Bus-conversion homes are a popular and fast-growing trend within the RV lifestyle. City buses, Greyhounds, and even school buses are highly sought after and, once renovated, become non-traditional RVs that fall into the Class A category. While bus renovation projects are becoming mainstream, they can be difficult to insure. Buses, especially school bus-converted homes or “Skoolies,” are considered more of a risk due to their weight and balance limitations. Vehicles originally built for mass transportation do not have the same axle and weight distribution as traditional RVs, which are designed for sleeping and carrying additional living necessities.
Bus-home conversions are a rapidly-growing trend that several RV insurance companies are adapting into their policies. The type of bus, however, is a prominent deciding factor in coverage, since bus axles differ from traditional RVs and aren’t built to carry a certain amount of weight. Many RV insurance companies avoid school bus-converted homes, as they have a higher risk of rollover accidents. Also, your bus-converted home must be registered as a recreational vehicle for personal use to be eligible for RV-insurance. Depending on the state where you register your vehicle, it may require your bus to comply with several requirements and meet certain standards before registration. It’s important that you check with your local department of motor vehicles beforehand.
The numbers we cite above are reflective of a 30 year old male driver who has a clean driving record and is single. Your own rates will change based on your own driving history and profile. The best way to determine who will give you the most affordable auto insurance is by comparison shopping. To start looking at car insurance quotes, put your zip code in one of the two boxes up top.
Regardless of how often you use your RV, Safeco is worth a look. Safeco offers coverage for anyone who lives in an RV fewer than 250 days (about eight months). While this won’t cover policyholders who live in their RV full-time, it serves as a nice middle-ground for people who only plan to store their RV away during the winter months, for instance.
Data was obtained from the Texas Department of Insurance for a thirty year old single male driver across 78 cities. He owns his car and uses it primarily for work purposes, averaging about 12,000 miles annually. Insurance policies include Texas’s minimum auto insurance liability requirements: $30,000 for bodily injury liability per person (up to $60,000 per accident), and $25,000 of property damage (30/60/25 coverage) liability insurance, 50/100/50, as well as 100/300/100. Car insurance costs are based on a 2011 Toyota Camry four-door sedan, with 2.5 liter/4 cylinder engine.
For this review, we focused on national providers and left out any companies that only insure RVs locally. Odds are, national insurers are able to provide coverage no matter where you are in the U.S., and they are more likely to have the financial strength to support you. If you’re trusting a provider to come through when you’re most in need, it’s reassuring to have a company with years of experience and a history of financial success at your back.
Full-time RVers can enjoy coverage similar to that of homeowners insurance through the Good Sam Insurance Agency’s specialized protection plan for full timers or first-time weekend RVers. Full-Time Insurance goes above and beyond what traditional Auto Insurance policies can protect because it covers a number of other incidents and situations that regular RV insurance does not.
To ensure that providers’ financial affairs were up to snuff, we looked at independent evaluations from insurance rating and credit rating agencies A.M. Best, S&P Global, Moody’s, and J.D. Power. While each agency has its own rating scale, we required companies to have A or “above average” ratings from all four — solid indications that companies are in great financial health. Acquiring ratings from all four agencies also indicates that companies care enough about their business’ reputation to apply for these voluntary review processes. For an industry that’s centered around the principle of being there when you need help most, we found this focus on transparency to be the mark of a good provider. Smaller companies like Good Sam or National Interstate may provide seemingly better discounts, but they tend to only submit themselves for review to one or two agencies.
Many providers offer discounts as rewards for “good” customer behavior. Common ones include discounts for driving safely, paying your entire annual premium upfront, keeping your RV in storage for part of the year, switching from another provider, holding membership in an RV association, or taking an RV safety course. We noted if a provider listed generous discounts available to all customers. However, many discounts vary depending on location. To see if there are any specific to your area and to compare RV insurance prices, ask an agent.
The minimum liability requirements vary from state to state, with most requiring only $50,000 in bodily injury coverage and $25,000 in property damage. However, to make sure you’re fully covered in case of an accident, we recommend policies that provide much more than the minimum. With this in mind, providers that featured a greater selection of coverage options with higher liability limits across the board ranked higher with us.