Railroad Insurance Canada

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What You Should Know About Rail Insurance Canada

Guild Insurance Group has been specializing in railroads for over 25 years – and our experience shows. Our in-depth knowledge of the railroad industry and the unique rail insurance issues it encounters, allows us to be your trusted insurance advisor.

Our brokers, underwriters, and claims specialists are experts in designing rail insurance packages to meet the complex needs of the Canadian rail industry. We and our strategic partners work to minimize your exposure through risk assessments and loss analysis.

Our account managers will work to develop a personal relationship with you. We will come on-site to inspect your risk personally because we know that we can’t understand your business and the issues you face just by talking to you over the phone. Our premiums are always competitive and we’ll provide the peace of mind that comes from knowing that when a catastrophe strikes, you’ll have the insurance coverage you need.

Our Specializations Include:

  • Short Line Railroads
  • Railroad Contractors
  • Railroad Suppliers
  • Manufacturers, Wholesalers and Retailers of Rail Products
  • Railroad Museums
  • Excursions/Tourist Lines
  • Variety of coverage we write includes:
  • Comprehensive General Liability – Railroad ($25 million limits and higher available)
  • Lessors Risk
  • Contractors Protective
  • Maintenance of Way Equipment
  • Hi-Rail Equipment and Vehicles
  • Track & Roadbed

Why You Need Extra Rail Insurance

Is Your Railway Transporting Oil?

Not too long ago, the go-to strategy for shipping oil was via large oil pipelines. These pipelines provided several advantages—namely, they kept oil contained and away from road and rail—but they also had a few significant drawbacks. For refineries located far from pipeline terminals, it was inconvenient to utilize pipeline conveyance. In some oil-rich areas, there was simply more demand for oil shipping than nearby pipelines could manage.

Because of these factors, oil companies looked for alternative means to ship oil. The answer, in many cases, was to use the rails. Railroads crisscross Canada (and North America as a whole) much more widely than pipelines. With rail transport, the location of the refinery matters a little less. A refinery that isn’t near an oil pipeline terminal still has other options for shipping.

The boom in the oil industry rail transport has been big for railway operators. The railway operators own the rails and the engines, and sometimes the transport cars. The oil companies pay to use the rails, the engines, and the transport cars. The rail operators, in turn, agree to transport the oil freight from Point A to Point B. It’s an effective option and an agreeable one for both parties.


If there’s a problem with this shift in oil hauling, it’s that crude oil is no longer as contained during shipping as it once was. When oil flowed through large pipelines, the only risks for spills and pollution were holes or breaches in the pipeline. With trains, there is the risk of derailment or collision, which can cause massive spills that damage property, the environment, and more.

Because of these risks, the focus on rail insurance has become more pronounced in recent years. In 2015, the Canadian Government changed the law, requiring railways to carry extra insurance when hauling shipments of crude oil. This was due to a 2013 incident where the explosion of a runaway train carrying crude oil killed 47 people in the Quebec village of Lac-Mégantic.

Rail Insurance Coverages

In case of a derailment, rail liability insurance can save railways from bankruptcy. Typically, rail insurance covers multiple potential consequences of an oil train derailment. This can include physical injury or property damage, and cargo damage or loss. Foreign Rolling Stock (rail cars the railway operator doesn’t own), oil spill cleanup, and more are further risks that can be covered by rail insurance.

How We Can Help

Guild Insurance Group helps railway operators, contractors, and suppliers throughout Canada with their rail insurance needs. We have been involved in Canadian rail insurance for more than 30 years and know the minutiae of the coverage these companies need. If your business requires rail insurance, we can provide it. If need to know your obligations as a railway helping with the carriage of crude oil, we can assist you with that too. Fill out the form below and we will contact you.

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Are you ready to save time, aggravation, and money? The team at Guild Insurance Group is here and ready to make the process as painless as possible. We look forward to meeting you!