There are several excursion insurance requirements for tour operators who contract with cruise lines and resort hotels, or sub-contract to other major tour companies. These requirements are a necessity for any tour or excursion operator to compete in a business that places heavy emphasis on the quality and amount of the liability insurance policy of a service provider that they refer their guest to.
Without the proper liability protection, tour and excursion operators will inevitably miss opportunities to provide services to these customers, and will miss out on profit opportunities for their company.
Excursion Insurance Basics
Contingent General Liability
Also referred to as Third Party or Public Liability, covers bodily injury and property damage to tourists in your care, custody and control while participating in an excursion tour. This coverage excludes auto, aircraft and motorboats. Non-motorized watercraft such as kayaks; canoes; sunfish; etc. are included. This does not replace any business property or liability coverage placed locally. This insurance is mandatory for mitigating exposure for any tour operator dealing directly with the public. This includes every service from ziplines or river rafting tours, cultural walking tours or museum tours to vehicle and watercraft rentals.
The liability insurance coverage should include third party claims for personal injury, property damage or loss and the legal cost in settling the claims. The claims against tour operators can be settled out of court in some cases, but there is usually a monetary settlement involved that could potentially bankrupt a tour operator without adequate insurance coverage.
Contingent Auto Liability
This coverage is excess auto liability coverage over and above your local compulsory automobile insurance and includes coverage for owned, hired and non owned vehicles.
Contingent Watercraft LiabilitySimilar to the Contingent Auto Liability, this covers owned, hired and non-owed watercraft having a motor that carries passengers for hire.
These programs may include the following protection; refer to your policy for specific coverage:
- Damage to the vehicle or watercraft from the person using it,
- Injury and property damage or loss to participants on the tour if an accident occurs,
- Medical expenses for injuries.
Insurance policies are usually customized to cover potential accidents based on the types of vehicles and watercraft as well as their function. While some tour companies may own their buses, many contract with bus companies to transport guests on their tours at various locations. They may also hire local tour guides.
The local bus company should have coverage for their fleet, their employees and third party coverage in the event of an accident while tour guests are aboard. The tour operator generally holds the sub-contractor, the bus company, responsible for personal injury and property damage and loss. If a bus or van breaks down, the transportation contractor must provide another vehicle to bring passengers to the cruise ship or airport on time.
Vehicle and equipment operators must advise their guests on all safety requirements and procedures related to the particular tour or excursion when required. It is the tour operator’s responsibility to prepare the guest with the emergency procedures in advance of any event for the safety and protection of all guests.