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Old 01-21-2019, 11:25 PM   #1
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Pre-Conversion Insurance in Michigan

Hello Everyone,

One of my dreams in life has always been to convert an old school bus into a motorhome. I have finally got to a point in my lift where this might be a option for me to explore. In starting to look at the logistics of this endeavor I am running into one big unknown, Insurance. I contacted State Farm (My primary for my house and other cars) and they said they would cover it in the converted stage but not pre-conversion. I have called 4 insurance company and the big one who used to do person use buses and who many others use as an underwriter said they do not do it anymore. One small local agent is checking into wither they cover them at all, and the best answer I have gotten so far is farmers who said that might be able to do it but the cost might be higher. Because I do not want to buy a bus before I can make sure the insurance end is covered. I gave them a VIN from a comparable bus of the type I am looking to but(a Thomas FS65).

So my question to this fine forum is if none these options do not work out what might be some of my other options to at least legally get my bus home (Most Likely going to buy from out of state)? One thing I saw at the top of this forum is the Vermont plate. Would I be able to get out of Michigan insurance for that? Any and all input on this would be a huge help.

Thanks again
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Old 01-24-2019, 10:24 AM   #2
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Have you tried National General or Good Sam?
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Old 01-24-2019, 10:38 AM   #3
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State Farm, whom I'm covered by now on my truck and home, and life, wouldn't cover it during the build, as you mentioned, but will once it's converted. they directed me to a competitor in town who could write a "commercial for personal use" policy for $171/yr through Progressive. I have found my experience to be quite simple while others who went directly to Progressive were unsuccessful.
I didn't see where you're from (go to the UserCP and fill out your profile). In Ga. you can drive on the bill of sale for 30 days and State Farm will insure "any new/used purchase" for 7 days to get it home. Even the bus that they won't write a policy on was covered under this period. Check your local state laws first.
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Old 01-29-2019, 12:03 AM   #4
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Sorry for the delay, I talked to someone at the local state farm and they said that they would cover one pre conversion, also I will call good sam and give that a try along with Allstate. Progressive was no luck and national general would not take it.

Thanks again o1marc and sutphinins for the quick replay and advice.
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Old 01-29-2019, 10:42 AM   #5
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I have had great luck with State Farm.

3 buses pre-conversion and 1 complete.

Things do vary considerably by state and carrier.

State Farm also covered my purchases for two weeks compared to one week that they offer Marc in Georgia.

I would consider following up, maybe with a different (SF) agent, and don't mention conversion.Let them know that the seats have been removed and you are using it for personal use. Ask for a "commercial vehicle for personal use " policy.

Failing there, call Progressive Commercial. Don't use the website. Or, a local independent agent.

Good luck.
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Old 02-26-2019, 02:33 PM   #6
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I would consider following up, maybe with a different (SF) agent, and don't mention conversion.Let them know that the seats have been removed and you are using it for personal use. Ask for a "commercial vehicle for personal use " policy.
This. Leave the word conversion out when talking to the insurance companies. Progressive, I know from personal experience, records your conversation even so calling back later after you've already gotten a quote won't work either. I ended up doing thru someone in the yellow pages. When all the paperwork showed up, it was underwritten by Progressive.


Anywho, going thru insurance problems with the state now. In order to be registered, it has to have liability. My bus has storage insurance on it but since it's stored on base it has to be registered as well. The state is trying to fine me now. My insurance company sent a letter that the state called them. The state hasn't even bothered to notify me yet. They want t wait until the daily fees start.
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Old 02-26-2019, 02:54 PM   #7
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I have a number of bitches about Washington State but this is one place where there is a bit of common Sense.

I can suspend coverage on a vehicle if I am not driving it. All it takes to reinstate is a phone call.

The bus that I had a tree fall on, I had suspended all but comp. It cost me just a few dollars a month to keep comprehensive and it covered (generously) when the tree fell on it. Paid almost as much as the purchase price of the bus. Then I sold it for $500 more than the purchase price.
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Old 02-26-2019, 03:05 PM   #8
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Quote:
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, and don't mention conversion.Let them know that the seats have been removed and you are using it for personal use.
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Originally Posted by Brewerbob View Post
This. Leave the word conversion out when talking to the insurance companies.

That's terrible advice. If you're going to convert it to an RV while it's insured, get it insured properly in the first place. Or don't register it while you're converting it if you can't get it insured while under conversion & don't drive it on public roads.

I'll share a story my boss told me. A farmer was letting this guy fish in the pond on his property. One day the guy brings his kid along. Well the guy gets drunk and passes out, and his kid drowns in the pond. This guy sues the farmer, and wins, and the farmer loses everything. The farmer did nothing wrong yet he lost.

Can you get insurance by not mentioning conversion? Possibly. Is it actually going to cover you? Probably not. Is it worth the risk? Not at all.
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Old 02-26-2019, 04:56 PM   #9
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That's terrible advice. If you're going to convert it to an RV while it's insured, get it insured properly in the first place. Or don't register it while you're converting it if you can't get it insured while under conversion & don't drive it on public roads.

I'll share a story my boss told me. A farmer was letting this guy fish in the pond on his property. One day the guy brings his kid along. Well the guy gets drunk and passes out, and his kid drowns in the pond. This guy sues the farmer, and wins, and the farmer loses everything. The farmer did nothing wrong yet he lost.

Can you get insurance by not mentioning conversion? Possibly. Is it actually going to cover you? Probably not. Is it worth the risk? Not at all.
I believe my policy through Progressive is a "Commercial for personal use", doesn't matter what I'm doing with it during that time. You can convert it during this time and still be covered. I'm surprised by how many go directly through Progressive and get turned down, and then go through an independent agent that ends up getting you a policy through Progressive.
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Old 02-26-2019, 05:22 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by sutphinins View Post
That's terrible advice. If you're going to convert it to an RV while it's insured, get it insured properly in the first place. Or don't register it while you're converting it if you can't get it insured while under conversion & don't drive it on public roads.

I'll share a story my boss told me. A farmer was letting this guy fish in the pond on his property. One day the guy brings his kid along. Well the guy gets drunk and passes out, and his kid drowns in the pond. This guy sues the farmer, and wins, and the farmer loses everything. The farmer did nothing wrong yet he lost.

Can you get insurance by not mentioning conversion? Possibly. Is it actually going to cover you? Probably not. Is it worth the risk? Not at all.
I'd not be so hasty. What's wrong with insuring a bus as what it is? What if someone needs to drive DURING the conversion. Its not terrible advice to suggest doing something completely legal. All he was suggesting was that you don't want to say the word "conversion" until its done. Nothing nefarious in there. I've got a commercial for private use policy. Its completely legit. Once the bus is fully camperized I can insure it as a motorhome. No one's going to insure it as such until that's done. I've gotten into a fender bender long ago with a bus. Had a policy. USAA was like "haha we're not going to pay, come at me bro".
Insurance is a piece of paper that lets you drive on public roads.
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