Many people make the mistake of living from their converted school buses without getting the proper insurance. Unfortunately, when their bus breaks down or they get into an accident, they’re forced to pay hefty fees in repairs and maintenance.
Insuring your skoolie is crucial, as it protects your home-on-wheels from vandalism, theft, and other damages.
Skoolie insurance costs around $80-$170 per month, on average. Your actual rate will vary based on a few factors, including: the age and condition of your bus, the coverage you’ll need, and where you’re getting the insurance.
What Types of Insurance Will Cover a Skoolie?
Different policies are available for those living in a converted school bus. These include:
1. Renter’s Insurance
This is what most people opt for, as it covers their personal belongings and adds liability to their protection. But, you must have a permanent address to qualify for this insurance. Therefore, work with your insurer to get a solution that qualifies you for renters insurance.
2. Commercial Vehicle for Personal Use
If you’ve converted your bus into a home, but you still want to drive it around, this will be the best policy for you. Research the commercial vehicle insurers around your locality who’ll insure your bus for personal use.
It’s essential that you talk to an insurance rep to ensure that you understand all that this policy covers and offers.
3. Specialty Bus Insurance
Some insurance agencies offer special insurance for classic or modified vehicles. However, they are not easy to come by. Therefore, you’ll need to shop around for these specialty insurers.
RV insurance for a converted bus- full-time RV insurance might be best for those who’ve turned their buses into homes. It’ll cover your driving and protect your belongings. Plus, it’ll cater to any damages done while your bus was parked in a lot or land.
How Much Does Bus Conversion Insurance Cost?
The price of skoolie insurance varies on a few factors. However, individuals usually pay an average of $80-$170 per month, which translates to $1000-$2000 annually. Some of the things affecting your insurance rates include:
1. Type of Insurance
Which coverage choice you opt for may affect how much you pay for your skoolie insurance. However, note that some coverage choices can be required by law, the insurers themselves, or lenders. Therefore, there’s not much you do about this.
But if you decide to increase your coverage limit beyond what is mandatory, you’ll pay higher premiums.’
2. Your State
Insurance rates are significantly affected by a person’s states and zip code. Note that insurers usually examine the cost of repairs and the probability of claims, depending on the location.
If you live in a zip code with a high cost of living, your rates will be higher. And they’ll even be more expensive if you’re living in areas that frequently experience hurricane threats or where the crime rate is high.
3. Age and Condition of Your Bus
A common misconception is that new models attract higher premiums. However, this isn’t always the case. The insurance company inspects your skoolie for any signs of wear and damage. It’s why you should repair them immediately before the company assesses the value.
Old models that aren’t well kept will likely cost more to insure.
4. Driving History
For those who want to still drive their skoolie after making it a home, this factor is essential. If you have no previous experience driving a bus, expect high insurance rates.
Additionally, when applying, some companies only ask if it’s your first bus without allowing you to explain how long you have driven it. So, ensure that you tell your agent the years of experience you have in driving a bus if you have any.
5. Bus Size
Mini-buses and large buses are classified differently. It’ll cost more to insure a large bus than a small one. Additionally, your age, gender, marital status, and homeownership can affect the rate you’ll be offered. Senior married citizens who own a home are considered less risky.
Plus, females tend to be offered lower rates than males, although some states prohibit the use of ‘gender’ when determining insurance rates.
What Coverage Should I Consider for My Skoolie?
The type of coverage you’ll need will depends on your state and how you’ll use your skoolie. Here are some of the coverage choices you have:
It’s required by the states for all kinds of vehicles, including buses that have been converted into homes.
2. Uninsured or Underinsured Driver
If you’re planning to drive your bus after conversion, you’ll need this coverage. It’s sometimes optional, but it may be state-required. It is useful when the other driver is at fault and doesn’t have enough or no insurance policy to cover the damage that has been done to your bus.
This protects your personal belongings inside your skoolie. Ensure that the agency allows you to set a policy that’s enough to cover all your belongings.
It covers repair costs of your home on wheels should you get in an accident that damages your skoolie.
5. Road assistance
It’ll be useful when you get a flat tire, dead battery, or other problems on the road while driving your skoolie. Confirm with your insurer whether your vehicle qualifies for roadside assistance plans.
It protects against damages that were caused by elements like flooding, storms, hurricanes, and fallen trees among others. It also covers theft and vandalism.
How Do I Qualify for Skoolie Insurance?
Whether your skoolie is your temporary or permanent home, insuring it is an excellent idea as it’ll protect your vehicle when used for both driving and living. Take these steps to increase your chances of getting skoolie insurance:
1. Renovate to Meet Your State’s Laws
Different states have varying rules regarding how a skoolie should look. However, most require that it has sleeping quarters, a source of water, and cooking capabilities, including a stove and refrigerator inside.
Additionally, it may also require a bathroom and air conditioning and you might need to remove the school bus signs.
2. Repair Your Home
The insuring company often inspects your skoolie for safety. As such, you may want to make some repairs before applying for insurance. You must also be ready to prove that your home is well-built and secure.
Additionally, you’ll also be required to bring some documentation to prove that you’ve converted a school bus into a skoolie.
These include bus title, copy or original, depending on the insurer, vehicle identification number, bill of sale, to prove that you bought and own the bus, as well as conversion receipts to show that you’re not using the vehicle as a school bus.
Again, they may want to see detailed photos of the exterior and interior of your home. So make sure that you have them ready.
How Can I Reduce My Insurance Rates?
Consider removing optional coverage-if a coverage choice isn’t required by the state or insurer, and you can do without it, removing it can lower your skoolie insurance.
Ask for discounts-there are several discounts for skoolie insurance, including good driver, club memberships, etc. Plus, the insurance company can also offer additional discounts. Talk to your broker about what is available for you.
1. Shop around
Skoolie insurance agents are hard to come by. However, this doesn’t mean that you settle on the first company you find. Get quotes from at least 3 different companies and see the one that is suitable for your budget.
2. Ask for higher deductibles
These are what you pay before the insurance policy comes through. With higher deductibles, you can substantially lower your costs. For example, when you increase your deductible from $300 to 600, it can reduce your comprehensive and collision coverage by a substantial amount.