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.
Geico: Geico is the fourth-best car insurance company, and even a cave man can see why. Geico customers say it’s easy to file a claim with the company, though some were unhappy with status updates from the insurer. That said, most Geico customers would recommend it and plan to renew their policy. Their rates may have something to do with that: Geico offers lower rates on average than most other auto insurance companies.
Over the nearly fifty years since it started offering its services to RV owners, the Good Sam Insurance Agency has prided itself on providing consumers an excellent customer experience. The company’s agents are extensively trained to ensure that every customer finds the type and level of coverage that best fits their RV lifestyle, but also that they get treated with the utmost respect and friendliness.
If you find yourself unable to remember the last time you were in a doctor’s office and think you don’t need health insurance, think again. You should definitely have health insurance, and there are plans that are cost effective for healthy people. For example, you can opt for a high deductible health insurance plan – you pay more for things like doctor visits, but you pay less overall for your health insurance plan. This is ideal if you only go to the doctor once or twice a year. These plans also work well in partnership with flexible spending accounts (FSA) or health savings accounts (HSA). You can put pre-tax dollars into these accounts and use the money later on medical expenses.
The main difference between collision and comprehensive coverage comes down to the question of what the driver controls. Collision insurance will cover events within a motorist's control or when another vehicle collides with your car. Comprehensive coverage generally falls under "acts of God or nature," or things that are typically out of your control when driving. These can include events such as a spooked deer, a heavy hailstorm, or a carjacking.
Additional living expenses, or loss-of-use coverage is typically a fixed amount – 20% of your dwelling coverage. However, if you live in an area prone to wildfires or hurricanes, it's worth checking with your insurer to see if they offer higher coverage limits in the event a catastrophe forces you from your home for an extended period. Additional living expenses can add up, so it may be worth the added peace of mind to increase this coverage component.
So now that we understand the difference between auto and RV coverage, let’s take a look at the specifics of what you get under an RV policy. Essentially, RV insurance acts as a hybrid between car and home insurance, offering additional protection for home and living essentials through specialized coverage plans. Depending on the policy you choose, it may include:
Comprehensive car insurance covers damages from an "act of God," or events that are not caused by a car driving into something else. An "act of God" can include things like damage from a heavy tree branch falling on your car. Since you have no control over when or why a tree branch would fall on your car, this kind of accident would be covered under your comprehensive policy.
Cost is another major consideration you’ll have when choosing the best car insurance company for you. After all, you need insurance you can afford. While you should compare rates from several companies, make sure you’re comparing rates for your situation. Insurance companies can charge drastically different rates depending on a person’s age, gender, driving record, credit history, ZIP code, the number of miles they drive per year, the value of their car, and other factors. It makes no sense to compare rates for a 16-year-old male from one company with the rates for a 60-year-old female from another – especially if you’re neither a 16-year-old male nor a 60-year-old woman. It’ll take some time to gather quotes to compare rates, but rates can vary by several hundred or even a few thousand dollars per year from company to company. The time you spend can pay off in the end. When comparing rates, make sure you consider any car insurance discounts you may qualify for.
RV Insurance companies take these type of risk factors into account, which makes it more difficult for bus-conversion homeowners to find the best coverage. Also, buses first need to be registered as RVs with the department of motor vehicles beforehand. If not, they’re still considered commercial vehicles instead of personal, and will not qualify for RV insurance. Different states have different requirements as to what qualifies as an RV, many of which include repainting the bus a different color, having a potable water supply, installing a toilet, and having cooking appliances onboard.
Travelers: Travelers is the second-best car insurance company. Travelers' customers report that they appreciate the customer service Travelers provides, and the company gets high marks for how it resolves its customers’ claims. Travelers' lost a few points from customers who didn’t feel like they got good value from the company, and Travelers' average annual rates are a bit higher than average among all companies on this list.
Companies also needed to offer full-timer coverage for those who live year-round in their RV; full replacement coverage in the event the RV is totaled or stolen; personal belonging coverage for the property inside the RV, including electronics, appliances, and jewelry; vacation liability coverage for injuries that occur at the vacation site where the RV is parked; and permanently attached items coverage for items like satellite dishes, wheelchair lifts, or retractable canopies. Finally, companies also were required to cover most, if not all types of recreational vehicles.
For extra information on car insurance rates, U.S. News also worked with Quadrant Information Services to provide a report of average insurance rates in all 50 states from the 10 largest national car insurance companies. The rates are based on profiles for both male and female drivers aged 17, 25, 35, and 60. Vehicles used include the 2018 Honda Civic, 2018 Toyota RAV4, 2018 Ford-F-150, 2015 Honda Civic, 2015 Toyota RAV4, and 2015 Ford-F-150, with annual mileage of 6,000 and 12,000. Three car insurance coverage levels were used, as were credit tiers of good, fair, and poor. Clean driving records and records with one accident, one speeding violation, and one DUI were also used in the calculations. The rates shown here are for comparative purposes only. Individual rates will differ.
National General Insurance has been around for a long time—for over 95 years, in fact. It is the only auto insurance company to have originated within the auto manufacturing industry. With nearly a century of experience insuring vehicles, and more than 25 years insuring RVs, Baby Boomers are more likely to appreciate the level of expertise and reliability that National General brings to the table.
The cost of insurance is on the rise: the price for auto insurance rose 3.6% between 2011 and 2012, and 3.1% for homeowners and renter’s insurance, according to the Insurance Information Institute. In fact, auto liability insurance premiums alone have been increasing by 2.8% annually for the past three years. This makes choosing the right coverage and provider all the more crucial to save money without sacrificing important aspects of coverage.