Question: Why Don’t Insurance Companies Pay “Downtime?”
Answer: Most downtime claims are when someone has hit you, you are not at fault and that is a subrogation issue. Downtime is an income coverage which is not standard to commercial auto policies for at-fault accidents and can become more expensive than repairs to a vehicle in some cases.
There are a few insurance companies that offer at-fault coverage and support downtime coverage and these are the insurance companies that understand and specialize in public transportation. In most cases, the limits for downtime are very specific and have a maximum.
You also must be able to prove that the vehicle could not be replaced, that the vehicle earns a specific amount of money on a regular basis, and that it was actually pre-booked at the time of the accident. One helpful thing about having at-fault coverage for downtime is that you can file not-at-fault claims and then have your insurance company subrogate these claims on your behalf and go after more than you received if warranted.
Please remember that subrogation is the transfer of rights to a claim from you to the carrier. Normally the insurance companies will only subrogate the losses they incurred, not any additional losses such as your deductible, downtime, diminished value, etc.
Always speak with an insurance agent who specializes in public transportation to get the best advice.
About Lee Martinez
Lee Martinez is the President of Transpo Insurance and has more than 20 years of experience in the chauffeured transportation industry as a broker, managing general agent, and an operator. He is one of only three LimoPro Council members for the Willis Programs, a board member of the Greater California Limousine Association, and he has offices in Denver; Long Beach, Calif.; and Las Vegas. His companies offer insurance products in 22 states and he insures more than 5,500 livery vehicles in those states. Martinez also developed an internet Safety Training Program which is available at www.stop-program.com and he is a managing partner of ProTrans West, a managing general agency, which offers livery insurance products to retail brokers in the 22 western states. He can be reached at (702) 364-4727 or [email protected]