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Old 10-25-2021, 06:14 PM   #1
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Insurance in Oregon

I don't know how y'all are managing to get coverage for your school buses.

I've been working on this for most of the week now, and have talked with probably ten different agents from National General/Good Sam, Progressive, and Allstate.

I've described my bus as everything from 'a retired school bus', to a 'pre-conversion school bus', to a 'commercial vehicle for private use', but nearly every one of them so far has cut me off saying they can't insure me.

The only promising lead I had was an agent with Good Sam, but we've been waiting to hear from the underwriters for six days now, and I can't get the agent on the phone anymore.

I did manage to get in touch with Kelly Newsome, and am waiting to hear from one of her contacts in Oregon, but after just getting shot down by my neighborhood Allstate agent I'm not feeling optimistic.

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Old 10-25-2021, 07:05 PM   #2
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I got "commercial vehicle for personal use" with ease in Oregon though State Farm. If you can't find an agent that knows what they are doing, let me know and I'll try to get my agent to give me the number of an agent near you who can help you. What part of Portland?


Oh, and then 2 weeks later I got Motor Home status on my title, and they switched me to the appropriate insurance, and now I pay less than $100/year for basic liability coverage, plus an awesome roadside assistance package that will cover towing. I still use AAA PlusRV, though.
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Old 10-25-2021, 07:35 PM   #3
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Okay, calling State Farm now
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Old 10-25-2021, 08:03 PM   #4
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Yeah, my local State Farm guy said they can't do it until after it's been converted.

I'm in SE Portland, and would love to talk to whoever helped you get your pre-conversion coverage.
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Old 10-25-2021, 08:23 PM   #5
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Call National General
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Old 10-25-2021, 08:49 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Danjo View Post
Call National General
I called National General last wednesday and am still waiting to hear back from their underwriters.

If I've learned anything from this process, it's that it seems to be only specific agents are able to make these kinds of deals by working loopholes or finessing information, and everyone else at the provider doesn't think it can be done.
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Old 10-25-2021, 10:46 PM   #7
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What was progressive's reason for not insuring you? We had no problems at all with Progressive for pre-conversion insurance. I was super clear that the vehicle would not be converted, just used for storage on my property. Comercial vehicle for personal use policy in 15 minutes. I tried to be as vague as possible, maybe I got lucky?

For post-conversion insurance, no problems there either. Good Sam / National General online quote and policy in 15 minutes, then called to confirm with a live agent. She even asked if it was "more of a conversion" just to be sure it was not a semi / comercial vehicle. No problems, no hastle, full coverage.

It might be an Oregon thing, someone else will have to chime in there - We're in Nevada.
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Old 10-26-2021, 06:52 AM   #8
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Yeah, I honestly don't remember - i talked to so many agents at several different companies I don't recall exactly which one turned me down for which reason. I know I didn't even get the agent's name at Progressive, so I'm guessing they got stumped at the 'commercial vehicle for personal use' part. I don't know, I might try them again later this morning.

It feels like a lot of them get hung up on the idea that the long-term plan is to convert it into a motorhome. Once they hear that, they decide they don't want anything to do with it, despite the fact that right now it's simply a bus.

And I know, I could hide that fact from them, but frankly my future plans shouldn't matter - they should be insuring the vehicle for what it is currently, not for what it may be someday. And when they ask (and many of them have) I'm not going to lie to them and risk losing my policy down the road.

I am really curious though, who all these skoolies with roof raises, wood stoves, and roof decks are getting insured through. Or are they just hoping to fly under the radar?

And of course I'm super wishing I'd done more research into this part of the process before I up and bought my bus.
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Old 10-26-2021, 09:45 AM   #9
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Don't tell them you are converting, none of their business what happens after your Commercial for a personal Use policy is up. Put aside what "should" and "shouldnt" matter and get yourself some insurance -THAT is what matters
You'll have another insurance hunt when you need RV insurance for the completed build, so make the pre-conversion insurance easy on yourself.
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Old 10-26-2021, 12:22 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by indigo_k View Post
I called National General last wednesday and am still waiting to hear back from their underwriters.

If I've learned anything from this process, it's that it seems to be only specific agents are able to make these kinds of deals by working loopholes or finessing information, and everyone else at the provider doesn't think it can be done.
Have they already asked for photos of the bus? You should follow up with them today, just real nice, ask them how itís going.

Tell them youíd like a policy to cover during conversion.

NG wants to know that you have a permanent address, another car, that you donít intend to full-time, no decks, no racks, no wood stoves.
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Old 10-26-2021, 02:14 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by indigo_k View Post
Yeah, my local State Farm guy said they can't do it until after it's been converted.

I'm in SE Portland, and would love to talk to whoever helped you get your pre-conversion coverage.
try:
Lisa Parks 503-256-3077


You need a "commercial" policy first, until you get the motor-home title.


Again, "commercial vehicle - for personal use"
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Old 10-26-2021, 02:19 PM   #12
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Yeah, my local State Farm guy said they can't do it until after it's been converted.
Like just about anything now a days, anywhere you go, any business you deal with, YOU have to know what to get, YOU have to take control of the sale, the salepeople don't know what they are selling, don't expect them to help you.
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Old 10-26-2021, 07:02 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by indigo_k View Post
Yeah, my local State Farm guy said they can't do it until after it's been converted.

I'm in SE Portland, and would love to talk to whoever helped you get your pre-conversion coverage.

Is your bus registered as a bus or a motorhome?



We're in Oregon and had no problem getting State Farm to insure us. It took a few calls with the agent and a few pictures and we had our insurance.


HOWEVER:


We have no seats in our bus except driver - they definitely wanted to see that.
We already had motorhome registration and plates (from VT)
And because it wasn't converted, we went with commercial vehicle, personal use, liability only.


Once a substantial amount of conversion (or perhaps all) is done, we will go with the motorhome insurance and comprehensive coverage.
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Old 12-06-2021, 09:25 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by indigo_k View Post
I don't know how y'all are managing to get coverage for your school buses.

I've been working on this for most of the week now, and have talked with probably ten different agents from National General/Good Sam, Progressive, and Allstate.

I've described my bus as everything from 'a retired school bus', to a 'pre-conversion school bus', to a 'commercial vehicle for private use', but nearly every one of them so far has cut me off saying they can't insure me.

The only promising lead I had was an agent with Good Sam, but we've been waiting to hear from the underwriters for six days now, and I can't get the agent on the phone anymore.

I did manage to get in touch with Kelly Newsome, and am waiting to hear from one of her contacts in Oregon, but after just getting shot down by my neighborhood Allstate agent I'm not feeling optimistic.
Hello, I have spent 2 months myself calling everywhere. It became a FT job. I've had commercial insurance for private use (non-converted) for a year now with Progressive. The agent stated that once I start converting and/or it's converted I need to tell him immediately as then it wouldn't be covered and if a claim was needed, it wouldn't be covered. So I'm in the clear now since conversion has yet to start. As stated above though I did call around everywhere, like you -- all the big ones, all the small ones, general, sam, etc. and not a single person will insure a conversion with this caveats: if you raise the roof, have a woodburning stove or oven and a rooftop deck. These items in most States I've found disqualify you. If you do none of those things, you can find insurance -- except in Oregon. I'm in Portland too and have not, with much agony found anyone to insure converted. I still can't figure out if it's an Oregon thing. BUT - as mentioned, some States won't either if you do any of those 3 things I mentioned. Sadly, I'm raising the roof and having a rooftop deck. But no woodburning stove. It sucks and is challenging. I did slide into someone's DM on IG who stated they had insurance with a raised roof. When I asked who they used they told me they got insurance through, Erie as a converted motorhome. I have yet to call.
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Old 12-06-2021, 09:58 PM   #15
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I live in Oregon and I am insured through State Farm. They required a picture of the bus inside with all seats removed. I also previously got insurance through State Farm in Cali.
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Old 12-06-2021, 11:01 PM   #16
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I live in Oregon and I am insured through State Farm. They required a picture of the bus inside with all seats removed. I also previously got insurance through State Farm in Cali.
Weird, they turned me down when I called in October. Said they won't do it. I called and said I had a an RV Motorhome. Once they took down the vehicle details they asked if it was a conversion -- at that point I had to say yes, and I got shot down. Whose your agent? Maybe I can reach out to them directly. GoodSam and National General told me I might need to look into a Surplus lines brokerage instead.
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Old 12-09-2021, 05:46 PM   #17
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I live in Oregon and I am insured through State Farm. They required a picture of the bus inside with all seats removed. I also previously got insurance through State Farm in Cali.

Same here though currently only for the pre conversion.
They balked when we mentioned the deck and wood stove but admitted that they WOULD they just "didn't like to".
We will probably be doing the wood stove but not a deck....though there will be a maintenance walkway for safe access to the solar panels and 100% coverage of the roof from solar heating.
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Old 12-09-2021, 08:19 PM   #18
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You definitely have a problem if you plan on a deck and wood burning stove. Roof raises haven't been an issue, but it's beginning to be common knowledge decks and wood burners are a deal breaker for insurance.
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Old 12-09-2021, 08:23 PM   #19
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Same here though currently only for the pre conversion.
They balked when we mentioned the deck and wood stove but admitted that they WOULD they just "didn't like to".
We will probably be doing the wood stove but not a deck....though there will be a maintenance walkway for safe access to the solar panels and 100% coverage of the roof from solar heating.
It's a shame it won't be your agent making the decision when it comes to a claim. Maintenance walkways are fine, they are trying to avoid the drunk parties at the game or race track. Even on a home a 42" rail is required if more than 2' off the ground.
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Old 12-10-2021, 08:26 PM   #20
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It's a shame it won't be your agent making the decision when it comes to a claim. Maintenance walkways are fine, they are trying to avoid the drunk parties at the game or race track. Even on a home a 42" rail is required if more than 2' off the ground.

IF we do a deck it will have a 46" three rail all the way around. However we have reconsidered the desirability of a deck and we just don't think we'd use it. Access and a walkway for cleaning and maintenance on the solar panels we want but the deck, while it sounds nice would probably go unused for the most part.
The railing isn't all that difficult to do with a tiny bit of planning it can fold all up and be quite a minimal (or no) addition to traveling height.
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