Whether you own a hotel and are looking into creating a shuttle service to provide guests with a convenient method of transportation or are an enterprising individual looking to start a profitable business, shuttle services are a relatively low-cost option that can provide quick returns. Transporting passengers involves a fair amount of risk, however, and getting your operating license and mitigating the risks to your business and finances will require you to get comprehensive insurance coverage for your fleet.
Policy #1 – Commercial Auto Liability Insurance
Liability insurance covers the damages to persons and property when involved in an accident with a commercial vehicle. This insurance is required by law and is usually the first step in acquiring a business license for anything related to automotive transport.
An important thing to remember is that liability insurance only covers incidents in which the commercial vehicle is at fault. If your shuttle is involved in an accident caused by another driver or a random freak occurrence, you will need alternative policies to cover the damages.
Policy #2 – Medical Payments Coverage
Medical payments insurance pays for medical and related injury expenses that you, your drivers, or your passengers receive from an accident or incident on the road. Medical payment coverage does not depend on fault, so no matter who or what caused the accident, the occupants of the vehicle will get their medical bills paid for through the claim.
Policy #3 – Physical Damage Insurance
These policies will insure your vehicle for damages not covered under your general liability policy. This means collision insurance, comprehensive insurance coverage, and policies that cover damages caused by fire, theft and vandalism. If, for example, termite damage causes a utility pole to fall onto your parked vehicle, you don’t want to have to pay completely out of pocket for it to be repaired.
Policy #4 – Uninsured or Underinsured Motorist Insurance
Despite insurance being mandated by law to operate a personal or commercial vehicle, the number of uninsured drivers on the road is shocking. In California alone, the Insurance Information Institute estimates that a full 16.6% of motorists are uninsured – so one out of every six cars on the road is a dangerous liability. Even if they are insured, many personal policies don’t pay out enough to cover the level of damage the car is capable of inflicting.
This is why it is almost a requirement to purchase uninsured and underinsured motorist insurance – there are far too many drivers on the road who simply cannot pay for the damages to persons and property they are capable of causing. These policies also protect you from hit-and-run incidents, which are especially prevalent when the driver involved is uninsured.
While taken individually, deciding which insurance policies you may need for your shuttle service can quickly get overwhelming. This is why we recommend enlisting the expert services of an insurance broker who can analyze your business and the services it will be providing and recommend a comprehensive suite of policies to ensure your business is well protected. If your shuttle service is operating in the San Diego area, S.W.A.N. Insurance will take the burden off your shoulders and provide you with full protection and help you stay compliant with both the law and your policy.