Charter And Tour Bus Insurance Washington Policy Information
Charter And Tour Bus Insurance Washington. Whether you transport tourists or you take people to and from events, owning a charter bus company comes with a lot of responsibilities. Not only do you need to ensure that your patrons are comfortable, arrive on time, and all of their needs are being met, above all else, you must ensure they're safety.
Commercial interstate bus lines provide transportation to passengers in two ways. The first provides scheduled services along fixed routes according to specified schedules. Passengers for these buses purchase tickets online, at a ticket booth, or automated ticket dispenser. The second offers a service to charter a bus for a few hours, a day, or a longer period of time for a specific trip or tour.
Passengers for these services purchase tickets through the group arranging the charter. Most interstate bus lines are required to accommodate passengers with mobility limitations. Some provide this service with specially-equipped buses.
As the owner and operator of a tour bus company, you are liable for any mishaps that may arise. Though you always go the extra mile to ensure everything operates smoothly - employ a team of expertly trained professionals, tour guides, and other professionals, and keep your fleet of vehicles in tip-top condition - you never know when unforeseen events will occur. How can you keep yourself and your company properly protected from the unexpected? - By investing in the right type of charter and tour bus insurance Washington coverage.
What type of insurance do WA tour bus drivers need? How much coverage should you carry? You can find the answers to these questions below.
Charter and tour bus insurance Washington protects your company from lawsuits with rates as low as $67/mo. Get a fast quote and your certificate of insurance now.
Why Do Charter And Tour Bus Companies Need Insurance?
A passenger slips and falls while getting off of one of your busses and sustains an injury. A driver hits a puddle, hydroplanes, and crashes into another vehicle or a building. An employee improperly handles a client's luggage and the client files a lawsuit against your company. An employee sustains a work-related injury at your lot.
The above-mentioned scenarios are just some of the issues that could end up facing, and as the owner and operator of your charter bus company, you are legally responsible for paying any damages, legal fees, settlements, medical care, and more. The cost of such expenses can be astronomical, and if you have to pay them out of your own pocket, they can be financially crippling; that's why having the right type of charter and tour bus insurance Washington is vital.
If any mishaps do occur, instead of having to pay the related expenses yourself, your insurance company will cover the expenses.
In addition to the financial protection that insurance offers, WA charter bus companies are also legally required to carry certain types of coverage. Fail to have mandated coverage and you could end up facing stiff penalties, legal trouble, and may even lose your business.
What Type Of Insurance Do Charter And Tour Bus Operators Need?
The insurance needs of charter bus operators are complex and vary according to the specific needs of each individual company. That's why it's important to speak to a reputable agent that is knowledgeable about the complexities of insurance coverage for charter bus operators. With that said, there are certain types of charter and tour bus insurance Washington that all operators in this industry need to carry. Examples include:
- Commercial Auto Liability - Every WA charter bus operator must carry commercial auto liability coverage. If a bus in your fleet is involved in an accident, this type of insurance protects other motorists who may have been injured, including any medical care that may be required. It will also cover the cost of any damages to other vehicles.
- Commercial General Liability - In addition to auto liability insurance, you'll also need to carry commercial general liability coverage. This policy covers third-party personal injury and property damage liability claims that may be filed against you. For instance, if an employee damages a passenger's luggage and the passenger files a lawsuit against you, your commercial general liability policy would assist with the legal expenses, as well as any damages that you may be found liable for.
- Commercial Property - If your garage, your dispatch center, or any other property that is associated with your charter bus company is damaged in a fire, a burglary, an act of vandalism, etc., this insurance will help to pay for any repairs or replacements that need to be made.
- Workers Compensation - As an employer, you are responsible for the safety and well-being of your staff. If any member of your staff - from those who work in your dispatch center to your drivers - suffers a work-related injury, this type of coverage will cover any medical care that they may require, as well as any wages that they may lose while recovering.
In addition to these industry specific coverage types, you may need other types of insurance for your charter and tour bus business that are not mentioned above. For instance, umbrella insurance offer excess liability and cyber liability protect against data breaches.
WA Tour Bus Charter's Risks & Exposures
Commercial Auto exposure is very high as an accident can result in bodily injury to numerous passengers as well as property damage to bridges, buildings, guardrails, other structures, and vehicles belonging to others. All drivers must be carefully screened and trained to safely operate buses under all kinds of conditions, including adverse weather, construction impediments, darkness, and heavy traffic. Training must be ongoing, with regular reviews.
Drivers must hold commercial drivers licenses (CDL's) with a passenger endorsement. MVRs must be acceptable and checked on a regular basis. Full medical exams are required every two years. Random drug and alcohol testing should be mandatory. Schedules should permit adequate breaks for drivers to maintain alertness.
Vehicles must be maintained on a regular basis with records kept at a central location. A fire extinguisher and emergency first aid kit should be on board each bus. To prevent vandalism, each bus should be equipped with oversized rear mirrors and surveillance cameras. Due to increased concerns about security, hands-free two-way communication and GPS systems should be installed on all buses.
Fire, explosion, and terrorism exposures increase when all buses are parked at one location. Splitting the fleet and locating it at more than one place can be an effective risk management tool.
While seat belts are not mandated on public buses, handrails should be in place, floors should be slip-resistant, and sturdy poles should be available for passengers standing during transport. Emergency exits should be provided. Windows should be shatterproof.
Premises liability exposure is high due to the number of visitors to terminals and boarding areas. To prevent slips and falls, flooring should be in good condition with no frayed or worn spots on carpet and no cracks or holes in flooring. Spills should be cleaned up promptly. Steps and uneven floor surfaces should be prominently marked. There should be sufficient exits that are well marked with backup lighting systems in case of power failure.
Good housekeeping is essential. Security is important, especially for children and in restrooms. Bus lines can be a target for terrorist activity. There should be uniformed security guards on duty any time the terminal is open, and a disaster plan in place for unexpected emergencies. Off-premises bus shelters should be lighted and patrolled on a regular basis.
Personal injury exposures include allegations of assault and battery, discrimination, improper detention, invasion of privacy, and wrongful ejection.
Chartered bus services often arrange tours, lodging, and provide a variety of services, all of which increase the liability exposure. Certificates of insurance should be obtained from each provider from which services are contracted.
Environmental impairment exposure can be high due to the storage of fuel and the waste disposal of fluids used for servicing and repairing buses. All tanks, underground or above, must meet state or federal regulations and be routinely tested for leakage. Spillage and leaking of pollutants into the air, ground, or water can result in high cleanup costs and fines.
Spill procedures must be in place to prevent the accidental discharge of sludge from water reclamation systems used in washing buses. Contracts should be in place to dispose of all environmentally dangerous chemicals.
Workers compensation exposure is moderate from driving and maintenance and repair activities. Drivers work alone, often after dark. Ergonomically designed seats can reduce back and leg injuries to drivers who sit in the same position for hours at a time. Drivers can be injured in collisions. Long distance driving must be tightly controlled. Physical attacks can occur during robbery and hijack attempts or dealing with unruly passengers. Drivers should be trained to deal with these situations.
Two-way communication systems are vital to attract assistance in the event of an emergency. Back injuries, hernias, strains, and sprains can occur while lifting and aiding passengers. Garage employees can be injured by vehicles falling from hoists, strains, sprains and other lifting injuries.
Good housekeeping is critical to reduce injury from slips, trips, and falls. Burns, eye injuries and respiratory problems can occur with the welding and painting. Dermatitis can result from employees coming into contact with harsh cleaning detergents. Repair areas should be properly ventilated. Proper safety equipment is required.
Property exposures include offices, ticket purchasing booths or automated ticket dispensers, a passenger waiting area, garages for bus repair, and a parking area for buses when not in use. There may be restaurants or vending machines to serve passengers. Cooking surfaces must be properly protected. Waste receptacles should be provided throughout the facility and emptied regularly to prevent the buildup of large quantities of trash. Vandalism and smoking are a concern.
There should be security guards available to prevent problems. The repair garage will include flammable liquids - paint, gasoline and diesel fuel - and heat-producing activities such as welding. Flammable liquids and heat-producing activities must be separated from combustibles to prevent fire and explosion.
All spray-painting should be conducted in a spray booth with explosion-proof fixtures. Poor housekeeping is a serious fire hazard. Unless stored and disposed of properly, oily rags can spontaneously combust and cause a fire.
Inland marine exposures include accounts receivable for billings, bailees, computers, and valuable papers and records. Bailees exposure comes from the handling of passengers' luggage and storing it on the bus. All luggage should be clearly marked so it can be returned to the proper owner, and the storage area should be kept locked at all times. Computers and satellite tracking systems may be used to track buses and maintain contact with drivers.
All data must be duplicated and stored off site so it can be easily replicated in the event of a loss. If mechanics use their own tools for repair and servicing the buses, an employees' tools floater may be needed.
Crime exposures are from employee dishonesty and money and securities. Background checks, including criminal history, should be performed on all employees handling money. Cash windows should be monitored with verification that receipts and money match on each drawer. All internal ordering, billing, disbursements, and reconciliation of bank statements must be handled as separate job duties.
Appropriate security methods, including armed guards and armored trucks, are important at deposit time. There should be surveillance cameras on automated ticket dispensers to reduce the potential for theft. Chartered operations will not have the same money and security concerns since payment is made in advance.
Charter And Tour Buss Insurance - The Bottom Line
To find the best fit coverage for your company, speak with an agent, to discuss the possibility of a specialized policy that combines these coverages and to find out what other coverage you may need, and how much you need to carry.
Washington State Economic Outlook & Business Insurance Requirements
For anyone who is thinking about starting up a business, it is important that they choose a location that suites the industry that they wish to work in. With that said, in order to determine whether or not a location is the right choice for your business, you should have an idea about the state's economic status. You should also have an understanding of the WA state regulations related to the types of commercial insurance that you are required to carry.
If you are thinking about starting up a business in the State of Washington, below, we offer some insight into the state's economic status. We also offer a glimpse at the WA insurance requirements that business owners must abide by.
State Of The Economy In Washington
Washington state may be famous for its gloomy weather, but when it comes to the economy, things here look bright. The economic outlook for Washington is healthy. It is expected that there will be more jobs added in the 2022 calendar year. There will be an increase in the productivity of labor. There will also be an increase in the state's unemployment rate during the year 2022, with a forecasted rate of 4.7 percent.
Washington is regarded as one of the top for businesses in the nation. In fact, it is listed at the 11th best state for business by Forbes. The industry that is expected to see the most growth are related to STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math). Among the top industries in this state include information technology. Education, healthcare, finance, and travel and tourism also contribute largely to the awesome economy of this state.
Commercial Insurance Requirements In WA
The Washington State Office of the Insurance Commissioner regulates the insurance industry in WA. Businesses are legally required to carry workers' compensation insurance. This type of coverage is required for any business that employs either hourly or salaried employees, and either part-time or full-time employees. You are also required to carry commercial auto insurance if you use a vehicle to conduct any type of business in this state. That means that if you are using a car to transport goods, make deliveries, or meet with clients, you must carry business auto insurance.
While commercial general liability insurance is not required in Washington, it is highly recommended. This type of insurance offers protection from lawsuits and other legal fees that may arise.
Additional Resources For Commercial Auto Insurance
Learn about small business commercial auto insurance which includes liability and physical damage protection for vehicles that are used for business purposes.
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The person injured in an vehicle accident may be a child, a wage earning single parent, a brain surgeon, or even a homeless person. The costs of the accident may be relatively small or run into the millions of dollars, depending on the victim and his or her injuries. Do you have the assets to handle such costs?
Trucking operations in this chapter are among the most heavily regulated in the country. All are subject to multiple types of regulation including municipal, state and federal. The regulations are necessary because potential for severe property damage and/or bodily injury is extremely high.
All carry cargo that if not handled appropriately could have serious consequences to the cargo owner and/or the public at large. Those that carry people must prove that they keep their equipment in good condition and that employees operate in a safe, sober manner.
The insurance company pays amounts an insured is legally obligated to pay as damages because of bodily injury or property damage and certain types of pollution events covered by this insurance caused by an accident and resulting from ownership, maintenance or use of covered vehicles.
The obligation to pay is triggered only by accidental occurrences involving vehicles covered under the Business Auto Coverage Form. An eligible pollution event is covered only if it is connected to a covered bodily injury or property damage loss.
It is important that you have the proper Limit of Insurance to protect your operations. This limit is the most the insurance company pays for the total of all damages, including any covered pollution cost or expense resulting from any one covered accident, is the Covered Auto liability limit of insurance on the declarations.
This limit applies regardless of the number of insureds, autos covered, vehicles involved in an accident, premium paid, or number of claims made.
Minimum recommended small business insurance coverage: Building, Business Personal Property, Business Income and Extra Expense, Accounts Receivables, Computers, Motor Truck Cargo, Valuable Papers and Records, Employee Dishonesty, Money and Securities, General Liability, Employee Benefits, Umbrella, Motor Carriers Liability and Physical Damage, Hired and Non-owned Auto & Workers Compensation.
Other commercial insurance policies to consider: Earthquake, Flood, Mobile Equipment, Signs, Warehouse Operators' Legal Liability, Cyber Liability, Employment-related Practices, Environmental Impairment, Underground Storage Tank, Stop Gap Liability and International Coverages.
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