The passenger transportation industry provides reliable service to millions of Americans every year. However, there is an inherent risk for businesses that operate commercial vehicles. Injuries and accidents are bound to occur no matter how much safety preparation you go through. That’s when understanding the ins and outs of commercial auto insurance is essential.
Business owners in the passenger transportation industry have a lot of logistics to take care of. That’s why we want to provide our knowledge and expertise to help you protect your business. In this blog, we will take you through a guide to commercial auto insurance for charter buses.
Everything You Need To Know
What Qualifies As A Charter Bus?
A charter bus is a privately rented vehicle that is used to transport a group of private passengers to their destination. The group pays for the charter bus themselves and usually features perks such as a professional uniformed driver, undercarriage storage space, onboard bathrooms, and WiFi. Charter buses typically hold a minimum of 32 passengers.
Common Accidents/Claims Involving Charter Buses
Although charter bus accidents are infrequent across the country, they are extremely dangerous and can put a company at risk of serious financial loss and legal issues. A charter bus crash could be the result of many different things such as faulty maintenance, defective automotive parts, or non-compliance with FMCSA requirements.
An accident can also occur because of driver negligence which would put your company at risk of a serious claim. Driver negligence includes:
- Driver fatigue, from working too many hours
- Aggressive driving such as speeding
- Driving under the influence of a substance
- Inadequate driver screening/training process
- Inexperienced driving in bad weather
It’s imperative that you avoid any accident/claim by properly educating yourself as well as your team. You can also help protect your company by reaching out to legal advisors with experience in the industry.
Ensuring You Have The Right Coverage
Insurance for charter buses is similar to commercial auto insurance, but it specifically allows for the transportation of a large group of people. According to the FMCSA, vehicles that carry 16 or more passengers must have $5 million in liability insurance. Buses that carry 15 or fewer passengers will still require $1.5 million in insurance, subject to state laws and regulations.
It’s crucial to the state of your company that you carry liability insurance for any charter bus under operation. If you don’t purchase insurance for charter buses, you will get zero liability coverage for any damage caused to someone’s body or property. This means that you must pay out of pocket for damages which could cost millions of dollars. Some other important coverage to consider includes Commercial General Liability, Commercial Property, Commercial Umbrella, and Workers’ Compensation policies.
To safely operate charter buses, the most important detail is hiring the right drivers. You will want to conduct background checks and ensure drivers have not had past accidents. Also, regular maintenance of charter buses is essential as you can prevent possible accidents or equipment malfunction before it happens. There’s absolutely no cutting corners when it comes to the safety of your fleet. Always take care of maintenance as soon as a problem is identified.
Get The Protection You Need with KF&B
The world of commercial auto insurance is complicated and stressful. Deciding what type of coverage your commercial vehicles need can be time-consuming. At KF&B Insurance, we pride ourselves on helping business owners in the passenger transportation industry. Our vast experience in the industry and knowledge of different coverages makes us the best partner to help you protect your fleet. Please contact us today to learn more about our services and how we can help take care of your needs.