An emergency air medical transport company, also known as Air ambulance, refers to any form of aircraft equipped with medical supplies, equipment and qualified medical professionals that will offer mobile medical care to a patient during transport to a medical facility.

Note that an emergency air medical transport transports patients to medical facilities when other transportation forms will not be adequate for them to receive the necessary medical care. This means of transportation might be with a helicopter or an airplane; its sole purpose is to ensure the best possible medical care during transport to a medical centre or hospital. Emergency air medical transports are mostly used in emergency medical situations or situations where timing is very crucial to the survival of the patient

Emergency air medical transport service, as a business, is not short of challenges, budget being the first concern, but not the least of it. A good business plan that explicitly states the path to success can easily attract investors.

One thing entrepreneurs or prospective business owners in this industry should understand is that the United States market is pretty saturated. It is, howbeit, recommended that entrepreneurs target the global market.

According to experts, this necessitates looking into legislations that govern the land. While the norms in most developed, capitalistic countries are similar, they can differ a lot when it comes to developing countries and socialistic policies too can pose some government roadblocks.

Also failure to respond to emergencies in this industry can leave your organization with negative brand affinity. To avoid this sort of problem and ensure that your Emergency air medical transport services are always available throughout the year, it is necessary to make arrangements to be available in all weather conditions.

In addition, medical staff needs to be on standby at all times, even though this means additional overheads. A lot of emergency air medical transport companies in the United States overcome this problem by transferring this overhead costs to the end consumer.

Insurance is also another key factor and challenge emergency air medical transport owners must face and tackle squarely. There are many insurance agents that can help you with insurance for your emergency air medical transport company.

Note that most states require you and/or your insurance company to submit forms to the department of transportation to prove that you have adequate levels of insurance. However, these requirements are mostly legislated at the state level and tend to vary based on the state in which you operate.

Necessary Insurance Policies for an Emergency Air Medical Transport Company

Insurance for your emergency air medical transport company is expected to provide protection against accidental injuries or damage inflicted by your aircrafts and business dealings. Air ambulance insurance mostly covers third-party liability bodily injury and property damage claims for business owners. Here are the most important types of emergency air medical transport insurance you should have:

  1. General Liability Insurance

Liability insurance is mandated by law in most states. Commercial general liability insurance covers the expenses of accidental injuries or property damage resulting from the use of your aircraft. This includes bodily injury, disability, and even death resulting from a plane crash. It also includes damage to utility lines, roofs, cars, and other personal property damaged by an aircraft.

  1. Commercial Hull Insurance

“Hull insurance” is a term used in the aviation industry for accidental damage during operation to the aircraft. This is a separate policy and something that every air ambulance company should consider. Hull insurance costs start at $220 annually, but they still have a deductible. If you have more than one aircraft, costs increase according to the total value.

  1. Business Property Insurance

Business or commercial auto insurance covers the general requirements that often happen during the course of running a medical transportation business, including those mentioned above such as general liability. This insurance protects your company against any medical, hospital, or emergency transportation expenses that should arise out of injuries sustained during an accident or other mishap for which your company is liable.

  1. Medical Payments

This is the exact insurance that protects your emergency air medical transport crew and all passengers who are in the aircraft at the time of an accident or mishap. If anyone is injured, no matter the cause, medical payments coverage will take care of the associated medical bills. It is always pertinent you call and speak with a licensed insurance agent to determine if it is a viable option for your emergency air medical transport insurance needs.

  1. Physical Damage Insurance

Note that this insurance coverage protects your aircraft directly. If your aircraft suffers any damaged or was destroyed due to unexpected events and perils, this coverage will ultimately cater for the repairs and replacement of your aircraft. Although quite expensive, it is very important for Emergency medical aircrafts that are not fully paid for, and those that are leased, because it provides the highest level of loss protection your company can get.

It typically protects your aircraft against a wide variety of potential day-to-day risks. It also protects you against damages caused by natural events such as a hail storm and more. This damage protection covers most damages that are not caused by overturning or by collision. If, for instance, your aircraft backs into a hanger wall while parking for refuelling, your collision damages protection will pay for the cost of repairs.

  1. Uninsured or Underinsured Motorist

This type of coverage protects you from suffering financial hardships that can be caused by other people. If airport authority or engineers causes damage in your transport aircraft and they do not have insurance – or they don’t have enough insurance – this coverage caters for the cost of repairs to your aircraft and pays for the bodily injuries of your crew.

  1. Workers Compensation

Agreeably, general liability insurance tend to protect your business from accidents, it is normally not enough to cover damages that you had the power to avoid. It simply means that a lot of workplace injuries aren’t covered. In a worst case scenario, an employee could litigate for the injuries they incurred in the workplace, and that’s where workers comp insurance is the most useful.

Also, if an employee ends up with medical expenses from the workplace accident, workers comp insurance is known to pay them for the time they were out of work, as well as their medical costs. In return, the employee forgoes the right to sue the employer. Also remember that this is a mutually beneficial solution, and it is usually the easiest and quickest one as well. Without workers comp in place, you might end up with a months-long legal battle that will drain the wallets of both business and defendant.

  1. Accessories

Emergency air Medical Transport insurance should include accessories coverage so that you do not have to pay for repairing or replacing expensive equipment you have installed. Accessories coverage can be added to your business insurance to protect you from losses of devices such as GPS navigation units, communications radios and mileage meters.

How much does it Cost to Get Insurance for an Emergency Air Medical Transport Company

Note that the cost of your insurance will be the sum of all your yearly premiums. Nonetheless, have it in mind that two businesses in the same industry with similar insurance needs can end up paying different rates especially since insurers look at a variety of factors to determine premium.

General Liability Insurance

  • Coverage Amount: $3.6 million
  • Annual Premiums: $900 to $1,450

Commercial Hull Insurance

  • Coverage Amount: $1.4 million
  • Annual Premiums: $400 to $970

Physical Damage Insurance

  • Coverage Amount: $100,000 to $1,000,000
  • Annual Premiums: $440 to $1,200

Business Property Insurance

  • Coverage Amount: $3 million
  • Annual Premiums: $1,900 to $5,100

Workers’ Compensation Insurance

  • Coverage Amount: $500,000
  • Annual Premiums: $2,000 to $4,200

How to Get the Best Insurance Policies for a Emergency air Medical Transport Company

There are two ways you can purchase insurance coverage for your Air ambulance: annually or a la carte with an hourly policy for as little as $10 per hour. The insurance costs also tend to vary widely based on location, use, population, and hazards in the area. Business owners with one aircraft might pay $1,000 annually for general liability limits and hull coverage. Below are things to consider when buying insurance for your emergency air medical transport company:

  1. Understand Your Business Risks

Always remember that insurance for your emergency air medical transport will have to include liability coverage for harm you cause others. Howbeit, only getting this third-party coverage’s means damage to your business or injuries to you and your customers aren’t included, so it is advisable to want to add coverage for your first-party risks. A good insurance agent can help identify your greatest risk exposures.

  1. Aim for Value but Don’t Underinsure

According to experts in the industry, you don’t want to be underinsured, but you also want to limit or entirely avoid buying unnecessary coverage. For instance, if a basic insurance policy is not enough to cover your risks consider adding endorsements or look for broader coverage. As long as you can afford it, the highest amount of insurance coverage available is the best option when dealing with sensitive businesses like an emergency air medical transport business. Note that some of the few mistakes emergency air medical transport company owners make when getting commercial auto insurance include:

  • Not buying enough insurance
  • Not choosing uninsured and underinsured coverage
  • Not acquiring comprehensive and extensive coverage
  • Not fully insuring their emergency air medical transport aircraft
  • Not purchasing liability policy
  1. Seek an Agent Who Knows the Industry

Agreeably, General liability insurance is not industry-specific, but emergency air medical transport company owners are still advised to consider their industry and sector when shopping for coverage. Any agent who has experience in industry will easily anticipate your risks and their impacts and they can help you buy the right coverage with the appropriate limits for your particular exposures.

  1. Put All Necessary Information on the Application

Do not forget the information provided on your insurance application shows your agent, broker, or underwriter how to best cover your specific risks, and you are advised to be as accurate and honest as possible. It does not only help protect your business, but it may also prevent you from being denied coverage if you file a claim.

Conclusion

Air ambulance industry demands seasoned, qualified professionals and it is challenging to find people who fit this criteria. Additionally, there is the issue of ongoing training to the staff. Accredited training organizations must be looped in to meet this challenge. Lack of ongoing training can impact the quality of services immensely. But note that even the most skilled professionals occasionally make mistakes, and equipment failure can happen to anyone. If you want to avoid the possibility of hefty legal fees, you need adequate insurance. Commercial-use aircrafts must be registered with the Federal Aviation Authority (FAA) and must comply with all airspace rules and regulations.

Ajaero Tony Martins