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I've had a 1990 Ford E-150 Conversion Van insured with Geico for several years, but am having difficulty obtaining a quote/insuring the Promaster I'm hoping for, which is a 2015 2500 with 159 wheel base, extended body.

First, I was told it goes under commercial insurance. That agent can't help me because I haven't a registered business to go with the vehicle. I said it would be used as an RV, so was transferred there. They won't insure because it's not a professionally done conversion.

They said go to a "broker," which..... I'm a little surprised Geico cannot help me. I'm guessing Progressive is a broker, since they look at various underwriters. Am I missing something?
 

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They know via the VIN what the options are - but the risks of them insuring it for pleasure or personal vehicle and it being used in commercial trades is just too large, they've seen that tens of thousands of times... keep hunting!

I went with a window van - and AMICA Mutual had me drive it to their office and a young Lady came out and hmnn'd and umhmnn'd with a clip-board... and via the internet instant quotes I discover I've been paying 40% or better above market, so I visited their office and asked about that, been with them almost 40 years and no claims... they had no answer for me (other than they're counting on me to be loyal and pay pay pay). They also do not insure RV's, they'd refer me to somewhere if I decided to go that route.

Keep hunting!
 

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@TJMarcoe, you may want to try calling in again and see if you can get a more knowledgeable agent. An RV-converted commercial van is not a common case and not all agents are familiar with it. Many could mistakenly (lazily?) say "it can't be done". I don't know anything about Geico and can't say if it does or does not offer it. But I've had it happen with me with my insurance provider (initially denied but after several tries, got someone who believed it possible and who then went the extra mile to try to figure it out how to do it).
 

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Hi,
There are several past threads on insurance options -- should be able to find them with search.

Mine has been insured by State Farm. During the build it was insured as a commercial vehicle, but once completed they switched to an RV (with some saving in premium). They were fine with DIY conversions as long as they were real conversions -- that is, you can't just throw a sleeping bag and a portapotty in the back and call that a conversion.

Gary
 

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Hi,
There are several past threads on insurance options -- should be able to find them with search.
Sorry...I should have realized that. Patience is not a virtue I always have!

Mine has been insured by State Farm. During the build it was insured as a commercial vehicle, but once completed they switched to an RV (with some saving in premium). They were fine with DIY conversions as long as they were real conversions -- that is, you can't just throw a sleeping bag and a portapotty in the back and call that a conversion.
That will be a problem for me. I am going to have to take the conversion slow due to funds. It'll have insulation and wall, roof and floor cover, and a platform for bed, but that's about it for the first season.
 

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All I can say is best of luck! :)

It's a common issue and like others mentioned there are several older threads here about it. My suggestion is to first make sure the van is registered as a non-commercial vehicle (Not sure if that's possible is all states), install a side or back window if you don't already have one and don't give the agents any more information than absolutely necessary. Getting full coverage on the true replacement value of a self-built RV is just about impossible. Sure there are those that claim to have done so, but unless they total the van we really don't know how the insurance companies will handle the actual claim. Best I was able to do is get coverage for the material costs of all my improvements to the van, and only the word of my agent that the total value will be covered (I'm not counting on that).
 

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Thanks. They info so far has been based on the VIN(one I am looking at, not yet purchased).

Will look into seeing if the van can get registered non-commercial here in NY.
 

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Thanks. They info so far has been based on the VIN(one I am looking at, not yet purchased).

Will look into seeing if the van can get registered non-commercial here in NY.

I noticed that you stated you were looking at a 2500 and extended body. I'm fairly certain that the extra long Promaster is only offered in a 3500, and that's something to watch for. Here in Michigan I was unable to find an insurer willing to insure a basic 3500 (One ton) van with a non-commercial policy, but they would do so for the 2500 (3/4 ton).
 

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We just insured our (new) 2019 1500 136" LR with Geico because our current insurer gave us such a hard time. The only snag we hit was that the rep miswrote the VIN number so he couldn't find the vehicle at first. And Geico gave us such a good deal on the insurance. It's possible that the weight capacity is throwing them off in terms of insuring it as a personal vehicle. If you went with the national phone number, try calling the local Geico agent. Good luck!
 

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Sorry...I should have realized that. Patience is not a virtue I always have!



That will be a problem for me. I am going to have to take the conversion slow due to funds. It'll have insulation and wall, roof and floor cover, and a platform for bed, but that's about it for the first season.
Insuring it as commercial van during the build was not all that much more expensive than the RV rate.

Another option if the place you are doing the conversion is secure, would be to not insure it at all during the build, and just don't drive it during the build. Some risk that something bad might happen, but probably pretty low.

Have you thought about doing a very simple but fast conversion so you can start using it soon? Several people here have done that and its a good way to go from the point of view that the earlier you start using it, the more you will know about what you really want. You can always go fancier once you really know what you want.
This is a pretty simple one that has all the basics: My Modest Camper Conversion - Part Deux But, you could go much simpler yet, and have something you could be using in a month.
Just a thought.

Gary
 

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I just got regular coverage on my 2020 while building it out. Now it’s done I tried Progressive but no go this time around. My regular insurance company has been covering it for $835 a year as a passenger vehicle but would not give me RV coverage so I contacted State Farm (thanks to Gary’s tip) and no problem with full RV coverage as a self-built and $100 deductible for glass (very important with a Promaster) for $554.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
This is a pretty simple one that has all the basics: My Modest Camper Conversion - Part Deux But, you could go much simpler yet, and have something you could be using in a month.
Just a thought.

Gary
Honestly, I don't want even a sink. Since 2009, from April through October, I've been living in a cabin with no nothing(electricity, plumbing or insulation), and on the road in a van with just the bed platform the rest of year. While I like all the pretties, I don't seem to need them(Or it could be that I'm just a frayed shoestring budget sort of person....).

I WOULD like to add a counter top though, fort this first season. Definitely taking a look at your very nicely done threads, Parts 1 as well as 2. Thanks.
 

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Thanks so far everyone - you've all been very helpful.

I have a few calls in and it seems the thing that might be helpful is that I said I use it as "kind of a spare room" - that my living place, a cabin in the woods, is small and not well lighted, and so I use my van as a place to store all my jewelry making supplies, and I also craft my work sitting in the van. Which is all very true! Let's see how far that story goes....
 

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First and foremost,... Thank you for saying VIN and not "VIN number".
2nd, I'm also in NY (unfortunately) and also with Geico.
They will not consider a cargo van anything other than a commercial vehicle, no matter who owns it or what it's used for. So I would go the state farm route, like mentioned.
I'm going to look into it myself, once my van is finished (at this rate, some time in 2042).
One thing I found out that may save a few $ is you can change the gross weight (vehicle+max cargo) at the DMV when you register it. The van's was 8900 from the factory and my truck was 7200. They let me lower the van to 7200 so I could transfer the remainder of my registration over to the van and the cost would be the same.
Speaking of weight, any vehicle with a curb weight over 5500 is considered commercial. They categorize by weight in NY and not by whether it's a business or not. If you notice, most pickups have a commercial plate. So, Geico's policies in NY may be different than elsewhere.
Check with state farm and see what their policies are in NY.
 

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States rights🙀
‘Fortunately, for me, NH couldn’t care less if it’s registered as a passager or commercial vehicle. and, until your first accident, no insurance is even required unless you have a loan out on it, of course.
 

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All kidding aside, classifying vehicles by weight and having the reg fee higher for heavier vehicles is logical. The heavier the vehicle, the more wear/tear on the roads.
Whether they actually funnel reg fee revenue into road repair is anyone's guess.
But it's about the only thing in NY that makes sense.
The guy that came up with how to determine reg fees must've had that one idea and then croaked.
 

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NY Logic: A 2 seat pickup truck can be registered as a passenger vehicle, a 2 seat van cannot! CT vans and pickups with Combination plates (which is the designation for work trucks used as passenger or work vehicles) cannot go on NY "parkways." Passenger-plated NY pickups can go on the same "parkways"

Leaving CT on a vacation often involves going thru NY... AAAARRRRGGGHHH!
 

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I insured my PM through Geico and it was about the same premium as my 2003 Dodge Ram 1500, which is about $55 a month. This is in WV.
 

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I'm getting lucky! Got a great quote from a local broker, $1422/yr, though I'll likely have to pay monthly which will add about $50 each month... My frayed shoestring budget is biting my butt these days. Now I get why smart people build savings....

My Geico Policy on old rig is almost $100/month, for State Minimum Liability only!
 
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