Buying a commercial bus is a very large investment that can be quite profitable for your business. Charter bus companies may hire out transportation services to private clubs, organizations and local school sports leagues. Travel and tour bus businesses profit from simple sight-seeing day trips to longer travel adventures for a group of people. Commercial bus lines provide transportation between major cities and destinations. Company owned buses are not cheap to lease or purchase, thus they become a significant investment for your business. When those buses are damaged or destroyed due to auto accidents or other unexpected events, the cost of repairs can be too much for your company to handle all at once. That is why it’s so important to make sure your bus is protected with the most auto insurance that it can be. Here are the primary types of commercial auto insurance coverage you should carry on your company bus:
- Liability Insurance – Accidents happen, and sometimes your bus driver will be the one who is at fault. When your bus is involved in an auto accident that your driver caused, your company is required by law to pay for any damages and injuries that were caused. Liability insurance provides that basic level of protection. It helps protect your company from the severe financial strain that accident bills can cause. Since liability insurance is mandated by law in most parts of the United States, it also helps keep your bus legal for driving on the road. Liability insurance protects you in two key areas: Physical injuries and property damages.
- Bodily Injury – Bodily injuries is physical harm. When your company bus is found to be at fault in an auto accident and one or more people in the other vehicles suffered physical injuries, the bodily injury portion of your liability coverage will pay for their medical care. Bodily injury coverage pays for the cost of emergency transport to the hospital, emergency medical services, extended hospital stays, the cost of rehabilitation and recuperation, and related medical expenses that result from the accident. This part of your insurance also pays the victim’s funeral expenses if someone is injured fatally, and it can pay for lost wages due to time off work or pain and suffering.
- Property Damage – When your bus is in an accident that it caused or was at fault for, other property may have been damaged. Another car may have gotten dented for example. The property damages portion of your liability insurance coverage pays the repair bills so that damaged property can be put back to the way it was before the accident.
Medical Payments – Medical payments insurance is particularly important for a bus because it protects the driver and all passengers who were on board at the time of the accident. Medical payments coverage pays the associated medical bills and treatment expenses for all persons in the bus, regardless of who was at fault for the accident. This commercial insurance coverage is not available in all locations. Speak with one of our licensed representatives today so that we can help you determine the availability of this coverage for your company.
Physical Damage Insurance – Physical damages insurance protects your bus itself. This is important insurance to help prevent you from losing everything you have heavily invested into the bus. If your bus is leased or not paid off in full yet, this coverage is highly recommended to ensure that you are able to cover the cost of repair or replacement if it gets damaged.
- Comprehensive Physical Damage Protection – Comprehensive damage protection prevents you from having to pay for damages or losses that are caused by non-collision and non-roll over events. If your bus is vandalized for example, or it is stolen, comprehensive coverage pays for the repairs and replacement. This insurance also protects you if your bus is damaged in a storm, such as when a tree or power pole falls on it.
- Collision Damage Protection – Collision damage protection specifically protects you against damages that are caused when your bus over turns or when it collides with another object. For example, if your bus driver turns a tight corner and goes up over the curb striking a bus bench, your collision damage protection will pay for the resulting repair expenses.
- Specified Peril (CAC) – CAC is Fire and Theft with Combined Additional Coverage. This insurance is also referred to as Specified Peril coverage. It protects you from non-collision perils but is limited to providing protection for only those risks and events listed on your insurance policy.
Uninsured or Underinsured Motorist – When your bus is involved in an auto accident that was caused by another driver, that driver’s car insurance is supposed to pay for the damages they cause to your bus and to the people on your bus. Not everyone carries auto insurance however, and if they are uninsured then there is no recourse for damage payments other than litigation. Some drivers carry basic insurance coverage, but it is not nearly enough to fully pay for all of the damage they cause to your bus. These underinsured motorists can also leave you without recourse for payment. To prevent your company from having to pay these bills out of pocket, you can protect your bus by carrying an uninsured or underinsured motorist policy. Uninsured and underinsured motorist insurance provides coverage in the same two ways that your liability policy does:
- Bodily Injury – As covered with Liability Insurance.
- Property Damage – As covered with Liability Insurance.
- Collision Deductible Waiver (CDW) – Normally when you make a claim against your insurance policy you must pay a specified dollar amount in the form of an insurance deductible. When you make an uninsured or underinsured motorist claim however, your bus driver was not at fault for the accident and your company should not have to pay anything out of pocket. You can get a collision deductible waiver, or CDW, as long as you carry bodily injury coverage on an uninsured and underinsured motorist policy.
Other Important Commercial Auto Insurance For Bus Includes:
- Rental – When your bus is damaged in an auto accident it may be unusable until it receives repairs. Rental insurance will cover the cost of renting a temporary replacement until your bus is back in service.
- Towing – If your bus is damaged enough in an accident it may need to be towed away from the scene. Towing insurance covers that additional expense.
- Accessories (Ex: mileage meters, navigation units, radios) – The accessories that you have installed on your bus are expensive to replace. Mileage or payment meters can be damaged in an accident for example, as can your communications radios and navigational equipment. Protect them from loss by adding accessories protection to your commercial auto insurance policy.