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Public Transit Entities See Increase in Liability Claim Severity, According to Inaugural Study from Aon and APTA
Study participants rank third-party liability as top risk facing the transit industry

Nationwide, public transit systems are seeing an increase in liability claim severity according to the Aon Public Transit Liability Benchmark Analysis. This inaugural report, which examines ridership and operation claims for rail and bus transits, was released today by Aon plc (NYSE:AON), the leading global provider of risk management and human resource consulting and outsourcing, in conjunction with the American Public Transportation Association (APTA).

While public transit liability claim severity is up 4 percent annually, claim frequency showed an increase of only .5 percent annually. The report breaks down the data, finding that the frequency of bus claims is higher than that of rail claims, while the severity of rail claims is higher than that of bus claims. This is due in part to the fact that buses interact with pedestrians and other road traffic, leaving greater potential for incidents leading to liability claims. The study also found that vehicle on pedestrian claims account for 3 percent of claims, but nearly 40 percent of incurred loss dollars.

“Compared to other industries, the public transit sector faces some of the greatest exposure to the general public. These concerns are boosting safety to the top of the priority list for many transit organizations,” said Otis Tolbert, Rail and Transit Practice leader for Aon Risk Solutions. “This is very telling as to why risk managers who participated in this study feel that third-party liability risk ranks as the top threat to their organization.”

Other Noteworthy statistics from the Aon Public Transit Liability Benchmark Analysis

  • The forecasted 2016 accident year frequency for bus and rail operations combined is .34 percent per 1,000 riders, or one occurrence per 295,879 riders.
  • The forecasted 2016 accident year loss rate for bus and rail operations combined is $39.17 per 1,000 riders, or 3.9 cents per rider.
  • Approximately 72 percent of the claims arose from automobile accidents, with 91 percent of those claims stemming from vehicle on vehicle accidents. Of the claims that did not arise from automobile accidents, approximately 32 percent arose from passengers falling.

“Risk managers are continuously looking for new data to help them better understand the risks their organizations face,” said Mario Richard, associate director and actuary with Aon Global Risk Consulting. “The findings contained in the Aon Public Transit Liability Benchmark Analysis arms them with critical insight to measure, maintain and reduce their liability exposure, and form strategies to help protect their bottom line.”

“APTA’s Risk Management Committee was pleased and honored to work with Aon in the formulation and rollout of this valuable report,” said Joan Lynch, chair of APTA’s Risk Management Committee. “As Risk Managers, we are challenged on a daily basis to avail ourselves of the most current data in order to develop useful and relevant reporting to our leadership and remain informed on trends and changes in our industry.”

Click here to purchase a copy of the Aon Public Transit Liability Benchmark Analysis.



About Aon
Aon plc (NYSE:AON) is a leading global provider of risk management, insurance brokerage and reinsurance brokerage, and human resources solutions and outsourcing services. Through its more than 72,000 colleagues worldwide, Aon unites to empower results for clients in over 120 countries via innovative risk and people solutions. For further information on our capabilities and to learn how we empower results for clients, please visit:

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