General Questions

  • Is our tourist railroad organization covered for injury to our volunteers? Should we have Volunteer Accident insurance? Why?

    One thing is certain. If you carry liability insurance for your railroad organization, it does not give you adequate protection for injury to your Volunteers. When a Volunteer is injured, the very first question is whether this person merely hurt himself/herself, or whether the organization was actually responsible for the injury. In most cases there is no clear negligence or legal liability on the part of the organization. Ultimately, the claim will probably be denied, and then you have a very serious problem on your hands. There could be a lawsuit, and the insurer would certainly have to defend your organization.  But, now we have lots of people upset, perhaps with one another - a serious situation suddenly becomes even worse. This can literally tear an organization apart, and more importantly, the volunteer may have no other insurance or a large deductible and/or co-payments to make.

    One partial solution to your problem is a Volunteer Accident Policy, and McRAIL is a major source for access to such protection. The organization can purchase such insurance to apply to all of its active members and it can provide at least some basic benefits. Such policies are generally very affordable and can provide benefits for loss of life, for listed dismemberment or paralyzing injuries, for accident medical expense, and income protection for the injured volunteer.

  • What would happen if we had a major derailment with lots of injuries and damages and people decided to sue me as an officer or director? Shouldn’t we have Director & Officers Liability insurance?”

    Well, probably you should, but not for the reasons stated. Actually, you are probably more than adequately protected for such incidents by your railroad liability policy. Directors and Officers, and employees as well, are generally protected individually on the liability policy along with the company or orgainzation they serve.

    Then, why a D&O policy? Loosely speaking, D&O is managerial liability, protecting directors and officers for the decisions they make. Some insurers even refer to it as Management Professional Liability. Do you need this protection? Yes, we believe you do, and we have excellent sources to access such insurance for business entities and non-profit organizations as well.

  • My agent can’t find any insurers willing to handle the insurance for our railroad. Why is it such a problem and can you help us?

    The railroad insurance market is relatively small and few agents have any experience with it. Most standard insurance carriers have considered insurance for railroads to be much of a taboo. This is because of the concern over potential lawsuits by employees under federal law and with the severe loss potential from railroad accidents. The net result is a very small number of specialty underwriters and a limited number of brokers who access such sources. McRAIL has a 40 year history of working with railroads and related businesses and is considered a leading source of railroad expertise in the U.S. When there is a need by such business entities for insurance solutions, McRAIL has the answer with the broadest coverage at the most reasonable price available.

  • Is Railroad Liability as broad as the liability insurance protection afforded for other businesses? Do I need other regular liability insurance as well?

    In most situations, railroad liability is just as broad as the general liability which is purchased by other businesses. There are, however, some exclusions removed in order to provide protection for exposures that are unique to railroad companies. Nevertheless, some of the policies written by railroad insurers have provisions that need special attention in order to properly protect the railroad customer. McRAIL has the reputation of having the greatest expertise in addressing such tasks, and has been the author of several revisions to such policy forms and special endorsements to address such concerns.

  • What is the big problem that we always hear about work being performed within 50’ of a railroad track?

    The "50 foot rule" refers to a standard general liability coverage limitation provision. It is of serious concern when work is being done in close proximity to railroad tracks, but it is also often misunderstood. Railroad companies typically do not have this restriction in their insurance coverage, but those who do work for railroads often do. When a contractor or other party is doing work on railroad property, there is often a requirement for a special policy insuring the railroad directly with a railroad protective liability policy. The 50 foot restriction is one of a number of reasons for such a requirement by the railroad. McRAIL has unique expertise in this area and access to sources that provide the broadest coverage at the most reasonable price available.