Statement by ABA President & CEO Peter Pantuso Regarding a Quote in The Hill Insurance Article

There are communications circulating about a quote attributed to me in a recent The Hill article regarding the tragic California bus crash from Sunday. The article focused on whether the minimum level of insurance a motorcoach company must carry is enough for these type of events. I want to clarify the quote, which was taken somewhat out of context from a 15-minute conversation with the reporter, you cannot put a price on a life. You certainly cannot put a price on 13 lives lost and tens of people injured, some quite seriously. No amount of money can replace loved ones.

ABA does not advocate raising the current minimum insurance level. When pressed about how the industry would react to a minimum increase, I said "You would lose a lot of companies in the industry, that would make the decision, 'I can't afford to pay it'" if the minimums are raised. "There are a lot of people in the industry that would suggest that it's good business practice to have a higher level than $5 million, but they believe it should be up to the company." ABA does not have a policy on what the insurance rates should be and believe it should be up to individual companies to make that determination, although many of our member do carry more than $5 million. In previous meetings and as a member of the Motor Carrier Safety Advisory Committee, I and ABA have argued against increasing the level beyond $5 million. Also, it was ABA that authored and championed the inclusion in the FAST ACT of the requirement for an extensive study before any changes were made, particularly in the face of seemingly arbitrary changes related to inflation that were being proposed by FMCSA.

I do apologize for the misconstrued quote. ABA remains committed to advocating for the best business practices and fair regulations in our industry.

About the American Bus Association

The American Bus Association (ABA) is the trade organization of the intercity bus industry, with more than 1,000 motorcoach and tour company members in the United States and Canada. Its members operate charter, tour, regular route, airport express, special operations and contract services. Another 2,800 members are travel and tourism organizations and suppliers of bus products and services who work in partnership with the North American motorcoach industry.


Melanie Hinton, Vice President, Communications & Marketing, ABA
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