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Emergency Vehicle Lighting and Insurance

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  • Emergency Vehicle Lighting and Insurance

    Thank you for answering
    Last edited by CusterFireman; 12-20-2016, 11:22 PM.

  • #2
    It seems that the coverage is up to your insurance carrier and your state laws.

    I have read several articles over the years where some companies will not provide coverage if you are running lights on your personal vehicles.

    Some states require the insurance companies to cover you and some are covered under the department's policy when they are responding to an incident.

    The best bet is to check with your insurance carrier.

    Stay Safe


    • #3
      In NJ, a carrier cannot charge your accident against you if it was during volly service and your light was on.


      • #4
        In NJ, a carrier cannot charge your accident against you if it was during volly service and your light was on.
        Even if you are clearly at fault?
        "We shouldn't be opening firehouses in Baghdad and closing them in New York City."



        • #5
          thank god i dont need to use blue lights any more.. im a live in now... its alot better!
          Proud Member of the Prince Georges County Fire/Ems Dept


          • #6
            A paid-per-call guy in an old department of mine had an accident while running with a red light to a call. The insurance company put up a big fuss about not paying. Why? Because vehicle insurance and "emergency vehicle" insurance were two seperate policies for the company. Obviously, the latter was much more expensive. In the end, he got the insurance to pay... But, from what I hear, it was quite a hassle.


            • #7
              In the end, he got the insurance to pay... But, from what I hear, it was quite a hassle.
              An insurance company? Hassle?? No way!
              Member IACOJ


              • #8
                I want to have some fun!

                Let's start the argument all over again about lights on POV's!!!!


                • #9
                  In my Dept...we DO NOT cover anyone that runs lights on thier POV's.It is totally THIER responsibility as far as thier insurance goes.

                  The reasons we do not are as follows:

                  #1...We do not supply EM lights to go on POV's so it should not be our resposibility to cover the insurance even tho we DO allow lights on POV's under certain conditions with us...as well as with county and/or state regulations.

                  #2...is our budgeting....we cannot afford to cover private vehicles.

                  and number 3...being we are a very low "Volume" Dept with very low traffic profiling....and being very rural...I feel there is no need for lighting on the POV's even tho as I stated before...i dont mind.

                  I tell my members....if you want to run lights then fine but dont expect our insurance to pay for it...if you want our insurance to pay for it...then ride in OUR trucks.

                  Also...heres a little story that happened about a month ago...

                  One of our firefighters responded to a call in his POV becuase he lived too far from the station...when he rounded a corner coming to a 4 way intersection...he was broadsided by another driver...and he WAS running strobes...even tho he was not hurt and the vehicle suffered minor damage the local police stated to him that even tho he WAS a member with us...that WE in NO way was responsible for the accident for him responding becuase we did not supply him with the light and we did not claim any insurance responsibility according to our POV SOP's.It was found that even tho he was responding...he was indeed at fault even tho he admitted to it forefront so he was cited for not watching his surroundings in an intersection.

                  Stay Safe!

                  Donna C
                  Fire Chief
                  Bridge Canyon VFD


                  • #10
                    This post in no way wanted to start
                    Last edited by CusterFireman; 12-20-2016, 11:23 PM.


                    • #11
                      If you truly want to know what insurance company policies are concerning the issue you should look them up online and call them yourself. We may be a bunch of smart firefighters but as well meaning as our answers are we could be wrong.

                      No matter what you find, be safe.
                      Proud to be an American, Union Firefighter!


                      • #12
                        Apparently I am lucky where I'm at. Here in Wisconsin there are a few things that must be met before you are considered an "emergency vehicle."

                        1. You must be authorized by your Chief or designee to run with lights and sirens. This must be in writing on file.

                        2. You must be authorized by the Sheriff of the county or counties you will be responding in. This must be in writing on file.

                        3. You must have a flashing light, rotating light or beacon, or combination of both in the approved color (all red or white/red for fire and/or EMS in WI) that is visible 360 degrees around your vehicle at all times of operation.

                        4. You must have an audible warning device installed in your vehicle and activated when responding. You cannot run lights without the siren activcated.

                        If you do not have all of the above, you are not an "emergency vehicle."

                        In my department, once the pager goes off and I say I am responding, I am on the clock. If I get in a wreck, I am covered by City insurance providing I meet all the requirements above and the crash investigation results say that I was not at fault and was driving with "due regard." My personal vehicle insurance would cover whatever the City insurance wouldn't cover if there was a high cost or long term costs of rehabilitation or vehicle repacements.

                        If it was found that I was not driving "with due regard" and it was my fault for the crash, The City would pay for my damages that I caused and my own injuries, as well as any vehicle replacements needed, and then would cancel me. I currently pay an extra $10.00 fee for "part-time emergency vehicle useage" on my policy to cover these things.

                        You need to watch out though for civil liability because they formulate fault a totally different way than for criminal liability. That's the part that can bite you down under. No matter what, it is scary driving lights and siren. Heck, half the time I don't use lights and siren and get there just as quick.

                        Keep your head down and your powder dry.
                        Lt.Jason Knecht
                        Altoona Fire Rescue
                        Altoona, WI
                        Jason Knecht
                        Township Fire Dept., Inc.
                        Eau Claire, WI

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