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Hi friends, I just bought a '94 high top Dodge Ram 350 homemade conversion van. I just called Geico, and they said they can't insure a conversion van. How can I insure it? What company insures these? Or should I just try to insure it as a plain van? I probably can't call geico back and try to insure it as a plain van (there's probably notes in my file). 

And just to make it more complicated, I don't know where to register it either. Technically I live in Hawaii, but will drive/live in the van only on the mainland. I bought it in Oregon.
Could I register it in Oregon, using the RV storage place as my address? 

Thanks,
Lisa
I once lived near a college town in upstate NY.  There was a yellow VW Beetle on campus with Hawaii plates.  I doubt he brought the car with him from Hawaii, so apparently the student was able to buy the car here in NY and register it in Hawaii.

It would certainly be cool to run around the mainland with a Hawaiian van.  Talk about your conversation piece!

Why not check with the Hawaiian DMV?

I don't know of any insurance companies that want to insure a homemade conversion, I would guess that your best bet would just be to register and insure it as a regular van.
(05-11-2016, 04:37 PM)Confetti Wrote: [ -> ]Hi friends, I just bought a '94 high top Dodge Ram 350 homemade conversion van. I just called Geico, and they said they can't insure a conversion van. How can I insure it? What company insures these? Or should I just try to insure it as a plain van? I probably can't call geico back and try to insure it as a plain van (there's probably notes in my file). 

And just to make it more complicated, I don't know where to register it either. Technically I live in Hawaii, but will drive/live in the van only on the mainland. I bought it in Oregon.
Could I register it in Oregon, using the RV storage place as my address? 

Thanks,
Lisa

My Dodge High Top conversion van is registered as a 15 passenger van/bus.   My Grumman Olson step van is registered in Oregon as a car.   For insurance purposes, the Grumman Olson is registered as a 1 ton cargo van, as the VIN did not come up on the Insurance companies computer as any specific type of vehicle.

Oregon is a good state to register a conversion van, as outside of the Greater Portland area, no smog or vehicle inspection is required, thus making registration by mail very easy.
Hi 66788, 
Thanks for your reply. I'll try to insure it as a 15 passenger van/bus. What insurance company did you use?
How far outside of Portland do I need to be, to be "outside greater Portland area". Is Eagle Creek far enough?

Thanks,
Lisa 

...And no, Optimistic Paranoid, it's not a Hawaiian van. I bought it in Salem.
Hi 66788, 
Thanks for your reply. I'll try to insure it as a 15 passenger van/bus. What insurance company did you use?
How far outside of Portland do I need to be, to be "outside greater Portland area". Is Eagle Creek far enough?

Thanks,
Lisa 

...And no, Optimistic Paranoid, it's not a Hawaiian van. I bought it in Salem.
Be prepared to be turned down many times if you try to get full time RV coverage on a DIY conversion. Most insurance companies hear the word 'modify' and run screaming in the opposite direction. After being turned down, you might just want to concede the issue and not mention words like conversion, camper, DIY, etc.

I was lucky enough to run in to an insurance broker (after days of calling various agencies and companies) that managed to put through a policy for me that has a specified value for my van. It's the same type of policy that antique auto owners use to insure their classics. The general policy of book value at time of loss won't work for a van that I've put a couple of thousand dollars in to 'modifying'.

In Ontario my contents aren't covered under auto insurance so anything that is not nailed down like clothing, personal effects still aren't accounted for. I currently have a tenants policy that would cover most of it but the deductible is the standard $1,000 so I'd still be out a pile if it all disappeared tomorrow.
(05-11-2016, 10:33 PM)Confetti Wrote: [ -> ]Hi 66788, 
Thanks for your reply. I'll try to insure it as a 15 passenger van/bus. What insurance company did you use?
How far outside of Portland do I need to be, to be "outside greater Portland area". Is Eagle Creek far enough?

Thanks,
Lisa 

...And no, Optimistic Paranoid, it's not a Hawaiian van. I bought it in Salem.

I used Progressive.   I would prefer Geico, but they would not insure my Grumman Olson under any circumstances.

As for Eagle Creek, I'm not sure about that, so call your local DMV office there and ask if a smog exam is required in that jurisdiction.

best of luck,
66788
That site is European
(05-12-2016, 09:46 PM)66788 Wrote: [ -> ]I used Progressive.   I would prefer Geico, but they would not insure my Grumman Olson under any circumstances.

As for Eagle Creek, I'm not sure about that, so call your local DMV office there and ask if a smog exam is required in that jurisdiction.

best of luck,
66788
 66788:

 I've been on the phone all afternoon with Progressive, of which I'm a current policy holder (but not for a commercial vehicle). I tool annual leave to research this and am getting nowhere with Progressive. You, however, got your insurance with them in Oregon. Do I need to live in Oregon? I'm trying to get insurance confirmation BEFORE I buy any vehicle. I'm trying to find out what I ask? Any help?

Debra
One of my best friends lives in Oregon and she and I were discussing this the other day. I believe they have a residency requirement (like most states) where you will have to have proof of residency (electric bills, lease, water bill, etc.) in order to get a vehicle registered. They have very low registration rates so lots of people like to try to register there due to that. If you have any of that, you should be golden.

I'd start at the Oregon DMV to verify registration requirements first, before trying to insure.
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