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Old 09-20-2016, 09:04 PM   #1
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Location: Algonquin Territory
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Insurance in Canada?

Hey Y'all,

So, I'm a juggler and fire spinner, and after a long crazy series of events, involving my now-ex-girlfriend and I working on a Hutterite colony in Alberta, three friends and I bought a bus last Spring. We immediately set to work installing a waste vegetable oil (WVO) system, which works splendidly. The plan was to tour with our circus troupe.

Unfortunately, insurance has been a nightmare. The only company willing to insure us in Ontario was called Facility. Believe it or not, it says ON THEIR WEBSITE that: " If you are currently insured through Facility Association, you probably should be shopping for insurance elsewhere, because Facility Association exists to make sure coverage is available for those unable to obtain it anywhere else." After many stressful days pulling our hair out trying to get insurance, we got our bus (named Mooncalf) insured as a personal vehicle for ~$225 a month, which we gladly swallowed as we had a tour booked.

A couple months later, without any notice, my ex got a letter saying that the insurance has been cancelled... Apparently they decided that our bus was too heavy to be considered a "personal vehicle". (I might be getting some details wrong, my ex was the one dealing with the insurance companies). So we had to park it for the winter.

Apparently, in Ontario there is only one company who will insure school buses converted to motor homes, and it has to meet some pretty strict criteria (cooking facility, toilet, refrigeration, independent electrical supply, running water, and more). So it's

Over the winter, my girlfriend and I broke up. So now we co-own a bus we can't drive. She put a bunch of work and money into it, planning to keep it, and finally gave up and said **** it. I said that I'd take it, put a bunch of time and money into it, and on Thursday an appraiser is coming to look at it, which is the final step before we can get insurance on it. If all goes according to plan, the bus will be insured by next week.

The plan is to get it insured (it's already plated and registered in Ontario), and GTFO of Ontario. So I'm wondering - can anyone recommend insurance companies in other provinces? It would be most convenient to insure it in Quebec - I speak French and I already live in Quebec, but I would be willing to go to BC if they have more humane laws/practices regarding converted school buses.

Also, if anyone has some inspiring words, I'd like to hear 'em! It's been a slog.

I also offer this as words of caution to overzealous would-be skoolies.. if you want to live the dream, GTFO of Ontario!!! Register and insure your bus anywhere else, by any means necessary!!!
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Old 12-16-2016, 07:51 PM   #2
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Any luck with insurance? I'm in Alberta and want to make a skoolie but want to be sure I can get insurance first.
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Old 12-16-2016, 08:41 PM   #3
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once you have it have it converted to motor home, co-operators will insure it here in Ontario, I have allstate for $202.00 per year, they no longer insure skoolies, I was grandfathered in, I have lots insured with them so that helps.
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Old 12-17-2016, 11:01 AM   #4
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Location: ...little north of Toronto Ontario
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...same issue, insurance company won't even talk to me without an appraisal.

I'm really close to finishing! Ran out of season, parked it for the winter.
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Old 12-17-2016, 11:56 AM   #5
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I would say convert it and see a few brokers, be prepared to have an appraisal done. Also take some photos to show your broker that your camper is a nice unit because when you say "school bus conversion" I guarantee they will think of a run down hipy bus otherwise. And do not install a wood stove. If they know you have a wood stove in it, they will not consider it at all.
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Old 01-19-2017, 06:23 AM   #6
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I am also having a hard time getting mine insured, I have insurance from this group insurance company but they don't do auto, I have asked them to help me out, lets see if they come up with something for me, will definitely let you guys know.
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Old 01-19-2017, 09:49 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mooncalf View Post
I also offer this as words of caution to overzealous would-be skoolies.. if you want to live the dream, GTFO of Ontario!!! Register and insure your bus anywhere else, by any means necessary!!!
'
Haha.. You're just in the wrong part of Ontario, it seems! Northern Ontario is where the fun happens

As mentioned, check out The Cooperators. You'll do best if you have a house or primary vehicle insured with them as well. They didn't want to primarily and solely insure the bus, but with our two cars insured with them they were happy to tack the bus on, too. Which I was ok with! The rate they gave for 2 cars and a bus was $15 cheaper per month then insuring 2 cars with TD!
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Old 01-19-2017, 09:53 AM   #8
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Join Date: Nov 2011
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Chassis: B3800 Short bus
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Oh, but all that only applies once you get your ownership to read "motorhome" instead of "bus". Do the bare minimum to get into that category. It's worth it. Install a propane range, a water tank, a bed, a refrigerator and you'll be golden. Those things may cost some money upfront, but within the year they'll pay for themselves vs a commercial insurance policy.
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Old 03-15-2017, 10:16 PM   #9
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Join Date: Feb 2017
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I'm having a similar issue with insurance and I'm in BC. ICBC gives me different answers every time I call. It makes me want to just throw in the towel and buy a Winnebago.


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