thanks, I've been in talks with Cooperators. Seems like it will all work out with them, but had to move house and other vehicles to them as well. they have not mentioned an inspection, just asked how much value we are adding. But not quite settled, so might come up yet.
This is a great question! We called a lot of Ontario insurance companies, the Ministry of Transportation, and Service Ontario and finally think we've figured out how to insure DIY conversions.
In order for an insurance company to even consider insuring you, your vehicle registration category needs to be changed from a passenger or commercial vehicle to a motorhome. To do this, your conversion needs to have 4 of the following 6 elements:
- Potable water with tap and faucet
- Self contained toilet
- Permanent cooking facilities
- Refrigerator (this could apparently be just a cooler)
- Heat or A/C
Once you've included at least 4 of these elements in your conversion, you can go to Service Ontario and tell them you want to change your registration to Motorhome (MH). They'll ask you to write a handwritten affidavit describing your conversion (basically listing the 4-6 elements that you installed in your van).
You will also need a valid safety certificate (approx. $100 at most garages, dealerships, Canadian Tire etc.). These are good for 36 days from the day you get the safety done.
With these two documents, Service Ontario will then issue you with a new registration for your motorhome (yay!) but they won't give you your license plates until you get insurance (which you can't get until you have your registration).
So once you have your registration, then you can call your insurance company to get it insured. Not all of them will insure a DIY conversion, but some of them will if you get an RV appraisal, or if you already have another vehicle insured, etc. We've gotten confirmation from State Farm that they'll insure a DIY motorhome if we get the registration changed to "MH" and if we make sure that any technical aspects of the conversion are done professionally (for example, electricity or propane).
Once you've got proof of insurance, you can go back to Service Ontario to get your license plates. We've been told there may be a mandatory 10-day delay from the date you get your insurance certificate to the date they'll issue plates.
We're about to go through the process in the next few weeks so will find out then.
Good read. Thanks for posting the information you found. For the time being, I've decided to self-insure and modified or added components. The vehicle itself is fully insured as personal, not commercial or RV.
I managed to find coverage through co-operators. Its basic van insurance with an additional 25K for the added accessories. No issues, no inspection, and I have a very clear email trail of what I was after, what I added and the value of it.