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Old 03-29-2019, 07:19 PM   #41
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Well, it's been about 2 weeks since my friends and I got our first skoolie home. It was an ordeal to say the least--a classic case of Murphy's Law and IRWIPI (I wanted to drive it to avoid a longish/expensive tow home) all wrapped up in to one, but we did it. I'll probably write a separate post about that soon, but for now I want to take a minute to thank Brian for his patience, knowledge, and availability in helping me get insurance for our bus.

Being a 23 year old in these days, I have not been prepared to navigate the world of insurance and was really flying blind in the beginning. Things were complicated by the fact that I had no existing insurance (I still drive one of my dad's old cars), I had never purchased a car before, and I was on a tight deadline to get the bus removed after winning the auction. Brian helped me understand the ins and outs of insurance (related to both cars and skoolies), clarified some stuff up about title and registration for a first time vehicle buyer, and worked EXTENSIVELY with my dad and I to meet the deadline. As stated in some earlier posts, we did end up having to switch the beater that I drive to Liberty Mutual from my dad's insurance and create a new policy in my name in order for me to get my foot in the door for the skoolie policy. Aside from mentioning that my age isn't helping my case, there's no sense talking about the rates since they're different for everyone, but I 100% will positively talk about Brian's assistance in getting my skoolie insured.

I also need to take a few minutes to talk about registration. I'm a full time student at Georgia Tech, and the night that we got the bus home I actually left for a 9 day long spring break mission trip, so I didn't really have time to get the registration (Fulton County) done between the trip and classes this past week until today. While Brian is correct that GA is pretty friendly (so far...) about skoolies, they're not as friendly as TN. Despite it being insured as a motorhome, they (and I talked to the supervisor) would not reissue a new title changing the designation from bus to motorhome without photos of the interior and exterior showing the conversion--and therefore would not let me register it today. They said that I could register it as a bus in the meantime, but that I should wait until I finish getting my CDL (I've got the permit and am going to take the pre-trip/road test soon so that I can drive the church bus, and my own too, I guess), before doing that because I'll definitely be in hot water driving it without the CDL while it's registered as a bus in the event of an accident of if I get pulled over. I tried asking them to explain exactly the pictures need to show or if there was the whole "pick 4 out of 7" kind of thing that needed to happen, but they just said the pictures essentially have to prove it's not a school bus/empty box truck and they'll accept that it's a motorhome--there's no inspection or anything like that. I ended up just taking their advice and am going to let it sit for the next couple weeks until I've got my CDL all finished up. I only bring this stuff up, because I think everyone in GA thinking about pulling the trigger on a skoolie should be prepared for when they try to get it registered. Brian said, and correct me if I'm wrong, that TN just took his word that it was converted, no questions asked, and issued a new title and tag. It would not surprise me if I came back a different day, when a different supervisor was on the clock, that they would react the same as TN and just do it no questions asked.

I do have a question for those of you more seasoned in life than me: Do I have to register a vehicle in the county in which I reside? In my head, the answer is yes, but if that's not the case, maybe I'd have an easier time in my dad's suburban county, or just a different one, as opposed to Fulton in the heart of Atlanta. I figured it would come off as questionable to ask the Fulton County clerks that, so I didn't. I'm all for doing things the right way, but considering they didn't have hard guidelines for what exactly the photos had to display, I don't get the vibe that trying in a different county is breaking the rules. Maybe the fact that I'm young and the bill of sale/title are dated from two weeks ago threw up red flags for them.

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Old 03-29-2019, 08:12 PM   #42
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CDL has nothing to do with it being a "bus". CDL is required for commercial operations. Once you own it and , this is important, has seating for less than 16 passengers, it is considered a private bus and a CDL is not required unless it is over 26k lbs. DMV may not require an inspection to change to an RV, but your insurance certainly will. Once it's converted you don't need any special license. Read the back of your license where it pertains to RV's. In the state of Ga. you have 30 days to register a new purchase, BOS is good until then. State Farm Insurance covers me in any vehicle I purchase for 7days from date of purchase, even though they won't insure a bus. Getting the CDL for the church bus is a good thing,but you won't need it on your own bus.
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Old 03-29-2019, 08:26 PM   #43
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You could find a friend on family member that lives in a skoolie friendly state like TN or GA or AL or MS even VA (a few examples) and use their address to register your bus in that state. Once done you'd be able to obtain insurance for your bus in that state. If the bus is done done done, you may try this trick with National General in FL using your family's address. Last I hear, Nat Gen doesn't care if you are living in it it would just have to be registered in a state they write in in order for them to help. Good luck to you!
Did you get my PM?
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Old 04-01-2019, 08:03 AM   #44
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Did you get my PM?
I sure did. Thank you .. I'll call today. When is a good time for you
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Old 04-19-2019, 10:39 AM   #45
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Thank all of you that have let me help with their skoolie policies. Writing this and meeting new skoolie people is my favorite part of my job!!
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Old 04-19-2019, 11:29 AM   #46
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1) Likely still yes... sorry to say
2) Sorry about National General referral I didn't know they were not in all 50 state.
3) Do you know anyone in an easier state like TN/GA that would let you use their address to register your vehicle in that state? Taxes and insurance in TN for example are crazy low. There are a few other friendly sates too like TX.. I've got a referral partner in VA .. Not to bad their... Just a thought.
Happy, who in VA can you recommend? VA won’t retitle a school bus as an rv. My plan is just to register my bus (when I get one) as a private truck, but my Va Farm Bureau agent checked with a bunch of brokers and couldn’t find any that would insure a former school bus.
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Old 04-19-2019, 12:00 PM   #47
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Allstate seems a little more forgiving when it comes to insuring the buses. Check your local agent.
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Old 04-19-2019, 12:45 PM   #48
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Allstate seems a little more forgiving when it comes to insuring the buses. Check your local agent.
Not sure what kinda policy you are looking at Marc.. Just called Allstate and they said they wont touch a skoolie conversion anywhere in the country! If your policy is anything other than a stated value RV policy with it being known its a school bus conversion... you are at great risk of having any claim denied.
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Old 04-19-2019, 01:27 PM   #49
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Not sure what kinda policy you are looking at Marc.. Just called Allstate and they said they wont touch a skoolie conversion anywhere in the country! If your policy is anything other than a stated value RV policy with it being known its a school bus conversion... you are at great risk of having any claim denied.
I was clear on what it is, what it will be when speaking with Allstate last week. They wrote me an Amended Motor Home Policy. They are well aware that it is a school bus being converted.
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Old 04-24-2019, 08:03 AM   #50
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Happy, who in VA can you recommend? VA won’t retitle a school bus as an rv. My plan is just to register my bus (when I get one) as a private truck, but my Va Farm Bureau agent checked with a bunch of brokers and couldn’t find any that would insure a former school bus.
In VA I can help, but I'm only in the office today until 10am. I'll be here all day Thursday & Friday though.
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Old 04-24-2019, 08:24 AM   #51
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You could find a friend on family member that lives in a skoolie friendly state like TN or GA or AL or MS even VA (a few examples) and use their address to register your bus in that state. Once done you'd be able to obtain insurance for your bus in that state. If the bus is done done done, you may try this trick with National General in FL using your family's address. Last I hear, Nat Gen doesn't care if you are living in it it would just have to be registered in a state they write in in order for them to help. Good luck to you!

Wonder if the rules are different in the other states, National General underwriter told me no full timers in the conversions for VA.
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Old 04-24-2019, 09:36 AM   #52
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Wonder if the rules are different in the other states, National General underwriter told me no full timers in the conversions for VA.
I'm sorry to hear you are have difficulties.. skoolie ins shouldn't be so difficult! Yes! Different rules in different states for sure. For example, Liberty doesn't even do skoolie policies in most states. Do you know a friend or family member in TN, GA, AL, or MS you could register the bus to their address? If so I'll write you a policy.
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Old 06-05-2019, 12:03 PM   #53
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I'm sorry to hear you are have difficulties.. skoolie ins shouldn't be so difficult! Yes! Different rules in different states for sure. For example, Liberty doesn't even do skoolie policies in most states. Do you know a friend or family member in TN, GA, AL, or MS you could register the bus to their address? If so I'll write you a policy.
I can offer my address for registering. We don't have inspections or anything out here in the southern country.
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Old 06-05-2019, 12:27 PM   #54
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Do you know a friend or family member in TN, GA, AL, or MS you could register the bus to their address? If so I'll write you a policy.
Very interesting.

Will a MBE address do, or do they check that it's genuine residential?

Sample:
969 Oak Ridge Turnpike
Oak Ridge, TN 37830
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Old 06-06-2019, 08:31 PM   #55
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Ok here is my problem... Can you help?

[QUOTE=HappyInTN;266177]I am an insurance agent and write for Liberty Mutual and just wrote my own policy. To my surprise we don't need photos, we don't need the conversion to be completed.. and our rates were really good! Our only real big rule... the skoolie can't be permanent housing.

I seen where you stated you need an auto policy, I don't have a car. Is there an exception? I had some medical issues that left me unable to work in 2017 and I lost my car while waiting on my disability. I cannot afford a car and a bus both.

I will be travelling off and on several times throughout the year to visit family and friends. I have my own residence and won't be a full timer.

I haven't bought my bus yet because BEFORE I take that plunge I need to make sure that I can even get insurance on one. It will also be small enough (5 to 6 window OR 21 to 24' long) that I can just drive it to the store if needed. OR I live right next door to my parents and they will either take me where I need to be or I will just ride along to town with them when they go.

I will be signing up yearly with a mail forwarding service out of Jonesborough TN (cheaper for yearly than month to month) and that is going to be my address OR if you do online billing I will go that route. Is that an issue? I can give you my physical address but just note, my mailing will be the Jonesborough one.

Thank you for responding,
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Old 06-07-2019, 03:25 PM   #56
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Very interesting.

Will a MBE address do, or do they check that it's genuine residential?

Sample:
969 Oak Ridge Turnpike
Oak Ridge, TN 37830
it'll pull to tax records and would need to be a home or apartment.
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Old 06-07-2019, 03:41 PM   #57
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By tax records, you mean cross-referencing the "garaged address" you give, against that state's DMV and county / town property tax databases?

Nothing to do with domicile address for income tax purposes, right?
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Old 06-07-2019, 04:07 PM   #58
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Brian, HappyInTN-

OK I am going to try this again LOL I am new so please forgive me if this crazy thing posts twice.

I am up in the air on rather to get a small 21-22' 4 to 5 window bus OR an RV and gut it and reinforce, add extra insulation, and seal it up like crazy. I REALLY want a bus BUT I am having problems getting insurance as are others. I have lived here in TN for 10 years BUT here is the thing.

I don't have a car. I will ONLY have the bus as I cannot afford both. I won't be full-time. The bus, since it's smaller will be driven to Wal-mart or just to go to the State park close by to walk the dogs BUT my parents live next door and I just hitch a ride with them if I have to go other places. I had some health issues that disabled me so while waiting on disability I lost my car.

I do have a physical address where I reside. BUT I will also have a mail forwarding service to mail me anything I need while I am out and about. It's cheaper to just pay for that yearly than monthly so can you take my physical address and then list my mail forwarding address for mailing? It's in a totally different town. I can also do paperless billing as well.

I don't want to buy a bus if I cant get it insured. The ONLY reason I was looking at an RV was because insurance companies give you crap when you call and try and get a quote. I have been calling insurance agents all over TN and some have no clue what a skoolie is and others are like an instant NOPE. I've also people on other skoolie sites tell me, well your problem is that you shouldn't say it's a converted school bus. HELLO....I am NOT leaving that part out. No matter what color you paint the thing it's still a BUS...great way to get your claim denied or falsification of information/fibbing is fraud. So I want my insurance company to know EXACTLY what I want insured and what they are going to be covering.

The other thing, can you only get liability? I don't want to sink money into solar and building this thing out for only liability.

Thanks so much for answering
Have an awesome day!
Maggs
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Old 06-14-2019, 09:01 AM   #59
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Brian, HappyInTN-

OK I am going to try this again LOL I am new so please forgive me if this crazy thing posts twice.

I am up in the air on rather to get a small 21-22' 4 to 5 window bus OR an RV and gut it and reinforce, add extra insulation, and seal it up like crazy. I REALLY want a bus BUT I am having problems getting insurance as are others. I have lived here in TN for 10 years BUT here is the thing.

I don't have a car. I will ONLY have the bus as I cannot afford both. I won't be full-time. The bus, since it's smaller will be driven to Wal-mart or just to go to the State park close by to walk the dogs BUT my parents live next door and I just hitch a ride with them if I have to go other places. I had some health issues that disabled me so while waiting on disability I lost my car.

I do have a physical address where I reside. BUT I will also have a mail forwarding service to mail me anything I need while I am out and about. It's cheaper to just pay for that yearly than monthly so can you take my physical address and then list my mail forwarding address for mailing? It's in a totally different town. I can also do paperless billing as well.

I don't want to buy a bus if I cant get it insured. The ONLY reason I was looking at an RV was because insurance companies give you crap when you call and try and get a quote. I have been calling insurance agents all over TN and some have no clue what a skoolie is and others are like an instant NOPE. I've also people on other skoolie sites tell me, well your problem is that you shouldn't say it's a converted school bus. HELLO....I am NOT leaving that part out. No matter what color you paint the thing it's still a BUS...great way to get your claim denied or falsification of information/fibbing is fraud. So I want my insurance company to know EXACTLY what I want insured and what they are going to be covering.

The other thing, can you only get liability? I don't want to sink money into solar and building this thing out for only liability.

Thanks so much for answering
Have an awesome day!
Maggs
Sorry for the delayed response I was on vacation. Having full coverage on your bus is not a problem and would cover all your equipment. Policies are stated value RV policies and those are the type you want. on the address there are a few creative things that can be done but the goal of us asking is to show that you have a brick and mortar address not just the bus. When we find ways around that its usually with a friend or family members address the client spends some time at during a calendar year. Having an auto with us is non negotiable. Our bus policies pair off of an auto so one begets the other. I know none of this is perfect for your situation but in Liberty's defense... most companies either want many many pictures of a done conversion or wont write this type of policy at all. Our requirements are some of the easiest in the entire industry but as you've discovered not perfect for every situation. Let me know if there are any other questions I can help you with. Again sorry for the delay.
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Old 06-14-2019, 11:57 AM   #60
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Sorry for the delayed response I was on vacation. Having full coverage on your bus is not a problem and would cover all your equipment. Policies are stated value RV policies and those are the type you want. on the address there are a few creative things that can be done but the goal of us asking is to show that you have a brick and mortar address not just the bus. When we find ways around that its usually with a friend or family members address the client spends some time at during a calendar year. Having an auto with us is non negotiable. Our bus policies pair off of an auto so one begets the other. I know none of this is perfect for your situation but in Liberty's defense... most companies either want many many pictures of a done conversion or wont write this type of policy at all. Our requirements are some of the easiest in the entire industry but as you've discovered not perfect for every situation. Let me know if there are any other questions I can help you with. Again sorry for the delay.
Now that you're back on the clock(!), do you have any agent referrals in the Bryan/College Station, TX area for a brotha..?
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