Did you know that shuttle buses are more likely to get in an accident than other bus types? For this reason, shuttle bus insurance is an absolute necessity.
Shuttle buses are awkwardly shaped and prone to accidents. Many blind spots cause hardship for the driver. In addition to the likelihood of an accident, shuttle buses carry many passengers. Without insurance, accident claims for injury and property damage could bankrupt a business.
Operating specific types of shuttles, such as airport shuttles or party busses, comes with additional risks that make comprehensive protection for your business, drivers, passengers, and vehicles even more essential.
Whether you’re looking for party bus insurance, airport shuttle insurance, delivery shuttle insurance, or any type of other shuttle insurance, this article will help you get started and keep your costs down.
Why Do You Need Shuttle Insurance?
To get started, there are 5 main reasons why insurance is needed to operate a shuttle bus.
1) Shuttle Bus Used for Business Purposes
If you are operating a shuttle bus as part of your business, commercial insurance is required. The shuttle bus does not need to collect a fare from passengers to be considered a business asset.
The deciding factor is whether you are transporting clientele or employees. If it is operating routinely in this fashion, you need to get insurance quotes for the shuttle bus.
2) Limousine or Taxi Services
Above we covered a scenario in which a shuttle bus is used to carry clients or employees. However, what happens if you are operating the shuttle as a limousine or taxi?
In this case, you need to purchase commercial insurance. Carrying passengers is normal for private vehicles. However, limousine or taxi services are a lot different than driving around family or friends. You need a different protection package to cover the risk of driving paying customers.
3) Travel Long Distances
Does your shuttle bus travel long distances? Perhaps you are transporting clients or hotel guests from San Francisco down to Los Angeles.
For long commutes, commercial insurance is a must. There is a liability risk involved with traveling far distances with large groups of people. Commercial insurance protects you from this risk.
4) Transporting Equipment or Supplies
Not all shuttle buses strictly carry passengers. In some cases, the shuttle buses are adapted to carry equipment or supplies.
The transportation of equipment or supplies means that commercial insurance is required. The insurance provides you with protection if critical equipment or supplies are damaged during an accident. Consider that your vehicle crashes into water or catches on fire. Commercial insurance may cover the replacement of equipment or supplies that are irreparably damaged.
Theft is another factor that you must consider when transporting equipment or supplies. The insurance package may provide protection when big-ticket items are stolen out of your shuttle bus.
5) Shuttle Bus Ownership
Another indicator of the need for commercial insurance instead of private auto insurance is the ownership. If you have registered the vehicle to a business or corporation, this is a telltale sign that you need to obtain commercial insurance quotes.
Obviously, most companies are not in the business of buying private vehicles and paying for insurance. If you are using company funds to pay for a car, you need to purchase commercial insurance.
Factors that Affect Shuttle Bus Insurance Costs
Did you know that your bus insurance rate depends on several factors that you can control? It’s true. There are many ways you can pay less for your coverage.
It can be difficult to stay in the black if bus insurance is eating up a huge percentage of your earnings. Don’t worry.
Read on to learn what factors determine your bus insurance rate and how you can pay less.
1) The Number of Stops
Your insurance company looks at how many stops you typically make. Each stop adds liability. Party buses will often make unscheduled stops as well.
You can reduce your liability by capping the number of stops and having a policy about unscheduled stops.
Some people wonder if you even need shuttle bus insurance. It may seem more hassle than it’s worth. However, you definitely need it; check out this post to see why it’s a must-have.
2) Seats in Your Shuttle Bus
There can be a big jump in insurance rates for a bus that seats fewer than 16 passengers and one that fits more than that.
Minibuses and bus limos, for example, may have a better insurance rate than a larger vehicle. If you don’t need those extra seats, it’s a smart idea to remove a few so you can reduce your expenses.
3) How Far You Drive
Any commercial bus that drives on an interstate route is subject to federal rules. These rules are often stricter than state laws which means your coverage needs to be higher.
While you might not be able to control how far you drive, you might be able to look at different route options.
4) Your Drivers’ Records
You should hire drivers who have a CDL license and clean driving records, this can make a substantial difference in your rate.
Do a thorough check of all your drivers before you hire them to ensure you won’t get dinged by the insurance company and end up paying more. Look for any criminal records as well as the number of speeding tickets and accidents they may have.
5) Your Good Credit Score
Your company’s credit score affects your insurance rate, good credit lets your insurance company know that you’ll pay your premiums on time and in full.
This means that you’re a safe investment for them. Keep your credit score up to pay less for your insurance coverage.
6) Bundle Your Coverages
If you own multiple vehicles, you probably have them under the same policy. Yet, there are other things you can add to the same policy to get a better rate.
For example, general liability insurance, workers comp, and medical insurance can all be bundled together to get you a discount.
Most companies offer a bundled package that gives you a discount for each item on your policy.
Airport Shuttle Insurance
There is an exciting amount of growth and opportunity in the airport shuttle industry; in fact, airport shuttle operators brought in a total of $1 billion in revenue in 2019. With air travel projected to double in the next twenty years, it’s a prime time to start or expand your airport shuttle business.
However, as with any transportation business, there will be certain risks to your passengers, drivers, and vehicles that you need to be aware of, so you can protect your business with the best possible insurance.
Picture a large, bulky shuttle, packed with passengers, weaving in and out of bustling airport congestion… It’s no surprise that airport shuttle accidents can and do happen. Airport shuttle operators face certain risks that could derail their business without protection. The four most prominent areas of liability are: collisions, injuries to drivers, injuries to passengers, and injuries to other drivers. With these risks in mind, airport shuttle insurance is necessary in order to ensure the legality, safety, success, and longevity of your business!
Airport Shuttle Insurance Options
A more basic level of insurance is required by law. However, to minimize risks for your airport shuttle business, you’ll want to invest in more comprehensive, robust insurance that includes all of the following:
- Property damage liability: to cover damage to other vehicles in the event of a collision.
- Medical payments insurance: to protect your customers and your business from lawsuits in the event of passenger injury.
- Workers’ compensation insurance: to cover medical expenses in case your drivers are hurt while on the job.
- Bodily injury liability: to cover medical expenses in the event of a collision where other drivers are injured.
Keep in mind, these are just the core coverages you’re likely to need. It’s recommended that you discuss the particulars of your business with a professional airport shuttle insurance provider to make sure you fully understand the requirements that apply.
Understanding Insurance Costs for Airport Shuttle
As with shuttle bus insurance, the price of insurance for your airport shuttle business will vary based on several factors, including:
- The location of your shuttle business.
- How many shuttles you have in your fleet.
- The size of your airport shuttles, the type of vehicle(s), and the age and condition of the vehicle(s).
- Your hours of operation and the number of trips you’ll be taking per day.
- Whether the vehicles will be used for other purposes.
- Your drivers’ records – you can keep costs low by hiring drivers with clean driving records and by training your drivers well.
Final Thoughts on Airport Shuttle Insurance
In summary, airport shuttle businesses face many particular risks, but also many wonderful opportunities. High-quality, comprehensive insurance is an important investment that should not be overlooked and will protect your business for many years to come.
Wrapping Up: Shuttle Insurance
For the most part, shuttle buses are not for private use. In the majority of cases, shuttle buses are used to transport clients or equipment. And when you’re transporting passengers or equipment, commercial insurance is absolutely crucial.
If you are looking to learn more about shuttle insurance in Oregon, Washington or California, our team at Oswald Taxi & Transportation Insurance Services is here to help. To get the coverage you need, start by contacting us today for your free quote.