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Commercial Bus Insurance Cover – A Reading For Bus Operators

Snehal Tanwar Snehal Tanwar , 7/11/2018
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Whether you acquire a tourism company or you perhaps run a business and have a fleet of new buses or a range of used passenger vans or used buses that you may contract with public schools, sports teams, churches, NGO's, community groups etc; you require insurance to shield your business investment.

Operating a business that involves the use of buses means you are transporting people – be it across the state or across the town. Since you deal with people, you need the right insurance to cover your vehicles and the potential injuries to your commuters in the occurrence of any mishap while traveling.


Risk Statistics

  • Since 2000-2007, there have been 1,093 fatal accidents that involved large buses.

  • In the year 2009, the bus occupant fatality rate was 45 deaths per 100,000 accidents as compared with 251 deaths per 100,000 accidents for passenger car occupants.

  • From the year 2004 to 2013, U.S. drivers were involved in 340,039 fatal motor vehicle traffic crashes, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA)

Different Types of Buses that Commercial Bus Insurance Cover

There are numerous types of commercial buses that can be classified by their general use. There are school buses, charter buses, church buses, party buses, tour buses, coach buses etc. Each of these types of buses has different roles, different environments, and different usage, hence the insurance coverage for each of these buses vary.  There are several issues that affect the insurance pricing including passenger capacity, age of vehicle, and Gross Vehicle Weight Rating.

Tour buses, party buses, charter buses or church buses may be hired several times in a year and may run across state boundaries and greater distances. Whereas on the other hand, school buses are often limited to district or enrollment boundaries around a school, since they have kids on board. Frequency and number of miles for different types of buses vary, so does the insurance coverage policy.

Commercial Bus Insurance Policy Usually Include The Following:

Similar to health insurance, commercial bus insurance can be broken up into several types of coverage. Whether its new buses and new coaches or a range of used passenger vans or used buses - these vehicles can cause extensive damages and injuries in an accident, due to its huge size, hence it is important to evaluate the appropriate limits on your coverage based on the potential costs of an accident.

The following essentials are usually covered in Commercial Bus Insurance policy:

  • Body injury: it covers the costs of medical care for a driver or passengers in another vehicle - involved in an accident
  • Property damage: it covers the damage costs done to other vehicles or other people’s property.
  • Collision coverage: it covers damage to your vehicle, irrespective of whose fault it is in the accident.
  • Medical payments coverage: Pays your medical expenses in the occurrence of an accident. For example: In case any of your passengers does not possess health insurance, or any person injured on the bus has high deductible health insurance, the medical payments coverage can help cover the costs.
  • Comprehensive coverage: it pays costs for loss due to things like theft, fire or damage from an object.
  • Uninsured/underinsured motorists: if the driver at fault does not have sufficient insurance to pay for your damages – then this coverage will pay your accident costs.

Depending on the bus usage, you may want to add additional riders or optional coverage types to your policy. For example, if your travelers are kids, you may want to guard your company financially – in case an employee or a driver is charged for abuse or molestation. You can also consider excess liability coverage, known as an umbrella policy. These policies can significantly increase your liability coverage limits to protect your business from liability claims that result in a lawsuit.

Commercial Bus Insurance Cost

Commercial bus insurance rates vary significantly. Some of the factors that set into the cost of your commercial bus insurance policy include:

Whether you have a fleet of new buses or just a single used bus
The number of seats in the buses
The experience and driving records of your drivers
The number of miles your bus travels in a year
Is the transportation done on regular basis?
Will your bus be transporting the handicapped?
Will your bus travel across the country on highways, or just around towns and state lines? etc
Are you in an area where severe weather can cause disruptions on your trips?
Answering each of these questions carefully can help you choose an adequate insurance policy with a desirable rate.
Insurance coverage corresponds to the amount of risk your bus is taking; hence always do thorough studies before you finalize the insurance policy for your vehicle.