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What does motor coach insurance cover?
Motor coaches are more expensive to insure than almost any other commercial vehicle. This isn’t surprising. Not only do motorcoaches cost upwards of half a million dollars each, but they transport dozens of people at once. When you’re insuring a motor coach, you’re covering your driver, every single passenger, the bus itself, and your business. That’s a lot of liability for an insurance company to take on.
Motorcoach insurance requirements
The federal requirements for interstate motorcoach operators are fairly straight forward, and they’re laid out on the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration website. “In order to obtain operating authority registration, a motor coach company must demonstrate that its operations meet FMCSA’s safety standards and that the company is willing and able to comply with all applicable statutes and regulations, including regulatory insurance requirements. […] To obtain and retain operating authority registration, motorcoach companies must maintain and file evidence of $5 million in insurance coverage.”
So if you cross state lines, you are required to have at least $5,000,000 worth of liability insurance. Now this amount is reduced for vehicles that carry 15 passengers or less. So you can expect to pay less in insurance if you also own mini-buses.
If you never leave your state, your minimum requirements might look a little different. Some states only require $1,000,000 in liability limits. Other states recommend more. Florida, for example, asks that motorcoach operators carry excess insurance coverage to protect their passengers. This essentially means you are expected to carry a limit of $10 million minimum. Be sure to check out your state’s requirements before you commit to an insurance policy.
The different motorcoach insurance coverages
Your insurance policy will come with several coverages that protect different aspects of your business. It’s important to know what those coverages are. When you’re better informed, you can decide for yourself which coverages are essential to your fleet and which are extraneous.
Commercial Auto Liability – This is the essential coverage for your motorcoaches when they’re on the road. If they’re involved in an accident and your driver is deemed at fault, this coverage will reimburse any wronged parties.
Excess Liability – Since motorcoaches are so large, they can create a lot of damage. Excess liability insurance protects you beyond the limits of your base liability policy. It’s there for the truly catastrophic accidents.
Medical Payments – This coverage protects your passengers. If anyone is hurt on your bus, this coverage pays for their medical expenses.
Physical Damage – This coverage pays for damage done to your motorcoach regardless of who is at fault. It protects your assets no matter what happens on the road.
Workers’ Compensation – Your employees need to be covered as well. Workers’ compensation insurance reimburses employees for lost wages and medical expenses after they’ve been hurt on the job. It protects you against lawsuits.
General Liability – This coverage protects other important aspects of your business, including your place of business, parking lots, and garages.
How to get the best price
Did we mention that motor coach insurance is expensive? It is. Any business owner would be smart to take a few steps to ensure they are getting the best price.
Train your drivers – Insurance companies like to see businesses that have safe drivers. The easiest way to prove that you hire good drivers is to maintain a spotless record. It’s also good to explain to the the insurance company your training programs and your hiring process.
Bundle your coverage – Instead of purchasing insurance coverage piecemeal from different agencies, it’s usually cheapest to bundle all your coverage through a single agent. They can often offer you discounts if you get your automotive, business, and workers’ compensation insurance together.
Compare multiple agents – The best thing you can do today is to compare quotes from several agents at once. That way, you get a better idea of what the market looks like.