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Full time "RV" insurance for a standard conversion van


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I have a question about how to handle vehicle insurance for an "RV" and I'm hoping someone can help. I put "RV" in quotes because my vehicle is going to be a conversion van that I slowly build out myself. So it's not going to be a traditional RV, like a Class A/B/C. But I am going to be living in it full-time as I travel through the US and will be using a CMRA (through St. Brendan's Isle in Florida) as my permanent residence address. So I don't know if I need to go though a company that provides regular car insurance (since it's just a regular van) or RV insurance (since I'll be living in it full time). I will be using the address issued by my CRMA for vehicle registration and insurance purposes once I get the conversion van (I don't have it yet, but very soon). And the CMRA is the only address I'll have, I don't want to use the address of any friends or family for anything, I want to be totally independent. I'm probably going to switch to using Escapees in South Dakota at some point, but since I already live in Florida it was easier to do SBI as my CMRA for now.

My concern is that I've already run into some issues with using the CMRA as my permanent address. My banking and credit card accounts wouldn't allow me to use the CMRA address as my permanent address, I could only set it as my mailing address. Their computer systems somehow automatically know it is a CMRA address (versus being a residential address). So now I'm worried that a regular car insurance company won't insure me with a CMRA address. And at the same time I'm also worried I won't be able to get full-time RV insurance since I'm going to be in a conversion van and not a traditional RV. Does anyone know how people handle this type of situation? I know there are other people out there living full-time in their cars or SUVs, but I haven't been able to figure out how they handle vehicle insurance. I'd really appreciate any advice. 

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You'll probably be able to get the legally required liability insurance that pays damages to other people or property if you're ever in an accident.  But finding insurance to cover the value of your "RV" in case of an accident will be more of a problem.

If the other party is at fault, their insurance will pay.  But if the accident is your fault you'll have to eat the cost of repairing or replacing your unit.

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Full time RV insurance is different from regular RV insurance in that it gives you more liability coverage and personal property ( contents) coverage. You will no longer have homeowners insurance that would normally cover those losses. Full time coverage goes beyond Collision and Comprehensive and will cover you when parked if someone should slip and fall.  Don't be fooled by insurance salespeople who say their policy is a full time policy because it is good 365 days a year. Make sure you have the additional liability and personal property coverage. This should be available no matter if you have a Class A, B, C, TT or Van. 

As far as an address, I have the Escapees SD address and have never had a problem using a PMB. I had Nationwide for several years thru Miller Insurance in OR. I now have Geico.  Try calling Miller or on of the other Escapees commercial partners who sell insurance. They are familiar with your situation. 

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You need to start with the definition of an RV. In Minnesota, for instance, a vehicle has to have specific systems in it to qualify as an RV. Since you will be starting with an unconverted van, you probably won't qualify for anything labeled RV at first. Once you have done enough converting to fit Florida's requirements you might be able to change your definition for insurance purposes. But, I would start with just insuring the vehicle as a van then add a rider for personal property to cover your goods. When we bought a vehicle that had been converted it came with two titles--one for the vehicle and one for the converted vehicle. It took the clerk at the SD DMV awhile to figure out how to turn that into one vehicle for licensing purposes but she did it. It required patience and she rewarded me for mine by finding me an easy to remember license plate number.

Linda Sand

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I can't help you with your financial institutions but I can tell you that it is very easy for a company to know what type address you are using since the USPS keeps a database of all commercial mail receiving services as well as pretty much all business addresses and a business is allowed to access them. I think that they must pay for that service, but am not sure. If you were with Escapees, one of the things that they do for you is to help in issues with banks and other financial institutions. 

On the insurance front, I strongly suggest that you start by contacting at least two of the agencies that specialize in insuring people who live in an RV. Here are a few of them to consider. 

RV Advantage

AIS Insurance

Foremost Insurance

Explorer RV Insurance

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13 hours ago, Kirk W said:

I can't help you with your financial institutions but I can tell you that it is very easy for a company to know what type address you are using since the USPS keeps a database of all commercial mail receiving services as well as pretty much all business addresses and a business is allowed to access them. I think that they must pay for that service, but am not sure. If you were with Escapees, one of the things that they do for you is to help in issues with banks and other financial institutions. 

On the insurance front, I strongly suggest that you start by contacting at least two of the agencies that specialize in insuring people who live in an RV. Here are a few of them to consider. 

RV Advantage

AIS Insurance

Foremost Insurance

Explorer RV Insurance

Thanks so much for the list of insurance companies!!! I will check with them.

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