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Lancer Insurance Company Review

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Eric Stauffer is a former insurance agent and banker turned consumer advocate. His priority is to help educate individuals and families about the different types of insurance they need, and assist them in finding the best...

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UPDATED: Nov 30, 2018

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Lancer Insurance is a specialty insurer offering commercial insurance across the country. Originally a bus insurance company, they have expanded to cover a variety of niche industries as well as basic commercial packages.

About Lancer

Lancer Insurance has its roots in the 1982 purchase of a small Delaware-based insurance company by two brothers. In 1985 the purchase of a second company allowed the merger of the two and the official creation of Lancer Insurance.

Lancer is headquartered in Long Beach, NY. The company was originally created to provide specialty insurance for buses and other passenger transport companies, but the quickly expanded into other commercial services.

Lance is licensed in all 50 states, as well as the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. They have multiple office locations and employ more than 400 people. Policies are sold through local producers.

Their product lineup includes commercial property & casualty, a wide variety of transportation insurance, commercial auto insurance, and more.

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Lancer Products

Lancer is mainly known for being a niche insurer in the transportation industry, but they have several other product types. Not all products are offered in every state.

Auto Rental

Lancer writes insurance policies for car rental companies as well as for auto repair shops with a fleet of courtesy cars lent out to customers.

These policies include bodily injury and property damage liability, and also include general liability to protect business owners. Also included are special benefits like access to their SafetyLink hotline and loss prevention resources.

Commercial Auto & Garage

Available only in a small number of states, these products are aimed at small-to-medium sized businesses and cover a range of commercial vehicles as well as auto repair, service stations, body shops, and more.

Coverage includes a variety of commercial liability and physical damage options that are customized to meet the needs of each business.

Commercial Driving Schools

This product is aimed at driving schools that train drivers of large trucks, vans, buses, and other commercial vehicles.

Coverage includes bodily injury and property damage liability for the vehicles and drivers, as well as general liability for the company and premises.

Commercial Explosives

Coverage for companies that use explosives is offered through Nobel Insurance, a subsidiary of Lancer Insurance. They offer a variety of liability and business auto products for the explosives industry.

Commercial Property and Liability

Package policies for main street businesses are offered in a limited number of states. Among the businesses that qualify are real estate, restaurants, retail and wholesale, light manufacturing, and professional offices.

These package policies include commercial liability and property coverage in one.

Limousine

Lancer offers package policies to companies operating a fleet of limousines. The coverage includes liability and property damage as well as the option for garage liability if the company has a repair location.

Long-Haul Trucking

This product is aimed at small fleet and owner-operator long-haul trucking companies. The package policies include all of the coverage expected from a commercial auto policy as well as cargo coverage and general liability.

Marine License

Marine license insurance is offered through MOPS, another subsidiary of Lancer. This coverage provides liability protection for merchant marine license holders.

Motorcoach, School Bus, and Transit Bus

Lancer’s flagship product is their line of bus insurance policies. They write fleet policies for a variety of different types of buses.

Coverage in these package policies includes all of the basics of commercial auto as well as garage liability, garage keepers liability and general liability to protect bus companies from all angles.

Vanpool and KidsKab

These two products both provide coverage for vans that provide either vanpooling for child transport services. The coverage includes full commercial liability protection as well as general liability for added coverage.

Rates

Rates are not available on the Lancer site, which is common for companies that write commercial insurance and particularly specialty commercial.

Because these policies can involve complex rating factors and each company differs, the rating is done by producers to ensure accuracy.

Claims

Lancer claims can be reported over the phone, and the company has several toll-free numbers that operate 24/7 to take claim filings. Long Haul Trucking, Commercial Explosives, and Auto Rental each have their own claims phone number.

Commercial Property & Liability claims can be reported over the phone or by email, and they can also be filed through the mail. This is the only product line that offers options other than filing over the phone.

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Ratings and Consumer Reviews

Lancer Insurance is not rated by the Better Business Bureau (BBB) due to insufficient information about the company.

Likewise, we were not able to find much information in terms of Lancer’s reputation. That is fairly common for companies that operate in niche industries, and particularly so for commercial insurers.

The Bottom Line

Lancer offers some specialty insurance policies that may be difficult to find elsewhere, and if you are in the market for coverage in any of their niche areas, they are worth a closer look. While the information on this company is lacking, making it hard to recommend them, there are also no red flags that give us pause in terms of their reputation.

For a list of companies that we recommend, visit our Best Insurance Companies page.

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Review Information

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About Eric Stauffer

Author: Eric StaufferI am a former insurance agent and banker turned consumer advocate. My priority is to help educate individuals and families about the different types of insurance they need, and assist them in finding the best place to get it.

5 Comments

  1. Eric,
    I am currently a vanpool operator using the only vanpool company in southern ca, since it bought out the other. I am having a difficult time with this company and the cost are going up with less service. I am thinking about starting my own vanpool and running it as a business just to meet my personal needs for commuting. I would buy my own van and found that I qualify in all the areas that I need to do this, just need to submit the schedule C on my tax returns. The question I have is the insurance, by reading your comments and post it seems that might be the deal breaker finding a company that will insurer me at a reasonable rate. Is there any guidance you can give me on what I am purposing and where I might find the insurance that I need.

    Sincerely,
    Keith

    Reply
    • Hi Keith,

      You are certainly going to want business auto insurance. You may also need additional business insurance, depending on the services you will be providing for others.

      I would recommend finding a business insurance broker that can sell policies for multiple companies. Sit down with them and get their recommendation on what you need. If it seems like they are trying to sell you the kitchen sink, perhaps have a consult with a few, just to see how they compare in their recommendations.

      Best,
      Eric Stauffer

      Reply
  2. I used this company for my transportation business. They are the worst in coverage when I have to file a claim. They drag their feet. Don’t they know that speedy repairs are important to a business that relies on undamaged vehicles? If you want to avoid having vehicles out of service because they drag their feet in fixing them, which means money that could be earned, then stay away from them.

    Reply
  3. Hi Eric,

    We are a recently formed LLC in the San Francisco Bay area. Our vision is to provide affordable small scale road trip style day trips from Downtown SF to all areas in the region including national parks and wine country.

    We acquired a 12 seat passenger van, Ford E 350 with 37 K , 2013 model and are currently finding it hard to get insurance cover for the venture as many insurers wont take the risk on us.

    As an owner driver and a perfect driving record from UK, Sweden and since 2013 CA I am at a loss as to why no one wants our business. Specifically we need PLPD and it must be submitted to the California public utilities commission in order to get a Tour Charter Party permit.

    Any advice is welcome as CA has become a nightmare of misinterpretation and closed files.

    sincerely

    Richard and Kristin

    Reply
    • Hi Richard and Kristin,

      Welcome to the joy of insuring a non-standard business.

      Many people new to business insurance are unaware that many business types are manually underwritten, where a real person actually assesses the risk associated with the company. This is very different from most people’s experience with personal auto insurance, where they can get a quote online and pretty much never talk to anyone.

      If I were in your situation, I would put together a long list of business insurance companies in CA and start pounding the internet and phones to get broker and agent numbers. Then contact them directly, requesting an application. When submitting your app, think of it more like your sales pitch. You can often include your own documents, such as a write up about your UK and Sweden driving records, past business experience, etc. The underwriters are working off very limited information, so make you and your company sound like a good deal for them.

      Business insurance is not like personal insurance. It could take 20 applications before you find a company that is willing to insure you. Even if you have to pay more now since they may deem you as higher risk, check back every couple of years with other companies, since once you establish history they will have something to base their underwriting off of.

      Best,
      Eric Stauffer

      Reply

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