Cannabis Business Insurance: A Full-Service Agency Option

More and more states are allowing dispensaries to distribute cannabis products for medicinal and recreational use. An expanding market has produced the need for cannabis business insurance.

Up until recently, a person that wanted to buy cannabis for either medicinal or recreational use would need to go searching. Maybe their friend knew a guy who knew a guy.

But now, brick and motor stores as well as the much preferred On Demand Cannabis Delivery options continue to expand all over the globe. Business owners should understand the need and use for cannabis business insurance.

Some dispensaries utilize employee owned vehicles to deliver products from the stores. Others, like Budly.com operate as an Uber of pot. The app provides its users to a Business to Consumer (B2C) platform much like UberEats or Instacart.

Below are the most common liabilities that should be covered with your On Demand Cannabis Business Insurance:

  • Hired and non-owned coverage for B2C or Peer to Peer (P2P) models
  • Commercial Auto Insurance for corporate owned vehicles driven by employees
  • Workers Compensation if drivers are considered employees

Bud, Is It Legal?

Although On Demand Cannabis Business Insurance hasn’t been around for 35 years, American Business Insurance has! On Demand Insurance programs continue to expand. And state-by-state regulations around medicinal and recreational business continues to change.

Our experience in this field is unique, as we have the ability to curate and custom build a policy package that works within your budget. Whether it’s one vehicle for one dispensary or a total cannabis business insurance package, we created this guide to help Cannabis Delivery Insurance business owners turn their idea into a reality.

Within that guide, you will find facts about the nuances of not just insuring, but also operating an On Demand Cannabis Delivery Business in the states where it’s legal. Although many states have legalized cannabis businesses, most still have strict regulations in place for transportation and delivery. If your business expands to cross state lines, you will need operating authority in those states as well.

As a result, you will need a policy that takes growth and ease of use into consideration.

 

Marijuana Business Insurance

Purchasing On Demand Cannabis Business Insurance

On Demand Delivery providers or Dispensaries looking to shop their insurance will find we have created several proprietary loss control options which include the following:

  • Advice and tips for claims process
  • 24/7 access to your personalized policy at all times
  • Ability to add/delete vehicles and drivers in real time
  • Coming soon:
    • Tracking devices for your vehicles to manage trips taken
    • Dashboard to view driver safety analytics
    • Accident crash detection and automatic claim reporting

Some agencies take days, sometimes weeks to get a quote. However, because of our exclusive relationships and direct connections, we are able to provide quotes from some carriers within minutes.

Additionally, we have the ability to write other coverage’s you need to operate your Cannabis Business such as General Liability, Cargo Insurance and even bonds.

Whether you are a new business starting out with just one delivery car or an established dispensary looking to broaden your services, we are committed to quick and thorough turn around for our Cannabis Delivery Insurance needs.

Click here to request a quote or call 800-980-1950 ext. 4 to talk to one of our Cannabis Business Insurance experts M-F, 8 am – 5 pm pacific.

 

 

 

 

Written by Laura Loftus who is the Executive Broker/Sales and Marketing Manager at American Business Insurance Services, Inc. She has more than 10 years of experience insuring business in the For-Hire, Livery, Transportation Network Company, On Demand Delivery & Shared Economy industries. Looking for a quote on your business?  Call us Monday – Friday, 8 am to 5 pm pacific: 800-980-1950 or email us anytime!

A Complete Guide to Insuring On Demand Delivery Start-Ups

There is a growing need for On Demand Delivery Start-Ups. Although it may seem easy enough to do, few think of the potential liabilities and insurance coverage they will need to get started. Many of us are still working remotely and might not ever return to the office. We will also continue to turn to the convenience of ordering food and goods through the click of a button.

Nationwide states are opening their doors for business to resume, but the psychological effects of COVID-19 are everlasting. Restaurants and retail stores are ready for in person dining and shopping, but many people are not rushing out of their houses.

People will still want to social distance and refrain from unnecessary trips to the store. Others now prefer the time saving convenience of Instacart, Amazon and DoorDash.

When COVID first hit, Amazon and Instacart could not keep up with the demand. Amazon Prime members were no longer getting 2-day shipping and Instacart deliveries were hard to come by. There were days I would check the app several times throughout the day for a delivery slot just to avoid going to the grocery store.

Moreover, you may have found that contacting your local insurance broker to handle insurance for On Demand Delivery Start-Ups just isn’t working – and we know why!

 

Finding the Right Broker for On Demand Delivery Start-Ups

On Demand Delivery Start-Ups
UberEats was one of a few On Demand Delivery Start-Ups that have grown in popularity since COVID-19.

If you are planning to be the next Postmates or DoorDash, you need to prepare and think about insurance before  launching On Demand Delivery Start-Ups. One of them is finding the right broker.  Not all brokers are created equal. You will need to find someone that has access to more than one carrier writing Hired & Owned if you are planning to utilize a peer to peer model. If you are planning to own a fleet of vehicles, contacting American Business Insurance will allow you to utilize our Period X™ platform for when vehicles are not operating. We are also close to launching a Period 0™ platform for when cars log into the app.

Commercial auto insurance can be expensive, but ABI is able to connect with your IT team to fully integrate with your app. This means you can spend more time running and growing your business. Which in turn, equates to less time handling insurance.

With our CarTeq™ technology, we provide oversight to On Demand Delivery Start-Ups which is essential (no pun intended) to any successful business.

 

Be Prepared for the Insurance Buying Process

Create the app and have it mostly finished before you start shopping for insurance. Underwriters will want to see what your app looks like before quoting. Many will not spend time quoting your account until they know the app or website is close to completion.

Have a business plan and projection. Many carriers want to see a certain level of planning and investment has been done before quoting. They will usually ask for financials and a marketing plan. They want to see a safety manual (we can help you with that!) and feel comfortable that the On Demand Delivery Start-Ups will be able to compete with the Postmates and DoorDashes of the world.

Create a bio or resume for all key officers. Insurance companies like to see where you came from and how you ended up in the ODD (on demand delivery) space.

Understanding the costs. Most insurance companies have minimum annual premiums ranging from $75,000-150,000. Financing options are available but be ready to put at least 20% down. Sometimes, these premiums are minimum regardless if you operate 1 day or a full year.

Shopping around. There is an abundance of personal auto carriers out there. But, there are only a handful of companies offering insurance for On Demand Delivery Start-Ups. American Business Insurance works with them all. So, there is no need to shop around. Who doesn’t love one stop shopping?

 

So Much to Do, So Little Time to Do It

There is a lot to think about when navigating the insurance buying process for On Demand Delivery Start-Ups, but lucky we are here to help! We’ve helped many others with integrating insurance into their business and we are at the forefront of Insurance Technology.

Not sure where to begin? The first step is contacting us for a full business plan review and insurance quotes. From Full Commercial Auto Liability Insurance, Hired & Non-Owned, Workers Compensation, Directors and Officers Coverages as well as Employment Practices Liability Insurance – we are excited to hear what you have cooking and how we can help move On Demand Delivery Start-Ups forward.

 

Written by Laura Loftus who is the Executive Broker/Sales and Marketing Manager at American Business Insurance Services, Inc. She has more than 10 years of experience insuring business in the For-Hire, Livery, Transportation Network Company, On Demand Delivery & Shared Economy industries. Looking for a quote on your business?  Call us Monday – Friday, 8 am to 5 pm pacific: 800-980-1950 or email us anytime!

 

 

 

 

New, Easy to Purchase and Install PPE Available for Essential Transportation Companies

Every morning, Corey Lamb puts himself at risk to transport the City of San Francisco’s most vulnerable residents. He stocks his cab with all types of PPE (personal protective equipment) such as  gloves, masks and sanitizer.

Lamb, who has been a professional driver since 2006 and was named the 2019 Paratransit Taxi Driver of the Year by the City of San Francisco and Paratransit Board, has developed a deep passion and drive to focus his taxi services on the people who need him most.

“I focus on providing dignified transportation services for people who would otherwise be confined to their home. My focus is on them and their needs. What’s getting me through COVID is that I have a segment of my clientele that are dialysis patients. Regardless of what is going on in the world, they need to go to dialysis. I pick them up and take them. I make that happen,” Lamb said.

Flywheel Technologies is excited to be the sole distributor of PPE shields in North America.

Lamb owns two wheel chair accessible taxicabs in San Francisco. He also just purchased the first hybrid wheel chair vehicle in the City of San Francisco. As a child, his mother worked for a non-profit organization that taught adults with Autism and Down Syndrome. Their focus was to teach them how to be independent. The compassion Lamb saw  in his mother toward these people is the driving force behind him catering to those in need of transportation.

“I bought both cars brand new. I wanted my passengers to not feel like a run of the mil ride. For me, it’s important that they understand that I care they are being transported in a safe vehicle. The people who have disabilities are usually not considered in planning until the end. I wanted my business to show them they are being considered at the beginning,” Lamb stated.

 

New Types of PPE Available for Taxicab, Limo and Paratransit Drivers

The challenges of transporting the public today have changed compared to a few months ago. In today’s world of face masks, hand sanitizer and Lysol spray– the taxi industry is an essential business that needs to be proactive about using PPE, not only making passengers feel safe – but also their drivers.

That’s why Hansu Kim, President of Flywheel Technologies (a California based taxi booking app) has been working with Taxi Butler in the Netherlands to distribute the Flywheel Shield to transportation companies in need throughout North America.

“We want to bring more confidence in the taxi industry. For vehicles that are on the road, we need to show we are being proactive and staying safe compared to Uber and Lyft by utilizing different types of PPE,” Kim said.

The City of San Francisco has purchased 500 of these shields from Flywheel in response to a need to protect both drivers and passengers. Drivers are deemed essential workers and their passengers  include our most vulnerable population of elderly, medically fragile or immune compromised.

Since the shields are considered Personal Protective Equipment (PPE),  the City is able to use funds they received from government to equip taxis with this important PPE.

“These are easy to install and easy to remove. It gives real protection in an enclosed space. The Flywheel Shield is universal and works in all types of vehicles from a compact hybrid to a larger wheel chair accessible mini van (two of the most common vehicles used in the taxi industry),” Kim explained.

In addition to the shields, the City of San Francisco has introduced The Essential Trip Card designed to help the elderly and in need population purchase fares at reduced cost.

 

The Flywheel Shield is easy to install and priced affordably.
The Flywheel Shield is easy to install and priced affordably.

The Flywheel Shield can be installed using car handles.

 

A Whole New World

Pre-coronavirus, many transportation companies were making non-essential items such as phone chargers, mints and mini water bottles available for passengers.

Shields that were previously installed were mainly used to protect drivers from unruly or violent passengers. They were designed to protect the driver from robbery.

Right now, the majority of passengers using public transportation are first-responders and patients. Drivers need to feel safe about going to work every day and the general population needs to feel safe when riding in public transportation.

“As an essential service, we need to take proactive measures to protect drivers and passengers. We are transporting the most vulnerable – people with fragile medical needs, the elderly and first-responders,” Kim said.

The Flywheel Shield, which went through several different prototypes is easy to install and has been tested by Flywheel Taxi of San Francisco already. It straps on around the front seat and has a sliding opening to pass through payment if needed (card or cash), vouchers and receipts between passenger and driver. At a price point ranging between $40-$50 (depending on order count), the Flywheel Shield is available to purchase for taxi companies across North America. Email [email protected] or call 630-886-6868 for more information on purchasing.

Budgeting for PPE

Many cities and municipalities are looking to purchase this type of PPE for drivers. Before purchasing, Kim said it’s a good idea to check with your City to see if they will reimburse transportation companies for purchasing and installing PPE in public transportation vehicles.

“Drivers feel safer and passengers are saying this is fantastic,” Kim added.

Kim is hoping that other transportation companies across the country will step up and make the necessary changes within the industry to keep people moving, safely.

The Coronavirus, which we know is mainly transmissible through airborne respiratory particles – can be halted from spreading via masks but also with plastic shields between people. Grocery stores have installed these shields in front of cashiers to keep them safe. Doctors and nurses wear them while on duty. It is essential that those working during the pandemic change the way they protected themselves.

Flywheel Taxi driver Lamb is married with 2 kids and is looking forward to installing the Flywheel Shield into his vehicles. He wants to keep not only himself and his family safe, but also his passengers.

“We need to treat these people like family. When you have that mentality, it’s not just a passenger. It’s Amelia’s son. It’s John’s brother. It’s not just a guy I pick up 3 times per week. There is a name attached to it and a story,” Lamb explained further. “There is a relationship there. It’s not just a business for me, it’s a commitment I have to the community to make sure their needs are always met.”

If you would like more information or would like to place an order for the Flywheel Shield, please call 630-886-6868 or email [email protected]

 

Written by Laura Loftus who is an Executive Broker/Sales and Underwriting Manager with more than 10 years of experience insuring business in the For-Hire, Livery & Shared Economy industries. Looking for a quote on your business?  Call us Monday – Friday, 8 am to 5 pm pacific: 800-980-1950 or email us anytime!

 

 

 

Using Your Paycheck Protection Program Payment for Transportation Businesses during COVID-19

As the days and weeks pass by, more and more people are staying home which is affecting not only the transportation industry – but businesses of all types nationwide.

If you are experiencing financial difficulties, you might be thinking about cancelling your policy. Instead, why not use your Paycheck Protection Program payment toward insurance. This way, you can continue to work and serve the community who needs your help.

If you haven’t already and still want to work, the U.S. Department of the Treasury has posted the NEW application form for the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). In short, these are zero-interest loans up to $10 million. These loans cover operational costs like payroll, health benefits, rent, mortgage payments, insurance premiums and utilities.

With taxicabs being named an essential business, there are other revenue generating opportunities for taxicab businesses you may not already be tapped into.

Show Me The Money

Paycheck Protection Program loans are administered through the Small Business Administration, but you have to apply through a local bank. We urge all transportation businesses to download and begin filling out the PPP loan application, and talk to your banker today. The Treasury Department has issued a useful fact sheet on what the loan covers.

In addition to the Paycheck Protection Program loan, we want to remind you that the Small Business Association has also created Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL) that are designed to quickly send $10,000 to distressed companies. The EIDL application is found online and will offer assistance loans for up to $2 million.

But is there any work?

It may feel like there is no work to be done, but as Ann Pilkington who works for Freedom Taxicab in Des Moines, IA told KCCI De Moines, “The main thing is getting people to their appointments because there are some people that wouldn’t last, like a dialysis patient or something, they wouldn’t make it without those med changes or that treatment on themselves.”

Of course, please wear a mask, wash your hands frequently and keep your car clean for at-risk passengers going to and from doctor appointments. It is important to protect yourself and your passengers while working during COVID-19.

Below is a short list of 5 revenue generating ideas you may be able to implement using your existing policy.

Top 5 Revenue Generators during COVID-19:

Using your paycheck protection program payment toward insurance.

 

1. Appointments and other Non-Emergency transportation services

This is probably the largest source of transportation needed right now. People still need to get dialysis, chemotherapy and other types of medical treatments during COVID-19. If you haven’t already added this service to your taxi platform, now is the time.

Below is a list of medical trip providers to consider.

  • LogistiCare – one the largest Non-Emergency Medical Transportation brokers in the United States. They have a presence in almost every state within the US.
  • EpicMD – NEMT trip provider with operations nationwide.
  • OneCall – NEMT broker that serves globally for everything from ambulatory ground transportation to air ambulances.
  • MTM – This is a popular NEMT provider with our existing client base. They have a presence is 75% of the country from coast to coast. They have especially higher trip volume within the East Coast states.
  • Acces2Care – Servicing 29 states, this program helps to dispatch NEMT trips through their parent company AMR which handles the emergency calls. All NEMT calls get sourced through Access2Care.Please note: accommodating passengers who are not ambulatory may not be permitted with your current policy.

 

2. Courier & delivery companies

Amazon is hiring 100,000 workers, mostly for fulfillment and delivery, and some UPS hubs are hiring as well, although—fair warning—both companies are facing criticism over employee safety. Some couriers are also hiring.

*No delivery of hazardous or illegal materials are permitted.  If you are considering cannabis delivery in legal states, we do have coverage for that with multiple markets. Click HERE to request a quote.

3. Grocery & medicine delivery

Grocery stores are your friends. Major chains such as KrogerMeijer, and Safeway are hiring in-store shelf stockers and delivery staff; ditto for regional chains such as Raley’s. Grocery delivery services and apps such as Instacart are also hiring.

4. Sign up for Uber/Lyft

While most taxi policies only allow a certain amount of TNC transport (if any at all), many of our clients have policies that are flexible with allowing drivers to use multiple sources of dispatch to generate revenue. Many drivers are staying home but people without their own sources of transportation still need to go grocery shopping, pick up medications from pharmacies and drop off supplies to loved ones.  And those in the medical field are opting for a more private form of transportation instead of their usual train or bus ride to and from work.

5. Pre-arranged, black car services (utilizing vehicles already within your fleet)

Again, as mentioned above, utilizing your current clientele database to advertise a clean, safe mode of transportation in these trying times is key. Send out texts letting people know you are working and available. Many assume everything is closed. But although people aren’t travelling through airports like they used to – there is clientele that still rely on taxi and black car services to get to the doctor or grocery store. There are doctors and nurses in urban areas who need to get to work but can’t take mass transit.

Be there to help them, they will remember that you helped them even after “everything goes back to normal.”


Not All Policies are Created Equal

Not all insurance companies allow you to do all the types of trips listed above on ONE policy. But WE do. If you don’t already accommodate these types of trips and want to, please contact us to see if your current policy allows for medical and courier trips.

Also, if you are high risk or live with someone who is – please take precaution in working during these times. Working through a pandemic is not for everyone but if you are willing and able – your customers will be forever grateful to you for helping them out when they needed it most!

 

Written by Laura Loftus who is an Executive Broker/Sales and Underwriting Manager with more than 10 years of experience insuring business in the For-Hire, Livery & Shared Economy industries. Looking for a quote on your business?  Call us Monday – Friday, 8 am to 5 pm pacific: 800-980-1950 or email us anytime!

 

Short-Term Policies for Food Delivery Insurance

As the Coronavirus continues to spread across the country, most non-essential businesses are closed nationwide. Although dining in isn’t allowed, restaurants are still allowed to open since they are considered an essential business.  Many restaurants are offering food delivery (even if they didn’t before) since it is allowed. Restaurants new to food delivery might need to purchase additional coverage with a Short-Term Food Delivery Insurance Policy.

It’s a whole new world of self -isolation and government-imposed quarantining. So, what does that mean for every-day life? Well, it’s completely changed as we know it. With that decision, many restaurants have revised their menus and implemented delivery to customers instead. Some are even selling their signature cocktails to-go.

However, what most businesses don’t realize is that allowing your employees to drive their cars to deliver food is not covered under their personal auto insurance. This is why a Short-Term Food Delivery Insurance policy may work for you or someone you know.

Insurance for Delivery Businesses During COVID-19

First off, to ease your mind a bit about potential liabilities, the FDA’s current position is that “there is no evidence to suggest that food produced in the United States can transmit COVID-19.” Furthermore, they went on to say that there is “no evidence of food or food packaging being associated with transmission of COVID-19.”

As always, as long as the food is prepared safely, the risk is low. Information around COVID-19 continues to change, but current evidence seems to point to food delivery as a less risky option than exposing yourself to a grocery store, bringing the bags and items into your home and preparing the food yourself.

Essentially, the major risk of dining within a restaurant is touching a table, counter, or other surface that someone who is contagious may have touched.

Because delivery businesses have become so important during this outbreak, it’s important for employers to get food delivery insurance.

New Short-Term Food Delivery Insurance Program

Whether offering food delivery is a permanent business change or temporary, we have access to a new program which is writing short-term food delivery insurance for restaurants.

food delivery insurance
Many restaurants are delivering food with tamper controls so you can be sure your food was untouched during delivery.

This program is written by an A.M. Best rated “A” X carrier and can accommodate a wide range of classes that have been affected by COVID-19. To contact an ABI producer for more information, click here.

Product highlights include:

  • Monoline coverage
  • 3- or 6-month policy
  • Quick turn-around time
  • Non-auditable policy
  • Limit options of $300K, $500K, $1M CSL
  • Deductible $2,500
  • Offering short term policies starting at $1,500
  • MVR screening service provided
  • Symbols 8 & 9 (hired and non-owned autos) commercial auto liability
  • No restrictive warranties
  • Available in all states except MI

 

Keeping Food Delivery Workers Safe

Many delivery companies have issued guidelines for workers during the outbreak, as Business Insider pointed out, and many of those same workers have taken additional precautions to keep themselves safe. Drivers and delivery workers for Uber, Lyft, and DoorDash told Business Insider they’re scouring their cars with bleach and cutting back on hours.

Even so, if you do opt for your restaurant to deliver food during the outbreak, consider implementing non-contact services. Also, advertise that you require your drivers to practice good hygiene, especially hand-washing. If you can, provide masks to your employees to protect themselves if they are not practicing contact-less delivery.

 

 

 

 

Peer to Peer Car Rental: A Peek Into a Growing Industry

Written by Laura Loftus

 

Antoine and Roslyn Andrade* are living the “American Dream.” You know, the one where you have 9-5 jobs, run a ministry AND manage a start-up peer to peer car rental business on the side. All the while, this husband/wife duo are putting THREE kids through college.

“We tapped into our kid’s college savings to buy the first three cars,”  Roslyn said about how they were able to start this home-based business. “We try to maintain multiple sources of income. If one goes down, then you have the others.”

Like many others in this business, they are utilizing popular peer to peer car sharing apps such as Turo and HyreCar. Turo, is a peer to peer car-sharing app which started in 2010 and focuses solely on personal use. While HyreCar, which first launched in 2014 – focuses on renting solely to drivers who are using the cars to drive for Uber & Lyft.  Antoine and Roslyn utilize American Business Insurance’s (ABI’s) Period X™ insurance product which was created for the peer to peer car sharing business model. As part of this insurance product, which insures the cars only while they are not rented, they are provided a CarTeq™ device which plugs into the OBD port of their vehicle. Through this device, they can log into our portal to view vehicle trip history and GPS location.

Testing the Peer to Peer Car Rental Model

Antoine and Roslyn listed their first 3 cars on the above platforms in 2018. Since then, they have utilized the profits they have made to invest

Peer to peer car rentals are growing in popularity throughout the US and abroad.back into the business and grow their fleet to 15 cars. As you can imagine, balancing their day jobs along with managing a mini car rental business is challenging.

From scheduling maintenance, filing claims, repairing and even recovering stolen vehicles – the business is one that should be carefully entered. It’s not unusual for cars to come back from being rented needing repairs. And some don’t come back at all, and need to be tracked down or reported as stolen.

Antoine and Roslyn had more than once instance of this happening but were able to recover the vehicles in both instances. “The first time, we had to use the police to find the vehicle. The second time, we were able to get the address the car was parked at through the ABI portal. When we arrived, the car was still parked there so we took it home!”

 

Peer to Peer Car Rental Made Easy

Jon J. in Atlanta, GA has a clean, methodical approach to growing his peer to peer car rental business. Jon, who also has a day job has always had an entrepreneurial spirit. He uses his background as a consultant for other businesses to grow the car-sharing model.

Some people are in the business to recoupapp-based insurance costs on a vehicle they want to own, but not use all the time. An example of this is the business executive who wants to buy a Tesla, and then lists it on Turo to rent out a few days out of the month to offset his own monthly cost of using it when he wants.

 

Taking Care of Business

Jon on the other hand is focusing on how to get them continually rented while automating the process. Like the Andrades, he also started with 3 cars and is up to 15 within a year and a half of utilizing ABI’s Period X™ insurance product.

His fleet is made up of vehicles that are easier to maintain and good on gas. Some of the cars in his fleet include the Nissan Versa, Hyundai Elantra and the Ford Focus and Fiesta. “It’s all about getting the cars rented frequently and at the right price point.”

As a current business traveler, he is used to renting cars for work travel. In the past, he would always go to the big-name agencies like Hertz or Enterprise. When there was a problem, he had to deal with a giant corporation or a call center in a country far away.

“People like being able to call us directly, instead of a big company,” Jon said.

 

Let’s Get Personal

While using one of the online apps such as Turo or Getaround might seem like an impersonal experience, Jon said it is exactly the opposite. “With these apps, you get to see who owns the car in advance, the exact car you are renting and reviews of the person who is renting to you. You can chat in real time if there is a problem and it’s a much more personalized experience,” Jon continued.

Besides also having to recover stolen vehicles, Jon explained some of the other challenges he faces in the industry. Some of these challenges include knowing everything you can about what you are getting into, expecting the unexpected (maintenance, repair, paying deductibles on claims, etc) and always maintaining a reserve fund equal to about $1,000 per car ($10-$20k for a fleet of 15).

And that doesn’t include the cost of insurance. “There are some nuances on the insurance piece of the business. Initially, I used my personal auto insurance. But as it expanded, I needed a more scalable model. ABI really helped there,” Jon explained.

 

Risky Business

Personal auto carriers do not allow for you to insure cars that are being used to generate any type of revenue. Many people enter the peer to peer car sharing space utilizing only their personal auto. However, if a claim or accident were to arise through the course of business or even outside of it and they find out – you risk the claim being denied and possibly your policy being cancelled.

“Before you jump in, understand the true cost. Don’t just dive in without testing it. Test with 1-3 cars. Understand the risks you have to assume going into the peer to peer marketplace. Have patience and think through the little thing’s others don’t think about. Every few months I look through my business plan and identify what should be changed going forward. That’s really how you establish rapport and grow a business.”

 

*Note: Some of the names above are changed or abbreviated as the people interviewed prefer to maintain anonymity. 

Laura Loftus is an Executive Broker/Sales and Underwriting Manager with more than 10 years of experience insuring business in the For-Hire, Livery & Shared Economy industries. Looking for a quote on your business?  Call us Monday – Friday, 8 am to 5 pm pacific: 800-980-1950 or email us anytime!

Roseville Cab Taxi Driver Saves Woman from IRS Tax Scammer

Two weeks ago, a Roseville Cab taxi driver who is also insured through ABI, Rajbir Singh picked up a 92-year-old woman from her home in Roseville, CA. After getting settled into her seat, she requested that he take her to the bank. Shortly after talking with her, he found out she was going to withdraw $25,000 to settle an alleged debt with the IRS.

Rajbir Singh with two local Roseville area police officers.

Singh had a hunch that the person calling the woman for the money was a scammer. He tried repeatedly to get her to change her mind.

As reported by CNN on Sunday, Feb. 16th, Singh told them “I am an honest guy, and these are old people. They need help,” Singh, the owner of Roseville Cab, told CNN on Thursday. “It just made sense.”

As the conversation continued, the woman told Singh that someone had contacted her by phone saying she owed the money. As he asked more questions, he found out that she didn’t know the person calling.

The woman allowed Singh to try and call the number, and the man who answered hung up on Singh. When he tried to call back, the number blocked him.

 

Maybe the Police Will Help

After that, the woman was still not convinced she didn’t owe the money so Singh got the woman to agree on stopping by the Roseville Police Station before withdrawing the money. Once she spoke to the officer, she understood that was being scammed.

Singh, who has been a loyal customer of ABI since 2016, is the perfect example to breaking the stigma of taxi drivers. More often that not, our drivers are not always painted in the best light (though we see them differently). We felt it our duty to not only reward his good deed – but to promote it publicly!

Other drivers may have stayed out of it, minded their own business to rush into the next trip/fare – but Mr. Singh took it upon himself to look out for others – which deserves all the accolades he can get. This is why, American Business Insurance is rewarding our client with a Good Samaritan Taxi Driver Award which includes a $250 Visa Gift Card!

If you are ever in need of a ride in the Roseville area, please call Roseville Cab and ask for Rajbir! We know you will be in great hands.

 

Written by Laura Loftus on Monday, Feb. 17th, 2020

Cannabis Business Insurance: A Full-Service Agency Option

More and more states are allowing dispensaries to distribute cannabis products for medicinal and recreational use. An expanding market has produced the need for cannabis business insurance.

Up until recently, a person that wanted to buy cannabis for either medicinal or recreational use would need to go searching. Maybe their friend knew a guy who knew a guy.

But now, brick and motor stores as well as the much preferred On Demand Cannabis Delivery options continue to expand all over the globe. Business owners should understand the need and use for cannabis business insurance.

Some dispensaries utilize employee owned vehicles to deliver products from the stores. Others, like Budly.com operate as an Uber of pot. The app provides its users to a Business to Consumer (B2C) platform much like UberEats or Instacart.

Below are the most common liabilities that should be covered with your On Demand Cannabis Business Insurance:

  • Hired and non-owned coverage for B2C or Peer to Peer (P2P) models
  • Commercial Auto Insurance for corporate owned vehicles driven by employees
  • Workers Compensation if drivers are considered employees

Bud, Is It Legal?

Although On Demand Cannabis Business Insurance hasn’t been around for 35 years, American Business Insurance has! On Demand Insurance programs continue to expand. And state-by-state regulations around medicinal and recreational business continues to change.

Our experience in this field is unique, as we have the ability to curate and custom build a policy package that works within your budget. Whether it’s one vehicle for one dispensary or a total cannabis business insurance package, we created this guide to help Cannabis Delivery Insurance business owners turn their idea into a reality.

Within that guide, you will find facts about the nuances of not just insuring, but also operating an On Demand Cannabis Delivery Business in the states where it’s legal. Although many states have legalized cannabis businesses, most still have strict regulations in place for transportation and delivery. If your business expands to cross state lines, you will need operating authority in those states as well.

As a result, you will need a policy that takes growth and ease of use into consideration.

 

Marijuana Business Insurance

Purchasing On Demand Cannabis Business Insurance

On Demand Delivery providers or Dispensaries looking to shop their insurance will find we have created several proprietary loss control options which include the following:

  • Advice and tips for claims process
  • 24/7 access to your personalized policy at all times
  • Ability to add/delete vehicles and drivers in real time
  • Coming soon:
    • Tracking devices for your vehicles to manage trips taken
    • Dashboard to view driver safety analytics
    • Accident crash detection and automatic claim reporting

Some agencies take days, sometimes weeks to get a quote. However, because of our exclusive relationships and direct connections, we are able to provide quotes from some carriers within minutes.

Additionally, we have the ability to write other coverage’s you need to operate your Cannabis Business such as General Liability, Cargo Insurance and even bonds.

Whether you are a new business starting out with just one delivery car or an established dispensary looking to broaden your services, we are committed to quick and thorough turn around for our Cannabis Delivery Insurance needs.

Click here to request a quote or call 800-980-1950 ext. 4 to talk to one of our Cannabis Business Insurance experts M-F, 8 am – 5 pm pacific.

 

 

 

 

Written by Laura Loftus who is the Executive Broker/Sales and Marketing Manager at American Business Insurance Services, Inc. She has more than 10 years of experience insuring business in the For-Hire, Livery, Transportation Network Company, On Demand Delivery & Shared Economy industries. Looking for a quote on your business?  Call us Monday – Friday, 8 am to 5 pm pacific: 800-980-1950 or email us anytime!

A Complete Guide to Insuring On Demand Delivery Start-Ups

There is a growing need for On Demand Delivery Start-Ups. Although it may seem easy enough to do, few think of the potential liabilities and insurance coverage they will need to get started. Many of us are still working remotely and might not ever return to the office. We will also continue to turn to the convenience of ordering food and goods through the click of a button.

Nationwide states are opening their doors for business to resume, but the psychological effects of COVID-19 are everlasting. Restaurants and retail stores are ready for in person dining and shopping, but many people are not rushing out of their houses.

People will still want to social distance and refrain from unnecessary trips to the store. Others now prefer the time saving convenience of Instacart, Amazon and DoorDash.

When COVID first hit, Amazon and Instacart could not keep up with the demand. Amazon Prime members were no longer getting 2-day shipping and Instacart deliveries were hard to come by. There were days I would check the app several times throughout the day for a delivery slot just to avoid going to the grocery store.

Moreover, you may have found that contacting your local insurance broker to handle insurance for On Demand Delivery Start-Ups just isn’t working – and we know why!

 

Finding the Right Broker for On Demand Delivery Start-Ups

On Demand Delivery Start-Ups
UberEats was one of a few On Demand Delivery Start-Ups that have grown in popularity since COVID-19.

If you are planning to be the next Postmates or DoorDash, you need to prepare and think about insurance before  launching On Demand Delivery Start-Ups. One of them is finding the right broker.  Not all brokers are created equal. You will need to find someone that has access to more than one carrier writing Hired & Owned if you are planning to utilize a peer to peer model. If you are planning to own a fleet of vehicles, contacting American Business Insurance will allow you to utilize our Period X™ platform for when vehicles are not operating. We are also close to launching a Period 0™ platform for when cars log into the app.

Commercial auto insurance can be expensive, but ABI is able to connect with your IT team to fully integrate with your app. This means you can spend more time running and growing your business. Which in turn, equates to less time handling insurance.

With our CarTeq™ technology, we provide oversight to On Demand Delivery Start-Ups which is essential (no pun intended) to any successful business.

 

Be Prepared for the Insurance Buying Process

Create the app and have it mostly finished before you start shopping for insurance. Underwriters will want to see what your app looks like before quoting. Many will not spend time quoting your account until they know the app or website is close to completion.

Have a business plan and projection. Many carriers want to see a certain level of planning and investment has been done before quoting. They will usually ask for financials and a marketing plan. They want to see a safety manual (we can help you with that!) and feel comfortable that the On Demand Delivery Start-Ups will be able to compete with the Postmates and DoorDashes of the world.

Create a bio or resume for all key officers. Insurance companies like to see where you came from and how you ended up in the ODD (on demand delivery) space.

Understanding the costs. Most insurance companies have minimum annual premiums ranging from $75,000-150,000. Financing options are available but be ready to put at least 20% down. Sometimes, these premiums are minimum regardless if you operate 1 day or a full year.

Shopping around. There is an abundance of personal auto carriers out there. But, there are only a handful of companies offering insurance for On Demand Delivery Start-Ups. American Business Insurance works with them all. So, there is no need to shop around. Who doesn’t love one stop shopping?

 

So Much to Do, So Little Time to Do It

There is a lot to think about when navigating the insurance buying process for On Demand Delivery Start-Ups, but lucky we are here to help! We’ve helped many others with integrating insurance into their business and we are at the forefront of Insurance Technology.

Not sure where to begin? The first step is contacting us for a full business plan review and insurance quotes. From Full Commercial Auto Liability Insurance, Hired & Non-Owned, Workers Compensation, Directors and Officers Coverages as well as Employment Practices Liability Insurance – we are excited to hear what you have cooking and how we can help move On Demand Delivery Start-Ups forward.

 

Written by Laura Loftus who is the Executive Broker/Sales and Marketing Manager at American Business Insurance Services, Inc. She has more than 10 years of experience insuring business in the For-Hire, Livery, Transportation Network Company, On Demand Delivery & Shared Economy industries. Looking for a quote on your business?  Call us Monday – Friday, 8 am to 5 pm pacific: 800-980-1950 or email us anytime!

 

 

 

 

New, Easy to Purchase and Install PPE Available for Essential Transportation Companies

Every morning, Corey Lamb puts himself at risk to transport the City of San Francisco’s most vulnerable residents. He stocks his cab with all types of PPE (personal protective equipment) such as  gloves, masks and sanitizer.

Lamb, who has been a professional driver since 2006 and was named the 2019 Paratransit Taxi Driver of the Year by the City of San Francisco and Paratransit Board, has developed a deep passion and drive to focus his taxi services on the people who need him most.

“I focus on providing dignified transportation services for people who would otherwise be confined to their home. My focus is on them and their needs. What’s getting me through COVID is that I have a segment of my clientele that are dialysis patients. Regardless of what is going on in the world, they need to go to dialysis. I pick them up and take them. I make that happen,” Lamb said.

Flywheel Technologies is excited to be the sole distributor of PPE shields in North America.

Lamb owns two wheel chair accessible taxicabs in San Francisco. He also just purchased the first hybrid wheel chair vehicle in the City of San Francisco. As a child, his mother worked for a non-profit organization that taught adults with Autism and Down Syndrome. Their focus was to teach them how to be independent. The compassion Lamb saw  in his mother toward these people is the driving force behind him catering to those in need of transportation.

“I bought both cars brand new. I wanted my passengers to not feel like a run of the mil ride. For me, it’s important that they understand that I care they are being transported in a safe vehicle. The people who have disabilities are usually not considered in planning until the end. I wanted my business to show them they are being considered at the beginning,” Lamb stated.

 

New Types of PPE Available for Taxicab, Limo and Paratransit Drivers

The challenges of transporting the public today have changed compared to a few months ago. In today’s world of face masks, hand sanitizer and Lysol spray– the taxi industry is an essential business that needs to be proactive about using PPE, not only making passengers feel safe – but also their drivers.

That’s why Hansu Kim, President of Flywheel Technologies (a California based taxi booking app) has been working with Taxi Butler in the Netherlands to distribute the Flywheel Shield to transportation companies in need throughout North America.

“We want to bring more confidence in the taxi industry. For vehicles that are on the road, we need to show we are being proactive and staying safe compared to Uber and Lyft by utilizing different types of PPE,” Kim said.

The City of San Francisco has purchased 500 of these shields from Flywheel in response to a need to protect both drivers and passengers. Drivers are deemed essential workers and their passengers  include our most vulnerable population of elderly, medically fragile or immune compromised.

Since the shields are considered Personal Protective Equipment (PPE),  the City is able to use funds they received from government to equip taxis with this important PPE.

“These are easy to install and easy to remove. It gives real protection in an enclosed space. The Flywheel Shield is universal and works in all types of vehicles from a compact hybrid to a larger wheel chair accessible mini van (two of the most common vehicles used in the taxi industry),” Kim explained.

In addition to the shields, the City of San Francisco has introduced The Essential Trip Card designed to help the elderly and in need population purchase fares at reduced cost.

 

The Flywheel Shield is easy to install and priced affordably.
The Flywheel Shield is easy to install and priced affordably.

The Flywheel Shield can be installed using car handles.

 

A Whole New World

Pre-coronavirus, many transportation companies were making non-essential items such as phone chargers, mints and mini water bottles available for passengers.

Shields that were previously installed were mainly used to protect drivers from unruly or violent passengers. They were designed to protect the driver from robbery.

Right now, the majority of passengers using public transportation are first-responders and patients. Drivers need to feel safe about going to work every day and the general population needs to feel safe when riding in public transportation.

“As an essential service, we need to take proactive measures to protect drivers and passengers. We are transporting the most vulnerable – people with fragile medical needs, the elderly and first-responders,” Kim said.

The Flywheel Shield, which went through several different prototypes is easy to install and has been tested by Flywheel Taxi of San Francisco already. It straps on around the front seat and has a sliding opening to pass through payment if needed (card or cash), vouchers and receipts between passenger and driver. At a price point ranging between $40-$50 (depending on order count), the Flywheel Shield is available to purchase for taxi companies across North America. Email [email protected] or call 630-886-6868 for more information on purchasing.

Budgeting for PPE

Many cities and municipalities are looking to purchase this type of PPE for drivers. Before purchasing, Kim said it’s a good idea to check with your City to see if they will reimburse transportation companies for purchasing and installing PPE in public transportation vehicles.

“Drivers feel safer and passengers are saying this is fantastic,” Kim added.

Kim is hoping that other transportation companies across the country will step up and make the necessary changes within the industry to keep people moving, safely.

The Coronavirus, which we know is mainly transmissible through airborne respiratory particles – can be halted from spreading via masks but also with plastic shields between people. Grocery stores have installed these shields in front of cashiers to keep them safe. Doctors and nurses wear them while on duty. It is essential that those working during the pandemic change the way they protected themselves.

Flywheel Taxi driver Lamb is married with 2 kids and is looking forward to installing the Flywheel Shield into his vehicles. He wants to keep not only himself and his family safe, but also his passengers.

“We need to treat these people like family. When you have that mentality, it’s not just a passenger. It’s Amelia’s son. It’s John’s brother. It’s not just a guy I pick up 3 times per week. There is a name attached to it and a story,” Lamb explained further. “There is a relationship there. It’s not just a business for me, it’s a commitment I have to the community to make sure their needs are always met.”

If you would like more information or would like to place an order for the Flywheel Shield, please call 630-886-6868 or email [email protected]

 

Written by Laura Loftus who is an Executive Broker/Sales and Underwriting Manager with more than 10 years of experience insuring business in the For-Hire, Livery & Shared Economy industries. Looking for a quote on your business?  Call us Monday – Friday, 8 am to 5 pm pacific: 800-980-1950 or email us anytime!

 

 

 

Using Your Paycheck Protection Program Payment for Transportation Businesses during COVID-19

As the days and weeks pass by, more and more people are staying home which is affecting not only the transportation industry – but businesses of all types nationwide.

If you are experiencing financial difficulties, you might be thinking about cancelling your policy. Instead, why not use your Paycheck Protection Program payment toward insurance. This way, you can continue to work and serve the community who needs your help.

If you haven’t already and still want to work, the U.S. Department of the Treasury has posted the NEW application form for the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). In short, these are zero-interest loans up to $10 million. These loans cover operational costs like payroll, health benefits, rent, mortgage payments, insurance premiums and utilities.

With taxicabs being named an essential business, there are other revenue generating opportunities for taxicab businesses you may not already be tapped into.

Show Me The Money

Paycheck Protection Program loans are administered through the Small Business Administration, but you have to apply through a local bank. We urge all transportation businesses to download and begin filling out the PPP loan application, and talk to your banker today. The Treasury Department has issued a useful fact sheet on what the loan covers.

In addition to the Paycheck Protection Program loan, we want to remind you that the Small Business Association has also created Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL) that are designed to quickly send $10,000 to distressed companies. The EIDL application is found online and will offer assistance loans for up to $2 million.

But is there any work?

It may feel like there is no work to be done, but as Ann Pilkington who works for Freedom Taxicab in Des Moines, IA told KCCI De Moines, “The main thing is getting people to their appointments because there are some people that wouldn’t last, like a dialysis patient or something, they wouldn’t make it without those med changes or that treatment on themselves.”

Of course, please wear a mask, wash your hands frequently and keep your car clean for at-risk passengers going to and from doctor appointments. It is important to protect yourself and your passengers while working during COVID-19.

Below is a short list of 5 revenue generating ideas you may be able to implement using your existing policy.

Top 5 Revenue Generators during COVID-19:

Using your paycheck protection program payment toward insurance.

 

1. Appointments and other Non-Emergency transportation services

This is probably the largest source of transportation needed right now. People still need to get dialysis, chemotherapy and other types of medical treatments during COVID-19. If you haven’t already added this service to your taxi platform, now is the time.

Below is a list of medical trip providers to consider.

  • LogistiCare – one the largest Non-Emergency Medical Transportation brokers in the United States. They have a presence in almost every state within the US.
  • EpicMD – NEMT trip provider with operations nationwide.
  • OneCall – NEMT broker that serves globally for everything from ambulatory ground transportation to air ambulances.
  • MTM – This is a popular NEMT provider with our existing client base. They have a presence is 75% of the country from coast to coast. They have especially higher trip volume within the East Coast states.
  • Acces2Care – Servicing 29 states, this program helps to dispatch NEMT trips through their parent company AMR which handles the emergency calls. All NEMT calls get sourced through Access2Care.Please note: accommodating passengers who are not ambulatory may not be permitted with your current policy.

 

2. Courier & delivery companies

Amazon is hiring 100,000 workers, mostly for fulfillment and delivery, and some UPS hubs are hiring as well, although—fair warning—both companies are facing criticism over employee safety. Some couriers are also hiring.

*No delivery of hazardous or illegal materials are permitted.  If you are considering cannabis delivery in legal states, we do have coverage for that with multiple markets. Click HERE to request a quote.

3. Grocery & medicine delivery

Grocery stores are your friends. Major chains such as KrogerMeijer, and Safeway are hiring in-store shelf stockers and delivery staff; ditto for regional chains such as Raley’s. Grocery delivery services and apps such as Instacart are also hiring.

4. Sign up for Uber/Lyft

While most taxi policies only allow a certain amount of TNC transport (if any at all), many of our clients have policies that are flexible with allowing drivers to use multiple sources of dispatch to generate revenue. Many drivers are staying home but people without their own sources of transportation still need to go grocery shopping, pick up medications from pharmacies and drop off supplies to loved ones.  And those in the medical field are opting for a more private form of transportation instead of their usual train or bus ride to and from work.

5. Pre-arranged, black car services (utilizing vehicles already within your fleet)

Again, as mentioned above, utilizing your current clientele database to advertise a clean, safe mode of transportation in these trying times is key. Send out texts letting people know you are working and available. Many assume everything is closed. But although people aren’t travelling through airports like they used to – there is clientele that still rely on taxi and black car services to get to the doctor or grocery store. There are doctors and nurses in urban areas who need to get to work but can’t take mass transit.

Be there to help them, they will remember that you helped them even after “everything goes back to normal.”


Not All Policies are Created Equal

Not all insurance companies allow you to do all the types of trips listed above on ONE policy. But WE do. If you don’t already accommodate these types of trips and want to, please contact us to see if your current policy allows for medical and courier trips.

Also, if you are high risk or live with someone who is – please take precaution in working during these times. Working through a pandemic is not for everyone but if you are willing and able – your customers will be forever grateful to you for helping them out when they needed it most!

 

Written by Laura Loftus who is an Executive Broker/Sales and Underwriting Manager with more than 10 years of experience insuring business in the For-Hire, Livery & Shared Economy industries. Looking for a quote on your business?  Call us Monday – Friday, 8 am to 5 pm pacific: 800-980-1950 or email us anytime!

 

Short-Term Policies for Food Delivery Insurance

As the Coronavirus continues to spread across the country, most non-essential businesses are closed nationwide. Although dining in isn’t allowed, restaurants are still allowed to open since they are considered an essential business.  Many restaurants are offering food delivery (even if they didn’t before) since it is allowed. Restaurants new to food delivery might need to purchase additional coverage with a Short-Term Food Delivery Insurance Policy.

It’s a whole new world of self -isolation and government-imposed quarantining. So, what does that mean for every-day life? Well, it’s completely changed as we know it. With that decision, many restaurants have revised their menus and implemented delivery to customers instead. Some are even selling their signature cocktails to-go.

However, what most businesses don’t realize is that allowing your employees to drive their cars to deliver food is not covered under their personal auto insurance. This is why a Short-Term Food Delivery Insurance policy may work for you or someone you know.

Insurance for Delivery Businesses During COVID-19

First off, to ease your mind a bit about potential liabilities, the FDA’s current position is that “there is no evidence to suggest that food produced in the United States can transmit COVID-19.” Furthermore, they went on to say that there is “no evidence of food or food packaging being associated with transmission of COVID-19.”

As always, as long as the food is prepared safely, the risk is low. Information around COVID-19 continues to change, but current evidence seems to point to food delivery as a less risky option than exposing yourself to a grocery store, bringing the bags and items into your home and preparing the food yourself.

Essentially, the major risk of dining within a restaurant is touching a table, counter, or other surface that someone who is contagious may have touched.

Because delivery businesses have become so important during this outbreak, it’s important for employers to get food delivery insurance.

New Short-Term Food Delivery Insurance Program

Whether offering food delivery is a permanent business change or temporary, we have access to a new program which is writing short-term food delivery insurance for restaurants.

food delivery insurance
Many restaurants are delivering food with tamper controls so you can be sure your food was untouched during delivery.

This program is written by an A.M. Best rated “A” X carrier and can accommodate a wide range of classes that have been affected by COVID-19. To contact an ABI producer for more information, click here.

Product highlights include:

  • Monoline coverage
  • 3- or 6-month policy
  • Quick turn-around time
  • Non-auditable policy
  • Limit options of $300K, $500K, $1M CSL
  • Deductible $2,500
  • Offering short term policies starting at $1,500
  • MVR screening service provided
  • Symbols 8 & 9 (hired and non-owned autos) commercial auto liability
  • No restrictive warranties
  • Available in all states except MI

 

Keeping Food Delivery Workers Safe

Many delivery companies have issued guidelines for workers during the outbreak, as Business Insider pointed out, and many of those same workers have taken additional precautions to keep themselves safe. Drivers and delivery workers for Uber, Lyft, and DoorDash told Business Insider they’re scouring their cars with bleach and cutting back on hours.

Even so, if you do opt for your restaurant to deliver food during the outbreak, consider implementing non-contact services. Also, advertise that you require your drivers to practice good hygiene, especially hand-washing. If you can, provide masks to your employees to protect themselves if they are not practicing contact-less delivery.

 

 

 

 

Peer to Peer Car Rental: A Peek Into a Growing Industry

Written by Laura Loftus

 

Antoine and Roslyn Andrade* are living the “American Dream.” You know, the one where you have 9-5 jobs, run a ministry AND manage a start-up peer to peer car rental business on the side. All the while, this husband/wife duo are putting THREE kids through college.

“We tapped into our kid’s college savings to buy the first three cars,”  Roslyn said about how they were able to start this home-based business. “We try to maintain multiple sources of income. If one goes down, then you have the others.”

Like many others in this business, they are utilizing popular peer to peer car sharing apps such as Turo and HyreCar. Turo, is a peer to peer car-sharing app which started in 2010 and focuses solely on personal use. While HyreCar, which first launched in 2014 – focuses on renting solely to drivers who are using the cars to drive for Uber & Lyft.  Antoine and Roslyn utilize American Business Insurance’s (ABI’s) Period X™ insurance product which was created for the peer to peer car sharing business model. As part of this insurance product, which insures the cars only while they are not rented, they are provided a CarTeq™ device which plugs into the OBD port of their vehicle. Through this device, they can log into our portal to view vehicle trip history and GPS location.

Testing the Peer to Peer Car Rental Model

Antoine and Roslyn listed their first 3 cars on the above platforms in 2018. Since then, they have utilized the profits they have made to invest

Peer to peer car rentals are growing in popularity throughout the US and abroad.back into the business and grow their fleet to 15 cars. As you can imagine, balancing their day jobs along with managing a mini car rental business is challenging.

From scheduling maintenance, filing claims, repairing and even recovering stolen vehicles – the business is one that should be carefully entered. It’s not unusual for cars to come back from being rented needing repairs. And some don’t come back at all, and need to be tracked down or reported as stolen.

Antoine and Roslyn had more than once instance of this happening but were able to recover the vehicles in both instances. “The first time, we had to use the police to find the vehicle. The second time, we were able to get the address the car was parked at through the ABI portal. When we arrived, the car was still parked there so we took it home!”

 

Peer to Peer Car Rental Made Easy

Jon J. in Atlanta, GA has a clean, methodical approach to growing his peer to peer car rental business. Jon, who also has a day job has always had an entrepreneurial spirit. He uses his background as a consultant for other businesses to grow the car-sharing model.

Some people are in the business to recoupapp-based insurance costs on a vehicle they want to own, but not use all the time. An example of this is the business executive who wants to buy a Tesla, and then lists it on Turo to rent out a few days out of the month to offset his own monthly cost of using it when he wants.

 

Taking Care of Business

Jon on the other hand is focusing on how to get them continually rented while automating the process. Like the Andrades, he also started with 3 cars and is up to 15 within a year and a half of utilizing ABI’s Period X™ insurance product.

His fleet is made up of vehicles that are easier to maintain and good on gas. Some of the cars in his fleet include the Nissan Versa, Hyundai Elantra and the Ford Focus and Fiesta. “It’s all about getting the cars rented frequently and at the right price point.”

As a current business traveler, he is used to renting cars for work travel. In the past, he would always go to the big-name agencies like Hertz or Enterprise. When there was a problem, he had to deal with a giant corporation or a call center in a country far away.

“People like being able to call us directly, instead of a big company,” Jon said.

 

Let’s Get Personal

While using one of the online apps such as Turo or Getaround might seem like an impersonal experience, Jon said it is exactly the opposite. “With these apps, you get to see who owns the car in advance, the exact car you are renting and reviews of the person who is renting to you. You can chat in real time if there is a problem and it’s a much more personalized experience,” Jon continued.

Besides also having to recover stolen vehicles, Jon explained some of the other challenges he faces in the industry. Some of these challenges include knowing everything you can about what you are getting into, expecting the unexpected (maintenance, repair, paying deductibles on claims, etc) and always maintaining a reserve fund equal to about $1,000 per car ($10-$20k for a fleet of 15).

And that doesn’t include the cost of insurance. “There are some nuances on the insurance piece of the business. Initially, I used my personal auto insurance. But as it expanded, I needed a more scalable model. ABI really helped there,” Jon explained.

 

Risky Business

Personal auto carriers do not allow for you to insure cars that are being used to generate any type of revenue. Many people enter the peer to peer car sharing space utilizing only their personal auto. However, if a claim or accident were to arise through the course of business or even outside of it and they find out – you risk the claim being denied and possibly your policy being cancelled.

“Before you jump in, understand the true cost. Don’t just dive in without testing it. Test with 1-3 cars. Understand the risks you have to assume going into the peer to peer marketplace. Have patience and think through the little thing’s others don’t think about. Every few months I look through my business plan and identify what should be changed going forward. That’s really how you establish rapport and grow a business.”

 

*Note: Some of the names above are changed or abbreviated as the people interviewed prefer to maintain anonymity. 

Laura Loftus is an Executive Broker/Sales and Underwriting Manager with more than 10 years of experience insuring business in the For-Hire, Livery & Shared Economy industries. Looking for a quote on your business?  Call us Monday – Friday, 8 am to 5 pm pacific: 800-980-1950 or email us anytime!

Roseville Cab Taxi Driver Saves Woman from IRS Tax Scammer

Two weeks ago, a Roseville Cab taxi driver who is also insured through ABI, Rajbir Singh picked up a 92-year-old woman from her home in Roseville, CA. After getting settled into her seat, she requested that he take her to the bank. Shortly after talking with her, he found out she was going to withdraw $25,000 to settle an alleged debt with the IRS.

Rajbir Singh with two local Roseville area police officers.

Singh had a hunch that the person calling the woman for the money was a scammer. He tried repeatedly to get her to change her mind.

As reported by CNN on Sunday, Feb. 16th, Singh told them “I am an honest guy, and these are old people. They need help,” Singh, the owner of Roseville Cab, told CNN on Thursday. “It just made sense.”

As the conversation continued, the woman told Singh that someone had contacted her by phone saying she owed the money. As he asked more questions, he found out that she didn’t know the person calling.

The woman allowed Singh to try and call the number, and the man who answered hung up on Singh. When he tried to call back, the number blocked him.

 

Maybe the Police Will Help

After that, the woman was still not convinced she didn’t owe the money so Singh got the woman to agree on stopping by the Roseville Police Station before withdrawing the money. Once she spoke to the officer, she understood that was being scammed.

Singh, who has been a loyal customer of ABI since 2016, is the perfect example to breaking the stigma of taxi drivers. More often that not, our drivers are not always painted in the best light (though we see them differently). We felt it our duty to not only reward his good deed – but to promote it publicly!

Other drivers may have stayed out of it, minded their own business to rush into the next trip/fare – but Mr. Singh took it upon himself to look out for others – which deserves all the accolades he can get. This is why, American Business Insurance is rewarding our client with a Good Samaritan Taxi Driver Award which includes a $250 Visa Gift Card!

If you are ever in need of a ride in the Roseville area, please call Roseville Cab and ask for Rajbir! We know you will be in great hands.

 

Written by Laura Loftus on Monday, Feb. 17th, 2020

Cannabis Business Insurance: A Full-Service Agency Option

More and more states are allowing dispensaries to distribute cannabis products for medicinal and recreational use. An expanding market has produced the need for cannabis business insurance.

Up until recently, a person that wanted to buy cannabis for either medicinal or recreational use would need to go searching. Maybe their friend knew a guy who knew a guy.

But now, brick and motor stores as well as the much preferred On Demand Cannabis Delivery options continue to expand all over the globe. Business owners should understand the need and use for cannabis business insurance.

Some dispensaries utilize employee owned vehicles to deliver products from the stores. Others, like Budly.com operate as an Uber of pot. The app provides its users to a Business to Consumer (B2C) platform much like UberEats or Instacart.

Below are the most common liabilities that should be covered with your On Demand Cannabis Business Insurance:

  • Hired and non-owned coverage for B2C or Peer to Peer (P2P) models
  • Commercial Auto Insurance for corporate owned vehicles driven by employees
  • Workers Compensation if drivers are considered employees

Bud, Is It Legal?

Although On Demand Cannabis Business Insurance hasn’t been around for 35 years, American Business Insurance has! On Demand Insurance programs continue to expand. And state-by-state regulations around medicinal and recreational business continues to change.

Our experience in this field is unique, as we have the ability to curate and custom build a policy package that works within your budget. Whether it’s one vehicle for one dispensary or a total cannabis business insurance package, we created this guide to help Cannabis Delivery Insurance business owners turn their idea into a reality.

Within that guide, you will find facts about the nuances of not just insuring, but also operating an On Demand Cannabis Delivery Business in the states where it’s legal. Although many states have legalized cannabis businesses, most still have strict regulations in place for transportation and delivery. If your business expands to cross state lines, you will need operating authority in those states as well.

As a result, you will need a policy that takes growth and ease of use into consideration.

 

Marijuana Business Insurance

Purchasing On Demand Cannabis Business Insurance

On Demand Delivery providers or Dispensaries looking to shop their insurance will find we have created several proprietary loss control options which include the following:

  • Advice and tips for claims process
  • 24/7 access to your personalized policy at all times
  • Ability to add/delete vehicles and drivers in real time
  • Coming soon:
    • Tracking devices for your vehicles to manage trips taken
    • Dashboard to view driver safety analytics
    • Accident crash detection and automatic claim reporting

Some agencies take days, sometimes weeks to get a quote. However, because of our exclusive relationships and direct connections, we are able to provide quotes from some carriers within minutes.

Additionally, we have the ability to write other coverage’s you need to operate your Cannabis Business such as General Liability, Cargo Insurance and even bonds.

Whether you are a new business starting out with just one delivery car or an established dispensary looking to broaden your services, we are committed to quick and thorough turn around for our Cannabis Delivery Insurance needs.

Click here to request a quote or call 800-980-1950 ext. 4 to talk to one of our Cannabis Business Insurance experts M-F, 8 am – 5 pm pacific.

 

 

 

 

Written by Laura Loftus who is the Executive Broker/Sales and Marketing Manager at American Business Insurance Services, Inc. She has more than 10 years of experience insuring business in the For-Hire, Livery, Transportation Network Company, On Demand Delivery & Shared Economy industries. Looking for a quote on your business?  Call us Monday – Friday, 8 am to 5 pm pacific: 800-980-1950 or email us anytime!

A Complete Guide to Insuring On Demand Delivery Start-Ups

There is a growing need for On Demand Delivery Start-Ups. Although it may seem easy enough to do, few think of the potential liabilities and insurance coverage they will need to get started. Many of us are still working remotely and might not ever return to the office. We will also continue to turn to the convenience of ordering food and goods through the click of a button.

Nationwide states are opening their doors for business to resume, but the psychological effects of COVID-19 are everlasting. Restaurants and retail stores are ready for in person dining and shopping, but many people are not rushing out of their houses.

People will still want to social distance and refrain from unnecessary trips to the store. Others now prefer the time saving convenience of Instacart, Amazon and DoorDash.

When COVID first hit, Amazon and Instacart could not keep up with the demand. Amazon Prime members were no longer getting 2-day shipping and Instacart deliveries were hard to come by. There were days I would check the app several times throughout the day for a delivery slot just to avoid going to the grocery store.

Moreover, you may have found that contacting your local insurance broker to handle insurance for On Demand Delivery Start-Ups just isn’t working – and we know why!

 

Finding the Right Broker for On Demand Delivery Start-Ups

On Demand Delivery Start-Ups
UberEats was one of a few On Demand Delivery Start-Ups that have grown in popularity since COVID-19.

If you are planning to be the next Postmates or DoorDash, you need to prepare and think about insurance before  launching On Demand Delivery Start-Ups. One of them is finding the right broker.  Not all brokers are created equal. You will need to find someone that has access to more than one carrier writing Hired & Owned if you are planning to utilize a peer to peer model. If you are planning to own a fleet of vehicles, contacting American Business Insurance will allow you to utilize our Period X™ platform for when vehicles are not operating. We are also close to launching a Period 0™ platform for when cars log into the app.

Commercial auto insurance can be expensive, but ABI is able to connect with your IT team to fully integrate with your app. This means you can spend more time running and growing your business. Which in turn, equates to less time handling insurance.

With our CarTeq™ technology, we provide oversight to On Demand Delivery Start-Ups which is essential (no pun intended) to any successful business.

 

Be Prepared for the Insurance Buying Process

Create the app and have it mostly finished before you start shopping for insurance. Underwriters will want to see what your app looks like before quoting. Many will not spend time quoting your account until they know the app or website is close to completion.

Have a business plan and projection. Many carriers want to see a certain level of planning and investment has been done before quoting. They will usually ask for financials and a marketing plan. They want to see a safety manual (we can help you with that!) and feel comfortable that the On Demand Delivery Start-Ups will be able to compete with the Postmates and DoorDashes of the world.

Create a bio or resume for all key officers. Insurance companies like to see where you came from and how you ended up in the ODD (on demand delivery) space.

Understanding the costs. Most insurance companies have minimum annual premiums ranging from $75,000-150,000. Financing options are available but be ready to put at least 20% down. Sometimes, these premiums are minimum regardless if you operate 1 day or a full year.

Shopping around. There is an abundance of personal auto carriers out there. But, there are only a handful of companies offering insurance for On Demand Delivery Start-Ups. American Business Insurance works with them all. So, there is no need to shop around. Who doesn’t love one stop shopping?

 

So Much to Do, So Little Time to Do It

There is a lot to think about when navigating the insurance buying process for On Demand Delivery Start-Ups, but lucky we are here to help! We’ve helped many others with integrating insurance into their business and we are at the forefront of Insurance Technology.

Not sure where to begin? The first step is contacting us for a full business plan review and insurance quotes. From Full Commercial Auto Liability Insurance, Hired & Non-Owned, Workers Compensation, Directors and Officers Coverages as well as Employment Practices Liability Insurance – we are excited to hear what you have cooking and how we can help move On Demand Delivery Start-Ups forward.

 

Written by Laura Loftus who is the Executive Broker/Sales and Marketing Manager at American Business Insurance Services, Inc. She has more than 10 years of experience insuring business in the For-Hire, Livery, Transportation Network Company, On Demand Delivery & Shared Economy industries. Looking for a quote on your business?  Call us Monday – Friday, 8 am to 5 pm pacific: 800-980-1950 or email us anytime!

 

 

 

 

New, Easy to Purchase and Install PPE Available for Essential Transportation Companies

Every morning, Corey Lamb puts himself at risk to transport the City of San Francisco’s most vulnerable residents. He stocks his cab with all types of PPE (personal protective equipment) such as  gloves, masks and sanitizer.

Lamb, who has been a professional driver since 2006 and was named the 2019 Paratransit Taxi Driver of the Year by the City of San Francisco and Paratransit Board, has developed a deep passion and drive to focus his taxi services on the people who need him most.

“I focus on providing dignified transportation services for people who would otherwise be confined to their home. My focus is on them and their needs. What’s getting me through COVID is that I have a segment of my clientele that are dialysis patients. Regardless of what is going on in the world, they need to go to dialysis. I pick them up and take them. I make that happen,” Lamb said.

Flywheel Technologies is excited to be the sole distributor of PPE shields in North America.

Lamb owns two wheel chair accessible taxicabs in San Francisco. He also just purchased the first hybrid wheel chair vehicle in the City of San Francisco. As a child, his mother worked for a non-profit organization that taught adults with Autism and Down Syndrome. Their focus was to teach them how to be independent. The compassion Lamb saw  in his mother toward these people is the driving force behind him catering to those in need of transportation.

“I bought both cars brand new. I wanted my passengers to not feel like a run of the mil ride. For me, it’s important that they understand that I care they are being transported in a safe vehicle. The people who have disabilities are usually not considered in planning until the end. I wanted my business to show them they are being considered at the beginning,” Lamb stated.

 

New Types of PPE Available for Taxicab, Limo and Paratransit Drivers

The challenges of transporting the public today have changed compared to a few months ago. In today’s world of face masks, hand sanitizer and Lysol spray– the taxi industry is an essential business that needs to be proactive about using PPE, not only making passengers feel safe – but also their drivers.

That’s why Hansu Kim, President of Flywheel Technologies (a California based taxi booking app) has been working with Taxi Butler in the Netherlands to distribute the Flywheel Shield to transportation companies in need throughout North America.

“We want to bring more confidence in the taxi industry. For vehicles that are on the road, we need to show we are being proactive and staying safe compared to Uber and Lyft by utilizing different types of PPE,” Kim said.

The City of San Francisco has purchased 500 of these shields from Flywheel in response to a need to protect both drivers and passengers. Drivers are deemed essential workers and their passengers  include our most vulnerable population of elderly, medically fragile or immune compromised.

Since the shields are considered Personal Protective Equipment (PPE),  the City is able to use funds they received from government to equip taxis with this important PPE.

“These are easy to install and easy to remove. It gives real protection in an enclosed space. The Flywheel Shield is universal and works in all types of vehicles from a compact hybrid to a larger wheel chair accessible mini van (two of the most common vehicles used in the taxi industry),” Kim explained.

In addition to the shields, the City of San Francisco has introduced The Essential Trip Card designed to help the elderly and in need population purchase fares at reduced cost.

 

The Flywheel Shield is easy to install and priced affordably.
The Flywheel Shield is easy to install and priced affordably.

The Flywheel Shield can be installed using car handles.

 

A Whole New World

Pre-coronavirus, many transportation companies were making non-essential items such as phone chargers, mints and mini water bottles available for passengers.

Shields that were previously installed were mainly used to protect drivers from unruly or violent passengers. They were designed to protect the driver from robbery.

Right now, the majority of passengers using public transportation are first-responders and patients. Drivers need to feel safe about going to work every day and the general population needs to feel safe when riding in public transportation.

“As an essential service, we need to take proactive measures to protect drivers and passengers. We are transporting the most vulnerable – people with fragile medical needs, the elderly and first-responders,” Kim said.

The Flywheel Shield, which went through several different prototypes is easy to install and has been tested by Flywheel Taxi of San Francisco already. It straps on around the front seat and has a sliding opening to pass through payment if needed (card or cash), vouchers and receipts between passenger and driver. At a price point ranging between $40-$50 (depending on order count), the Flywheel Shield is available to purchase for taxi companies across North America. Email [email protected] or call 630-886-6868 for more information on purchasing.

Budgeting for PPE

Many cities and municipalities are looking to purchase this type of PPE for drivers. Before purchasing, Kim said it’s a good idea to check with your City to see if they will reimburse transportation companies for purchasing and installing PPE in public transportation vehicles.

“Drivers feel safer and passengers are saying this is fantastic,” Kim added.

Kim is hoping that other transportation companies across the country will step up and make the necessary changes within the industry to keep people moving, safely.

The Coronavirus, which we know is mainly transmissible through airborne respiratory particles – can be halted from spreading via masks but also with plastic shields between people. Grocery stores have installed these shields in front of cashiers to keep them safe. Doctors and nurses wear them while on duty. It is essential that those working during the pandemic change the way they protected themselves.

Flywheel Taxi driver Lamb is married with 2 kids and is looking forward to installing the Flywheel Shield into his vehicles. He wants to keep not only himself and his family safe, but also his passengers.

“We need to treat these people like family. When you have that mentality, it’s not just a passenger. It’s Amelia’s son. It’s John’s brother. It’s not just a guy I pick up 3 times per week. There is a name attached to it and a story,” Lamb explained further. “There is a relationship there. It’s not just a business for me, it’s a commitment I have to the community to make sure their needs are always met.”

If you would like more information or would like to place an order for the Flywheel Shield, please call 630-886-6868 or email [email protected]

 

Written by Laura Loftus who is an Executive Broker/Sales and Underwriting Manager with more than 10 years of experience insuring business in the For-Hire, Livery & Shared Economy industries. Looking for a quote on your business?  Call us Monday – Friday, 8 am to 5 pm pacific: 800-980-1950 or email us anytime!

 

 

 

Using Your Paycheck Protection Program Payment for Transportation Businesses during COVID-19

As the days and weeks pass by, more and more people are staying home which is affecting not only the transportation industry – but businesses of all types nationwide.

If you are experiencing financial difficulties, you might be thinking about cancelling your policy. Instead, why not use your Paycheck Protection Program payment toward insurance. This way, you can continue to work and serve the community who needs your help.

If you haven’t already and still want to work, the U.S. Department of the Treasury has posted the NEW application form for the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). In short, these are zero-interest loans up to $10 million. These loans cover operational costs like payroll, health benefits, rent, mortgage payments, insurance premiums and utilities.

With taxicabs being named an essential business, there are other revenue generating opportunities for taxicab businesses you may not already be tapped into.

Show Me The Money

Paycheck Protection Program loans are administered through the Small Business Administration, but you have to apply through a local bank. We urge all transportation businesses to download and begin filling out the PPP loan application, and talk to your banker today. The Treasury Department has issued a useful fact sheet on what the loan covers.

In addition to the Paycheck Protection Program loan, we want to remind you that the Small Business Association has also created Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL) that are designed to quickly send $10,000 to distressed companies. The EIDL application is found online and will offer assistance loans for up to $2 million.

But is there any work?

It may feel like there is no work to be done, but as Ann Pilkington who works for Freedom Taxicab in Des Moines, IA told KCCI De Moines, “The main thing is getting people to their appointments because there are some people that wouldn’t last, like a dialysis patient or something, they wouldn’t make it without those med changes or that treatment on themselves.”

Of course, please wear a mask, wash your hands frequently and keep your car clean for at-risk passengers going to and from doctor appointments. It is important to protect yourself and your passengers while working during COVID-19.

Below is a short list of 5 revenue generating ideas you may be able to implement using your existing policy.

Top 5 Revenue Generators during COVID-19:

Using your paycheck protection program payment toward insurance.

 

1. Appointments and other Non-Emergency transportation services

This is probably the largest source of transportation needed right now. People still need to get dialysis, chemotherapy and other types of medical treatments during COVID-19. If you haven’t already added this service to your taxi platform, now is the time.

Below is a list of medical trip providers to consider.

  • LogistiCare – one the largest Non-Emergency Medical Transportation brokers in the United States. They have a presence in almost every state within the US.
  • EpicMD – NEMT trip provider with operations nationwide.
  • OneCall – NEMT broker that serves globally for everything from ambulatory ground transportation to air ambulances.
  • MTM – This is a popular NEMT provider with our existing client base. They have a presence is 75% of the country from coast to coast. They have especially higher trip volume within the East Coast states.
  • Acces2Care – Servicing 29 states, this program helps to dispatch NEMT trips through their parent company AMR which handles the emergency calls. All NEMT calls get sourced through Access2Care.Please note: accommodating passengers who are not ambulatory may not be permitted with your current policy.

 

2. Courier & delivery companies

Amazon is hiring 100,000 workers, mostly for fulfillment and delivery, and some UPS hubs are hiring as well, although—fair warning—both companies are facing criticism over employee safety. Some couriers are also hiring.

*No delivery of hazardous or illegal materials are permitted.  If you are considering cannabis delivery in legal states, we do have coverage for that with multiple markets. Click HERE to request a quote.

3. Grocery & medicine delivery

Grocery stores are your friends. Major chains such as KrogerMeijer, and Safeway are hiring in-store shelf stockers and delivery staff; ditto for regional chains such as Raley’s. Grocery delivery services and apps such as Instacart are also hiring.

4. Sign up for Uber/Lyft

While most taxi policies only allow a certain amount of TNC transport (if any at all), many of our clients have policies that are flexible with allowing drivers to use multiple sources of dispatch to generate revenue. Many drivers are staying home but people without their own sources of transportation still need to go grocery shopping, pick up medications from pharmacies and drop off supplies to loved ones.  And those in the medical field are opting for a more private form of transportation instead of their usual train or bus ride to and from work.

5. Pre-arranged, black car services (utilizing vehicles already within your fleet)

Again, as mentioned above, utilizing your current clientele database to advertise a clean, safe mode of transportation in these trying times is key. Send out texts letting people know you are working and available. Many assume everything is closed. But although people aren’t travelling through airports like they used to – there is clientele that still rely on taxi and black car services to get to the doctor or grocery store. There are doctors and nurses in urban areas who need to get to work but can’t take mass transit.

Be there to help them, they will remember that you helped them even after “everything goes back to normal.”


Not All Policies are Created Equal

Not all insurance companies allow you to do all the types of trips listed above on ONE policy. But WE do. If you don’t already accommodate these types of trips and want to, please contact us to see if your current policy allows for medical and courier trips.

Also, if you are high risk or live with someone who is – please take precaution in working during these times. Working through a pandemic is not for everyone but if you are willing and able – your customers will be forever grateful to you for helping them out when they needed it most!

 

Written by Laura Loftus who is an Executive Broker/Sales and Underwriting Manager with more than 10 years of experience insuring business in the For-Hire, Livery & Shared Economy industries. Looking for a quote on your business?  Call us Monday – Friday, 8 am to 5 pm pacific: 800-980-1950 or email us anytime!

 

Short-Term Policies for Food Delivery Insurance

As the Coronavirus continues to spread across the country, most non-essential businesses are closed nationwide. Although dining in isn’t allowed, restaurants are still allowed to open since they are considered an essential business.  Many restaurants are offering food delivery (even if they didn’t before) since it is allowed. Restaurants new to food delivery might need to purchase additional coverage with a Short-Term Food Delivery Insurance Policy.

It’s a whole new world of self -isolation and government-imposed quarantining. So, what does that mean for every-day life? Well, it’s completely changed as we know it. With that decision, many restaurants have revised their menus and implemented delivery to customers instead. Some are even selling their signature cocktails to-go.

However, what most businesses don’t realize is that allowing your employees to drive their cars to deliver food is not covered under their personal auto insurance. This is why a Short-Term Food Delivery Insurance policy may work for you or someone you know.

Insurance for Delivery Businesses During COVID-19

First off, to ease your mind a bit about potential liabilities, the FDA’s current position is that “there is no evidence to suggest that food produced in the United States can transmit COVID-19.” Furthermore, they went on to say that there is “no evidence of food or food packaging being associated with transmission of COVID-19.”

As always, as long as the food is prepared safely, the risk is low. Information around COVID-19 continues to change, but current evidence seems to point to food delivery as a less risky option than exposing yourself to a grocery store, bringing the bags and items into your home and preparing the food yourself.

Essentially, the major risk of dining within a restaurant is touching a table, counter, or other surface that someone who is contagious may have touched.

Because delivery businesses have become so important during this outbreak, it’s important for employers to get food delivery insurance.

New Short-Term Food Delivery Insurance Program

Whether offering food delivery is a permanent business change or temporary, we have access to a new program which is writing short-term food delivery insurance for restaurants.

food delivery insurance
Many restaurants are delivering food with tamper controls so you can be sure your food was untouched during delivery.

This program is written by an A.M. Best rated “A” X carrier and can accommodate a wide range of classes that have been affected by COVID-19. To contact an ABI producer for more information, click here.

Product highlights include:

  • Monoline coverage
  • 3- or 6-month policy
  • Quick turn-around time
  • Non-auditable policy
  • Limit options of $300K, $500K, $1M CSL
  • Deductible $2,500
  • Offering short term policies starting at $1,500
  • MVR screening service provided
  • Symbols 8 & 9 (hired and non-owned autos) commercial auto liability
  • No restrictive warranties
  • Available in all states except MI

 

Keeping Food Delivery Workers Safe

Many delivery companies have issued guidelines for workers during the outbreak, as Business Insider pointed out, and many of those same workers have taken additional precautions to keep themselves safe. Drivers and delivery workers for Uber, Lyft, and DoorDash told Business Insider they’re scouring their cars with bleach and cutting back on hours.

Even so, if you do opt for your restaurant to deliver food during the outbreak, consider implementing non-contact services. Also, advertise that you require your drivers to practice good hygiene, especially hand-washing. If you can, provide masks to your employees to protect themselves if they are not practicing contact-less delivery.

 

 

 

 

Peer to Peer Car Rental: A Peek Into a Growing Industry

Written by Laura Loftus

 

Antoine and Roslyn Andrade* are living the “American Dream.” You know, the one where you have 9-5 jobs, run a ministry AND manage a start-up peer to peer car rental business on the side. All the while, this husband/wife duo are putting THREE kids through college.

“We tapped into our kid’s college savings to buy the first three cars,”  Roslyn said about how they were able to start this home-based business. “We try to maintain multiple sources of income. If one goes down, then you have the others.”

Like many others in this business, they are utilizing popular peer to peer car sharing apps such as Turo and HyreCar. Turo, is a peer to peer car-sharing app which started in 2010 and focuses solely on personal use. While HyreCar, which first launched in 2014 – focuses on renting solely to drivers who are using the cars to drive for Uber & Lyft.  Antoine and Roslyn utilize American Business Insurance’s (ABI’s) Period X™ insurance product which was created for the peer to peer car sharing business model. As part of this insurance product, which insures the cars only while they are not rented, they are provided a CarTeq™ device which plugs into the OBD port of their vehicle. Through this device, they can log into our portal to view vehicle trip history and GPS location.

Testing the Peer to Peer Car Rental Model

Antoine and Roslyn listed their first 3 cars on the above platforms in 2018. Since then, they have utilized the profits they have made to invest

Peer to peer car rentals are growing in popularity throughout the US and abroad.back into the business and grow their fleet to 15 cars. As you can imagine, balancing their day jobs along with managing a mini car rental business is challenging.

From scheduling maintenance, filing claims, repairing and even recovering stolen vehicles – the business is one that should be carefully entered. It’s not unusual for cars to come back from being rented needing repairs. And some don’t come back at all, and need to be tracked down or reported as stolen.

Antoine and Roslyn had more than once instance of this happening but were able to recover the vehicles in both instances. “The first time, we had to use the police to find the vehicle. The second time, we were able to get the address the car was parked at through the ABI portal. When we arrived, the car was still parked there so we took it home!”

 

Peer to Peer Car Rental Made Easy

Jon J. in Atlanta, GA has a clean, methodical approach to growing his peer to peer car rental business. Jon, who also has a day job has always had an entrepreneurial spirit. He uses his background as a consultant for other businesses to grow the car-sharing model.

Some people are in the business to recoupapp-based insurance costs on a vehicle they want to own, but not use all the time. An example of this is the business executive who wants to buy a Tesla, and then lists it on Turo to rent out a few days out of the month to offset his own monthly cost of using it when he wants.

 

Taking Care of Business

Jon on the other hand is focusing on how to get them continually rented while automating the process. Like the Andrades, he also started with 3 cars and is up to 15 within a year and a half of utilizing ABI’s Period X™ insurance product.

His fleet is made up of vehicles that are easier to maintain and good on gas. Some of the cars in his fleet include the Nissan Versa, Hyundai Elantra and the Ford Focus and Fiesta. “It’s all about getting the cars rented frequently and at the right price point.”

As a current business traveler, he is used to renting cars for work travel. In the past, he would always go to the big-name agencies like Hertz or Enterprise. When there was a problem, he had to deal with a giant corporation or a call center in a country far away.

“People like being able to call us directly, instead of a big company,” Jon said.

 

Let’s Get Personal

While using one of the online apps such as Turo or Getaround might seem like an impersonal experience, Jon said it is exactly the opposite. “With these apps, you get to see who owns the car in advance, the exact car you are renting and reviews of the person who is renting to you. You can chat in real time if there is a problem and it’s a much more personalized experience,” Jon continued.

Besides also having to recover stolen vehicles, Jon explained some of the other challenges he faces in the industry. Some of these challenges include knowing everything you can about what you are getting into, expecting the unexpected (maintenance, repair, paying deductibles on claims, etc) and always maintaining a reserve fund equal to about $1,000 per car ($10-$20k for a fleet of 15).

And that doesn’t include the cost of insurance. “There are some nuances on the insurance piece of the business. Initially, I used my personal auto insurance. But as it expanded, I needed a more scalable model. ABI really helped there,” Jon explained.

 

Risky Business

Personal auto carriers do not allow for you to insure cars that are being used to generate any type of revenue. Many people enter the peer to peer car sharing space utilizing only their personal auto. However, if a claim or accident were to arise through the course of business or even outside of it and they find out – you risk the claim being denied and possibly your policy being cancelled.

“Before you jump in, understand the true cost. Don’t just dive in without testing it. Test with 1-3 cars. Understand the risks you have to assume going into the peer to peer marketplace. Have patience and think through the little thing’s others don’t think about. Every few months I look through my business plan and identify what should be changed going forward. That’s really how you establish rapport and grow a business.”

 

*Note: Some of the names above are changed or abbreviated as the people interviewed prefer to maintain anonymity. 

Laura Loftus is an Executive Broker/Sales and Underwriting Manager with more than 10 years of experience insuring business in the For-Hire, Livery & Shared Economy industries. Looking for a quote on your business?  Call us Monday – Friday, 8 am to 5 pm pacific: 800-980-1950 or email us anytime!

Roseville Cab Taxi Driver Saves Woman from IRS Tax Scammer

Two weeks ago, a Roseville Cab taxi driver who is also insured through ABI, Rajbir Singh picked up a 92-year-old woman from her home in Roseville, CA. After getting settled into her seat, she requested that he take her to the bank. Shortly after talking with her, he found out she was going to withdraw $25,000 to settle an alleged debt with the IRS.

Rajbir Singh with two local Roseville area police officers.

Singh had a hunch that the person calling the woman for the money was a scammer. He tried repeatedly to get her to change her mind.

As reported by CNN on Sunday, Feb. 16th, Singh told them “I am an honest guy, and these are old people. They need help,” Singh, the owner of Roseville Cab, told CNN on Thursday. “It just made sense.”

As the conversation continued, the woman told Singh that someone had contacted her by phone saying she owed the money. As he asked more questions, he found out that she didn’t know the person calling.

The woman allowed Singh to try and call the number, and the man who answered hung up on Singh. When he tried to call back, the number blocked him.

 

Maybe the Police Will Help

After that, the woman was still not convinced she didn’t owe the money so Singh got the woman to agree on stopping by the Roseville Police Station before withdrawing the money. Once she spoke to the officer, she understood that was being scammed.

Singh, who has been a loyal customer of ABI since 2016, is the perfect example to breaking the stigma of taxi drivers. More often that not, our drivers are not always painted in the best light (though we see them differently). We felt it our duty to not only reward his good deed – but to promote it publicly!

Other drivers may have stayed out of it, minded their own business to rush into the next trip/fare – but Mr. Singh took it upon himself to look out for others – which deserves all the accolades he can get. This is why, American Business Insurance is rewarding our client with a Good Samaritan Taxi Driver Award which includes a $250 Visa Gift Card!

If you are ever in need of a ride in the Roseville area, please call Roseville Cab and ask for Rajbir! We know you will be in great hands.

 

Written by Laura Loftus on Monday, Feb. 17th, 2020

Cannabis Business Insurance: A Full-Service Agency Option

More and more states are allowing dispensaries to distribute cannabis products for medicinal and recreational use. An expanding market has produced the need for cannabis business insurance.

Up until recently, a person that wanted to buy cannabis for either medicinal or recreational use would need to go searching. Maybe their friend knew a guy who knew a guy.

But now, brick and motor stores as well as the much preferred On Demand Cannabis Delivery options continue to expand all over the globe. Business owners should understand the need and use for cannabis business insurance.

Some dispensaries utilize employee owned vehicles to deliver products from the stores. Others, like Budly.com operate as an Uber of pot. The app provides its users to a Business to Consumer (B2C) platform much like UberEats or Instacart.

Below are the most common liabilities that should be covered with your On Demand Cannabis Business Insurance:

  • Hired and non-owned coverage for B2C or Peer to Peer (P2P) models
  • Commercial Auto Insurance for corporate owned vehicles driven by employees
  • Workers Compensation if drivers are considered employees

Bud, Is It Legal?

Although On Demand Cannabis Business Insurance hasn’t been around for 35 years, American Business Insurance has! On Demand Insurance programs continue to expand. And state-by-state regulations around medicinal and recreational business continues to change.

Our experience in this field is unique, as we have the ability to curate and custom build a policy package that works within your budget. Whether it’s one vehicle for one dispensary or a total cannabis business insurance package, we created this guide to help Cannabis Delivery Insurance business owners turn their idea into a reality.

Within that guide, you will find facts about the nuances of not just insuring, but also operating an On Demand Cannabis Delivery Business in the states where it’s legal. Although many states have legalized cannabis businesses, most still have strict regulations in place for transportation and delivery. If your business expands to cross state lines, you will need operating authority in those states as well.

As a result, you will need a policy that takes growth and ease of use into consideration.

 

Marijuana Business Insurance

Purchasing On Demand Cannabis Business Insurance

On Demand Delivery providers or Dispensaries looking to shop their insurance will find we have created several proprietary loss control options which include the following:

  • Advice and tips for claims process
  • 24/7 access to your personalized policy at all times
  • Ability to add/delete vehicles and drivers in real time
  • Coming soon:
    • Tracking devices for your vehicles to manage trips taken
    • Dashboard to view driver safety analytics
    • Accident crash detection and automatic claim reporting

Some agencies take days, sometimes weeks to get a quote. However, because of our exclusive relationships and direct connections, we are able to provide quotes from some carriers within minutes.

Additionally, we have the ability to write other coverage’s you need to operate your Cannabis Business such as General Liability, Cargo Insurance and even bonds.

Whether you are a new business starting out with just one delivery car or an established dispensary looking to broaden your services, we are committed to quick and thorough turn around for our Cannabis Delivery Insurance needs.

Click here to request a quote or call 800-980-1950 ext. 4 to talk to one of our Cannabis Business Insurance experts M-F, 8 am – 5 pm pacific.

 

 

 

 

Written by Laura Loftus who is the Executive Broker/Sales and Marketing Manager at American Business Insurance Services, Inc. She has more than 10 years of experience insuring business in the For-Hire, Livery, Transportation Network Company, On Demand Delivery & Shared Economy industries. Looking for a quote on your business?  Call us Monday – Friday, 8 am to 5 pm pacific: 800-980-1950 or email us anytime!

A Complete Guide to Insuring On Demand Delivery Start-Ups

There is a growing need for On Demand Delivery Start-Ups. Although it may seem easy enough to do, few think of the potential liabilities and insurance coverage they will need to get started. Many of us are still working remotely and might not ever return to the office. We will also continue to turn to the convenience of ordering food and goods through the click of a button.

Nationwide states are opening their doors for business to resume, but the psychological effects of COVID-19 are everlasting. Restaurants and retail stores are ready for in person dining and shopping, but many people are not rushing out of their houses.

People will still want to social distance and refrain from unnecessary trips to the store. Others now prefer the time saving convenience of Instacart, Amazon and DoorDash.

When COVID first hit, Amazon and Instacart could not keep up with the demand. Amazon Prime members were no longer getting 2-day shipping and Instacart deliveries were hard to come by. There were days I would check the app several times throughout the day for a delivery slot just to avoid going to the grocery store.

Moreover, you may have found that contacting your local insurance broker to handle insurance for On Demand Delivery Start-Ups just isn’t working – and we know why!

 

Finding the Right Broker for On Demand Delivery Start-Ups

On Demand Delivery Start-Ups
UberEats was one of a few On Demand Delivery Start-Ups that have grown in popularity since COVID-19.

If you are planning to be the next Postmates or DoorDash, you need to prepare and think about insurance before  launching On Demand Delivery Start-Ups. One of them is finding the right broker.  Not all brokers are created equal. You will need to find someone that has access to more than one carrier writing Hired & Owned if you are planning to utilize a peer to peer model. If you are planning to own a fleet of vehicles, contacting American Business Insurance will allow you to utilize our Period X™ platform for when vehicles are not operating. We are also close to launching a Period 0™ platform for when cars log into the app.

Commercial auto insurance can be expensive, but ABI is able to connect with your IT team to fully integrate with your app. This means you can spend more time running and growing your business. Which in turn, equates to less time handling insurance.

With our CarTeq™ technology, we provide oversight to On Demand Delivery Start-Ups which is essential (no pun intended) to any successful business.

 

Be Prepared for the Insurance Buying Process

Create the app and have it mostly finished before you start shopping for insurance. Underwriters will want to see what your app looks like before quoting. Many will not spend time quoting your account until they know the app or website is close to completion.

Have a business plan and projection. Many carriers want to see a certain level of planning and investment has been done before quoting. They will usually ask for financials and a marketing plan. They want to see a safety manual (we can help you with that!) and feel comfortable that the On Demand Delivery Start-Ups will be able to compete with the Postmates and DoorDashes of the world.

Create a bio or resume for all key officers. Insurance companies like to see where you came from and how you ended up in the ODD (on demand delivery) space.

Understanding the costs. Most insurance companies have minimum annual premiums ranging from $75,000-150,000. Financing options are available but be ready to put at least 20% down. Sometimes, these premiums are minimum regardless if you operate 1 day or a full year.

Shopping around. There is an abundance of personal auto carriers out there. But, there are only a handful of companies offering insurance for On Demand Delivery Start-Ups. American Business Insurance works with them all. So, there is no need to shop around. Who doesn’t love one stop shopping?

 

So Much to Do, So Little Time to Do It

There is a lot to think about when navigating the insurance buying process for On Demand Delivery Start-Ups, but lucky we are here to help! We’ve helped many others with integrating insurance into their business and we are at the forefront of Insurance Technology.

Not sure where to begin? The first step is contacting us for a full business plan review and insurance quotes. From Full Commercial Auto Liability Insurance, Hired & Non-Owned, Workers Compensation, Directors and Officers Coverages as well as Employment Practices Liability Insurance – we are excited to hear what you have cooking and how we can help move On Demand Delivery Start-Ups forward.

 

Written by Laura Loftus who is the Executive Broker/Sales and Marketing Manager at American Business Insurance Services, Inc. She has more than 10 years of experience insuring business in the For-Hire, Livery, Transportation Network Company, On Demand Delivery & Shared Economy industries. Looking for a quote on your business?  Call us Monday – Friday, 8 am to 5 pm pacific: 800-980-1950 or email us anytime!

 

 

 

 

New, Easy to Purchase and Install PPE Available for Essential Transportation Companies

Every morning, Corey Lamb puts himself at risk to transport the City of San Francisco’s most vulnerable residents. He stocks his cab with all types of PPE (personal protective equipment) such as  gloves, masks and sanitizer.

Lamb, who has been a professional driver since 2006 and was named the 2019 Paratransit Taxi Driver of the Year by the City of San Francisco and Paratransit Board, has developed a deep passion and drive to focus his taxi services on the people who need him most.

“I focus on providing dignified transportation services for people who would otherwise be confined to their home. My focus is on them and their needs. What’s getting me through COVID is that I have a segment of my clientele that are dialysis patients. Regardless of what is going on in the world, they need to go to dialysis. I pick them up and take them. I make that happen,” Lamb said.

Flywheel Technologies is excited to be the sole distributor of PPE shields in North America.

Lamb owns two wheel chair accessible taxicabs in San Francisco. He also just purchased the first hybrid wheel chair vehicle in the City of San Francisco. As a child, his mother worked for a non-profit organization that taught adults with Autism and Down Syndrome. Their focus was to teach them how to be independent. The compassion Lamb saw  in his mother toward these people is the driving force behind him catering to those in need of transportation.

“I bought both cars brand new. I wanted my passengers to not feel like a run of the mil ride. For me, it’s important that they understand that I care they are being transported in a safe vehicle. The people who have disabilities are usually not considered in planning until the end. I wanted my business to show them they are being considered at the beginning,” Lamb stated.

 

New Types of PPE Available for Taxicab, Limo and Paratransit Drivers

The challenges of transporting the public today have changed compared to a few months ago. In today’s world of face masks, hand sanitizer and Lysol spray– the taxi industry is an essential business that needs to be proactive about using PPE, not only making passengers feel safe – but also their drivers.

That’s why Hansu Kim, President of Flywheel Technologies (a California based taxi booking app) has been working with Taxi Butler in the Netherlands to distribute the Flywheel Shield to transportation companies in need throughout North America.

“We want to bring more confidence in the taxi industry. For vehicles that are on the road, we need to show we are being proactive and staying safe compared to Uber and Lyft by utilizing different types of PPE,” Kim said.

The City of San Francisco has purchased 500 of these shields from Flywheel in response to a need to protect both drivers and passengers. Drivers are deemed essential workers and their passengers  include our most vulnerable population of elderly, medically fragile or immune compromised.

Since the shields are considered Personal Protective Equipment (PPE),  the City is able to use funds they received from government to equip taxis with this important PPE.

“These are easy to install and easy to remove. It gives real protection in an enclosed space. The Flywheel Shield is universal and works in all types of vehicles from a compact hybrid to a larger wheel chair accessible mini van (two of the most common vehicles used in the taxi industry),” Kim explained.

In addition to the shields, the City of San Francisco has introduced The Essential Trip Card designed to help the elderly and in need population purchase fares at reduced cost.

 

The Flywheel Shield is easy to install and priced affordably.
The Flywheel Shield is easy to install and priced affordably.

The Flywheel Shield can be installed using car handles.

 

A Whole New World

Pre-coronavirus, many transportation companies were making non-essential items such as phone chargers, mints and mini water bottles available for passengers.

Shields that were previously installed were mainly used to protect drivers from unruly or violent passengers. They were designed to protect the driver from robbery.

Right now, the majority of passengers using public transportation are first-responders and patients. Drivers need to feel safe about going to work every day and the general population needs to feel safe when riding in public transportation.

“As an essential service, we need to take proactive measures to protect drivers and passengers. We are transporting the most vulnerable – people with fragile medical needs, the elderly and first-responders,” Kim said.

The Flywheel Shield, which went through several different prototypes is easy to install and has been tested by Flywheel Taxi of San Francisco already. It straps on around the front seat and has a sliding opening to pass through payment if needed (card or cash), vouchers and receipts between passenger and driver. At a price point ranging between $40-$50 (depending on order count), the Flywheel Shield is available to purchase for taxi companies across North America. Email [email protected] or call 630-886-6868 for more information on purchasing.

Budgeting for PPE

Many cities and municipalities are looking to purchase this type of PPE for drivers. Before purchasing, Kim said it’s a good idea to check with your City to see if they will reimburse transportation companies for purchasing and installing PPE in public transportation vehicles.

“Drivers feel safer and passengers are saying this is fantastic,” Kim added.

Kim is hoping that other transportation companies across the country will step up and make the necessary changes within the industry to keep people moving, safely.

The Coronavirus, which we know is mainly transmissible through airborne respiratory particles – can be halted from spreading via masks but also with plastic shields between people. Grocery stores have installed these shields in front of cashiers to keep them safe. Doctors and nurses wear them while on duty. It is essential that those working during the pandemic change the way they protected themselves.

Flywheel Taxi driver Lamb is married with 2 kids and is looking forward to installing the Flywheel Shield into his vehicles. He wants to keep not only himself and his family safe, but also his passengers.

“We need to treat these people like family. When you have that mentality, it’s not just a passenger. It’s Amelia’s son. It’s John’s brother. It’s not just a guy I pick up 3 times per week. There is a name attached to it and a story,” Lamb explained further. “There is a relationship there. It’s not just a business for me, it’s a commitment I have to the community to make sure their needs are always met.”

If you would like more information or would like to place an order for the Flywheel Shield, please call 630-886-6868 or email [email protected]

 

Written by Laura Loftus who is an Executive Broker/Sales and Underwriting Manager with more than 10 years of experience insuring business in the For-Hire, Livery & Shared Economy industries. Looking for a quote on your business?  Call us Monday – Friday, 8 am to 5 pm pacific: 800-980-1950 or email us anytime!

 

 

 

Using Your Paycheck Protection Program Payment for Transportation Businesses during COVID-19

As the days and weeks pass by, more and more people are staying home which is affecting not only the transportation industry – but businesses of all types nationwide.

If you are experiencing financial difficulties, you might be thinking about cancelling your policy. Instead, why not use your Paycheck Protection Program payment toward insurance. This way, you can continue to work and serve the community who needs your help.

If you haven’t already and still want to work, the U.S. Department of the Treasury has posted the NEW application form for the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). In short, these are zero-interest loans up to $10 million. These loans cover operational costs like payroll, health benefits, rent, mortgage payments, insurance premiums and utilities.

With taxicabs being named an essential business, there are other revenue generating opportunities for taxicab businesses you may not already be tapped into.

Show Me The Money

Paycheck Protection Program loans are administered through the Small Business Administration, but you have to apply through a local bank. We urge all transportation businesses to download and begin filling out the PPP loan application, and talk to your banker today. The Treasury Department has issued a useful fact sheet on what the loan covers.

In addition to the Paycheck Protection Program loan, we want to remind you that the Small Business Association has also created Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL) that are designed to quickly send $10,000 to distressed companies. The EIDL application is found online and will offer assistance loans for up to $2 million.

But is there any work?

It may feel like there is no work to be done, but as Ann Pilkington who works for Freedom Taxicab in Des Moines, IA told KCCI De Moines, “The main thing is getting people to their appointments because there are some people that wouldn’t last, like a dialysis patient or something, they wouldn’t make it without those med changes or that treatment on themselves.”

Of course, please wear a mask, wash your hands frequently and keep your car clean for at-risk passengers going to and from doctor appointments. It is important to protect yourself and your passengers while working during COVID-19.

Below is a short list of 5 revenue generating ideas you may be able to implement using your existing policy.

Top 5 Revenue Generators during COVID-19:

Using your paycheck protection program payment toward insurance.

 

1. Appointments and other Non-Emergency transportation services

This is probably the largest source of transportation needed right now. People still need to get dialysis, chemotherapy and other types of medical treatments during COVID-19. If you haven’t already added this service to your taxi platform, now is the time.

Below is a list of medical trip providers to consider.

  • LogistiCare – one the largest Non-Emergency Medical Transportation brokers in the United States. They have a presence in almost every state within the US.
  • EpicMD – NEMT trip provider with operations nationwide.
  • OneCall – NEMT broker that serves globally for everything from ambulatory ground transportation to air ambulances.
  • MTM – This is a popular NEMT provider with our existing client base. They have a presence is 75% of the country from coast to coast. They have especially higher trip volume within the East Coast states.
  • Acces2Care – Servicing 29 states, this program helps to dispatch NEMT trips through their parent company AMR which handles the emergency calls. All NEMT calls get sourced through Access2Care.Please note: accommodating passengers who are not ambulatory may not be permitted with your current policy.

 

2. Courier & delivery companies

Amazon is hiring 100,000 workers, mostly for fulfillment and delivery, and some UPS hubs are hiring as well, although—fair warning—both companies are facing criticism over employee safety. Some couriers are also hiring.

*No delivery of hazardous or illegal materials are permitted.  If you are considering cannabis delivery in legal states, we do have coverage for that with multiple markets. Click HERE to request a quote.

3. Grocery & medicine delivery

Grocery stores are your friends. Major chains such as KrogerMeijer, and Safeway are hiring in-store shelf stockers and delivery staff; ditto for regional chains such as Raley’s. Grocery delivery services and apps such as Instacart are also hiring.

4. Sign up for Uber/Lyft

While most taxi policies only allow a certain amount of TNC transport (if any at all), many of our clients have policies that are flexible with allowing drivers to use multiple sources of dispatch to generate revenue. Many drivers are staying home but people without their own sources of transportation still need to go grocery shopping, pick up medications from pharmacies and drop off supplies to loved ones.  And those in the medical field are opting for a more private form of transportation instead of their usual train or bus ride to and from work.

5. Pre-arranged, black car services (utilizing vehicles already within your fleet)

Again, as mentioned above, utilizing your current clientele database to advertise a clean, safe mode of transportation in these trying times is key. Send out texts letting people know you are working and available. Many assume everything is closed. But although people aren’t travelling through airports like they used to – there is clientele that still rely on taxi and black car services to get to the doctor or grocery store. There are doctors and nurses in urban areas who need to get to work but can’t take mass transit.

Be there to help them, they will remember that you helped them even after “everything goes back to normal.”


Not All Policies are Created Equal

Not all insurance companies allow you to do all the types of trips listed above on ONE policy. But WE do. If you don’t already accommodate these types of trips and want to, please contact us to see if your current policy allows for medical and courier trips.

Also, if you are high risk or live with someone who is – please take precaution in working during these times. Working through a pandemic is not for everyone but if you are willing and able – your customers will be forever grateful to you for helping them out when they needed it most!

 

Written by Laura Loftus who is an Executive Broker/Sales and Underwriting Manager with more than 10 years of experience insuring business in the For-Hire, Livery & Shared Economy industries. Looking for a quote on your business?  Call us Monday – Friday, 8 am to 5 pm pacific: 800-980-1950 or email us anytime!

 

Short-Term Policies for Food Delivery Insurance

As the Coronavirus continues to spread across the country, most non-essential businesses are closed nationwide. Although dining in isn’t allowed, restaurants are still allowed to open since they are considered an essential business.  Many restaurants are offering food delivery (even if they didn’t before) since it is allowed. Restaurants new to food delivery might need to purchase additional coverage with a Short-Term Food Delivery Insurance Policy.

It’s a whole new world of self -isolation and government-imposed quarantining. So, what does that mean for every-day life? Well, it’s completely changed as we know it. With that decision, many restaurants have revised their menus and implemented delivery to customers instead. Some are even selling their signature cocktails to-go.

However, what most businesses don’t realize is that allowing your employees to drive their cars to deliver food is not covered under their personal auto insurance. This is why a Short-Term Food Delivery Insurance policy may work for you or someone you know.

Insurance for Delivery Businesses During COVID-19

First off, to ease your mind a bit about potential liabilities, the FDA’s current position is that “there is no evidence to suggest that food produced in the United States can transmit COVID-19.” Furthermore, they went on to say that there is “no evidence of food or food packaging being associated with transmission of COVID-19.”

As always, as long as the food is prepared safely, the risk is low. Information around COVID-19 continues to change, but current evidence seems to point to food delivery as a less risky option than exposing yourself to a grocery store, bringing the bags and items into your home and preparing the food yourself.

Essentially, the major risk of dining within a restaurant is touching a table, counter, or other surface that someone who is contagious may have touched.

Because delivery businesses have become so important during this outbreak, it’s important for employers to get food delivery insurance.

New Short-Term Food Delivery Insurance Program

Whether offering food delivery is a permanent business change or temporary, we have access to a new program which is writing short-term food delivery insurance for restaurants.

food delivery insurance
Many restaurants are delivering food with tamper controls so you can be sure your food was untouched during delivery.

This program is written by an A.M. Best rated “A” X carrier and can accommodate a wide range of classes that have been affected by COVID-19. To contact an ABI producer for more information, click here.

Product highlights include:

  • Monoline coverage
  • 3- or 6-month policy
  • Quick turn-around time
  • Non-auditable policy
  • Limit options of $300K, $500K, $1M CSL
  • Deductible $2,500
  • Offering short term policies starting at $1,500
  • MVR screening service provided
  • Symbols 8 & 9 (hired and non-owned autos) commercial auto liability
  • No restrictive warranties
  • Available in all states except MI

 

Keeping Food Delivery Workers Safe

Many delivery companies have issued guidelines for workers during the outbreak, as Business Insider pointed out, and many of those same workers have taken additional precautions to keep themselves safe. Drivers and delivery workers for Uber, Lyft, and DoorDash told Business Insider they’re scouring their cars with bleach and cutting back on hours.

Even so, if you do opt for your restaurant to deliver food during the outbreak, consider implementing non-contact services. Also, advertise that you require your drivers to practice good hygiene, especially hand-washing. If you can, provide masks to your employees to protect themselves if they are not practicing contact-less delivery.

 

 

 

 

Peer to Peer Car Rental: A Peek Into a Growing Industry

Written by Laura Loftus

 

Antoine and Roslyn Andrade* are living the “American Dream.” You know, the one where you have 9-5 jobs, run a ministry AND manage a start-up peer to peer car rental business on the side. All the while, this husband/wife duo are putting THREE kids through college.

“We tapped into our kid’s college savings to buy the first three cars,”  Roslyn said about how they were able to start this home-based business. “We try to maintain multiple sources of income. If one goes down, then you have the others.”

Like many others in this business, they are utilizing popular peer to peer car sharing apps such as Turo and HyreCar. Turo, is a peer to peer car-sharing app which started in 2010 and focuses solely on personal use. While HyreCar, which first launched in 2014 – focuses on renting solely to drivers who are using the cars to drive for Uber & Lyft.  Antoine and Roslyn utilize American Business Insurance’s (ABI’s) Period X™ insurance product which was created for the peer to peer car sharing business model. As part of this insurance product, which insures the cars only while they are not rented, they are provided a CarTeq™ device which plugs into the OBD port of their vehicle. Through this device, they can log into our portal to view vehicle trip history and GPS location.

Testing the Peer to Peer Car Rental Model

Antoine and Roslyn listed their first 3 cars on the above platforms in 2018. Since then, they have utilized the profits they have made to invest

Peer to peer car rentals are growing in popularity throughout the US and abroad.back into the business and grow their fleet to 15 cars. As you can imagine, balancing their day jobs along with managing a mini car rental business is challenging.

From scheduling maintenance, filing claims, repairing and even recovering stolen vehicles – the business is one that should be carefully entered. It’s not unusual for cars to come back from being rented needing repairs. And some don’t come back at all, and need to be tracked down or reported as stolen.

Antoine and Roslyn had more than once instance of this happening but were able to recover the vehicles in both instances. “The first time, we had to use the police to find the vehicle. The second time, we were able to get the address the car was parked at through the ABI portal. When we arrived, the car was still parked there so we took it home!”

 

Peer to Peer Car Rental Made Easy

Jon J. in Atlanta, GA has a clean, methodical approach to growing his peer to peer car rental business. Jon, who also has a day job has always had an entrepreneurial spirit. He uses his background as a consultant for other businesses to grow the car-sharing model.

Some people are in the business to recoupapp-based insurance costs on a vehicle they want to own, but not use all the time. An example of this is the business executive who wants to buy a Tesla, and then lists it on Turo to rent out a few days out of the month to offset his own monthly cost of using it when he wants.

 

Taking Care of Business

Jon on the other hand is focusing on how to get them continually rented while automating the process. Like the Andrades, he also started with 3 cars and is up to 15 within a year and a half of utilizing ABI’s Period X™ insurance product.

His fleet is made up of vehicles that are easier to maintain and good on gas. Some of the cars in his fleet include the Nissan Versa, Hyundai Elantra and the Ford Focus and Fiesta. “It’s all about getting the cars rented frequently and at the right price point.”

As a current business traveler, he is used to renting cars for work travel. In the past, he would always go to the big-name agencies like Hertz or Enterprise. When there was a problem, he had to deal with a giant corporation or a call center in a country far away.

“People like being able to call us directly, instead of a big company,” Jon said.

 

Let’s Get Personal

While using one of the online apps such as Turo or Getaround might seem like an impersonal experience, Jon said it is exactly the opposite. “With these apps, you get to see who owns the car in advance, the exact car you are renting and reviews of the person who is renting to you. You can chat in real time if there is a problem and it’s a much more personalized experience,” Jon continued.

Besides also having to recover stolen vehicles, Jon explained some of the other challenges he faces in the industry. Some of these challenges include knowing everything you can about what you are getting into, expecting the unexpected (maintenance, repair, paying deductibles on claims, etc) and always maintaining a reserve fund equal to about $1,000 per car ($10-$20k for a fleet of 15).

And that doesn’t include the cost of insurance. “There are some nuances on the insurance piece of the business. Initially, I used my personal auto insurance. But as it expanded, I needed a more scalable model. ABI really helped there,” Jon explained.

 

Risky Business

Personal auto carriers do not allow for you to insure cars that are being used to generate any type of revenue. Many people enter the peer to peer car sharing space utilizing only their personal auto. However, if a claim or accident were to arise through the course of business or even outside of it and they find out – you risk the claim being denied and possibly your policy being cancelled.

“Before you jump in, understand the true cost. Don’t just dive in without testing it. Test with 1-3 cars. Understand the risks you have to assume going into the peer to peer marketplace. Have patience and think through the little thing’s others don’t think about. Every few months I look through my business plan and identify what should be changed going forward. That’s really how you establish rapport and grow a business.”

 

*Note: Some of the names above are changed or abbreviated as the people interviewed prefer to maintain anonymity. 

Laura Loftus is an Executive Broker/Sales and Underwriting Manager with more than 10 years of experience insuring business in the For-Hire, Livery & Shared Economy industries. Looking for a quote on your business?  Call us Monday – Friday, 8 am to 5 pm pacific: 800-980-1950 or email us anytime!

Roseville Cab Taxi Driver Saves Woman from IRS Tax Scammer

Two weeks ago, a Roseville Cab taxi driver who is also insured through ABI, Rajbir Singh picked up a 92-year-old woman from her home in Roseville, CA. After getting settled into her seat, she requested that he take her to the bank. Shortly after talking with her, he found out she was going to withdraw $25,000 to settle an alleged debt with the IRS.

Rajbir Singh with two local Roseville area police officers.

Singh had a hunch that the person calling the woman for the money was a scammer. He tried repeatedly to get her to change her mind.

As reported by CNN on Sunday, Feb. 16th, Singh told them “I am an honest guy, and these are old people. They need help,” Singh, the owner of Roseville Cab, told CNN on Thursday. “It just made sense.”

As the conversation continued, the woman told Singh that someone had contacted her by phone saying she owed the money. As he asked more questions, he found out that she didn’t know the person calling.

The woman allowed Singh to try and call the number, and the man who answered hung up on Singh. When he tried to call back, the number blocked him.

 

Maybe the Police Will Help

After that, the woman was still not convinced she didn’t owe the money so Singh got the woman to agree on stopping by the Roseville Police Station before withdrawing the money. Once she spoke to the officer, she understood that was being scammed.

Singh, who has been a loyal customer of ABI since 2016, is the perfect example to breaking the stigma of taxi drivers. More often that not, our drivers are not always painted in the best light (though we see them differently). We felt it our duty to not only reward his good deed – but to promote it publicly!

Other drivers may have stayed out of it, minded their own business to rush into the next trip/fare – but Mr. Singh took it upon himself to look out for others – which deserves all the accolades he can get. This is why, American Business Insurance is rewarding our client with a Good Samaritan Taxi Driver Award which includes a $250 Visa Gift Card!

If you are ever in need of a ride in the Roseville area, please call Roseville Cab and ask for Rajbir! We know you will be in great hands.

 

Written by Laura Loftus on Monday, Feb. 17th, 2020

Cannabis Business Insurance: A Full-Service Agency Option

More and more states are allowing dispensaries to distribute cannabis products for medicinal and recreational use. An expanding market has produced the need for cannabis business insurance.

Up until recently, a person that wanted to buy cannabis for either medicinal or recreational use would need to go searching. Maybe their friend knew a guy who knew a guy.

But now, brick and motor stores as well as the much preferred On Demand Cannabis Delivery options continue to expand all over the globe. Business owners should understand the need and use for cannabis business insurance.

Some dispensaries utilize employee owned vehicles to deliver products from the stores. Others, like Budly.com operate as an Uber of pot. The app provides its users to a Business to Consumer (B2C) platform much like UberEats or Instacart.

Below are the most common liabilities that should be covered with your On Demand Cannabis Business Insurance:

  • Hired and non-owned coverage for B2C or Peer to Peer (P2P) models
  • Commercial Auto Insurance for corporate owned vehicles driven by employees
  • Workers Compensation if drivers are considered employees

Bud, Is It Legal?

Although On Demand Cannabis Business Insurance hasn’t been around for 35 years, American Business Insurance has! On Demand Insurance programs continue to expand. And state-by-state regulations around medicinal and recreational business continues to change.

Our experience in this field is unique, as we have the ability to curate and custom build a policy package that works within your budget. Whether it’s one vehicle for one dispensary or a total cannabis business insurance package, we created this guide to help Cannabis Delivery Insurance business owners turn their idea into a reality.

Within that guide, you will find facts about the nuances of not just insuring, but also operating an On Demand Cannabis Delivery Business in the states where it’s legal. Although many states have legalized cannabis businesses, most still have strict regulations in place for transportation and delivery. If your business expands to cross state lines, you will need operating authority in those states as well.

As a result, you will need a policy that takes growth and ease of use into consideration.

 

Marijuana Business Insurance

Purchasing On Demand Cannabis Business Insurance

On Demand Delivery providers or Dispensaries looking to shop their insurance will find we have created several proprietary loss control options which include the following:

  • Advice and tips for claims process
  • 24/7 access to your personalized policy at all times
  • Ability to add/delete vehicles and drivers in real time
  • Coming soon:
    • Tracking devices for your vehicles to manage trips taken
    • Dashboard to view driver safety analytics
    • Accident crash detection and automatic claim reporting

Some agencies take days, sometimes weeks to get a quote. However, because of our exclusive relationships and direct connections, we are able to provide quotes from some carriers within minutes.

Additionally, we have the ability to write other coverage’s you need to operate your Cannabis Business such as General Liability, Cargo Insurance and even bonds.

Whether you are a new business starting out with just one delivery car or an established dispensary looking to broaden your services, we are committed to quick and thorough turn around for our Cannabis Delivery Insurance needs.

Click here to request a quote or call 800-980-1950 ext. 4 to talk to one of our Cannabis Business Insurance experts M-F, 8 am – 5 pm pacific.

 

 

 

 

Written by Laura Loftus who is the Executive Broker/Sales and Marketing Manager at American Business Insurance Services, Inc. She has more than 10 years of experience insuring business in the For-Hire, Livery, Transportation Network Company, On Demand Delivery & Shared Economy industries. Looking for a quote on your business?  Call us Monday – Friday, 8 am to 5 pm pacific: 800-980-1950 or email us anytime!

A Complete Guide to Insuring On Demand Delivery Start-Ups

There is a growing need for On Demand Delivery Start-Ups. Although it may seem easy enough to do, few think of the potential liabilities and insurance coverage they will need to get started. Many of us are still working remotely and might not ever return to the office. We will also continue to turn to the convenience of ordering food and goods through the click of a button.

Nationwide states are opening their doors for business to resume, but the psychological effects of COVID-19 are everlasting. Restaurants and retail stores are ready for in person dining and shopping, but many people are not rushing out of their houses.

People will still want to social distance and refrain from unnecessary trips to the store. Others now prefer the time saving convenience of Instacart, Amazon and DoorDash.

When COVID first hit, Amazon and Instacart could not keep up with the demand. Amazon Prime members were no longer getting 2-day shipping and Instacart deliveries were hard to come by. There were days I would check the app several times throughout the day for a delivery slot just to avoid going to the grocery store.

Moreover, you may have found that contacting your local insurance broker to handle insurance for On Demand Delivery Start-Ups just isn’t working – and we know why!

 

Finding the Right Broker for On Demand Delivery Start-Ups

On Demand Delivery Start-Ups
UberEats was one of a few On Demand Delivery Start-Ups that have grown in popularity since COVID-19.

If you are planning to be the next Postmates or DoorDash, you need to prepare and think about insurance before  launching On Demand Delivery Start-Ups. One of them is finding the right broker.  Not all brokers are created equal. You will need to find someone that has access to more than one carrier writing Hired & Owned if you are planning to utilize a peer to peer model. If you are planning to own a fleet of vehicles, contacting American Business Insurance will allow you to utilize our Period X™ platform for when vehicles are not operating. We are also close to launching a Period 0™ platform for when cars log into the app.

Commercial auto insurance can be expensive, but ABI is able to connect with your IT team to fully integrate with your app. This means you can spend more time running and growing your business. Which in turn, equates to less time handling insurance.

With our CarTeq™ technology, we provide oversight to On Demand Delivery Start-Ups which is essential (no pun intended) to any successful business.

 

Be Prepared for the Insurance Buying Process

Create the app and have it mostly finished before you start shopping for insurance. Underwriters will want to see what your app looks like before quoting. Many will not spend time quoting your account until they know the app or website is close to completion.

Have a business plan and projection. Many carriers want to see a certain level of planning and investment has been done before quoting. They will usually ask for financials and a marketing plan. They want to see a safety manual (we can help you with that!) and feel comfortable that the On Demand Delivery Start-Ups will be able to compete with the Postmates and DoorDashes of the world.

Create a bio or resume for all key officers. Insurance companies like to see where you came from and how you ended up in the ODD (on demand delivery) space.

Understanding the costs. Most insurance companies have minimum annual premiums ranging from $75,000-150,000. Financing options are available but be ready to put at least 20% down. Sometimes, these premiums are minimum regardless if you operate 1 day or a full year.

Shopping around. There is an abundance of personal auto carriers out there. But, there are only a handful of companies offering insurance for On Demand Delivery Start-Ups. American Business Insurance works with them all. So, there is no need to shop around. Who doesn’t love one stop shopping?

 

So Much to Do, So Little Time to Do It

There is a lot to think about when navigating the insurance buying process for On Demand Delivery Start-Ups, but lucky we are here to help! We’ve helped many others with integrating insurance into their business and we are at the forefront of Insurance Technology.

Not sure where to begin? The first step is contacting us for a full business plan review and insurance quotes. From Full Commercial Auto Liability Insurance, Hired & Non-Owned, Workers Compensation, Directors and Officers Coverages as well as Employment Practices Liability Insurance – we are excited to hear what you have cooking and how we can help move On Demand Delivery Start-Ups forward.

 

Written by Laura Loftus who is the Executive Broker/Sales and Marketing Manager at American Business Insurance Services, Inc. She has more than 10 years of experience insuring business in the For-Hire, Livery, Transportation Network Company, On Demand Delivery & Shared Economy industries. Looking for a quote on your business?  Call us Monday – Friday, 8 am to 5 pm pacific: 800-980-1950 or email us anytime!

 

 

 

 

New, Easy to Purchase and Install PPE Available for Essential Transportation Companies

Every morning, Corey Lamb puts himself at risk to transport the City of San Francisco’s most vulnerable residents. He stocks his cab with all types of PPE (personal protective equipment) such as  gloves, masks and sanitizer.

Lamb, who has been a professional driver since 2006 and was named the 2019 Paratransit Taxi Driver of the Year by the City of San Francisco and Paratransit Board, has developed a deep passion and drive to focus his taxi services on the people who need him most.

“I focus on providing dignified transportation services for people who would otherwise be confined to their home. My focus is on them and their needs. What’s getting me through COVID is that I have a segment of my clientele that are dialysis patients. Regardless of what is going on in the world, they need to go to dialysis. I pick them up and take them. I make that happen,” Lamb said.

Flywheel Technologies is excited to be the sole distributor of PPE shields in North America.

Lamb owns two wheel chair accessible taxicabs in San Francisco. He also just purchased the first hybrid wheel chair vehicle in the City of San Francisco. As a child, his mother worked for a non-profit organization that taught adults with Autism and Down Syndrome. Their focus was to teach them how to be independent. The compassion Lamb saw  in his mother toward these people is the driving force behind him catering to those in need of transportation.

“I bought both cars brand new. I wanted my passengers to not feel like a run of the mil ride. For me, it’s important that they understand that I care they are being transported in a safe vehicle. The people who have disabilities are usually not considered in planning until the end. I wanted my business to show them they are being considered at the beginning,” Lamb stated.

 

New Types of PPE Available for Taxicab, Limo and Paratransit Drivers

The challenges of transporting the public today have changed compared to a few months ago. In today’s world of face masks, hand sanitizer and Lysol spray– the taxi industry is an essential business that needs to be proactive about using PPE, not only making passengers feel safe – but also their drivers.

That’s why Hansu Kim, President of Flywheel Technologies (a California based taxi booking app) has been working with Taxi Butler in the Netherlands to distribute the Flywheel Shield to transportation companies in need throughout North America.

“We want to bring more confidence in the taxi industry. For vehicles that are on the road, we need to show we are being proactive and staying safe compared to Uber and Lyft by utilizing different types of PPE,” Kim said.

The City of San Francisco has purchased 500 of these shields from Flywheel in response to a need to protect both drivers and passengers. Drivers are deemed essential workers and their passengers  include our most vulnerable population of elderly, medically fragile or immune compromised.

Since the shields are considered Personal Protective Equipment (PPE),  the City is able to use funds they received from government to equip taxis with this important PPE.

“These are easy to install and easy to remove. It gives real protection in an enclosed space. The Flywheel Shield is universal and works in all types of vehicles from a compact hybrid to a larger wheel chair accessible mini van (two of the most common vehicles used in the taxi industry),” Kim explained.

In addition to the shields, the City of San Francisco has introduced The Essential Trip Card designed to help the elderly and in need population purchase fares at reduced cost.

 

The Flywheel Shield is easy to install and priced affordably.
The Flywheel Shield is easy to install and priced affordably.

The Flywheel Shield can be installed using car handles.

 

A Whole New World

Pre-coronavirus, many transportation companies were making non-essential items such as phone chargers, mints and mini water bottles available for passengers.

Shields that were previously installed were mainly used to protect drivers from unruly or violent passengers. They were designed to protect the driver from robbery.

Right now, the majority of passengers using public transportation are first-responders and patients. Drivers need to feel safe about going to work every day and the general population needs to feel safe when riding in public transportation.

“As an essential service, we need to take proactive measures to protect drivers and passengers. We are transporting the most vulnerable – people with fragile medical needs, the elderly and first-responders,” Kim said.

The Flywheel Shield, which went through several different prototypes is easy to install and has been tested by Flywheel Taxi of San Francisco already. It straps on around the front seat and has a sliding opening to pass through payment if needed (card or cash), vouchers and receipts between passenger and driver. At a price point ranging between $40-$50 (depending on order count), the Flywheel Shield is available to purchase for taxi companies across North America. Email [email protected] or call 630-886-6868 for more information on purchasing.

Budgeting for PPE

Many cities and municipalities are looking to purchase this type of PPE for drivers. Before purchasing, Kim said it’s a good idea to check with your City to see if they will reimburse transportation companies for purchasing and installing PPE in public transportation vehicles.

“Drivers feel safer and passengers are saying this is fantastic,” Kim added.

Kim is hoping that other transportation companies across the country will step up and make the necessary changes within the industry to keep people moving, safely.

The Coronavirus, which we know is mainly transmissible through airborne respiratory particles – can be halted from spreading via masks but also with plastic shields between people. Grocery stores have installed these shields in front of cashiers to keep them safe. Doctors and nurses wear them while on duty. It is essential that those working during the pandemic change the way they protected themselves.

Flywheel Taxi driver Lamb is married with 2 kids and is looking forward to installing the Flywheel Shield into his vehicles. He wants to keep not only himself and his family safe, but also his passengers.

“We need to treat these people like family. When you have that mentality, it’s not just a passenger. It’s Amelia’s son. It’s John’s brother. It’s not just a guy I pick up 3 times per week. There is a name attached to it and a story,” Lamb explained further. “There is a relationship there. It’s not just a business for me, it’s a commitment I have to the community to make sure their needs are always met.”

If you would like more information or would like to place an order for the Flywheel Shield, please call 630-886-6868 or email [email protected]

 

Written by Laura Loftus who is an Executive Broker/Sales and Underwriting Manager with more than 10 years of experience insuring business in the For-Hire, Livery & Shared Economy industries. Looking for a quote on your business?  Call us Monday – Friday, 8 am to 5 pm pacific: 800-980-1950 or email us anytime!

 

 

 

Using Your Paycheck Protection Program Payment for Transportation Businesses during COVID-19

As the days and weeks pass by, more and more people are staying home which is affecting not only the transportation industry – but businesses of all types nationwide.

If you are experiencing financial difficulties, you might be thinking about cancelling your policy. Instead, why not use your Paycheck Protection Program payment toward insurance. This way, you can continue to work and serve the community who needs your help.

If you haven’t already and still want to work, the U.S. Department of the Treasury has posted the NEW application form for the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). In short, these are zero-interest loans up to $10 million. These loans cover operational costs like payroll, health benefits, rent, mortgage payments, insurance premiums and utilities.

With taxicabs being named an essential business, there are other revenue generating opportunities for taxicab businesses you may not already be tapped into.

Show Me The Money

Paycheck Protection Program loans are administered through the Small Business Administration, but you have to apply through a local bank. We urge all transportation businesses to download and begin filling out the PPP loan application, and talk to your banker today. The Treasury Department has issued a useful fact sheet on what the loan covers.

In addition to the Paycheck Protection Program loan, we want to remind you that the Small Business Association has also created Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL) that are designed to quickly send $10,000 to distressed companies. The EIDL application is found online and will offer assistance loans for up to $2 million.

But is there any work?

It may feel like there is no work to be done, but as Ann Pilkington who works for Freedom Taxicab in Des Moines, IA told KCCI De Moines, “The main thing is getting people to their appointments because there are some people that wouldn’t last, like a dialysis patient or something, they wouldn’t make it without those med changes or that treatment on themselves.”

Of course, please wear a mask, wash your hands frequently and keep your car clean for at-risk passengers going to and from doctor appointments. It is important to protect yourself and your passengers while working during COVID-19.

Below is a short list of 5 revenue generating ideas you may be able to implement using your existing policy.

Top 5 Revenue Generators during COVID-19:

Using your paycheck protection program payment toward insurance.

 

1. Appointments and other Non-Emergency transportation services

This is probably the largest source of transportation needed right now. People still need to get dialysis, chemotherapy and other types of medical treatments during COVID-19. If you haven’t already added this service to your taxi platform, now is the time.

Below is a list of medical trip providers to consider.

  • LogistiCare – one the largest Non-Emergency Medical Transportation brokers in the United States. They have a presence in almost every state within the US.
  • EpicMD – NEMT trip provider with operations nationwide.
  • OneCall – NEMT broker that serves globally for everything from ambulatory ground transportation to air ambulances.
  • MTM – This is a popular NEMT provider with our existing client base. They have a presence is 75% of the country from coast to coast. They have especially higher trip volume within the East Coast states.
  • Acces2Care – Servicing 29 states, this program helps to dispatch NEMT trips through their parent company AMR which handles the emergency calls. All NEMT calls get sourced through Access2Care.Please note: accommodating passengers who are not ambulatory may not be permitted with your current policy.

 

2. Courier & delivery companies

Amazon is hiring 100,000 workers, mostly for fulfillment and delivery, and some UPS hubs are hiring as well, although—fair warning—both companies are facing criticism over employee safety. Some couriers are also hiring.

*No delivery of hazardous or illegal materials are permitted.  If you are considering cannabis delivery in legal states, we do have coverage for that with multiple markets. Click HERE to request a quote.

3. Grocery & medicine delivery

Grocery stores are your friends. Major chains such as KrogerMeijer, and Safeway are hiring in-store shelf stockers and delivery staff; ditto for regional chains such as Raley’s. Grocery delivery services and apps such as Instacart are also hiring.

4. Sign up for Uber/Lyft

While most taxi policies only allow a certain amount of TNC transport (if any at all), many of our clients have policies that are flexible with allowing drivers to use multiple sources of dispatch to generate revenue. Many drivers are staying home but people without their own sources of transportation still need to go grocery shopping, pick up medications from pharmacies and drop off supplies to loved ones.  And those in the medical field are opting for a more private form of transportation instead of their usual train or bus ride to and from work.

5. Pre-arranged, black car services (utilizing vehicles already within your fleet)

Again, as mentioned above, utilizing your current clientele database to advertise a clean, safe mode of transportation in these trying times is key. Send out texts letting people know you are working and available. Many assume everything is closed. But although people aren’t travelling through airports like they used to – there is clientele that still rely on taxi and black car services to get to the doctor or grocery store. There are doctors and nurses in urban areas who need to get to work but can’t take mass transit.

Be there to help them, they will remember that you helped them even after “everything goes back to normal.”


Not All Policies are Created Equal

Not all insurance companies allow you to do all the types of trips listed above on ONE policy. But WE do. If you don’t already accommodate these types of trips and want to, please contact us to see if your current policy allows for medical and courier trips.

Also, if you are high risk or live with someone who is – please take precaution in working during these times. Working through a pandemic is not for everyone but if you are willing and able – your customers will be forever grateful to you for helping them out when they needed it most!

 

Written by Laura Loftus who is an Executive Broker/Sales and Underwriting Manager with more than 10 years of experience insuring business in the For-Hire, Livery & Shared Economy industries. Looking for a quote on your business?  Call us Monday – Friday, 8 am to 5 pm pacific: 800-980-1950 or email us anytime!

 

Short-Term Policies for Food Delivery Insurance

As the Coronavirus continues to spread across the country, most non-essential businesses are closed nationwide. Although dining in isn’t allowed, restaurants are still allowed to open since they are considered an essential business.  Many restaurants are offering food delivery (even if they didn’t before) since it is allowed. Restaurants new to food delivery might need to purchase additional coverage with a Short-Term Food Delivery Insurance Policy.

It’s a whole new world of self -isolation and government-imposed quarantining. So, what does that mean for every-day life? Well, it’s completely changed as we know it. With that decision, many restaurants have revised their menus and implemented delivery to customers instead. Some are even selling their signature cocktails to-go.

However, what most businesses don’t realize is that allowing your employees to drive their cars to deliver food is not covered under their personal auto insurance. This is why a Short-Term Food Delivery Insurance policy may work for you or someone you know.

Insurance for Delivery Businesses During COVID-19

First off, to ease your mind a bit about potential liabilities, the FDA’s current position is that “there is no evidence to suggest that food produced in the United States can transmit COVID-19.” Furthermore, they went on to say that there is “no evidence of food or food packaging being associated with transmission of COVID-19.”

As always, as long as the food is prepared safely, the risk is low. Information around COVID-19 continues to change, but current evidence seems to point to food delivery as a less risky option than exposing yourself to a grocery store, bringing the bags and items into your home and preparing the food yourself.

Essentially, the major risk of dining within a restaurant is touching a table, counter, or other surface that someone who is contagious may have touched.

Because delivery businesses have become so important during this outbreak, it’s important for employers to get food delivery insurance.

New Short-Term Food Delivery Insurance Program

Whether offering food delivery is a permanent business change or temporary, we have access to a new program which is writing short-term food delivery insurance for restaurants.

food delivery insurance
Many restaurants are delivering food with tamper controls so you can be sure your food was untouched during delivery.

This program is written by an A.M. Best rated “A” X carrier and can accommodate a wide range of classes that have been affected by COVID-19. To contact an ABI producer for more information, click here.

Product highlights include:

  • Monoline coverage
  • 3- or 6-month policy
  • Quick turn-around time
  • Non-auditable policy
  • Limit options of $300K, $500K, $1M CSL
  • Deductible $2,500
  • Offering short term policies starting at $1,500
  • MVR screening service provided
  • Symbols 8 & 9 (hired and non-owned autos) commercial auto liability
  • No restrictive warranties
  • Available in all states except MI

 

Keeping Food Delivery Workers Safe

Many delivery companies have issued guidelines for workers during the outbreak, as Business Insider pointed out, and many of those same workers have taken additional precautions to keep themselves safe. Drivers and delivery workers for Uber, Lyft, and DoorDash told Business Insider they’re scouring their cars with bleach and cutting back on hours.

Even so, if you do opt for your restaurant to deliver food during the outbreak, consider implementing non-contact services. Also, advertise that you require your drivers to practice good hygiene, especially hand-washing. If you can, provide masks to your employees to protect themselves if they are not practicing contact-less delivery.

 

 

 

 

Peer to Peer Car Rental: A Peek Into a Growing Industry

Written by Laura Loftus

 

Antoine and Roslyn Andrade* are living the “American Dream.” You know, the one where you have 9-5 jobs, run a ministry AND manage a start-up peer to peer car rental business on the side. All the while, this husband/wife duo are putting THREE kids through college.

“We tapped into our kid’s college savings to buy the first three cars,”  Roslyn said about how they were able to start this home-based business. “We try to maintain multiple sources of income. If one goes down, then you have the others.”

Like many others in this business, they are utilizing popular peer to peer car sharing apps such as Turo and HyreCar. Turo, is a peer to peer car-sharing app which started in 2010 and focuses solely on personal use. While HyreCar, which first launched in 2014 – focuses on renting solely to drivers who are using the cars to drive for Uber & Lyft.  Antoine and Roslyn utilize American Business Insurance’s (ABI’s) Period X™ insurance product which was created for the peer to peer car sharing business model. As part of this insurance product, which insures the cars only while they are not rented, they are provided a CarTeq™ device which plugs into the OBD port of their vehicle. Through this device, they can log into our portal to view vehicle trip history and GPS location.

Testing the Peer to Peer Car Rental Model

Antoine and Roslyn listed their first 3 cars on the above platforms in 2018. Since then, they have utilized the profits they have made to invest

Peer to peer car rentals are growing in popularity throughout the US and abroad.back into the business and grow their fleet to 15 cars. As you can imagine, balancing their day jobs along with managing a mini car rental business is challenging.

From scheduling maintenance, filing claims, repairing and even recovering stolen vehicles – the business is one that should be carefully entered. It’s not unusual for cars to come back from being rented needing repairs. And some don’t come back at all, and need to be tracked down or reported as stolen.

Antoine and Roslyn had more than once instance of this happening but were able to recover the vehicles in both instances. “The first time, we had to use the police to find the vehicle. The second time, we were able to get the address the car was parked at through the ABI portal. When we arrived, the car was still parked there so we took it home!”

 

Peer to Peer Car Rental Made Easy

Jon J. in Atlanta, GA has a clean, methodical approach to growing his peer to peer car rental business. Jon, who also has a day job has always had an entrepreneurial spirit. He uses his background as a consultant for other businesses to grow the car-sharing model.

Some people are in the business to recoupapp-based insurance costs on a vehicle they want to own, but not use all the time. An example of this is the business executive who wants to buy a Tesla, and then lists it on Turo to rent out a few days out of the month to offset his own monthly cost of using it when he wants.

 

Taking Care of Business

Jon on the other hand is focusing on how to get them continually rented while automating the process. Like the Andrades, he also started with 3 cars and is up to 15 within a year and a half of utilizing ABI’s Period X™ insurance product.

His fleet is made up of vehicles that are easier to maintain and good on gas. Some of the cars in his fleet include the Nissan Versa, Hyundai Elantra and the Ford Focus and Fiesta. “It’s all about getting the cars rented frequently and at the right price point.”

As a current business traveler, he is used to renting cars for work travel. In the past, he would always go to the big-name agencies like Hertz or Enterprise. When there was a problem, he had to deal with a giant corporation or a call center in a country far away.

“People like being able to call us directly, instead of a big company,” Jon said.

 

Let’s Get Personal

While using one of the online apps such as Turo or Getaround might seem like an impersonal experience, Jon said it is exactly the opposite. “With these apps, you get to see who owns the car in advance, the exact car you are renting and reviews of the person who is renting to you. You can chat in real time if there is a problem and it’s a much more personalized experience,” Jon continued.

Besides also having to recover stolen vehicles, Jon explained some of the other challenges he faces in the industry. Some of these challenges include knowing everything you can about what you are getting into, expecting the unexpected (maintenance, repair, paying deductibles on claims, etc) and always maintaining a reserve fund equal to about $1,000 per car ($10-$20k for a fleet of 15).

And that doesn’t include the cost of insurance. “There are some nuances on the insurance piece of the business. Initially, I used my personal auto insurance. But as it expanded, I needed a more scalable model. ABI really helped there,” Jon explained.

 

Risky Business

Personal auto carriers do not allow for you to insure cars that are being used to generate any type of revenue. Many people enter the peer to peer car sharing space utilizing only their personal auto. However, if a claim or accident were to arise through the course of business or even outside of it and they find out – you risk the claim being denied and possibly your policy being cancelled.

“Before you jump in, understand the true cost. Don’t just dive in without testing it. Test with 1-3 cars. Understand the risks you have to assume going into the peer to peer marketplace. Have patience and think through the little thing’s others don’t think about. Every few months I look through my business plan and identify what should be changed going forward. That’s really how you establish rapport and grow a business.”

 

*Note: Some of the names above are changed or abbreviated as the people interviewed prefer to maintain anonymity. 

Laura Loftus is an Executive Broker/Sales and Underwriting Manager with more than 10 years of experience insuring business in the For-Hire, Livery & Shared Economy industries. Looking for a quote on your business?  Call us Monday – Friday, 8 am to 5 pm pacific: 800-980-1950 or email us anytime!

Roseville Cab Taxi Driver Saves Woman from IRS Tax Scammer

Two weeks ago, a Roseville Cab taxi driver who is also insured through ABI, Rajbir Singh picked up a 92-year-old woman from her home in Roseville, CA. After getting settled into her seat, she requested that he take her to the bank. Shortly after talking with her, he found out she was going to withdraw $25,000 to settle an alleged debt with the IRS.

Rajbir Singh with two local Roseville area police officers.

Singh had a hunch that the person calling the woman for the money was a scammer. He tried repeatedly to get her to change her mind.

As reported by CNN on Sunday, Feb. 16th, Singh told them “I am an honest guy, and these are old people. They need help,” Singh, the owner of Roseville Cab, told CNN on Thursday. “It just made sense.”

As the conversation continued, the woman told Singh that someone had contacted her by phone saying she owed the money. As he asked more questions, he found out that she didn’t know the person calling.

The woman allowed Singh to try and call the number, and the man who answered hung up on Singh. When he tried to call back, the number blocked him.

 

Maybe the Police Will Help

After that, the woman was still not convinced she didn’t owe the money so Singh got the woman to agree on stopping by the Roseville Police Station before withdrawing the money. Once she spoke to the officer, she understood that was being scammed.

Singh, who has been a loyal customer of ABI since 2016, is the perfect example to breaking the stigma of taxi drivers. More often that not, our drivers are not always painted in the best light (though we see them differently). We felt it our duty to not only reward his good deed – but to promote it publicly!

Other drivers may have stayed out of it, minded their own business to rush into the next trip/fare – but Mr. Singh took it upon himself to look out for others – which deserves all the accolades he can get. This is why, American Business Insurance is rewarding our client with a Good Samaritan Taxi Driver Award which includes a $250 Visa Gift Card!

If you are ever in need of a ride in the Roseville area, please call Roseville Cab and ask for Rajbir! We know you will be in great hands.

 

Written by Laura Loftus on Monday, Feb. 17th, 2020

Cannabis Business Insurance: A Full-Service Agency Option

More and more states are allowing dispensaries to distribute cannabis products for medicinal and recreational use. An expanding market has produced the need for cannabis business insurance.

Up until recently, a person that wanted to buy cannabis for either medicinal or recreational use would need to go searching. Maybe their friend knew a guy who knew a guy.

But now, brick and motor stores as well as the much preferred On Demand Cannabis Delivery options continue to expand all over the globe. Business owners should understand the need and use for cannabis business insurance.

Some dispensaries utilize employee owned vehicles to deliver products from the stores. Others, like Budly.com operate as an Uber of pot. The app provides its users to a Business to Consumer (B2C) platform much like UberEats or Instacart.

Below are the most common liabilities that should be covered with your On Demand Cannabis Business Insurance:

  • Hired and non-owned coverage for B2C or Peer to Peer (P2P) models
  • Commercial Auto Insurance for corporate owned vehicles driven by employees
  • Workers Compensation if drivers are considered employees

Bud, Is It Legal?

Although On Demand Cannabis Business Insurance hasn’t been around for 35 years, American Business Insurance has! On Demand Insurance programs continue to expand. And state-by-state regulations around medicinal and recreational business continues to change.

Our experience in this field is unique, as we have the ability to curate and custom build a policy package that works within your budget. Whether it’s one vehicle for one dispensary or a total cannabis business insurance package, we created this guide to help Cannabis Delivery Insurance business owners turn their idea into a reality.

Within that guide, you will find facts about the nuances of not just insuring, but also operating an On Demand Cannabis Delivery Business in the states where it’s legal. Although many states have legalized cannabis businesses, most still have strict regulations in place for transportation and delivery. If your business expands to cross state lines, you will need operating authority in those states as well.

As a result, you will need a policy that takes growth and ease of use into consideration.

 

Marijuana Business Insurance

Purchasing On Demand Cannabis Business Insurance

On Demand Delivery providers or Dispensaries looking to shop their insurance will find we have created several proprietary loss control options which include the following:

  • Advice and tips for claims process
  • 24/7 access to your personalized policy at all times
  • Ability to add/delete vehicles and drivers in real time
  • Coming soon:
    • Tracking devices for your vehicles to manage trips taken
    • Dashboard to view driver safety analytics
    • Accident crash detection and automatic claim reporting

Some agencies take days, sometimes weeks to get a quote. However, because of our exclusive relationships and direct connections, we are able to provide quotes from some carriers within minutes.

Additionally, we have the ability to write other coverage’s you need to operate your Cannabis Business such as General Liability, Cargo Insurance and even bonds.

Whether you are a new business starting out with just one delivery car or an established dispensary looking to broaden your services, we are committed to quick and thorough turn around for our Cannabis Delivery Insurance needs.

Click here to request a quote or call 800-980-1950 ext. 4 to talk to one of our Cannabis Business Insurance experts M-F, 8 am – 5 pm pacific.

 

 

 

 

Written by Laura Loftus who is the Executive Broker/Sales and Marketing Manager at American Business Insurance Services, Inc. She has more than 10 years of experience insuring business in the For-Hire, Livery, Transportation Network Company, On Demand Delivery & Shared Economy industries. Looking for a quote on your business?  Call us Monday – Friday, 8 am to 5 pm pacific: 800-980-1950 or email us anytime!

A Complete Guide to Insuring On Demand Delivery Start-Ups

There is a growing need for On Demand Delivery Start-Ups. Although it may seem easy enough to do, few think of the potential liabilities and insurance coverage they will need to get started. Many of us are still working remotely and might not ever return to the office. We will also continue to turn to the convenience of ordering food and goods through the click of a button.

Nationwide states are opening their doors for business to resume, but the psychological effects of COVID-19 are everlasting. Restaurants and retail stores are ready for in person dining and shopping, but many people are not rushing out of their houses.

People will still want to social distance and refrain from unnecessary trips to the store. Others now prefer the time saving convenience of Instacart, Amazon and DoorDash.

When COVID first hit, Amazon and Instacart could not keep up with the demand. Amazon Prime members were no longer getting 2-day shipping and Instacart deliveries were hard to come by. There were days I would check the app several times throughout the day for a delivery slot just to avoid going to the grocery store.

Moreover, you may have found that contacting your local insurance broker to handle insurance for On Demand Delivery Start-Ups just isn’t working – and we know why!

 

Finding the Right Broker for On Demand Delivery Start-Ups

On Demand Delivery Start-Ups
UberEats was one of a few On Demand Delivery Start-Ups that have grown in popularity since COVID-19.

If you are planning to be the next Postmates or DoorDash, you need to prepare and think about insurance before  launching On Demand Delivery Start-Ups. One of them is finding the right broker.  Not all brokers are created equal. You will need to find someone that has access to more than one carrier writing Hired & Owned if you are planning to utilize a peer to peer model. If you are planning to own a fleet of vehicles, contacting American Business Insurance will allow you to utilize our Period X™ platform for when vehicles are not operating. We are also close to launching a Period 0™ platform for when cars log into the app.

Commercial auto insurance can be expensive, but ABI is able to connect with your IT team to fully integrate with your app. This means you can spend more time running and growing your business. Which in turn, equates to less time handling insurance.

With our CarTeq™ technology, we provide oversight to On Demand Delivery Start-Ups which is essential (no pun intended) to any successful business.

 

Be Prepared for the Insurance Buying Process

Create the app and have it mostly finished before you start shopping for insurance. Underwriters will want to see what your app looks like before quoting. Many will not spend time quoting your account until they know the app or website is close to completion.

Have a business plan and projection. Many carriers want to see a certain level of planning and investment has been done before quoting. They will usually ask for financials and a marketing plan. They want to see a safety manual (we can help you with that!) and feel comfortable that the On Demand Delivery Start-Ups will be able to compete with the Postmates and DoorDashes of the world.

Create a bio or resume for all key officers. Insurance companies like to see where you came from and how you ended up in the ODD (on demand delivery) space.

Understanding the costs. Most insurance companies have minimum annual premiums ranging from $75,000-150,000. Financing options are available but be ready to put at least 20% down. Sometimes, these premiums are minimum regardless if you operate 1 day or a full year.

Shopping around. There is an abundance of personal auto carriers out there. But, there are only a handful of companies offering insurance for On Demand Delivery Start-Ups. American Business Insurance works with them all. So, there is no need to shop around. Who doesn’t love one stop shopping?

 

So Much to Do, So Little Time to Do It

There is a lot to think about when navigating the insurance buying process for On Demand Delivery Start-Ups, but lucky we are here to help! We’ve helped many others with integrating insurance into their business and we are at the forefront of Insurance Technology.

Not sure where to begin? The first step is contacting us for a full business plan review and insurance quotes. From Full Commercial Auto Liability Insurance, Hired & Non-Owned, Workers Compensation, Directors and Officers Coverages as well as Employment Practices Liability Insurance – we are excited to hear what you have cooking and how we can help move On Demand Delivery Start-Ups forward.

 

Written by Laura Loftus who is the Executive Broker/Sales and Marketing Manager at American Business Insurance Services, Inc. She has more than 10 years of experience insuring business in the For-Hire, Livery, Transportation Network Company, On Demand Delivery & Shared Economy industries. Looking for a quote on your business?  Call us Monday – Friday, 8 am to 5 pm pacific: 800-980-1950 or email us anytime!

 

 

 

 

New, Easy to Purchase and Install PPE Available for Essential Transportation Companies

Every morning, Corey Lamb puts himself at risk to transport the City of San Francisco’s most vulnerable residents. He stocks his cab with all types of PPE (personal protective equipment) such as  gloves, masks and sanitizer.

Lamb, who has been a professional driver since 2006 and was named the 2019 Paratransit Taxi Driver of the Year by the City of San Francisco and Paratransit Board, has developed a deep passion and drive to focus his taxi services on the people who need him most.

“I focus on providing dignified transportation services for people who would otherwise be confined to their home. My focus is on them and their needs. What’s getting me through COVID is that I have a segment of my clientele that are dialysis patients. Regardless of what is going on in the world, they need to go to dialysis. I pick them up and take them. I make that happen,” Lamb said.

Flywheel Technologies is excited to be the sole distributor of PPE shields in North America.

Lamb owns two wheel chair accessible taxicabs in San Francisco. He also just purchased the first hybrid wheel chair vehicle in the City of San Francisco. As a child, his mother worked for a non-profit organization that taught adults with Autism and Down Syndrome. Their focus was to teach them how to be independent. The compassion Lamb saw  in his mother toward these people is the driving force behind him catering to those in need of transportation.

“I bought both cars brand new. I wanted my passengers to not feel like a run of the mil ride. For me, it’s important that they understand that I care they are being transported in a safe vehicle. The people who have disabilities are usually not considered in planning until the end. I wanted my business to show them they are being considered at the beginning,” Lamb stated.

 

New Types of PPE Available for Taxicab, Limo and Paratransit Drivers

The challenges of transporting the public today have changed compared to a few months ago. In today’s world of face masks, hand sanitizer and Lysol spray– the taxi industry is an essential business that needs to be proactive about using PPE, not only making passengers feel safe – but also their drivers.

That’s why Hansu Kim, President of Flywheel Technologies (a California based taxi booking app) has been working with Taxi Butler in the Netherlands to distribute the Flywheel Shield to transportation companies in need throughout North America.

“We want to bring more confidence in the taxi industry. For vehicles that are on the road, we need to show we are being proactive and staying safe compared to Uber and Lyft by utilizing different types of PPE,” Kim said.

The City of San Francisco has purchased 500 of these shields from Flywheel in response to a need to protect both drivers and passengers. Drivers are deemed essential workers and their passengers  include our most vulnerable population of elderly, medically fragile or immune compromised.

Since the shields are considered Personal Protective Equipment (PPE),  the City is able to use funds they received from government to equip taxis with this important PPE.

“These are easy to install and easy to remove. It gives real protection in an enclosed space. The Flywheel Shield is universal and works in all types of vehicles from a compact hybrid to a larger wheel chair accessible mini van (two of the most common vehicles used in the taxi industry),” Kim explained.

In addition to the shields, the City of San Francisco has introduced The Essential Trip Card designed to help the elderly and in need population purchase fares at reduced cost.

 

The Flywheel Shield is easy to install and priced affordably.
The Flywheel Shield is easy to install and priced affordably.

The Flywheel Shield can be installed using car handles.

 

A Whole New World

Pre-coronavirus, many transportation companies were making non-essential items such as phone chargers, mints and mini water bottles available for passengers.

Shields that were previously installed were mainly used to protect drivers from unruly or violent passengers. They were designed to protect the driver from robbery.

Right now, the majority of passengers using public transportation are first-responders and patients. Drivers need to feel safe about going to work every day and the general population needs to feel safe when riding in public transportation.

“As an essential service, we need to take proactive measures to protect drivers and passengers. We are transporting the most vulnerable – people with fragile medical needs, the elderly and first-responders,” Kim said.

The Flywheel Shield, which went through several different prototypes is easy to install and has been tested by Flywheel Taxi of San Francisco already. It straps on around the front seat and has a sliding opening to pass through payment if needed (card or cash), vouchers and receipts between passenger and driver. At a price point ranging between $40-$50 (depending on order count), the Flywheel Shield is available to purchase for taxi companies across North America. Email [email protected] or call 630-886-6868 for more information on purchasing.

Budgeting for PPE

Many cities and municipalities are looking to purchase this type of PPE for drivers. Before purchasing, Kim said it’s a good idea to check with your City to see if they will reimburse transportation companies for purchasing and installing PPE in public transportation vehicles.

“Drivers feel safer and passengers are saying this is fantastic,” Kim added.

Kim is hoping that other transportation companies across the country will step up and make the necessary changes within the industry to keep people moving, safely.

The Coronavirus, which we know is mainly transmissible through airborne respiratory particles – can be halted from spreading via masks but also with plastic shields between people. Grocery stores have installed these shields in front of cashiers to keep them safe. Doctors and nurses wear them while on duty. It is essential that those working during the pandemic change the way they protected themselves.

Flywheel Taxi driver Lamb is married with 2 kids and is looking forward to installing the Flywheel Shield into his vehicles. He wants to keep not only himself and his family safe, but also his passengers.

“We need to treat these people like family. When you have that mentality, it’s not just a passenger. It’s Amelia’s son. It’s John’s brother. It’s not just a guy I pick up 3 times per week. There is a name attached to it and a story,” Lamb explained further. “There is a relationship there. It’s not just a business for me, it’s a commitment I have to the community to make sure their needs are always met.”

If you would like more information or would like to place an order for the Flywheel Shield, please call 630-886-6868 or email [email protected]

 

Written by Laura Loftus who is an Executive Broker/Sales and Underwriting Manager with more than 10 years of experience insuring business in the For-Hire, Livery & Shared Economy industries. Looking for a quote on your business?  Call us Monday – Friday, 8 am to 5 pm pacific: 800-980-1950 or email us anytime!

 

 

 

Using Your Paycheck Protection Program Payment for Transportation Businesses during COVID-19

As the days and weeks pass by, more and more people are staying home which is affecting not only the transportation industry – but businesses of all types nationwide.

If you are experiencing financial difficulties, you might be thinking about cancelling your policy. Instead, why not use your Paycheck Protection Program payment toward insurance. This way, you can continue to work and serve the community who needs your help.

If you haven’t already and still want to work, the U.S. Department of the Treasury has posted the NEW application form for the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). In short, these are zero-interest loans up to $10 million. These loans cover operational costs like payroll, health benefits, rent, mortgage payments, insurance premiums and utilities.

With taxicabs being named an essential business, there are other revenue generating opportunities for taxicab businesses you may not already be tapped into.

Show Me The Money

Paycheck Protection Program loans are administered through the Small Business Administration, but you have to apply through a local bank. We urge all transportation businesses to download and begin filling out the PPP loan application, and talk to your banker today. The Treasury Department has issued a useful fact sheet on what the loan covers.

In addition to the Paycheck Protection Program loan, we want to remind you that the Small Business Association has also created Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL) that are designed to quickly send $10,000 to distressed companies. The EIDL application is found online and will offer assistance loans for up to $2 million.

But is there any work?

It may feel like there is no work to be done, but as Ann Pilkington who works for Freedom Taxicab in Des Moines, IA told KCCI De Moines, “The main thing is getting people to their appointments because there are some people that wouldn’t last, like a dialysis patient or something, they wouldn’t make it without those med changes or that treatment on themselves.”

Of course, please wear a mask, wash your hands frequently and keep your car clean for at-risk passengers going to and from doctor appointments. It is important to protect yourself and your passengers while working during COVID-19.

Below is a short list of 5 revenue generating ideas you may be able to implement using your existing policy.

Top 5 Revenue Generators during COVID-19:

Using your paycheck protection program payment toward insurance.

 

1. Appointments and other Non-Emergency transportation services

This is probably the largest source of transportation needed right now. People still need to get dialysis, chemotherapy and other types of medical treatments during COVID-19. If you haven’t already added this service to your taxi platform, now is the time.

Below is a list of medical trip providers to consider.

  • LogistiCare – one the largest Non-Emergency Medical Transportation brokers in the United States. They have a presence in almost every state within the US.
  • EpicMD – NEMT trip provider with operations nationwide.
  • OneCall – NEMT broker that serves globally for everything from ambulatory ground transportation to air ambulances.
  • MTM – This is a popular NEMT provider with our existing client base. They have a presence is 75% of the country from coast to coast. They have especially higher trip volume within the East Coast states.
  • Acces2Care – Servicing 29 states, this program helps to dispatch NEMT trips through their parent company AMR which handles the emergency calls. All NEMT calls get sourced through Access2Care.Please note: accommodating passengers who are not ambulatory may not be permitted with your current policy.

 

2. Courier & delivery companies

Amazon is hiring 100,000 workers, mostly for fulfillment and delivery, and some UPS hubs are hiring as well, although—fair warning—both companies are facing criticism over employee safety. Some couriers are also hiring.

*No delivery of hazardous or illegal materials are permitted.  If you are considering cannabis delivery in legal states, we do have coverage for that with multiple markets. Click HERE to request a quote.

3. Grocery & medicine delivery

Grocery stores are your friends. Major chains such as KrogerMeijer, and Safeway are hiring in-store shelf stockers and delivery staff; ditto for regional chains such as Raley’s. Grocery delivery services and apps such as Instacart are also hiring.

4. Sign up for Uber/Lyft

While most taxi policies only allow a certain amount of TNC transport (if any at all), many of our clients have policies that are flexible with allowing drivers to use multiple sources of dispatch to generate revenue. Many drivers are staying home but people without their own sources of transportation still need to go grocery shopping, pick up medications from pharmacies and drop off supplies to loved ones.  And those in the medical field are opting for a more private form of transportation instead of their usual train or bus ride to and from work.

5. Pre-arranged, black car services (utilizing vehicles already within your fleet)

Again, as mentioned above, utilizing your current clientele database to advertise a clean, safe mode of transportation in these trying times is key. Send out texts letting people know you are working and available. Many assume everything is closed. But although people aren’t travelling through airports like they used to – there is clientele that still rely on taxi and black car services to get to the doctor or grocery store. There are doctors and nurses in urban areas who need to get to work but can’t take mass transit.

Be there to help them, they will remember that you helped them even after “everything goes back to normal.”


Not All Policies are Created Equal

Not all insurance companies allow you to do all the types of trips listed above on ONE policy. But WE do. If you don’t already accommodate these types of trips and want to, please contact us to see if your current policy allows for medical and courier trips.

Also, if you are high risk or live with someone who is – please take precaution in working during these times. Working through a pandemic is not for everyone but if you are willing and able – your customers will be forever grateful to you for helping them out when they needed it most!

 

Written by Laura Loftus who is an Executive Broker/Sales and Underwriting Manager with more than 10 years of experience insuring business in the For-Hire, Livery & Shared Economy industries. Looking for a quote on your business?  Call us Monday – Friday, 8 am to 5 pm pacific: 800-980-1950 or email us anytime!

 

Short-Term Policies for Food Delivery Insurance

As the Coronavirus continues to spread across the country, most non-essential businesses are closed nationwide. Although dining in isn’t allowed, restaurants are still allowed to open since they are considered an essential business.  Many restaurants are offering food delivery (even if they didn’t before) since it is allowed. Restaurants new to food delivery might need to purchase additional coverage with a Short-Term Food Delivery Insurance Policy.

It’s a whole new world of self -isolation and government-imposed quarantining. So, what does that mean for every-day life? Well, it’s completely changed as we know it. With that decision, many restaurants have revised their menus and implemented delivery to customers instead. Some are even selling their signature cocktails to-go.

However, what most businesses don’t realize is that allowing your employees to drive their cars to deliver food is not covered under their personal auto insurance. This is why a Short-Term Food Delivery Insurance policy may work for you or someone you know.

Insurance for Delivery Businesses During COVID-19

First off, to ease your mind a bit about potential liabilities, the FDA’s current position is that “there is no evidence to suggest that food produced in the United States can transmit COVID-19.” Furthermore, they went on to say that there is “no evidence of food or food packaging being associated with transmission of COVID-19.”

As always, as long as the food is prepared safely, the risk is low. Information around COVID-19 continues to change, but current evidence seems to point to food delivery as a less risky option than exposing yourself to a grocery store, bringing the bags and items into your home and preparing the food yourself.

Essentially, the major risk of dining within a restaurant is touching a table, counter, or other surface that someone who is contagious may have touched.

Because delivery businesses have become so important during this outbreak, it’s important for employers to get food delivery insurance.

New Short-Term Food Delivery Insurance Program

Whether offering food delivery is a permanent business change or temporary, we have access to a new program which is writing short-term food delivery insurance for restaurants.

food delivery insurance
Many restaurants are delivering food with tamper controls so you can be sure your food was untouched during delivery.

This program is written by an A.M. Best rated “A” X carrier and can accommodate a wide range of classes that have been affected by COVID-19. To contact an ABI producer for more information, click here.

Product highlights include:

  • Monoline coverage
  • 3- or 6-month policy
  • Quick turn-around time
  • Non-auditable policy
  • Limit options of $300K, $500K, $1M CSL
  • Deductible $2,500
  • Offering short term policies starting at $1,500
  • MVR screening service provided
  • Symbols 8 & 9 (hired and non-owned autos) commercial auto liability
  • No restrictive warranties
  • Available in all states except MI

 

Keeping Food Delivery Workers Safe

Many delivery companies have issued guidelines for workers during the outbreak, as Business Insider pointed out, and many of those same workers have taken additional precautions to keep themselves safe. Drivers and delivery workers for Uber, Lyft, and DoorDash told Business Insider they’re scouring their cars with bleach and cutting back on hours.

Even so, if you do opt for your restaurant to deliver food during the outbreak, consider implementing non-contact services. Also, advertise that you require your drivers to practice good hygiene, especially hand-washing. If you can, provide masks to your employees to protect themselves if they are not practicing contact-less delivery.

 

 

 

 

Peer to Peer Car Rental: A Peek Into a Growing Industry

Written by Laura Loftus

 

Antoine and Roslyn Andrade* are living the “American Dream.” You know, the one where you have 9-5 jobs, run a ministry AND manage a start-up peer to peer car rental business on the side. All the while, this husband/wife duo are putting THREE kids through college.

“We tapped into our kid’s college savings to buy the first three cars,”  Roslyn said about how they were able to start this home-based business. “We try to maintain multiple sources of income. If one goes down, then you have the others.”

Like many others in this business, they are utilizing popular peer to peer car sharing apps such as Turo and HyreCar. Turo, is a peer to peer car-sharing app which started in 2010 and focuses solely on personal use. While HyreCar, which first launched in 2014 – focuses on renting solely to drivers who are using the cars to drive for Uber & Lyft.  Antoine and Roslyn utilize American Business Insurance’s (ABI’s) Period X™ insurance product which was created for the peer to peer car sharing business model. As part of this insurance product, which insures the cars only while they are not rented, they are provided a CarTeq™ device which plugs into the OBD port of their vehicle. Through this device, they can log into our portal to view vehicle trip history and GPS location.

Testing the Peer to Peer Car Rental Model

Antoine and Roslyn listed their first 3 cars on the above platforms in 2018. Since then, they have utilized the profits they have made to invest

Peer to peer car rentals are growing in popularity throughout the US and abroad.back into the business and grow their fleet to 15 cars. As you can imagine, balancing their day jobs along with managing a mini car rental business is challenging.

From scheduling maintenance, filing claims, repairing and even recovering stolen vehicles – the business is one that should be carefully entered. It’s not unusual for cars to come back from being rented needing repairs. And some don’t come back at all, and need to be tracked down or reported as stolen.

Antoine and Roslyn had more than once instance of this happening but were able to recover the vehicles in both instances. “The first time, we had to use the police to find the vehicle. The second time, we were able to get the address the car was parked at through the ABI portal. When we arrived, the car was still parked there so we took it home!”

 

Peer to Peer Car Rental Made Easy

Jon J. in Atlanta, GA has a clean, methodical approach to growing his peer to peer car rental business. Jon, who also has a day job has always had an entrepreneurial spirit. He uses his background as a consultant for other businesses to grow the car-sharing model.

Some people are in the business to recoupapp-based insurance costs on a vehicle they want to own, but not use all the time. An example of this is the business executive who wants to buy a Tesla, and then lists it on Turo to rent out a few days out of the month to offset his own monthly cost of using it when he wants.

 

Taking Care of Business

Jon on the other hand is focusing on how to get them continually rented while automating the process. Like the Andrades, he also started with 3 cars and is up to 15 within a year and a half of utilizing ABI’s Period X™ insurance product.

His fleet is made up of vehicles that are easier to maintain and good on gas. Some of the cars in his fleet include the Nissan Versa, Hyundai Elantra and the Ford Focus and Fiesta. “It’s all about getting the cars rented frequently and at the right price point.”

As a current business traveler, he is used to renting cars for work travel. In the past, he would always go to the big-name agencies like Hertz or Enterprise. When there was a problem, he had to deal with a giant corporation or a call center in a country far away.

“People like being able to call us directly, instead of a big company,” Jon said.

 

Let’s Get Personal

While using one of the online apps such as Turo or Getaround might seem like an impersonal experience, Jon said it is exactly the opposite. “With these apps, you get to see who owns the car in advance, the exact car you are renting and reviews of the person who is renting to you. You can chat in real time if there is a problem and it’s a much more personalized experience,” Jon continued.

Besides also having to recover stolen vehicles, Jon explained some of the other challenges he faces in the industry. Some of these challenges include knowing everything you can about what you are getting into, expecting the unexpected (maintenance, repair, paying deductibles on claims, etc) and always maintaining a reserve fund equal to about $1,000 per car ($10-$20k for a fleet of 15).

And that doesn’t include the cost of insurance. “There are some nuances on the insurance piece of the business. Initially, I used my personal auto insurance. But as it expanded, I needed a more scalable model. ABI really helped there,” Jon explained.

 

Risky Business

Personal auto carriers do not allow for you to insure cars that are being used to generate any type of revenue. Many people enter the peer to peer car sharing space utilizing only their personal auto. However, if a claim or accident were to arise through the course of business or even outside of it and they find out – you risk the claim being denied and possibly your policy being cancelled.

“Before you jump in, understand the true cost. Don’t just dive in without testing it. Test with 1-3 cars. Understand the risks you have to assume going into the peer to peer marketplace. Have patience and think through the little thing’s others don’t think about. Every few months I look through my business plan and identify what should be changed going forward. That’s really how you establish rapport and grow a business.”

 

*Note: Some of the names above are changed or abbreviated as the people interviewed prefer to maintain anonymity. 

Laura Loftus is an Executive Broker/Sales and Underwriting Manager with more than 10 years of experience insuring business in the For-Hire, Livery & Shared Economy industries. Looking for a quote on your business?  Call us Monday – Friday, 8 am to 5 pm pacific: 800-980-1950 or email us anytime!

Roseville Cab Taxi Driver Saves Woman from IRS Tax Scammer

Two weeks ago, a Roseville Cab taxi driver who is also insured through ABI, Rajbir Singh picked up a 92-year-old woman from her home in Roseville, CA. After getting settled into her seat, she requested that he take her to the bank. Shortly after talking with her, he found out she was going to withdraw $25,000 to settle an alleged debt with the IRS.

Rajbir Singh with two local Roseville area police officers.

Singh had a hunch that the person calling the woman for the money was a scammer. He tried repeatedly to get her to change her mind.

As reported by CNN on Sunday, Feb. 16th, Singh told them “I am an honest guy, and these are old people. They need help,” Singh, the owner of Roseville Cab, told CNN on Thursday. “It just made sense.”

As the conversation continued, the woman told Singh that someone had contacted her by phone saying she owed the money. As he asked more questions, he found out that she didn’t know the person calling.

The woman allowed Singh to try and call the number, and the man who answered hung up on Singh. When he tried to call back, the number blocked him.

 

Maybe the Police Will Help

After that, the woman was still not convinced she didn’t owe the money so Singh got the woman to agree on stopping by the Roseville Police Station before withdrawing the money. Once she spoke to the officer, she understood that was being scammed.

Singh, who has been a loyal customer of ABI since 2016, is the perfect example to breaking the stigma of taxi drivers. More often that not, our drivers are not always painted in the best light (though we see them differently). We felt it our duty to not only reward his good deed – but to promote it publicly!

Other drivers may have stayed out of it, minded their own business to rush into the next trip/fare – but Mr. Singh took it upon himself to look out for others – which deserves all the accolades he can get. This is why, American Business Insurance is rewarding our client with a Good Samaritan Taxi Driver Award which includes a $250 Visa Gift Card!

If you are ever in need of a ride in the Roseville area, please call Roseville Cab and ask for Rajbir! We know you will be in great hands.

 

Written by Laura Loftus on Monday, Feb. 17th, 2020

Cannabis Business Insurance: A Full-Service Agency Option

More and more states are allowing dispensaries to distribute cannabis products for medicinal and recreational use. An expanding market has produced the need for cannabis business insurance.

Up until recently, a person that wanted to buy cannabis for either medicinal or recreational use would need to go searching. Maybe their friend knew a guy who knew a guy.

But now, brick and motor stores as well as the much preferred On Demand Cannabis Delivery options continue to expand all over the globe. Business owners should understand the need and use for cannabis business insurance.

Some dispensaries utilize employee owned vehicles to deliver products from the stores. Others, like Budly.com operate as an Uber of pot. The app provides its users to a Business to Consumer (B2C) platform much like UberEats or Instacart.

Below are the most common liabilities that should be covered with your On Demand Cannabis Business Insurance:

  • Hired and non-owned coverage for B2C or Peer to Peer (P2P) models
  • Commercial Auto Insurance for corporate owned vehicles driven by employees
  • Workers Compensation if drivers are considered employees

Bud, Is It Legal?

Although On Demand Cannabis Business Insurance hasn’t been around for 35 years, American Business Insurance has! On Demand Insurance programs continue to expand. And state-by-state regulations around medicinal and recreational business continues to change.

Our experience in this field is unique, as we have the ability to curate and custom build a policy package that works within your budget. Whether it’s one vehicle for one dispensary or a total cannabis business insurance package, we created this guide to help Cannabis Delivery Insurance business owners turn their idea into a reality.

Within that guide, you will find facts about the nuances of not just insuring, but also operating an On Demand Cannabis Delivery Business in the states where it’s legal. Although many states have legalized cannabis businesses, most still have strict regulations in place for transportation and delivery. If your business expands to cross state lines, you will need operating authority in those states as well.

As a result, you will need a policy that takes growth and ease of use into consideration.

 

Marijuana Business Insurance

Purchasing On Demand Cannabis Business Insurance

On Demand Delivery providers or Dispensaries looking to shop their insurance will find we have created several proprietary loss control options which include the following:

  • Advice and tips for claims process
  • 24/7 access to your personalized policy at all times
  • Ability to add/delete vehicles and drivers in real time
  • Coming soon:
    • Tracking devices for your vehicles to manage trips taken
    • Dashboard to view driver safety analytics
    • Accident crash detection and automatic claim reporting

Some agencies take days, sometimes weeks to get a quote. However, because of our exclusive relationships and direct connections, we are able to provide quotes from some carriers within minutes.

Additionally, we have the ability to write other coverage’s you need to operate your Cannabis Business such as General Liability, Cargo Insurance and even bonds.

Whether you are a new business starting out with just one delivery car or an established dispensary looking to broaden your services, we are committed to quick and thorough turn around for our Cannabis Delivery Insurance needs.

Click here to request a quote or call 800-980-1950 ext. 4 to talk to one of our Cannabis Business Insurance experts M-F, 8 am – 5 pm pacific.

 

 

 

 

Written by Laura Loftus who is the Executive Broker/Sales and Marketing Manager at American Business Insurance Services, Inc. She has more than 10 years of experience insuring business in the For-Hire, Livery, Transportation Network Company, On Demand Delivery & Shared Economy industries. Looking for a quote on your business?  Call us Monday – Friday, 8 am to 5 pm pacific: 800-980-1950 or email us anytime!

A Complete Guide to Insuring On Demand Delivery Start-Ups

There is a growing need for On Demand Delivery Start-Ups. Although it may seem easy enough to do, few think of the potential liabilities and insurance coverage they will need to get started. Many of us are still working remotely and might not ever return to the office. We will also continue to turn to the convenience of ordering food and goods through the click of a button.

Nationwide states are opening their doors for business to resume, but the psychological effects of COVID-19 are everlasting. Restaurants and retail stores are ready for in person dining and shopping, but many people are not rushing out of their houses.

People will still want to social distance and refrain from unnecessary trips to the store. Others now prefer the time saving convenience of Instacart, Amazon and DoorDash.

When COVID first hit, Amazon and Instacart could not keep up with the demand. Amazon Prime members were no longer getting 2-day shipping and Instacart deliveries were hard to come by. There were days I would check the app several times throughout the day for a delivery slot just to avoid going to the grocery store.

Moreover, you may have found that contacting your local insurance broker to handle insurance for On Demand Delivery Start-Ups just isn’t working – and we know why!

 

Finding the Right Broker for On Demand Delivery Start-Ups

On Demand Delivery Start-Ups
UberEats was one of a few On Demand Delivery Start-Ups that have grown in popularity since COVID-19.

If you are planning to be the next Postmates or DoorDash, you need to prepare and think about insurance before  launching On Demand Delivery Start-Ups. One of them is finding the right broker.  Not all brokers are created equal. You will need to find someone that has access to more than one carrier writing Hired & Owned if you are planning to utilize a peer to peer model. If you are planning to own a fleet of vehicles, contacting American Business Insurance will allow you to utilize our Period X™ platform for when vehicles are not operating. We are also close to launching a Period 0™ platform for when cars log into the app.

Commercial auto insurance can be expensive, but ABI is able to connect with your IT team to fully integrate with your app. This means you can spend more time running and growing your business. Which in turn, equates to less time handling insurance.

With our CarTeq™ technology, we provide oversight to On Demand Delivery Start-Ups which is essential (no pun intended) to any successful business.

 

Be Prepared for the Insurance Buying Process

Create the app and have it mostly finished before you start shopping for insurance. Underwriters will want to see what your app looks like before quoting. Many will not spend time quoting your account until they know the app or website is close to completion.

Have a business plan and projection. Many carriers want to see a certain level of planning and investment has been done before quoting. They will usually ask for financials and a marketing plan. They want to see a safety manual (we can help you with that!) and feel comfortable that the On Demand Delivery Start-Ups will be able to compete with the Postmates and DoorDashes of the world.

Create a bio or resume for all key officers. Insurance companies like to see where you came from and how you ended up in the ODD (on demand delivery) space.

Understanding the costs. Most insurance companies have minimum annual premiums ranging from $75,000-150,000. Financing options are available but be ready to put at least 20% down. Sometimes, these premiums are minimum regardless if you operate 1 day or a full year.

Shopping around. There is an abundance of personal auto carriers out there. But, there are only a handful of companies offering insurance for On Demand Delivery Start-Ups. American Business Insurance works with them all. So, there is no need to shop around. Who doesn’t love one stop shopping?

 

So Much to Do, So Little Time to Do It

There is a lot to think about when navigating the insurance buying process for On Demand Delivery Start-Ups, but lucky we are here to help! We’ve helped many others with integrating insurance into their business and we are at the forefront of Insurance Technology.

Not sure where to begin? The first step is contacting us for a full business plan review and insurance quotes. From Full Commercial Auto Liability Insurance, Hired & Non-Owned, Workers Compensation, Directors and Officers Coverages as well as Employment Practices Liability Insurance – we are excited to hear what you have cooking and how we can help move On Demand Delivery Start-Ups forward.

 

Written by Laura Loftus who is the Executive Broker/Sales and Marketing Manager at American Business Insurance Services, Inc. She has more than 10 years of experience insuring business in the For-Hire, Livery, Transportation Network Company, On Demand Delivery & Shared Economy industries. Looking for a quote on your business?  Call us Monday – Friday, 8 am to 5 pm pacific: 800-980-1950 or email us anytime!

 

 

 

 

New, Easy to Purchase and Install PPE Available for Essential Transportation Companies

Every morning, Corey Lamb puts himself at risk to transport the City of San Francisco’s most vulnerable residents. He stocks his cab with all types of PPE (personal protective equipment) such as  gloves, masks and sanitizer.

Lamb, who has been a professional driver since 2006 and was named the 2019 Paratransit Taxi Driver of the Year by the City of San Francisco and Paratransit Board, has developed a deep passion and drive to focus his taxi services on the people who need him most.

“I focus on providing dignified transportation services for people who would otherwise be confined to their home. My focus is on them and their needs. What’s getting me through COVID is that I have a segment of my clientele that are dialysis patients. Regardless of what is going on in the world, they need to go to dialysis. I pick them up and take them. I make that happen,” Lamb said.

Flywheel Technologies is excited to be the sole distributor of PPE shields in North America.

Lamb owns two wheel chair accessible taxicabs in San Francisco. He also just purchased the first hybrid wheel chair vehicle in the City of San Francisco. As a child, his mother worked for a non-profit organization that taught adults with Autism and Down Syndrome. Their focus was to teach them how to be independent. The compassion Lamb saw  in his mother toward these people is the driving force behind him catering to those in need of transportation.

“I bought both cars brand new. I wanted my passengers to not feel like a run of the mil ride. For me, it’s important that they understand that I care they are being transported in a safe vehicle. The people who have disabilities are usually not considered in planning until the end. I wanted my business to show them they are being considered at the beginning,” Lamb stated.

 

New Types of PPE Available for Taxicab, Limo and Paratransit Drivers

The challenges of transporting the public today have changed compared to a few months ago. In today’s world of face masks, hand sanitizer and Lysol spray– the taxi industry is an essential business that needs to be proactive about using PPE, not only making passengers feel safe – but also their drivers.

That’s why Hansu Kim, President of Flywheel Technologies (a California based taxi booking app) has been working with Taxi Butler in the Netherlands to distribute the Flywheel Shield to transportation companies in need throughout North America.

“We want to bring more confidence in the taxi industry. For vehicles that are on the road, we need to show we are being proactive and staying safe compared to Uber and Lyft by utilizing different types of PPE,” Kim said.

The City of San Francisco has purchased 500 of these shields from Flywheel in response to a need to protect both drivers and passengers. Drivers are deemed essential workers and their passengers  include our most vulnerable population of elderly, medically fragile or immune compromised.

Since the shields are considered Personal Protective Equipment (PPE),  the City is able to use funds they received from government to equip taxis with this important PPE.

“These are easy to install and easy to remove. It gives real protection in an enclosed space. The Flywheel Shield is universal and works in all types of vehicles from a compact hybrid to a larger wheel chair accessible mini van (two of the most common vehicles used in the taxi industry),” Kim explained.

In addition to the shields, the City of San Francisco has introduced The Essential Trip Card designed to help the elderly and in need population purchase fares at reduced cost.

 

The Flywheel Shield is easy to install and priced affordably.
The Flywheel Shield is easy to install and priced affordably.

The Flywheel Shield can be installed using car handles.

 

A Whole New World

Pre-coronavirus, many transportation companies were making non-essential items such as phone chargers, mints and mini water bottles available for passengers.

Shields that were previously installed were mainly used to protect drivers from unruly or violent passengers. They were designed to protect the driver from robbery.

Right now, the majority of passengers using public transportation are first-responders and patients. Drivers need to feel safe about going to work every day and the general population needs to feel safe when riding in public transportation.

“As an essential service, we need to take proactive measures to protect drivers and passengers. We are transporting the most vulnerable – people with fragile medical needs, the elderly and first-responders,” Kim said.

The Flywheel Shield, which went through several different prototypes is easy to install and has been tested by Flywheel Taxi of San Francisco already. It straps on around the front seat and has a sliding opening to pass through payment if needed (card or cash), vouchers and receipts between passenger and driver. At a price point ranging between $40-$50 (depending on order count), the Flywheel Shield is available to purchase for taxi companies across North America. Email [email protected] or call 630-886-6868 for more information on purchasing.

Budgeting for PPE

Many cities and municipalities are looking to purchase this type of PPE for drivers. Before purchasing, Kim said it’s a good idea to check with your City to see if they will reimburse transportation companies for purchasing and installing PPE in public transportation vehicles.

“Drivers feel safer and passengers are saying this is fantastic,” Kim added.

Kim is hoping that other transportation companies across the country will step up and make the necessary changes within the industry to keep people moving, safely.

The Coronavirus, which we know is mainly transmissible through airborne respiratory particles – can be halted from spreading via masks but also with plastic shields between people. Grocery stores have installed these shields in front of cashiers to keep them safe. Doctors and nurses wear them while on duty. It is essential that those working during the pandemic change the way they protected themselves.

Flywheel Taxi driver Lamb is married with 2 kids and is looking forward to installing the Flywheel Shield into his vehicles. He wants to keep not only himself and his family safe, but also his passengers.

“We need to treat these people like family. When you have that mentality, it’s not just a passenger. It’s Amelia’s son. It’s John’s brother. It’s not just a guy I pick up 3 times per week. There is a name attached to it and a story,” Lamb explained further. “There is a relationship there. It’s not just a business for me, it’s a commitment I have to the community to make sure their needs are always met.”

If you would like more information or would like to place an order for the Flywheel Shield, please call 630-886-6868 or email [email protected]

 

Written by Laura Loftus who is an Executive Broker/Sales and Underwriting Manager with more than 10 years of experience insuring business in the For-Hire, Livery & Shared Economy industries. Looking for a quote on your business?  Call us Monday – Friday, 8 am to 5 pm pacific: 800-980-1950 or email us anytime!

 

 

 

Using Your Paycheck Protection Program Payment for Transportation Businesses during COVID-19

As the days and weeks pass by, more and more people are staying home which is affecting not only the transportation industry – but businesses of all types nationwide.

If you are experiencing financial difficulties, you might be thinking about cancelling your policy. Instead, why not use your Paycheck Protection Program payment toward insurance. This way, you can continue to work and serve the community who needs your help.

If you haven’t already and still want to work, the U.S. Department of the Treasury has posted the NEW application form for the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). In short, these are zero-interest loans up to $10 million. These loans cover operational costs like payroll, health benefits, rent, mortgage payments, insurance premiums and utilities.

With taxicabs being named an essential business, there are other revenue generating opportunities for taxicab businesses you may not already be tapped into.

Show Me The Money

Paycheck Protection Program loans are administered through the Small Business Administration, but you have to apply through a local bank. We urge all transportation businesses to download and begin filling out the PPP loan application, and talk to your banker today. The Treasury Department has issued a useful fact sheet on what the loan covers.

In addition to the Paycheck Protection Program loan, we want to remind you that the Small Business Association has also created Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL) that are designed to quickly send $10,000 to distressed companies. The EIDL application is found online and will offer assistance loans for up to $2 million.

But is there any work?

It may feel like there is no work to be done, but as Ann Pilkington who works for Freedom Taxicab in Des Moines, IA told KCCI De Moines, “The main thing is getting people to their appointments because there are some people that wouldn’t last, like a dialysis patient or something, they wouldn’t make it without those med changes or that treatment on themselves.”

Of course, please wear a mask, wash your hands frequently and keep your car clean for at-risk passengers going to and from doctor appointments. It is important to protect yourself and your passengers while working during COVID-19.

Below is a short list of 5 revenue generating ideas you may be able to implement using your existing policy.

Top 5 Revenue Generators during COVID-19:

Using your paycheck protection program payment toward insurance.

 

1. Appointments and other Non-Emergency transportation services

This is probably the largest source of transportation needed right now. People still need to get dialysis, chemotherapy and other types of medical treatments during COVID-19. If you haven’t already added this service to your taxi platform, now is the time.

Below is a list of medical trip providers to consider.

  • LogistiCare – one the largest Non-Emergency Medical Transportation brokers in the United States. They have a presence in almost every state within the US.
  • EpicMD – NEMT trip provider with operations nationwide.
  • OneCall – NEMT broker that serves globally for everything from ambulatory ground transportation to air ambulances.
  • MTM – This is a popular NEMT provider with our existing client base. They have a presence is 75% of the country from coast to coast. They have especially higher trip volume within the East Coast states.
  • Acces2Care – Servicing 29 states, this program helps to dispatch NEMT trips through their parent company AMR which handles the emergency calls. All NEMT calls get sourced through Access2Care.Please note: accommodating passengers who are not ambulatory may not be permitted with your current policy.

 

2. Courier & delivery companies

Amazon is hiring 100,000 workers, mostly for fulfillment and delivery, and some UPS hubs are hiring as well, although—fair warning—both companies are facing criticism over employee safety. Some couriers are also hiring.

*No delivery of hazardous or illegal materials are permitted.  If you are considering cannabis delivery in legal states, we do have coverage for that with multiple markets. Click HERE to request a quote.

3. Grocery & medicine delivery

Grocery stores are your friends. Major chains such as KrogerMeijer, and Safeway are hiring in-store shelf stockers and delivery staff; ditto for regional chains such as Raley’s. Grocery delivery services and apps such as Instacart are also hiring.

4. Sign up for Uber/Lyft

While most taxi policies only allow a certain amount of TNC transport (if any at all), many of our clients have policies that are flexible with allowing drivers to use multiple sources of dispatch to generate revenue. Many drivers are staying home but people without their own sources of transportation still need to go grocery shopping, pick up medications from pharmacies and drop off supplies to loved ones.  And those in the medical field are opting for a more private form of transportation instead of their usual train or bus ride to and from work.

5. Pre-arranged, black car services (utilizing vehicles already within your fleet)

Again, as mentioned above, utilizing your current clientele database to advertise a clean, safe mode of transportation in these trying times is key. Send out texts letting people know you are working and available. Many assume everything is closed. But although people aren’t travelling through airports like they used to – there is clientele that still rely on taxi and black car services to get to the doctor or grocery store. There are doctors and nurses in urban areas who need to get to work but can’t take mass transit.

Be there to help them, they will remember that you helped them even after “everything goes back to normal.”


Not All Policies are Created Equal

Not all insurance companies allow you to do all the types of trips listed above on ONE policy. But WE do. If you don’t already accommodate these types of trips and want to, please contact us to see if your current policy allows for medical and courier trips.

Also, if you are high risk or live with someone who is – please take precaution in working during these times. Working through a pandemic is not for everyone but if you are willing and able – your customers will be forever grateful to you for helping them out when they needed it most!

 

Written by Laura Loftus who is an Executive Broker/Sales and Underwriting Manager with more than 10 years of experience insuring business in the For-Hire, Livery & Shared Economy industries. Looking for a quote on your business?  Call us Monday – Friday, 8 am to 5 pm pacific: 800-980-1950 or email us anytime!

 

Short-Term Policies for Food Delivery Insurance

As the Coronavirus continues to spread across the country, most non-essential businesses are closed nationwide. Although dining in isn’t allowed, restaurants are still allowed to open since they are considered an essential business.  Many restaurants are offering food delivery (even if they didn’t before) since it is allowed. Restaurants new to food delivery might need to purchase additional coverage with a Short-Term Food Delivery Insurance Policy.

It’s a whole new world of self -isolation and government-imposed quarantining. So, what does that mean for every-day life? Well, it’s completely changed as we know it. With that decision, many restaurants have revised their menus and implemented delivery to customers instead. Some are even selling their signature cocktails to-go.

However, what most businesses don’t realize is that allowing your employees to drive their cars to deliver food is not covered under their personal auto insurance. This is why a Short-Term Food Delivery Insurance policy may work for you or someone you know.

Insurance for Delivery Businesses During COVID-19

First off, to ease your mind a bit about potential liabilities, the FDA’s current position is that “there is no evidence to suggest that food produced in the United States can transmit COVID-19.” Furthermore, they went on to say that there is “no evidence of food or food packaging being associated with transmission of COVID-19.”

As always, as long as the food is prepared safely, the risk is low. Information around COVID-19 continues to change, but current evidence seems to point to food delivery as a less risky option than exposing yourself to a grocery store, bringing the bags and items into your home and preparing the food yourself.

Essentially, the major risk of dining within a restaurant is touching a table, counter, or other surface that someone who is contagious may have touched.

Because delivery businesses have become so important during this outbreak, it’s important for employers to get food delivery insurance.

New Short-Term Food Delivery Insurance Program

Whether offering food delivery is a permanent business change or temporary, we have access to a new program which is writing short-term food delivery insurance for restaurants.

food delivery insurance
Many restaurants are delivering food with tamper controls so you can be sure your food was untouched during delivery.

This program is written by an A.M. Best rated “A” X carrier and can accommodate a wide range of classes that have been affected by COVID-19. To contact an ABI producer for more information, click here.

Product highlights include:

  • Monoline coverage
  • 3- or 6-month policy
  • Quick turn-around time
  • Non-auditable policy
  • Limit options of $300K, $500K, $1M CSL
  • Deductible $2,500
  • Offering short term policies starting at $1,500
  • MVR screening service provided
  • Symbols 8 & 9 (hired and non-owned autos) commercial auto liability
  • No restrictive warranties
  • Available in all states except MI

 

Keeping Food Delivery Workers Safe

Many delivery companies have issued guidelines for workers during the outbreak, as Business Insider pointed out, and many of those same workers have taken additional precautions to keep themselves safe. Drivers and delivery workers for Uber, Lyft, and DoorDash told Business Insider they’re scouring their cars with bleach and cutting back on hours.

Even so, if you do opt for your restaurant to deliver food during the outbreak, consider implementing non-contact services. Also, advertise that you require your drivers to practice good hygiene, especially hand-washing. If you can, provide masks to your employees to protect themselves if they are not practicing contact-less delivery.

 

 

 

 

Peer to Peer Car Rental: A Peek Into a Growing Industry

Written by Laura Loftus

 

Antoine and Roslyn Andrade* are living the “American Dream.” You know, the one where you have 9-5 jobs, run a ministry AND manage a start-up peer to peer car rental business on the side. All the while, this husband/wife duo are putting THREE kids through college.

“We tapped into our kid’s college savings to buy the first three cars,”  Roslyn said about how they were able to start this home-based business. “We try to maintain multiple sources of income. If one goes down, then you have the others.”

Like many others in this business, they are utilizing popular peer to peer car sharing apps such as Turo and HyreCar. Turo, is a peer to peer car-sharing app which started in 2010 and focuses solely on personal use. While HyreCar, which first launched in 2014 – focuses on renting solely to drivers who are using the cars to drive for Uber & Lyft.  Antoine and Roslyn utilize American Business Insurance’s (ABI’s) Period X™ insurance product which was created for the peer to peer car sharing business model. As part of this insurance product, which insures the cars only while they are not rented, they are provided a CarTeq™ device which plugs into the OBD port of their vehicle. Through this device, they can log into our portal to view vehicle trip history and GPS location.

Testing the Peer to Peer Car Rental Model

Antoine and Roslyn listed their first 3 cars on the above platforms in 2018. Since then, they have utilized the profits they have made to invest

Peer to peer car rentals are growing in popularity throughout the US and abroad.back into the business and grow their fleet to 15 cars. As you can imagine, balancing their day jobs along with managing a mini car rental business is challenging.

From scheduling maintenance, filing claims, repairing and even recovering stolen vehicles – the business is one that should be carefully entered. It’s not unusual for cars to come back from being rented needing repairs. And some don’t come back at all, and need to be tracked down or reported as stolen.

Antoine and Roslyn had more than once instance of this happening but were able to recover the vehicles in both instances. “The first time, we had to use the police to find the vehicle. The second time, we were able to get the address the car was parked at through the ABI portal. When we arrived, the car was still parked there so we took it home!”

 

Peer to Peer Car Rental Made Easy

Jon J. in Atlanta, GA has a clean, methodical approach to growing his peer to peer car rental business. Jon, who also has a day job has always had an entrepreneurial spirit. He uses his background as a consultant for other businesses to grow the car-sharing model.

Some people are in the business to recoupapp-based insurance costs on a vehicle they want to own, but not use all the time. An example of this is the business executive who wants to buy a Tesla, and then lists it on Turo to rent out a few days out of the month to offset his own monthly cost of using it when he wants.

 

Taking Care of Business

Jon on the other hand is focusing on how to get them continually rented while automating the process. Like the Andrades, he also started with 3 cars and is up to 15 within a year and a half of utilizing ABI’s Period X™ insurance product.

His fleet is made up of vehicles that are easier to maintain and good on gas. Some of the cars in his fleet include the Nissan Versa, Hyundai Elantra and the Ford Focus and Fiesta. “It’s all about getting the cars rented frequently and at the right price point.”

As a current business traveler, he is used to renting cars for work travel. In the past, he would always go to the big-name agencies like Hertz or Enterprise. When there was a problem, he had to deal with a giant corporation or a call center in a country far away.

“People like being able to call us directly, instead of a big company,” Jon said.

 

Let’s Get Personal

While using one of the online apps such as Turo or Getaround might seem like an impersonal experience, Jon said it is exactly the opposite. “With these apps, you get to see who owns the car in advance, the exact car you are renting and reviews of the person who is renting to you. You can chat in real time if there is a problem and it’s a much more personalized experience,” Jon continued.

Besides also having to recover stolen vehicles, Jon explained some of the other challenges he faces in the industry. Some of these challenges include knowing everything you can about what you are getting into, expecting the unexpected (maintenance, repair, paying deductibles on claims, etc) and always maintaining a reserve fund equal to about $1,000 per car ($10-$20k for a fleet of 15).

And that doesn’t include the cost of insurance. “There are some nuances on the insurance piece of the business. Initially, I used my personal auto insurance. But as it expanded, I needed a more scalable model. ABI really helped there,” Jon explained.

 

Risky Business

Personal auto carriers do not allow for you to insure cars that are being used to generate any type of revenue. Many people enter the peer to peer car sharing space utilizing only their personal auto. However, if a claim or accident were to arise through the course of business or even outside of it and they find out – you risk the claim being denied and possibly your policy being cancelled.

“Before you jump in, understand the true cost. Don’t just dive in without testing it. Test with 1-3 cars. Understand the risks you have to assume going into the peer to peer marketplace. Have patience and think through the little thing’s others don’t think about. Every few months I look through my business plan and identify what should be changed going forward. That’s really how you establish rapport and grow a business.”

 

*Note: Some of the names above are changed or abbreviated as the people interviewed prefer to maintain anonymity. 

Laura Loftus is an Executive Broker/Sales and Underwriting Manager with more than 10 years of experience insuring business in the For-Hire, Livery & Shared Economy industries. Looking for a quote on your business?  Call us Monday – Friday, 8 am to 5 pm pacific: 800-980-1950 or email us anytime!

Roseville Cab Taxi Driver Saves Woman from IRS Tax Scammer

Two weeks ago, a Roseville Cab taxi driver who is also insured through ABI, Rajbir Singh picked up a 92-year-old woman from her home in Roseville, CA. After getting settled into her seat, she requested that he take her to the bank. Shortly after talking with her, he found out she was going to withdraw $25,000 to settle an alleged debt with the IRS.

Rajbir Singh with two local Roseville area police officers.

Singh had a hunch that the person calling the woman for the money was a scammer. He tried repeatedly to get her to change her mind.

As reported by CNN on Sunday, Feb. 16th, Singh told them “I am an honest guy, and these are old people. They need help,” Singh, the owner of Roseville Cab, told CNN on Thursday. “It just made sense.”

As the conversation continued, the woman told Singh that someone had contacted her by phone saying she owed the money. As he asked more questions, he found out that she didn’t know the person calling.

The woman allowed Singh to try and call the number, and the man who answered hung up on Singh. When he tried to call back, the number blocked him.

 

Maybe the Police Will Help

After that, the woman was still not convinced she didn’t owe the money so Singh got the woman to agree on stopping by the Roseville Police Station before withdrawing the money. Once she spoke to the officer, she understood that was being scammed.

Singh, who has been a loyal customer of ABI since 2016, is the perfect example to breaking the stigma of taxi drivers. More often that not, our drivers are not always painted in the best light (though we see them differently). We felt it our duty to not only reward his good deed – but to promote it publicly!

Other drivers may have stayed out of it, minded their own business to rush into the next trip/fare – but Mr. Singh took it upon himself to look out for others – which deserves all the accolades he can get. This is why, American Business Insurance is rewarding our client with a Good Samaritan Taxi Driver Award which includes a $250 Visa Gift Card!

If you are ever in need of a ride in the Roseville area, please call Roseville Cab and ask for Rajbir! We know you will be in great hands.

 

Written by Laura Loftus on Monday, Feb. 17th, 2020

Cannabis Business Insurance: A Full-Service Agency Option

More and more states are allowing dispensaries to distribute cannabis products for medicinal and recreational use. An expanding market has produced the need for cannabis business insurance.

Up until recently, a person that wanted to buy cannabis for either medicinal or recreational use would need to go searching. Maybe their friend knew a guy who knew a guy.

But now, brick and motor stores as well as the much preferred On Demand Cannabis Delivery options continue to expand all over the globe. Business owners should understand the need and use for cannabis business insurance.

Some dispensaries utilize employee owned vehicles to deliver products from the stores. Others, like Budly.com operate as an Uber of pot. The app provides its users to a Business to Consumer (B2C) platform much like UberEats or Instacart.

Below are the most common liabilities that should be covered with your On Demand Cannabis Business Insurance:

  • Hired and non-owned coverage for B2C or Peer to Peer (P2P) models
  • Commercial Auto Insurance for corporate owned vehicles driven by employees
  • Workers Compensation if drivers are considered employees

Bud, Is It Legal?

Although On Demand Cannabis Business Insurance hasn’t been around for 35 years, American Business Insurance has! On Demand Insurance programs continue to expand. And state-by-state regulations around medicinal and recreational business continues to change.

Our experience in this field is unique, as we have the ability to curate and custom build a policy package that works within your budget. Whether it’s one vehicle for one dispensary or a total cannabis business insurance package, we created this guide to help Cannabis Delivery Insurance business owners turn their idea into a reality.

Within that guide, you will find facts about the nuances of not just insuring, but also operating an On Demand Cannabis Delivery Business in the states where it’s legal. Although many states have legalized cannabis businesses, most still have strict regulations in place for transportation and delivery. If your business expands to cross state lines, you will need operating authority in those states as well.

As a result, you will need a policy that takes growth and ease of use into consideration.

 

Marijuana Business Insurance

Purchasing On Demand Cannabis Business Insurance

On Demand Delivery providers or Dispensaries looking to shop their insurance will find we have created several proprietary loss control options which include the following:

  • Advice and tips for claims process
  • 24/7 access to your personalized policy at all times
  • Ability to add/delete vehicles and drivers in real time
  • Coming soon:
    • Tracking devices for your vehicles to manage trips taken
    • Dashboard to view driver safety analytics
    • Accident crash detection and automatic claim reporting

Some agencies take days, sometimes weeks to get a quote. However, because of our exclusive relationships and direct connections, we are able to provide quotes from some carriers within minutes.

Additionally, we have the ability to write other coverage’s you need to operate your Cannabis Business such as General Liability, Cargo Insurance and even bonds.

Whether you are a new business starting out with just one delivery car or an established dispensary looking to broaden your services, we are committed to quick and thorough turn around for our Cannabis Delivery Insurance needs.

Click here to request a quote or call 800-980-1950 ext. 4 to talk to one of our Cannabis Business Insurance experts M-F, 8 am – 5 pm pacific.

 

 

 

 

Written by Laura Loftus who is the Executive Broker/Sales and Marketing Manager at American Business Insurance Services, Inc. She has more than 10 years of experience insuring business in the For-Hire, Livery, Transportation Network Company, On Demand Delivery & Shared Economy industries. Looking for a quote on your business?  Call us Monday – Friday, 8 am to 5 pm pacific: 800-980-1950 or email us anytime!

A Complete Guide to Insuring On Demand Delivery Start-Ups

There is a growing need for On Demand Delivery Start-Ups. Although it may seem easy enough to do, few think of the potential liabilities and insurance coverage they will need to get started. Many of us are still working remotely and might not ever return to the office. We will also continue to turn to the convenience of ordering food and goods through the click of a button.

Nationwide states are opening their doors for business to resume, but the psychological effects of COVID-19 are everlasting. Restaurants and retail stores are ready for in person dining and shopping, but many people are not rushing out of their houses.

People will still want to social distance and refrain from unnecessary trips to the store. Others now prefer the time saving convenience of Instacart, Amazon and DoorDash.

When COVID first hit, Amazon and Instacart could not keep up with the demand. Amazon Prime members were no longer getting 2-day shipping and Instacart deliveries were hard to come by. There were days I would check the app several times throughout the day for a delivery slot just to avoid going to the grocery store.

Moreover, you may have found that contacting your local insurance broker to handle insurance for On Demand Delivery Start-Ups just isn’t working – and we know why!

 

Finding the Right Broker for On Demand Delivery Start-Ups

On Demand Delivery Start-Ups
UberEats was one of a few On Demand Delivery Start-Ups that have grown in popularity since COVID-19.

If you are planning to be the next Postmates or DoorDash, you need to prepare and think about insurance before  launching On Demand Delivery Start-Ups. One of them is finding the right broker.  Not all brokers are created equal. You will need to find someone that has access to more than one carrier writing Hired & Owned if you are planning to utilize a peer to peer model. If you are planning to own a fleet of vehicles, contacting American Business Insurance will allow you to utilize our Period X™ platform for when vehicles are not operating. We are also close to launching a Period 0™ platform for when cars log into the app.

Commercial auto insurance can be expensive, but ABI is able to connect with your IT team to fully integrate with your app. This means you can spend more time running and growing your business. Which in turn, equates to less time handling insurance.

With our CarTeq™ technology, we provide oversight to On Demand Delivery Start-Ups which is essential (no pun intended) to any successful business.

 

Be Prepared for the Insurance Buying Process

Create the app and have it mostly finished before you start shopping for insurance. Underwriters will want to see what your app looks like before quoting. Many will not spend time quoting your account until they know the app or website is close to completion.

Have a business plan and projection. Many carriers want to see a certain level of planning and investment has been done before quoting. They will usually ask for financials and a marketing plan. They want to see a safety manual (we can help you with that!) and feel comfortable that the On Demand Delivery Start-Ups will be able to compete with the Postmates and DoorDashes of the world.

Create a bio or resume for all key officers. Insurance companies like to see where you came from and how you ended up in the ODD (on demand delivery) space.

Understanding the costs. Most insurance companies have minimum annual premiums ranging from $75,000-150,000. Financing options are available but be ready to put at least 20% down. Sometimes, these premiums are minimum regardless if you operate 1 day or a full year.

Shopping around. There is an abundance of personal auto carriers out there. But, there are only a handful of companies offering insurance for On Demand Delivery Start-Ups. American Business Insurance works with them all. So, there is no need to shop around. Who doesn’t love one stop shopping?

 

So Much to Do, So Little Time to Do It

There is a lot to think about when navigating the insurance buying process for On Demand Delivery Start-Ups, but lucky we are here to help! We’ve helped many others with integrating insurance into their business and we are at the forefront of Insurance Technology.

Not sure where to begin? The first step is contacting us for a full business plan review and insurance quotes. From Full Commercial Auto Liability Insurance, Hired & Non-Owned, Workers Compensation, Directors and Officers Coverages as well as Employment Practices Liability Insurance – we are excited to hear what you have cooking and how we can help move On Demand Delivery Start-Ups forward.

 

Written by Laura Loftus who is the Executive Broker/Sales and Marketing Manager at American Business Insurance Services, Inc. She has more than 10 years of experience insuring business in the For-Hire, Livery, Transportation Network Company, On Demand Delivery & Shared Economy industries. Looking for a quote on your business?  Call us Monday – Friday, 8 am to 5 pm pacific: 800-980-1950 or email us anytime!

 

 

 

 

New, Easy to Purchase and Install PPE Available for Essential Transportation Companies

Every morning, Corey Lamb puts himself at risk to transport the City of San Francisco’s most vulnerable residents. He stocks his cab with all types of PPE (personal protective equipment) such as  gloves, masks and sanitizer.

Lamb, who has been a professional driver since 2006 and was named the 2019 Paratransit Taxi Driver of the Year by the City of San Francisco and Paratransit Board, has developed a deep passion and drive to focus his taxi services on the people who need him most.

“I focus on providing dignified transportation services for people who would otherwise be confined to their home. My focus is on them and their needs. What’s getting me through COVID is that I have a segment of my clientele that are dialysis patients. Regardless of what is going on in the world, they need to go to dialysis. I pick them up and take them. I make that happen,” Lamb said.

Flywheel Technologies is excited to be the sole distributor of PPE shields in North America.

Lamb owns two wheel chair accessible taxicabs in San Francisco. He also just purchased the first hybrid wheel chair vehicle in the City of San Francisco. As a child, his mother worked for a non-profit organization that taught adults with Autism and Down Syndrome. Their focus was to teach them how to be independent. The compassion Lamb saw  in his mother toward these people is the driving force behind him catering to those in need of transportation.

“I bought both cars brand new. I wanted my passengers to not feel like a run of the mil ride. For me, it’s important that they understand that I care they are being transported in a safe vehicle. The people who have disabilities are usually not considered in planning until the end. I wanted my business to show them they are being considered at the beginning,” Lamb stated.

 

New Types of PPE Available for Taxicab, Limo and Paratransit Drivers

The challenges of transporting the public today have changed compared to a few months ago. In today’s world of face masks, hand sanitizer and Lysol spray– the taxi industry is an essential business that needs to be proactive about using PPE, not only making passengers feel safe – but also their drivers.

That’s why Hansu Kim, President of Flywheel Technologies (a California based taxi booking app) has been working with Taxi Butler in the Netherlands to distribute the Flywheel Shield to transportation companies in need throughout North America.

“We want to bring more confidence in the taxi industry. For vehicles that are on the road, we need to show we are being proactive and staying safe compared to Uber and Lyft by utilizing different types of PPE,” Kim said.

The City of San Francisco has purchased 500 of these shields from Flywheel in response to a need to protect both drivers and passengers. Drivers are deemed essential workers and their passengers  include our most vulnerable population of elderly, medically fragile or immune compromised.

Since the shields are considered Personal Protective Equipment (PPE),  the City is able to use funds they received from government to equip taxis with this important PPE.

“These are easy to install and easy to remove. It gives real protection in an enclosed space. The Flywheel Shield is universal and works in all types of vehicles from a compact hybrid to a larger wheel chair accessible mini van (two of the most common vehicles used in the taxi industry),” Kim explained.

In addition to the shields, the City of San Francisco has introduced The Essential Trip Card designed to help the elderly and in need population purchase fares at reduced cost.

 

The Flywheel Shield is easy to install and priced affordably.
The Flywheel Shield is easy to install and priced affordably.

The Flywheel Shield can be installed using car handles.

 

A Whole New World

Pre-coronavirus, many transportation companies were making non-essential items such as phone chargers, mints and mini water bottles available for passengers.

Shields that were previously installed were mainly used to protect drivers from unruly or violent passengers. They were designed to protect the driver from robbery.

Right now, the majority of passengers using public transportation are first-responders and patients. Drivers need to feel safe about going to work every day and the general population needs to feel safe when riding in public transportation.

“As an essential service, we need to take proactive measures to protect drivers and passengers. We are transporting the most vulnerable – people with fragile medical needs, the elderly and first-responders,” Kim said.

The Flywheel Shield, which went through several different prototypes is easy to install and has been tested by Flywheel Taxi of San Francisco already. It straps on around the front seat and has a sliding opening to pass through payment if needed (card or cash), vouchers and receipts between passenger and driver. At a price point ranging between $40-$50 (depending on order count), the Flywheel Shield is available to purchase for taxi companies across North America. Email [email protected] or call 630-886-6868 for more information on purchasing.

Budgeting for PPE

Many cities and municipalities are looking to purchase this type of PPE for drivers. Before purchasing, Kim said it’s a good idea to check with your City to see if they will reimburse transportation companies for purchasing and installing PPE in public transportation vehicles.

“Drivers feel safer and passengers are saying this is fantastic,” Kim added.

Kim is hoping that other transportation companies across the country will step up and make the necessary changes within the industry to keep people moving, safely.

The Coronavirus, which we know is mainly transmissible through airborne respiratory particles – can be halted from spreading via masks but also with plastic shields between people. Grocery stores have installed these shields in front of cashiers to keep them safe. Doctors and nurses wear them while on duty. It is essential that those working during the pandemic change the way they protected themselves.

Flywheel Taxi driver Lamb is married with 2 kids and is looking forward to installing the Flywheel Shield into his vehicles. He wants to keep not only himself and his family safe, but also his passengers.

“We need to treat these people like family. When you have that mentality, it’s not just a passenger. It’s Amelia’s son. It’s John’s brother. It’s not just a guy I pick up 3 times per week. There is a name attached to it and a story,” Lamb explained further. “There is a relationship there. It’s not just a business for me, it’s a commitment I have to the community to make sure their needs are always met.”

If you would like more information or would like to place an order for the Flywheel Shield, please call 630-886-6868 or email [email protected]

 

Written by Laura Loftus who is an Executive Broker/Sales and Underwriting Manager with more than 10 years of experience insuring business in the For-Hire, Livery & Shared Economy industries. Looking for a quote on your business?  Call us Monday – Friday, 8 am to 5 pm pacific: 800-980-1950 or email us anytime!

 

 

 

Using Your Paycheck Protection Program Payment for Transportation Businesses during COVID-19

As the days and weeks pass by, more and more people are staying home which is affecting not only the transportation industry – but businesses of all types nationwide.

If you are experiencing financial difficulties, you might be thinking about cancelling your policy. Instead, why not use your Paycheck Protection Program payment toward insurance. This way, you can continue to work and serve the community who needs your help.

If you haven’t already and still want to work, the U.S. Department of the Treasury has posted the NEW application form for the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). In short, these are zero-interest loans up to $10 million. These loans cover operational costs like payroll, health benefits, rent, mortgage payments, insurance premiums and utilities.

With taxicabs being named an essential business, there are other revenue generating opportunities for taxicab businesses you may not already be tapped into.

Show Me The Money

Paycheck Protection Program loans are administered through the Small Business Administration, but you have to apply through a local bank. We urge all transportation businesses to download and begin filling out the PPP loan application, and talk to your banker today. The Treasury Department has issued a useful fact sheet on what the loan covers.

In addition to the Paycheck Protection Program loan, we want to remind you that the Small Business Association has also created Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL) that are designed to quickly send $10,000 to distressed companies. The EIDL application is found online and will offer assistance loans for up to $2 million.

But is there any work?

It may feel like there is no work to be done, but as Ann Pilkington who works for Freedom Taxicab in Des Moines, IA told KCCI De Moines, “The main thing is getting people to their appointments because there are some people that wouldn’t last, like a dialysis patient or something, they wouldn’t make it without those med changes or that treatment on themselves.”

Of course, please wear a mask, wash your hands frequently and keep your car clean for at-risk passengers going to and from doctor appointments. It is important to protect yourself and your passengers while working during COVID-19.

Below is a short list of 5 revenue generating ideas you may be able to implement using your existing policy.

Top 5 Revenue Generators during COVID-19:

Using your paycheck protection program payment toward insurance.

 

1. Appointments and other Non-Emergency transportation services

This is probably the largest source of transportation needed right now. People still need to get dialysis, chemotherapy and other types of medical treatments during COVID-19. If you haven’t already added this service to your taxi platform, now is the time.

Below is a list of medical trip providers to consider.

  • LogistiCare – one the largest Non-Emergency Medical Transportation brokers in the United States. They have a presence in almost every state within the US.
  • EpicMD – NEMT trip provider with operations nationwide.
  • OneCall – NEMT broker that serves globally for everything from ambulatory ground transportation to air ambulances.
  • MTM – This is a popular NEMT provider with our existing client base. They have a presence is 75% of the country from coast to coast. They have especially higher trip volume within the East Coast states.
  • Acces2Care – Servicing 29 states, this program helps to dispatch NEMT trips through their parent company AMR which handles the emergency calls. All NEMT calls get sourced through Access2Care.Please note: accommodating passengers who are not ambulatory may not be permitted with your current policy.

 

2. Courier & delivery companies

Amazon is hiring 100,000 workers, mostly for fulfillment and delivery, and some UPS hubs are hiring as well, although—fair warning—both companies are facing criticism over employee safety. Some couriers are also hiring.

*No delivery of hazardous or illegal materials are permitted.  If you are considering cannabis delivery in legal states, we do have coverage for that with multiple markets. Click HERE to request a quote.

3. Grocery & medicine delivery

Grocery stores are your friends. Major chains such as KrogerMeijer, and Safeway are hiring in-store shelf stockers and delivery staff; ditto for regional chains such as Raley’s. Grocery delivery services and apps such as Instacart are also hiring.

4. Sign up for Uber/Lyft

While most taxi policies only allow a certain amount of TNC transport (if any at all), many of our clients have policies that are flexible with allowing drivers to use multiple sources of dispatch to generate revenue. Many drivers are staying home but people without their own sources of transportation still need to go grocery shopping, pick up medications from pharmacies and drop off supplies to loved ones.  And those in the medical field are opting for a more private form of transportation instead of their usual train or bus ride to and from work.

5. Pre-arranged, black car services (utilizing vehicles already within your fleet)

Again, as mentioned above, utilizing your current clientele database to advertise a clean, safe mode of transportation in these trying times is key. Send out texts letting people know you are working and available. Many assume everything is closed. But although people aren’t travelling through airports like they used to – there is clientele that still rely on taxi and black car services to get to the doctor or grocery store. There are doctors and nurses in urban areas who need to get to work but can’t take mass transit.

Be there to help them, they will remember that you helped them even after “everything goes back to normal.”


Not All Policies are Created Equal

Not all insurance companies allow you to do all the types of trips listed above on ONE policy. But WE do. If you don’t already accommodate these types of trips and want to, please contact us to see if your current policy allows for medical and courier trips.

Also, if you are high risk or live with someone who is – please take precaution in working during these times. Working through a pandemic is not for everyone but if you are willing and able – your customers will be forever grateful to you for helping them out when they needed it most!

 

Written by Laura Loftus who is an Executive Broker/Sales and Underwriting Manager with more than 10 years of experience insuring business in the For-Hire, Livery & Shared Economy industries. Looking for a quote on your business?  Call us Monday – Friday, 8 am to 5 pm pacific: 800-980-1950 or email us anytime!

 

Short-Term Policies for Food Delivery Insurance

As the Coronavirus continues to spread across the country, most non-essential businesses are closed nationwide. Although dining in isn’t allowed, restaurants are still allowed to open since they are considered an essential business.  Many restaurants are offering food delivery (even if they didn’t before) since it is allowed. Restaurants new to food delivery might need to purchase additional coverage with a Short-Term Food Delivery Insurance Policy.

It’s a whole new world of self -isolation and government-imposed quarantining. So, what does that mean for every-day life? Well, it’s completely changed as we know it. With that decision, many restaurants have revised their menus and implemented delivery to customers instead. Some are even selling their signature cocktails to-go.

However, what most businesses don’t realize is that allowing your employees to drive their cars to deliver food is not covered under their personal auto insurance. This is why a Short-Term Food Delivery Insurance policy may work for you or someone you know.

Insurance for Delivery Businesses During COVID-19

First off, to ease your mind a bit about potential liabilities, the FDA’s current position is that “there is no evidence to suggest that food produced in the United States can transmit COVID-19.” Furthermore, they went on to say that there is “no evidence of food or food packaging being associated with transmission of COVID-19.”

As always, as long as the food is prepared safely, the risk is low. Information around COVID-19 continues to change, but current evidence seems to point to food delivery as a less risky option than exposing yourself to a grocery store, bringing the bags and items into your home and preparing the food yourself.

Essentially, the major risk of dining within a restaurant is touching a table, counter, or other surface that someone who is contagious may have touched.

Because delivery businesses have become so important during this outbreak, it’s important for employers to get food delivery insurance.

New Short-Term Food Delivery Insurance Program

Whether offering food delivery is a permanent business change or temporary, we have access to a new program which is writing short-term food delivery insurance for restaurants.

food delivery insurance
Many restaurants are delivering food with tamper controls so you can be sure your food was untouched during delivery.

This program is written by an A.M. Best rated “A” X carrier and can accommodate a wide range of classes that have been affected by COVID-19. To contact an ABI producer for more information, click here.

Product highlights include:

  • Monoline coverage
  • 3- or 6-month policy
  • Quick turn-around time
  • Non-auditable policy
  • Limit options of $300K, $500K, $1M CSL
  • Deductible $2,500
  • Offering short term policies starting at $1,500
  • MVR screening service provided
  • Symbols 8 & 9 (hired and non-owned autos) commercial auto liability
  • No restrictive warranties
  • Available in all states except MI

 

Keeping Food Delivery Workers Safe

Many delivery companies have issued guidelines for workers during the outbreak, as Business Insider pointed out, and many of those same workers have taken additional precautions to keep themselves safe. Drivers and delivery workers for Uber, Lyft, and DoorDash told Business Insider they’re scouring their cars with bleach and cutting back on hours.

Even so, if you do opt for your restaurant to deliver food during the outbreak, consider implementing non-contact services. Also, advertise that you require your drivers to practice good hygiene, especially hand-washing. If you can, provide masks to your employees to protect themselves if they are not practicing contact-less delivery.

 

 

 

 

Peer to Peer Car Rental: A Peek Into a Growing Industry

Written by Laura Loftus

 

Antoine and Roslyn Andrade* are living the “American Dream.” You know, the one where you have 9-5 jobs, run a ministry AND manage a start-up peer to peer car rental business on the side. All the while, this husband/wife duo are putting THREE kids through college.

“We tapped into our kid’s college savings to buy the first three cars,”  Roslyn said about how they were able to start this home-based business. “We try to maintain multiple sources of income. If one goes down, then you have the others.”

Like many others in this business, they are utilizing popular peer to peer car sharing apps such as Turo and HyreCar. Turo, is a peer to peer car-sharing app which started in 2010 and focuses solely on personal use. While HyreCar, which first launched in 2014 – focuses on renting solely to drivers who are using the cars to drive for Uber & Lyft.  Antoine and Roslyn utilize American Business Insurance’s (ABI’s) Period X™ insurance product which was created for the peer to peer car sharing business model. As part of this insurance product, which insures the cars only while they are not rented, they are provided a CarTeq™ device which plugs into the OBD port of their vehicle. Through this device, they can log into our portal to view vehicle trip history and GPS location.

Testing the Peer to Peer Car Rental Model

Antoine and Roslyn listed their first 3 cars on the above platforms in 2018. Since then, they have utilized the profits they have made to invest

Peer to peer car rentals are growing in popularity throughout the US and abroad.back into the business and grow their fleet to 15 cars. As you can imagine, balancing their day jobs along with managing a mini car rental business is challenging.

From scheduling maintenance, filing claims, repairing and even recovering stolen vehicles – the business is one that should be carefully entered. It’s not unusual for cars to come back from being rented needing repairs. And some don’t come back at all, and need to be tracked down or reported as stolen.

Antoine and Roslyn had more than once instance of this happening but were able to recover the vehicles in both instances. “The first time, we had to use the police to find the vehicle. The second time, we were able to get the address the car was parked at through the ABI portal. When we arrived, the car was still parked there so we took it home!”

 

Peer to Peer Car Rental Made Easy

Jon J. in Atlanta, GA has a clean, methodical approach to growing his peer to peer car rental business. Jon, who also has a day job has always had an entrepreneurial spirit. He uses his background as a consultant for other businesses to grow the car-sharing model.

Some people are in the business to recoupapp-based insurance costs on a vehicle they want to own, but not use all the time. An example of this is the business executive who wants to buy a Tesla, and then lists it on Turo to rent out a few days out of the month to offset his own monthly cost of using it when he wants.

 

Taking Care of Business

Jon on the other hand is focusing on how to get them continually rented while automating the process. Like the Andrades, he also started with 3 cars and is up to 15 within a year and a half of utilizing ABI’s Period X™ insurance product.

His fleet is made up of vehicles that are easier to maintain and good on gas. Some of the cars in his fleet include the Nissan Versa, Hyundai Elantra and the Ford Focus and Fiesta. “It’s all about getting the cars rented frequently and at the right price point.”

As a current business traveler, he is used to renting cars for work travel. In the past, he would always go to the big-name agencies like Hertz or Enterprise. When there was a problem, he had to deal with a giant corporation or a call center in a country far away.

“People like being able to call us directly, instead of a big company,” Jon said.

 

Let’s Get Personal

While using one of the online apps such as Turo or Getaround might seem like an impersonal experience, Jon said it is exactly the opposite. “With these apps, you get to see who owns the car in advance, the exact car you are renting and reviews of the person who is renting to you. You can chat in real time if there is a problem and it’s a much more personalized experience,” Jon continued.

Besides also having to recover stolen vehicles, Jon explained some of the other challenges he faces in the industry. Some of these challenges include knowing everything you can about what you are getting into, expecting the unexpected (maintenance, repair, paying deductibles on claims, etc) and always maintaining a reserve fund equal to about $1,000 per car ($10-$20k for a fleet of 15).

And that doesn’t include the cost of insurance. “There are some nuances on the insurance piece of the business. Initially, I used my personal auto insurance. But as it expanded, I needed a more scalable model. ABI really helped there,” Jon explained.

 

Risky Business

Personal auto carriers do not allow for you to insure cars that are being used to generate any type of revenue. Many people enter the peer to peer car sharing space utilizing only their personal auto. However, if a claim or accident were to arise through the course of business or even outside of it and they find out – you risk the claim being denied and possibly your policy being cancelled.

“Before you jump in, understand the true cost. Don’t just dive in without testing it. Test with 1-3 cars. Understand the risks you have to assume going into the peer to peer marketplace. Have patience and think through the little thing’s others don’t think about. Every few months I look through my business plan and identify what should be changed going forward. That’s really how you establish rapport and grow a business.”

 

*Note: Some of the names above are changed or abbreviated as the people interviewed prefer to maintain anonymity. 

Laura Loftus is an Executive Broker/Sales and Underwriting Manager with more than 10 years of experience insuring business in the For-Hire, Livery & Shared Economy industries. Looking for a quote on your business?  Call us Monday – Friday, 8 am to 5 pm pacific: 800-980-1950 or email us anytime!

Roseville Cab Taxi Driver Saves Woman from IRS Tax Scammer

Two weeks ago, a Roseville Cab taxi driver who is also insured through ABI, Rajbir Singh picked up a 92-year-old woman from her home in Roseville, CA. After getting settled into her seat, she requested that he take her to the bank. Shortly after talking with her, he found out she was going to withdraw $25,000 to settle an alleged debt with the IRS.

Rajbir Singh with two local Roseville area police officers.

Singh had a hunch that the person calling the woman for the money was a scammer. He tried repeatedly to get her to change her mind.

As reported by CNN on Sunday, Feb. 16th, Singh told them “I am an honest guy, and these are old people. They need help,” Singh, the owner of Roseville Cab, told CNN on Thursday. “It just made sense.”

As the conversation continued, the woman told Singh that someone had contacted her by phone saying she owed the money. As he asked more questions, he found out that she didn’t know the person calling.

The woman allowed Singh to try and call the number, and the man who answered hung up on Singh. When he tried to call back, the number blocked him.

 

Maybe the Police Will Help

After that, the woman was still not convinced she didn’t owe the money so Singh got the woman to agree on stopping by the Roseville Police Station before withdrawing the money. Once she spoke to the officer, she understood that was being scammed.

Singh, who has been a loyal customer of ABI since 2016, is the perfect example to breaking the stigma of taxi drivers. More often that not, our drivers are not always painted in the best light (though we see them differently). We felt it our duty to not only reward his good deed – but to promote it publicly!

Other drivers may have stayed out of it, minded their own business to rush into the next trip/fare – but Mr. Singh took it upon himself to look out for others – which deserves all the accolades he can get. This is why, American Business Insurance is rewarding our client with a Good Samaritan Taxi Driver Award which includes a $250 Visa Gift Card!

If you are ever in need of a ride in the Roseville area, please call Roseville Cab and ask for Rajbir! We know you will be in great hands.

 

Written by Laura Loftus on Monday, Feb. 17th, 2020

Cannabis Business Insurance: A Full-Service Agency Option

More and more states are allowing dispensaries to distribute cannabis products for medicinal and recreational use. An expanding market has produced the need for cannabis business insurance.

Up until recently, a person that wanted to buy cannabis for either medicinal or recreational use would need to go searching. Maybe their friend knew a guy who knew a guy.

But now, brick and motor stores as well as the much preferred On Demand Cannabis Delivery options continue to expand all over the globe. Business owners should understand the need and use for cannabis business insurance.

Some dispensaries utilize employee owned vehicles to deliver products from the stores. Others, like Budly.com operate as an Uber of pot. The app provides its users to a Business to Consumer (B2C) platform much like UberEats or Instacart.

Below are the most common liabilities that should be covered with your On Demand Cannabis Business Insurance:

  • Hired and non-owned coverage for B2C or Peer to Peer (P2P) models
  • Commercial Auto Insurance for corporate owned vehicles driven by employees
  • Workers Compensation if drivers are considered employees

Bud, Is It Legal?

Although On Demand Cannabis Business Insurance hasn’t been around for 35 years, American Business Insurance has! On Demand Insurance programs continue to expand. And state-by-state regulations around medicinal and recreational business continues to change.

Our experience in this field is unique, as we have the ability to curate and custom build a policy package that works within your budget. Whether it’s one vehicle for one dispensary or a total cannabis business insurance package, we created this guide to help Cannabis Delivery Insurance business owners turn their idea into a reality.

Within that guide, you will find facts about the nuances of not just insuring, but also operating an On Demand Cannabis Delivery Business in the states where it’s legal. Although many states have legalized cannabis businesses, most still have strict regulations in place for transportation and delivery. If your business expands to cross state lines, you will need operating authority in those states as well.

As a result, you will need a policy that takes growth and ease of use into consideration.

 

Marijuana Business Insurance

Purchasing On Demand Cannabis Business Insurance

On Demand Delivery providers or Dispensaries looking to shop their insurance will find we have created several proprietary loss control options which include the following:

  • Advice and tips for claims process
  • 24/7 access to your personalized policy at all times
  • Ability to add/delete vehicles and drivers in real time
  • Coming soon:
    • Tracking devices for your vehicles to manage trips taken
    • Dashboard to view driver safety analytics
    • Accident crash detection and automatic claim reporting

Some agencies take days, sometimes weeks to get a quote. However, because of our exclusive relationships and direct connections, we are able to provide quotes from some carriers within minutes.

Additionally, we have the ability to write other coverage’s you need to operate your Cannabis Business such as General Liability, Cargo Insurance and even bonds.

Whether you are a new business starting out with just one delivery car or an established dispensary looking to broaden your services, we are committed to quick and thorough turn around for our Cannabis Delivery Insurance needs.

Click here to request a quote or call 800-980-1950 ext. 4 to talk to one of our Cannabis Business Insurance experts M-F, 8 am – 5 pm pacific.

 

 

 

 

Written by Laura Loftus who is the Executive Broker/Sales and Marketing Manager at American Business Insurance Services, Inc. She has more than 10 years of experience insuring business in the For-Hire, Livery, Transportation Network Company, On Demand Delivery & Shared Economy industries. Looking for a quote on your business?  Call us Monday – Friday, 8 am to 5 pm pacific: 800-980-1950 or email us anytime!

A Complete Guide to Insuring On Demand Delivery Start-Ups

There is a growing need for On Demand Delivery Start-Ups. Although it may seem easy enough to do, few think of the potential liabilities and insurance coverage they will need to get started. Many of us are still working remotely and might not ever return to the office. We will also continue to turn to the convenience of ordering food and goods through the click of a button.

Nationwide states are opening their doors for business to resume, but the psychological effects of COVID-19 are everlasting. Restaurants and retail stores are ready for in person dining and shopping, but many people are not rushing out of their houses.

People will still want to social distance and refrain from unnecessary trips to the store. Others now prefer the time saving convenience of Instacart, Amazon and DoorDash.

When COVID first hit, Amazon and Instacart could not keep up with the demand. Amazon Prime members were no longer getting 2-day shipping and Instacart deliveries were hard to come by. There were days I would check the app several times throughout the day for a delivery slot just to avoid going to the grocery store.

Moreover, you may have found that contacting your local insurance broker to handle insurance for On Demand Delivery Start-Ups just isn’t working – and we know why!

 

Finding the Right Broker for On Demand Delivery Start-Ups

On Demand Delivery Start-Ups
UberEats was one of a few On Demand Delivery Start-Ups that have grown in popularity since COVID-19.

If you are planning to be the next Postmates or DoorDash, you need to prepare and think about insurance before  launching On Demand Delivery Start-Ups. One of them is finding the right broker.  Not all brokers are created equal. You will need to find someone that has access to more than one carrier writing Hired & Owned if you are planning to utilize a peer to peer model. If you are planning to own a fleet of vehicles, contacting American Business Insurance will allow you to utilize our Period X™ platform for when vehicles are not operating. We are also close to launching a Period 0™ platform for when cars log into the app.

Commercial auto insurance can be expensive, but ABI is able to connect with your IT team to fully integrate with your app. This means you can spend more time running and growing your business. Which in turn, equates to less time handling insurance.

With our CarTeq™ technology, we provide oversight to On Demand Delivery Start-Ups which is essential (no pun intended) to any successful business.

 

Be Prepared for the Insurance Buying Process

Create the app and have it mostly finished before you start shopping for insurance. Underwriters will want to see what your app looks like before quoting. Many will not spend time quoting your account until they know the app or website is close to completion.

Have a business plan and projection. Many carriers want to see a certain level of planning and investment has been done before quoting. They will usually ask for financials and a marketing plan. They want to see a safety manual (we can help you with that!) and feel comfortable that the On Demand Delivery Start-Ups will be able to compete with the Postmates and DoorDashes of the world.

Create a bio or resume for all key officers. Insurance companies like to see where you came from and how you ended up in the ODD (on demand delivery) space.

Understanding the costs. Most insurance companies have minimum annual premiums ranging from $75,000-150,000. Financing options are available but be ready to put at least 20% down. Sometimes, these premiums are minimum regardless if you operate 1 day or a full year.

Shopping around. There is an abundance of personal auto carriers out there. But, there are only a handful of companies offering insurance for On Demand Delivery Start-Ups. American Business Insurance works with them all. So, there is no need to shop around. Who doesn’t love one stop shopping?

 

So Much to Do, So Little Time to Do It

There is a lot to think about when navigating the insurance buying process for On Demand Delivery Start-Ups, but lucky we are here to help! We’ve helped many others with integrating insurance into their business and we are at the forefront of Insurance Technology.

Not sure where to begin? The first step is contacting us for a full business plan review and insurance quotes. From Full Commercial Auto Liability Insurance, Hired & Non-Owned, Workers Compensation, Directors and Officers Coverages as well as Employment Practices Liability Insurance – we are excited to hear what you have cooking and how we can help move On Demand Delivery Start-Ups forward.

 

Written by Laura Loftus who is the Executive Broker/Sales and Marketing Manager at American Business Insurance Services, Inc. She has more than 10 years of experience insuring business in the For-Hire, Livery, Transportation Network Company, On Demand Delivery & Shared Economy industries. Looking for a quote on your business?  Call us Monday – Friday, 8 am to 5 pm pacific: 800-980-1950 or email us anytime!

 

 

 

 

New, Easy to Purchase and Install PPE Available for Essential Transportation Companies

Every morning, Corey Lamb puts himself at risk to transport the City of San Francisco’s most vulnerable residents. He stocks his cab with all types of PPE (personal protective equipment) such as  gloves, masks and sanitizer.

Lamb, who has been a professional driver since 2006 and was named the 2019 Paratransit Taxi Driver of the Year by the City of San Francisco and Paratransit Board, has developed a deep passion and drive to focus his taxi services on the people who need him most.

“I focus on providing dignified transportation services for people who would otherwise be confined to their home. My focus is on them and their needs. What’s getting me through COVID is that I have a segment of my clientele that are dialysis patients. Regardless of what is going on in the world, they need to go to dialysis. I pick them up and take them. I make that happen,” Lamb said.

Flywheel Technologies is excited to be the sole distributor of PPE shields in North America.

Lamb owns two wheel chair accessible taxicabs in San Francisco. He also just purchased the first hybrid wheel chair vehicle in the City of San Francisco. As a child, his mother worked for a non-profit organization that taught adults with Autism and Down Syndrome. Their focus was to teach them how to be independent. The compassion Lamb saw  in his mother toward these people is the driving force behind him catering to those in need of transportation.

“I bought both cars brand new. I wanted my passengers to not feel like a run of the mil ride. For me, it’s important that they understand that I care they are being transported in a safe vehicle. The people who have disabilities are usually not considered in planning until the end. I wanted my business to show them they are being considered at the beginning,” Lamb stated.

 

New Types of PPE Available for Taxicab, Limo and Paratransit Drivers

The challenges of transporting the public today have changed compared to a few months ago. In today’s world of face masks, hand sanitizer and Lysol spray– the taxi industry is an essential business that needs to be proactive about using PPE, not only making passengers feel safe – but also their drivers.

That’s why Hansu Kim, President of Flywheel Technologies (a California based taxi booking app) has been working with Taxi Butler in the Netherlands to distribute the Flywheel Shield to transportation companies in need throughout North America.

“We want to bring more confidence in the taxi industry. For vehicles that are on the road, we need to show we are being proactive and staying safe compared to Uber and Lyft by utilizing different types of PPE,” Kim said.

The City of San Francisco has purchased 500 of these shields from Flywheel in response to a need to protect both drivers and passengers. Drivers are deemed essential workers and their passengers  include our most vulnerable population of elderly, medically fragile or immune compromised.

Since the shields are considered Personal Protective Equipment (PPE),  the City is able to use funds they received from government to equip taxis with this important PPE.

“These are easy to install and easy to remove. It gives real protection in an enclosed space. The Flywheel Shield is universal and works in all types of vehicles from a compact hybrid to a larger wheel chair accessible mini van (two of the most common vehicles used in the taxi industry),” Kim explained.

In addition to the shields, the City of San Francisco has introduced The Essential Trip Card designed to help the elderly and in need population purchase fares at reduced cost.

 

The Flywheel Shield is easy to install and priced affordably.
The Flywheel Shield is easy to install and priced affordably.

The Flywheel Shield can be installed using car handles.

 

A Whole New World

Pre-coronavirus, many transportation companies were making non-essential items such as phone chargers, mints and mini water bottles available for passengers.

Shields that were previously installed were mainly used to protect drivers from unruly or violent passengers. They were designed to protect the driver from robbery.

Right now, the majority of passengers using public transportation are first-responders and patients. Drivers need to feel safe about going to work every day and the general population needs to feel safe when riding in public transportation.

“As an essential service, we need to take proactive measures to protect drivers and passengers. We are transporting the most vulnerable – people with fragile medical needs, the elderly and first-responders,” Kim said.

The Flywheel Shield, which went through several different prototypes is easy to install and has been tested by Flywheel Taxi of San Francisco already. It straps on around the front seat and has a sliding opening to pass through payment if needed (card or cash), vouchers and receipts between passenger and driver. At a price point ranging between $40-$50 (depending on order count), the Flywheel Shield is available to purchase for taxi companies across North America. Email [email protected] or call 630-886-6868 for more information on purchasing.

Budgeting for PPE

Many cities and municipalities are looking to purchase this type of PPE for drivers. Before purchasing, Kim said it’s a good idea to check with your City to see if they will reimburse transportation companies for purchasing and installing PPE in public transportation vehicles.

“Drivers feel safer and passengers are saying this is fantastic,” Kim added.

Kim is hoping that other transportation companies across the country will step up and make the necessary changes within the industry to keep people moving, safely.

The Coronavirus, which we know is mainly transmissible through airborne respiratory particles – can be halted from spreading via masks but also with plastic shields between people. Grocery stores have installed these shields in front of cashiers to keep them safe. Doctors and nurses wear them while on duty. It is essential that those working during the pandemic change the way they protected themselves.

Flywheel Taxi driver Lamb is married with 2 kids and is looking forward to installing the Flywheel Shield into his vehicles. He wants to keep not only himself and his family safe, but also his passengers.

“We need to treat these people like family. When you have that mentality, it’s not just a passenger. It’s Amelia’s son. It’s John’s brother. It’s not just a guy I pick up 3 times per week. There is a name attached to it and a story,” Lamb explained further. “There is a relationship there. It’s not just a business for me, it’s a commitment I have to the community to make sure their needs are always met.”

If you would like more information or would like to place an order for the Flywheel Shield, please call 630-886-6868 or email [email protected]

 

Written by Laura Loftus who is an Executive Broker/Sales and Underwriting Manager with more than 10 years of experience insuring business in the For-Hire, Livery & Shared Economy industries. Looking for a quote on your business?  Call us Monday – Friday, 8 am to 5 pm pacific: 800-980-1950 or email us anytime!

 

 

 

Using Your Paycheck Protection Program Payment for Transportation Businesses during COVID-19

As the days and weeks pass by, more and more people are staying home which is affecting not only the transportation industry – but businesses of all types nationwide.

If you are experiencing financial difficulties, you might be thinking about cancelling your policy. Instead, why not use your Paycheck Protection Program payment toward insurance. This way, you can continue to work and serve the community who needs your help.

If you haven’t already and still want to work, the U.S. Department of the Treasury has posted the NEW application form for the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). In short, these are zero-interest loans up to $10 million. These loans cover operational costs like payroll, health benefits, rent, mortgage payments, insurance premiums and utilities.

With taxicabs being named an essential business, there are other revenue generating opportunities for taxicab businesses you may not already be tapped into.

Show Me The Money

Paycheck Protection Program loans are administered through the Small Business Administration, but you have to apply through a local bank. We urge all transportation businesses to download and begin filling out the PPP loan application, and talk to your banker today. The Treasury Department has issued a useful fact sheet on what the loan covers.

In addition to the Paycheck Protection Program loan, we want to remind you that the Small Business Association has also created Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL) that are designed to quickly send $10,000 to distressed companies. The EIDL application is found online and will offer assistance loans for up to $2 million.

But is there any work?

It may feel like there is no work to be done, but as Ann Pilkington who works for Freedom Taxicab in Des Moines, IA told KCCI De Moines, “The main thing is getting people to their appointments because there are some people that wouldn’t last, like a dialysis patient or something, they wouldn’t make it without those med changes or that treatment on themselves.”

Of course, please wear a mask, wash your hands frequently and keep your car clean for at-risk passengers going to and from doctor appointments. It is important to protect yourself and your passengers while working during COVID-19.

Below is a short list of 5 revenue generating ideas you may be able to implement using your existing policy.

Top 5 Revenue Generators during COVID-19:

Using your paycheck protection program payment toward insurance.

 

1. Appointments and other Non-Emergency transportation services

This is probably the largest source of transportation needed right now. People still need to get dialysis, chemotherapy and other types of medical treatments during COVID-19. If you haven’t already added this service to your taxi platform, now is the time.

Below is a list of medical trip providers to consider.

  • LogistiCare – one the largest Non-Emergency Medical Transportation brokers in the United States. They have a presence in almost every state within the US.
  • EpicMD – NEMT trip provider with operations nationwide.
  • OneCall – NEMT broker that serves globally for everything from ambulatory ground transportation to air ambulances.
  • MTM – This is a popular NEMT provider with our existing client base. They have a presence is 75% of the country from coast to coast. They have especially higher trip volume within the East Coast states.
  • Acces2Care – Servicing 29 states, this program helps to dispatch NEMT trips through their parent company AMR which handles the emergency calls. All NEMT calls get sourced through Access2Care.Please note: accommodating passengers who are not ambulatory may not be permitted with your current policy.

 

2. Courier & delivery companies

Amazon is hiring 100,000 workers, mostly for fulfillment and delivery, and some UPS hubs are hiring as well, although—fair warning—both companies are facing criticism over employee safety. Some couriers are also hiring.

*No delivery of hazardous or illegal materials are permitted.  If you are considering cannabis delivery in legal states, we do have coverage for that with multiple markets. Click HERE to request a quote.

3. Grocery & medicine delivery

Grocery stores are your friends. Major chains such as KrogerMeijer, and Safeway are hiring in-store shelf stockers and delivery staff; ditto for regional chains such as Raley’s. Grocery delivery services and apps such as Instacart are also hiring.

4. Sign up for Uber/Lyft

While most taxi policies only allow a certain amount of TNC transport (if any at all), many of our clients have policies that are flexible with allowing drivers to use multiple sources of dispatch to generate revenue. Many drivers are staying home but people without their own sources of transportation still need to go grocery shopping, pick up medications from pharmacies and drop off supplies to loved ones.  And those in the medical field are opting for a more private form of transportation instead of their usual train or bus ride to and from work.

5. Pre-arranged, black car services (utilizing vehicles already within your fleet)

Again, as mentioned above, utilizing your current clientele database to advertise a clean, safe mode of transportation in these trying times is key. Send out texts letting people know you are working and available. Many assume everything is closed. But although people aren’t travelling through airports like they used to – there is clientele that still rely on taxi and black car services to get to the doctor or grocery store. There are doctors and nurses in urban areas who need to get to work but can’t take mass transit.

Be there to help them, they will remember that you helped them even after “everything goes back to normal.”


Not All Policies are Created Equal

Not all insurance companies allow you to do all the types of trips listed above on ONE policy. But WE do. If you don’t already accommodate these types of trips and want to, please contact us to see if your current policy allows for medical and courier trips.

Also, if you are high risk or live with someone who is – please take precaution in working during these times. Working through a pandemic is not for everyone but if you are willing and able – your customers will be forever grateful to you for helping them out when they needed it most!

 

Written by Laura Loftus who is an Executive Broker/Sales and Underwriting Manager with more than 10 years of experience insuring business in the For-Hire, Livery & Shared Economy industries. Looking for a quote on your business?  Call us Monday – Friday, 8 am to 5 pm pacific: 800-980-1950 or email us anytime!

 

Short-Term Policies for Food Delivery Insurance

As the Coronavirus continues to spread across the country, most non-essential businesses are closed nationwide. Although dining in isn’t allowed, restaurants are still allowed to open since they are considered an essential business.  Many restaurants are offering food delivery (even if they didn’t before) since it is allowed. Restaurants new to food delivery might need to purchase additional coverage with a Short-Term Food Delivery Insurance Policy.

It’s a whole new world of self -isolation and government-imposed quarantining. So, what does that mean for every-day life? Well, it’s completely changed as we know it. With that decision, many restaurants have revised their menus and implemented delivery to customers instead. Some are even selling their signature cocktails to-go.

However, what most businesses don’t realize is that allowing your employees to drive their cars to deliver food is not covered under their personal auto insurance. This is why a Short-Term Food Delivery Insurance policy may work for you or someone you know.

Insurance for Delivery Businesses During COVID-19

First off, to ease your mind a bit about potential liabilities, the FDA’s current position is that “there is no evidence to suggest that food produced in the United States can transmit COVID-19.” Furthermore, they went on to say that there is “no evidence of food or food packaging being associated with transmission of COVID-19.”

As always, as long as the food is prepared safely, the risk is low. Information around COVID-19 continues to change, but current evidence seems to point to food delivery as a less risky option than exposing yourself to a grocery store, bringing the bags and items into your home and preparing the food yourself.

Essentially, the major risk of dining within a restaurant is touching a table, counter, or other surface that someone who is contagious may have touched.

Because delivery businesses have become so important during this outbreak, it’s important for employers to get food delivery insurance.

New Short-Term Food Delivery Insurance Program

Whether offering food delivery is a permanent business change or temporary, we have access to a new program which is writing short-term food delivery insurance for restaurants.

food delivery insurance
Many restaurants are delivering food with tamper controls so you can be sure your food was untouched during delivery.

This program is written by an A.M. Best rated “A” X carrier and can accommodate a wide range of classes that have been affected by COVID-19. To contact an ABI producer for more information, click here.

Product highlights include:

  • Monoline coverage
  • 3- or 6-month policy
  • Quick turn-around time
  • Non-auditable policy
  • Limit options of $300K, $500K, $1M CSL
  • Deductible $2,500
  • Offering short term policies starting at $1,500
  • MVR screening service provided
  • Symbols 8 & 9 (hired and non-owned autos) commercial auto liability
  • No restrictive warranties
  • Available in all states except MI

 

Keeping Food Delivery Workers Safe

Many delivery companies have issued guidelines for workers during the outbreak, as Business Insider pointed out, and many of those same workers have taken additional precautions to keep themselves safe. Drivers and delivery workers for Uber, Lyft, and DoorDash told Business Insider they’re scouring their cars with bleach and cutting back on hours.

Even so, if you do opt for your restaurant to deliver food during the outbreak, consider implementing non-contact services. Also, advertise that you require your drivers to practice good hygiene, especially hand-washing. If you can, provide masks to your employees to protect themselves if they are not practicing contact-less delivery.

 

 

 

 

Peer to Peer Car Rental: A Peek Into a Growing Industry

Written by Laura Loftus

 

Antoine and Roslyn Andrade* are living the “American Dream.” You know, the one where you have 9-5 jobs, run a ministry AND manage a start-up peer to peer car rental business on the side. All the while, this husband/wife duo are putting THREE kids through college.

“We tapped into our kid’s college savings to buy the first three cars,”  Roslyn said about how they were able to start this home-based business. “We try to maintain multiple sources of income. If one goes down, then you have the others.”

Like many others in this business, they are utilizing popular peer to peer car sharing apps such as Turo and HyreCar. Turo, is a peer to peer car-sharing app which started in 2010 and focuses solely on personal use. While HyreCar, which first launched in 2014 – focuses on renting solely to drivers who are using the cars to drive for Uber & Lyft.  Antoine and Roslyn utilize American Business Insurance’s (ABI’s) Period X™ insurance product which was created for the peer to peer car sharing business model. As part of this insurance product, which insures the cars only while they are not rented, they are provided a CarTeq™ device which plugs into the OBD port of their vehicle. Through this device, they can log into our portal to view vehicle trip history and GPS location.

Testing the Peer to Peer Car Rental Model

Antoine and Roslyn listed their first 3 cars on the above platforms in 2018. Since then, they have utilized the profits they have made to invest

Peer to peer car rentals are growing in popularity throughout the US and abroad.back into the business and grow their fleet to 15 cars. As you can imagine, balancing their day jobs along with managing a mini car rental business is challenging.

From scheduling maintenance, filing claims, repairing and even recovering stolen vehicles – the business is one that should be carefully entered. It’s not unusual for cars to come back from being rented needing repairs. And some don’t come back at all, and need to be tracked down or reported as stolen.

Antoine and Roslyn had more than once instance of this happening but were able to recover the vehicles in both instances. “The first time, we had to use the police to find the vehicle. The second time, we were able to get the address the car was parked at through the ABI portal. When we arrived, the car was still parked there so we took it home!”

 

Peer to Peer Car Rental Made Easy

Jon J. in Atlanta, GA has a clean, methodical approach to growing his peer to peer car rental business. Jon, who also has a day job has always had an entrepreneurial spirit. He uses his background as a consultant for other businesses to grow the car-sharing model.

Some people are in the business to recoupapp-based insurance costs on a vehicle they want to own, but not use all the time. An example of this is the business executive who wants to buy a Tesla, and then lists it on Turo to rent out a few days out of the month to offset his own monthly cost of using it when he wants.

 

Taking Care of Business

Jon on the other hand is focusing on how to get them continually rented while automating the process. Like the Andrades, he also started with 3 cars and is up to 15 within a year and a half of utilizing ABI’s Period X™ insurance product.

His fleet is made up of vehicles that are easier to maintain and good on gas. Some of the cars in his fleet include the Nissan Versa, Hyundai Elantra and the Ford Focus and Fiesta. “It’s all about getting the cars rented frequently and at the right price point.”

As a current business traveler, he is used to renting cars for work travel. In the past, he would always go to the big-name agencies like Hertz or Enterprise. When there was a problem, he had to deal with a giant corporation or a call center in a country far away.

“People like being able to call us directly, instead of a big company,” Jon said.

 

Let’s Get Personal

While using one of the online apps such as Turo or Getaround might seem like an impersonal experience, Jon said it is exactly the opposite. “With these apps, you get to see who owns the car in advance, the exact car you are renting and reviews of the person who is renting to you. You can chat in real time if there is a problem and it’s a much more personalized experience,” Jon continued.

Besides also having to recover stolen vehicles, Jon explained some of the other challenges he faces in the industry. Some of these challenges include knowing everything you can about what you are getting into, expecting the unexpected (maintenance, repair, paying deductibles on claims, etc) and always maintaining a reserve fund equal to about $1,000 per car ($10-$20k for a fleet of 15).

And that doesn’t include the cost of insurance. “There are some nuances on the insurance piece of the business. Initially, I used my personal auto insurance. But as it expanded, I needed a more scalable model. ABI really helped there,” Jon explained.

 

Risky Business

Personal auto carriers do not allow for you to insure cars that are being used to generate any type of revenue. Many people enter the peer to peer car sharing space utilizing only their personal auto. However, if a claim or accident were to arise through the course of business or even outside of it and they find out – you risk the claim being denied and possibly your policy being cancelled.

“Before you jump in, understand the true cost. Don’t just dive in without testing it. Test with 1-3 cars. Understand the risks you have to assume going into the peer to peer marketplace. Have patience and think through the little thing’s others don’t think about. Every few months I look through my business plan and identify what should be changed going forward. That’s really how you establish rapport and grow a business.”

 

*Note: Some of the names above are changed or abbreviated as the people interviewed prefer to maintain anonymity. 

Laura Loftus is an Executive Broker/Sales and Underwriting Manager with more than 10 years of experience insuring business in the For-Hire, Livery & Shared Economy industries. Looking for a quote on your business?  Call us Monday – Friday, 8 am to 5 pm pacific: 800-980-1950 or email us anytime!

Roseville Cab Taxi Driver Saves Woman from IRS Tax Scammer

Two weeks ago, a Roseville Cab taxi driver who is also insured through ABI, Rajbir Singh picked up a 92-year-old woman from her home in Roseville, CA. After getting settled into her seat, she requested that he take her to the bank. Shortly after talking with her, he found out she was going to withdraw $25,000 to settle an alleged debt with the IRS.

Rajbir Singh with two local Roseville area police officers.

Singh had a hunch that the person calling the woman for the money was a scammer. He tried repeatedly to get her to change her mind.

As reported by CNN on Sunday, Feb. 16th, Singh told them “I am an honest guy, and these are old people. They need help,” Singh, the owner of Roseville Cab, told CNN on Thursday. “It just made sense.”

As the conversation continued, the woman told Singh that someone had contacted her by phone saying she owed the money. As he asked more questions, he found out that she didn’t know the person calling.

The woman allowed Singh to try and call the number, and the man who answered hung up on Singh. When he tried to call back, the number blocked him.

 

Maybe the Police Will Help

After that, the woman was still not convinced she didn’t owe the money so Singh got the woman to agree on stopping by the Roseville Police Station before withdrawing the money. Once she spoke to the officer, she understood that was being scammed.

Singh, who has been a loyal customer of ABI since 2016, is the perfect example to breaking the stigma of taxi drivers. More often that not, our drivers are not always painted in the best light (though we see them differently). We felt it our duty to not only reward his good deed – but to promote it publicly!

Other drivers may have stayed out of it, minded their own business to rush into the next trip/fare – but Mr. Singh took it upon himself to look out for others – which deserves all the accolades he can get. This is why, American Business Insurance is rewarding our client with a Good Samaritan Taxi Driver Award which includes a $250 Visa Gift Card!

If you are ever in need of a ride in the Roseville area, please call Roseville Cab and ask for Rajbir! We know you will be in great hands.

 

Written by Laura Loftus on Monday, Feb. 17th, 2020

Cannabis Business Insurance: A Full-Service Agency Option

More and more states are allowing dispensaries to distribute cannabis products for medicinal and recreational use. An expanding market has produced the need for cannabis business insurance.

Up until recently, a person that wanted to buy cannabis for either medicinal or recreational use would need to go searching. Maybe their friend knew a guy who knew a guy.

But now, brick and motor stores as well as the much preferred On Demand Cannabis Delivery options continue to expand all over the globe. Business owners should understand the need and use for cannabis business insurance.

Some dispensaries utilize employee owned vehicles to deliver products from the stores. Others, like Budly.com operate as an Uber of pot. The app provides its users to a Business to Consumer (B2C) platform much like UberEats or Instacart.

Below are the most common liabilities that should be covered with your On Demand Cannabis Business Insurance:

  • Hired and non-owned coverage for B2C or Peer to Peer (P2P) models
  • Commercial Auto Insurance for corporate owned vehicles driven by employees
  • Workers Compensation if drivers are considered employees

Bud, Is It Legal?

Although On Demand Cannabis Business Insurance hasn’t been around for 35 years, American Business Insurance has! On Demand Insurance programs continue to expand. And state-by-state regulations around medicinal and recreational business continues to change.

Our experience in this field is unique, as we have the ability to curate and custom build a policy package that works within your budget. Whether it’s one vehicle for one dispensary or a total cannabis business insurance package, we created this guide to help Cannabis Delivery Insurance business owners turn their idea into a reality.

Within that guide, you will find facts about the nuances of not just insuring, but also operating an On Demand Cannabis Delivery Business in the states where it’s legal. Although many states have legalized cannabis businesses, most still have strict regulations in place for transportation and delivery. If your business expands to cross state lines, you will need operating authority in those states as well.

As a result, you will need a policy that takes growth and ease of use into consideration.

 

Marijuana Business Insurance

Purchasing On Demand Cannabis Business Insurance

On Demand Delivery providers or Dispensaries looking to shop their insurance will find we have created several proprietary loss control options which include the following:

  • Advice and tips for claims process
  • 24/7 access to your personalized policy at all times
  • Ability to add/delete vehicles and drivers in real time
  • Coming soon:
    • Tracking devices for your vehicles to manage trips taken
    • Dashboard to view driver safety analytics
    • Accident crash detection and automatic claim reporting

Some agencies take days, sometimes weeks to get a quote. However, because of our exclusive relationships and direct connections, we are able to provide quotes from some carriers within minutes.

Additionally, we have the ability to write other coverage’s you need to operate your Cannabis Business such as General Liability, Cargo Insurance and even bonds.

Whether you are a new business starting out with just one delivery car or an established dispensary looking to broaden your services, we are committed to quick and thorough turn around for our Cannabis Delivery Insurance needs.

Click here to request a quote or call 800-980-1950 ext. 4 to talk to one of our Cannabis Business Insurance experts M-F, 8 am – 5 pm pacific.

 

 

 

 

Written by Laura Loftus who is the Executive Broker/Sales and Marketing Manager at American Business Insurance Services, Inc. She has more than 10 years of experience insuring business in the For-Hire, Livery, Transportation Network Company, On Demand Delivery & Shared Economy industries. Looking for a quote on your business?  Call us Monday – Friday, 8 am to 5 pm pacific: 800-980-1950 or email us anytime!

A Complete Guide to Insuring On Demand Delivery Start-Ups

There is a growing need for On Demand Delivery Start-Ups. Although it may seem easy enough to do, few think of the potential liabilities and insurance coverage they will need to get started. Many of us are still working remotely and might not ever return to the office. We will also continue to turn to the convenience of ordering food and goods through the click of a button.

Nationwide states are opening their doors for business to resume, but the psychological effects of COVID-19 are everlasting. Restaurants and retail stores are ready for in person dining and shopping, but many people are not rushing out of their houses.

People will still want to social distance and refrain from unnecessary trips to the store. Others now prefer the time saving convenience of Instacart, Amazon and DoorDash.

When COVID first hit, Amazon and Instacart could not keep up with the demand. Amazon Prime members were no longer getting 2-day shipping and Instacart deliveries were hard to come by. There were days I would check the app several times throughout the day for a delivery slot just to avoid going to the grocery store.

Moreover, you may have found that contacting your local insurance broker to handle insurance for On Demand Delivery Start-Ups just isn’t working – and we know why!

 

Finding the Right Broker for On Demand Delivery Start-Ups

On Demand Delivery Start-Ups
UberEats was one of a few On Demand Delivery Start-Ups that have grown in popularity since COVID-19.

If you are planning to be the next Postmates or DoorDash, you need to prepare and think about insurance before  launching On Demand Delivery Start-Ups. One of them is finding the right broker.  Not all brokers are created equal. You will need to find someone that has access to more than one carrier writing Hired & Owned if you are planning to utilize a peer to peer model. If you are planning to own a fleet of vehicles, contacting American Business Insurance will allow you to utilize our Period X™ platform for when vehicles are not operating. We are also close to launching a Period 0™ platform for when cars log into the app.

Commercial auto insurance can be expensive, but ABI is able to connect with your IT team to fully integrate with your app. This means you can spend more time running and growing your business. Which in turn, equates to less time handling insurance.

With our CarTeq™ technology, we provide oversight to On Demand Delivery Start-Ups which is essential (no pun intended) to any successful business.

 

Be Prepared for the Insurance Buying Process

Create the app and have it mostly finished before you start shopping for insurance. Underwriters will want to see what your app looks like before quoting. Many will not spend time quoting your account until they know the app or website is close to completion.

Have a business plan and projection. Many carriers want to see a certain level of planning and investment has been done before quoting. They will usually ask for financials and a marketing plan. They want to see a safety manual (we can help you with that!) and feel comfortable that the On Demand Delivery Start-Ups will be able to compete with the Postmates and DoorDashes of the world.

Create a bio or resume for all key officers. Insurance companies like to see where you came from and how you ended up in the ODD (on demand delivery) space.

Understanding the costs. Most insurance companies have minimum annual premiums ranging from $75,000-150,000. Financing options are available but be ready to put at least 20% down. Sometimes, these premiums are minimum regardless if you operate 1 day or a full year.

Shopping around. There is an abundance of personal auto carriers out there. But, there are only a handful of companies offering insurance for On Demand Delivery Start-Ups. American Business Insurance works with them all. So, there is no need to shop around. Who doesn’t love one stop shopping?

 

So Much to Do, So Little Time to Do It

There is a lot to think about when navigating the insurance buying process for On Demand Delivery Start-Ups, but lucky we are here to help! We’ve helped many others with integrating insurance into their business and we are at the forefront of Insurance Technology.

Not sure where to begin? The first step is contacting us for a full business plan review and insurance quotes. From Full Commercial Auto Liability Insurance, Hired & Non-Owned, Workers Compensation, Directors and Officers Coverages as well as Employment Practices Liability Insurance – we are excited to hear what you have cooking and how we can help move On Demand Delivery Start-Ups forward.

 

Written by Laura Loftus who is the Executive Broker/Sales and Marketing Manager at American Business Insurance Services, Inc. She has more than 10 years of experience insuring business in the For-Hire, Livery, Transportation Network Company, On Demand Delivery & Shared Economy industries. Looking for a quote on your business?  Call us Monday – Friday, 8 am to 5 pm pacific: 800-980-1950 or email us anytime!

 

 

 

 

New, Easy to Purchase and Install PPE Available for Essential Transportation Companies

Every morning, Corey Lamb puts himself at risk to transport the City of San Francisco’s most vulnerable residents. He stocks his cab with all types of PPE (personal protective equipment) such as  gloves, masks and sanitizer.

Lamb, who has been a professional driver since 2006 and was named the 2019 Paratransit Taxi Driver of the Year by the City of San Francisco and Paratransit Board, has developed a deep passion and drive to focus his taxi services on the people who need him most.

“I focus on providing dignified transportation services for people who would otherwise be confined to their home. My focus is on them and their needs. What’s getting me through COVID is that I have a segment of my clientele that are dialysis patients. Regardless of what is going on in the world, they need to go to dialysis. I pick them up and take them. I make that happen,” Lamb said.

Flywheel Technologies is excited to be the sole distributor of PPE shields in North America.

Lamb owns two wheel chair accessible taxicabs in San Francisco. He also just purchased the first hybrid wheel chair vehicle in the City of San Francisco. As a child, his mother worked for a non-profit organization that taught adults with Autism and Down Syndrome. Their focus was to teach them how to be independent. The compassion Lamb saw  in his mother toward these people is the driving force behind him catering to those in need of transportation.

“I bought both cars brand new. I wanted my passengers to not feel like a run of the mil ride. For me, it’s important that they understand that I care they are being transported in a safe vehicle. The people who have disabilities are usually not considered in planning until the end. I wanted my business to show them they are being considered at the beginning,” Lamb stated.

 

New Types of PPE Available for Taxicab, Limo and Paratransit Drivers

The challenges of transporting the public today have changed compared to a few months ago. In today’s world of face masks, hand sanitizer and Lysol spray– the taxi industry is an essential business that needs to be proactive about using PPE, not only making passengers feel safe – but also their drivers.

That’s why Hansu Kim, President of Flywheel Technologies (a California based taxi booking app) has been working with Taxi Butler in the Netherlands to distribute the Flywheel Shield to transportation companies in need throughout North America.

“We want to bring more confidence in the taxi industry. For vehicles that are on the road, we need to show we are being proactive and staying safe compared to Uber and Lyft by utilizing different types of PPE,” Kim said.

The City of San Francisco has purchased 500 of these shields from Flywheel in response to a need to protect both drivers and passengers. Drivers are deemed essential workers and their passengers  include our most vulnerable population of elderly, medically fragile or immune compromised.

Since the shields are considered Personal Protective Equipment (PPE),  the City is able to use funds they received from government to equip taxis with this important PPE.

“These are easy to install and easy to remove. It gives real protection in an enclosed space. The Flywheel Shield is universal and works in all types of vehicles from a compact hybrid to a larger wheel chair accessible mini van (two of the most common vehicles used in the taxi industry),” Kim explained.

In addition to the shields, the City of San Francisco has introduced The Essential Trip Card designed to help the elderly and in need population purchase fares at reduced cost.

 

The Flywheel Shield is easy to install and priced affordably.
The Flywheel Shield is easy to install and priced affordably.

The Flywheel Shield can be installed using car handles.

 

A Whole New World

Pre-coronavirus, many transportation companies were making non-essential items such as phone chargers, mints and mini water bottles available for passengers.

Shields that were previously installed were mainly used to protect drivers from unruly or violent passengers. They were designed to protect the driver from robbery.

Right now, the majority of passengers using public transportation are first-responders and patients. Drivers need to feel safe about going to work every day and the general population needs to feel safe when riding in public transportation.

“As an essential service, we need to take proactive measures to protect drivers and passengers. We are transporting the most vulnerable – people with fragile medical needs, the elderly and first-responders,” Kim said.

The Flywheel Shield, which went through several different prototypes is easy to install and has been tested by Flywheel Taxi of San Francisco already. It straps on around the front seat and has a sliding opening to pass through payment if needed (card or cash), vouchers and receipts between passenger and driver. At a price point ranging between $40-$50 (depending on order count), the Flywheel Shield is available to purchase for taxi companies across North America. Email [email protected] or call 630-886-6868 for more information on purchasing.

Budgeting for PPE

Many cities and municipalities are looking to purchase this type of PPE for drivers. Before purchasing, Kim said it’s a good idea to check with your City to see if they will reimburse transportation companies for purchasing and installing PPE in public transportation vehicles.

“Drivers feel safer and passengers are saying this is fantastic,” Kim added.

Kim is hoping that other transportation companies across the country will step up and make the necessary changes within the industry to keep people moving, safely.

The Coronavirus, which we know is mainly transmissible through airborne respiratory particles – can be halted from spreading via masks but also with plastic shields between people. Grocery stores have installed these shields in front of cashiers to keep them safe. Doctors and nurses wear them while on duty. It is essential that those working during the pandemic change the way they protected themselves.

Flywheel Taxi driver Lamb is married with 2 kids and is looking forward to installing the Flywheel Shield into his vehicles. He wants to keep not only himself and his family safe, but also his passengers.

“We need to treat these people like family. When you have that mentality, it’s not just a passenger. It’s Amelia’s son. It’s John’s brother. It’s not just a guy I pick up 3 times per week. There is a name attached to it and a story,” Lamb explained further. “There is a relationship there. It’s not just a business for me, it’s a commitment I have to the community to make sure their needs are always met.”

If you would like more information or would like to place an order for the Flywheel Shield, please call 630-886-6868 or email [email protected]

 

Written by Laura Loftus who is an Executive Broker/Sales and Underwriting Manager with more than 10 years of experience insuring business in the For-Hire, Livery & Shared Economy industries. Looking for a quote on your business?  Call us Monday – Friday, 8 am to 5 pm pacific: 800-980-1950 or email us anytime!

 

 

 

Using Your Paycheck Protection Program Payment for Transportation Businesses during COVID-19

As the days and weeks pass by, more and more people are staying home which is affecting not only the transportation industry – but businesses of all types nationwide.

If you are experiencing financial difficulties, you might be thinking about cancelling your policy. Instead, why not use your Paycheck Protection Program payment toward insurance. This way, you can continue to work and serve the community who needs your help.

If you haven’t already and still want to work, the U.S. Department of the Treasury has posted the NEW application form for the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). In short, these are zero-interest loans up to $10 million. These loans cover operational costs like payroll, health benefits, rent, mortgage payments, insurance premiums and utilities.

With taxicabs being named an essential business, there are other revenue generating opportunities for taxicab businesses you may not already be tapped into.

Show Me The Money

Paycheck Protection Program loans are administered through the Small Business Administration, but you have to apply through a local bank. We urge all transportation businesses to download and begin filling out the PPP loan application, and talk to your banker today. The Treasury Department has issued a useful fact sheet on what the loan covers.

In addition to the Paycheck Protection Program loan, we want to remind you that the Small Business Association has also created Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL) that are designed to quickly send $10,000 to distressed companies. The EIDL application is found online and will offer assistance loans for up to $2 million.

But is there any work?

It may feel like there is no work to be done, but as Ann Pilkington who works for Freedom Taxicab in Des Moines, IA told KCCI De Moines, “The main thing is getting people to their appointments because there are some people that wouldn’t last, like a dialysis patient or something, they wouldn’t make it without those med changes or that treatment on themselves.”

Of course, please wear a mask, wash your hands frequently and keep your car clean for at-risk passengers going to and from doctor appointments. It is important to protect yourself and your passengers while working during COVID-19.

Below is a short list of 5 revenue generating ideas you may be able to implement using your existing policy.

Top 5 Revenue Generators during COVID-19:

Using your paycheck protection program payment toward insurance.

 

1. Appointments and other Non-Emergency transportation services

This is probably the largest source of transportation needed right now. People still need to get dialysis, chemotherapy and other types of medical treatments during COVID-19. If you haven’t already added this service to your taxi platform, now is the time.

Below is a list of medical trip providers to consider.

  • LogistiCare – one the largest Non-Emergency Medical Transportation brokers in the United States. They have a presence in almost every state within the US.
  • EpicMD – NEMT trip provider with operations nationwide.
  • OneCall – NEMT broker that serves globally for everything from ambulatory ground transportation to air ambulances.
  • MTM – This is a popular NEMT provider with our existing client base. They have a presence is 75% of the country from coast to coast. They have especially higher trip volume within the East Coast states.
  • Acces2Care – Servicing 29 states, this program helps to dispatch NEMT trips through their parent company AMR which handles the emergency calls. All NEMT calls get sourced through Access2Care.Please note: accommodating passengers who are not ambulatory may not be permitted with your current policy.

 

2. Courier & delivery companies

Amazon is hiring 100,000 workers, mostly for fulfillment and delivery, and some UPS hubs are hiring as well, although—fair warning—both companies are facing criticism over employee safety. Some couriers are also hiring.

*No delivery of hazardous or illegal materials are permitted.  If you are considering cannabis delivery in legal states, we do have coverage for that with multiple markets. Click HERE to request a quote.

3. Grocery & medicine delivery

Grocery stores are your friends. Major chains such as KrogerMeijer, and Safeway are hiring in-store shelf stockers and delivery staff; ditto for regional chains such as Raley’s. Grocery delivery services and apps such as Instacart are also hiring.

4. Sign up for Uber/Lyft

While most taxi policies only allow a certain amount of TNC transport (if any at all), many of our clients have policies that are flexible with allowing drivers to use multiple sources of dispatch to generate revenue. Many drivers are staying home but people without their own sources of transportation still need to go grocery shopping, pick up medications from pharmacies and drop off supplies to loved ones.  And those in the medical field are opting for a more private form of transportation instead of their usual train or bus ride to and from work.

5. Pre-arranged, black car services (utilizing vehicles already within your fleet)

Again, as mentioned above, utilizing your current clientele database to advertise a clean, safe mode of transportation in these trying times is key. Send out texts letting people know you are working and available. Many assume everything is closed. But although people aren’t travelling through airports like they used to – there is clientele that still rely on taxi and black car services to get to the doctor or grocery store. There are doctors and nurses in urban areas who need to get to work but can’t take mass transit.

Be there to help them, they will remember that you helped them even after “everything goes back to normal.”


Not All Policies are Created Equal

Not all insurance companies allow you to do all the types of trips listed above on ONE policy. But WE do. If you don’t already accommodate these types of trips and want to, please contact us to see if your current policy allows for medical and courier trips.

Also, if you are high risk or live with someone who is – please take precaution in working during these times. Working through a pandemic is not for everyone but if you are willing and able – your customers will be forever grateful to you for helping them out when they needed it most!

 

Written by Laura Loftus who is an Executive Broker/Sales and Underwriting Manager with more than 10 years of experience insuring business in the For-Hire, Livery & Shared Economy industries. Looking for a quote on your business?  Call us Monday – Friday, 8 am to 5 pm pacific: 800-980-1950 or email us anytime!

 

Short-Term Policies for Food Delivery Insurance

As the Coronavirus continues to spread across the country, most non-essential businesses are closed nationwide. Although dining in isn’t allowed, restaurants are still allowed to open since they are considered an essential business.  Many restaurants are offering food delivery (even if they didn’t before) since it is allowed. Restaurants new to food delivery might need to purchase additional coverage with a Short-Term Food Delivery Insurance Policy.

It’s a whole new world of self -isolation and government-imposed quarantining. So, what does that mean for every-day life? Well, it’s completely changed as we know it. With that decision, many restaurants have revised their menus and implemented delivery to customers instead. Some are even selling their signature cocktails to-go.

However, what most businesses don’t realize is that allowing your employees to drive their cars to deliver food is not covered under their personal auto insurance. This is why a Short-Term Food Delivery Insurance policy may work for you or someone you know.

Insurance for Delivery Businesses During COVID-19

First off, to ease your mind a bit about potential liabilities, the FDA’s current position is that “there is no evidence to suggest that food produced in the United States can transmit COVID-19.” Furthermore, they went on to say that there is “no evidence of food or food packaging being associated with transmission of COVID-19.”

As always, as long as the food is prepared safely, the risk is low. Information around COVID-19 continues to change, but current evidence seems to point to food delivery as a less risky option than exposing yourself to a grocery store, bringing the bags and items into your home and preparing the food yourself.

Essentially, the major risk of dining within a restaurant is touching a table, counter, or other surface that someone who is contagious may have touched.

Because delivery businesses have become so important during this outbreak, it’s important for employers to get food delivery insurance.

New Short-Term Food Delivery Insurance Program

Whether offering food delivery is a permanent business change or temporary, we have access to a new program which is writing short-term food delivery insurance for restaurants.

food delivery insurance
Many restaurants are delivering food with tamper controls so you can be sure your food was untouched during delivery.

This program is written by an A.M. Best rated “A” X carrier and can accommodate a wide range of classes that have been affected by COVID-19. To contact an ABI producer for more information, click here.

Product highlights include:

  • Monoline coverage
  • 3- or 6-month policy
  • Quick turn-around time
  • Non-auditable policy
  • Limit options of $300K, $500K, $1M CSL
  • Deductible $2,500
  • Offering short term policies starting at $1,500
  • MVR screening service provided
  • Symbols 8 & 9 (hired and non-owned autos) commercial auto liability
  • No restrictive warranties
  • Available in all states except MI

 

Keeping Food Delivery Workers Safe

Many delivery companies have issued guidelines for workers during the outbreak, as Business Insider pointed out, and many of those same workers have taken additional precautions to keep themselves safe. Drivers and delivery workers for Uber, Lyft, and DoorDash told Business Insider they’re scouring their cars with bleach and cutting back on hours.

Even so, if you do opt for your restaurant to deliver food during the outbreak, consider implementing non-contact services. Also, advertise that you require your drivers to practice good hygiene, especially hand-washing. If you can, provide masks to your employees to protect themselves if they are not practicing contact-less delivery.

 

 

 

 

Peer to Peer Car Rental: A Peek Into a Growing Industry

Written by Laura Loftus

 

Antoine and Roslyn Andrade* are living the “American Dream.” You know, the one where you have 9-5 jobs, run a ministry AND manage a start-up peer to peer car rental business on the side. All the while, this husband/wife duo are putting THREE kids through college.

“We tapped into our kid’s college savings to buy the first three cars,”  Roslyn said about how they were able to start this home-based business. “We try to maintain multiple sources of income. If one goes down, then you have the others.”

Like many others in this business, they are utilizing popular peer to peer car sharing apps such as Turo and HyreCar. Turo, is a peer to peer car-sharing app which started in 2010 and focuses solely on personal use. While HyreCar, which first launched in 2014 – focuses on renting solely to drivers who are using the cars to drive for Uber & Lyft.  Antoine and Roslyn utilize American Business Insurance’s (ABI’s) Period X™ insurance product which was created for the peer to peer car sharing business model. As part of this insurance product, which insures the cars only while they are not rented, they are provided a CarTeq™ device which plugs into the OBD port of their vehicle. Through this device, they can log into our portal to view vehicle trip history and GPS location.

Testing the Peer to Peer Car Rental Model

Antoine and Roslyn listed their first 3 cars on the above platforms in 2018. Since then, they have utilized the profits they have made to invest

Peer to peer car rentals are growing in popularity throughout the US and abroad.back into the business and grow their fleet to 15 cars. As you can imagine, balancing their day jobs along with managing a mini car rental business is challenging.

From scheduling maintenance, filing claims, repairing and even recovering stolen vehicles – the business is one that should be carefully entered. It’s not unusual for cars to come back from being rented needing repairs. And some don’t come back at all, and need to be tracked down or reported as stolen.

Antoine and Roslyn had more than once instance of this happening but were able to recover the vehicles in both instances. “The first time, we had to use the police to find the vehicle. The second time, we were able to get the address the car was parked at through the ABI portal. When we arrived, the car was still parked there so we took it home!”

 

Peer to Peer Car Rental Made Easy

Jon J. in Atlanta, GA has a clean, methodical approach to growing his peer to peer car rental business. Jon, who also has a day job has always had an entrepreneurial spirit. He uses his background as a consultant for other businesses to grow the car-sharing model.

Some people are in the business to recoupapp-based insurance costs on a vehicle they want to own, but not use all the time. An example of this is the business executive who wants to buy a Tesla, and then lists it on Turo to rent out a few days out of the month to offset his own monthly cost of using it when he wants.

 

Taking Care of Business

Jon on the other hand is focusing on how to get them continually rented while automating the process. Like the Andrades, he also started with 3 cars and is up to 15 within a year and a half of utilizing ABI’s Period X™ insurance product.

His fleet is made up of vehicles that are easier to maintain and good on gas. Some of the cars in his fleet include the Nissan Versa, Hyundai Elantra and the Ford Focus and Fiesta. “It’s all about getting the cars rented frequently and at the right price point.”

As a current business traveler, he is used to renting cars for work travel. In the past, he would always go to the big-name agencies like Hertz or Enterprise. When there was a problem, he had to deal with a giant corporation or a call center in a country far away.

“People like being able to call us directly, instead of a big company,” Jon said.

 

Let’s Get Personal

While using one of the online apps such as Turo or Getaround might seem like an impersonal experience, Jon said it is exactly the opposite. “With these apps, you get to see who owns the car in advance, the exact car you are renting and reviews of the person who is renting to you. You can chat in real time if there is a problem and it’s a much more personalized experience,” Jon continued.

Besides also having to recover stolen vehicles, Jon explained some of the other challenges he faces in the industry. Some of these challenges include knowing everything you can about what you are getting into, expecting the unexpected (maintenance, repair, paying deductibles on claims, etc) and always maintaining a reserve fund equal to about $1,000 per car ($10-$20k for a fleet of 15).

And that doesn’t include the cost of insurance. “There are some nuances on the insurance piece of the business. Initially, I used my personal auto insurance. But as it expanded, I needed a more scalable model. ABI really helped there,” Jon explained.

 

Risky Business

Personal auto carriers do not allow for you to insure cars that are being used to generate any type of revenue. Many people enter the peer to peer car sharing space utilizing only their personal auto. However, if a claim or accident were to arise through the course of business or even outside of it and they find out – you risk the claim being denied and possibly your policy being cancelled.

“Before you jump in, understand the true cost. Don’t just dive in without testing it. Test with 1-3 cars. Understand the risks you have to assume going into the peer to peer marketplace. Have patience and think through the little thing’s others don’t think about. Every few months I look through my business plan and identify what should be changed going forward. That’s really how you establish rapport and grow a business.”

 

*Note: Some of the names above are changed or abbreviated as the people interviewed prefer to maintain anonymity. 

Laura Loftus is an Executive Broker/Sales and Underwriting Manager with more than 10 years of experience insuring business in the For-Hire, Livery & Shared Economy industries. Looking for a quote on your business?  Call us Monday – Friday, 8 am to 5 pm pacific: 800-980-1950 or email us anytime!

Roseville Cab Taxi Driver Saves Woman from IRS Tax Scammer

Two weeks ago, a Roseville Cab taxi driver who is also insured through ABI, Rajbir Singh picked up a 92-year-old woman from her home in Roseville, CA. After getting settled into her seat, she requested that he take her to the bank. Shortly after talking with her, he found out she was going to withdraw $25,000 to settle an alleged debt with the IRS.

Rajbir Singh with two local Roseville area police officers.

Singh had a hunch that the person calling the woman for the money was a scammer. He tried repeatedly to get her to change her mind.

As reported by CNN on Sunday, Feb. 16th, Singh told them “I am an honest guy, and these are old people. They need help,” Singh, the owner of Roseville Cab, told CNN on Thursday. “It just made sense.”

As the conversation continued, the woman told Singh that someone had contacted her by phone saying she owed the money. As he asked more questions, he found out that she didn’t know the person calling.

The woman allowed Singh to try and call the number, and the man who answered hung up on Singh. When he tried to call back, the number blocked him.

 

Maybe the Police Will Help

After that, the woman was still not convinced she didn’t owe the money so Singh got the woman to agree on stopping by the Roseville Police Station before withdrawing the money. Once she spoke to the officer, she understood that was being scammed.

Singh, who has been a loyal customer of ABI since 2016, is the perfect example to breaking the stigma of taxi drivers. More often that not, our drivers are not always painted in the best light (though we see them differently). We felt it our duty to not only reward his good deed – but to promote it publicly!

Other drivers may have stayed out of it, minded their own business to rush into the next trip/fare – but Mr. Singh took it upon himself to look out for others – which deserves all the accolades he can get. This is why, American Business Insurance is rewarding our client with a Good Samaritan Taxi Driver Award which includes a $250 Visa Gift Card!

If you are ever in need of a ride in the Roseville area, please call Roseville Cab and ask for Rajbir! We know you will be in great hands.

 

Written by Laura Loftus on Monday, Feb. 17th, 2020

Cannabis Business Insurance: A Full-Service Agency Option

More and more states are allowing dispensaries to distribute cannabis products for medicinal and recreational use. An expanding market has produced the need for cannabis business insurance.

Up until recently, a person that wanted to buy cannabis for either medicinal or recreational use would need to go searching. Maybe their friend knew a guy who knew a guy.

But now, brick and motor stores as well as the much preferred On Demand Cannabis Delivery options continue to expand all over the globe. Business owners should understand the need and use for cannabis business insurance.

Some dispensaries utilize employee owned vehicles to deliver products from the stores. Others, like Budly.com operate as an Uber of pot. The app provides its users to a Business to Consumer (B2C) platform much like UberEats or Instacart.

Below are the most common liabilities that should be covered with your On Demand Cannabis Business Insurance:

  • Hired and non-owned coverage for B2C or Peer to Peer (P2P) models
  • Commercial Auto Insurance for corporate owned vehicles driven by employees
  • Workers Compensation if drivers are considered employees

Bud, Is It Legal?

Although On Demand Cannabis Business Insurance hasn’t been around for 35 years, American Business Insurance has! On Demand Insurance programs continue to expand. And state-by-state regulations around medicinal and recreational business continues to change.

Our experience in this field is unique, as we have the ability to curate and custom build a policy package that works within your budget. Whether it’s one vehicle for one dispensary or a total cannabis business insurance package, we created this guide to help Cannabis Delivery Insurance business owners turn their idea into a reality.

Within that guide, you will find facts about the nuances of not just insuring, but also operating an On Demand Cannabis Delivery Business in the states where it’s legal. Although many states have legalized cannabis businesses, most still have strict regulations in place for transportation and delivery. If your business expands to cross state lines, you will need operating authority in those states as well.

As a result, you will need a policy that takes growth and ease of use into consideration.

 

Marijuana Business Insurance

Purchasing On Demand Cannabis Business Insurance

On Demand Delivery providers or Dispensaries looking to shop their insurance will find we have created several proprietary loss control options which include the following:

  • Advice and tips for claims process
  • 24/7 access to your personalized policy at all times
  • Ability to add/delete vehicles and drivers in real time
  • Coming soon:
    • Tracking devices for your vehicles to manage trips taken
    • Dashboard to view driver safety analytics
    • Accident crash detection and automatic claim reporting

Some agencies take days, sometimes weeks to get a quote. However, because of our exclusive relationships and direct connections, we are able to provide quotes from some carriers within minutes.

Additionally, we have the ability to write other coverage’s you need to operate your Cannabis Business such as General Liability, Cargo Insurance and even bonds.

Whether you are a new business starting out with just one delivery car or an established dispensary looking to broaden your services, we are committed to quick and thorough turn around for our Cannabis Delivery Insurance needs.

Click here to request a quote or call 800-980-1950 ext. 4 to talk to one of our Cannabis Business Insurance experts M-F, 8 am – 5 pm pacific.

 

 

 

 

Written by Laura Loftus who is the Executive Broker/Sales and Marketing Manager at American Business Insurance Services, Inc. She has more than 10 years of experience insuring business in the For-Hire, Livery, Transportation Network Company, On Demand Delivery & Shared Economy industries. Looking for a quote on your business?  Call us Monday – Friday, 8 am to 5 pm pacific: 800-980-1950 or email us anytime!

A Complete Guide to Insuring On Demand Delivery Start-Ups

There is a growing need for On Demand Delivery Start-Ups. Although it may seem easy enough to do, few think of the potential liabilities and insurance coverage they will need to get started. Many of us are still working remotely and might not ever return to the office. We will also continue to turn to the convenience of ordering food and goods through the click of a button.

Nationwide states are opening their doors for business to resume, but the psychological effects of COVID-19 are everlasting. Restaurants and retail stores are ready for in person dining and shopping, but many people are not rushing out of their houses.

People will still want to social distance and refrain from unnecessary trips to the store. Others now prefer the time saving convenience of Instacart, Amazon and DoorDash.

When COVID first hit, Amazon and Instacart could not keep up with the demand. Amazon Prime members were no longer getting 2-day shipping and Instacart deliveries were hard to come by. There were days I would check the app several times throughout the day for a delivery slot just to avoid going to the grocery store.

Moreover, you may have found that contacting your local insurance broker to handle insurance for On Demand Delivery Start-Ups just isn’t working – and we know why!

 

Finding the Right Broker for On Demand Delivery Start-Ups

On Demand Delivery Start-Ups
UberEats was one of a few On Demand Delivery Start-Ups that have grown in popularity since COVID-19.

If you are planning to be the next Postmates or DoorDash, you need to prepare and think about insurance before  launching On Demand Delivery Start-Ups. One of them is finding the right broker.  Not all brokers are created equal. You will need to find someone that has access to more than one carrier writing Hired & Owned if you are planning to utilize a peer to peer model. If you are planning to own a fleet of vehicles, contacting American Business Insurance will allow you to utilize our Period X™ platform for when vehicles are not operating. We are also close to launching a Period 0™ platform for when cars log into the app.

Commercial auto insurance can be expensive, but ABI is able to connect with your IT team to fully integrate with your app. This means you can spend more time running and growing your business. Which in turn, equates to less time handling insurance.

With our CarTeq™ technology, we provide oversight to On Demand Delivery Start-Ups which is essential (no pun intended) to any successful business.

 

Be Prepared for the Insurance Buying Process

Create the app and have it mostly finished before you start shopping for insurance. Underwriters will want to see what your app looks like before quoting. Many will not spend time quoting your account until they know the app or website is close to completion.

Have a business plan and projection. Many carriers want to see a certain level of planning and investment has been done before quoting. They will usually ask for financials and a marketing plan. They want to see a safety manual (we can help you with that!) and feel comfortable that the On Demand Delivery Start-Ups will be able to compete with the Postmates and DoorDashes of the world.

Create a bio or resume for all key officers. Insurance companies like to see where you came from and how you ended up in the ODD (on demand delivery) space.

Understanding the costs. Most insurance companies have minimum annual premiums ranging from $75,000-150,000. Financing options are available but be ready to put at least 20% down. Sometimes, these premiums are minimum regardless if you operate 1 day or a full year.

Shopping around. There is an abundance of personal auto carriers out there. But, there are only a handful of companies offering insurance for On Demand Delivery Start-Ups. American Business Insurance works with them all. So, there is no need to shop around. Who doesn’t love one stop shopping?

 

So Much to Do, So Little Time to Do It

There is a lot to think about when navigating the insurance buying process for On Demand Delivery Start-Ups, but lucky we are here to help! We’ve helped many others with integrating insurance into their business and we are at the forefront of Insurance Technology.

Not sure where to begin? The first step is contacting us for a full business plan review and insurance quotes. From Full Commercial Auto Liability Insurance, Hired & Non-Owned, Workers Compensation, Directors and Officers Coverages as well as Employment Practices Liability Insurance – we are excited to hear what you have cooking and how we can help move On Demand Delivery Start-Ups forward.

 

Written by Laura Loftus who is the Executive Broker/Sales and Marketing Manager at American Business Insurance Services, Inc. She has more than 10 years of experience insuring business in the For-Hire, Livery, Transportation Network Company, On Demand Delivery & Shared Economy industries. Looking for a quote on your business?  Call us Monday – Friday, 8 am to 5 pm pacific: 800-980-1950 or email us anytime!

 

 

 

 

New, Easy to Purchase and Install PPE Available for Essential Transportation Companies

Every morning, Corey Lamb puts himself at risk to transport the City of San Francisco’s most vulnerable residents. He stocks his cab with all types of PPE (personal protective equipment) such as  gloves, masks and sanitizer.

Lamb, who has been a professional driver since 2006 and was named the 2019 Paratransit Taxi Driver of the Year by the City of San Francisco and Paratransit Board, has developed a deep passion and drive to focus his taxi services on the people who need him most.

“I focus on providing dignified transportation services for people who would otherwise be confined to their home. My focus is on them and their needs. What’s getting me through COVID is that I have a segment of my clientele that are dialysis patients. Regardless of what is going on in the world, they need to go to dialysis. I pick them up and take them. I make that happen,” Lamb said.

Flywheel Technologies is excited to be the sole distributor of PPE shields in North America.

Lamb owns two wheel chair accessible taxicabs in San Francisco. He also just purchased the first hybrid wheel chair vehicle in the City of San Francisco. As a child, his mother worked for a non-profit organization that taught adults with Autism and Down Syndrome. Their focus was to teach them how to be independent. The compassion Lamb saw  in his mother toward these people is the driving force behind him catering to those in need of transportation.

“I bought both cars brand new. I wanted my passengers to not feel like a run of the mil ride. For me, it’s important that they understand that I care they are being transported in a safe vehicle. The people who have disabilities are usually not considered in planning until the end. I wanted my business to show them they are being considered at the beginning,” Lamb stated.

 

New Types of PPE Available for Taxicab, Limo and Paratransit Drivers

The challenges of transporting the public today have changed compared to a few months ago. In today’s world of face masks, hand sanitizer and Lysol spray– the taxi industry is an essential business that needs to be proactive about using PPE, not only making passengers feel safe – but also their drivers.

That’s why Hansu Kim, President of Flywheel Technologies (a California based taxi booking app) has been working with Taxi Butler in the Netherlands to distribute the Flywheel Shield to transportation companies in need throughout North America.

“We want to bring more confidence in the taxi industry. For vehicles that are on the road, we need to show we are being proactive and staying safe compared to Uber and Lyft by utilizing different types of PPE,” Kim said.

The City of San Francisco has purchased 500 of these shields from Flywheel in response to a need to protect both drivers and passengers. Drivers are deemed essential workers and their passengers  include our most vulnerable population of elderly, medically fragile or immune compromised.

Since the shields are considered Personal Protective Equipment (PPE),  the City is able to use funds they received from government to equip taxis with this important PPE.

“These are easy to install and easy to remove. It gives real protection in an enclosed space. The Flywheel Shield is universal and works in all types of vehicles from a compact hybrid to a larger wheel chair accessible mini van (two of the most common vehicles used in the taxi industry),” Kim explained.

In addition to the shields, the City of San Francisco has introduced The Essential Trip Card designed to help the elderly and in need population purchase fares at reduced cost.

 

The Flywheel Shield is easy to install and priced affordably.
The Flywheel Shield is easy to install and priced affordably.

The Flywheel Shield can be installed using car handles.

 

A Whole New World

Pre-coronavirus, many transportation companies were making non-essential items such as phone chargers, mints and mini water bottles available for passengers.

Shields that were previously installed were mainly used to protect drivers from unruly or violent passengers. They were designed to protect the driver from robbery.

Right now, the majority of passengers using public transportation are first-responders and patients. Drivers need to feel safe about going to work every day and the general population needs to feel safe when riding in public transportation.

“As an essential service, we need to take proactive measures to protect drivers and passengers. We are transporting the most vulnerable – people with fragile medical needs, the elderly and first-responders,” Kim said.

The Flywheel Shield, which went through several different prototypes is easy to install and has been tested by Flywheel Taxi of San Francisco already. It straps on around the front seat and has a sliding opening to pass through payment if needed (card or cash), vouchers and receipts between passenger and driver. At a price point ranging between $40-$50 (depending on order count), the Flywheel Shield is available to purchase for taxi companies across North America. Email [email protected] or call 630-886-6868 for more information on purchasing.

Budgeting for PPE

Many cities and municipalities are looking to purchase this type of PPE for drivers. Before purchasing, Kim said it’s a good idea to check with your City to see if they will reimburse transportation companies for purchasing and installing PPE in public transportation vehicles.

“Drivers feel safer and passengers are saying this is fantastic,” Kim added.

Kim is hoping that other transportation companies across the country will step up and make the necessary changes within the industry to keep people moving, safely.

The Coronavirus, which we know is mainly transmissible through airborne respiratory particles – can be halted from spreading via masks but also with plastic shields between people. Grocery stores have installed these shields in front of cashiers to keep them safe. Doctors and nurses wear them while on duty. It is essential that those working during the pandemic change the way they protected themselves.

Flywheel Taxi driver Lamb is married with 2 kids and is looking forward to installing the Flywheel Shield into his vehicles. He wants to keep not only himself and his family safe, but also his passengers.

“We need to treat these people like family. When you have that mentality, it’s not just a passenger. It’s Amelia’s son. It’s John’s brother. It’s not just a guy I pick up 3 times per week. There is a name attached to it and a story,” Lamb explained further. “There is a relationship there. It’s not just a business for me, it’s a commitment I have to the community to make sure their needs are always met.”

If you would like more information or would like to place an order for the Flywheel Shield, please call 630-886-6868 or email [email protected]

 

Written by Laura Loftus who is an Executive Broker/Sales and Underwriting Manager with more than 10 years of experience insuring business in the For-Hire, Livery & Shared Economy industries. Looking for a quote on your business?  Call us Monday – Friday, 8 am to 5 pm pacific: 800-980-1950 or email us anytime!

 

 

 

Using Your Paycheck Protection Program Payment for Transportation Businesses during COVID-19

As the days and weeks pass by, more and more people are staying home which is affecting not only the transportation industry – but businesses of all types nationwide.

If you are experiencing financial difficulties, you might be thinking about cancelling your policy. Instead, why not use your Paycheck Protection Program payment toward insurance. This way, you can continue to work and serve the community who needs your help.

If you haven’t already and still want to work, the U.S. Department of the Treasury has posted the NEW application form for the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). In short, these are zero-interest loans up to $10 million. These loans cover operational costs like payroll, health benefits, rent, mortgage payments, insurance premiums and utilities.

With taxicabs being named an essential business, there are other revenue generating opportunities for taxicab businesses you may not already be tapped into.

Show Me The Money

Paycheck Protection Program loans are administered through the Small Business Administration, but you have to apply through a local bank. We urge all transportation businesses to download and begin filling out the PPP loan application, and talk to your banker today. The Treasury Department has issued a useful fact sheet on what the loan covers.

In addition to the Paycheck Protection Program loan, we want to remind you that the Small Business Association has also created Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL) that are designed to quickly send $10,000 to distressed companies. The EIDL application is found online and will offer assistance loans for up to $2 million.

But is there any work?

It may feel like there is no work to be done, but as Ann Pilkington who works for Freedom Taxicab in Des Moines, IA told KCCI De Moines, “The main thing is getting people to their appointments because there are some people that wouldn’t last, like a dialysis patient or something, they wouldn’t make it without those med changes or that treatment on themselves.”

Of course, please wear a mask, wash your hands frequently and keep your car clean for at-risk passengers going to and from doctor appointments. It is important to protect yourself and your passengers while working during COVID-19.

Below is a short list of 5 revenue generating ideas you may be able to implement using your existing policy.

Top 5 Revenue Generators during COVID-19:

Using your paycheck protection program payment toward insurance.

 

1. Appointments and other Non-Emergency transportation services

This is probably the largest source of transportation needed right now. People still need to get dialysis, chemotherapy and other types of medical treatments during COVID-19. If you haven’t already added this service to your taxi platform, now is the time.

Below is a list of medical trip providers to consider.

  • LogistiCare – one the largest Non-Emergency Medical Transportation brokers in the United States. They have a presence in almost every state within the US.
  • EpicMD – NEMT trip provider with operations nationwide.
  • OneCall – NEMT broker that serves globally for everything from ambulatory ground transportation to air ambulances.
  • MTM – This is a popular NEMT provider with our existing client base. They have a presence is 75% of the country from coast to coast. They have especially higher trip volume within the East Coast states.
  • Acces2Care – Servicing 29 states, this program helps to dispatch NEMT trips through their parent company AMR which handles the emergency calls. All NEMT calls get sourced through Access2Care.Please note: accommodating passengers who are not ambulatory may not be permitted with your current policy.

 

2. Courier & delivery companies

Amazon is hiring 100,000 workers, mostly for fulfillment and delivery, and some UPS hubs are hiring as well, although—fair warning—both companies are facing criticism over employee safety. Some couriers are also hiring.

*No delivery of hazardous or illegal materials are permitted.  If you are considering cannabis delivery in legal states, we do have coverage for that with multiple markets. Click HERE to request a quote.

3. Grocery & medicine delivery

Grocery stores are your friends. Major chains such as KrogerMeijer, and Safeway are hiring in-store shelf stockers and delivery staff; ditto for regional chains such as Raley’s. Grocery delivery services and apps such as Instacart are also hiring.

4. Sign up for Uber/Lyft

While most taxi policies only allow a certain amount of TNC transport (if any at all), many of our clients have policies that are flexible with allowing drivers to use multiple sources of dispatch to generate revenue. Many drivers are staying home but people without their own sources of transportation still need to go grocery shopping, pick up medications from pharmacies and drop off supplies to loved ones.  And those in the medical field are opting for a more private form of transportation instead of their usual train or bus ride to and from work.

5. Pre-arranged, black car services (utilizing vehicles already within your fleet)

Again, as mentioned above, utilizing your current clientele database to advertise a clean, safe mode of transportation in these trying times is key. Send out texts letting people know you are working and available. Many assume everything is closed. But although people aren’t travelling through airports like they used to – there is clientele that still rely on taxi and black car services to get to the doctor or grocery store. There are doctors and nurses in urban areas who need to get to work but can’t take mass transit.

Be there to help them, they will remember that you helped them even after “everything goes back to normal.”


Not All Policies are Created Equal

Not all insurance companies allow you to do all the types of trips listed above on ONE policy. But WE do. If you don’t already accommodate these types of trips and want to, please contact us to see if your current policy allows for medical and courier trips.

Also, if you are high risk or live with someone who is – please take precaution in working during these times. Working through a pandemic is not for everyone but if you are willing and able – your customers will be forever grateful to you for helping them out when they needed it most!

 

Written by Laura Loftus who is an Executive Broker/Sales and Underwriting Manager with more than 10 years of experience insuring business in the For-Hire, Livery & Shared Economy industries. Looking for a quote on your business?  Call us Monday – Friday, 8 am to 5 pm pacific: 800-980-1950 or email us anytime!

 

Short-Term Policies for Food Delivery Insurance

As the Coronavirus continues to spread across the country, most non-essential businesses are closed nationwide. Although dining in isn’t allowed, restaurants are still allowed to open since they are considered an essential business.  Many restaurants are offering food delivery (even if they didn’t before) since it is allowed. Restaurants new to food delivery might need to purchase additional coverage with a Short-Term Food Delivery Insurance Policy.

It’s a whole new world of self -isolation and government-imposed quarantining. So, what does that mean for every-day life? Well, it’s completely changed as we know it. With that decision, many restaurants have revised their menus and implemented delivery to customers instead. Some are even selling their signature cocktails to-go.

However, what most businesses don’t realize is that allowing your employees to drive their cars to deliver food is not covered under their personal auto insurance. This is why a Short-Term Food Delivery Insurance policy may work for you or someone you know.

Insurance for Delivery Businesses During COVID-19

First off, to ease your mind a bit about potential liabilities, the FDA’s current position is that “there is no evidence to suggest that food produced in the United States can transmit COVID-19.” Furthermore, they went on to say that there is “no evidence of food or food packaging being associated with transmission of COVID-19.”

As always, as long as the food is prepared safely, the risk is low. Information around COVID-19 continues to change, but current evidence seems to point to food delivery as a less risky option than exposing yourself to a grocery store, bringing the bags and items into your home and preparing the food yourself.

Essentially, the major risk of dining within a restaurant is touching a table, counter, or other surface that someone who is contagious may have touched.

Because delivery businesses have become so important during this outbreak, it’s important for employers to get food delivery insurance.

New Short-Term Food Delivery Insurance Program

Whether offering food delivery is a permanent business change or temporary, we have access to a new program which is writing short-term food delivery insurance for restaurants.

food delivery insurance
Many restaurants are delivering food with tamper controls so you can be sure your food was untouched during delivery.

This program is written by an A.M. Best rated “A” X carrier and can accommodate a wide range of classes that have been affected by COVID-19. To contact an ABI producer for more information, click here.

Product highlights include:

  • Monoline coverage
  • 3- or 6-month policy
  • Quick turn-around time
  • Non-auditable policy
  • Limit options of $300K, $500K, $1M CSL
  • Deductible $2,500
  • Offering short term policies starting at $1,500
  • MVR screening service provided
  • Symbols 8 & 9 (hired and non-owned autos) commercial auto liability
  • No restrictive warranties
  • Available in all states except MI

 

Keeping Food Delivery Workers Safe

Many delivery companies have issued guidelines for workers during the outbreak, as Business Insider pointed out, and many of those same workers have taken additional precautions to keep themselves safe. Drivers and delivery workers for Uber, Lyft, and DoorDash told Business Insider they’re scouring their cars with bleach and cutting back on hours.

Even so, if you do opt for your restaurant to deliver food during the outbreak, consider implementing non-contact services. Also, advertise that you require your drivers to practice good hygiene, especially hand-washing. If you can, provide masks to your employees to protect themselves if they are not practicing contact-less delivery.

 

 

 

 

Peer to Peer Car Rental: A Peek Into a Growing Industry

Written by Laura Loftus

 

Antoine and Roslyn Andrade* are living the “American Dream.” You know, the one where you have 9-5 jobs, run a ministry AND manage a start-up peer to peer car rental business on the side. All the while, this husband/wife duo are putting THREE kids through college.

“We tapped into our kid’s college savings to buy the first three cars,”  Roslyn said about how they were able to start this home-based business. “We try to maintain multiple sources of income. If one goes down, then you have the others.”

Like many others in this business, they are utilizing popular peer to peer car sharing apps such as Turo and HyreCar. Turo, is a peer to peer car-sharing app which started in 2010 and focuses solely on personal use. While HyreCar, which first launched in 2014 – focuses on renting solely to drivers who are using the cars to drive for Uber & Lyft.  Antoine and Roslyn utilize American Business Insurance’s (ABI’s) Period X™ insurance product which was created for the peer to peer car sharing business model. As part of this insurance product, which insures the cars only while they are not rented, they are provided a CarTeq™ device which plugs into the OBD port of their vehicle. Through this device, they can log into our portal to view vehicle trip history and GPS location.

Testing the Peer to Peer Car Rental Model

Antoine and Roslyn listed their first 3 cars on the above platforms in 2018. Since then, they have utilized the profits they have made to invest

Peer to peer car rentals are growing in popularity throughout the US and abroad.back into the business and grow their fleet to 15 cars. As you can imagine, balancing their day jobs along with managing a mini car rental business is challenging.

From scheduling maintenance, filing claims, repairing and even recovering stolen vehicles – the business is one that should be carefully entered. It’s not unusual for cars to come back from being rented needing repairs. And some don’t come back at all, and need to be tracked down or reported as stolen.

Antoine and Roslyn had more than once instance of this happening but were able to recover the vehicles in both instances. “The first time, we had to use the police to find the vehicle. The second time, we were able to get the address the car was parked at through the ABI portal. When we arrived, the car was still parked there so we took it home!”

 

Peer to Peer Car Rental Made Easy

Jon J. in Atlanta, GA has a clean, methodical approach to growing his peer to peer car rental business. Jon, who also has a day job has always had an entrepreneurial spirit. He uses his background as a consultant for other businesses to grow the car-sharing model.

Some people are in the business to recoupapp-based insurance costs on a vehicle they want to own, but not use all the time. An example of this is the business executive who wants to buy a Tesla, and then lists it on Turo to rent out a few days out of the month to offset his own monthly cost of using it when he wants.

 

Taking Care of Business

Jon on the other hand is focusing on how to get them continually rented while automating the process. Like the Andrades, he also started with 3 cars and is up to 15 within a year and a half of utilizing ABI’s Period X™ insurance product.

His fleet is made up of vehicles that are easier to maintain and good on gas. Some of the cars in his fleet include the Nissan Versa, Hyundai Elantra and the Ford Focus and Fiesta. “It’s all about getting the cars rented frequently and at the right price point.”

As a current business traveler, he is used to renting cars for work travel. In the past, he would always go to the big-name agencies like Hertz or Enterprise. When there was a problem, he had to deal with a giant corporation or a call center in a country far away.

“People like being able to call us directly, instead of a big company,” Jon said.

 

Let’s Get Personal

While using one of the online apps such as Turo or Getaround might seem like an impersonal experience, Jon said it is exactly the opposite. “With these apps, you get to see who owns the car in advance, the exact car you are renting and reviews of the person who is renting to you. You can chat in real time if there is a problem and it’s a much more personalized experience,” Jon continued.

Besides also having to recover stolen vehicles, Jon explained some of the other challenges he faces in the industry. Some of these challenges include knowing everything you can about what you are getting into, expecting the unexpected (maintenance, repair, paying deductibles on claims, etc) and always maintaining a reserve fund equal to about $1,000 per car ($10-$20k for a fleet of 15).

And that doesn’t include the cost of insurance. “There are some nuances on the insurance piece of the business. Initially, I used my personal auto insurance. But as it expanded, I needed a more scalable model. ABI really helped there,” Jon explained.

 

Risky Business

Personal auto carriers do not allow for you to insure cars that are being used to generate any type of revenue. Many people enter the peer to peer car sharing space utilizing only their personal auto. However, if a claim or accident were to arise through the course of business or even outside of it and they find out – you risk the claim being denied and possibly your policy being cancelled.

“Before you jump in, understand the true cost. Don’t just dive in without testing it. Test with 1-3 cars. Understand the risks you have to assume going into the peer to peer marketplace. Have patience and think through the little thing’s others don’t think about. Every few months I look through my business plan and identify what should be changed going forward. That’s really how you establish rapport and grow a business.”

 

*Note: Some of the names above are changed or abbreviated as the people interviewed prefer to maintain anonymity. 

Laura Loftus is an Executive Broker/Sales and Underwriting Manager with more than 10 years of experience insuring business in the For-Hire, Livery & Shared Economy industries. Looking for a quote on your business?  Call us Monday – Friday, 8 am to 5 pm pacific: 800-980-1950 or email us anytime!

Roseville Cab Taxi Driver Saves Woman from IRS Tax Scammer

Two weeks ago, a Roseville Cab taxi driver who is also insured through ABI, Rajbir Singh picked up a 92-year-old woman from her home in Roseville, CA. After getting settled into her seat, she requested that he take her to the bank. Shortly after talking with her, he found out she was going to withdraw $25,000 to settle an alleged debt with the IRS.

Rajbir Singh with two local Roseville area police officers.

Singh had a hunch that the person calling the woman for the money was a scammer. He tried repeatedly to get her to change her mind.

As reported by CNN on Sunday, Feb. 16th, Singh told them “I am an honest guy, and these are old people. They need help,” Singh, the owner of Roseville Cab, told CNN on Thursday. “It just made sense.”

As the conversation continued, the woman told Singh that someone had contacted her by phone saying she owed the money. As he asked more questions, he found out that she didn’t know the person calling.

The woman allowed Singh to try and call the number, and the man who answered hung up on Singh. When he tried to call back, the number blocked him.

 

Maybe the Police Will Help

After that, the woman was still not convinced she didn’t owe the money so Singh got the woman to agree on stopping by the Roseville Police Station before withdrawing the money. Once she spoke to the officer, she understood that was being scammed.

Singh, who has been a loyal customer of ABI since 2016, is the perfect example to breaking the stigma of taxi drivers. More often that not, our drivers are not always painted in the best light (though we see them differently). We felt it our duty to not only reward his good deed – but to promote it publicly!

Other drivers may have stayed out of it, minded their own business to rush into the next trip/fare – but Mr. Singh took it upon himself to look out for others – which deserves all the accolades he can get. This is why, American Business Insurance is rewarding our client with a Good Samaritan Taxi Driver Award which includes a $250 Visa Gift Card!

If you are ever in need of a ride in the Roseville area, please call Roseville Cab and ask for Rajbir! We know you will be in great hands.

 

Written by Laura Loftus on Monday, Feb. 17th, 2020

Cannabis Business Insurance: A Full-Service Agency Option

More and more states are allowing dispensaries to distribute cannabis products for medicinal and recreational use. An expanding market has produced the need for cannabis business insurance.

Up until recently, a person that wanted to buy cannabis for either medicinal or recreational use would need to go searching. Maybe their friend knew a guy who knew a guy.

But now, brick and motor stores as well as the much preferred On Demand Cannabis Delivery options continue to expand all over the globe. Business owners should understand the need and use for cannabis business insurance.

Some dispensaries utilize employee owned vehicles to deliver products from the stores. Others, like Budly.com operate as an Uber of pot. The app provides its users to a Business to Consumer (B2C) platform much like UberEats or Instacart.

Below are the most common liabilities that should be covered with your On Demand Cannabis Business Insurance:

  • Hired and non-owned coverage for B2C or Peer to Peer (P2P) models
  • Commercial Auto Insurance for corporate owned vehicles driven by employees
  • Workers Compensation if drivers are considered employees

Bud, Is It Legal?

Although On Demand Cannabis Business Insurance hasn’t been around for 35 years, American Business Insurance has! On Demand Insurance programs continue to expand. And state-by-state regulations around medicinal and recreational business continues to change.

Our experience in this field is unique, as we have the ability to curate and custom build a policy package that works within your budget. Whether it’s one vehicle for one dispensary or a total cannabis business insurance package, we created this guide to help Cannabis Delivery Insurance business owners turn their idea into a reality.

Within that guide, you will find facts about the nuances of not just insuring, but also operating an On Demand Cannabis Delivery Business in the states where it’s legal. Although many states have legalized cannabis businesses, most still have strict regulations in place for transportation and delivery. If your business expands to cross state lines, you will need operating authority in those states as well.

As a result, you will need a policy that takes growth and ease of use into consideration.

 

Marijuana Business Insurance

Purchasing On Demand Cannabis Business Insurance

On Demand Delivery providers or Dispensaries looking to shop their insurance will find we have created several proprietary loss control options which include the following:

  • Advice and tips for claims process
  • 24/7 access to your personalized policy at all times
  • Ability to add/delete vehicles and drivers in real time
  • Coming soon:
    • Tracking devices for your vehicles to manage trips taken
    • Dashboard to view driver safety analytics
    • Accident crash detection and automatic claim reporting

Some agencies take days, sometimes weeks to get a quote. However, because of our exclusive relationships and direct connections, we are able to provide quotes from some carriers within minutes.

Additionally, we have the ability to write other coverage’s you need to operate your Cannabis Business such as General Liability, Cargo Insurance and even bonds.

Whether you are a new business starting out with just one delivery car or an established dispensary looking to broaden your services, we are committed to quick and thorough turn around for our Cannabis Delivery Insurance needs.

Click here to request a quote or call 800-980-1950 ext. 4 to talk to one of our Cannabis Business Insurance experts M-F, 8 am – 5 pm pacific.

 

 

 

 

Written by Laura Loftus who is the Executive Broker/Sales and Marketing Manager at American Business Insurance Services, Inc. She has more than 10 years of experience insuring business in the For-Hire, Livery, Transportation Network Company, On Demand Delivery & Shared Economy industries. Looking for a quote on your business?  Call us Monday – Friday, 8 am to 5 pm pacific: 800-980-1950 or email us anytime!

A Complete Guide to Insuring On Demand Delivery Start-Ups

There is a growing need for On Demand Delivery Start-Ups. Although it may seem easy enough to do, few think of the potential liabilities and insurance coverage they will need to get started. Many of us are still working remotely and might not ever return to the office. We will also continue to turn to the convenience of ordering food and goods through the click of a button.

Nationwide states are opening their doors for business to resume, but the psychological effects of COVID-19 are everlasting. Restaurants and retail stores are ready for in person dining and shopping, but many people are not rushing out of their houses.

People will still want to social distance and refrain from unnecessary trips to the store. Others now prefer the time saving convenience of Instacart, Amazon and DoorDash.

When COVID first hit, Amazon and Instacart could not keep up with the demand. Amazon Prime members were no longer getting 2-day shipping and Instacart deliveries were hard to come by. There were days I would check the app several times throughout the day for a delivery slot just to avoid going to the grocery store.

Moreover, you may have found that contacting your local insurance broker to handle insurance for On Demand Delivery Start-Ups just isn’t working – and we know why!

 

Finding the Right Broker for On Demand Delivery Start-Ups

On Demand Delivery Start-Ups
UberEats was one of a few On Demand Delivery Start-Ups that have grown in popularity since COVID-19.

If you are planning to be the next Postmates or DoorDash, you need to prepare and think about insurance before  launching On Demand Delivery Start-Ups. One of them is finding the right broker.  Not all brokers are created equal. You will need to find someone that has access to more than one carrier writing Hired & Owned if you are planning to utilize a peer to peer model. If you are planning to own a fleet of vehicles, contacting American Business Insurance will allow you to utilize our Period X™ platform for when vehicles are not operating. We are also close to launching a Period 0™ platform for when cars log into the app.

Commercial auto insurance can be expensive, but ABI is able to connect with your IT team to fully integrate with your app. This means you can spend more time running and growing your business. Which in turn, equates to less time handling insurance.

With our CarTeq™ technology, we provide oversight to On Demand Delivery Start-Ups which is essential (no pun intended) to any successful business.

 

Be Prepared for the Insurance Buying Process

Create the app and have it mostly finished before you start shopping for insurance. Underwriters will want to see what your app looks like before quoting. Many will not spend time quoting your account until they know the app or website is close to completion.

Have a business plan and projection. Many carriers want to see a certain level of planning and investment has been done before quoting. They will usually ask for financials and a marketing plan. They want to see a safety manual (we can help you with that!) and feel comfortable that the On Demand Delivery Start-Ups will be able to compete with the Postmates and DoorDashes of the world.

Create a bio or resume for all key officers. Insurance companies like to see where you came from and how you ended up in the ODD (on demand delivery) space.

Understanding the costs. Most insurance companies have minimum annual premiums ranging from $75,000-150,000. Financing options are available but be ready to put at least 20% down. Sometimes, these premiums are minimum regardless if you operate 1 day or a full year.

Shopping around. There is an abundance of personal auto carriers out there. But, there are only a handful of companies offering insurance for On Demand Delivery Start-Ups. American Business Insurance works with them all. So, there is no need to shop around. Who doesn’t love one stop shopping?

 

So Much to Do, So Little Time to Do It

There is a lot to think about when navigating the insurance buying process for On Demand Delivery Start-Ups, but lucky we are here to help! We’ve helped many others with integrating insurance into their business and we are at the forefront of Insurance Technology.

Not sure where to begin? The first step is contacting us for a full business plan review and insurance quotes. From Full Commercial Auto Liability Insurance, Hired & Non-Owned, Workers Compensation, Directors and Officers Coverages as well as Employment Practices Liability Insurance – we are excited to hear what you have cooking and how we can help move On Demand Delivery Start-Ups forward.

 

Written by Laura Loftus who is the Executive Broker/Sales and Marketing Manager at American Business Insurance Services, Inc. She has more than 10 years of experience insuring business in the For-Hire, Livery, Transportation Network Company, On Demand Delivery & Shared Economy industries. Looking for a quote on your business?  Call us Monday – Friday, 8 am to 5 pm pacific: 800-980-1950 or email us anytime!

 

 

 

 

New, Easy to Purchase and Install PPE Available for Essential Transportation Companies

Every morning, Corey Lamb puts himself at risk to transport the City of San Francisco’s most vulnerable residents. He stocks his cab with all types of PPE (personal protective equipment) such as  gloves, masks and sanitizer.

Lamb, who has been a professional driver since 2006 and was named the 2019 Paratransit Taxi Driver of the Year by the City of San Francisco and Paratransit Board, has developed a deep passion and drive to focus his taxi services on the people who need him most.

“I focus on providing dignified transportation services for people who would otherwise be confined to their home. My focus is on them and their needs. What’s getting me through COVID is that I have a segment of my clientele that are dialysis patients. Regardless of what is going on in the world, they need to go to dialysis. I pick them up and take them. I make that happen,” Lamb said.

Flywheel Technologies is excited to be the sole distributor of PPE shields in North America.

Lamb owns two wheel chair accessible taxicabs in San Francisco. He also just purchased the first hybrid wheel chair vehicle in the City of San Francisco. As a child, his mother worked for a non-profit organization that taught adults with Autism and Down Syndrome. Their focus was to teach them how to be independent. The compassion Lamb saw  in his mother toward these people is the driving force behind him catering to those in need of transportation.

“I bought both cars brand new. I wanted my passengers to not feel like a run of the mil ride. For me, it’s important that they understand that I care they are being transported in a safe vehicle. The people who have disabilities are usually not considered in planning until the end. I wanted my business to show them they are being considered at the beginning,” Lamb stated.

 

New Types of PPE Available for Taxicab, Limo and Paratransit Drivers

The challenges of transporting the public today have changed compared to a few months ago. In today’s world of face masks, hand sanitizer and Lysol spray– the taxi industry is an essential business that needs to be proactive about using PPE, not only making passengers feel safe – but also their drivers.

That’s why Hansu Kim, President of Flywheel Technologies (a California based taxi booking app) has been working with Taxi Butler in the Netherlands to distribute the Flywheel Shield to transportation companies in need throughout North America.

“We want to bring more confidence in the taxi industry. For vehicles that are on the road, we need to show we are being proactive and staying safe compared to Uber and Lyft by utilizing different types of PPE,” Kim said.

The City of San Francisco has purchased 500 of these shields from Flywheel in response to a need to protect both drivers and passengers. Drivers are deemed essential workers and their passengers  include our most vulnerable population of elderly, medically fragile or immune compromised.

Since the shields are considered Personal Protective Equipment (PPE),  the City is able to use funds they received from government to equip taxis with this important PPE.

“These are easy to install and easy to remove. It gives real protection in an enclosed space. The Flywheel Shield is universal and works in all types of vehicles from a compact hybrid to a larger wheel chair accessible mini van (two of the most common vehicles used in the taxi industry),” Kim explained.

In addition to the shields, the City of San Francisco has introduced The Essential Trip Card designed to help the elderly and in need population purchase fares at reduced cost.

 

The Flywheel Shield is easy to install and priced affordably.
The Flywheel Shield is easy to install and priced affordably.

The Flywheel Shield can be installed using car handles.

 

A Whole New World

Pre-coronavirus, many transportation companies were making non-essential items such as phone chargers, mints and mini water bottles available for passengers.

Shields that were previously installed were mainly used to protect drivers from unruly or violent passengers. They were designed to protect the driver from robbery.

Right now, the majority of passengers using public transportation are first-responders and patients. Drivers need to feel safe about going to work every day and the general population needs to feel safe when riding in public transportation.

“As an essential service, we need to take proactive measures to protect drivers and passengers. We are transporting the most vulnerable – people with fragile medical needs, the elderly and first-responders,” Kim said.

The Flywheel Shield, which went through several different prototypes is easy to install and has been tested by Flywheel Taxi of San Francisco already. It straps on around the front seat and has a sliding opening to pass through payment if needed (card or cash), vouchers and receipts between passenger and driver. At a price point ranging between $40-$50 (depending on order count), the Flywheel Shield is available to purchase for taxi companies across North America. Email [email protected] or call 630-886-6868 for more information on purchasing.

Budgeting for PPE

Many cities and municipalities are looking to purchase this type of PPE for drivers. Before purchasing, Kim said it’s a good idea to check with your City to see if they will reimburse transportation companies for purchasing and installing PPE in public transportation vehicles.

“Drivers feel safer and passengers are saying this is fantastic,” Kim added.

Kim is hoping that other transportation companies across the country will step up and make the necessary changes within the industry to keep people moving, safely.

The Coronavirus, which we know is mainly transmissible through airborne respiratory particles – can be halted from spreading via masks but also with plastic shields between people. Grocery stores have installed these shields in front of cashiers to keep them safe. Doctors and nurses wear them while on duty. It is essential that those working during the pandemic change the way they protected themselves.

Flywheel Taxi driver Lamb is married with 2 kids and is looking forward to installing the Flywheel Shield into his vehicles. He wants to keep not only himself and his family safe, but also his passengers.

“We need to treat these people like family. When you have that mentality, it’s not just a passenger. It’s Amelia’s son. It’s John’s brother. It’s not just a guy I pick up 3 times per week. There is a name attached to it and a story,” Lamb explained further. “There is a relationship there. It’s not just a business for me, it’s a commitment I have to the community to make sure their needs are always met.”

If you would like more information or would like to place an order for the Flywheel Shield, please call 630-886-6868 or email [email protected]

 

Written by Laura Loftus who is an Executive Broker/Sales and Underwriting Manager with more than 10 years of experience insuring business in the For-Hire, Livery & Shared Economy industries. Looking for a quote on your business?  Call us Monday – Friday, 8 am to 5 pm pacific: 800-980-1950 or email us anytime!

 

 

 

Using Your Paycheck Protection Program Payment for Transportation Businesses during COVID-19

As the days and weeks pass by, more and more people are staying home which is affecting not only the transportation industry – but businesses of all types nationwide.

If you are experiencing financial difficulties, you might be thinking about cancelling your policy. Instead, why not use your Paycheck Protection Program payment toward insurance. This way, you can continue to work and serve the community who needs your help.

If you haven’t already and still want to work, the U.S. Department of the Treasury has posted the NEW application form for the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). In short, these are zero-interest loans up to $10 million. These loans cover operational costs like payroll, health benefits, rent, mortgage payments, insurance premiums and utilities.

With taxicabs being named an essential business, there are other revenue generating opportunities for taxicab businesses you may not already be tapped into.

Show Me The Money

Paycheck Protection Program loans are administered through the Small Business Administration, but you have to apply through a local bank. We urge all transportation businesses to download and begin filling out the PPP loan application, and talk to your banker today. The Treasury Department has issued a useful fact sheet on what the loan covers.

In addition to the Paycheck Protection Program loan, we want to remind you that the Small Business Association has also created Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL) that are designed to quickly send $10,000 to distressed companies. The EIDL application is found online and will offer assistance loans for up to $2 million.

But is there any work?

It may feel like there is no work to be done, but as Ann Pilkington who works for Freedom Taxicab in Des Moines, IA told KCCI De Moines, “The main thing is getting people to their appointments because there are some people that wouldn’t last, like a dialysis patient or something, they wouldn’t make it without those med changes or that treatment on themselves.”

Of course, please wear a mask, wash your hands frequently and keep your car clean for at-risk passengers going to and from doctor appointments. It is important to protect yourself and your passengers while working during COVID-19.

Below is a short list of 5 revenue generating ideas you may be able to implement using your existing policy.

Top 5 Revenue Generators during COVID-19:

Using your paycheck protection program payment toward insurance.

 

1. Appointments and other Non-Emergency transportation services

This is probably the largest source of transportation needed right now. People still need to get dialysis, chemotherapy and other types of medical treatments during COVID-19. If you haven’t already added this service to your taxi platform, now is the time.

Below is a list of medical trip providers to consider.

  • LogistiCare – one the largest Non-Emergency Medical Transportation brokers in the United States. They have a presence in almost every state within the US.
  • EpicMD – NEMT trip provider with operations nationwide.
  • OneCall – NEMT broker that serves globally for everything from ambulatory ground transportation to air ambulances.
  • MTM – This is a popular NEMT provider with our existing client base. They have a presence is 75% of the country from coast to coast. They have especially higher trip volume within the East Coast states.
  • Acces2Care – Servicing 29 states, this program helps to dispatch NEMT trips through their parent company AMR which handles the emergency calls. All NEMT calls get sourced through Access2Care.Please note: accommodating passengers who are not ambulatory may not be permitted with your current policy.

 

2. Courier & delivery companies

Amazon is hiring 100,000 workers, mostly for fulfillment and delivery, and some UPS hubs are hiring as well, although—fair warning—both companies are facing criticism over employee safety. Some couriers are also hiring.

*No delivery of hazardous or illegal materials are permitted.  If you are considering cannabis delivery in legal states, we do have coverage for that with multiple markets. Click HERE to request a quote.

3. Grocery & medicine delivery

Grocery stores are your friends. Major chains such as KrogerMeijer, and Safeway are hiring in-store shelf stockers and delivery staff; ditto for regional chains such as Raley’s. Grocery delivery services and apps such as Instacart are also hiring.

4. Sign up for Uber/Lyft

While most taxi policies only allow a certain amount of TNC transport (if any at all), many of our clients have policies that are flexible with allowing drivers to use multiple sources of dispatch to generate revenue. Many drivers are staying home but people without their own sources of transportation still need to go grocery shopping, pick up medications from pharmacies and drop off supplies to loved ones.  And those in the medical field are opting for a more private form of transportation instead of their usual train or bus ride to and from work.

5. Pre-arranged, black car services (utilizing vehicles already within your fleet)

Again, as mentioned above, utilizing your current clientele database to advertise a clean, safe mode of transportation in these trying times is key. Send out texts letting people know you are working and available. Many assume everything is closed. But although people aren’t travelling through airports like they used to – there is clientele that still rely on taxi and black car services to get to the doctor or grocery store. There are doctors and nurses in urban areas who need to get to work but can’t take mass transit.

Be there to help them, they will remember that you helped them even after “everything goes back to normal.”


Not All Policies are Created Equal

Not all insurance companies allow you to do all the types of trips listed above on ONE policy. But WE do. If you don’t already accommodate these types of trips and want to, please contact us to see if your current policy allows for medical and courier trips.

Also, if you are high risk or live with someone who is – please take precaution in working during these times. Working through a pandemic is not for everyone but if you are willing and able – your customers will be forever grateful to you for helping them out when they needed it most!

 

Written by Laura Loftus who is an Executive Broker/Sales and Underwriting Manager with more than 10 years of experience insuring business in the For-Hire, Livery & Shared Economy industries. Looking for a quote on your business?  Call us Monday – Friday, 8 am to 5 pm pacific: 800-980-1950 or email us anytime!

 

Short-Term Policies for Food Delivery Insurance

As the Coronavirus continues to spread across the country, most non-essential businesses are closed nationwide. Although dining in isn’t allowed, restaurants are still allowed to open since they are considered an essential business.  Many restaurants are offering food delivery (even if they didn’t before) since it is allowed. Restaurants new to food delivery might need to purchase additional coverage with a Short-Term Food Delivery Insurance Policy.

It’s a whole new world of self -isolation and government-imposed quarantining. So, what does that mean for every-day life? Well, it’s completely changed as we know it. With that decision, many restaurants have revised their menus and implemented delivery to customers instead. Some are even selling their signature cocktails to-go.

However, what most businesses don’t realize is that allowing your employees to drive their cars to deliver food is not covered under their personal auto insurance. This is why a Short-Term Food Delivery Insurance policy may work for you or someone you know.

Insurance for Delivery Businesses During COVID-19

First off, to ease your mind a bit about potential liabilities, the FDA’s current position is that “there is no evidence to suggest that food produced in the United States can transmit COVID-19.” Furthermore, they went on to say that there is “no evidence of food or food packaging being associated with transmission of COVID-19.”

As always, as long as the food is prepared safely, the risk is low. Information around COVID-19 continues to change, but current evidence seems to point to food delivery as a less risky option than exposing yourself to a grocery store, bringing the bags and items into your home and preparing the food yourself.

Essentially, the major risk of dining within a restaurant is touching a table, counter, or other surface that someone who is contagious may have touched.

Because delivery businesses have become so important during this outbreak, it’s important for employers to get food delivery insurance.

New Short-Term Food Delivery Insurance Program

Whether offering food delivery is a permanent business change or temporary, we have access to a new program which is writing short-term food delivery insurance for restaurants.

food delivery insurance
Many restaurants are delivering food with tamper controls so you can be sure your food was untouched during delivery.

This program is written by an A.M. Best rated “A” X carrier and can accommodate a wide range of classes that have been affected by COVID-19. To contact an ABI producer for more information, click here.

Product highlights include:

  • Monoline coverage
  • 3- or 6-month policy
  • Quick turn-around time
  • Non-auditable policy
  • Limit options of $300K, $500K, $1M CSL
  • Deductible $2,500
  • Offering short term policies starting at $1,500
  • MVR screening service provided
  • Symbols 8 & 9 (hired and non-owned autos) commercial auto liability
  • No restrictive warranties
  • Available in all states except MI

 

Keeping Food Delivery Workers Safe

Many delivery companies have issued guidelines for workers during the outbreak, as Business Insider pointed out, and many of those same workers have taken additional precautions to keep themselves safe. Drivers and delivery workers for Uber, Lyft, and DoorDash told Business Insider they’re scouring their cars with bleach and cutting back on hours.

Even so, if you do opt for your restaurant to deliver food during the outbreak, consider implementing non-contact services. Also, advertise that you require your drivers to practice good hygiene, especially hand-washing. If you can, provide masks to your employees to protect themselves if they are not practicing contact-less delivery.

 

 

 

 

Peer to Peer Car Rental: A Peek Into a Growing Industry

Written by Laura Loftus

 

Antoine and Roslyn Andrade* are living the “American Dream.” You know, the one where you have 9-5 jobs, run a ministry AND manage a start-up peer to peer car rental business on the side. All the while, this husband/wife duo are putting THREE kids through college.

“We tapped into our kid’s college savings to buy the first three cars,”  Roslyn said about how they were able to start this home-based business. “We try to maintain multiple sources of income. If one goes down, then you have the others.”

Like many others in this business, they are utilizing popular peer to peer car sharing apps such as Turo and HyreCar. Turo, is a peer to peer car-sharing app which started in 2010 and focuses solely on personal use. While HyreCar, which first launched in 2014 – focuses on renting solely to drivers who are using the cars to drive for Uber & Lyft.  Antoine and Roslyn utilize American Business Insurance’s (ABI’s) Period X™ insurance product which was created for the peer to peer car sharing business model. As part of this insurance product, which insures the cars only while they are not rented, they are provided a CarTeq™ device which plugs into the OBD port of their vehicle. Through this device, they can log into our portal to view vehicle trip history and GPS location.

Testing the Peer to Peer Car Rental Model

Antoine and Roslyn listed their first 3 cars on the above platforms in 2018. Since then, they have utilized the profits they have made to invest

Peer to peer car rentals are growing in popularity throughout the US and abroad.back into the business and grow their fleet to 15 cars. As you can imagine, balancing their day jobs along with managing a mini car rental business is challenging.

From scheduling maintenance, filing claims, repairing and even recovering stolen vehicles – the business is one that should be carefully entered. It’s not unusual for cars to come back from being rented needing repairs. And some don’t come back at all, and need to be tracked down or reported as stolen.

Antoine and Roslyn had more than once instance of this happening but were able to recover the vehicles in both instances. “The first time, we had to use the police to find the vehicle. The second time, we were able to get the address the car was parked at through the ABI portal. When we arrived, the car was still parked there so we took it home!”

 

Peer to Peer Car Rental Made Easy

Jon J. in Atlanta, GA has a clean, methodical approach to growing his peer to peer car rental business. Jon, who also has a day job has always had an entrepreneurial spirit. He uses his background as a consultant for other businesses to grow the car-sharing model.

Some people are in the business to recoupapp-based insurance costs on a vehicle they want to own, but not use all the time. An example of this is the business executive who wants to buy a Tesla, and then lists it on Turo to rent out a few days out of the month to offset his own monthly cost of using it when he wants.

 

Taking Care of Business

Jon on the other hand is focusing on how to get them continually rented while automating the process. Like the Andrades, he also started with 3 cars and is up to 15 within a year and a half of utilizing ABI’s Period X™ insurance product.

His fleet is made up of vehicles that are easier to maintain and good on gas. Some of the cars in his fleet include the Nissan Versa, Hyundai Elantra and the Ford Focus and Fiesta. “It’s all about getting the cars rented frequently and at the right price point.”

As a current business traveler, he is used to renting cars for work travel. In the past, he would always go to the big-name agencies like Hertz or Enterprise. When there was a problem, he had to deal with a giant corporation or a call center in a country far away.

“People like being able to call us directly, instead of a big company,” Jon said.

 

Let’s Get Personal

While using one of the online apps such as Turo or Getaround might seem like an impersonal experience, Jon said it is exactly the opposite. “With these apps, you get to see who owns the car in advance, the exact car you are renting and reviews of the person who is renting to you. You can chat in real time if there is a problem and it’s a much more personalized experience,” Jon continued.

Besides also having to recover stolen vehicles, Jon explained some of the other challenges he faces in the industry. Some of these challenges include knowing everything you can about what you are getting into, expecting the unexpected (maintenance, repair, paying deductibles on claims, etc) and always maintaining a reserve fund equal to about $1,000 per car ($10-$20k for a fleet of 15).

And that doesn’t include the cost of insurance. “There are some nuances on the insurance piece of the business. Initially, I used my personal auto insurance. But as it expanded, I needed a more scalable model. ABI really helped there,” Jon explained.

 

Risky Business

Personal auto carriers do not allow for you to insure cars that are being used to generate any type of revenue. Many people enter the peer to peer car sharing space utilizing only their personal auto. However, if a claim or accident were to arise through the course of business or even outside of it and they find out – you risk the claim being denied and possibly your policy being cancelled.

“Before you jump in, understand the true cost. Don’t just dive in without testing it. Test with 1-3 cars. Understand the risks you have to assume going into the peer to peer marketplace. Have patience and think through the little thing’s others don’t think about. Every few months I look through my business plan and identify what should be changed going forward. That’s really how you establish rapport and grow a business.”

 

*Note: Some of the names above are changed or abbreviated as the people interviewed prefer to maintain anonymity. 

Laura Loftus is an Executive Broker/Sales and Underwriting Manager with more than 10 years of experience insuring business in the For-Hire, Livery & Shared Economy industries. Looking for a quote on your business?  Call us Monday – Friday, 8 am to 5 pm pacific: 800-980-1950 or email us anytime!

Roseville Cab Taxi Driver Saves Woman from IRS Tax Scammer

Two weeks ago, a Roseville Cab taxi driver who is also insured through ABI, Rajbir Singh picked up a 92-year-old woman from her home in Roseville, CA. After getting settled into her seat, she requested that he take her to the bank. Shortly after talking with her, he found out she was going to withdraw $25,000 to settle an alleged debt with the IRS.

Rajbir Singh with two local Roseville area police officers.

Singh had a hunch that the person calling the woman for the money was a scammer. He tried repeatedly to get her to change her mind.

As reported by CNN on Sunday, Feb. 16th, Singh told them “I am an honest guy, and these are old people. They need help,” Singh, the owner of Roseville Cab, told CNN on Thursday. “It just made sense.”

As the conversation continued, the woman told Singh that someone had contacted her by phone saying she owed the money. As he asked more questions, he found out that she didn’t know the person calling.

The woman allowed Singh to try and call the number, and the man who answered hung up on Singh. When he tried to call back, the number blocked him.

 

Maybe the Police Will Help

After that, the woman was still not convinced she didn’t owe the money so Singh got the woman to agree on stopping by the Roseville Police Station before withdrawing the money. Once she spoke to the officer, she understood that was being scammed.

Singh, who has been a loyal customer of ABI since 2016, is the perfect example to breaking the stigma of taxi drivers. More often that not, our drivers are not always painted in the best light (though we see them differently). We felt it our duty to not only reward his good deed – but to promote it publicly!

Other drivers may have stayed out of it, minded their own business to rush into the next trip/fare – but Mr. Singh took it upon himself to look out for others – which deserves all the accolades he can get. This is why, American Business Insurance is rewarding our client with a Good Samaritan Taxi Driver Award which includes a $250 Visa Gift Card!

If you are ever in need of a ride in the Roseville area, please call Roseville Cab and ask for Rajbir! We know you will be in great hands.

 

Written by Laura Loftus on Monday, Feb. 17th, 2020

Cannabis Business Insurance: A Full-Service Agency Option

More and more states are allowing dispensaries to distribute cannabis products for medicinal and recreational use. An expanding market has produced the need for cannabis business insurance.

Up until recently, a person that wanted to buy cannabis for either medicinal or recreational use would need to go searching. Maybe their friend knew a guy who knew a guy.

But now, brick and motor stores as well as the much preferred On Demand Cannabis Delivery options continue to expand all over the globe. Business owners should understand the need and use for cannabis business insurance.

Some dispensaries utilize employee owned vehicles to deliver products from the stores. Others, like Budly.com operate as an Uber of pot. The app provides its users to a Business to Consumer (B2C) platform much like UberEats or Instacart.

Below are the most common liabilities that should be covered with your On Demand Cannabis Business Insurance:

  • Hired and non-owned coverage for B2C or Peer to Peer (P2P) models
  • Commercial Auto Insurance for corporate owned vehicles driven by employees
  • Workers Compensation if drivers are considered employees

Bud, Is It Legal?

Although On Demand Cannabis Business Insurance hasn’t been around for 35 years, American Business Insurance has! On Demand Insurance programs continue to expand. And state-by-state regulations around medicinal and recreational business continues to change.

Our experience in this field is unique, as we have the ability to curate and custom build a policy package that works within your budget. Whether it’s one vehicle for one dispensary or a total cannabis business insurance package, we created this guide to help Cannabis Delivery Insurance business owners turn their idea into a reality.

Within that guide, you will find facts about the nuances of not just insuring, but also operating an On Demand Cannabis Delivery Business in the states where it’s legal. Although many states have legalized cannabis businesses, most still have strict regulations in place for transportation and delivery. If your business expands to cross state lines, you will need operating authority in those states as well.

As a result, you will need a policy that takes growth and ease of use into consideration.

 

Marijuana Business Insurance

Purchasing On Demand Cannabis Business Insurance

On Demand Delivery providers or Dispensaries looking to shop their insurance will find we have created several proprietary loss control options which include the following:

  • Advice and tips for claims process
  • 24/7 access to your personalized policy at all times
  • Ability to add/delete vehicles and drivers in real time
  • Coming soon:
    • Tracking devices for your vehicles to manage trips taken
    • Dashboard to view driver safety analytics
    • Accident crash detection and automatic claim reporting

Some agencies take days, sometimes weeks to get a quote. However, because of our exclusive relationships and direct connections, we are able to provide quotes from some carriers within minutes.

Additionally, we have the ability to write other coverage’s you need to operate your Cannabis Business such as General Liability, Cargo Insurance and even bonds.

Whether you are a new business starting out with just one delivery car or an established dispensary looking to broaden your services, we are committed to quick and thorough turn around for our Cannabis Delivery Insurance needs.

Click here to request a quote or call 800-980-1950 ext. 4 to talk to one of our Cannabis Business Insurance experts M-F, 8 am – 5 pm pacific.

 

 

 

 

Written by Laura Loftus who is the Executive Broker/Sales and Marketing Manager at American Business Insurance Services, Inc. She has more than 10 years of experience insuring business in the For-Hire, Livery, Transportation Network Company, On Demand Delivery & Shared Economy industries. Looking for a quote on your business?  Call us Monday – Friday, 8 am to 5 pm pacific: 800-980-1950 or email us anytime!

A Complete Guide to Insuring On Demand Delivery Start-Ups

There is a growing need for On Demand Delivery Start-Ups. Although it may seem easy enough to do, few think of the potential liabilities and insurance coverage they will need to get started. Many of us are still working remotely and might not ever return to the office. We will also continue to turn to the convenience of ordering food and goods through the click of a button.

Nationwide states are opening their doors for business to resume, but the psychological effects of COVID-19 are everlasting. Restaurants and retail stores are ready for in person dining and shopping, but many people are not rushing out of their houses.

People will still want to social distance and refrain from unnecessary trips to the store. Others now prefer the time saving convenience of Instacart, Amazon and DoorDash.

When COVID first hit, Amazon and Instacart could not keep up with the demand. Amazon Prime members were no longer getting 2-day shipping and Instacart deliveries were hard to come by. There were days I would check the app several times throughout the day for a delivery slot just to avoid going to the grocery store.

Moreover, you may have found that contacting your local insurance broker to handle insurance for On Demand Delivery Start-Ups just isn’t working – and we know why!

 

Finding the Right Broker for On Demand Delivery Start-Ups

On Demand Delivery Start-Ups
UberEats was one of a few On Demand Delivery Start-Ups that have grown in popularity since COVID-19.

If you are planning to be the next Postmates or DoorDash, you need to prepare and think about insurance before  launching On Demand Delivery Start-Ups. One of them is finding the right broker.  Not all brokers are created equal. You will need to find someone that has access to more than one carrier writing Hired & Owned if you are planning to utilize a peer to peer model. If you are planning to own a fleet of vehicles, contacting American Business Insurance will allow you to utilize our Period X™ platform for when vehicles are not operating. We are also close to launching a Period 0™ platform for when cars log into the app.

Commercial auto insurance can be expensive, but ABI is able to connect with your IT team to fully integrate with your app. This means you can spend more time running and growing your business. Which in turn, equates to less time handling insurance.

With our CarTeq™ technology, we provide oversight to On Demand Delivery Start-Ups which is essential (no pun intended) to any successful business.

 

Be Prepared for the Insurance Buying Process

Create the app and have it mostly finished before you start shopping for insurance. Underwriters will want to see what your app looks like before quoting. Many will not spend time quoting your account until they know the app or website is close to completion.

Have a business plan and projection. Many carriers want to see a certain level of planning and investment has been done before quoting. They will usually ask for financials and a marketing plan. They want to see a safety manual (we can help you with that!) and feel comfortable that the On Demand Delivery Start-Ups will be able to compete with the Postmates and DoorDashes of the world.

Create a bio or resume for all key officers. Insurance companies like to see where you came from and how you ended up in the ODD (on demand delivery) space.

Understanding the costs. Most insurance companies have minimum annual premiums ranging from $75,000-150,000. Financing options are available but be ready to put at least 20% down. Sometimes, these premiums are minimum regardless if you operate 1 day or a full year.

Shopping around. There is an abundance of personal auto carriers out there. But, there are only a handful of companies offering insurance for On Demand Delivery Start-Ups. American Business Insurance works with them all. So, there is no need to shop around. Who doesn’t love one stop shopping?

 

So Much to Do, So Little Time to Do It

There is a lot to think about when navigating the insurance buying process for On Demand Delivery Start-Ups, but lucky we are here to help! We’ve helped many others with integrating insurance into their business and we are at the forefront of Insurance Technology.

Not sure where to begin? The first step is contacting us for a full business plan review and insurance quotes. From Full Commercial Auto Liability Insurance, Hired & Non-Owned, Workers Compensation, Directors and Officers Coverages as well as Employment Practices Liability Insurance – we are excited to hear what you have cooking and how we can help move On Demand Delivery Start-Ups forward.

 

Written by Laura Loftus who is the Executive Broker/Sales and Marketing Manager at American Business Insurance Services, Inc. She has more than 10 years of experience insuring business in the For-Hire, Livery, Transportation Network Company, On Demand Delivery & Shared Economy industries. Looking for a quote on your business?  Call us Monday – Friday, 8 am to 5 pm pacific: 800-980-1950 or email us anytime!

 

 

 

 

New, Easy to Purchase and Install PPE Available for Essential Transportation Companies

Every morning, Corey Lamb puts himself at risk to transport the City of San Francisco’s most vulnerable residents. He stocks his cab with all types of PPE (personal protective equipment) such as  gloves, masks and sanitizer.

Lamb, who has been a professional driver since 2006 and was named the 2019 Paratransit Taxi Driver of the Year by the City of San Francisco and Paratransit Board, has developed a deep passion and drive to focus his taxi services on the people who need him most.

“I focus on providing dignified transportation services for people who would otherwise be confined to their home. My focus is on them and their needs. What’s getting me through COVID is that I have a segment of my clientele that are dialysis patients. Regardless of what is going on in the world, they need to go to dialysis. I pick them up and take them. I make that happen,” Lamb said.

Flywheel Technologies is excited to be the sole distributor of PPE shields in North America.

Lamb owns two wheel chair accessible taxicabs in San Francisco. He also just purchased the first hybrid wheel chair vehicle in the City of San Francisco. As a child, his mother worked for a non-profit organization that taught adults with Autism and Down Syndrome. Their focus was to teach them how to be independent. The compassion Lamb saw  in his mother toward these people is the driving force behind him catering to those in need of transportation.

“I bought both cars brand new. I wanted my passengers to not feel like a run of the mil ride. For me, it’s important that they understand that I care they are being transported in a safe vehicle. The people who have disabilities are usually not considered in planning until the end. I wanted my business to show them they are being considered at the beginning,” Lamb stated.

 

New Types of PPE Available for Taxicab, Limo and Paratransit Drivers

The challenges of transporting the public today have changed compared to a few months ago. In today’s world of face masks, hand sanitizer and Lysol spray– the taxi industry is an essential business that needs to be proactive about using PPE, not only making passengers feel safe – but also their drivers.

That’s why Hansu Kim, President of Flywheel Technologies (a California based taxi booking app) has been working with Taxi Butler in the Netherlands to distribute the Flywheel Shield to transportation companies in need throughout North America.

“We want to bring more confidence in the taxi industry. For vehicles that are on the road, we need to show we are being proactive and staying safe compared to Uber and Lyft by utilizing different types of PPE,” Kim said.

The City of San Francisco has purchased 500 of these shields from Flywheel in response to a need to protect both drivers and passengers. Drivers are deemed essential workers and their passengers  include our most vulnerable population of elderly, medically fragile or immune compromised.

Since the shields are considered Personal Protective Equipment (PPE),  the City is able to use funds they received from government to equip taxis with this important PPE.

“These are easy to install and easy to remove. It gives real protection in an enclosed space. The Flywheel Shield is universal and works in all types of vehicles from a compact hybrid to a larger wheel chair accessible mini van (two of the most common vehicles used in the taxi industry),” Kim explained.

In addition to the shields, the City of San Francisco has introduced The Essential Trip Card designed to help the elderly and in need population purchase fares at reduced cost.

 

The Flywheel Shield is easy to install and priced affordably.
The Flywheel Shield is easy to install and priced affordably.

The Flywheel Shield can be installed using car handles.

 

A Whole New World

Pre-coronavirus, many transportation companies were making non-essential items such as phone chargers, mints and mini water bottles available for passengers.

Shields that were previously installed were mainly used to protect drivers from unruly or violent passengers. They were designed to protect the driver from robbery.

Right now, the majority of passengers using public transportation are first-responders and patients. Drivers need to feel safe about going to work every day and the general population needs to feel safe when riding in public transportation.

“As an essential service, we need to take proactive measures to protect drivers and passengers. We are transporting the most vulnerable – people with fragile medical needs, the elderly and first-responders,” Kim said.

The Flywheel Shield, which went through several different prototypes is easy to install and has been tested by Flywheel Taxi of San Francisco already. It straps on around the front seat and has a sliding opening to pass through payment if needed (card or cash), vouchers and receipts between passenger and driver. At a price point ranging between $40-$50 (depending on order count), the Flywheel Shield is available to purchase for taxi companies across North America. Email [email protected] or call 630-886-6868 for more information on purchasing.

Budgeting for PPE

Many cities and municipalities are looking to purchase this type of PPE for drivers. Before purchasing, Kim said it’s a good idea to check with your City to see if they will reimburse transportation companies for purchasing and installing PPE in public transportation vehicles.

“Drivers feel safer and passengers are saying this is fantastic,” Kim added.

Kim is hoping that other transportation companies across the country will step up and make the necessary changes within the industry to keep people moving, safely.

The Coronavirus, which we know is mainly transmissible through airborne respiratory particles – can be halted from spreading via masks but also with plastic shields between people. Grocery stores have installed these shields in front of cashiers to keep them safe. Doctors and nurses wear them while on duty. It is essential that those working during the pandemic change the way they protected themselves.

Flywheel Taxi driver Lamb is married with 2 kids and is looking forward to installing the Flywheel Shield into his vehicles. He wants to keep not only himself and his family safe, but also his passengers.

“We need to treat these people like family. When you have that mentality, it’s not just a passenger. It’s Amelia’s son. It’s John’s brother. It’s not just a guy I pick up 3 times per week. There is a name attached to it and a story,” Lamb explained further. “There is a relationship there. It’s not just a business for me, it’s a commitment I have to the community to make sure their needs are always met.”

If you would like more information or would like to place an order for the Flywheel Shield, please call 630-886-6868 or email [email protected]

 

Written by Laura Loftus who is an Executive Broker/Sales and Underwriting Manager with more than 10 years of experience insuring business in the For-Hire, Livery & Shared Economy industries. Looking for a quote on your business?  Call us Monday – Friday, 8 am to 5 pm pacific: 800-980-1950 or email us anytime!

 

 

 

Using Your Paycheck Protection Program Payment for Transportation Businesses during COVID-19

As the days and weeks pass by, more and more people are staying home which is affecting not only the transportation industry – but businesses of all types nationwide.

If you are experiencing financial difficulties, you might be thinking about cancelling your policy. Instead, why not use your Paycheck Protection Program payment toward insurance. This way, you can continue to work and serve the community who needs your help.

If you haven’t already and still want to work, the U.S. Department of the Treasury has posted the NEW application form for the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). In short, these are zero-interest loans up to $10 million. These loans cover operational costs like payroll, health benefits, rent, mortgage payments, insurance premiums and utilities.

With taxicabs being named an essential business, there are other revenue generating opportunities for taxicab businesses you may not already be tapped into.

Show Me The Money

Paycheck Protection Program loans are administered through the Small Business Administration, but you have to apply through a local bank. We urge all transportation businesses to download and begin filling out the PPP loan application, and talk to your banker today. The Treasury Department has issued a useful fact sheet on what the loan covers.

In addition to the Paycheck Protection Program loan, we want to remind you that the Small Business Association has also created Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL) that are designed to quickly send $10,000 to distressed companies. The EIDL application is found online and will offer assistance loans for up to $2 million.

But is there any work?

It may feel like there is no work to be done, but as Ann Pilkington who works for Freedom Taxicab in Des Moines, IA told KCCI De Moines, “The main thing is getting people to their appointments because there are some people that wouldn’t last, like a dialysis patient or something, they wouldn’t make it without those med changes or that treatment on themselves.”

Of course, please wear a mask, wash your hands frequently and keep your car clean for at-risk passengers going to and from doctor appointments. It is important to protect yourself and your passengers while working during COVID-19.

Below is a short list of 5 revenue generating ideas you may be able to implement using your existing policy.

Top 5 Revenue Generators during COVID-19:

Using your paycheck protection program payment toward insurance.

 

1. Appointments and other Non-Emergency transportation services

This is probably the largest source of transportation needed right now. People still need to get dialysis, chemotherapy and other types of medical treatments during COVID-19. If you haven’t already added this service to your taxi platform, now is the time.

Below is a list of medical trip providers to consider.

  • LogistiCare – one the largest Non-Emergency Medical Transportation brokers in the United States. They have a presence in almost every state within the US.
  • EpicMD – NEMT trip provider with operations nationwide.
  • OneCall – NEMT broker that serves globally for everything from ambulatory ground transportation to air ambulances.
  • MTM – This is a popular NEMT provider with our existing client base. They have a presence is 75% of the country from coast to coast. They have especially higher trip volume within the East Coast states.
  • Acces2Care – Servicing 29 states, this program helps to dispatch NEMT trips through their parent company AMR which handles the emergency calls. All NEMT calls get sourced through Access2Care.Please note: accommodating passengers who are not ambulatory may not be permitted with your current policy.

 

2. Courier & delivery companies

Amazon is hiring 100,000 workers, mostly for fulfillment and delivery, and some UPS hubs are hiring as well, although—fair warning—both companies are facing criticism over employee safety. Some couriers are also hiring.

*No delivery of hazardous or illegal materials are permitted.  If you are considering cannabis delivery in legal states, we do have coverage for that with multiple markets. Click HERE to request a quote.

3. Grocery & medicine delivery

Grocery stores are your friends. Major chains such as KrogerMeijer, and Safeway are hiring in-store shelf stockers and delivery staff; ditto for regional chains such as Raley’s. Grocery delivery services and apps such as Instacart are also hiring.

4. Sign up for Uber/Lyft

While most taxi policies only allow a certain amount of TNC transport (if any at all), many of our clients have policies that are flexible with allowing drivers to use multiple sources of dispatch to generate revenue. Many drivers are staying home but people without their own sources of transportation still need to go grocery shopping, pick up medications from pharmacies and drop off supplies to loved ones.  And those in the medical field are opting for a more private form of transportation instead of their usual train or bus ride to and from work.

5. Pre-arranged, black car services (utilizing vehicles already within your fleet)

Again, as mentioned above, utilizing your current clientele database to advertise a clean, safe mode of transportation in these trying times is key. Send out texts letting people know you are working and available. Many assume everything is closed. But although people aren’t travelling through airports like they used to – there is clientele that still rely on taxi and black car services to get to the doctor or grocery store. There are doctors and nurses in urban areas who need to get to work but can’t take mass transit.

Be there to help them, they will remember that you helped them even after “everything goes back to normal.”


Not All Policies are Created Equal

Not all insurance companies allow you to do all the types of trips listed above on ONE policy. But WE do. If you don’t already accommodate these types of trips and want to, please contact us to see if your current policy allows for medical and courier trips.

Also, if you are high risk or live with someone who is – please take precaution in working during these times. Working through a pandemic is not for everyone but if you are willing and able – your customers will be forever grateful to you for helping them out when they needed it most!

 

Written by Laura Loftus who is an Executive Broker/Sales and Underwriting Manager with more than 10 years of experience insuring business in the For-Hire, Livery & Shared Economy industries. Looking for a quote on your business?  Call us Monday – Friday, 8 am to 5 pm pacific: 800-980-1950 or email us anytime!

 

Short-Term Policies for Food Delivery Insurance

As the Coronavirus continues to spread across the country, most non-essential businesses are closed nationwide. Although dining in isn’t allowed, restaurants are still allowed to open since they are considered an essential business.  Many restaurants are offering food delivery (even if they didn’t before) since it is allowed. Restaurants new to food delivery might need to purchase additional coverage with a Short-Term Food Delivery Insurance Policy.

It’s a whole new world of self -isolation and government-imposed quarantining. So, what does that mean for every-day life? Well, it’s completely changed as we know it. With that decision, many restaurants have revised their menus and implemented delivery to customers instead. Some are even selling their signature cocktails to-go.

However, what most businesses don’t realize is that allowing your employees to drive their cars to deliver food is not covered under their personal auto insurance. This is why a Short-Term Food Delivery Insurance policy may work for you or someone you know.

Insurance for Delivery Businesses During COVID-19

First off, to ease your mind a bit about potential liabilities, the FDA’s current position is that “there is no evidence to suggest that food produced in the United States can transmit COVID-19.” Furthermore, they went on to say that there is “no evidence of food or food packaging being associated with transmission of COVID-19.”

As always, as long as the food is prepared safely, the risk is low. Information around COVID-19 continues to change, but current evidence seems to point to food delivery as a less risky option than exposing yourself to a grocery store, bringing the bags and items into your home and preparing the food yourself.

Essentially, the major risk of dining within a restaurant is touching a table, counter, or other surface that someone who is contagious may have touched.

Because delivery businesses have become so important during this outbreak, it’s important for employers to get food delivery insurance.

New Short-Term Food Delivery Insurance Program

Whether offering food delivery is a permanent business change or temporary, we have access to a new program which is writing short-term food delivery insurance for restaurants.

food delivery insurance
Many restaurants are delivering food with tamper controls so you can be sure your food was untouched during delivery.

This program is written by an A.M. Best rated “A” X carrier and can accommodate a wide range of classes that have been affected by COVID-19. To contact an ABI producer for more information, click here.

Product highlights include:

  • Monoline coverage
  • 3- or 6-month policy
  • Quick turn-around time
  • Non-auditable policy
  • Limit options of $300K, $500K, $1M CSL
  • Deductible $2,500
  • Offering short term policies starting at $1,500
  • MVR screening service provided
  • Symbols 8 & 9 (hired and non-owned autos) commercial auto liability
  • No restrictive warranties
  • Available in all states except MI

 

Keeping Food Delivery Workers Safe

Many delivery companies have issued guidelines for workers during the outbreak, as Business Insider pointed out, and many of those same workers have taken additional precautions to keep themselves safe. Drivers and delivery workers for Uber, Lyft, and DoorDash told Business Insider they’re scouring their cars with bleach and cutting back on hours.

Even so, if you do opt for your restaurant to deliver food during the outbreak, consider implementing non-contact services. Also, advertise that you require your drivers to practice good hygiene, especially hand-washing. If you can, provide masks to your employees to protect themselves if they are not practicing contact-less delivery.

 

 

 

 

Peer to Peer Car Rental: A Peek Into a Growing Industry

Written by Laura Loftus

 

Antoine and Roslyn Andrade* are living the “American Dream.” You know, the one where you have 9-5 jobs, run a ministry AND manage a start-up peer to peer car rental business on the side. All the while, this husband/wife duo are putting THREE kids through college.

“We tapped into our kid’s college savings to buy the first three cars,”  Roslyn said about how they were able to start this home-based business. “We try to maintain multiple sources of income. If one goes down, then you have the others.”

Like many others in this business, they are utilizing popular peer to peer car sharing apps such as Turo and HyreCar. Turo, is a peer to peer car-sharing app which started in 2010 and focuses solely on personal use. While HyreCar, which first launched in 2014 – focuses on renting solely to drivers who are using the cars to drive for Uber & Lyft.  Antoine and Roslyn utilize American Business Insurance’s (ABI’s) Period X™ insurance product which was created for the peer to peer car sharing business model. As part of this insurance product, which insures the cars only while they are not rented, they are provided a CarTeq™ device which plugs into the OBD port of their vehicle. Through this device, they can log into our portal to view vehicle trip history and GPS location.

Testing the Peer to Peer Car Rental Model

Antoine and Roslyn listed their first 3 cars on the above platforms in 2018. Since then, they have utilized the profits they have made to invest

Peer to peer car rentals are growing in popularity throughout the US and abroad.back into the business and grow their fleet to 15 cars. As you can imagine, balancing their day jobs along with managing a mini car rental business is challenging.

From scheduling maintenance, filing claims, repairing and even recovering stolen vehicles – the business is one that should be carefully entered. It’s not unusual for cars to come back from being rented needing repairs. And some don’t come back at all, and need to be tracked down or reported as stolen.

Antoine and Roslyn had more than once instance of this happening but were able to recover the vehicles in both instances. “The first time, we had to use the police to find the vehicle. The second time, we were able to get the address the car was parked at through the ABI portal. When we arrived, the car was still parked there so we took it home!”

 

Peer to Peer Car Rental Made Easy

Jon J. in Atlanta, GA has a clean, methodical approach to growing his peer to peer car rental business. Jon, who also has a day job has always had an entrepreneurial spirit. He uses his background as a consultant for other businesses to grow the car-sharing model.

Some people are in the business to recoupapp-based insurance costs on a vehicle they want to own, but not use all the time. An example of this is the business executive who wants to buy a Tesla, and then lists it on Turo to rent out a few days out of the month to offset his own monthly cost of using it when he wants.

 

Taking Care of Business

Jon on the other hand is focusing on how to get them continually rented while automating the process. Like the Andrades, he also started with 3 cars and is up to 15 within a year and a half of utilizing ABI’s Period X™ insurance product.

His fleet is made up of vehicles that are easier to maintain and good on gas. Some of the cars in his fleet include the Nissan Versa, Hyundai Elantra and the Ford Focus and Fiesta. “It’s all about getting the cars rented frequently and at the right price point.”

As a current business traveler, he is used to renting cars for work travel. In the past, he would always go to the big-name agencies like Hertz or Enterprise. When there was a problem, he had to deal with a giant corporation or a call center in a country far away.

“People like being able to call us directly, instead of a big company,” Jon said.

 

Let’s Get Personal

While using one of the online apps such as Turo or Getaround might seem like an impersonal experience, Jon said it is exactly the opposite. “With these apps, you get to see who owns the car in advance, the exact car you are renting and reviews of the person who is renting to you. You can chat in real time if there is a problem and it’s a much more personalized experience,” Jon continued.

Besides also having to recover stolen vehicles, Jon explained some of the other challenges he faces in the industry. Some of these challenges include knowing everything you can about what you are getting into, expecting the unexpected (maintenance, repair, paying deductibles on claims, etc) and always maintaining a reserve fund equal to about $1,000 per car ($10-$20k for a fleet of 15).

And that doesn’t include the cost of insurance. “There are some nuances on the insurance piece of the business. Initially, I used my personal auto insurance. But as it expanded, I needed a more scalable model. ABI really helped there,” Jon explained.

 

Risky Business

Personal auto carriers do not allow for you to insure cars that are being used to generate any type of revenue. Many people enter the peer to peer car sharing space utilizing only their personal auto. However, if a claim or accident were to arise through the course of business or even outside of it and they find out – you risk the claim being denied and possibly your policy being cancelled.

“Before you jump in, understand the true cost. Don’t just dive in without testing it. Test with 1-3 cars. Understand the risks you have to assume going into the peer to peer marketplace. Have patience and think through the little thing’s others don’t think about. Every few months I look through my business plan and identify what should be changed going forward. That’s really how you establish rapport and grow a business.”

 

*Note: Some of the names above are changed or abbreviated as the people interviewed prefer to maintain anonymity. 

Laura Loftus is an Executive Broker/Sales and Underwriting Manager with more than 10 years of experience insuring business in the For-Hire, Livery & Shared Economy industries. Looking for a quote on your business?  Call us Monday – Friday, 8 am to 5 pm pacific: 800-980-1950 or email us anytime!