Bus Insurance: How to ensure your school bus is safe and covered

While driving down the street, you may have noticed the emergence of the big yellow school bus from its summer hibernation. Fall has arrived and brought with it rustling morning traffic to start off the school day. Operating a school bus can be a delicate feat with all this commotion. According to a report from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, between 2004 and 2013 there were 116 fatalities caused by school transportation. Sixty-two percent of those were from school buses. Although these statistics are drastically safer when compared to privately owned cars and trucks, as a driver and school bus provider you want to play it safe.

Know the code

Hiring and maintaining drivers who have been properly trained and are aware of the safety standards of your district is key. Checking credentials is the first step in preventing accidents. Consider also providing safety incentives and providing your drivers with cameras and GPS equipment to help them carry out your safety expectations. The state of Arizona suggests liability insurance can be purchased by the district or driver. Talk with a provider to see if more coverage is necessary and to make sure your drivers, passengers, and equipment are covered.

Watch for Xings

Especially at railroad crossings, drivers should take caution to be hyper aware of the space they have to cross and their surroundings. Make sure to turn down the radio and other distractions when crossing. Do not change the gears of the vehicle when crossing. Crossings and turns should be approached with care in order to prevent accidents.

Plan routes safely

Take care to plan routes which avoid narrow streets or those with increased traffic flow. Are there obstructed views? How high are the speed limits? Planning now can lead to less stress later.

Report claims quickly

In the case of an accident, make sure your drivers know to report what happened immediately. The sooner your insurer has your claim, the more protection they can provide you. Ideally you should report the claim within the first 24 hours.

Keep safe and start the school year off right. For more safety tips check out the National Safety Council’s website.

Bargains on bus insurance

Whether you own and operate school buses that carry students, buses that carry church members, coaches that bring tourists on sightseeing tours, or local transit buses, Girard Insurance has the insurance coverage you need.

Types of bus insurance coverage

Apart from federal regulations, almost all states require that bus operators have liability insurance. Bus liability insurance protects owners and drivers of buses against the cost of claims regarding property damage and personal injury.

Bus liability insurance covers the cost of claims made against you, your bus driver, and your organization in the event that your bus is involved in an accident in which you’re found to be at fault.

Driver insurance generally covers personal injuries and financial losses to a driver following an accident. And, passenger insurance can cover injuries to passengers and perhaps damage to their belongings.

As well, specific types of business may require special types of coverage, including coverage for school buses, transit buses, and tour buses.

Choosing the right bus insurance

The first step toward choosing the right insurance for your bus or buses is to work with a good insurance team. The commercial insurance professionals here at Girard have more than 25 years of experience in providing the best combination of insurance coverage at an affordable price.

The second step is to work closely with your insurance professionals to help them understand exactly how you use your bus. The amount of time and distance that you operate a bus, as well as where it travels, are critically important factors in determining your premium costs.

For example, if your bus is only used once per week to carry church members, then your coverage needs are different than an operator who runs a full shuttle bus schedule every day of the week.

Likewise, whether your bus only travels locally or whether it routinely crosses state lines during trips will influence the types of coverage you need and the premiums you pay.

Finding bargains on bus insurance

Because of the wide variability in how buses are used, the costs of insuring them can also vary greatly. In order to obtain the maximum coverage at the lowest price, you should work with an insurance provider that is deeply knowledgeable.

Girard Insurance offers you the best of both worlds – affordable prices and exceptional claims service. To find the best bargain on bus insurance, just call us.


How to avoid costly limo insurance claims

In the limousine business, customers count on reliable service. When there’s an issue with your vehicle, you need to resolve it quickly in order to stay on the road. That’s why it’s important to have good limo insurance to protect you and your drivers against liability claims if they arise.

At Girard Insurance, we have the coverage you need to satisfy the state limo insurance requirements. And, we provide the industry’s quickest claim services. We also keep you up to date on the best ways to save on premium costs.

Here are the best ways to reduce limousine insurance claims

According to recent actuarial research, limousines involved in crashes and accidents are disproportionately represented in three key types of crash.

By addressing the reasons for the over-weighting of these three types, drivers and owners can reduce limo insurance claims and premiums.

Left-hand turns are dangerous

Research highlights the fact that even though accidents which happen during left turns are only 2.6% of all claims, they lead to nearly 22% of all claim amounts paid.

These accidents often happen when large slow-moving limos make left turns into oncoming traffic on two-lane roads. It is often difficult for drivers to gauge the speed of an oncoming vehicle, especially at night.

Drivers should be patient and wait to be sure all traffic has passed before turning left. You shouldn’t begin your turn until or unless you’re sure there’s enough time to safely complete it before oncoming traffic arrives.

Crashes in intersections

Similar to left-turn accidents, crashes in intersections can be costly because they often involve several vehicles. Although only about 6% of claims were made for crashes in intersections, nearly 13% of all claim payments were made for those accidents.

Most intersections are nominally controlled by signals or signs, but sometimes drivers distracted by cell phone calls and texting don’t see other vehicles.

It’s always best to drive defensively and assume the other driver doesn’t see you at any given time.

Also, because of the size and length of many limo vehicles, it’s important to beware of any “stale green traffic lights” at intersections which are about to change to red while you’re approaching.

You should cover your brake pedal and decide whether you should stop or continue before reaching the intersection.

Bicyclists and pedestrians

Sometimes a pedestrian or cyclist moves unpredictably into the pathway of a limo. This type of accident is the worst. Although it represents only a tiny fraction of one percent of all claims, still, it adds up to almost 4% of all insurance claim payments.

Drivers should expect pedestrians or cyclists to appear unexpectedly at any time. They should slow down, frequently scan from side to side, and be ready to stop quickly, especially around parked cars, where many limo accidents occur.

Work with the pros

At Girard Insurance, we have 25 years of experience in helping drivers avoid costly limo insurance claims.