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7 months ago · by · 1 comment

Non-Emergency Medical Transportation Insurance 101

Managing a transportation business is not easy. Not only do you have to keep a track of the automobiles, but also, the passengers. The risk grows even more if a business handles non- emergency medical transportation (NEMT). This is why, learn how applying for non-emergency medical transportation insurance can simplify your business operations, minimize your financial liabilities and also, protect you from unpleasant surprises.

What is Non-emergency Medical Transportation Insurance? 

 

Similar to other insurance plans, non emergency medical transportation insurance provides financial security to people who operate a NEMT business.

Some states have even made it mandatory for NEMT providers to have non emergency medical transportation insurance. Always check laws of the state that you’re operating in to make sure you comply with at least the minimum insurance level.

If you’re directly in contract with the NEMT program managers of your state, you may need to apply for additional coverage.

What does a  Non-emergency Medical Transportation Insurance Policy Cover?

Depending on your insurance provider and the policy you choose, your non-emergency medical transportation insurance will cover different types of risks, which often includes:

  • Commercial Auto Liability 

Commercial auto liability coverage is a necessity for transportation businesses. In case of an accident where your company is at fault, it will cover the costs for any physical injuries or property damage sustained by the affected parties.

  • General Liability

Your non emergency medical transportation insurance may include general liability. It covers the costs for property damage and bodily injuries caused to your customers due to your services. Depending on your policy general liability insurance for non emergency medical transportation companies  may also offer additional coverage for the allegations of abuse, molestation, neglect and misconduct.

  • Worker’s Compensation

The staff of a NEMT business is at a greater risk of sustaining injuries because caring for NEMT passengers requires a considerable degree of care and assistance. Therefore, always check in with your non-emergency medical transportation insurance providers and verify whether your policy covers workers compensation or not.

  • Assault and Battery Liability

Take the example that you’re late for picking a customer up and during that time, someone attacks them. They can sue you by claiming that if you had arrived on time, the attack may have never happened. Some NEMT insurance carriers may also provide assault and battery liability to protect you from the costs incurred by such legal problems.

  • Hired & Non-Owned Liability

If your non-emergency medical transportation business uses vehicles that you do not own then it’s worth looking into hired & non-owned auto coverage. It protects you from liability expenses for accidents involving both rented and employee-owned vehicles used for work purposes.

Does my Business need  Non-emergency Medical Transportation Insurance? 

Without a doubt, NEMT insurance is essential for your business. As a NEMT provider, it is your responsibility to keep your passengers safe. Although you cannot control everything that happens in your surroundings, what you can control is to prepare yourself for such events by securing NEMT insurance.

Keep in mind that your passengers already have a pre-existing medical condition – it’s the reason they require your services in the first place. Their condition may significantly increase the chances of an unforeseen medical event. In case something unfortunate does occur, NEMT insurance will help you shoulder the financial liabilities.

Why is  Non-emergency Medical TransportationInsurance the Best Auto Insurance to have for Medical Transport?

As discussed above, your NEMT insurance policy covers more than just commercial auto liability. Depending on the insurance provider you choose, NEMT insurance will prepare you for just about any scenario including general liability, workers compensation and assault & battery.

However, this is one of the reasons why NEMT insurance can be more expensive in comparison to other regular insurance plans. But, ultimately it is worth the investment if you’re running a medical transport business.

How to Find Reliable  Non-emergency Medical Transportation Insurance Carriers?

Before you begin your non-emergency medical transportation business, the first step is to find reliable NEMT insurance carriers. How can you do that? Start your search by contacting multiple insurance providers and creating a list of options.

After that, get a quote from them and ask more about what their policy covers. Keep in mind that cheaper isn’t always the better – the industry experience, along with the track record of the insurance company are two of the biggest determining factors.

Similarly, it’s also worth checking in with other non-emergency medical transportation companies and asking them about the insurance provider they’re working with. This will help you get a decent number of leads directly from those who are in the business.

If you’re looking for a NEMT insurance provider in the Southwest then our insurance agent can help you get the coverage for NEMT insurance in Arizona and surrounding states at an extremely market competitive price.

What to Look Out for while Applying for  Non-emergency Medical Transportation Insurance?

Before you proceed with any financial transactions, always verify the license of the insurance agency to avoid frauds.

Also, be sure to carefully go through the exclusions of the NEMT insurance policy you’re about to purchase. For instance, some policies may not include general liability, which is an important part of running a non-emergency medical transportation business.

Consult the insurance agent or broker you trust and let them know your requirements so they can find you the best coverage.

How to Apply for Non-Emergency Medical Transportation Insurance?

Applying for NEMT insurance is quite similar to any other type of insurance plan. You simply have to pick an insurance carrier and get a quote.

Once you have discussed the specifics of the insurance policy with the insurance carrier and what it covers, all you have to do is complete the paperwork and pay the premium.

In fact, modern insurance companies have made the process much easier now and everything can be done online.

In case of any confusion, our agent can further guide you through the process and assist you to find and apply for the best insurance coverage.

Can you get  Non-emergency Medical Transportation Insurance for a Single Vehicle?

Purchasing insurance for all your vehicles may not be feasible for new NEMT business owners. So can you get non-emergency medical transportation insurance for a single vehicle? Absolutely.

However, the cost depends on the insurance company that you’re dealing with. Generally, you can expect to pay up to $14,000 per vehicle per year – which may vary depending on your driving history and other factors that we’ll discuss in the sections below.

How is the Cost of  Non-emergency Medical Transportation Insurance Determined?

Determining the costs of any insurance plan is not as black and white and the same applies to non-emergency medical transportation insurance. The insurance providers first have to evaluate the risk factors and correlate them to a monetary value.

Typically, the risk factors are broken down into the three following categories:

  • Historical Factors
  • Direct Factors
  • Forward-Looking Factors

What Factors Can Affect the Cost of NEMT Insurance? 

As expensive as non-emergency medical transportation insurance may sound, you don’t always have to pay a small fortune for it. In fact, if you have more knowledge on what makes the prices increase – you may be able to make some adjustments to get a better deal.

So let’s look at a couple of factors that can significantly affect the cost of NEMT insurance:

  • Driving History & Record

It shouldn’t come as a surprise that your previous track record and driving history can have detrimental effects on the cost of your NEMT insurance plan.

Your non-emergency medical transportation insurance carriers are thoroughly going to check the MVR (motor vehicle records) of every driver you employ. Violations such as speeding tickets, accidents, moving tickets will act as dirt on their resume and make the insurance costs rise.

But wait, there’s more – Even the experience level of the NEMT business owner(s) will come into play. If you have a proven track record of safely running a transportation business, then that may act in your favor and help you get better rates. However, if you have a history of getting into trouble then, needless to say, it will create problems for you.

On the contrary, those who are new to the field do not have any track record to show, so the uncertainty may also contribute to higher rates.

  • Number of Vehicles & Maintenance 

It’s quite obvious that the more vehicles your business operates, the higher the insurance costs will be. That’s because operating more vehicles also increases the overall chances of accidents – and this is solely based on numbers, without the experience level of the drivers taken into account.

However, depending on the insurance company you’re choosing, there’s a chance that you may be able to negotiate a reasonable deal. And it may still be cheaper for you than getting just a single vehicle insured.

Similarly, the overall condition of the vehicles also heavily influences the price of the insurance policy. Normally, when you’re applying for non-emergency medical transportation insurance, you want to make sure that all your vehicles are in top condition.

That’s because the more worn out a vehicle looks, the higher the chances of a mechanical failure, which as a result, may lead to an accident.

  • Type of Vehicle

If you upgrade from an SUV to a sports car, your automobile insurance rates will most likely increase. The reason for that is, an SUV is equipped with more comprehensive safety features. And of course, you’re prone to drive a sports car in a riskier style as that’s one of the reasons most people purchase it, to begin with.

Similarly, the same applies in the case of non-emergency medical transportation insurance. The vehicles you operate can make a significant impact on the insurance cost. Whether you’re driving stretchers, ambulatory or wheelchair vehicles, each of them have varying insurance costs and come with their own fair share of risks.

For instance, if we look at wheelchair and stretcher vehicles they pose a greater risk to passenger safety because if the wheelchair and the stretcher are not properly secured during travel, they may lead the patient to an injury.

So the higher rate of injury in wheelchair and stretcher vehicles also contributes to a higher NEMT insurance cost. It’s worth pointing that the more safety features your vehicles have, the more money you will save while purchasing a NEMT insurance policy.

  • Professional Training

Professional training can go a long way in helping NEMT providers avoid risky situations. There are a wide range of courses that non-emergency medical transportation employees can undergo to learn how to better respond under critical circumstances in order to minimize the dangers.

The training courses may include better preparing the drivers to stay safe on the road. Especially keeping mind that a large number of accidents can be avoided if the drivers do not panic.

Similarly, it also includes equipping the staff with more knowledge on how they can secure a wheelchair in the vehicle. The more training courses your employees complete, the better they can deal with unforeseen circumstances on the road.

Moreover, it will instill a continuous sense of learning in your organization as well as promote a safe culture. Completion of such courses can get you a better NEMT insurance quote as insurance providers often review the knowledge of NEMT staff and how they act under certain situations.

  • Location

Each state and locality has its own laws and regulations. While some of them may play in your favor, others would leave a bigger dent on your bank account. From the geographic concerns to the overall road safety measures taken by the governing bodies, all of it can contribute to the cost of your non-emergency medical transportation insurance policy.

To simply put it, suppose you’re operating in both Arizona and New Mexico and reach out to the same insurance carriers. There’s a great chance that they may quote you different rates for the same policy even if you have the same vehicle fleet.

This is why if you have moved to a new state and plan on starting a non-emergency medical transportation business there, always get a fresh quote from a reliable insurance agency.

How are Small NEMT Companies Coping with High Commercial Auto Insurance?

Affording commercial auto insurance can be a challenge for non-emergency medical transportation companies as its high costs can exhaust all their funds. However, it cannot be overlooked as it is a necessity for NEMT businesses.

Small NEMT companies can take the following steps to lower the sky-rocketing commercial auto insurance costs:

  • Employ Drivers with a Positive Track Record

Even if you’re only applying for full-auto insurance, on average, it can cost up to $1592 per year. And let’s not forget that this is an estimate for drivers who have a good credit rating and a clean driving history. A small violation such as a speeding ticket can propel that average cost to more than $1750.

What you can do to lower the high commercial auto insurance cost is to look for drivers with a good track record. The more traffic violations a driver has committed, the higher the insurance costs you can expect. Unless they’re highly skilled at what they do, you might want to think things through before you hire them.

  • Keep your Vehicles Well-Maintained 

As we discussed earlier, the better condition your vehicles are in, the lower the insurance quotes you’re going to get. Similarly, the type and the safety features of your vehicles can also play a role. This is why even if you are purchasing used vehicles for your non-emergency medical transportation business – you should at least make sure to go for newer and well-maintained models.

You might have to invest some extra money in the beginning, however, the long-term benefits it provides in reducing the commercial auto insurance costs make it more than worth it.

  • Get Quotes from Multiple Insurance Agencies 

Explore your options and reach out to multiple insurance agencies. If you’re not getting your desired quote from one agency, doesn’t mean you wouldn’t get it from the other either. You can discuss your budget with the insurance providers and negotiate a policy that would help your business get the protection it requires.

If you’re looking for market competitive commercial auto insurance rates, then Professional Insurance Strategies can also assist you. We provide an array of transportation insurances to make sure you can safely operate your business.

Why Choose Professional Insurance Strategies?

The NEMT industry rakes in about 15 billion dollars every year which has led many people to consider a career in this growing field. However, before you start your business, finding reliable non-emergency medical transportation insurance providers comes as a prerequisite.

Otherwise, you may end up dealing with heavy financial losses caused due to reasons such as property damage or bodily injuries to your employees and passengers. If you’re unable to find an insurance provider that fits the bill, then Professional Insurance Strategies can help you settle on a market competitive price for NEMT insurance.

We are an independent insurance agency that has been operating for over 20 years and have provided non-emergency medical transportation insurance to numerous businesses in Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico and Nevada. If you’re in any of these areas, then our dedicated agents will gladly assist you through the process and help you find the best quotes so you can securely run your business!

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