Two of the Bad Ones

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Two types of accidents result in the worst possible scenarios for the insurance carrier defending you. Can you guess which ones they are? Rear-enders and pedestrians. Regardless of the circumstances, 99% of the time you are at fault while behind the wheel in either of these incidents. These two types of claims by far result in the highest settlements we see in the insurance industry. We all have been in situations while in traffic, or just driving behind someone, where the person you’re following jams on his/her brakes. You can’t stop, and contact is made. The worst part about these claims is we all know how to prevent them. That’s right – a proper following distance!! You and I both know that in order to have enough time to stop, you have to give yourself time to react and apply the brakes. Especially in a school bus, where you need that much more time to do so.

When a bus or motor vehicle makes contact with a pedestrian, the driver is always at fault. Pedestrians always have the right of way. Most often we see these claims in urban settings. Cars parked on both sides of the streets and delivery trucks double parked making a drop off are both scenarios which require an extra sharp eye as the driver. A person darting out in front of you can be difficult to avoid if you are not going slow enough to stop. A ball rolling across a street or road often has a child in hot pursuit of it.

To show you how absolute “pedestrians always have the right of way” is, the following illustrates what happened to one of our clients. A limousine in New York City was exiting a main street onto a side street. A homeless man, not paying attention walked into the side of the car. The impact knocked him down and broke his wrist. Not only did the insurance carrier pay all of the medical bills, but a nominal amount was paid for pain and suffering.

The moral of the story is: You cannot be too careful while operating a personal or commercial vehicle.

Which insurance carrier is the right fit for you? Should you move your coverage for the best price all the time? Should you carry physical damage coverage on all your vehicles? Does a liability deductible make sense for your situation? Are you being sued by a chauffeur you let go for wrongful termination? What should you do?

Insurance and coverage issues can be confusing. We have over 20 years in the public auto insurance marketplace. There isn’t too much we haven’t seen. Let us sort it out for you.

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Dan is Regional Vice President at Capacity Coverage Group in Mahwah, NJ and has over 20 years of nationwide experience in the public transportation insurance industry specializing in limousine, school bus and almost any fleet and livery insurance issue. He was recently published in Limousine Digest. Read his article “But He’s One of Our Best Chauffeurs!” which was excerpted in the November 2012 issue at

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Contact Dan Thompson for questions or for more information on Public Transportation Insurance.