A skoolie roof deck and insurance don’t have to be like oil and water. Rumor, and for good reason, has it around the skoolie community that if you have a skoolie roof deck, your insurance is going to reject your coverage.
We will discuss some of the reasons your insurance company does not want to accept the liability risk of a skoolie roof deck on your tiny house on wheels in a moment.
For now, we can all agree that having a skoolie roof deck is a part of the skoolie build that many people love and feel like they can not live without.
Admittedly so, we had a deck on our first skoolie build and used it all of the time. It was one of our favorite parts of the build.
Why Does Everyone Want A Skoolie Roof Deck?
If you are afraid of heights, then this probably makes no sense to you at all. It would be like someone with arachnophobia having a pet tarantula.
I mean, it’s not like you are on top of a skyscraper looking over the edge when you are up on top of a skoolie roof deck. It is, however, a good 10 to 15 feet up in the air at eye level.
When you are looking over the side of the bus to the ground, it can give you the heebie-jeebies when thinking about falling off.
For those of us who do not particularly have a phobia of high places, being up on that skoolie roof deck makes you feel like you are the King of the world!
There is a certain feeling we get when we are higher off the ground than anyone else. It’s not a superiority complex thing. It’s more of a vantage point. A sense of perspective of everything around you.
One of our favorite times to be up on our skoolie roof deck was in the morning for a cup of coffee or tea.
The other is in the evenings with a beverage of choice while watching the sunset and reflecting on the days' adventures, accomplishments, and triumphs.
Having a skoolie roof deck can be a great advantage sometimes. When you are at a concert or skoolie gathering, it allows others to find you easier.
Hop up on your skoolie roof deck. It will be much easier for friends to find your bus in the sea of vehicles.
It’s like living in a house with an upstairs bonus room or media room. It adds to the overall living space.
You are safe from crazy-ass people who may wander up on your bus. You’re also safe from wild animals, snakes, and those damn fire-ants in the South.
We very much love having a skoolie roof deck. We also realize you have to be careful and respect the height to which you are standing or sitting on.
Are Skoolie Roof Decks Safe?
Skoolie Roof Decks are no less safe than anything else in your skoolie. Granted, if you fall off of your sofa, you are not likely to go to the emergency room.
Let’s just say this, a skoolie roof deck is as unsafe as you want to make it to be. A little bit of common sense goes a long way. Especially when it comes to hanging out on top of your skoolie roof deck.
There are a couple of reasons why they are not safe.
The first reason is pretty obvious and we have already alluded to it a few times.
- Falling off of your skoolie roof deck
There is a realistic trepidation of a person falling off of the skoolie roof deck. Consider the fact of most skoolie roof decks does not have guard rails.
Falling off of a skoolie roof deck increases significantly when you add alcohol or any other mind-altering substances. (Not that anyone in the skoolie community would partake in such recreations)
It’s bad enough for an insurance company to pay you to a named-insured falling off of their deck.
Consider the liability exposure if a guest were to fall off of the skoolie roof deck. Someone can also get seriously injured or even worse, a fatal injury
- The Skoolie Roof Deck Comes Off While Driving
Who is installing these skoolie roof decks? Who has done the engineering calculations to determine wind speeds, sheer wind speeds, resistance, and force?
No one that I have ever met has a skoolie roof deck or installed one. Admittedly so, we did not do the proper math or engineering to calculate such forces.
Unless your skoolie roof deck is properly and securely attached to your skoolie roof, the potential for disaster is enormous.
Imagine driving down the highway behind a skoolie. Imagine a headwind of 30 miles per hour.
If that skoolie was only driving 50 mph, the wind force on the skoolie roof deck would be hurricane-force winds.
Imagine the 6 by 8-foot skoolie roof deck flying off of your school bus and flipping towards your windshield.
Talk about an Oh-💩 moment!
So, you can certainly understand, that your insurance company stands to lose if they openly insure skoolie roof decks.
Will a Skoolie Roof Deck Cancel My Insurance?
I am not familiar with any insurance companies that insure and underwrite DIY conversions that allow a skoolie roof deck.
In fact, there are 3 commonly known skoolie conversion additions that will cancel your insurance coverage before it even begins.
- Skoolie roof deck
- Woodburning stove
- Roof Raise
If you find an insurance company that knows you have a skoolie roof deck, share it in the comments below.
The more we share with one another, the better off and stronger as a community we will become.
Here is what is likely to happen to you if you misrepresent your insurance company by having a skoolie roof deck. In other words, if you lie to your insurance company about having a skoolie roof deck.
They will find out, and your insurance will be canceled.
If you have to submit a claim for damages to your skoolie and a claims adjuster inspects your bus and realizes you have a deck on the roof, they are required to inform their underwriting department.
When that happens, not only could your claim be denied, but they may cancel your insurance policy back to the date of inception.
The best recommendation to you is, to be honest, and forthright with your insurance company. Misrepresentation could be construed as a form of insurance fraud, and in most states, that is a class 1 felony.
A =skoolie roof deck and insurance is not the platform you want to go down on!
How can I Have A Skoolie Roof Deck and Insurance?
How can people have a skoolie roof deck, but still claim they have full coverage on their skoolie?
Are these people lying to their insurance companies?
If they are, then go back and read the section above one more time as a reminder. Be honest with your insurance agent and company.
Perhaps though, there is a way to have a skoolie roof deck and have full coverage for your school bus.
Perhaps there is a way, to be honest by using your words carefully.
Maybe it isn’t a skoolie roof deck at all?
What if the skoolie roof deck was something entirely different?
What if you were to build a platform made of decking material that you also attach tilting solar panels to?
Perhaps you build a platform out of decking materials. Then you strap down your kayaks, surfboards, canoe, or roof-top storage container?
You do not have a skoolie roof deck after all then do you?
You have a platform that you use to attach things such as solar panels or outdoor recreation items.
From an insurance underwriting perspective, having solar panels attached to and covering up the said platform, you are much more likely to pass the underwriters' scrutiny than if using the platform for kayaks and storage containers.
So, take that information as you will. It is still possible to get rejected. Even if the skoolie roof deck, err, the platform is covered with solar panels. It is also very likely they will simply consider them solar panels on your roof too.
We are not licensed, insurance agents. We do intend, nor are we giving legal or insurance advice. This is based purely on our experience as either claims adjusters or insurance customers.
More About Skoolie Roof Deck and Insurance
If you would like to learn more about skoolie insurance, we wrote a comprehensive guide here. There is another in-depth article from NatnDoninthewild that goes deep in explaining the different coverages.
Wrap Up To Skoolie Roof Deck and Insurance
The best policy in any relationship, whether it is professional, contractual, or personal is honesty first.
We highly recommend you talk with a licensed insurance agent prior to calling a 1-800 number or getting insurance online.
All insurance agents have a fiduciary interest in getting your skoolie insured and approved by their underwriters. You want to get approved and they want you to be approved. A good agent will find an insurance carrier that will fit your needs.
There is a way to have your cake and eat it too. Just in case you missed that analogy. There is a way to have a skoolie roof deck and insurance too.
It’s all how you frame it.