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Thread: New Party Bus in PA

  1. #1
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    Default New Party Bus in PA

    Hello,
    I'm looking to start a party bus service in PA. I've received my PUC number. I'm still trying to get an insurance quote (first time in this type of business). Do I have to have to insure my bus as limo or is there is other type of insurance I can use? Its a 20 pax E450. From I heard I hear so far the insurance could be $10000+ for $1.5m policy. Im near Philly but not in Philly. Please advise.
    I only have 30 days to submit my insurance to PUC for validation.

  2. #2

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    Good luck. I have been working on getting quotes for about 3 weeks and have called probabaly 50 to 75 companies. I have had 3 brokers give me the time of day and only 1 quote to show for it as of yesterday. This is for a NON party bus and in Virginia. $6901/year for 1.5 million coverage, another 8k for 5 mil. My advice is google "party bus insurance" and start calling. Also I would have a brief resume prepared, including any pro driving experience/business management experience, a copy of your current motor vehicle record, and VIN of bus. I can PM you some of the brokers that I have been working with if you want...they may or may not be able to help you in PA.
    Last edited by kawizx62003; December 21st, 2013 at 05:32 AM.

  3. #3

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    First, you will need $5 mil in coverage not $1.5 mil. Because you have no history it will cost you at least $17k - $20k per year to insure your bus. If you have any questions, let me know as I am in Philadelphia and have plenty of experience.

  4. #4

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    Also, sounds like a CDL vehicle, so unless you already have a cdl or employee with cdl experience, it might be EVEN TOUGHER! I am only speaking as a new start up and including the info I have learned since beginning my journey!

  5. #5

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    Did you plan and do some research prior to applying to the PUC for your license?

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    Super Moderator gunny's Avatar
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    If the buses* are 16pax or higher, simply obtain DOT minimum insurance and tell the state & locals to pound sand pursuant to federal case law on economic regulation of buses providing intrastate charter transportation.

    *Any vehicle regardless of body style
    Airport Limo Service Spring Hill, Brooksville, Citrus County FL
    http://gunnysairportlimo.com/tampa_a...ce_spring_hill

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    Default Thanks for your input

    Thanks for your advice. I have seen your buses around Philly and love your fleet. I can definitely use some advice from you. It always great to learn from guys like you who are already seasoned in the business.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Trophylimo View Post
    Did you plan and do some research prior to applying to the PUC for your license?
    I did some research. as you know stuff jump at you by surprise. I'm still learning. I'd definitely love to schedule a sit with you for some schooling in this business. If that's not too much to ask. Thank for your advice.

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    As a fairly newly formed company myself, I've done exactly what you've described. I've been on the phone with numerous insurance companies trying to find a premium that won't put my out of business in the first month. For a 2007 100" 8 pax limousine, I got quotes ranging from $5,000 - $11,000 per year. I had no loss run history to prove, and only 1 other vehicle at time. I finally was able to find a company (out of MA) to write a voluntary policy at $3051 for $1.5M coverage. I added a 14 pax minibus for $3500 soon after.

    I'm not sure if it would have been any more difficult for a CDL vehicle. I'm inclined to believe it would have been.

    Best of luck!
    Ryan Lord
    Signature Limousine Company
    New Bedford, MA
    SignatureLimo@comcast.net
    www.signaturelimocompany.com

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    Quote Originally Posted by Signaturelimo View Post
    As a fairly newly formed company myself...I've been on the phone with numerous insurance companies trying to find a premium that won't put my out of business in the first month.
    If insurance costs put a new venture out of business then that business was going to fail to begin with. If an operator believes that their insurance costs are to great and they haven't had any losses, can you imagine where they would be after a loss? What about a hard-market causing increases across the board?

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    Mr. Brun,

    I don't disagree with you. I understand the risk an insurance company takes when writing policies to new companies, or companies with only a hand full of vehicles, and the volatile nature of our industry. On the other side, extremely high insurance premiums could potentially prevent a new entrepreneur (like myself) from either a). penetrating industry, or b). expanding.

    With my own small business, I’m a one man show with 2 vehicles. I manage booking, cleaning, driving, maintenance, DOT files, accounting, etc. It’s a part time venture for me because it’s something I enjoy doing on the side. For me, a $10K insurance premium certainly would have stopped me dead in my tracks from purchasing a limousine. I don’t do that much revenue with it per year. I have a minibus that runs a daily commuter service. That is stable and sustainable income. But again, with a high insurance premium, in order to run that at a profit, I’d have to charge high commuter tickets to cover costs, which would drive away passenger ridership. Then I can’t pay my bills.

    In our industry, and as an owner, it’s my responsibility to find a happy medium of what a customer is willing to pay for my service, and what I’m willing to pay for service to safely operate a transportation company for the public with the proper coverage I need.
    Last edited by Signaturelimo; December 23rd, 2013 at 09:29 AM. Reason: grammar change
    Ryan Lord
    Signature Limousine Company
    New Bedford, MA
    SignatureLimo@comcast.net
    www.signaturelimocompany.com

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    Quote Originally Posted by gunny View Post
    If the buses* are 16pax or higher, simply obtain DOT minimum insurance and tell the state & locals to pound sand pursuant to federal case law on economic regulation of buses providing intrastate charter transportation.

    *Any vehicle regardless of body style
    Gunn,
    when you go with the DOT insurance what are limitation in terms of local business. Wouldn't PUC harasses you left and right for skipping them?

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    Super Moderator gunny's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by vedette View Post
    Gunn,
    when you go with the DOT insurance what are limitation in terms of local business. Wouldn't PUC harasses you left and right for skipping them?
    I settled this issue in federal court and the lower court ruling was upheld by the 11th Circuit. Obtain your intrastate DOT Numbers and Insurance as well as any inspection required. State or Local economic regulation of "any" vehicle designed to haul 16+ passengers is a bus pursuant to the established case law and any state or local economic regulation of such vehicles engaged in providing chartered transport is preempted pursuant to Title 49 14501 (a)(1) (C) Fed Statutes:


    (1) Limitation on state law.— No State or political subdivision thereof and no interstate agency or other political agency of 2 or more States shall enact or enforce any law, rule, regulation, standard, or other provision having the force and effect of law relating to—

    (C) the authority to provide intrastate or interstate charter bus transportation.
    This paragraph shall not apply to intrastate commuter bus operations, or to intrastate bus transportation of any nature in the State of Hawaii.
    Airport Limo Service Spring Hill, Brooksville, Citrus County FL
    http://gunnysairportlimo.com/tampa_a...ce_spring_hill

  14. #14

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    Does the PUC number give you authority to engage in group & party service in vehicles seating 16 or more persons, including the driver? If you have a PUC number for limousine authority, you will be unable to register the bus in PA, unless you have group and party for 16 or more. I ask because you made this statement mentioning limo. "Do I have to have to insure my bus as limo or is there is other type of insurance I can use?"

    I think Gunny's point is moot in this case, because it is the DOT that requires the higher insurance amount, not the state PUC. The PUC only requires 1,000,000.00 of liability, but the USDOT requires 5,000,000.00 for 16 and above including the driver. You will need to register and obtain a USDOT number to operate legally inside PA.
    Jonathan
    Premiere #1 Limousine Service
    2000 Vine St
    Middletown, PA17057
    ph 717-616-8997
    fax 717-616-8415
    jonathans@premiere1limousine.com
    http://www.premiere1limousine.com/
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    @Premiere1Limo

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    Super Moderator gunny's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Premiere #1 Limousine View Post
    Does the PUC number give you authority to engage in group & party service in vehicles seating 16 or more persons, including the driver? If you have a PUC number for limousine authority, you will be unable to register the bus in PA, unless you have group and party for 16 or more. I ask because you made this statement mentioning limo. "Do I have to have to insure my bus as limo or is there is other type of insurance I can use?"

    I think Gunny's point is moot in this case, because it is the DOT that requires the higher insurance amount, not the state PUC. The PUC only requires 1,000,000.00 of liability, but the USDOT requires 5,000,000.00 for 16 and above including the driver. You will need to register and obtain a USDOT number to operate legally inside PA.
    The $5 million is for interstate operations.

    Actually states set ins requirements for commercial "intrastate" operations. If PUC requires any type of registration (licensing) as a prerequisite to provide intrastate charter bus transport, they are in violation of the federal preemption. About 6 years ago I did read a Pa PUC memo/regulation addressing the requirement of motor carriers being required to register and if such violated federal regs where the PUC ruled that any vehicle over 15pax engaged in charter transport was exempt from such requirement.

    If they are now requiring such, they are in violation of federal law as determined from "my" court case.
    Last edited by gunny; January 6th, 2014 at 11:46 AM.
    Airport Limo Service Spring Hill, Brooksville, Citrus County FL
    http://gunnysairportlimo.com/tampa_a...ce_spring_hill

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