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Old 09-04-2021, 08:05 AM   #1
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Insurance covering roof raise, roof deck, stove? Any success stories?

Hello everyone. I have seen so many wonderful conversions as I'm looking around at ideas for my own. I'm very close to buying a bus but before I do I want to make sure I have a lot of things set up and planned such as making sure I can get insured for what I want to do to it.

A lot of these great bus conversions do have wood stoves, roof raises, and roof decks. But I have not yet heard perfectly how to both got insured. I do imagine a lot of them are not insured or they are not letting them know about certain things. But I wanted to give a space in case people do have success stories as I would love to have a better idea before I start my build .

Thank you all for your thoughts and ideas look forward to hearing from the many creative ones you have all come up with. I do imagine many of you have had roof raises roof decks and stoves and love to hear how it's worked out

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Old 09-04-2021, 10:50 AM   #2
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Roof decks and wood stoves are usually a deal breaker, I suspect many don't disclose they are in it. Insurance may not care if it is not itemized, it's an out for them when you file a claim. Never heard a negative about a roof raise with insurance. I would place an anonymous phone call to insurance and ask before calling for a policy to verify.
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Old 09-04-2021, 11:33 AM   #3
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When you call with those kind of questions use someone else’s phone since they log calls and track in a database
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Old 09-04-2021, 01:32 PM   #4
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We've had or received quotes from 3 different insurance providers for buses and all 3 asked about a wood stove and a roof deck. But I've never been asked about a roof raise.
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Old 09-04-2021, 01:39 PM   #5
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I was looking at a Silver Eagle coach that had a roof raise. They had no issue getting it insured and covered. Insurance companies are dropping policies on skoolies mainly due to the higher risk they impose (narrower axles, bad conversions and inexperienced drivers) I just read this online the other day. We as a whole have left a bad mark since for years it was easy to buy a bus throw some curtain rods and a mattress in and hit the road. Many do not even look at the underside of their bus or even check the air in the tires. When one lets go, you have the ability to wipe out a family of four when the bus plows into them and both of you go off the road. I believe the roof raise consensus with insurance companies is the imbalance that is made to the bus making it top heavy. I have seen many buses that have 24-36" raises and although it may be legal with the DOT requirements of it being under 13'6", a school bus is just not designed for that driving dynamic. Roof decks do that since many will stow large trunks full of all possible possessions, tires and such up there. I do not believe the roof deck non insurability is for people falling off. They look at the high statistic of buses tipping over. It was a good read and made me aware of why we as a whole are getting dropped. Funny when someone posts on FB their Coleman trailer that was hacked and welded to the roof for the kids to sleep in. Almost all of the respondents say "How cool" "I want to do that" And there you have it guys....Why we get dropped. I am sure almost all of you will not be following a pickup truck full of furniture thats tied down with twine. We all go around or keep a distance. I get excited to see other skoolies on the road but my experience is that they are all made on a severe budget and are true hazards on the road. I passed one the other day and there were hoses dangling behind the drivers tire. Either way, I commend people for giving it a go but please do it safe.

Sorry for the long winded post. But yes, be upfront with your insurance company and if they ask for progress pics, even better. You are absolutely one of the smart ones for thinking this through before putting the first sawzall blade in.
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Old 09-04-2021, 03:11 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rossvtaylor View Post
We've had or received quotes from 3 different insurance providers for buses and all 3 asked about a wood stove and a roof deck. But I've never been asked about a roof raise.
Don't offer that info.
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Old 09-04-2021, 03:17 PM   #7
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I called National General before I even bought a bus and asked questions. I asked what was acceptable.
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Old 09-04-2021, 03:52 PM   #8
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Quote:
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I called National General before I even bought a bus and asked questions. I asked what was acceptable.
So what were the results?
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Old 09-04-2021, 04:34 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rossvtaylor View Post
We've had or received quotes from 3 different insurance providers for buses and all 3 asked about a wood stove and a roof deck. But I've never been asked about a roof raise.
The first I heard about the roof raise as a no-no was the user (I forget their name) who recently talked to Kelly Newsome after Allstate dropped RV coverage for new skoolies and she started offering coverage via National General (I think I have that right, anyway). According to that user, Kelly said wood stoves, roof decks and vehicle modifications (which include roof raises and back-end amputations) will now disqualify a skoolie from coverage.

But I believe Oldyeller just got coverage from them despite his heiny slicing, so I dunno what to believe about anything.
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Old 09-04-2021, 05:21 PM   #10
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I think NG said no rooftop decks, racks, wood stoves or frame modifications
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Old 09-15-2021, 04:13 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by Bus'n it View Post
It was a good read and made me aware of why we as a whole are getting dropped.

WHAT was a good read? Link to this read please?
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Old 09-16-2021, 07:50 AM   #12
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The idea of traveling and not having a home and having a sense of freedom is not going to be easy to maintain. They are not done pinching us. What we are going through now to insure may be a cake walk compared to where it is most likely going. My bus is looking like it will become a guest home for children and grandchildren visits. Unfortunately I bought way to good of a bus for that, mechanically speaking. With that type of thinking, no doubt a rood raise will be in order. Single axle tractor, single axle 30ft trailer, start building. Insurable. Thinking out loud.
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Old 09-16-2021, 08:41 AM   #13
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I received word from another user that State Farm doesn't mind roof raises and they consider it "part of the conversion process" when they insure them. Problem with SF is you have to have a good agent that knows the work arounds. My bus is heavily modified (no roof raise but a flat rear deck to haul my Jeep). I sent in pictures and it took them ~2 weeks to write the policy (as underwritting manually reviews custom policies like this). They had no questions and no problem insuring the rig as an RV with full coverage.



It's also my understanding that it can vary state tot state.
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Old 09-18-2021, 02:34 PM   #14
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thank you all for your feedback. I am trying to think a lot beforehand and why I have been researching for the past year and really dreaming for years. This all helps so much. I made a call with Geico who just said no basically as they are no too big they say to cover, but have not called others yet. I will need a roof raise and I am ok without the other two to be honest (stove and deck), but roof raise would be needed. If I can still get this one bus at the price I am looking at (under $5k) then I will probably go for it, but if not then I will keep looking

this is all such friendly and good advice, thank you everyone on this thread
-Phillip
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