clients. (Or can we maybe make them sign a waiver?) So WHAT IF we crash in the mountains in Canada, and something happens to one of our clients and we didn't tell the insurance company we were in Canada for a longer period? Will they check our passports?

- What insurance company would you guys recommend? And what State? Our route will be California-Utah-Colorado.. so best would be a state nearby..

- Normally if you get the cheapest insurance possible, what is covert? Are passengers covert? The buss will be an incredible conversion, prob worth at least 20.000$ or more in the end, so what if we get the cheapest insurance and something bad happens, how much will be covered.

I hate to think negative, it's against everything I believe in, but this project is our biggest dream coming true, so stupid unrealistic actions can be fatal.

Thanks heaps for thinking along. Highly appreciated.

www.letsbenomads.com
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Old 02-14-2014, 05:15 PM   #10
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Re: Insurance for 6 months US and 6 months CANADA

As soon as you said "clients" you lost the game.

If you take money from someone, you now enter a whole new world. You need to be talking to a lawyer, or just accept the risk, and get regular insurance.

IMO There is far too much of this crap poping up on here. If you want to make money with a bus, do it by the rules, and stop trying to get others to sugar coat it for you to make you feel better about breaking the law.

Nat
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