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Old 05-07-2019, 06:40 PM   #1
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Indiana Insurance Woes

Hello! New member here, but my husband has been a quiet member for a couple of years now. I've searched the forum for a couple of days looking for help or answers on our quandry, and nothing really seems to fit our exact problem.

We are moving from Indiana to Montana in 2-3 weeks. The exorbitant costs of renting a Uhaul with tight time constraints was going to be painful. So we just purchased our first bus, a 1999 International, for about the same price that renting a Uhaul truck for less than a week was going to cost us. Rip out the seats, make some room, voila...house mover! It even comes with a handy wheelchair lift for the heavy lifting!

Through some shenanigans by the previous owner, it's already had the hard work done of being titled as an RV. That said, we're struggling to find insurance for it. I feel like I've called everyone and no one seems willing to insure it as an RV, even though it is currently titled by the State of Indiana as...an RV. And those same people don't seem to want to insure it as "commercial for personal use" because of the RV title.

It is already satisfying several requirements that some of the agents have talked about: new paint job, flashing lights and stop arm removed...but it does still have all of the seats and no actual "living quarters" thus far.

Our current insurance company, who sources the best rates from companies all over couldn't help.

Farm Bureau said they would require it to have a functioning kitchen/bathroom as well and even then couldn't guarantee the underwriters would go for it.

State Farm wouldn't touch it, but the agent I spoke with did thank me for the most exciting day he's had in a while.

Nationwide wouldn't really even discuss it, but did give me the number for National General.

National General requires 6 pictures (front, back, both sides, inside fore and aft views). And I guess we could continue the tomfoolery and send in pictures of a finished bus that isn't ours, but I hate the thought of being dishonest.

My husband isn't opposed to buying a folding camp kitchen with a foot pump sink/toilet and a propane camp stove. But at this point in packing up and moving, I don't want to spend money and waste space on something I don't want to move across the country...just for insurance. And watch that not even be good enough. lol

Anyone else have any novel ideas to get this lovely insured so we can bring it home, have the title transferred to our name, have it plated, and be legal to drive it across the country?





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Old 05-07-2019, 06:48 PM   #2
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Your running into the issue I warn about when transferring title to RV. DMV apparently believes anything anyone will tell them. Unfortunately the insurance company has a financial stake in it and will require pics or inspection of a completed conversion. I think any DMV agent who changes a title to RV without knowing the 4 of 6 requirements have been met, should be fired on the spot.
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Old 05-07-2019, 06:48 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by BigSkyWren View Post
Hello! New member here, but my husband has been a quiet member for a couple of years now. I've searched the forum for a couple of days looking for help or answers on our quandry, and nothing really seems to fit our exact problem.

We are moving from Indiana to Montana in 2-3 weeks. The exorbitant costs of renting a Uhaul with tight time constraints was going to be painful. So we just purchased our first bus, a 1999 International, for about the same price that renting a Uhaul truck for less than a week was going to cost us. Rip out the seats, make some room, voila...house mover! It even comes with a handy wheelchair lift for the heavy lifting!

Through some shenanigans by the previous owner, it's already had the hard work done of being titled as an RV. That said, we're struggling to find insurance for it. I feel like I've called everyone and no one seems willing to insure it as an RV, even though it is currently titled by the State of Indiana as...an RV. And those same people don't seem to want to insure it as "commercial for personal use" because of the RV title.

It is already satisfying several requirements that some of the agents have talked about: new paint job, flashing lights and stop arm removed...but it does still have all of the seats and no actual "living quarters" thus far.

Our current insurance company, who sources the best rates from companies all over couldn't help.

Farm Bureau said they would require it to have a functioning kitchen/bathroom as well and even then couldn't guarantee the underwriters would go for it.

State Farm wouldn't touch it, but the agent I spoke with did thank me for the most exciting day he's had in a while.

Nationwide wouldn't really even discuss it, but did give me the number for National General.

National General requires 6 pictures (front, back, both sides, inside fore and aft views). And I guess we could continue the tomfoolery and send in pictures of a finished bus that isn't ours, but I hate the thought of being dishonest.

My husband isn't opposed to buying a folding camp kitchen with a foot pump sink/toilet and a propane camp stove. But at this point in packing up and moving, I don't want to spend money and waste space on something I don't want to move across the country...just for insurance. And watch that not even be good enough. lol

Anyone else have any novel ideas to get this lovely insured so we can bring it home, have the title transferred to our name, have it plated, and be legal to drive it across the country?





take out the seats and register it as a van? ( window van, moving van ) ???
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Old 05-07-2019, 07:00 PM   #4
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Give Progressive Commercial a call and ask to insure it as Commercial for Personal Use. This is what we did. We've only got liability, but at least it's legal. Call and talk to a person (and make sure to call Progressive Commercial, not regular Progressive) instead of doing it online. Some people have reported not being able to do this online, only over the phone.
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Old 05-07-2019, 11:09 PM   #5
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and when you talk to progessive commercial, do not mention RV to them, they do not care what the title says, won't even ask, but if you say RV, they will not talk to you, tell them you are using it as a personal truck like I did, since I do
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Old 05-08-2019, 11:49 AM   #6
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See my link below..... do you know anyone in TN, GA, MS, or AL that you could register your bus in that state using their address? If so I can get you sorted. private msg me even if you just have ins questions in your state happy to help.
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Old 05-08-2019, 12:13 PM   #7
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See my link below..... do you know anyone in TN, GA, MS, or AL that you could register your bus in that state using their address? If so I can get you sorted. private msg me even if you just have ins questions in your state happy to help.
No, sorry! I don't have any friends or family in any of those states. But I'm so glad that you've been able to help so many people here, I think you should start a whole subgroup at your insurance symposiums. It shouldn't be this hard, I'm trying to give them my money, they should be grateful and do some business. :P

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Old 05-08-2019, 12:56 PM   #8
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I have progressive. and have since 2016.. dont offer information.. and "yes its a bus" when they ask and all is good.. and it is a bus.. you arent camping in it. and its not converted.. you will be covered in event of accident..



dont go online and get a progressive commercial quote.. CALL THEM.. and talk to a live person.. (again its commercial)... your bus is an international 3800..


use your indiana address to insure it at... then once you get moved if you decide to keep the bus then insure it at the montana address and convert it or drive it to starbucks(like I do) or such... if you are just goingto sell it.. then sell it and call progressive and see if they will pro-rate your insurance back..
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Old 05-08-2019, 12:56 PM   #9
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also if you know anyone in Ohio, progressive commercial insures me and. my 3 busses. here just fine. an ohio address would work
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Old 05-08-2019, 01:04 PM   #10
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Just called Progressive Commercial and got a solid, "No, we don't insure those types of vehicles in your state. I'm not saying you're one of these, but we have people using these buses that have been converted and are living out of them and we just don't insure that. Without it being for a business we can't insure it. But here let me email you this list of agents in your area that should be able to help you out."

I never said a thing about living in it, I never mentioned RV anything. I simply stated I wanted a commercial for personal use policy on a bus we just bought. He asked what I was going to use it for, I stated to move furniture, which is the honest truth. If it does get converted it'll be years down the road (I didn't tell him that).



Edited to add: So I guess this weekend, instead of doing things we should be doing to work on moving, we're going to be ripping seats out and mocking up a kitchen, bathroom, and sleeping arrangements and hoping that National General will find it acceptable. If anyone has them, can you enlighten me as to what exactly they're looking for? I'm afraid to call back and jinx it. lol
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Old 05-08-2019, 04:27 PM   #11
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You can look for a local agent (there are several around me - I'm up in Indy). They seem to have a better time with getting coverage. However, I tried the local agent route and they all - every one of them - said "gee, that's not in our 'wheelhouse', so no." If you do the local agent route - find one that does Progressive Commercial, because that is what you need.



But its interesting that Progressive Commercial gave you such a hard time. They were very nice to me and gave me coverage even though I did everything wrong (didn't use a local agent, went through their website, etc.). However, the bus I bought was already in their system as the previous owner had it insured with them. That's the only reason I can come up with for the difference....
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Old 05-08-2019, 04:53 PM   #12
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Just called Progressive Commercial and got a solid, "No, we don't insure those types of vehicles in your state. I'm not saying you're one of these, but we have people using these buses that have been converted and are living out of them and we just don't insure that. Without it being for a business we can't insure it. But here let me email you this list of agents in your area that should be able to help you out."

I never said a thing about living in it, I never mentioned RV anything. I simply stated I wanted a commercial for personal use policy on a bus we just bought. He asked what I was going to use it for, I stated to move furniture, which is the honest truth. If it does get converted it'll be years down the road (I didn't tell him that).





Edited to add: So I guess this weekend, instead of doing things we should be doing to work on moving, we're going to be ripping seats out and mocking up a kitchen, bathroom, and sleeping arrangements and hoping that National General will find it acceptable. If anyone has them, can you enlighten me as to what exactly they're looking for? I'm afraid to call back and jinx it. lol

As an Ins agent, let me make some people mad if I have to... any policy thatís not an ďRVĒ policy with the company knowing well and good itís a converted school bus... well your asking for trouble. At best the company will pay out then drop you negatively effecting your Ins score worst case and most likely they refuse to pay for ďmisrepresentation or miscatigoration and still drop you. All are obviously bad. Get the right policy if you can. National General has a good one for skoolie but needs you to be well along in the conversion process. The reason some are able to get policies from a company and others get a hard no from the same company/dif agent is that some agents are less ethical than others. They get paid commission and want the policy count and agents donít have to deal with claims Adjusters have the dirty job. At claim time the agent is in the wind and the insurance company will not likely pay. Legal disputes because itís all he said she said almost never go in favor of the client. Take it for what itís worth. I have no horse in this race just a lot of experience
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Old 05-08-2019, 05:11 PM   #13
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I appreciate your frankness, others might not. heh

I have been trying to be as "above board" as I possibly can when speaking with the multitude of agents that I have spoken to. I don't like being deceitful, it's not in my nature. But it definitely feels like a case of damned if you do, damned if you don't though.

At this juncture, I honestly don't care if it's an RV insurance policy or not, I'm just trying to get the thing insured in some fashion so we can legally use it for what we honestly bought it for, to move with and be temporary storage. What we do with it once we're moved and have the time and finances to do, we'll deal with later. Because converting it to a little home on wheels does sound enjoyable (when I'm not moving for the second time in 8 months with a baby to take care of)!
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Old 05-08-2019, 05:34 PM   #14
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As an Ins agent, let me make some people mad if I have to... any policy thatís not an ďRVĒ policy with the company knowing well and good itís a converted school bus... well your asking for trouble. At best the company will pay out then drop you negatively effecting your Ins score worst case and most likely they refuse to pay for ďmisrepresentation or miscatigoration and still drop you. All are obviously bad. Get the right policy if you can. National General has a good one for skoolie but needs you to be well along in the conversion process. The reason some are able to get policies from a company and others get a hard no from the same company/dif agent is that some agents are less ethical than others. They get paid commission and want the policy count and agents donít have to deal with claims Adjusters have the dirty job. At claim time the agent is in the wind and the insurance company will not likely pay. Legal disputes because itís all he said she said almost never go in favor of the client. Take it for what itís worth. I have no horse in this race just a lot of experience
Well said, this is what I've been trying to drive into the minds of these new owners. Some I know don't care about not having coverage in the event of an incident, only concerned that they have a piece of paper to show LEO when they pull you. All other routes are a recipe for disaster, unless you just insure it for what it is. I bought a year policy that I probably won't need until it's time to expire. Bus hasn't moved since I bought insurance in Sept.
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Old 05-10-2019, 11:16 AM   #15
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I appreciate your frankness, others might not. heh

I have been trying to be as "above board" as I possibly can when speaking with the multitude of agents that I have spoken to. I don't like being deceitful, it's not in my nature. But it definitely feels like a case of damned if you do, damned if you don't though.

At this juncture, I honestly don't care if it's an RV insurance policy or not, I'm just trying to get the thing insured in some fashion so we can legally use it for what we honestly bought it for, to move with and be temporary storage. What we do with it once we're moved and have the time and finances to do, we'll deal with later. Because converting it to a little home on wheels does sound enjoyable (when I'm not moving for the second time in 8 months with a baby to take care of)!
You're so welcome.. happy to be of help however I can.. Good luck to you.
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Old 05-10-2019, 12:10 PM   #16
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So far we're still searching for coverage of any sort. Bus is still in the shop getting serviced, so it's not critical, yet. But we were hoping to leave on the 21st or 22nd, and it'd be nice to not have it down to the last minute to get all the official stuff done.

My husband spoke with Progressive Commercial again yesterday, and while the agent pretty much said they no longer write new policies for anything that used to be a school bus, after listening to my husband's quandry suggested something called a "trip policy". It's a short-term temporary policy, often 30 days, that would enable the person to theoretically buy a vehicle in another state and have coverage enough to cover it during transport, inspection, licensing, etc...and is apparently often utilized by truckers for moving their rig between companies.

While Progressive themselves apparently do not provide this type of policy, the agent gave us the name and number of an insurance agency nearby that in their system is listed as providing this type of insurance. So I gave them a call yesterday afternoon and provided information of what I have going on and what I am looking for. The lady I spoke with seemed knowledgeable about what I was asking for, but admitted to never having done it on a bus before, so she was going to have to discuss with her colleagues and underwriters to see if it was something they could provide. Overall the impression I got was a hopeful one, but I've gotten so used to being disappointed lately that I'm afraid to get my hopes up too high.

That said, the Progressive people have been the single most helpful and friendly people I've dealt with in the last week, and based on that alone I'd be doing business with them in a heartbeat otherwise.
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Old 05-10-2019, 01:21 PM   #17
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State Farm allows me to buy any new to me vehicle and it is automatically covered for 7 days from date of purchase. I'm surprised no one else has said their insurance has the same option. What surprised me is that they did cover the bus during that period, even though they would not insure the bus on it's own.
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Old 05-10-2019, 01:26 PM   #18
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State Farm allows me to buy any new to me vehicle and it is automatically covered for 7 days from date of purchase. I'm surprised no one else has said their insurance has the same option. What surprised me is that they did cover the bus during that period, even though they would not insure the bus on it's own.
I did ask our agent about that option, but apparently our current auto insurance carrier, Indiana Farmers, does not allow that for "commercial vehicles".
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Old 05-10-2019, 01:53 PM   #19
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I did ask our agent about that option, but apparently our current auto insurance carrier, Indiana Farmers, does not allow that for "commercial vehicles".
I made sure before I bought the bus that it would be covered under that clause even though it was a vehicle they would not insure as is. As it turns out I needed that insurance at my first fuel stop where I clipped a sign/light pole. I had my agent on the phone when police arrived. He asked to talk to the agent and asked if I was covered and my agent said absolutely. We denied the claim because the pole was a money grab feature the owner of the station had. It was fun telling him to pound sand, not fixing your broken light pole.
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Old 05-10-2019, 01:57 PM   #20
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I did ask our agent about that option, but apparently our current auto insurance carrier, Indiana Farmers, does not allow that for "commercial vehicles".

This has been exactly my experience. If its a car, pickup, or van - no problems. Anything remotely "commercial" - forgetaboutit.
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