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Discussion Starter #1
Is there enough of us in BC now to share insurance experiences? FYI everybody else, BC has a government-owned insurance corp (ICBC) that everyone gets their licenses (vehicle and driver's) and basic liability through. Optional collision and comprehensive can be purchased privately or through ICBC.

Our new van was originally licensed as a "truck" and insured (ICBC) at the dealership. Once the conversion is finished, we'd like to add RV insurance for the RV bits (significant value in our case). However, we have gotten different stories from two insurance agents. One said it will have to be safety inspected (body mods, propane, etc) and re-licensed as a "car" (class includes RVs). The other didn't mention either of those. Anyone have RV insurance on their DIY conversion yet?
 

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Is there enough of us in BC now to share insurance experiences? FYI everybody else, BC has a government-owned insurance corp (ICBC) that everyone gets their licenses (vehicle and driver's) and basic liability through. Optional collision and comprehensive can be purchased privately or through ICBC.

Our new van was originally licensed as a "truck" and insured (ICBC) at the dealership. Once the conversion is finished, we'd like to add RV insurance for the RV bits (significant value in our case). However, we have gotten different stories from two insurance agents. One said it will have to be safety inspected (body mods, propane, etc) and re-licensed as a "car" (class includes RVs). The other didn't mention either of those. Anyone have RV insurance on their DIY conversion yet?
I look forward to the answer on this one Steve as I am currently waiting for my van to arrive (10 weeks and counting *sigh*). If you aren't actually modifying the body, why would it need re-inspection?
Go to love ICBC..when you have a few days I will tell about the joy of trying to get UK no claims bonus to count in BC.....I have grey hairs over that!
 

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Yes I purchased RV insurance for my DIY camper van. Got Guaranteed replacement cost through a private insurer and just used ICBC for the basic liability and I think under insured motorist. I also got misinformation until I contacted the agent that insured my friends Safari Condo at the RV dealer in Langley.

The agent only requested a detailed description and some pictures. No need for inspection at all. I did it all remotely, never left my home for the private portion.

I will post the details, Insurer etc. for you tomorrow when I can dig up the paper work.

Cheers,

Dave
 

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This is the Broker I used they do a lot of RV insurance.

AGENT/BROKER SAXBEE INS. AGENCIES LTD in ABBOTSFORD
Phone: 604-853-5951
#201 , 32641 South Fraser Way
Abbotsford,

This is the ensurer:

Elite Insurance Company
10 Aviva Way Suite #100
Markham ON L6G 0G1

Hope this helps.

Cheers,

Dave
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I think truck is cheaper than car. I have truck now, too. The insurance agent that said it would have to be inspected also said it would have to be re-licensed as a car to qualify for RV insurance. ICBC licenses factory-built RVs as cars. Maybe she was talking about full ICBC RV insurance. A private split sounds better, and less hassle.
 

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Well now that we are mostly done our van I want to get it re insured to reflex the true cost of replacing the vehicle.
My first stop was to a hub insurance here in town and what I got from there was that I need to get the vehicle weighed and an inspection done. After that it would be re-insured as a motorhome at the re adjusted value. I phoned Saxbee and they made it sound like I would need to go through the same process.
Just wondering if this is how others have gone or am I not asking the right questions.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I'm not there yet. But from what I've heard so far, it really depends on the agent you talk to. Some get real cautious when you say you have a DIY RV to insure. ICBC is very touchy about vehicle modifications (hot rods, kit cars, etc). Some agents relax a little if you explain you haven't made major body/frame alterations that comprise its integrity. It's still just a cargo van (truck) with camping equipment installed, similar to a plumber putting up shelves (etc). It might also help to ask them what ICBC needs vs. what the private RV-insurance underwriter needs. Good luck and keep us posted.
 

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Well getting insurance turned out to be a lot more back and forth than I had hoped it would be. I am now insured through ICBC as a motorhome . I have attached a copy of the page from ICBC that kind of cleared everything up and will help as most brokers I went to don't get alot of DIY campervan inquires. Meeting enough of the requirements for "designed for accomodation" is easy and you might be able to get away with out a vehicle inspection if you say you did nothing to the body. I found everywhere I went and with ICBC as soon as you say you put windows in the van they want an inspection even though we know we didn't change the structural integrity of the van. No big deal an hour at the Ram dealer for an inspection and a trip to the land fill for a free weigh scale measurement and I am done.
Being insured as a motorhome I can now give my van a declared value for insurance coverage. This doesn't mean its an automatic cheque for that amount, keep all your receipts,pictures and documentation of your build in the event of a claim. I did have to change my plates and the broker that helped me is going to see if there are any second party insurers that offer better plans.


IMG_3138.jpg
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Thanks for the update. It's good to see ICBC's actual list of qualifications. As it stands now, ours won't make it. We have a built-in refrigerator and water system, but toilet and heating are both portable. Looks like we'll have to see what private insurance can do for us without official ICBC motorhome status. If it turns out private also requires ICBC motorhome status, I can easily make toilet removal require a tool (screwdriver). Let us know what you find out about private RV insurance.
 

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I have composting toilet and it is removeable by taking out two bolts. For heat you could plug in a ceramic heater to your shorepower hook up right. This list is confirmed by your broker agent not a professional van rebuilder i think when they see your build there will be no problem.
For a few weeks I looked hard to find some sort of insurance plan that would work with my existing insurance policy . It seemed crazy to me that you couldnt just get a second policy for the amount you put into your build. I even phoned Saxbee they were no help. There didn't seem to be away to get it done. I even tried to be a member on the sprinter forum as there are a few ICBC threads on that you could post a question. That was gonna take to long because we leave for Oregon in five days.
Let me know how you make out when the time comes.


Sent from my SM-T560NU using Tapatalk
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Thanks for the lead. I just posted on the Sprinter Forum. Will pass on anything helpful. Have a good trip to Oregon!
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Spent the better part of the afternoon calling around about RV insurance. I called most of the Google hits and couldn't find a single private insurer willing to cover a DIY conversion. It seems ICBC is the only option, and it must meet their criteria for a motorhome (see post above) and pass a safety inspection. However, I was told by a couple agents that getting it re-licensed as a motorhome should lower the cost of basic license/insurance compared to the current cargo van license. But that's just the basic insurance, not the RV coverage. One agent said getting it re-licensed as a motorhome may also make it more attractive to private RV insurers. The research continues ....



How have others licensed and insured their DIY conversions in BC?
 

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My insurance experience in BC

In case it helps anyone, here is what I did for insurance in BC.

First, know that my van has an permanent extra seat (for the kids) behind the drivers seat, has removable cabinets that bolt to the wall, and a removable bed (well actually removable double bunk beds). So it can be converted from a camper van to a "empty van" in a few minutes. See https://youtu.be/L7Qjf6MHXJs for an idea of the van (although it is much closer to finished now). Sometime soon I might post a updated video of what it looks like "finished". It is our only vehicle so it is used for shopping, taking kids to daycare, etc. So it is NOT a "motorhome" under the Motor Vehicle Act

"motor home" means a motor vehicle designed or used primarily for accommodation during travel or recreation, but does not include a motor vehicle that has attached to it a structure

(a) designed or used primarily for accommodation during travel or recreation, and

(b) designed or intended to be detachable;


It is used primarily as a family vehicle, and then on some weekends as a vehicle for sleeping in.

The APG 33 document is the one that defines collision and comprehensive coverage in BC:
http://www.icbc.com/autoplan/optional/documents/autoplan-optional.pdf

The punch line is that the broker I used spoke to ICBC and they said it was ok to issue a regular policy (not declared value, not motorhome, but just the same type of policy it had when I was an empty van driven off the lot) and then they increased the attached equipment amount in section 5.11(b) of the APG to $10k instead of the default $5k. This was based on the fact that I had evidence of materials costing $10k having been put into the build / upgrade.

The broker I used was the downtown Vancouver office of Murrick:
https://www.murrick.com/locations/

If your van is used just as a camper, it might be a "motorhome" and may need to be treated differently.

Michael
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Thanks, Michael. Ours is definitely a motorhome, even though it doesn't quite meet all of ICBC's antiquated requirements for one:
http://www.skoolie.net/forums/f10/icbc-info-on-conversions-13605.html

But it sure looks like a motorhome, so it should pass for one if the insurance agent doesn't get overly technical about it. But first, it will have to get a BC safety inspection (Cdn Tire) and get weighed (truck scale). It will also need a declared value. We've been keeping receipts. The agent also recommended an appraisal saying it would expedite future claims.

Unless someone finds a private insurer willing to insure a DIY conversion, we'll be getting RV insurance through ICBC. Just another cost of living here in Beautiful BC.
 

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Discussion Starter #19 (Edited)
Another update. I still have not found any private insurance companies willing to issue RV insurance on a DIY RV licensed in BC. ICBC seems to be the only option. I would still appreciate hearing if any one finds a better option.

I've been told by a number of agents that to obtain RV insurance from ICBC it has to be (re)licensed as an RV. After hearing different stories from different agents, I called ICBC directly to get answers. It parallels V.I.guy's experience.

Our DIY RV is currently licensed as a truck. But it is considered a "modified vehicle" by ICBC definition, because installing windows is considered a body modification, even though no changes were made to more serious components (engine, suspension, brakes, chassis, etc). The modified vehicle registration process has to be completed before it's technically legal to drive (RV or otherwise). Shhhh!

The application to register a modified vehicle is the part that requires the inspection and scale weight, along with a some other things. Once that part is done, your insurance agent can determine if it meets ICBC's criteria (see checklist above) to be (re)licensed as an RV in order to qualify for ICBC RV insurance.

https://www.icbc.com/vehicle-registration/collector-mods/Pages/Modified-vehicles.aspx
This webpage contains a link to a really long list of approved inspection facilities around BC, and a link to the modified vehicle application. A Promaster RV will need a Class 1 inspection (vehicles under 5,500kg).

http://www.th.gov.bc.ca/cvse/inspection_stations.htm
This webpage lists Ministry of Highways Commercial Trunk Weigh Stations in BC. The manned ones will weigh your RV and give you a weigh slip for ICBC. The one I called was happy to do it, but said don't just pull on the scales when you arrive. Park and go in first and let then know what you are there for. ICBC will also accept weigh slips from some other scales. Call ICBC and ask for locations near you. 1-800-663-3051

I'll post a final update after it's done and done.
 

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It's a nice coincidence for me that you posted in this thread today SteveSS. I'm picking up my new PM any day now. And it never occurred to me to think about insurance other than I'll need to buy it...

What are the pros and cons of insuring it via what looks to be 3 options:

1) truck
2) car
3) RV

Is one of them cheaper? Is it coverage of the mods that we make?

In my case, I'm like many of us, the PM is only to be used primarily as a recreational vehicle. I'm just traveling in it. I have another car as a daily driver.

I could see myself putting in $10K (CAD) of mods in it, but not much more and hopefully less. The eventual build should meet the minimum requirements for an RV due to: 1) cooking device (microwave and butane burner, each held down by (ahem) one screw, 2) potable water, 3) toilet (also 1 screw), 4) diesel air heater.

What are you guys looking to do? That is, what is the ideal scenario that ICBC would let you do?
 
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