Insurance Coverage for the Non-Emergency Transporter
Written by: Twin City Group
The non-emergency transportation industry continues to thrive. As Health Insurers begin to accept the need for this coverage, both insurer and insured can benefit from profits and solid coverage. It is a niche category that has stayed out of the spotlight because things rarely go wrong. Regrettably, most commercial auto insurers are not open to accepting this type of risk, primarily because underwriters do not fully understand the nature of the industry.
Emergency versus Non-Emergency
It is important to first discuss the difference between Emergency and Non-Emergency transportation, because therein lies the determination of the risk. In both cases, the transporting vehicle is an “ambulance-style” vehicle, typically fitted with special equipment to meet the needs of the passenger patient.
An Emergency ambulance vehicle and its crew members (usually EMTs) have two primary purposes: Stabilize the patient and transport them to the nearest medical facility as quickly as possible. Time is always of the essence, and the trip to the medical facility is much riskier than a Non-Emergency trip. Lights will be flashing as the vehicle speeds down the roadway and enters intersections.
Non-Emergency transportation involves a much lower risk for the company. These transportation companies use the same types of vehicles and equipment, but they rarely, if ever, operate under emergency circumstances. Non-Emergency transporters are more like a Taxi Service than an Ambulance service, and they run on a pre-arranged schedule. Most often, they provide patient transportation to and from a medical facility, such as their primary care provider or diagnostic facility. The special onboard equipment is for accommodation rather than life-saving purposes. The Non-Emergency transporter is typically ordered and paid by an insurance carrier, and the transportation is always prearranged; therefore, the risk is much lower.
The non-emergency transportation provider generally deals with the same risks as any transportation business. In fact, the only differences between non-emergency transportation providers and a typical passenger transportation company are the nature of the vehicle and the type of passenger involved. A typical package policy for the non-emergency transporter will include:
- Auto Liability Insurance
- Physical Damage coverage for specialty vehicles
- Physical Damage coverage for equipment such as lifts and ramps
- Inland Marine coverage for onboard equipment and supplies
- Property Insurance for the transporter’s premises
- General liability
- Workers’ Compensation
- Excess or Umbrella for the auto and premises liability
- Professional Liability
The coverages listed are virtually the same as any other passenger transport company. They are offered primarily by insurers that specialize in the industry and have developed programs specific to these risks. Transporters should be prepared for some serious underwriting review, such as loss runs for the previous five-year period and driving records for each driver and technician operating their vehicles.
Contact an insurance professional at Twin City Group and let them put their experience and market access to work for all of your Non-Emergency Transportation insurance needs.