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Old 02-03-2017, 10:15 AM   #1
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Reasons why insurance co. don't like school bus

Ran across this article recently: https://www.aisinsurance.com/product...ersion.aspx#t3

I don't really follow the argument about the school bus axle not handling the weight of an RV conversion. I would think 65 kids and the seats weigh more than a finished conversion with a few people. Do any of your conversions go over the GVWR of the bus?

I don't have one, yet, but want to convert one some day. The potential insurance issues are a bit of concern.
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Old 02-03-2017, 10:22 AM   #2
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Ran across this article recently: https://www.aisinsurance.com/product...ersion.aspx#t3

I don't really follow the argument about the school bus axle not handling the weight of an RV conversion. I would think 65 kids and the seats weigh more than a finished conversion with a few people. Do any of your conversions go over the GVWR of the bus?

I don't have one, yet, but want to convert one some day. The potential insurance issues are a bit of concern.
I agree. If you build it within the weight it should not have any bearing on what's inside.
I plan on weighing mine before and after with a balanced build approach. That being said, all those "tiny house" shows that depict the extreme double decker built of solid wood and steal on a short bus frame... Probably aren't helping the vast majority of people staying comfortably within the gvrr. IMHO.

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Old 02-03-2017, 10:59 AM   #3
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Agreed, I would even bet that the completed conversion probably weighs less than a full busload of people.
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Old 02-03-2017, 12:41 PM   #4
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that's a sale gimmick. plenty of insurers other than AIS insure school bus conversions. they are just trying to sell you a policy with fear of cancellation.

the problem most people have with insurance is their own words. when you tell your agent you bought a schoolbus, they assume you are transporting students for money. that makes you commercial. the agent stops listening at the word "bus" and they either can or can't help you.

go in and tell your agent you bought an rv. that is what you will register it as. they will be happy to sell you an rv policy.

and for the most part, its just a liability policy that you are seeking. the insurance company will not pay for your bus, only damages you cause to others. thats easy money for insurance company.
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Old 02-03-2017, 12:43 PM   #5
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Here is that text, in case the above image does not open for you. I'm highlighting the pertinent sentence:

Quote:
With underwriting guidelines being tightened to keep losses in check, insurance companies are avoiding certain types of risk. One of the most well-known risks that most specialty RV insurance providers avoid is the school bus conversion. Very few insurance companies will insure this type of vehicle. The main reason cited for this is the axle of a school bus is generally a narrower axle than that of a regular bus. Thus, when the additional weight of the conversion is added, it can result in a top-heavy vehicle, which is more susceptible to rollover accidents. Historically, more serious accidents have occurred to school bus conversions as compared to regular bus conversions-enough that many companies are no longer willing to accept this risk.
This is patently wrong. One glance at the photo of a school bus accompanying this statement disproves the statement. But average citizens have so little understanding of even basic mechanical physics, that all comprehension eludes them.

I suspect this allegation is a blatant pretext -- it is not even a euphemism, nor an error. By citing something that sounds technical -- however much out of the blue -- they avoid saying that school buses are often converted and driven by incompetent hippies on bailing-wire budgets, which is true, and is the real reason for the nasty losses.

There are vehicles -- many of them -- that have this narrow-axle problem, and they are mass-produced RVs. (And a friend of mine here in Clearlake was killed when he tipped his over a couple months ago.)

As for weight.... The only time I get Millicent close to maximum weight... is when I pile her full of steel scaffolding, two pianos, two generators, a couple pallets of beverages, 45 bicycles, and so on and so forth, to build a camp for 30 people and supply them in the bare desert for two weeks. (And I'm not kidding about the pianos.)

What to do about the bailing-wire-hippie problem? Self-policing. And this forum is the perfect place for it.
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Old 02-03-2017, 01:39 PM   #6
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im guessing part of what they say is true.. more accidents yes..

big coaches are more expensive so people likely take a care to make sure everything is 100% secure..

skoolies ON THIS BOARD are people with safety and build in mind.. but we all know of the skoolie builds with house furniture, frig, etc just sitting on the floor unsecured.. hitting a corner or curve a little fast and having a frig fall over very well could cause the bus to crash...

again it seems the group here is concious of tying things down or mnounting in such a way that the bus is balanced and ready to go... but this is only a small fraction of skoolies out there..
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Old 02-03-2017, 01:49 PM   #7
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Quite so, and we on this board ought to do all we can to guide and tutor any questionable skoolie owners we encounter elsewhere.
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Old 02-03-2017, 02:15 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by turf View Post
that's a sale gimmick. plenty of insurers other than AIS insure school bus conversions. they are just trying to sell you a policy with fear of cancellation.

the problem most people have with insurance is their own words. when you tell your agent you bought a schoolbus, they assume you are transporting students for money. that makes you commercial. the agent stops listening at the word "bus" and they either can or can't help you.

go in and tell your agent you bought an rv. that is what you will register it as. they will be happy to sell you an rv policy.

and for the most part, its just a liability policy that you are seeking. the insurance company will not pay for your bus, only damages you cause to others. thats easy money for insurance company.
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Old 02-03-2017, 03:15 PM   #9
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Not me...

I think raising the center of gravity plays a big part in rollovers. Roof-top decks made of pressure treated lumber, suspended cabinets, etc. contribute to change in tipping point. Improperly balanced or baffled water tanks can shift large amounts of weight, very quickly.

Schoolbus drivers also undergo rigorous vetting of driving infractions and undergo training. They also passed CDL driving course test.

No idea what they are talking about axle width- how could it be wider?

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Old 02-03-2017, 03:31 PM   #10
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I think raising the center of gravity plays a big part in rollovers. Roof-top decks made of pressure treated lumber, suspended cabinets, etc. contribute to change in tipping point. Improperly balanced or baffled water tanks can shift large amounts of weight, very quickly.

Schoolbus drivers also undergo rigorous vetting of driving infractions and undergo training. They also passed CDL driving course test.

No idea what they are talking about axle width- how could it be wider?

They seem to be comparing it to the 102" wide coaches. But if the weight is good, and the center of gravity is kept low... It was originally designed to have that width axle.
I agree adding all that weight to a roof deck, and even raising the roof can drastically change the center of gravity.

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Old 02-03-2017, 03:49 PM   #11
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I've always said on here when it comes up that keeping the weight low and centered is important.
I cringe at some of the "double deckers" and home-made scary things done with some buses out there.

I chose to not go the "RV" title route. I'm just insuring it for my personal mobile office and storage. For PERSONAL use. They ask no questions, just send a bill. My conversion won't look radical or hippie, so they'll never really have any reason to say much...
Sometimes I thing titling as an rv makes it more of a hassle than it has to be.
Get a liability policy as a bus for personal use and do what you want, just don't mention it to them, especially the word "conversioN"
Maybe I'm not "converting" mine, I'm just making a "few small changes" to my "bus".
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Old 02-04-2017, 02:38 AM   #12
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To illustrate.... which vehicle has the under-size axles?

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Old 02-04-2017, 04:02 AM   #13
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The only issue with not re titling as an RV is in many states you need a CDL to drive it, if you don't get one and crash will the ins company pay out?

Most states anything non RV and 26k gvwr or above requires CDL. In Ohio my shortie redbyrd is non CDL as it's 17.5k and fitted for less than 16 seats.
I have the same insurance on both busses, one RV titled and the other bus titled ..

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Old 02-04-2017, 06:18 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by cadillackid View Post
The only issue with not re titling as an RV is in many states you need a CDL to drive it, if you don't get one and crash will the ins company pay out?

Most states anything non RV and 26k gvwr or above requires CDL. In Ohio my shortie redbyrd is non CDL as it's 17.5k and fitted for less than 16 seats.
I have the same insurance on both busses, one RV titled and the other bus titled ..

Christopher
I don't need a cdl if i'm tagged and registered for personal use.
Ins is just a piece of paper... an extra tax, really.
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Old 02-04-2017, 06:56 AM   #15
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I don't need a cdl if i'm tagged and registered for personal use.
Ins is just a piece of paper... an extra tax, really.

is that hosw florida works? I know Ohio even a personal vehicle thats titled as anything other than a Motorhome and is over 26k GVWR or more than 15 passengers requires CDL.. even church busses require CDL in ohio

the insurance company could argue that a driver is improperly licensed and refuse to pay..

what you say is what would make the most COMMON SENSE.. but governments dont operate on common sense...

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Old 02-04-2017, 08:36 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Njsurf73 View Post
They seem to be comparing it to the 102" wide coaches. But if the weight is good, and the center of gravity is kept low... It was originally designed to have that width axle.
I agree adding all that weight to a roof deck, and even raising the roof can drastically change the center of gravity.

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They also seem to be forgetting that its the newer coaches that are 102" wide. There are still a whole slew of 96" wide coach conversions out there, and they seem to not have any problem insuring them.
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Old 02-04-2017, 09:12 AM   #17
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talking with my insurance agent, the problem is from the past when everyone was buying a bus and doing crap conversions, adding VW vans on the roof, plywood over windows pretty much did anything they wanted, then the insurance cracked down, not just on conversions but anything else that was looking unsafe. When I insured mine, and its titled as a RV, I had to have a inspection done, as well as a propane inspection no problem after that, and that's here in Ontario . But once again insurance company change there rules, there's only a few companies will to insure us,.
Seems the good old days left a bad taste with insurance.
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Old 02-04-2017, 09:29 AM   #18
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Based on their logic...all school buses are inherently dangerous and should therefor be banned from the highways.
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Old 02-04-2017, 10:55 AM   #19
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i think its easy to forget that liability insurance doesn't pay you a cent. it's not based on the type of car you drive. its based on you and your driving history.

liability insurance is a proof of financial responsibility. you purchase a policy that covers financial damage you do to others. each state requires its own minimum amount that you are responsible for.

they sell liability policies to people that need alcohol ignition interlocks. there is no reason for a skoolie to be rejected based on the vehicle.

if you can't get a liability policy you are miscommunicating your needs to the insurance agent. its their business to take your money.

while converting, my liability ins was $40/year (that included rv towing). cheaper than my moped ins which is $80 a year. i've added collision and comprehensive insurance now that i have a running RV.

the only thing i ever needed to buy an insurance policy was a checkbook.
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Old 02-04-2017, 11:59 AM   #20
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The insurance companies have actuary software that tracks past accidents and damages done by each make and model of vehicle. A 30,000 full-frame vehicle will do significantly more damage than a 2200 lb Prius in the event of a collision, thus a larger outlay by the underwriter. This factors into the decision to insure a type of vehicle - at all, let alone the rate at which to charge.

They most definitely do take into effect your past driving experience, tickets, claims paid on accidents, etc. As we get much older- 70's, 80's then your age (experience) works against your rates as statistics have shown increases in elderly drivers rate of incidents.

This is why it super important to fight any moving violation you get- with a lawyer, need be. Insurance companies will roast your rates for long after you paid the fine.

Insurance Laws and rates vary from State to State.
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