How to Get Railroad Protective Liability Insurance


Railroad contractors that conduct work on or near the railroad's right-of-way may be required to purchase protective liability insurance. This is separate from general liability insurance, which does not cover high-risk activity like working on railroads, thereby requiring the contractor to purchase railroad protective liability insurance on behalf of the railroad. Unlike traditional contractual risk transfer, through which a contractor's policy would protect the railroad, the contractor purchases insurance from an insurance company to protect the railroad from claims against it resulting from the contractor's work.

  • Determine what level of liability the railroad requires. Typically, railroads have two distinct limits each for per-occurrence and general aggregate liability insurance, so be sure to find out both limits, if necessary.

  • Obtain detailed information from the railroad regarding the volume and nature of train traffic in the area requiring work. Underwriters require specific information to determine particularities like whether freight traffic, passenger traffic or both will pass through the area, which will affect the outcome of the policy.

  • Contact an insurance agent or broker capable of procuring railroad protective liability insurance. Provide him with railroad requirements and traffic information. Secure additional information required by the agent to facilitate the completion of a quote.

  • Review quotations provided by the agent to ascertain they meet the railroad's requirements for liability limits, policy wording and quality of insurance company. Discuss the options with the agent, but do not immediately select the least expensive option, as it may not meet all requirements.

  • Bind the insurance coverage with the agent and provide evidence of the coverage in force to the railroad.


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