Not sure how to insure your van conversion? Well, if you’re wandering into the vanlife world, you first need to know how to protect your custom campervan. In this post, we will break down everything you need to know about campervan insurance, highlight some of the best coverage options, and offer a few helpful tips.
And if you’re looking for experts to personalize a custom van build, 27North Inc. has the team, experience, and facility to design the van of your dreams. Not sure what you want? They have a variety of campervan layouts to inspire you. Ultimately, you’ll have a comfy van customized for your travel needs.
Are Van Conversions More Difficult to Insure?
Many vanlifers claim that insuring a DIY camper van or a professional custom van conversion is generally more complex than insuring a standard factory-made RV. Here’s why:
First, you can’t use a standard auto insurance policy, as it only protects the van itself and doesn’t cover the upgrades inside. Secondly, a converted van isn’t exactly a Class B motorhome, according to the definition of most insurance providers.
Lastly, providers say it's difficult to determine the value of your modified camper, while others claim that converted vans don’t have the quality build to be covered as an RV, especially if it was a self build.
Of course, despite the complexities, you'll still want to protect the van and the interior upgrades after making such a massive investment. Your van is no longer the empty shell it once was—it has morphed from a van into a fully fledged campervan equipped with plenty of amenities and features. Insurance will offer peace of mind in the event of an accident, theft, or damage, whether inside or outside.
A Few Things To Note Before Insuring Your Conversion Van Various insurance providers and states have different definitions of what a campervan is. Some consider a van to be a campervan if it has any basics of a home in it, even if minimal. Others only categorize a van as a campervan only if it has plumbing, power, bed, and toilet.
Some providers may also require you to retitle your converted van as an RV before they offer coverage. Before settling on a particular company, learn how they define a campervan and what they insure.
To have an easy time finding an insurance provider, have your van converted by a professional van build company. Most companies will only insure you if your rig is customized by an established van builder or RV company. For DIY conversions, there’s also no guarantee of the quality of the work, so many companies will shy away.
Best Insurance Options for Campervan Conversions
Here are the top custom campervan insurance options:
State Farm - If you’re looking for camper van conversion insurance on a van you’ve converted yourself, State Farm is one of the top options to consider. They, however, don’t tend to cover vans used as a full-time residence.
Roamly - This is another top campervan conversion provider. It’s a subsidiary of Outdoorsy, one of the largest online RV rental marketplaces. Roamly’s policies are competitively priced, and they don't demand too much paperwork.
Foremost - For those who want to insure a campervan that was upfit by a professional van conversion company, Foremost is a great alternative.
Progressive - It’s the third largest insurance carrier in the US and one of the major insurance companies that offer coverage for converted vans. However, they don’t insure DIY van conversions.
Geico - Another insurance option popular among vanlifers is Geico. The main catch is they do not offer camper conversion insurance for self-builds, only those done professionally.
Best Tips on Getting RV Insurance for Your Custom Campervan
Want to have an easy time finding insurance for your conversion campervan? Keep the following tips in mind.
Keep All Receipts and Invoices - Keep a good paper trail of everything you purchase for your build throughout the build process. And keep track of labor hours if it's a DIY van conversion.
Take Photos of Your Van - Take clear photos of the van’s interior and exterior, including pictures of personal property you travel with. Documenting everything will come in handy when you need to file a claim.
Make Detailed Spreadsheets - Create a detailed spreadsheet of every purchase you make. Also, make a spreadsheet of the personal belongings you travel with and the price you purchased them for.
Use Cloud Storage - To ensure your receipts, invoices, photos, and spreadsheets are safe and accessible from anywhere, store them online. Use services like Google Drive, Dropbox, and IDrive.
Talk to a Local Agent for Campervan Insurance - If an Insurance provider turned you down online, you may find luck speaking to a local agent. Most vanlifers recommend explaining your situation in-person to a local agent. If one agent says no, it’s also worth trying another from the same company.
Be Honest Up Front - Be very straightforward and open with your insurance agent. Even when multiple agents reject you, always tell the truth to the next one. If you lie, your insurance claim may end up getting denied when something happens to your vehicle.
Review Coverage Options - Go through all the different coverage options that the campervan insurance provider offers. For instance, you’ll want comprehensive collision coverage, roadside assistance, and total loss replacement. Of course, you'll want to read through the policy you pick to ensure you are truly covered.
Ask for Discounts - Don’t hesitate to ask for discounts. You may be surprised to discover new ways to save.
Invest in an Anti-Theft System - Having an anti-theft system installed by a pro will not only keep your van safe from thieves, but can also help reduce your insurance premiums.
For DIY, Find Insurance Before Beginning the Project - For those who want a DIY conversion, it’s a good idea to find options for insuring your van before the build and discussing with the agents. The last thing you want is to be rejected by every provider after spending lots of money and effort on the build.
Wrapping Up: Insuring a Campervan Conversion
Ultimately, the best way to ensure you’ll get proper coverage for your conversion campervan is to work with a professional conversion company. Most providers will only cover rigs that have been upgraded by an experienced custom van conversion builder like 27North Inc.
Before settling on an insurance provider, explore your options, check reviews of the company, make sure you read the fine print of the insurance policy before purchasing, and ask if you qualify for any discounts.