What is Bus Insurance?
Buses are unique vehicles, and driving them presents risks that few other vehicles come with. Since buses have the unique role of transporting many people, they’re often insured with specialized bus insurance coverage that Massachusetts insurers make available.
Bus insurance is specialized commercial insurance that’s crafted for buses. In order to meet the multiple protection needs that bus operators have, most of these policies come as package policies which combine several coverages together.
What Sorts of Massachusetts Businesses Need Bus Policies?
Most Massachusetts businesses that operate buses should have a bus policy, and not carrying this type of policy could leave a business exposed to both insurance and legal risks. A few examples of businesses that operate buses and therefore ought to consider these policies include:
- Charter buses
- Coach buses
- Tour buses
- School buses
Do Bus Policies Include Workers Compensation for Drivers?
Workers compensation normally provides coverage for workplace injuries and illnesses, and most businesses in Massachusetts that have employees are required to carry the coverage. Bus companies frequently need it even if they have personal injury protection and medical payments coverage (see below), for drivers can be injured in ways other than accidents.
Workers compensation normally isn’t included in bus policies, however. Instead, it’s more often purchased as a separate policy that provides this one protection. An agent who’s familiar with bus policies can also assist with workers compensation.
What Coverages Are Available Through Bus Policies?
The coverages that bus policies provide generally meet state-minimum requirements, but they also offer options to purchase much more protection. Some of the specific coverages to consider when selecting and customizing a bus policy are:
- Collision Coverage, which typically covers damage to a bus that occurs during a multi-vehicle collision
- Comprehensive Coverage, which typically covers damage to a bus that occurs in non-collision incidents
- Personal Injury Protection, which typically covers injuries to persons who are on a bus
- Medical Payments Coverage, which typically covers medical care for injuries to persons on a bus
- Bodily Injury Coverage, which typically covers injuries to persons who aren’t on a bus
- Property Damage Coverage, which typically covers damage to others’ property
- Underinsured and Uninsured Motorist Coverage, which typically covers accidents caused by improperly insured drivers
When selecting these coverages and their corresponding limits, it’s important to keep in mind how expensive a bus accident can become. Many passengers don’t wear seatbelts, leaving them more susceptible to injury during an accident. Any related medical costs only multiple if more than one person is hurt.
An insurance agent who specializes in bus policies can help operators determine their particular risk exposure, and choose coverages and limits accordingly.
How Are Premiums for Bus Policies Calculate?
Insurance companies base bus policy premiums on many different factors, often including the following:
- Number of buses being insured
- Number of passengers each bus holds
- Number of miles buses are driven each year
- Tenure of drivers in commercial driving
- Past driving records of drivers
In some cases, other considerations come into play. Whether buses carry wheelchairs, carry children and/or cross state lines can all affect premiums, as can many other details.