Skoolie insurance is the hardest thing to deal with. It was the one thing we didn’t think would be a big problem. However it turned out to be a major pain in the butt.
TIP #1: Don’t talk about Skoolie Insurance
As a rule most insurance companies will NOT insure a converted school bus. Good Sam is the one most people seem to use for Skoolie insurance. We use them and they are okay. To be 100% accurate we are insured through National General insurance. I am happy that we are legal to drive on the road. For now that is good enough. There are other Skoolie friendly insurance companies popping up here and there.
Tip #2: Presentation is everything!
Good Sam wanted to see the bus, that means pictures. They were willing to insure a partial conversion, which is a plus. The mistake most people make is they don’t “stage” the photos.
My background is in home plan websites. I can tell you every photo gallery of a house plan has been heavily staged. Some go as far as bringing in all new furniture just for the photos.
We got our conversion to a point where the major layout was complete. Our choice of style was very minimal which helped. Then we cleaned and staged the photos as best we could.
The point is, don’t show a bucket with a toilet seat on it for a bathroom. Put some effort into it. That is what they want to see, that you have made, and are making concrete steps to convert the bus.
Tip #3: It is all about the implication!
What and how you show things maters. We showed a finished counter with a sink and faucet. We did NOT show under the sink. Why? Because at that time there was no plumbing installed. Same with the cook top. Sure it is installed but there is no propane run to it yet.
If you show it looking completed the image will imply that it is functional. The important thing is to make sure it “looks” like it is completed.
Tip #4: Can we be Honest?
Even though we did rely heavily on presentation and the implication, we also kept it real. We told the people at Good Sam that we had not yet installed the tanks. We included photos of the tanks to show we had made the investment and were ready to complete the conversion.
We made it clear that in order to complete the conversion we need to drive the bus to the fabricator so he could install the tanks. It is an all to familiar Catch 22 situation most Skoolies run into at some point.
Tip #5: You are what you is!
Don’t try and game the system. Tell the insurance company exactly what you intend to do with the Skoolie. In our case we use it as a true RV. We take weekend trips and long vacations in it. Some day we might live in it full time. But for now, we make sure the insurance company knows whats what. The last thing you need is to be denied coverage because you misrepresented yourself in an attempt to get cheap Skoolie insurance.