My super limo stretch bus is uninsurable!
About a year ago, we came across what we thought was a fabulous deal on an articulated bus. [An articulated bus looks like two transit buses linked together via an accordion-style soft passage way]. It was purported to have a seating capacity of 80 passengers. It had a built-in bar, a restroom, and passenger entry doors in the front and back of the bus. It looked like it would be a great bus for Vegas trips or even barhopping around town.
So, upon seeing photos of it and a steal of a price, we decided, why not? We own our body shop and a fabrication shop. We figured we would buy it, gut it and rebuild it better than ever.
For starters, we stripped the bus down to the frame. We installed a new floor, new lighting, a new restroom, and a state-of-the-art camera system covering both interior and exterior. We installed twin generators to provide power to a new sound system and the trick lighting. We removed the air-conditioning system and install a new one that would be able to handle the brutal summers of Bakersfield. We installed new interior walls and a new ceiling. We installed a new turbo for the engine and even added some kind of propane system to give an added boost for mountain climbing with a heavy load. Bottom line: We thought of everything.
Well, almost everything! We never imagined that when we attempted to add the bus to our policy to place the bus in service that Zurich would decline to insure it. We went from one insurance carrier to another, and all the underwriters said, “NO, we will pass on insuring that vehicle.” Everyone thinks it is too risky and they don’t want to touch it with a 10-foot pole. Talk about being bummed. The good news is it can be insured as a personal vehicle. I just need to find a whole lot more friends than I have.
— Jim Luff, LCT contributing editor
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