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Old 03-30-2016, 07:35 AM   #1
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insurance - how to get COMMERCIAL policy?

i am not concerned about getting the cheapest insurance for my new project.. but simply insurance that will work...

obviously as others have stated.. ive had some of the similar issues that are all over this forum when it comes to RV insurance...

I dont even have a bus yet let alone a compelted one.. and when it is complete I dont plan to have water in it...

I will do the minimums to meet the state licensing / titling requirements.. (and things which will enhance my Travelling experience)..

in ohio that means a bed, a table, a frig, and cooking facilities.. in addition I'll have a Generator as for my purpose I'll need electricity..

the trouble im running into with a commercial policy is they want a Business to attach it to... im not really interested in introducing my LLC that im a partner in to the mix of a purely personal Bus...

how have you guys gotten past that question when going for a commercil policy?

again im not looking for Cheap insurance or insurance that will simply keep me "legal" when the state sends out their letters or if i get stopped..

I want insurance that will WORK if I happen to have the unfortunate experience of Crashing my Bus.. (or being crashed into by an idiot...)

I got Lucky because I feel into some loop hole with my last bus... State farm insured it as a 'station wagon'.. for it was a short bus under GVWR 26k, i had yanked out enough seats that it sat 15 people.. had hydraulic brakes (they asked).. and was a Chevrolet... so it sounded pretty much like a Van..

the new bus I have held for me is an IHC with air brakes and a GVWR of 27500.. state farm will insure it but wants a Business to attach it to and would prefer I have a CDL with air brakes endorsement to insure me driving it.....

when the fire in the storage facility happened.. state farm was ready to pay my claim , however I ended up getting it paid through the insurance of the people that started the fire by accidentilly dousing their chevelle and the garage floor with gasoline trying to start it.....

yes my Bus was destroyed.. BUT I got paid out!!.. which means my insurance WORKED.. and thats the way I want it to be again...

granted I could go find another bus that would fit the specs of my old one.. though the state farm rep did say that privately insuring an 'IHC' of anything other than a scout would be tough... chevrolet was easy... it was simply a Passenger van in his eyes..

so im looking for ideas for COMMERCIAL insurance mainly because it seems like it will work...

do any of you have commercial insurance on your busses?

-Christopher
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Old 03-30-2016, 07:47 AM   #2
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Well, I'm self-employed. I do odd jobs and buy and sell stuff. I told my insurance carrier I needed a mobile office capable of hauling supplies and tools.
Adapt your insurance need to whatever line of work you're in and go from there.
Mobile office... Pretty generic and universal.
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Old 03-30-2016, 10:58 AM   #3
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My experiences say that you will not get anything but compulsory insurance, on a non professional conversion.
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Old 03-30-2016, 01:09 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by opus View Post
My experiences say that you will not get anything but compulsory insurance, on a non professional conversion.

so what you are saying is that to insure this, im going to have to make it a full RV with water faucets and toilets and tanks... yuk..
every 'RV' insurance policy wants proof that it has 'water services' which I have no intention of installing..

I just want a bus with only a few seats, a bed, some cabinets.. a frig.. work space....

im thinkng if I get a Bus under 26000 GVWR I may have a much easier time... which means the carpenter my eyes are on is Out... im going to get stuck with a newer harder to work on lighter weight unit....


-Christopher
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Old 03-30-2016, 04:11 PM   #5
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First and foremost, you need to get the vehicle reclassified from a bus to an RV.

Among that things that will need to be done to accomplish that is to remove all seating in excess of 14-pax plus the driver.

Anything over 15-pax will require you to have a CDL to drive the bus and a USDOT number in order to license your bus.

At that point, as long as you are not having paying customers riding the bus you would need to get some sort of business insurance to cover the bus as a part of your business as long as it wasn't the reason for the business. Once you get into the commercial for hire bus business the insurance cost goes up to over $1K per month.

Once you have reclassified the bus to RV shopping for RV insurance will not be nearly as costly as commercial/business insurance.

I doubt you will be able to find any full coverage insurance at any price. The best you will most likely find is liability and uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage.

In my experience the best way to get coverage is to work with an insurance agent with whom you have had some experience. Using the online resources and 800 phone numbers is going to take a lot of time and effort, most of which will result in negative answers.

There are a lot of converted buses out on the road including converted school buses, transit buses, and motorcoaches. Someone out there is writing paper on them. You are just going to have to get creative in your responses to the questions without being totally untruthful.

Good luck.
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Old 03-30-2016, 05:40 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cowlitzcoach View Post
First and foremost, you need to get the vehicle reclassified from a bus to an RV.

Among that things that will need to be done to accomplish that is to remove all seating in excess of 14-pax plus the driver.

Anything over 15-pax will require you to have a CDL to drive the bus and a USDOT number in order to license your bus.

At that point, as long as you are not having paying customers riding the bus you would need to get some sort of business insurance to cover the bus as a part of your business as long as it wasn't the reason for the business. Once you get into the commercial for hire bus business the insurance cost goes up to over $1K per month.

Once you have reclassified the bus to RV shopping for RV insurance will not be nearly as costly as commercial/business insurance.

I doubt you will be able to find any full coverage insurance at any price. The best you will most likely find is liability and uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage.

In my experience the best way to get coverage is to work with an insurance agent with whom you have had some experience. Using the online resources and 800 phone numbers is going to take a lot of time and effort, most of which will result in negative answers.

There are a lot of converted buses out on the road including converted school buses, transit buses, and motorcoaches. Someone out there is writing paper on them. You are just going to have to get creative in your responses to the questions without being totally untruthful.

Good luck.
Quote:
Once you have reclassified the bus to RV shopping for RV insurance will not be nearly as costly as commercial/business insurance.
this part is where things go awry... or maybe im just doing it wrong...

its Easy in ohio to get the Bus reclassed as an RV.. everything the STATE DMV requires is what I want to do...
1. bed
2. frig
3. cooking apparatus
4. Table to eat..

All things i want to do.. and this requires removing enough seats that now im under the 15 Passenger limit.. by quite a bit.. closer to 10.. PERFECT..

NOW the problem is to INSURE it as an RV.. many insurance companies flat out refuse to insure a CONVERTED SKOOLIE..

the couple I found that will insure a CONVERTED SKOOLIE.. will NOT insure a Partial or NON CONVERTED skoolie.. what they want is as ive mentioned here and other places.. PLUMBING.. which I flat out do not want any part of..

so im caught between a rock and a hard place.. if I title and registerit as an RV and then write a personal-use COMMERCIAL insurance policy will i gt cancelled when they see its actually an 'RV'? or will the Insurance go off of the VIN which shows it as a BUS?

Progressive quoted me a COMMERCIAL policy for a BUS not more than 15 passengers... yes its more expensive but I dont care if it costs more as long as im covered... Progressive called it a Commercial vehicle policy for personal use.. I have to agree that im not using it any business... which is the case... its not tied to my business in any way.. and its easy because my business is telecom engineering and in no way requires a Bus.. and I didnt have to give my business name...

they didnt ask about the weight.. only the number of pasengers,, however they also didnt really have it listed when I talked to the lady.. she asked what a 'carpenter' and an 'IC bus' were...

Progressive PERSONAL stated they absolutely will NOT cover a converted Skoolie...

so you can see the rock and hard place im in... if they go by VIN theyll see a BUS.. if they go by how its titled and registered they will see an RV. and im afraid i'll get cancelled because they'll see a discrepency in registration vs how I asked it to be insured...

good sam wants pictures of a fully completed bus / and or send a rep out to view the bus... so obviously im not going to pass that as they require.. guess what.. PLUMBING....

state farm doesnt know what to do with it... my agent seems to be lost..

in Ohio anything under 26,000 lbs and set up to carry less than 15 passengers falls into a "passenger car"... so can I really registera bus as a "passenger car?" (the carpenter wouldnt meet that... but the IC bus would)...

a statute for michigan I used as a reference states that taking out seats does not change the capacity of a bus... they go on design... ohio i cannot find any such wording.. so makes me wonder if I can slide through on that... its how my ast bus was done.. and several people scolded me and said i got lucky...

Code:
REGISTRATION AS MOTOR HOME 
   A  self-propelled  vehicle  used  for  the  sole  purpose  of  recreat
ional  travel  that  has  no  fifth  wheel;  is  constructed  with  
permanently  installed  facilities  for  cold  storage,  cook
ing  and  consuming  of  food  and  for  sleep;  is  not  used  for  the  
purpose of engaging in business for profit, in intrastate commerce, or for the purpose of commerce as defined in the 
federal commercial driver license law; 
is not regulated by the Pu
blic Utilities Commission under Revised Code chapter 
governing certain motor carriers.
REGISTRATION AS PASSENGER VEHICLE  
   A  Van  /  Truck  /  Utility  Car,  defined  as  a  motor  vehicle  
having  a  single  rear  
axle  and  an  enclos
ed  body,  with  a  
permanently installed and attached parallel second sea
t, designed and used for carrying not more than nine persons 
(15 in a ridesharing arrangement). 
REGISTRATION AS A VAN / TRUCK  
   The  above  described  vehicle  has  a  single  rear  axle  
and  an  enclosed  body,  with  NO  permanently  installed  seats,  
EXCLUDING THE FRONT SEAT(S), and 
is to be registered as a: 
 PICK-UP  
 VAN


if I read the CDL requirements for ohio anything under 26,000 lbs GVWR and carrying fewer than 16 passengers requires No CDL.. air brakes dont automatically thrust you into CDL.. which most small busses are hydraulic anyway..

as well as if you title it as an RV then you are Non CDL even over GVWR and meet the requirements of RV above... (which I will easily meet)


so you can see my dilemma is trying to juggle which way to register and insure it....

since im the wierd bird not doing a full conversion....

-Christopher
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Old 03-30-2016, 06:30 PM   #7
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I can fully understand you reluctance to install plumbing.

If you mounted a portable sink, like the one in the link I provided above, into a cut out or a mount in a counter top you could prove you had plumbing. The only real difference is instead of many feet of piping and large fresh/grey water tanks you have a self contained unit that can easily be removed from the bus when freezing temperatures are anticipated.

A friend of our family had a Newell Coach--arguably the fanciest motorhome on the market. What they used for their fresh water source were gallon jugs bought at the store. They didn't want to carry the extra weight and they had had some problems with bad water getting into their tank and having to flush it out. Using gallon jugs also reduced the amount of grey water they had to dispose of occasionally instead of weekly.
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Old 03-30-2016, 06:50 PM   #8
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Join Date: May 2009
Location: Columbus Ohio
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EastCoastCB View Post
Well, I'm self-employed. I do odd jobs and buy and sell stuff. I told my insurance carrier I needed a mobile office capable of hauling supplies and tools.
Adapt your insurance need to whatever line of work you're in and go from there.
Mobile office... Pretty generic and universal.

so is your bus DMV registered as an RV and then insured as a COMMERCIAL vehicle?

progressive had no problem quoting me a personal use only commercial policy.. even full coverage at declared value... (I used 100/300/50 for liability and then $10,000 value on each of the 2 busses im looking at)..

if yours is registered as RV and insured commercial and you havent been cancelled I think thats a viable route for me to go.. as then i can meet the ohio DMV requirements for an RV.. (no plumbing required).. and then get it insured as commercial and no need to send pics or prove plumbing.. I just have to remove enough seats that its under 15 passengers,, which I planned to do anyway for my bed area...

-Christopher
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Old 03-30-2016, 08:00 PM   #9
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my bus has commercial liability insurance for a 29K GVW truck, cost just over $400 a year from progressive
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Old 03-30-2016, 08:04 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kubla View Post
my bus has commercial liability insurance for a 29K GVW truck, cost just over $400 a year from progressive

your bus is registered with your DMV as an RV?

what did you tell them it is.. when I got a quote we were having problems finding out what to call the bus.. they didnt have 'carpenter' or IC bus.. thought they had international but no model to use..


-Christopher
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