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.
According to the Insurance Information Institute’s table of Automobile Financial Responsibility Laws by State, 49 out of all 50 states, as well as the District of Columbia, require you to have some sort of liability coverage for all vehicles on the road, including RVs. The only exception to this rule is the state of New Hampshire, which has no mandatory insurance law, and only requires financial responsibility from the person at fault in a car accident.
Usually, when people think of RVs, the first thing that comes to mind are the typical campervans packed with small appliances and elevated roofs, or the spacious and luxurious Class A motorhomes that cruise America’s Interstate Highways. While these are amongst the most popular RV models, RVs come in many shapes and sizes, and some are even designed just to store belongings, with no sleeping quarters or mini fridges in sight. However, RVs oftentimes include amenities such as cooking equipment and storage space. They can be self-motorized or towed behind a vehicle.
If you’re drawn to the minimalist and tiny home movement, or simply enjoy traveling for a living, you’re probably interested in buying an RV. Travel trailers are still the most popular and common RVs, with many families opting for the larger, bus-sized motorhomes. Whichever you decide, it’s beneficial to analyze your family’s individual needs and weigh the pros and cons.
Jonathan and Ashley Longnecker, full-time RVers and bloggers of TinyShinyHome.com, sold their new and oversized 5th-wheel trailer for a much smaller, compact vintage Airstream. Although a family of six, their original RV was very heavy, long, and tall, which made it more difficult to travel long distances without worrying about parking, turning, and hitting low overpasses. The family decided they’d sacrifice the extra space in order to travel lighter and with greater peace of mind.
When judging coverage and benefits, we singled out RV insurance carriers that offered extensive and flexible coverage options. To be considered for our list, companies had to provide all the traditional insurance protection, as well as a healthy amount of RV-specific options. Most RV insurers offer liability, personal injury protection (PIP), collision, underinsured or uninsured motorist, and comprehensive coverage. Other types, such as full-timer and Mexico coverage, vary in availability from company to company.