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WHEELCHAIR BUS INSURANCE
Owning your own wheelchair bus gives you many advantages as a business. Medical transport companies can offer front door transportation services to handicapped customers, hotels and tour companies can accommodate multiple people in wheelchairs, and taxi services can expand their customer base as well.
Buying a wheelchair bus is a smart investment for any company that provides transportation services to their customers. Keeping that bus safe and operational is an important part of continuing those services however, and the last thing you need is to worry about having it out of service due to an auto accident. There are a number of ways that you can protect the investment you have made by buying a wheelchair bus. Here are the most important types of commercial auto insurance you’ll need to provide that protection:
Liability Insurance – Liability insurance is required by law so that other people have recourse when your bus causes an accident. This insurance also protects your company from expensive lawsuits and litigation when your bus is at fault. Liability insurance will pay for the extra expenses that other drivers incur when your bus is at fault for an auto accident. Extra expenses are generally caused by either bodily injuries or property damages.
- Bodily Injury - When your wheelchair bus causes an accident with another vehicle, the driver and passengers in that vehicle may sustain physical harm. The bodily injury portion of your liability insurance pays for the expenses that arise when treating the injuries. If someone needs to go to the hospital for example, bodily injury pays for the cost of transport. It also pays for the emergency room care, hospital stays, prescription medications, follow up visits with the doctor, and other treatment needed for recovery or rehabilitation. When the other driver or passengers must miss work due to the injuries they sustained in the accident, your bodily injury coverage can compensate them for lost wages. It also pays for the cost of a funeral when someone is fatally injured in the accident.
- Property Damage – Property damage insurance is the second part of your liability coverage. This section pays for the cost of repairing property that was damaged in an auto accident. If your bus driver runs into a parked car on the street for example, the property damages portion of your insurance will pay to have that car repaired back to its pre-accident condition.
Liability insurance is available at many different levels. You select how much coverage you want to protect your wheelchair bus with when you set up the policy. There are two types of benefits coverage: Combined or Split.
A combined limit policy will pay for injuries and damages up to the maximum amount allowed by your policy. A split limit policy pays separate maximum amounts for bodily injuries and property damages.
When you report an accident to your insurance company, you will be required to pay a specified dollar amount known as your insurance deductible. You choose the deductible amount when you set up the policy. The deductible is a monetary amount that your company pays for an accident that your driver caused. For example, if you select a $1,500 deductible then you will have to pay $1,500 out of your own pocket when an accident occurs. The insurance policy will pay any amounts accumulated over and above that initial deductible.
Medical Payments – Medical payments insurance is very important because it provides for the cost of medical care and treatment to your bus driver and all passengers who were in the bus when an auto accident happens. This medical coverage applies no matter who was the cause of the auto accident. It is not available in all areas however, so be sure to contact one of our licensed representatives to see if it’s an option for your company’s commercial insurance policy.
Physical Damage Insurance – Physical damages insurance protects your bus from a myriad of potential risks and harm. It is particularly useful protection if you lease your wheelchair bus or if you have not paid the full finance loan yet, because it provides you with the most loss protection.
- Comprehensive Physical Damage Protection – Comprehensive damage protection provides you with coverage for potential risks such as theft of the bus, break ins, vandalism and natural events. If a storm causes your bus to suffer from hail damage for example, comprehensive damage protection will pay for the repairs. Comprehensive coverage does not protect you from damages caused by a roll over, or those caused by collisions.
- Collision Protection – Collision damage protection is for protection against the dangers that are not covered by your comprehensive policy. If your wheelchair accidentally runs into a customer’s mailbox for example, collision damage protection pays for the repairs that are needed. If your bus overturns in a storm while driving down the road, collision damage will pay for the repairs or replacement needed.
- Specified Peril (CAC) – Fire and Theft with Combined Additional Coverage, CAC, is a more limited version of the comprehensive coverage option. It does not protect you from collisions or roll overs, but it does not provide as much of other types of protection. Also known as specified peril, this insurance only protects you from just those specific things listed on your policy.
Uninsured or Underinsured Motorist - When another driver causes an accident with your wheelchair bus, their liability insurance pays for any repairs needed, and any medical bills that result. If the driver does not have insurance however, or if they do not have enough insurance to cover the damages they have caused, your company could be left to pay the bills alone. You can protect yourself from this event by carrying uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage on your bus instead. This applies coverage similar to your basic liability policy, with your bus and driver or passengers benefiting instead of the other driver.
- Bodily Injury - As covered with Liability Insurance.
- Property Damage - As covered with Liability Insurance.
- Collision Deductible Waiver (CDW) - When you must file an uninsured or underinsured motorist claim, you do not want to have to pay your insurance deductible. When you carry uninsured or underinsured motorist bodily injury coverage, you can get a collision deductible waiver (CDW) for that.
Other Important Commercial Auto Insurance for WHEELCHAIR BUS includes:
- Rental – When your bus is out of service because it needs repairs from an auto accident, rental insurance will pay for the cost of a temporary replacement so that you can continue normal business operations.
- Towing – If your bus is damaged extensively in an accident it may need to be towed away from the scene. Towing insurance takes care of that additional expense.
- Accessories (Ex: mileage meters, navigation units, radios) - Your wheelchair bus has expensive accessories installed on it to help you streamline your business. It may have communications radios installed to keep contact with your company’s dispatcher for example. It may use GPS navigational systems, mileage meters and more as well. Adding accessories insurance to your commercial auto policy protects you from losses to these devices when your bus has an accident.