General Liability: Does your current policy cover what you think
By Tim O’Bryan
BUSRide recently sat down with Tim O’Bryan, president of Service Insurance Agency, Richmond, VA, to discuss General Liability and how it affects safety and efficiency at motorcoach operations and public transit agencies. General Liability insurance (GL) protects businesses against property damage, bodily injury and other claims.
What circumstances does commercial General Liability cover?
Motorcoach operators want to make sure that, whenever possible, they have Auto Liability and General Liability coverage from the same insurance company. The reason is that most people have property coverage for the physical premises of their building. If I slip and fall on their premises, that’s a claim against General Liability / premise coverage.
Motorcoach operators should always make sure their lot is secure for this reason, thus reducing the risk of injury for the general public.
If operators only have General Liability in conjunction with their property policy and someone slips and falls while getting off a stationary bus away from your business location, then the property / premise coverage may not apply. Many operators can save premium dollars by eliminating the General Liability coverage from their property policy if they have a General Liability policy with same insurance company as the Auto Liability policy.
Transit agencies have multiple pick-ups at all of their bus stops. Those are extensions of their property, so they must obviously be maintained, well-lit and generally safe.
For a bus company, there’s a lot of grey area between General Liability and Auto Liability. It’s recommended to have your General Liability and Auto Liability policies through the same carrier, to reduce confusion about which company is covering a claim.
“Operators should always make sure their lot is secure.”
What more can agencies and operators do to make the most of their General Liability coverage?
It’s not a very expensive coverage. What we’re seeing is that certain motorcoach customers and destinations – airports, school districts, casinos and other groups – want higher limits on General Liability coverage because they think it’s necessary. In the bus business, operators want to make sure they’re meeting these limits and understand the extra expense associated with higher limits.
What other factors should operators stay mindful of?
At a transit agency with big facilities, make sure security is up to par. Lot securement is key so that members of the public don’t just walk on to your yard. People do things from time to time that do not make sense, and, if something does happen on your premise and people are injured, they will likely look to you for payment of any injuries they may have sustained. If the yard’s not secure, there could be vandalism or damage to your vehicles as well.
This series will continue next month!
Tim O’Bryan serves as president of Service Insurance Agency. Since 1952, the company has been committed to the transportation industry. Service Insurance Company strives to provide the most knowledgeable advice and personal service to all of its valued customers. Visit them online at www.serviceins.com.