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Old 07-02-2020, 12:03 PM   #1
Bus Nut
 
Join Date: Feb 2019
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Decisions about insurance

If any of you have read my other threads you'll know I recently bought a bus which I was fortunate enough to find here in New Jersey about 30 miles from where I live. It was remarkably rust free and had a good drive train so I bought it.

That was the easy part. I eventually got the bus company owner to have one of his drivers deliver it to me, I just paid the driver, easy-peasy, done.

From what I had been reading, you can't get a bus titled as a conversion in New Jersey without jumping through all the hoops including inspections. I couldn't even get insurance to cover a single trip to move it as a bus which I why I had the bus company deliver it.

I decided to register it in Vermont and I'm waiting to see if that goes through, it's been a few weeks now. I'm hoping if I works I'll end up with a vehicle registered as a motor home which I can do something with.

During all this I'm moving. My mind has been on that and not on the bus. I can't start working on the bus until I'm out of my house. I've set the goal of driving the bus to Skooliepalooza this year to help focus me on the task once I start.

With all this as background here's the insurance question. Once I leave my home I'm going to stay with a friend (where the bus is parked) until I'm ready to roll out (out of New Jersey - forever . . . goodbye, good riddance!!!) in the bus. My friend also has a vacation home in Daytona Beach, FL. I'm wondering if it might make my life easier if I use his Daytona Beach address for the purposes of registering and insuring the bus. I know there are several active members here that are in Florida. Would one of you please chime in with your opinion? If you're willing, I'd appreciate it if you'd PM me and I'd reply with my cell # to have a conversation. Part of my plan is to drive the bus to his FL home before November and do any additional work I couldn't get done here.

Thanks in advance.

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Old 07-02-2020, 03:07 PM   #2
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Might make things more complicated, until you qualify for FL residence, switch your DL etc.

The VT option is so straightforward, legal placeholder until you're ready to register **as an RV** in your "permanent" (maybe virtual) domicile state.
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Old 07-02-2020, 03:54 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by john61ct View Post
Might make things more complicated, until you qualify for FL residence, switch your DL etc.

The VT option is so straightforward, legal placeholder until you're ready to register **as an RV** in your "permanent" (maybe virtual) domicile state.
Thanks for responding. I doubt anyplace would be more complicated than New Jersey but I don't know that for sure, I just know what a PITA New Jersey government is. Add to that the fact that as soon as the bus has insurance I'm leaving New Jersey never to return so I don't want to go through what I know will be a PITA to meet New Jersey's requirements, then do it again in whatever state I choose for residency, hence my question to members in Florida.
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Old 07-02-2020, 04:14 PM   #4
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I'm not saying, have anything to do with New Jersey.

Will you be living in Florida long term?

Do you want that to be your next legal domicile? Not the same question. . .

If yes, then go ahead and establish that legal domicile in Florida now, and maybe register all your vehicles there.

But I would find out about the unconverted bus first.

Just saying, a non-resident doing it will likely be more complex.

While VT is proven no problem, lets you postpone dealing with all the unknowns for now
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Old 07-02-2020, 04:53 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by john61ct View Post
I'm not saying, have anything to do with New Jersey.

Will you be living in Florida long term?

Do you want that to be your next legal domicile? Not the same question. . .

If yes, then go ahead and establish that legal domicile in Florida now, and maybe register all your vehicles there.

But I would find out about the unconverted bus first.

Just saying, a non-resident doing it will likely be more complex.

While VT is proven no problem, lets you postpone dealing with all the unknowns for now
Assuming I succeed in getting a VT registration that shows my bus as a motor home the only other thing I care about is how I get insurance on it. Residency is only of interest to me to the extent that it facilitates that end.

Problem is I have no experience doing this and I seem to find differing information in different threads. I thought I saw something here some months ago that said you can get insurance in Vermont once you get the Vermont plates but in the past day or 2 I saw something suggesting you have to, at least, garage the bus in Vermont to get insurance.
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Old 07-02-2020, 05:01 PM   #6
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Well in order to get answers, assuming you've been properly searching in this forum already

is to start a new thread for each state you are considering.

Since you are currently in NJ, presumably domiciled there legally, the bus physically garaged there, and getting insurance there has little to do directly with the government, that would be where I'd start, after getting VT registration.

But the VT insurance might be worth investigating in parallel, so long as you do not need to physically "garage" it there, in fact do not travel to VT at all with a VT rego.

https://www.skoolie.net/forums/f18/howto-find-insurance-for-your-state-28907.html#post352597
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Old 07-02-2020, 06:39 PM   #7
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Vt will come through with a usable registration.

Insurance is a separate matter -- most states require you to get insurance before registering -- the bigger wicket is which states require PROOF of insurance before registering...

If you're planning to live on the road I would do separate research regarding where you wanna be "legally domiciled" as that affects a whole bunch of personal things in your life...
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Old 07-02-2020, 06:48 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by john61ct View Post
Well in order to get answers, assuming you've been properly searching in this forum already

is to start a new thread for each state you are considering.

Since you are currently in NJ, presumably domiciled there legally, the bus physically garaged there, and getting insurance there has little to do directly with the government, that would be where I'd start, after getting VT registration.

But the VT insurance might be worth investigating in parallel, so long as you do not need to physically "garage" it there, in fact do not travel to VT at all with a VT rego.

https://www.skoolie.net/forums/showthread.php?p=352597
I contacted a couple insurance providers in NJ when I first bought the bus. One was my current automobile insurer who said they don't do RVs the second informed me there are no underwriters (I think that's the term used) that will insure converted school buses in New Jersey.

When I get my VT registration I'll start looking into Vermont insurance. I'll also keep looking here to see if I can find any references to folks that have gone that route.
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Old 07-02-2020, 06:56 PM   #9
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A state might only have a couple agents with this sort of experience, DIY trailers & campers, tinyHomes etc, very specialized. Regular agents may have no clue, or maybe you can track a specialist down with a bit of effort.

Starting a new thread with a specifically targeted title will maybe get the attention of those who know for that given state.

And it's quick, easy and free!
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