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Tour Bus Company Risks and How to Mitigate Them
When you run a tour bus company, you provide people with the opportunity to see things they’d never see otherwise. A tour bus company provides a valuable service and luxury to people. It’s just a good business.
But when you own a tour bus, you also take on significant risks. You are putting dozens and even hundreds of people’s lives in your hands. How do you handle the risks for tour bus companies?
By the time you finished reading this article, you will understand the risks for tour bus companies as well as how to mitigate those risks.
Tour Bus Company Risks With Drivers and Equipment
When you own a tour bus company, you are rarely the driver of the bus or buses. You manage the fleet, hire people to maintain the buses, and schedule the tours. You can run a successful tour business without ever sitting behind the wheel of your bus.
When you do this, though, you’re running some significant risks. After all, you’re not in control, and you must vet and trust your drivers implicitly. Here are some common problems with bus drivers and their equipment:
- Driver irresponsibility such as texting, eating, drinking, or doing paperwork while driving
- Speeding drivers
- Tired drivers due to customers or employers who force a driver to stay behind the steering wheel for too long
- Drivers who do not stay proficient with their training
- Inadequate GPS devices meant specifically for cars and not buses
- Damaged, worn-out, or low tire pressure
- Poor bus maintenance
- Failing to keep up with mechanical recalls
- Inadequate awareness that leads to hitting pedestrians with a bus mirror
- Non-functioning emergency exits
- Wild guests who hang out windows or doors
If you allow a driver without proper licensing and training to operate a bus, the Department of Transportation will fine you up to $25,000. So if you think you can bypass some of these problems by just driving your own bus, don’t. Seek proper training and licensing.
Risks of Lawsuits
When you run a tour bus company, you automatically open yourself up to all kinds of potential lawsuits. You’re working with hundreds of different people, some of whom are ready and willing to sue you for even the smallest infraction.
In the eyes of federal and state law, a bus is called a common carrier because it transports people from one place to another. This label counts for buses of all kinds, commercial airplanes, cruise ships, taxis, and certain trucks.
As a common carrier, bus drivers should follow all traffic laws, stop at a reasonably safe place for their passengers, and not make risky maneuvers. A driver’s failure to do these things results in negligence. If someone is injured because of the driver’s negligence, the victim may sue you, the tour bus owner.
A court of law will have to determine who is liable for a tour bus accident. Is it the negligent driver, or is it a negligent company who hired the driver? The liability all depends on what caused the accident in the first place.
Mitigating Tour Bus Company Risks
If you want to own a tour bus and dip your toes into the tourism industry, you can best mitigate your risk by taking on enough commercial automobile insurance. Such insurance is an important piece of risk management and risk mitigation.
Sometimes the insurance is enough to just discourage people from trying to sue you. Once they know you have liability insurance, they know they can’t win as easily as if you had left yourself wide open.
So get insurance. It will cover your vehicles, drivers, and passengers. It will also help your repair the bus and get you back on your feet financially as soon as possible.
What Determines The Cost Of Business Insurance?
Not all business insurance for bus tour companies costs the same. Several factors play into the overall cost of the insurance including:
- The average number of trips you make in a year
- How many buses you have in your fleet
- How many bus trips you make
- Your financial strength and ability to risk finances for this business
- Claim history
You can also mitigate your risks and lower your insurance cost by boosting your safety efforts. Your insurance company will share things you can do to lower your insurance costs and improve the finances of your touring business.
Don’t let the cost of insurance deter you from purchasing it. Without it, you need just one incident and a motivated tourist to ruin your entire tourism industry dream. Good insurance agents will work closely with us to create the best plan for your needs.
Proper Licensing and Bus Maintenance
You also lower your risk of future problems with your tour bus when you ensure your drivers have proper training. Tour bus drivers need a class B CDL license with a passenger endorsement. They have to pass a bus driver’s physical as well to ensure they’re fit to drive a tour bus.
Offer your drivers ongoing training so they know what to do should something happen like a fire on the bus or a passenger who collapses on the bus.
Also, equip your buses with safety equipment. Every bus should have a first aid kit. Invest in an automated external defibrillator (AED) for each tour bus as well.
Then set up a proper maintenance schedule for your bus to avoid any mechanical problems down the road.
All of these steps help you and your drivers avoid risks in the future.
Insure and Rest Easy
You take on significant risk when you start your own tour bus company. However, you also take on an adventurous, fun life where you get to see people enjoy the world.
You can mitigate the risks for tour bus companies with the right safety measures in place and the right insurance partner.
If you’re looking for some insurance for your tour bus fleet or your business overall, give us a call.
We are an insurance broker who can connect you with the best insurance for your needs. You can request an insurance quote from us today. Take time to learn from us and then request an insurance quote from us.
Learn more about tour bus insurance and get the ball rolling by filling out the form at the top of the page to start the quote process. You can also contact us at 877-585-2853 and firstname.lastname@example.org.
Rick J. Lindsey hails from Salt Lake City, Utah. He began working in the mailroom of his father’s Salt Lake City insurance firm, getting his introduction to the business that became his lifelong career. Rick J. Lindsey quickly rose through the ranks while working in nearly every imaginable insurance industry job. As an entrepreneur, specialty lines underwriter, claims specialist, risk manager, and a licensed surplus lines broker, Rick J. Lindsey is highly skilled in all levels of leadership and execution. As he progressed on his career path, Rick J. Lindsey discovered an urgent need for insurers willing to write policies for high-risk individuals and businesses. He was frequently frustrated that he could not provide the liability protection these entities desperately needed to safeguard their assets. He also formed the belief that insurance companies acted too quickly to settle frivolous claims. Rick J. Lindsey decided to try a different approach. He started an insurance company and became the newly formed entity’s CEO. This opportunity has enabled Rick J. Lindsey to fill a void in the market and provide a valuable service to businesses, individuals, and insurance agents who write high-risk business. XINSURANCE also specializes in helping individuals and businesses who live a lifestyle or participate in activities that make them difficult for traditional carriers to insure. If you’ve been denied, non-renewed, or canceled coverage, don’t give up quite yet. Chances are XINSURANCE can help.