Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
 
Old 09-20-2016, 09:04 PM   #1
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Sep 2016
Location: Algonquin Territory
Posts: 14
Year: 2002
Coachwork: International
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!!!
'
Mooncalf is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-16-2016, 07:51 PM   #2
Skoolie
 
Bon Voyage's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2016
Location: Calgary, Alberta
Posts: 174
Year: 2001
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: Thomas
Engine: Cummins ISC 260HP/660Torque
Rated Cap: 81
Any luck with insurance? I'm in Alberta and want to make a skoolie but want to be sure I can get insurance first.
Bon Voyage is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-16-2016, 08:41 PM   #3
Bus Crazy
 
gbstewart's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Posts: 1,201
Year: 1999
Coachwork: Bluebird
Chassis: 3800 International
Engine: T444E
Rated Cap: 72
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.
gbstewart
__________________
my bus build viewtopic.php?f=9&t=5931
gbstewart is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-17-2016, 11:01 AM   #4
Bus Nut
 
REDD's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2015
Location: ...little north of Toronto Ontario
Posts: 606
Year: 2000
Coachwork: Thomsass
Chassis: FreightShaker
Engine: 5.9 Cummins 5 speed
Rated Cap: 2 ATV's and friends
...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.
REDD is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-17-2016, 11:56 AM   #5
Skoolie
 
Clayton's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2016
Location: Alberta
Posts: 134
Year: 1996
Coachwork: Thomas 72 passenger
Chassis: International 3800
Engine: 230HP DT466 engine MD3060 transmission
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.
Clayton is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-19-2017, 06:23 AM   #6
New Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2017
Posts: 1
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.
ronnystender is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-19-2017, 09:49 AM   #7
Bus Crazy
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario
Posts: 1,677
Year: 1997
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: B3800 Short bus
Engine: T444E
Rated Cap: 36
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!
__________________
My build page: Armageddon - The Smell of Airborne Rust
jazty is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-19-2017, 09:53 AM   #8
Bus Crazy
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario
Posts: 1,677
Year: 1997
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: B3800 Short bus
Engine: T444E
Rated Cap: 36
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.
__________________
My build page: Armageddon - The Smell of Airborne Rust
jazty is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-15-2017, 10:16 PM   #9
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Feb 2017
Posts: 31
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.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
crimsonshivers is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-20-2018, 08:20 PM   #10
Almost There
 
Join Date: Oct 2018
Location: Ontario Canada
Posts: 94
Chassis: GMC 3500 Thomas
Engine: 6.0 L GAS
I'm in Ontario myself......and my own broker won't even look into it. I just want to use a bus as a mobile office , but in their minds bus means bus......even when the seats are all ripped out. It seems I may have to consider a step van or just plain cargo van while I take years to sort out the conversion to RV problem ?....which is hard when I have no space to DIY .
skidfrog is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-20-2018, 11:20 PM   #11
Skoolie
 
Bon Voyage's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2016
Location: Calgary, Alberta
Posts: 174
Year: 2001
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: Thomas
Engine: Cummins ISC 260HP/660Torque
Rated Cap: 81
Iím not sure if you have Nordic insurance out there in Ontario but you could ask another broker if they deal with Nordic. A-Win insurance and CAA deal with them here, they insure in process conversions here in Alberta.

Anyway if all you want is a mobile office you just have to meet a few requirements which arenít that hard to meet to be a motorhome (with Nordic). You can double check whatís required but I believe itís a toilet, fridge and a bed. So all you need to do is buy a porta potti, lay down a foam mattress in the corner and get a $100 electric fridge. Use the remaining space as a office and call it a motorhome. All set!
Bon Voyage is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-22-2018, 01:10 PM   #12
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Sep 2016
Location: Algonquin Territory
Posts: 14
Year: 2002
Coachwork: International
Onterrible insurance

Hey!


So, it may be of some comfort to those of you suffering under the Ontario bureaucratic nightmare that I did succeed in getting insurance. It almost killed me and played a role in breaking up my 3-year-old relationship with my girlfriend, but I have been on the road for about a year and a half. Currently I pay $186 a month.


What I did was register the vehicle as a motor home. Before you do that, you have a close-to-0% chance of insuring it. In order to do that, you have to fulfill the criteria of what a motor home is.


"The Canadian Motor Safety Regulations define a Motor Home as:

Motor Home means a multi-purpose passenger vehicle
that is designed to provide temporary residential accommodations, as evidenced by the presence of at least four
of the following:


(a) cooking facilities,
(b) a refrigerator or ice box,
(c) a self-contained toilet,
(d) a heating or air-conditioning system that can function
independently of the vehicle engine,
(e) a potable water supply system that includes a
faucet and sink, and
(f) a separate 110- to 125-V electric power supply or
an LP gas supply; (autocaravane)

2.3(2) The designated seating capacity of a motor home that
has a GVWR greater than 4 536 kg may, at the option of
the manufacturer, be the number of sleeping positions in
the motor home."


So, I had to get the stove working, running water (just used a hand pump going to a jug), a camper toilet, and a 12 V refrigerated cooler that runs off the cigarette lighter. So basically I was doing the minimum to fulfill the criteria. I was worried about the appraisal (which cost $300), but the appraiser only took pictures of what I wanted him to (i.e., no pictures of the veggie oil system), and made a very professional-looking report that helped me get insurance. He even appraised the value of the vehicle low so that I could pay the least possible.


Basically, in Ontario, if you want to insure a home-converted RV, you're stuck with a company everyone hates called Facility. This company specializes in insuring people that no other company will insure, so they charge a lot and don't give a **** about customer service. If you want to maintain your sanity, you need a good broker so you never have to talk to them directly.


I am personally very happy with my insurance broker. His name is Jeff and he's with Shaw Insurance in Kingston. After I found his name, I found out I knew two other clients of his who are doing unconventional projects, so Jeff has the reputation of being the cool insurance guy in Eastern Ontario. Here's his information:



Jeff Gatcke,B.Sc., CAIB, Territory 12 IBAO Director
Earl Shaw Insurance Brokers Ltd.
2001 Hwy 15, RR #6 Kingston, ON K7L 4V3
work: 613-542-6573 fax: 613-542-5972


Hope this helps! I still recommend looking for insurance in another province if this is at all possible for you.
Mooncalf is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-27-2018, 09:23 PM   #13
Bus Nut
 
REDD's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2015
Location: ...little north of Toronto Ontario
Posts: 606
Year: 2000
Coachwork: Thomsass
Chassis: FreightShaker
Engine: 5.9 Cummins 5 speed
Rated Cap: 2 ATV's and friends
[QUOTE=Mooncalf;295548]Hey!


So, it may be of some comfort to those of you suffering under the Ontario bureaucratic nightmare that I did succeed in getting insurance. It almost killed me and played a role in breaking up my 3-year-old relationship with my girlfriend, but I have been on the road for about a year and a half. Currently I pay $186 a month.

Basically, in Ontario, if you want to insure a home-converted RV, you're stuck with a company everyone hates called Facility. This company specializes in insuring people that no other company will insure, so they charge a lot and don't give a **** about customer service. If you want to maintain your sanity, you need a good broker so you never have to talk to them directly.






This is the route I had to go to get up and running...bend over. I've had an A-Z license since 1983, no infractions for over 30 years and I'm still gettin' it in the hoop. House, truck, car, ATV and trailer all cheer than the bus.
REDD is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-27-2018, 09:35 PM   #14
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Jan 2015
Location: Ontario Canada
Posts: 50
Registration

Register your bus as a camper. You just have to show that you made the modifications and once you have that done, it will be much easier to insure.
We did that for a rock band tour bus and it made everything simpler.
capnron is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-28-2018, 12:34 PM   #15
Almost There
 
Join Date: Oct 2018
Location: Ontario Canada
Posts: 94
Chassis: GMC 3500 Thomas
Engine: 6.0 L GAS
hmmmmmm..."camper"....I'll write that down.

Me ( to broker ) : "what are the options to insure an old schoolbus I'm thinking of converting to an RV ?"

Broker : " well first we need to know how many passengers / do you have an established route / are you charging money for the rides "

Me: "No....I told you....I want to convert it to an RV...you know....rip out all the seats "

Broker : " how can you give rides on your bus to passengers without seats ?"

Me: " forget the word "school"...forget the word "bus"....it's a Ford E450 superduty with NO seats"

Broker : "hmmmmm....was it ever registered as a bus ?"

Me : " I think so "

Broker : " how many seats does it have and where will you be taking your passengers....is this a school thing or a team....or a church group ?
skidfrog is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-01-2018, 06:04 PM   #16
Bus Nut
 
REDD's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2015
Location: ...little north of Toronto Ontario
Posts: 606
Year: 2000
Coachwork: Thomsass
Chassis: FreightShaker
Engine: 5.9 Cummins 5 speed
Rated Cap: 2 ATV's and friends
Quote:
Originally Posted by capnron View Post
Register your bus as a camper. You just have to show that you made the modifications and once you have that done, it will be much easier to insure.
We did that for a rock band tour bus and it made everything simpler.



Mines was registered as a M/H [motor home] shortly after I got it even though it wasn't finished.


Capnron, where you at? ...could this be an area code thing? Some of the others in Ont. live further up north than I do and seem to get a better deal on insurance. They wanted pics and an appraisal when I finished it...did that. I think they're basically telling you to f-off this is the price, by law you have to have insurance. Insurance companies can legally steal from you....and they complain about fraud.
REDD is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-06-2018, 05:00 PM   #17
Skoolie
 
Join Date: Oct 2014
Location: Maple Ridge BC Canada
Posts: 200
Year: 1998
Coachwork: Blue Bird
Chassis: TC2000 Rear engine
Engine: Cummins 8.3; MD3060
Rated Cap: 84
I posted this in another thread, but don't mind to repeat for you:

Insurance for my skoolie in Ontario was a real PITA. I tried to call MANY MANY brokers and insurance companies directly.... no luck, they don't even call back...

Luckily for me another skoolie enthusiast from Ontario mentioned James Browning from Wallaceburg The Co-operators. I decided to give it a try.

I called and left a message, thinking another dead end, but to my surprise James Browning called me back in couple of hours and after collecting some info he promised to find right solution for me.

Later the same evening I received insurance quote and the price was another GOOD SURPRISE under $500 annually.

So, try your luck and call him 519-627-3332

Make sure you ask James Browning
__________________
Here is my conversion thread:
http://www.skoolie.net/forums/f11/98-bluebird-tc2000-conversion-2-feet-roof-raise-3-slideouts-9728.html
Vlad is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-07-2018, 12:54 PM   #18
Almost There
 
Join Date: Oct 2018
Location: Ontario Canada
Posts: 94
Chassis: GMC 3500 Thomas
Engine: 6.0 L GAS
I spotted a nice GMC 3500 almost new / dealer assured me he can register with MOT as commercial ( cargo ) BUT.....broker says MTO designation means nothing....Vin # says BUS....and Vin# will always say bus no matter what so $5000 /yr maybe ?

The Cube vans are looking better again
skidfrog is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-27-2019, 12:33 PM   #19
New Member
 
Join Date: May 2019
Posts: 7
Talking My Skoolie Needs Insurance in Canada - can anyone help.

Hi All, bought a great ole bus and had it converted to a Skoolie in Saskatchewan. I live in Ontario, and would like to get it converted to an RV, insured and on the road. I need some help though. When insurance company hear the word bus, they want nothing to do with me. When I say RV, they ask what kind. Its' a Thompson School bus, then they want nothing to do with me. HELP.

Any and all recommendations will be heard. Thx, askgayle.
askgayle is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-27-2019, 12:35 PM   #20
New Member
 
Join Date: May 2019
Posts: 7
Hi Vlad, are you still insured with Cooperators, is 519-627-3332

Make sure you ask James Browning - contact still a good one?

Desperately trying to get insurance for my new Skoolie! Thanks.
askgayle is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
circus, facility, insurance, ontario, wvo

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


» Featured Campgrounds

Reviews provided by

Powered by vBadvanced CMPS v3.2.3

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 07:05 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 4
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
×