AB5: Another Battle For Taxicab Owners

 

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AB5: Another Battle for Taxicab Owners

Written by Laura Loftus

As if it isn’t hard enough for taxicab, limo and paratransit drivers competing against the Amazon.com’s of transportation – Uber & Lyft – those in California are about to potentially fight the greatest battle of them yet against AB5.

Recently, CA legislature passed and signed into law AB5 (Assembly Bill 5) which goes into effect on January 1, 2020. This bill will implement the ABC test when determining whether companies need to classify drivers as independent contractors or employees.

Lyft and UBER stickers on the rear window of a vehicle offering rides in San Francisco Bay Area car.

With taxicab and limo drivers already struggling, it seems unfathomable that CA government would make it  more difficult for professionals to operate. But many people in the taxi and limo industry are worried about potential changes they will need to make within their business.

As a commercial insurance broker, specializing in Livery, For-Hire Insurance for those in the taxicab, limo, paratransit, shared economy and on demand delivery spaces – I hear it first hand on a day to day basis how they are affected by Uber and Lyft. They are upset that those companies don’t have to adhere to the same licensing, permitting and insurance requirements that they do. And now, they might be forced to provide Workers Compensation insurance for all “gig-economy” workers – which many taxi drivers claim to be.

This potential added expense could do more harm than good, in an already difficult marketplace.

How AB5 will work

In California, AB5 will implement a three-part “ABC” test. This test will be used to established if a worker is an employee or independent contractor. If a worker is an employee, they need to have Workers Compensation insurance along with medical benefits and paid sick days. The law also states that all workers will be considered an employee of the company unless they can prove:

  • (A) the worker is free from the employer’s control and direction;
  • (B) the worker performs work that is outside the usual course of the company’s primary business; and
  • (C) the worker is not customarily engaged in the same trade, occupation, or business as the work they are hired to perform

If the company cannot prove all of these items, then the worker needs to be classified as an employee.

 

Will your taxicab company be affected by AB5?

For Chris Sweis, SF Yellow Cab has been a family business since 1983. Like many others in this industry, he is one of many across the country who grew up in the business.  It is often traditional for the business to be passed down from generation to generation.

Sweis, who is also President of the  Taxicab Paratransit Association of California, wants to work with CA Legislature to make sure taxicab drivers are exempt from AB5. Sweis said, “We don’t know if they are going to have to make any changes because taxi drivers still needs to be tested under the ABC test and a lot depends on how they are operating. If they are operating as a co-op, that makes a big difference. In SF, they have the medallions system. So, it really depends on how they are operating.”

Many taxi companies are structured as co-ops. This means each taxi driver is part owner of the company. Most are also made up of individual owner-operators who owns their own vehicle.

Under this structure, it could be considered that owners are able to exempt themselves from Work Comp insurance. In California, owners can exclude themselves from coverage under a work -comp policy. Since these co-op owners are not technically employees – they may not be affected by the AB5 bill.

Companies like SF Yellow Cab that operate under the medallion system, feel the same could be said for them as well. The taxicab company owns the medallion but leases it to the owner of the vehicle. They are basically renting out their operating authority. With a lease agreement in place – it might be enough to say the owner/operator of the vehicle is employing themselves.

 

Should AB5 apply to taxicab drivers?

Matthew Daus, Esq. who is the Partner and Chairman for Windels Marx Transportation Group in NYC and also President of the International Association of Transportation Regulators explains in more detail. He talked about identifying whether or not your taxi or limo company can continue to classify drivers as independent contractors.

He said, “Let’s say you operate a factory and you manufacture dolls and you have a broken door. You call a contractor to fix the door. The contractor is a handyman to fix facilities, not in the business of selling dolls. That situation would likely involve that worker being an independent contractor – not an employee.”

Some transportation companies are worried that their current business structure might be tested and disrupted. Currently, it is common for taxicab companies to classify their drivers as “independent contractors.”

“I think the taxi and limo industry needs to mobilize like they’ve never had to before in order to be exempt from AB5. They should be making the argument that they’ve been decimated by Uber and Lyft for years and they need an exemption,” Daus said.

“And with the entire taxi industry struggling – I don’t think that is what the legislature wanted. Most people feel bad about what happened to those in the taxi industry. It’s time for the legislature to level the playing field,” Daus also said.

 

What can you do?

TPAC is trying to get in front of CA legislature to help determine how the state of California can still implement this bill but not negatively impact the already struggling taxi industry.

It is important to do what you can to voice your opinion in protecting the transportation industry.

Sweis said TPAC could use help from fellow taxicab owners throughout the country. “If they operate in a state that has an ABC test and there is some kind of law or legislature or court cases that exempts their drivers from an ABC test being independent contractors, whether on state or local level – that would be extremely helpful.”

Sweis asked that if you have anything to provide that might be helpful, to email directly at [email protected] .

A New Kind of Work Comp Insurance

With AB5 passing in California, those in taxi and limo business may need to start purchasing Work Comp insurance for their drivers come January 2020. Dave Haley, CEO of American Business Insurance is working on a cost-effective solution.

“Everyone is really worried about AB5 and they don’t know what to do,” Haley said.

As of today, the standard markets for Work Comp are not cheap. With the future of taxi and limo drivers at the forefront, Haley is working on a technology-based Work Comp product. His goal is to offer a product that is cost effective and easy to use.

“This new work comp product will offer a large savings for taxi and limo drivers. Compared to the work comp products currently available, our InsureTech solution will turn the traditional work comp system on its head.”

If  you need Work Comp for your transportation business, give us a call or email us. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Five Most Important Cannabis Business Software Purchases

Five Most Important Cannabis Business Software Purchases

Occasionally, American Business Insurance Services, Inc. hosts guest blogs from our partners who want to discuss the specifics of their services and the benefits they bring to customers. This blog features our partner Cue Cannabis, a Colorado based software company that allows cannabis businesses to purchase and manage various software and services to help run their company.

The legal marijuana industry is expanding, one state at a time, across the US. But while there are many business opportunities in this industry, it can still be challenging for a new business owner to make a profit. Cannabis business owners face the same stresses as normal business owners, like hiring, budgeting, and tracking merchandise, while also dealing with different challenges like staying compliant with state legislation. 

Purchasing software and the technological infrastructure for your business may not initially seem like the most interesting pursuit, but having the right set up will enhance the day-to-day efficiency of your business. At CUE Cannabis, we speak to many customers who don’t know where to start when it comes to purchasing software or setting up cameras and phone lines. It is an area where all business owners, from dispensaries to cultivators, or extractors, might struggle to find something that is right for their business. 

We’ve created a ‘hierarchy of software needs’ to help business owners prioritize their purchases. Further, each area of purchase comes with a few key questions that you can ask as a business owner in order to understand what might work best for your business. We’ll take you through the first three levels of this ‘hierarchy of software needs’ to help you with important business decisions.

1. Foundational software is critical for day-to-day operations

We designated a ‘foundational software’ category to include both software and infrastructure that is most important for day-to-day operations. In this category there is accounting, data security, compliance, and sales software like point-of-sale or seed-to-sale depending on your business. As the name suggests, laying the foundation for a successful operation will make the day-to-day of running your business more efficiently. When purchasing ‘foundational’ software, there are a few things to look for:

Accounting: Check with your accounting before deciding what to you because while many accountants can work with any software, some need you to have a program that is compatible with what they are already using. Also, if you don’t have an accountant, get one because it will make your life easier. 

Point-of-Sale: The hardware part of this software e.g. tablets, scanners, etc. can be a costly investment, but one great way to create some flexibility in your budget is by using a point of sale system that offers a month-by-month plan, which can make it easier for newer businesses. 

Data security: Cannabis is a highly regulated industry, meaning a lot of data is being collected. Understanding how your software is collecting and storing data should be one of the major questions you are asking. Consider what data practices you’ll have to store or transfer employee and customer information. 

A word about Technology and Infrastructure

Depending on the state requirements for your business, your building design, or the type of business you are running, technology and infrastructure will be an important ‘foundational’ piece. Examples of this could include purchasing security cameras for the business, which depending on your state of operation may be a legal requirement or just a good idea. Another element of technology to consider is the wifi and phone systems that will run your point-of-sale or help your employees get online.

Important questions to ask center around understanding how employees will work in the building and accomplish their jobs; depending on the business the use cases can be varied and complicated. Our biggest recommendation when considering the technology or infrastructure for your business is to consider an experienced partner who has extensive experience understanding not just the technology but how people will engage with it on a day-to-day basis. 

2. Other important software to make your business run efficiently

The aforementioned software is incredibly important for the operation of your business and the next category of software in the ‘hierarchy of needs’ will not only help you but also your employees. I’m talking specifically about HR, Payroll, and collaboration software like GSuite or Slack. The most important feature to consider across all this software is how ‘user-friendly’ is it, and how will it impact the employees that are using it (as well as yourself). 

When considering HR and Payroll software, for example, ask yourself questions like: Does this software integrating with my accounting software in order to manage payroll? Is it easy for managers and employees to access information? Does this software offer benefits that are easy to manage? 

With Collaboration software like Slack, GSuite, or other messaging tools, ask yourself about how your employees work and when they will engage with the software: are they mobile or office-based? What tasks do they need to do? 

HR, Payroll, and Collaboration software are crucial for the day-to-day running of your business. Ensuring that you hire the right people, pay them for their work and provide the tools to work effectively will contribute directly to the growth potential of the company. 

3. Improve your business with Data Analytics

After you have the right software, the next step is to make that software work for you. What I mean by this is understanding what information your software is collecting and how to use that to improve your business outcome. For example, consider your point-of-sale or seed-to-sale data to look at what products are doing well, and or what is not. Most business owners don’t realize how much data their business generates and what the possibilities are with this information. There are some amazing tools specifically designed for cannabis business owners that can help you analyze and visualize business data. 

We hope this discussion of foundational cannabis business software will give you a better understanding of how to make a purchase, but also what questions to ask when conducting research. If you want this checklist  

Now that you have a better understanding of how to prioritize your software and technology purchases, as well as what questions you can ask as you research. If you want to know more about the next levels of the ‘software hierarchy of needs,’ you can download your own guide here. 

About the Author: 

Fiona Foster is Marketing Manager for CUE Cannabis. She is also part of the CUE Expert team that advises business owners on how to find the best software and services for their company. 

UBI Telematics: The New Industry Standard

Written by Laura Loftus on September 18th, 2019

UBI Insurance is currently reserved for companies with access to the minimum annual premium of $100,000.  This is not a program for TNC operators, owner/operators with one car and is geared towards larger companies involved with providing services for the sharing economy.  GET A QUOTE

Usage Based Insurance (UBI telematics) products entered the personal auto marketplace some time ago. But it is a new concept for commercial auto policies. Whether you own and operate one vehicle in a small rural town, or a large fleet in an urban area –  insurance companies are always looking for ways to gain more business and limit their own risk. As a result, more and more insurance companies are offering UBI telematics to commercial fleets.

History of UBI Telematics

UBI telematics became popular with the invent of Transportation Network Companies like Uber and Lyft. As these types of companies grew the insurance industry responded by offering more options for UBI telematics. Companies like James River were one of the first to offer pay-per-mile or pay-as-you-drive plans. This got the rest of the world thinking. If Uber and Lyft can pay per mile, why can’t other transportation businesses obtain the same type of UBI telematics?

One reason UBI telematics was more easily implemented for Transportation Network Companies like Uber and Lyft is because the insurance company is not “on the risk” all the time. Most of these drivers carry their own personal auto policies. So, the TNC insurance is only “on” when the driver is logged into the app.

With the popularity of TNCs, it has affected the amount business taxi and limo companies are able to achieve. Traditional companies need to evolve in order to compete against Uber and Lyft. One way to do this, is to lower their costs with a UBI telematics policy.

How Pay-Per-Mile Insurance Works

UBI telematics works in many different ways.  The first is that you are provided with a device that plugs into the OBD port of your car. The device captures and reports mileage automatically to the insurance company. You are then billed at the agreed upon per-mile rate.

Another way mileage is captured and reported to insurance companies is through SDK integration of an app you might be using for dispatching of vehicles.

In the past, most for-hire, livery risks were charged a flat annual rate. It did not matter how many hours you spent on the road. It also didn’t matter how many miles you drove each month. But, now that UBI telematics is becoming more popular, many companies are offering this structure as an alternative.  Additionally, while most of the other personal auto insurance markets may provide this type of pricing structure, most do not capture driver analytics to help you coach and manage drivers.

UBI Telematics from American Business Insurance

As a UBI insurance broker, we are always looking for and creating solutions that are easy for our clients to use. As a result, we have created our own dashboard which captures the trends and habits of your drivers. Some UBI telematics structures actually charge different rates per driver and many will adjust the price mid-term (up and down) based on driver behavior.

Distracted driving is a problem that most UBI insurance brokers are trying to combat. By integrating telematics elements into pricing and policies, we are able to not only reduce the amount of money you are spending each year for insurance but also provide you with tools to limit risk to those markets.

Some of the data UBI telematics products capture include not only miles driven, but also:

  • Hard-braking incidents
  • G-Force of accidents
  • Hard-cornering
  • Excessive speed
  • Following too closely

By carefully managing and coaching drivers of bad driving habits before accidents occur, you keep your loss history low and your premiums lower.

UBI Telematics per Contract

While above options describe UBI telematics for all operations, we can also work with you to limit coverages on a per contract basis. What this means, is that sometimes the City or State will require a minimum auto limit of $100,000. But you want to obtain a contract to transport patients to and from doctor appointments. Most likely, that contract will require your fleet to have a limit of $1,000,000 or higher. Instead of providing you with a quote that increases the cost for the entire policy to $1M limit – we can write a separate excess policy that bills you by trip, or by mile for the contract only.

Another way to limit coverage is if for example your city requires the same $100k limit mentioned above, but you drop off at the airport who requires $1,000,000 while on airport property. Instead of increasing the premium for the policy to be $1M all the time, we can charge less of an increase by endorsing the policy to provide the higher limit while only on airport property.

How Does this Benefit Business Owners?

The secret to any business is operating at profitable margins. By keeping insurance costs low, commercial fleet owners are able to put money back into their business for advertising, newer vehicles, maintenance and repair. Also, driver morale will improve because they will know that their good driving habits will be recognized and, in many cases, rewarded.

UBI Insurance is currently reserved for companies with access to the minimum annual premium of $100,000.  This is not a program for TNC operators, owner/operators with one car and is geared towards larger companies involved with providing services for the sharing economy.  GET A QUOTE

Uber Freight and Commercial Trucking Insurance

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Uber Freight and Commercial Trucking Insurance

In May of 2017, Uber launched one of their newest services Uber Freight. Uber Freight is an exciting, new trucking app that matches vetted drivers with long-haul routes. The app allows drivers or dispatchers to book and confirm routes with the tap of a button. They have the choice to filter the routes they search for by pickup, destination, the offered price, and other factors. Uber Freight is designed to work for carriers of any size. Although, the service is particularly attractive to small fleets and independent owner-operators. In order for trucking fleets and owner-operators to work with Uber Freight they need to have the proper Commercial Trucking Insurance.

 

How Does Uber Freight Work? What are the advantages?

Uber Freight was created with the business model to appeal to smaller fleets and independent truck drivers. Therefore, the app is designed to give more power to operators and solve many problems drivers have with traditional freight brokerage. Before Uber Freight, drivers or Uber Freightoperators would have to make multiple calls to schedule loads. Now the booking process is streamlined. Booking is made simple through the app. As easy as Uber makes it to schedule a car to pick you up on the curb, they make it just as convenient for commercial truck drivers to schedule loads and routes.

Another problem drivers have with traditional methods are delayed payment. The standard for payment is 30 to 60 days, but with Uber Freight drivers can receive payment about seven days after completion. This allows small trucking fleets or owner-operators to continuously operate at full capacity when repairs and other issues arise. A third problem Uber Freight solves is the problem of deadhead miles. Deadhead miles are the number of miles commercial truck drivers drive from the point of unload to the point where their new load is ready to pickup. Uber Freight accounts for this and compensates drivers. Furthermore, the app also features a “Take Me Home”. This setting helps drivers book loads that will take them back home while still earning income.

Uber Freight is still in its beginning years, but with the way they are operating and handling freight brokerage, they are hoping to transform the industry. They are positioning themselves as a drivers first service. They believe that when drivers are empowered and delivery is more efficient all businesses run better. Take a look at the partnership that Uber Freight has with Ocean Spray, and you’ll see how this new service works.

Commercial Trucking Insurance 

As Uber Freight is very much geared towards smaller fleets for the time being, operators need to do all they can to protect their small businesses. We at American Business Insurance Services, Inc. are here to help. Commercial Trucking Insurance or Delivery Insurance is tremendously important to the safety and security of drivers, their freight, and their business. If you are thinking about contracting through Uber Freight, you will have to have the proper insurance coverage. At American Business Insurance Services, Inc. we shop all the currently competitive markets for you. By doing this we can find you the best coverage to fit your specific needs in the commercial trucking industry. 

 

Why You Need Coverage?

American Business Insurance Services, Inc. has identified the Uber Freight business model as one that will likely transform the way the freight delivery industry operates. The seamless Uber Freightadaption of this technology to all types of businesses, that have shipping needs, has allowed for convenience of scheduling, more carrier options for businesses, and expedited delivery.

Our team of licensed brokers are well aware of the coverage you will need as a delivery fleet or owner-operator service. Furthermore, some of the common types of coverage that apply to delivery and commercial trucking businesses are:

  • Auto Liability to protect bodily injury of all parties
  • (Auto)Property Damage to cover damage to property
  • Comprehensive & Collision to protect against most causes of loss to your vehicle(s)
  • Personal Injury or Medical Coverage
  • Cargo Coverage

Contacting American Business Insurance Services, Inc. will guarantee that you are fully covered under a commercial auto policy and allow you to operate your fleet with Uber Freight.

Why American Business Insurance Services, Inc.?

At American Business Insurance Services, Inc., our goal is to build long lasting, valued and trusted relationships. Our mission is to create an understanding with our clients that they are at the forefront of our business. Consequently, we strive to make sure we know our clients business thoroughly to create a true partnership. American Business Insurance Services, Inc. is committed to professional excellence, delivering on commitments on time and of the highest caliber. Therefore, we use only the best practices in the industry. Through our stringent processes and systems we let you operate your commercial trucking or delivery service with confidence.

In conclusion, the Uber Freight business model could transform the way trucking operates and we understand that. As the business changes we at American Business Insurance Services, Inc. adapt with the change to provide the best types of coverage for clients.

To get a quote for your commercial trucking fleet or delivery service Click Here.

 

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American Business Insurance Services, Inc

PERIOD X™ Fleet Management Software with Insurance Built In

Period X™ Quote

What is Period X™ insurance and how does it work to help you manage your fleet?

American Business Insurance Services, Inc. developed Period X™ for fleet owners or individuals that are renting their cars out on a car sharing platform. This applies to platforms such as Turo, HyreCar or GetAround.  This coverage comes with fleet management software through a web-based dashboard at no extra cost to your policy. This fleet management software comes with tools to ensure your fleet is running at maximum efficiency. When managing your fleet that operates through a Transportation Network Company, the coverage is usually provided to the renter through TNC Provider Insurance. It is important for fleet operators to know that insurance is not supplied through TNC Provider Insurance when the car is not rented out. Of course you want to make sure your car is covered at all times. That’s where our proprietary Period X™ insurance coverage comes into play.

 

 

What a Period X™ Insurance Policy Provides

Our Period X™ Insurance policy provides more than the minimum state limits in
almost all 50 states. A comprehensive insurance product to cover fleets that
are being rented out on Peer to Peer (P2P) rental platforms such as the ones mentioned above. Our product is one of a kind. If you are renting your vehicles out on P2P rental platforms PERSONAL INSURANCE DOES NOT COVER YOU for this type of business model.

fleet management

An insurance policy with fleet management software

We didn’t stop at just putting the Period X™ insurance product together, we did a lot more.  Every Period X™ policy holder receives a proprietary device for each vehicle that they insure. This includes a fleet management web-based dashboard to manage your fleet.  It would be one thing just to have proper coverage that nobody can offer, but below are some of the additional services we provide as part of this coverage:

  • Ability to add/delete vehicles online

  • GPS track each and every car at all times

  • Check billing

  • Access ID cards and so much more fleet management tools

Period X™ is fleet tracking with the insurance built in!

Why we created Period X™ with fleet management software

As usual, the best place to start is always the beginning. To make a long story much shorter, in the beginning there were taxicabs. When taxicabs were the only animal of their kind roaming the earth, life was simple and there was only one period of time. Things were pretty easy. If you needed insurance for a taxicab, you got a taxicab insurance policy that covered that taxi company 24 hours a day, end of story. fleet management software

Then, not too long ago, something called Uber and Lyft came onto the scene.  All of the sudden, things got complicated really fast in the insurance world.  These companies found that if they divided their insurance policy into separate periods of time, and that each period had a coverage limit assigned to it. This made it possible to reduce their exposure (and their insurance premiums) to maximize profits.

Then, we had another new company (HyreCar) facilitating TNC rentals between rideshare drivers that needed cars and vehicle owners who wanted to make money by providing those cars.  The term peer-to-peer rentals was coined.  

A New Problem Arises

Initially, the idea was that personal insurance would cover the party that was renting their vehicle out to the TNC drivers as long as they only had one or two cars. It did not take long for vehicle owners to see that they were netting $700+ a month per car. Seeing such great results, this resulted in the vehicle owners adding more and more cars until they had fleets. Vehicle owners now had 10, 20, or even 30+ cars, which is not covered by personal auto insurance. This issue lead to the need for the Period X™ product to be created since personal insurance doesn’t cover fleets that are primarily used to make money via rental app platforms and especially not TNC rentals.

Napkin math ensued and a new problem emerged: 

“How do I place insurance on my fleet of cars under an LLC or Corp and keep my personal lines insurance pricing?”  

The answer to that question is: Period X™ Insurance!  Our agency was the brains behind this exciting new insurance product. We are now positioned to bring it to the masses! Now, fleet owners who place their inventory on platforms such as; HyreCar, Turo, GetAround & similar peer-to-peer rental platforms have access to a reasonably priced app-based insuranceinsurance product that covers their fleet for only the period of time when the vehicle is not rented out and is being serviced and maintained to ready the car for the next rental.  

There are articles upon articles online in regards to Periods 1,2 & 3 and why they are the way they are. The basic idea is that when a rideshare driver has the rideshare app off, then the rideshare company has no involvement in what that driver does with their car. This results in no insurance for that period of time.  The instant the rideshare app is on and the driver is engaged with it, Period 1, 2 & 3 begins and typically state minimum auto liability limits apply.

fleet management software

 

Breaking down insurance policies divided into separate periods of time:

After the app is turned on and driver is engaged with Period 1, they scan for rides
they’d like to take. The instant the driver accepts a ride, they have entered Period 2. The insurance coverage offered by the rideshare providers increases a bit more to cover incidents that might occur while the driver is on their way to pick up a passenger.

insurance policy

The last (for now) action involved in a typical rideshare exchange is that the driver arrives at the pick-up destination. The instant the passenger(s) get into the driver’s car, Period 3 is activated. 

TNC insurance policy

Period 3 typically involves $1,000,000 of auto liability coverage via the rideshare company insurance policy. This is the riskiest period of time, because any accident occurring during that period fully engages the rideshare provider and all participants involved with that ride.

Period Policies for Commercial Auto Working Together

The “Period 1,2 & 3” policy setup is now the industry standard for app-based transportation companies that offer rides as a service. Now with American Business Insurance Services, Inc. Period X™ insurance coverage, fleet managers are able to go beyond the industry standard. With our Period X™, coverage never slips through the cracks making sure your TNC fleet is protected at all times.

After Uber & Lyft had been around for a couple of years, opportunity-minded people started to notice the great deal of demand for vehicles from drivers who wanted to make money driving for TNC companies, but did not have the means to purchase, lease or finance a vehicle for various reasons.

A few select companies have established a niche in this territory and filled this demand successfully.  These companies didn’t only see this driver need for vehicle inventory in the marketplace. They saw plenty of regular people out there that are not always driving their personal vehicles, or who were interested in purchasing vehicles for the sole reason of renting them out to TNC drivers who needed them. This is an industry that expected to have rapid growth. When creating a TNC company having the proper policy coverage protects your business and livelihood. 

Contact Us For Full Details on Period X™ and our Fleet Tracking Software

We’d love to tell you everything about this program because we’re SO excited about this new product. We can’t just give away all our secrets at once, can we? What we can tell you is that we’re open in most U.S. states, have a full-time I.T. department dedicated to continuously evolving the technology behind this product. Our experienced team of licensed professionals are excited to talk to you about how you can get Period X™ Insurance on your fleet. Give us a call today! Let’s solve your fleet insurance / management problems so you can get back out there and make some money!

Call Today: (800) 980-1950

https://abiweb.com/

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Paratransit Service Insurance in California

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Paratransit Service Insurance in California for Company Fleet of 15+ Vehicles

We all have loved ones, that at one time or another, are in need of consistent medical care. Whether they be our aging grandparents, parents, or even our in-laws- we want the best care for them. But the thing is people are busy. We can’t always find the time to escort our loved ones to doctor appointments and other medical treatment centers. Although, there are ways to make this process a little easier. Many families, hospitals, and doctor offices turn to Paratransit Service or Non-Emergency Medical Transportation (NEMT) providers to fill this need.

paratransit service

The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, made paratransit service a daily reality for many Americans with disabilities. By providing transportation for those with disabilities, paratransit services are paramount to the well-being and mobility of thousands of Americans.

California NEMT and Background

In California, the major hubs are Los Angeles, San Diego, San Jose, and San Francisco. There are over 7 million people in these cities. Many of the elderly people living here need transportation to medical centers at all hours of the day. 

Even for those who are fortunate enough to have loved ones to drive them around, it’s not always convenient. Everyone living in these cities knows that traffic is horrendous, finding parking is a nightmare, and a whole day could be filled with a doctor’s visit.

This is when paratransit service or NEMT comes into play. There are many paratransit agencies that operate fleets of 15+ vehicles in California that American Business Insurance Services, Inc. works with to provide the best available coverage. Those seeking transportation are able to be picked up at their specific location and then the NEMT vehicle discharges passengers on request at various hospitals or medical centers. Having the right paratransit fleet insurance is essential in making sure your business and customers are covered in case of an incident. 

When customers are looking to choose a paratransit service or agency to be responsible for their loved ones, they will be looking into the NEMT company to make sure their loved one is going to be safe and protected.  American Business Insurance Services, Inc. provides NEMT insurance to companies nationwide creating customized policies to best serve our clients needs.

How to Decide on Paratransit/ NEMT Insurance For Your Company Fleetparatransit service

There are a lot of factors that go into finding the best insurance coverage for your Paratransit Company’s large fleet. Therefore, prepare to answer a few questions when working with American Business Insurance to find you the best quote to match your business needs. 

  • Do your vehicles have lifts or ramps? 
  • Do your vehicles include backup cameras? 
  • Are the majority of your trips for passengers ambulatory or non-ambulatory? 
  • Do you contract with LogistiCare or other providers with strict insurance requirements?

Insurance companies ask these questions to ensure you are fully covered under your policy. At American Business Insurance Services, Inc., we guarantee the most thorough coverage for your large fleet. Furthermore, we have trained professionals who will take care of everything, and will guide you through the process of properly insuring your NEMT fleet most efficiently!

Why You (the Paratransit service/agency) Need Full Coverage

Having the proper paratransit or NEMT insurance is critical to operating a successful transportation business. The services that paratransit automobile fleets accomplish for those in need is truly life changing and deserves insurance that is equally up to par.

Moreover, the reason you (the Paratransit service/agency) need NEMT fleet insurance is to ensure the safety and reliability of your paratransit service company, protecting your passengers and your business.

Paratransit/NEMT Insurance at American Business Insurance Services, Inc.

paratransit service

At American Business Insurance Services, Inc., our goal is to build long lasting, valued and trusted relationships. Our mission is to create an understanding with our clients because we want them to know they are at the forefront of our business. American Business Insurance Services, Inc. is committed to professional excellence, delivering on commitments on time, and of the highest caliber. In addition, we use only the best practices in the industry through our stringent processes and systems that let you operate your California paratransit service company with confidence.

Furthermore, most agencies take days or even weeks to process a vehicle or driver change on your Paratransit policy. At American Business Insurance Services, Inc. we have a fast, easy, and user-friendly online customer portal that you will love. Our state-of-the-art agency portal allows you to manage your NEMT business 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. With this portal, policy changes can be made online at any time – day or night. This is essential in running a business that also operates 24/7.

We promise to do the leg work for you. We have built strong long term relationships with our carriers of paratransit insurance in order to find you the best policy to match your business needs. Our 35+ years experience in insuring commercial auto fleets makes American Business Insurance quick and efficient in finding the best carrier options.

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Wisconsin Taxi Insurance: It’s Not What You Know, It’s Who You Know

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Wisconsin Taxi Insurance: It’s Not What You Know, It’s Who You Know

Written by Laura Loftus on Monday, June 24th, 2019

 

Northwoods Cab, LLC began working with American Business Insurance in 2015. At the time, he had 2 cars insured. Now, he services 6,000 trips per month and maintains about 15 taxis on the road at all times.

Finding the right broker to handle your Wisconsin Taxi Insurance is vital. Besides the fact that we’ve been one of the leading providers for those who need Wisconsin Taxi Insurance, we give you more than just an insurance policy.

Currently, we insure over 100 vehicles that require Wisconsin Taxi Insurance and because we have been working with both fleets and individual owner/operators for over 35 years, we have created an easy to use online portal for our customers to service their policies 24/7.

We also provide you with a live, customer service rep dedicated to servicing your policy and answering coverage questions during regular business hours. Choosing us as your broker means choosing a well-educated partner who truly understands your business.

 

Our goal is to keep your vehicles on the road, and your Wisconsin Taxi Insurance active

Aaron Schloemer from Northwoods Cab, LLC in Wasuau, WI has a fleet of about 15 taxi’s on the road. He has been a client of ours since 2015 and says that our online portal helps him to run his business.  Some brokers will require you to send changes to them via email or fax in writing. Then you’ll have to wait days for an approval or ID card. But our portal allows you to make these changes in an instant. Transportation companies often need replacement ID Cards in the middle of the night, need to change out a vehicle at a moment’s notice and switch drivers on their policies with little time to spare.

“We use the online portal and it work’s like a charm. It really helps us. When a cab breaks down, we can go on the portal and easily take it off and put it back on. It doesn’t matter what time of the day or night. Another great thing is being able to add drivers 24 hours per day. It’s easy to use and we use it as a point of reference many times. Say we want to make sure a cab is on, we can log into the portal and make sure it’s there. It makes it a lot easier to run the company having a 24/7 portal.”

Schloemer started Northwoods Cab, LLC about 4 1/2 years ago. He started out in the taxi industry the way many others do, by working for another local cab company in town. After gaining experience and traction, he originally started the business further north in Tomahawk, WI. Soon after, he transferred the business into the Wausau area where they currently service about 6,000 calls/trips per month.

 

Keeping up with the competition

Although Uber has a presence in his area, he says they haven’t affected his business too much because he is able to keep his prices low enough, where riding with him is cheaper than in an Uber. One way he has been able to keep prices down is by hiring his drivers as independent contractors. He pays them 70% of the sales per day, and charges a weekly lease fee.

Northwoods Cab owner Aaron Schloemer with his son at Disney World, in front of the “Cab Garage.” We’ve been servicing his Wisconsin Taxi Insurance policy for the past fours years.

“A lot of taxi cab companies that have contractors pay 50%, and that isn’t enough to have the drivers stay, pay their bills and make a good income,” Schloemer said.

Some people get into the business to become their own boss and they think it will be easy to run once the basics are set up – obtaining Wisconsin taxi insurance, hiring and training drivers as well as holding monthly safety meetings. But, it isn’t always as easy as it seems.

“Don’t do it if you don’t love people and hard work. Don’t do it if you don’t know how to make decisions and handle problems. Because you are going to have problems every day,” Schloemer shared.

Day to day in the taxi business

While operating a taxi company may seem easy enough, there are daily challenges Schloemer faces that he says others should be aware of before starting out in the industry.

“The hardest thing is maintaining the fleet. The vehicles do get beat up pretty quick. It’s essential to our business that we have at least 10 cars on standby, ready to go, in case one should break down.”

Many people would not think of owning and operating at taxi company as a public service. But Schloemer considers it just that.

“Taking care of people and helping people do tasks they might not otherwise be able to get done,” is one of the benefits Schloemer says he enjoys about owning a taxi company. “Without us, they might not be able to get to their job on time or make it to their dialysis appointment,” he said.

How much insurance do I need?

How much insurance you need to purchase will depend on the type of transportation business you have, and where you are operating. Most limousines, black car or private car service business are overseen by the WI DOT and depending on their seating capacities, determine the limit of insurance that is needed.

Insurance limit requirements for limo and black cars with seating capacities (including driver) listed below:

  • 8 or less require $300,000
  • 15 or less require $1,500,000
  • 16 or more require $5,000,000

While Limo and black car limits are more straightforward, Wisconsin Taxi Insurance limits vary by municipality. Below are some of the requirements for Wisconsin taxi insurance by city:

  • Madison, WI – $1,000,000
  • Manitowoc, WI
  • Menomonie, WI – $1,000,000
  • Milwaukee, WI – $50,000/100,000/10,000
  • Sheboygan, WI – $100,000/300,000/100,000
  • Superior, WI – $500,000

 

Above are just some of the state specific requirements. Don’t see what you are looking for? Contact us as we are the Wisconsin taxi insurance experts and know exactly where to find this information so you don’t have to!

We would love to bring down the cost of your current  policy! Request a quote online by clicking here: https://abiweb.com/services/taxicab-insurance/

You can also call us at (800) 980-1950 ext. 4

 

 

 

AB5: Another Battle For Taxicab Owners

 

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AB5: Another Battle for Taxicab Owners

Written by Laura Loftus

As if it isn’t hard enough for taxicab, limo and paratransit drivers competing against the Amazon.com’s of transportation – Uber & Lyft – those in California are about to potentially fight the greatest battle of them yet against AB5.

Recently, CA legislature passed and signed into law AB5 (Assembly Bill 5) which goes into effect on January 1, 2020. This bill will implement the ABC test when determining whether companies need to classify drivers as independent contractors or employees.

Lyft and UBER stickers on the rear window of a vehicle offering rides in San Francisco Bay Area car.

With taxicab and limo drivers already struggling, it seems unfathomable that CA government would make it  more difficult for professionals to operate. But many people in the taxi and limo industry are worried about potential changes they will need to make within their business.

As a commercial insurance broker, specializing in Livery, For-Hire Insurance for those in the taxicab, limo, paratransit, shared economy and on demand delivery spaces – I hear it first hand on a day to day basis how they are affected by Uber and Lyft. They are upset that those companies don’t have to adhere to the same licensing, permitting and insurance requirements that they do. And now, they might be forced to provide Workers Compensation insurance for all “gig-economy” workers – which many taxi drivers claim to be.

This potential added expense could do more harm than good, in an already difficult marketplace.

How AB5 will work

In California, AB5 will implement a three-part “ABC” test. This test will be used to established if a worker is an employee or independent contractor. If a worker is an employee, they need to have Workers Compensation insurance along with medical benefits and paid sick days. The law also states that all workers will be considered an employee of the company unless they can prove:

  • (A) the worker is free from the employer’s control and direction;
  • (B) the worker performs work that is outside the usual course of the company’s primary business; and
  • (C) the worker is not customarily engaged in the same trade, occupation, or business as the work they are hired to perform

If the company cannot prove all of these items, then the worker needs to be classified as an employee.

 

Will your taxicab company be affected by AB5?

For Chris Sweis, SF Yellow Cab has been a family business since 1983. Like many others in this industry, he is one of many across the country who grew up in the business.  It is often traditional for the business to be passed down from generation to generation.

Sweis, who is also President of the  Taxicab Paratransit Association of California, wants to work with CA Legislature to make sure taxicab drivers are exempt from AB5. Sweis said, “We don’t know if they are going to have to make any changes because taxi drivers still needs to be tested under the ABC test and a lot depends on how they are operating. If they are operating as a co-op, that makes a big difference. In SF, they have the medallions system. So, it really depends on how they are operating.”

Many taxi companies are structured as co-ops. This means each taxi driver is part owner of the company. Most are also made up of individual owner-operators who owns their own vehicle.

Under this structure, it could be considered that owners are able to exempt themselves from Work Comp insurance. In California, owners can exclude themselves from coverage under a work -comp policy. Since these co-op owners are not technically employees – they may not be affected by the AB5 bill.

Companies like SF Yellow Cab that operate under the medallion system, feel the same could be said for them as well. The taxicab company owns the medallion but leases it to the owner of the vehicle. They are basically renting out their operating authority. With a lease agreement in place – it might be enough to say the owner/operator of the vehicle is employing themselves.

 

Should AB5 apply to taxicab drivers?

Matthew Daus, Esq. who is the Partner and Chairman for Windels Marx Transportation Group in NYC and also President of the International Association of Transportation Regulators explains in more detail. He talked about identifying whether or not your taxi or limo company can continue to classify drivers as independent contractors.

He said, “Let’s say you operate a factory and you manufacture dolls and you have a broken door. You call a contractor to fix the door. The contractor is a handyman to fix facilities, not in the business of selling dolls. That situation would likely involve that worker being an independent contractor – not an employee.”

Some transportation companies are worried that their current business structure might be tested and disrupted. Currently, it is common for taxicab companies to classify their drivers as “independent contractors.”

“I think the taxi and limo industry needs to mobilize like they’ve never had to before in order to be exempt from AB5. They should be making the argument that they’ve been decimated by Uber and Lyft for years and they need an exemption,” Daus said.

“And with the entire taxi industry struggling – I don’t think that is what the legislature wanted. Most people feel bad about what happened to those in the taxi industry. It’s time for the legislature to level the playing field,” Daus also said.

 

What can you do?

TPAC is trying to get in front of CA legislature to help determine how the state of California can still implement this bill but not negatively impact the already struggling taxi industry.

It is important to do what you can to voice your opinion in protecting the transportation industry.

Sweis said TPAC could use help from fellow taxicab owners throughout the country. “If they operate in a state that has an ABC test and there is some kind of law or legislature or court cases that exempts their drivers from an ABC test being independent contractors, whether on state or local level – that would be extremely helpful.”

Sweis asked that if you have anything to provide that might be helpful, to email directly at [email protected] .

A New Kind of Work Comp Insurance

With AB5 passing in California, those in taxi and limo business may need to start purchasing Work Comp insurance for their drivers come January 2020. Dave Haley, CEO of American Business Insurance is working on a cost-effective solution.

“Everyone is really worried about AB5 and they don’t know what to do,” Haley said.

As of today, the standard markets for Work Comp are not cheap. With the future of taxi and limo drivers at the forefront, Haley is working on a technology-based Work Comp product. His goal is to offer a product that is cost effective and easy to use.

“This new work comp product will offer a large savings for taxi and limo drivers. Compared to the work comp products currently available, our InsureTech solution will turn the traditional work comp system on its head.”

If  you need Work Comp for your transportation business, give us a call or email us. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Five Most Important Cannabis Business Software Purchases

Five Most Important Cannabis Business Software Purchases

Occasionally, American Business Insurance Services, Inc. hosts guest blogs from our partners who want to discuss the specifics of their services and the benefits they bring to customers. This blog features our partner Cue Cannabis, a Colorado based software company that allows cannabis businesses to purchase and manage various software and services to help run their company.

The legal marijuana industry is expanding, one state at a time, across the US. But while there are many business opportunities in this industry, it can still be challenging for a new business owner to make a profit. Cannabis business owners face the same stresses as normal business owners, like hiring, budgeting, and tracking merchandise, while also dealing with different challenges like staying compliant with state legislation. 

Purchasing software and the technological infrastructure for your business may not initially seem like the most interesting pursuit, but having the right set up will enhance the day-to-day efficiency of your business. At CUE Cannabis, we speak to many customers who don’t know where to start when it comes to purchasing software or setting up cameras and phone lines. It is an area where all business owners, from dispensaries to cultivators, or extractors, might struggle to find something that is right for their business. 

We’ve created a ‘hierarchy of software needs’ to help business owners prioritize their purchases. Further, each area of purchase comes with a few key questions that you can ask as a business owner in order to understand what might work best for your business. We’ll take you through the first three levels of this ‘hierarchy of software needs’ to help you with important business decisions.

1. Foundational software is critical for day-to-day operations

We designated a ‘foundational software’ category to include both software and infrastructure that is most important for day-to-day operations. In this category there is accounting, data security, compliance, and sales software like point-of-sale or seed-to-sale depending on your business. As the name suggests, laying the foundation for a successful operation will make the day-to-day of running your business more efficiently. When purchasing ‘foundational’ software, there are a few things to look for:

Accounting: Check with your accounting before deciding what to you because while many accountants can work with any software, some need you to have a program that is compatible with what they are already using. Also, if you don’t have an accountant, get one because it will make your life easier. 

Point-of-Sale: The hardware part of this software e.g. tablets, scanners, etc. can be a costly investment, but one great way to create some flexibility in your budget is by using a point of sale system that offers a month-by-month plan, which can make it easier for newer businesses. 

Data security: Cannabis is a highly regulated industry, meaning a lot of data is being collected. Understanding how your software is collecting and storing data should be one of the major questions you are asking. Consider what data practices you’ll have to store or transfer employee and customer information. 

A word about Technology and Infrastructure

Depending on the state requirements for your business, your building design, or the type of business you are running, technology and infrastructure will be an important ‘foundational’ piece. Examples of this could include purchasing security cameras for the business, which depending on your state of operation may be a legal requirement or just a good idea. Another element of technology to consider is the wifi and phone systems that will run your point-of-sale or help your employees get online.

Important questions to ask center around understanding how employees will work in the building and accomplish their jobs; depending on the business the use cases can be varied and complicated. Our biggest recommendation when considering the technology or infrastructure for your business is to consider an experienced partner who has extensive experience understanding not just the technology but how people will engage with it on a day-to-day basis. 

2. Other important software to make your business run efficiently

The aforementioned software is incredibly important for the operation of your business and the next category of software in the ‘hierarchy of needs’ will not only help you but also your employees. I’m talking specifically about HR, Payroll, and collaboration software like GSuite or Slack. The most important feature to consider across all this software is how ‘user-friendly’ is it, and how will it impact the employees that are using it (as well as yourself). 

When considering HR and Payroll software, for example, ask yourself questions like: Does this software integrating with my accounting software in order to manage payroll? Is it easy for managers and employees to access information? Does this software offer benefits that are easy to manage? 

With Collaboration software like Slack, GSuite, or other messaging tools, ask yourself about how your employees work and when they will engage with the software: are they mobile or office-based? What tasks do they need to do? 

HR, Payroll, and Collaboration software are crucial for the day-to-day running of your business. Ensuring that you hire the right people, pay them for their work and provide the tools to work effectively will contribute directly to the growth potential of the company. 

3. Improve your business with Data Analytics

After you have the right software, the next step is to make that software work for you. What I mean by this is understanding what information your software is collecting and how to use that to improve your business outcome. For example, consider your point-of-sale or seed-to-sale data to look at what products are doing well, and or what is not. Most business owners don’t realize how much data their business generates and what the possibilities are with this information. There are some amazing tools specifically designed for cannabis business owners that can help you analyze and visualize business data. 

We hope this discussion of foundational cannabis business software will give you a better understanding of how to make a purchase, but also what questions to ask when conducting research. If you want this checklist  

Now that you have a better understanding of how to prioritize your software and technology purchases, as well as what questions you can ask as you research. If you want to know more about the next levels of the ‘software hierarchy of needs,’ you can download your own guide here. 

About the Author: 

Fiona Foster is Marketing Manager for CUE Cannabis. She is also part of the CUE Expert team that advises business owners on how to find the best software and services for their company. 

UBI Telematics: The New Industry Standard

Written by Laura Loftus on September 18th, 2019

UBI Insurance is currently reserved for companies with access to the minimum annual premium of $100,000.  This is not a program for TNC operators, owner/operators with one car and is geared towards larger companies involved with providing services for the sharing economy.  GET A QUOTE

Usage Based Insurance (UBI telematics) products entered the personal auto marketplace some time ago. But it is a new concept for commercial auto policies. Whether you own and operate one vehicle in a small rural town, or a large fleet in an urban area –  insurance companies are always looking for ways to gain more business and limit their own risk. As a result, more and more insurance companies are offering UBI telematics to commercial fleets.

History of UBI Telematics

UBI telematics became popular with the invent of Transportation Network Companies like Uber and Lyft. As these types of companies grew the insurance industry responded by offering more options for UBI telematics. Companies like James River were one of the first to offer pay-per-mile or pay-as-you-drive plans. This got the rest of the world thinking. If Uber and Lyft can pay per mile, why can’t other transportation businesses obtain the same type of UBI telematics?

One reason UBI telematics was more easily implemented for Transportation Network Companies like Uber and Lyft is because the insurance company is not “on the risk” all the time. Most of these drivers carry their own personal auto policies. So, the TNC insurance is only “on” when the driver is logged into the app.

With the popularity of TNCs, it has affected the amount business taxi and limo companies are able to achieve. Traditional companies need to evolve in order to compete against Uber and Lyft. One way to do this, is to lower their costs with a UBI telematics policy.

How Pay-Per-Mile Insurance Works

UBI telematics works in many different ways.  The first is that you are provided with a device that plugs into the OBD port of your car. The device captures and reports mileage automatically to the insurance company. You are then billed at the agreed upon per-mile rate.

Another way mileage is captured and reported to insurance companies is through SDK integration of an app you might be using for dispatching of vehicles.

In the past, most for-hire, livery risks were charged a flat annual rate. It did not matter how many hours you spent on the road. It also didn’t matter how many miles you drove each month. But, now that UBI telematics is becoming more popular, many companies are offering this structure as an alternative.  Additionally, while most of the other personal auto insurance markets may provide this type of pricing structure, most do not capture driver analytics to help you coach and manage drivers.

UBI Telematics from American Business Insurance

As a UBI insurance broker, we are always looking for and creating solutions that are easy for our clients to use. As a result, we have created our own dashboard which captures the trends and habits of your drivers. Some UBI telematics structures actually charge different rates per driver and many will adjust the price mid-term (up and down) based on driver behavior.

Distracted driving is a problem that most UBI insurance brokers are trying to combat. By integrating telematics elements into pricing and policies, we are able to not only reduce the amount of money you are spending each year for insurance but also provide you with tools to limit risk to those markets.

Some of the data UBI telematics products capture include not only miles driven, but also:

  • Hard-braking incidents
  • G-Force of accidents
  • Hard-cornering
  • Excessive speed
  • Following too closely

By carefully managing and coaching drivers of bad driving habits before accidents occur, you keep your loss history low and your premiums lower.

UBI Telematics per Contract

While above options describe UBI telematics for all operations, we can also work with you to limit coverages on a per contract basis. What this means, is that sometimes the City or State will require a minimum auto limit of $100,000. But you want to obtain a contract to transport patients to and from doctor appointments. Most likely, that contract will require your fleet to have a limit of $1,000,000 or higher. Instead of providing you with a quote that increases the cost for the entire policy to $1M limit – we can write a separate excess policy that bills you by trip, or by mile for the contract only.

Another way to limit coverage is if for example your city requires the same $100k limit mentioned above, but you drop off at the airport who requires $1,000,000 while on airport property. Instead of increasing the premium for the policy to be $1M all the time, we can charge less of an increase by endorsing the policy to provide the higher limit while only on airport property.

How Does this Benefit Business Owners?

The secret to any business is operating at profitable margins. By keeping insurance costs low, commercial fleet owners are able to put money back into their business for advertising, newer vehicles, maintenance and repair. Also, driver morale will improve because they will know that their good driving habits will be recognized and, in many cases, rewarded.

UBI Insurance is currently reserved for companies with access to the minimum annual premium of $100,000.  This is not a program for TNC operators, owner/operators with one car and is geared towards larger companies involved with providing services for the sharing economy.  GET A QUOTE

Uber Freight and Commercial Trucking Insurance

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Uber Freight and Commercial Trucking Insurance

In May of 2017, Uber launched one of their newest services Uber Freight. Uber Freight is an exciting, new trucking app that matches vetted drivers with long-haul routes. The app allows drivers or dispatchers to book and confirm routes with the tap of a button. They have the choice to filter the routes they search for by pickup, destination, the offered price, and other factors. Uber Freight is designed to work for carriers of any size. Although, the service is particularly attractive to small fleets and independent owner-operators. In order for trucking fleets and owner-operators to work with Uber Freight they need to have the proper Commercial Trucking Insurance.

 

How Does Uber Freight Work? What are the advantages?

Uber Freight was created with the business model to appeal to smaller fleets and independent truck drivers. Therefore, the app is designed to give more power to operators and solve many problems drivers have with traditional freight brokerage. Before Uber Freight, drivers or Uber Freightoperators would have to make multiple calls to schedule loads. Now the booking process is streamlined. Booking is made simple through the app. As easy as Uber makes it to schedule a car to pick you up on the curb, they make it just as convenient for commercial truck drivers to schedule loads and routes.

Another problem drivers have with traditional methods are delayed payment. The standard for payment is 30 to 60 days, but with Uber Freight drivers can receive payment about seven days after completion. This allows small trucking fleets or owner-operators to continuously operate at full capacity when repairs and other issues arise. A third problem Uber Freight solves is the problem of deadhead miles. Deadhead miles are the number of miles commercial truck drivers drive from the point of unload to the point where their new load is ready to pickup. Uber Freight accounts for this and compensates drivers. Furthermore, the app also features a “Take Me Home”. This setting helps drivers book loads that will take them back home while still earning income.

Uber Freight is still in its beginning years, but with the way they are operating and handling freight brokerage, they are hoping to transform the industry. They are positioning themselves as a drivers first service. They believe that when drivers are empowered and delivery is more efficient all businesses run better. Take a look at the partnership that Uber Freight has with Ocean Spray, and you’ll see how this new service works.

Commercial Trucking Insurance 

As Uber Freight is very much geared towards smaller fleets for the time being, operators need to do all they can to protect their small businesses. We at American Business Insurance Services, Inc. are here to help. Commercial Trucking Insurance or Delivery Insurance is tremendously important to the safety and security of drivers, their freight, and their business. If you are thinking about contracting through Uber Freight, you will have to have the proper insurance coverage. At American Business Insurance Services, Inc. we shop all the currently competitive markets for you. By doing this we can find you the best coverage to fit your specific needs in the commercial trucking industry. 

 

Why You Need Coverage?

American Business Insurance Services, Inc. has identified the Uber Freight business model as one that will likely transform the way the freight delivery industry operates. The seamless Uber Freightadaption of this technology to all types of businesses, that have shipping needs, has allowed for convenience of scheduling, more carrier options for businesses, and expedited delivery.

Our team of licensed brokers are well aware of the coverage you will need as a delivery fleet or owner-operator service. Furthermore, some of the common types of coverage that apply to delivery and commercial trucking businesses are:

  • Auto Liability to protect bodily injury of all parties
  • (Auto)Property Damage to cover damage to property
  • Comprehensive & Collision to protect against most causes of loss to your vehicle(s)
  • Personal Injury or Medical Coverage
  • Cargo Coverage

Contacting American Business Insurance Services, Inc. will guarantee that you are fully covered under a commercial auto policy and allow you to operate your fleet with Uber Freight.

Why American Business Insurance Services, Inc.?

At American Business Insurance Services, Inc., our goal is to build long lasting, valued and trusted relationships. Our mission is to create an understanding with our clients that they are at the forefront of our business. Consequently, we strive to make sure we know our clients business thoroughly to create a true partnership. American Business Insurance Services, Inc. is committed to professional excellence, delivering on commitments on time and of the highest caliber. Therefore, we use only the best practices in the industry. Through our stringent processes and systems we let you operate your commercial trucking or delivery service with confidence.

In conclusion, the Uber Freight business model could transform the way trucking operates and we understand that. As the business changes we at American Business Insurance Services, Inc. adapt with the change to provide the best types of coverage for clients.

To get a quote for your commercial trucking fleet or delivery service Click Here.

 

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American Business Insurance Services, Inc

PERIOD X™ Fleet Management Software with Insurance Built In

Period X™ Quote

What is Period X™ insurance and how does it work to help you manage your fleet?

American Business Insurance Services, Inc. developed Period X™ for fleet owners or individuals that are renting their cars out on a car sharing platform. This applies to platforms such as Turo, HyreCar or GetAround.  This coverage comes with fleet management software through a web-based dashboard at no extra cost to your policy. This fleet management software comes with tools to ensure your fleet is running at maximum efficiency. When managing your fleet that operates through a Transportation Network Company, the coverage is usually provided to the renter through TNC Provider Insurance. It is important for fleet operators to know that insurance is not supplied through TNC Provider Insurance when the car is not rented out. Of course you want to make sure your car is covered at all times. That’s where our proprietary Period X™ insurance coverage comes into play.

 

 

What a Period X™ Insurance Policy Provides

Our Period X™ Insurance policy provides more than the minimum state limits in
almost all 50 states. A comprehensive insurance product to cover fleets that
are being rented out on Peer to Peer (P2P) rental platforms such as the ones mentioned above. Our product is one of a kind. If you are renting your vehicles out on P2P rental platforms PERSONAL INSURANCE DOES NOT COVER YOU for this type of business model.

fleet management

An insurance policy with fleet management software

We didn’t stop at just putting the Period X™ insurance product together, we did a lot more.  Every Period X™ policy holder receives a proprietary device for each vehicle that they insure. This includes a fleet management web-based dashboard to manage your fleet.  It would be one thing just to have proper coverage that nobody can offer, but below are some of the additional services we provide as part of this coverage:

  • Ability to add/delete vehicles online

  • GPS track each and every car at all times

  • Check billing

  • Access ID cards and so much more fleet management tools

Period X™ is fleet tracking with the insurance built in!

Why we created Period X™ with fleet management software

As usual, the best place to start is always the beginning. To make a long story much shorter, in the beginning there were taxicabs. When taxicabs were the only animal of their kind roaming the earth, life was simple and there was only one period of time. Things were pretty easy. If you needed insurance for a taxicab, you got a taxicab insurance policy that covered that taxi company 24 hours a day, end of story. fleet management software

Then, not too long ago, something called Uber and Lyft came onto the scene.  All of the sudden, things got complicated really fast in the insurance world.  These companies found that if they divided their insurance policy into separate periods of time, and that each period had a coverage limit assigned to it. This made it possible to reduce their exposure (and their insurance premiums) to maximize profits.

Then, we had another new company (HyreCar) facilitating TNC rentals between rideshare drivers that needed cars and vehicle owners who wanted to make money by providing those cars.  The term peer-to-peer rentals was coined.  

A New Problem Arises

Initially, the idea was that personal insurance would cover the party that was renting their vehicle out to the TNC drivers as long as they only had one or two cars. It did not take long for vehicle owners to see that they were netting $700+ a month per car. Seeing such great results, this resulted in the vehicle owners adding more and more cars until they had fleets. Vehicle owners now had 10, 20, or even 30+ cars, which is not covered by personal auto insurance. This issue lead to the need for the Period X™ product to be created since personal insurance doesn’t cover fleets that are primarily used to make money via rental app platforms and especially not TNC rentals.

Napkin math ensued and a new problem emerged: 

“How do I place insurance on my fleet of cars under an LLC or Corp and keep my personal lines insurance pricing?”  

The answer to that question is: Period X™ Insurance!  Our agency was the brains behind this exciting new insurance product. We are now positioned to bring it to the masses! Now, fleet owners who place their inventory on platforms such as; HyreCar, Turo, GetAround & similar peer-to-peer rental platforms have access to a reasonably priced app-based insuranceinsurance product that covers their fleet for only the period of time when the vehicle is not rented out and is being serviced and maintained to ready the car for the next rental.  

There are articles upon articles online in regards to Periods 1,2 & 3 and why they are the way they are. The basic idea is that when a rideshare driver has the rideshare app off, then the rideshare company has no involvement in what that driver does with their car. This results in no insurance for that period of time.  The instant the rideshare app is on and the driver is engaged with it, Period 1, 2 & 3 begins and typically state minimum auto liability limits apply.

fleet management software

 

Breaking down insurance policies divided into separate periods of time:

After the app is turned on and driver is engaged with Period 1, they scan for rides
they’d like to take. The instant the driver accepts a ride, they have entered Period 2. The insurance coverage offered by the rideshare providers increases a bit more to cover incidents that might occur while the driver is on their way to pick up a passenger.

insurance policy

The last (for now) action involved in a typical rideshare exchange is that the driver arrives at the pick-up destination. The instant the passenger(s) get into the driver’s car, Period 3 is activated. 

TNC insurance policy

Period 3 typically involves $1,000,000 of auto liability coverage via the rideshare company insurance policy. This is the riskiest period of time, because any accident occurring during that period fully engages the rideshare provider and all participants involved with that ride.

Period Policies for Commercial Auto Working Together

The “Period 1,2 & 3” policy setup is now the industry standard for app-based transportation companies that offer rides as a service. Now with American Business Insurance Services, Inc. Period X™ insurance coverage, fleet managers are able to go beyond the industry standard. With our Period X™, coverage never slips through the cracks making sure your TNC fleet is protected at all times.

After Uber & Lyft had been around for a couple of years, opportunity-minded people started to notice the great deal of demand for vehicles from drivers who wanted to make money driving for TNC companies, but did not have the means to purchase, lease or finance a vehicle for various reasons.

A few select companies have established a niche in this territory and filled this demand successfully.  These companies didn’t only see this driver need for vehicle inventory in the marketplace. They saw plenty of regular people out there that are not always driving their personal vehicles, or who were interested in purchasing vehicles for the sole reason of renting them out to TNC drivers who needed them. This is an industry that expected to have rapid growth. When creating a TNC company having the proper policy coverage protects your business and livelihood. 

Contact Us For Full Details on Period X™ and our Fleet Tracking Software

We’d love to tell you everything about this program because we’re SO excited about this new product. We can’t just give away all our secrets at once, can we? What we can tell you is that we’re open in most U.S. states, have a full-time I.T. department dedicated to continuously evolving the technology behind this product. Our experienced team of licensed professionals are excited to talk to you about how you can get Period X™ Insurance on your fleet. Give us a call today! Let’s solve your fleet insurance / management problems so you can get back out there and make some money!

Call Today: (800) 980-1950

https://abiweb.com/

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Paratransit Service Insurance in California

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Paratransit Service Insurance in California for Company Fleet of 15+ Vehicles

We all have loved ones, that at one time or another, are in need of consistent medical care. Whether they be our aging grandparents, parents, or even our in-laws- we want the best care for them. But the thing is people are busy. We can’t always find the time to escort our loved ones to doctor appointments and other medical treatment centers. Although, there are ways to make this process a little easier. Many families, hospitals, and doctor offices turn to Paratransit Service or Non-Emergency Medical Transportation (NEMT) providers to fill this need.

paratransit service

The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, made paratransit service a daily reality for many Americans with disabilities. By providing transportation for those with disabilities, paratransit services are paramount to the well-being and mobility of thousands of Americans.

California NEMT and Background

In California, the major hubs are Los Angeles, San Diego, San Jose, and San Francisco. There are over 7 million people in these cities. Many of the elderly people living here need transportation to medical centers at all hours of the day. 

Even for those who are fortunate enough to have loved ones to drive them around, it’s not always convenient. Everyone living in these cities knows that traffic is horrendous, finding parking is a nightmare, and a whole day could be filled with a doctor’s visit.

This is when paratransit service or NEMT comes into play. There are many paratransit agencies that operate fleets of 15+ vehicles in California that American Business Insurance Services, Inc. works with to provide the best available coverage. Those seeking transportation are able to be picked up at their specific location and then the NEMT vehicle discharges passengers on request at various hospitals or medical centers. Having the right paratransit fleet insurance is essential in making sure your business and customers are covered in case of an incident. 

When customers are looking to choose a paratransit service or agency to be responsible for their loved ones, they will be looking into the NEMT company to make sure their loved one is going to be safe and protected.  American Business Insurance Services, Inc. provides NEMT insurance to companies nationwide creating customized policies to best serve our clients needs.

How to Decide on Paratransit/ NEMT Insurance For Your Company Fleetparatransit service

There are a lot of factors that go into finding the best insurance coverage for your Paratransit Company’s large fleet. Therefore, prepare to answer a few questions when working with American Business Insurance to find you the best quote to match your business needs. 

  • Do your vehicles have lifts or ramps? 
  • Do your vehicles include backup cameras? 
  • Are the majority of your trips for passengers ambulatory or non-ambulatory? 
  • Do you contract with LogistiCare or other providers with strict insurance requirements?

Insurance companies ask these questions to ensure you are fully covered under your policy. At American Business Insurance Services, Inc., we guarantee the most thorough coverage for your large fleet. Furthermore, we have trained professionals who will take care of everything, and will guide you through the process of properly insuring your NEMT fleet most efficiently!

Why You (the Paratransit service/agency) Need Full Coverage

Having the proper paratransit or NEMT insurance is critical to operating a successful transportation business. The services that paratransit automobile fleets accomplish for those in need is truly life changing and deserves insurance that is equally up to par.

Moreover, the reason you (the Paratransit service/agency) need NEMT fleet insurance is to ensure the safety and reliability of your paratransit service company, protecting your passengers and your business.

Paratransit/NEMT Insurance at American Business Insurance Services, Inc.

paratransit service

At American Business Insurance Services, Inc., our goal is to build long lasting, valued and trusted relationships. Our mission is to create an understanding with our clients because we want them to know they are at the forefront of our business. American Business Insurance Services, Inc. is committed to professional excellence, delivering on commitments on time, and of the highest caliber. In addition, we use only the best practices in the industry through our stringent processes and systems that let you operate your California paratransit service company with confidence.

Furthermore, most agencies take days or even weeks to process a vehicle or driver change on your Paratransit policy. At American Business Insurance Services, Inc. we have a fast, easy, and user-friendly online customer portal that you will love. Our state-of-the-art agency portal allows you to manage your NEMT business 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. With this portal, policy changes can be made online at any time – day or night. This is essential in running a business that also operates 24/7.

We promise to do the leg work for you. We have built strong long term relationships with our carriers of paratransit insurance in order to find you the best policy to match your business needs. Our 35+ years experience in insuring commercial auto fleets makes American Business Insurance quick and efficient in finding the best carrier options.

Get a quote today!

Wisconsin Taxi Insurance: It’s Not What You Know, It’s Who You Know

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Wisconsin Taxi Insurance: It’s Not What You Know, It’s Who You Know

Written by Laura Loftus on Monday, June 24th, 2019

 

Northwoods Cab, LLC began working with American Business Insurance in 2015. At the time, he had 2 cars insured. Now, he services 6,000 trips per month and maintains about 15 taxis on the road at all times.

Finding the right broker to handle your Wisconsin Taxi Insurance is vital. Besides the fact that we’ve been one of the leading providers for those who need Wisconsin Taxi Insurance, we give you more than just an insurance policy.

Currently, we insure over 100 vehicles that require Wisconsin Taxi Insurance and because we have been working with both fleets and individual owner/operators for over 35 years, we have created an easy to use online portal for our customers to service their policies 24/7.

We also provide you with a live, customer service rep dedicated to servicing your policy and answering coverage questions during regular business hours. Choosing us as your broker means choosing a well-educated partner who truly understands your business.

 

Our goal is to keep your vehicles on the road, and your Wisconsin Taxi Insurance active

Aaron Schloemer from Northwoods Cab, LLC in Wasuau, WI has a fleet of about 15 taxi’s on the road. He has been a client of ours since 2015 and says that our online portal helps him to run his business.  Some brokers will require you to send changes to them via email or fax in writing. Then you’ll have to wait days for an approval or ID card. But our portal allows you to make these changes in an instant. Transportation companies often need replacement ID Cards in the middle of the night, need to change out a vehicle at a moment’s notice and switch drivers on their policies with little time to spare.

“We use the online portal and it work’s like a charm. It really helps us. When a cab breaks down, we can go on the portal and easily take it off and put it back on. It doesn’t matter what time of the day or night. Another great thing is being able to add drivers 24 hours per day. It’s easy to use and we use it as a point of reference many times. Say we want to make sure a cab is on, we can log into the portal and make sure it’s there. It makes it a lot easier to run the company having a 24/7 portal.”

Schloemer started Northwoods Cab, LLC about 4 1/2 years ago. He started out in the taxi industry the way many others do, by working for another local cab company in town. After gaining experience and traction, he originally started the business further north in Tomahawk, WI. Soon after, he transferred the business into the Wausau area where they currently service about 6,000 calls/trips per month.

 

Keeping up with the competition

Although Uber has a presence in his area, he says they haven’t affected his business too much because he is able to keep his prices low enough, where riding with him is cheaper than in an Uber. One way he has been able to keep prices down is by hiring his drivers as independent contractors. He pays them 70% of the sales per day, and charges a weekly lease fee.

Northwoods Cab owner Aaron Schloemer with his son at Disney World, in front of the “Cab Garage.” We’ve been servicing his Wisconsin Taxi Insurance policy for the past fours years.

“A lot of taxi cab companies that have contractors pay 50%, and that isn’t enough to have the drivers stay, pay their bills and make a good income,” Schloemer said.

Some people get into the business to become their own boss and they think it will be easy to run once the basics are set up – obtaining Wisconsin taxi insurance, hiring and training drivers as well as holding monthly safety meetings. But, it isn’t always as easy as it seems.

“Don’t do it if you don’t love people and hard work. Don’t do it if you don’t know how to make decisions and handle problems. Because you are going to have problems every day,” Schloemer shared.

Day to day in the taxi business

While operating a taxi company may seem easy enough, there are daily challenges Schloemer faces that he says others should be aware of before starting out in the industry.

“The hardest thing is maintaining the fleet. The vehicles do get beat up pretty quick. It’s essential to our business that we have at least 10 cars on standby, ready to go, in case one should break down.”

Many people would not think of owning and operating at taxi company as a public service. But Schloemer considers it just that.

“Taking care of people and helping people do tasks they might not otherwise be able to get done,” is one of the benefits Schloemer says he enjoys about owning a taxi company. “Without us, they might not be able to get to their job on time or make it to their dialysis appointment,” he said.

How much insurance do I need?

How much insurance you need to purchase will depend on the type of transportation business you have, and where you are operating. Most limousines, black car or private car service business are overseen by the WI DOT and depending on their seating capacities, determine the limit of insurance that is needed.

Insurance limit requirements for limo and black cars with seating capacities (including driver) listed below:

  • 8 or less require $300,000
  • 15 or less require $1,500,000
  • 16 or more require $5,000,000

While Limo and black car limits are more straightforward, Wisconsin Taxi Insurance limits vary by municipality. Below are some of the requirements for Wisconsin taxi insurance by city:

  • Madison, WI – $1,000,000
  • Manitowoc, WI
  • Menomonie, WI – $1,000,000
  • Milwaukee, WI – $50,000/100,000/10,000
  • Sheboygan, WI – $100,000/300,000/100,000
  • Superior, WI – $500,000

 

Above are just some of the state specific requirements. Don’t see what you are looking for? Contact us as we are the Wisconsin taxi insurance experts and know exactly where to find this information so you don’t have to!

We would love to bring down the cost of your current  policy! Request a quote online by clicking here: https://abiweb.com/services/taxicab-insurance/

You can also call us at (800) 980-1950 ext. 4

 

 

 

AB5: Another Battle For Taxicab Owners

 

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AB5: Another Battle for Taxicab Owners

Written by Laura Loftus

As if it isn’t hard enough for taxicab, limo and paratransit drivers competing against the Amazon.com’s of transportation – Uber & Lyft – those in California are about to potentially fight the greatest battle of them yet against AB5.

Recently, CA legislature passed and signed into law AB5 (Assembly Bill 5) which goes into effect on January 1, 2020. This bill will implement the ABC test when determining whether companies need to classify drivers as independent contractors or employees.

Lyft and UBER stickers on the rear window of a vehicle offering rides in San Francisco Bay Area car.

With taxicab and limo drivers already struggling, it seems unfathomable that CA government would make it  more difficult for professionals to operate. But many people in the taxi and limo industry are worried about potential changes they will need to make within their business.

As a commercial insurance broker, specializing in Livery, For-Hire Insurance for those in the taxicab, limo, paratransit, shared economy and on demand delivery spaces – I hear it first hand on a day to day basis how they are affected by Uber and Lyft. They are upset that those companies don’t have to adhere to the same licensing, permitting and insurance requirements that they do. And now, they might be forced to provide Workers Compensation insurance for all “gig-economy” workers – which many taxi drivers claim to be.

This potential added expense could do more harm than good, in an already difficult marketplace.

How AB5 will work

In California, AB5 will implement a three-part “ABC” test. This test will be used to established if a worker is an employee or independent contractor. If a worker is an employee, they need to have Workers Compensation insurance along with medical benefits and paid sick days. The law also states that all workers will be considered an employee of the company unless they can prove:

  • (A) the worker is free from the employer’s control and direction;
  • (B) the worker performs work that is outside the usual course of the company’s primary business; and
  • (C) the worker is not customarily engaged in the same trade, occupation, or business as the work they are hired to perform

If the company cannot prove all of these items, then the worker needs to be classified as an employee.

 

Will your taxicab company be affected by AB5?

For Chris Sweis, SF Yellow Cab has been a family business since 1983. Like many others in this industry, he is one of many across the country who grew up in the business.  It is often traditional for the business to be passed down from generation to generation.

Sweis, who is also President of the  Taxicab Paratransit Association of California, wants to work with CA Legislature to make sure taxicab drivers are exempt from AB5. Sweis said, “We don’t know if they are going to have to make any changes because taxi drivers still needs to be tested under the ABC test and a lot depends on how they are operating. If they are operating as a co-op, that makes a big difference. In SF, they have the medallions system. So, it really depends on how they are operating.”

Many taxi companies are structured as co-ops. This means each taxi driver is part owner of the company. Most are also made up of individual owner-operators who owns their own vehicle.

Under this structure, it could be considered that owners are able to exempt themselves from Work Comp insurance. In California, owners can exclude themselves from coverage under a work -comp policy. Since these co-op owners are not technically employees – they may not be affected by the AB5 bill.

Companies like SF Yellow Cab that operate under the medallion system, feel the same could be said for them as well. The taxicab company owns the medallion but leases it to the owner of the vehicle. They are basically renting out their operating authority. With a lease agreement in place – it might be enough to say the owner/operator of the vehicle is employing themselves.

 

Should AB5 apply to taxicab drivers?

Matthew Daus, Esq. who is the Partner and Chairman for Windels Marx Transportation Group in NYC and also President of the International Association of Transportation Regulators explains in more detail. He talked about identifying whether or not your taxi or limo company can continue to classify drivers as independent contractors.

He said, “Let’s say you operate a factory and you manufacture dolls and you have a broken door. You call a contractor to fix the door. The contractor is a handyman to fix facilities, not in the business of selling dolls. That situation would likely involve that worker being an independent contractor – not an employee.”

Some transportation companies are worried that their current business structure might be tested and disrupted. Currently, it is common for taxicab companies to classify their drivers as “independent contractors.”

“I think the taxi and limo industry needs to mobilize like they’ve never had to before in order to be exempt from AB5. They should be making the argument that they’ve been decimated by Uber and Lyft for years and they need an exemption,” Daus said.

“And with the entire taxi industry struggling – I don’t think that is what the legislature wanted. Most people feel bad about what happened to those in the taxi industry. It’s time for the legislature to level the playing field,” Daus also said.

 

What can you do?

TPAC is trying to get in front of CA legislature to help determine how the state of California can still implement this bill but not negatively impact the already struggling taxi industry.

It is important to do what you can to voice your opinion in protecting the transportation industry.

Sweis said TPAC could use help from fellow taxicab owners throughout the country. “If they operate in a state that has an ABC test and there is some kind of law or legislature or court cases that exempts their drivers from an ABC test being independent contractors, whether on state or local level – that would be extremely helpful.”

Sweis asked that if you have anything to provide that might be helpful, to email directly at [email protected] .

A New Kind of Work Comp Insurance

With AB5 passing in California, those in taxi and limo business may need to start purchasing Work Comp insurance for their drivers come January 2020. Dave Haley, CEO of American Business Insurance is working on a cost-effective solution.

“Everyone is really worried about AB5 and they don’t know what to do,” Haley said.

As of today, the standard markets for Work Comp are not cheap. With the future of taxi and limo drivers at the forefront, Haley is working on a technology-based Work Comp product. His goal is to offer a product that is cost effective and easy to use.

“This new work comp product will offer a large savings for taxi and limo drivers. Compared to the work comp products currently available, our InsureTech solution will turn the traditional work comp system on its head.”

If  you need Work Comp for your transportation business, give us a call or email us. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Five Most Important Cannabis Business Software Purchases

Five Most Important Cannabis Business Software Purchases

Occasionally, American Business Insurance Services, Inc. hosts guest blogs from our partners who want to discuss the specifics of their services and the benefits they bring to customers. This blog features our partner Cue Cannabis, a Colorado based software company that allows cannabis businesses to purchase and manage various software and services to help run their company.

The legal marijuana industry is expanding, one state at a time, across the US. But while there are many business opportunities in this industry, it can still be challenging for a new business owner to make a profit. Cannabis business owners face the same stresses as normal business owners, like hiring, budgeting, and tracking merchandise, while also dealing with different challenges like staying compliant with state legislation. 

Purchasing software and the technological infrastructure for your business may not initially seem like the most interesting pursuit, but having the right set up will enhance the day-to-day efficiency of your business. At CUE Cannabis, we speak to many customers who don’t know where to start when it comes to purchasing software or setting up cameras and phone lines. It is an area where all business owners, from dispensaries to cultivators, or extractors, might struggle to find something that is right for their business. 

We’ve created a ‘hierarchy of software needs’ to help business owners prioritize their purchases. Further, each area of purchase comes with a few key questions that you can ask as a business owner in order to understand what might work best for your business. We’ll take you through the first three levels of this ‘hierarchy of software needs’ to help you with important business decisions.

1. Foundational software is critical for day-to-day operations

We designated a ‘foundational software’ category to include both software and infrastructure that is most important for day-to-day operations. In this category there is accounting, data security, compliance, and sales software like point-of-sale or seed-to-sale depending on your business. As the name suggests, laying the foundation for a successful operation will make the day-to-day of running your business more efficiently. When purchasing ‘foundational’ software, there are a few things to look for:

Accounting: Check with your accounting before deciding what to you because while many accountants can work with any software, some need you to have a program that is compatible with what they are already using. Also, if you don’t have an accountant, get one because it will make your life easier. 

Point-of-Sale: The hardware part of this software e.g. tablets, scanners, etc. can be a costly investment, but one great way to create some flexibility in your budget is by using a point of sale system that offers a month-by-month plan, which can make it easier for newer businesses. 

Data security: Cannabis is a highly regulated industry, meaning a lot of data is being collected. Understanding how your software is collecting and storing data should be one of the major questions you are asking. Consider what data practices you’ll have to store or transfer employee and customer information. 

A word about Technology and Infrastructure

Depending on the state requirements for your business, your building design, or the type of business you are running, technology and infrastructure will be an important ‘foundational’ piece. Examples of this could include purchasing security cameras for the business, which depending on your state of operation may be a legal requirement or just a good idea. Another element of technology to consider is the wifi and phone systems that will run your point-of-sale or help your employees get online.

Important questions to ask center around understanding how employees will work in the building and accomplish their jobs; depending on the business the use cases can be varied and complicated. Our biggest recommendation when considering the technology or infrastructure for your business is to consider an experienced partner who has extensive experience understanding not just the technology but how people will engage with it on a day-to-day basis. 

2. Other important software to make your business run efficiently

The aforementioned software is incredibly important for the operation of your business and the next category of software in the ‘hierarchy of needs’ will not only help you but also your employees. I’m talking specifically about HR, Payroll, and collaboration software like GSuite or Slack. The most important feature to consider across all this software is how ‘user-friendly’ is it, and how will it impact the employees that are using it (as well as yourself). 

When considering HR and Payroll software, for example, ask yourself questions like: Does this software integrating with my accounting software in order to manage payroll? Is it easy for managers and employees to access information? Does this software offer benefits that are easy to manage? 

With Collaboration software like Slack, GSuite, or other messaging tools, ask yourself about how your employees work and when they will engage with the software: are they mobile or office-based? What tasks do they need to do? 

HR, Payroll, and Collaboration software are crucial for the day-to-day running of your business. Ensuring that you hire the right people, pay them for their work and provide the tools to work effectively will contribute directly to the growth potential of the company. 

3. Improve your business with Data Analytics

After you have the right software, the next step is to make that software work for you. What I mean by this is understanding what information your software is collecting and how to use that to improve your business outcome. For example, consider your point-of-sale or seed-to-sale data to look at what products are doing well, and or what is not. Most business owners don’t realize how much data their business generates and what the possibilities are with this information. There are some amazing tools specifically designed for cannabis business owners that can help you analyze and visualize business data. 

We hope this discussion of foundational cannabis business software will give you a better understanding of how to make a purchase, but also what questions to ask when conducting research. If you want this checklist  

Now that you have a better understanding of how to prioritize your software and technology purchases, as well as what questions you can ask as you research. If you want to know more about the next levels of the ‘software hierarchy of needs,’ you can download your own guide here. 

About the Author: 

Fiona Foster is Marketing Manager for CUE Cannabis. She is also part of the CUE Expert team that advises business owners on how to find the best software and services for their company. 

UBI Telematics: The New Industry Standard

Written by Laura Loftus on September 18th, 2019

UBI Insurance is currently reserved for companies with access to the minimum annual premium of $100,000.  This is not a program for TNC operators, owner/operators with one car and is geared towards larger companies involved with providing services for the sharing economy.  GET A QUOTE

Usage Based Insurance (UBI telematics) products entered the personal auto marketplace some time ago. But it is a new concept for commercial auto policies. Whether you own and operate one vehicle in a small rural town, or a large fleet in an urban area –  insurance companies are always looking for ways to gain more business and limit their own risk. As a result, more and more insurance companies are offering UBI telematics to commercial fleets.

History of UBI Telematics

UBI telematics became popular with the invent of Transportation Network Companies like Uber and Lyft. As these types of companies grew the insurance industry responded by offering more options for UBI telematics. Companies like James River were one of the first to offer pay-per-mile or pay-as-you-drive plans. This got the rest of the world thinking. If Uber and Lyft can pay per mile, why can’t other transportation businesses obtain the same type of UBI telematics?

One reason UBI telematics was more easily implemented for Transportation Network Companies like Uber and Lyft is because the insurance company is not “on the risk” all the time. Most of these drivers carry their own personal auto policies. So, the TNC insurance is only “on” when the driver is logged into the app.

With the popularity of TNCs, it has affected the amount business taxi and limo companies are able to achieve. Traditional companies need to evolve in order to compete against Uber and Lyft. One way to do this, is to lower their costs with a UBI telematics policy.

How Pay-Per-Mile Insurance Works

UBI telematics works in many different ways.  The first is that you are provided with a device that plugs into the OBD port of your car. The device captures and reports mileage automatically to the insurance company. You are then billed at the agreed upon per-mile rate.

Another way mileage is captured and reported to insurance companies is through SDK integration of an app you might be using for dispatching of vehicles.

In the past, most for-hire, livery risks were charged a flat annual rate. It did not matter how many hours you spent on the road. It also didn’t matter how many miles you drove each month. But, now that UBI telematics is becoming more popular, many companies are offering this structure as an alternative.  Additionally, while most of the other personal auto insurance markets may provide this type of pricing structure, most do not capture driver analytics to help you coach and manage drivers.

UBI Telematics from American Business Insurance

As a UBI insurance broker, we are always looking for and creating solutions that are easy for our clients to use. As a result, we have created our own dashboard which captures the trends and habits of your drivers. Some UBI telematics structures actually charge different rates per driver and many will adjust the price mid-term (up and down) based on driver behavior.

Distracted driving is a problem that most UBI insurance brokers are trying to combat. By integrating telematics elements into pricing and policies, we are able to not only reduce the amount of money you are spending each year for insurance but also provide you with tools to limit risk to those markets.

Some of the data UBI telematics products capture include not only miles driven, but also:

  • Hard-braking incidents
  • G-Force of accidents
  • Hard-cornering
  • Excessive speed
  • Following too closely

By carefully managing and coaching drivers of bad driving habits before accidents occur, you keep your loss history low and your premiums lower.

UBI Telematics per Contract

While above options describe UBI telematics for all operations, we can also work with you to limit coverages on a per contract basis. What this means, is that sometimes the City or State will require a minimum auto limit of $100,000. But you want to obtain a contract to transport patients to and from doctor appointments. Most likely, that contract will require your fleet to have a limit of $1,000,000 or higher. Instead of providing you with a quote that increases the cost for the entire policy to $1M limit – we can write a separate excess policy that bills you by trip, or by mile for the contract only.

Another way to limit coverage is if for example your city requires the same $100k limit mentioned above, but you drop off at the airport who requires $1,000,000 while on airport property. Instead of increasing the premium for the policy to be $1M all the time, we can charge less of an increase by endorsing the policy to provide the higher limit while only on airport property.

How Does this Benefit Business Owners?

The secret to any business is operating at profitable margins. By keeping insurance costs low, commercial fleet owners are able to put money back into their business for advertising, newer vehicles, maintenance and repair. Also, driver morale will improve because they will know that their good driving habits will be recognized and, in many cases, rewarded.

UBI Insurance is currently reserved for companies with access to the minimum annual premium of $100,000.  This is not a program for TNC operators, owner/operators with one car and is geared towards larger companies involved with providing services for the sharing economy.  GET A QUOTE

Uber Freight and Commercial Trucking Insurance

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Uber Freight and Commercial Trucking Insurance

In May of 2017, Uber launched one of their newest services Uber Freight. Uber Freight is an exciting, new trucking app that matches vetted drivers with long-haul routes. The app allows drivers or dispatchers to book and confirm routes with the tap of a button. They have the choice to filter the routes they search for by pickup, destination, the offered price, and other factors. Uber Freight is designed to work for carriers of any size. Although, the service is particularly attractive to small fleets and independent owner-operators. In order for trucking fleets and owner-operators to work with Uber Freight they need to have the proper Commercial Trucking Insurance.

 

How Does Uber Freight Work? What are the advantages?

Uber Freight was created with the business model to appeal to smaller fleets and independent truck drivers. Therefore, the app is designed to give more power to operators and solve many problems drivers have with traditional freight brokerage. Before Uber Freight, drivers or Uber Freightoperators would have to make multiple calls to schedule loads. Now the booking process is streamlined. Booking is made simple through the app. As easy as Uber makes it to schedule a car to pick you up on the curb, they make it just as convenient for commercial truck drivers to schedule loads and routes.

Another problem drivers have with traditional methods are delayed payment. The standard for payment is 30 to 60 days, but with Uber Freight drivers can receive payment about seven days after completion. This allows small trucking fleets or owner-operators to continuously operate at full capacity when repairs and other issues arise. A third problem Uber Freight solves is the problem of deadhead miles. Deadhead miles are the number of miles commercial truck drivers drive from the point of unload to the point where their new load is ready to pickup. Uber Freight accounts for this and compensates drivers. Furthermore, the app also features a “Take Me Home”. This setting helps drivers book loads that will take them back home while still earning income.

Uber Freight is still in its beginning years, but with the way they are operating and handling freight brokerage, they are hoping to transform the industry. They are positioning themselves as a drivers first service. They believe that when drivers are empowered and delivery is more efficient all businesses run better. Take a look at the partnership that Uber Freight has with Ocean Spray, and you’ll see how this new service works.

Commercial Trucking Insurance 

As Uber Freight is very much geared towards smaller fleets for the time being, operators need to do all they can to protect their small businesses. We at American Business Insurance Services, Inc. are here to help. Commercial Trucking Insurance or Delivery Insurance is tremendously important to the safety and security of drivers, their freight, and their business. If you are thinking about contracting through Uber Freight, you will have to have the proper insurance coverage. At American Business Insurance Services, Inc. we shop all the currently competitive markets for you. By doing this we can find you the best coverage to fit your specific needs in the commercial trucking industry. 

 

Why You Need Coverage?

American Business Insurance Services, Inc. has identified the Uber Freight business model as one that will likely transform the way the freight delivery industry operates. The seamless Uber Freightadaption of this technology to all types of businesses, that have shipping needs, has allowed for convenience of scheduling, more carrier options for businesses, and expedited delivery.

Our team of licensed brokers are well aware of the coverage you will need as a delivery fleet or owner-operator service. Furthermore, some of the common types of coverage that apply to delivery and commercial trucking businesses are:

  • Auto Liability to protect bodily injury of all parties
  • (Auto)Property Damage to cover damage to property
  • Comprehensive & Collision to protect against most causes of loss to your vehicle(s)
  • Personal Injury or Medical Coverage
  • Cargo Coverage

Contacting American Business Insurance Services, Inc. will guarantee that you are fully covered under a commercial auto policy and allow you to operate your fleet with Uber Freight.

Why American Business Insurance Services, Inc.?

At American Business Insurance Services, Inc., our goal is to build long lasting, valued and trusted relationships. Our mission is to create an understanding with our clients that they are at the forefront of our business. Consequently, we strive to make sure we know our clients business thoroughly to create a true partnership. American Business Insurance Services, Inc. is committed to professional excellence, delivering on commitments on time and of the highest caliber. Therefore, we use only the best practices in the industry. Through our stringent processes and systems we let you operate your commercial trucking or delivery service with confidence.

In conclusion, the Uber Freight business model could transform the way trucking operates and we understand that. As the business changes we at American Business Insurance Services, Inc. adapt with the change to provide the best types of coverage for clients.

To get a quote for your commercial trucking fleet or delivery service Click Here.

 

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American Business Insurance Services, Inc

PERIOD X™ Fleet Management Software with Insurance Built In

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What is Period X™ insurance and how does it work to help you manage your fleet?

American Business Insurance Services, Inc. developed Period X™ for fleet owners or individuals that are renting their cars out on a car sharing platform. This applies to platforms such as Turo, HyreCar or GetAround.  This coverage comes with fleet management software through a web-based dashboard at no extra cost to your policy. This fleet management software comes with tools to ensure your fleet is running at maximum efficiency. When managing your fleet that operates through a Transportation Network Company, the coverage is usually provided to the renter through TNC Provider Insurance. It is important for fleet operators to know that insurance is not supplied through TNC Provider Insurance when the car is not rented out. Of course you want to make sure your car is covered at all times. That’s where our proprietary Period X™ insurance coverage comes into play.

 

 

What a Period X™ Insurance Policy Provides

Our Period X™ Insurance policy provides more than the minimum state limits in
almost all 50 states. A comprehensive insurance product to cover fleets that
are being rented out on Peer to Peer (P2P) rental platforms such as the ones mentioned above. Our product is one of a kind. If you are renting your vehicles out on P2P rental platforms PERSONAL INSURANCE DOES NOT COVER YOU for this type of business model.

fleet management

An insurance policy with fleet management software

We didn’t stop at just putting the Period X™ insurance product together, we did a lot more.  Every Period X™ policy holder receives a proprietary device for each vehicle that they insure. This includes a fleet management web-based dashboard to manage your fleet.  It would be one thing just to have proper coverage that nobody can offer, but below are some of the additional services we provide as part of this coverage:

  • Ability to add/delete vehicles online

  • GPS track each and every car at all times

  • Check billing

  • Access ID cards and so much more fleet management tools

Period X™ is fleet tracking with the insurance built in!

Why we created Period X™ with fleet management software

As usual, the best place to start is always the beginning. To make a long story much shorter, in the beginning there were taxicabs. When taxicabs were the only animal of their kind roaming the earth, life was simple and there was only one period of time. Things were pretty easy. If you needed insurance for a taxicab, you got a taxicab insurance policy that covered that taxi company 24 hours a day, end of story. fleet management software

Then, not too long ago, something called Uber and Lyft came onto the scene.  All of the sudden, things got complicated really fast in the insurance world.  These companies found that if they divided their insurance policy into separate periods of time, and that each period had a coverage limit assigned to it. This made it possible to reduce their exposure (and their insurance premiums) to maximize profits.

Then, we had another new company (HyreCar) facilitating TNC rentals between rideshare drivers that needed cars and vehicle owners who wanted to make money by providing those cars.  The term peer-to-peer rentals was coined.  

A New Problem Arises

Initially, the idea was that personal insurance would cover the party that was renting their vehicle out to the TNC drivers as long as they only had one or two cars. It did not take long for vehicle owners to see that they were netting $700+ a month per car. Seeing such great results, this resulted in the vehicle owners adding more and more cars until they had fleets. Vehicle owners now had 10, 20, or even 30+ cars, which is not covered by personal auto insurance. This issue lead to the need for the Period X™ product to be created since personal insurance doesn’t cover fleets that are primarily used to make money via rental app platforms and especially not TNC rentals.

Napkin math ensued and a new problem emerged: 

“How do I place insurance on my fleet of cars under an LLC or Corp and keep my personal lines insurance pricing?”  

The answer to that question is: Period X™ Insurance!  Our agency was the brains behind this exciting new insurance product. We are now positioned to bring it to the masses! Now, fleet owners who place their inventory on platforms such as; HyreCar, Turo, GetAround & similar peer-to-peer rental platforms have access to a reasonably priced app-based insuranceinsurance product that covers their fleet for only the period of time when the vehicle is not rented out and is being serviced and maintained to ready the car for the next rental.  

There are articles upon articles online in regards to Periods 1,2 & 3 and why they are the way they are. The basic idea is that when a rideshare driver has the rideshare app off, then the rideshare company has no involvement in what that driver does with their car. This results in no insurance for that period of time.  The instant the rideshare app is on and the driver is engaged with it, Period 1, 2 & 3 begins and typically state minimum auto liability limits apply.

fleet management software

 

Breaking down insurance policies divided into separate periods of time:

After the app is turned on and driver is engaged with Period 1, they scan for rides
they’d like to take. The instant the driver accepts a ride, they have entered Period 2. The insurance coverage offered by the rideshare providers increases a bit more to cover incidents that might occur while the driver is on their way to pick up a passenger.

insurance policy

The last (for now) action involved in a typical rideshare exchange is that the driver arrives at the pick-up destination. The instant the passenger(s) get into the driver’s car, Period 3 is activated. 

TNC insurance policy

Period 3 typically involves $1,000,000 of auto liability coverage via the rideshare company insurance policy. This is the riskiest period of time, because any accident occurring during that period fully engages the rideshare provider and all participants involved with that ride.

Period Policies for Commercial Auto Working Together

The “Period 1,2 & 3” policy setup is now the industry standard for app-based transportation companies that offer rides as a service. Now with American Business Insurance Services, Inc. Period X™ insurance coverage, fleet managers are able to go beyond the industry standard. With our Period X™, coverage never slips through the cracks making sure your TNC fleet is protected at all times.

After Uber & Lyft had been around for a couple of years, opportunity-minded people started to notice the great deal of demand for vehicles from drivers who wanted to make money driving for TNC companies, but did not have the means to purchase, lease or finance a vehicle for various reasons.

A few select companies have established a niche in this territory and filled this demand successfully.  These companies didn’t only see this driver need for vehicle inventory in the marketplace. They saw plenty of regular people out there that are not always driving their personal vehicles, or who were interested in purchasing vehicles for the sole reason of renting them out to TNC drivers who needed them. This is an industry that expected to have rapid growth. When creating a TNC company having the proper policy coverage protects your business and livelihood. 

Contact Us For Full Details on Period X™ and our Fleet Tracking Software

We’d love to tell you everything about this program because we’re SO excited about this new product. We can’t just give away all our secrets at once, can we? What we can tell you is that we’re open in most U.S. states, have a full-time I.T. department dedicated to continuously evolving the technology behind this product. Our experienced team of licensed professionals are excited to talk to you about how you can get Period X™ Insurance on your fleet. Give us a call today! Let’s solve your fleet insurance / management problems so you can get back out there and make some money!

Call Today: (800) 980-1950

https://abiweb.com/

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Paratransit Service Insurance in California

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Paratransit Service Insurance in California for Company Fleet of 15+ Vehicles

We all have loved ones, that at one time or another, are in need of consistent medical care. Whether they be our aging grandparents, parents, or even our in-laws- we want the best care for them. But the thing is people are busy. We can’t always find the time to escort our loved ones to doctor appointments and other medical treatment centers. Although, there are ways to make this process a little easier. Many families, hospitals, and doctor offices turn to Paratransit Service or Non-Emergency Medical Transportation (NEMT) providers to fill this need.

paratransit service

The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, made paratransit service a daily reality for many Americans with disabilities. By providing transportation for those with disabilities, paratransit services are paramount to the well-being and mobility of thousands of Americans.

California NEMT and Background

In California, the major hubs are Los Angeles, San Diego, San Jose, and San Francisco. There are over 7 million people in these cities. Many of the elderly people living here need transportation to medical centers at all hours of the day. 

Even for those who are fortunate enough to have loved ones to drive them around, it’s not always convenient. Everyone living in these cities knows that traffic is horrendous, finding parking is a nightmare, and a whole day could be filled with a doctor’s visit.

This is when paratransit service or NEMT comes into play. There are many paratransit agencies that operate fleets of 15+ vehicles in California that American Business Insurance Services, Inc. works with to provide the best available coverage. Those seeking transportation are able to be picked up at their specific location and then the NEMT vehicle discharges passengers on request at various hospitals or medical centers. Having the right paratransit fleet insurance is essential in making sure your business and customers are covered in case of an incident. 

When customers are looking to choose a paratransit service or agency to be responsible for their loved ones, they will be looking into the NEMT company to make sure their loved one is going to be safe and protected.  American Business Insurance Services, Inc. provides NEMT insurance to companies nationwide creating customized policies to best serve our clients needs.

How to Decide on Paratransit/ NEMT Insurance For Your Company Fleetparatransit service

There are a lot of factors that go into finding the best insurance coverage for your Paratransit Company’s large fleet. Therefore, prepare to answer a few questions when working with American Business Insurance to find you the best quote to match your business needs. 

  • Do your vehicles have lifts or ramps? 
  • Do your vehicles include backup cameras? 
  • Are the majority of your trips for passengers ambulatory or non-ambulatory? 
  • Do you contract with LogistiCare or other providers with strict insurance requirements?

Insurance companies ask these questions to ensure you are fully covered under your policy. At American Business Insurance Services, Inc., we guarantee the most thorough coverage for your large fleet. Furthermore, we have trained professionals who will take care of everything, and will guide you through the process of properly insuring your NEMT fleet most efficiently!

Why You (the Paratransit service/agency) Need Full Coverage

Having the proper paratransit or NEMT insurance is critical to operating a successful transportation business. The services that paratransit automobile fleets accomplish for those in need is truly life changing and deserves insurance that is equally up to par.

Moreover, the reason you (the Paratransit service/agency) need NEMT fleet insurance is to ensure the safety and reliability of your paratransit service company, protecting your passengers and your business.

Paratransit/NEMT Insurance at American Business Insurance Services, Inc.

paratransit service

At American Business Insurance Services, Inc., our goal is to build long lasting, valued and trusted relationships. Our mission is to create an understanding with our clients because we want them to know they are at the forefront of our business. American Business Insurance Services, Inc. is committed to professional excellence, delivering on commitments on time, and of the highest caliber. In addition, we use only the best practices in the industry through our stringent processes and systems that let you operate your California paratransit service company with confidence.

Furthermore, most agencies take days or even weeks to process a vehicle or driver change on your Paratransit policy. At American Business Insurance Services, Inc. we have a fast, easy, and user-friendly online customer portal that you will love. Our state-of-the-art agency portal allows you to manage your NEMT business 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. With this portal, policy changes can be made online at any time – day or night. This is essential in running a business that also operates 24/7.

We promise to do the leg work for you. We have built strong long term relationships with our carriers of paratransit insurance in order to find you the best policy to match your business needs. Our 35+ years experience in insuring commercial auto fleets makes American Business Insurance quick and efficient in finding the best carrier options.

Get a quote today!

Wisconsin Taxi Insurance: It’s Not What You Know, It’s Who You Know

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Wisconsin Taxi Insurance: It’s Not What You Know, It’s Who You Know

Written by Laura Loftus on Monday, June 24th, 2019

 

Northwoods Cab, LLC began working with American Business Insurance in 2015. At the time, he had 2 cars insured. Now, he services 6,000 trips per month and maintains about 15 taxis on the road at all times.

Finding the right broker to handle your Wisconsin Taxi Insurance is vital. Besides the fact that we’ve been one of the leading providers for those who need Wisconsin Taxi Insurance, we give you more than just an insurance policy.

Currently, we insure over 100 vehicles that require Wisconsin Taxi Insurance and because we have been working with both fleets and individual owner/operators for over 35 years, we have created an easy to use online portal for our customers to service their policies 24/7.

We also provide you with a live, customer service rep dedicated to servicing your policy and answering coverage questions during regular business hours. Choosing us as your broker means choosing a well-educated partner who truly understands your business.

 

Our goal is to keep your vehicles on the road, and your Wisconsin Taxi Insurance active

Aaron Schloemer from Northwoods Cab, LLC in Wasuau, WI has a fleet of about 15 taxi’s on the road. He has been a client of ours since 2015 and says that our online portal helps him to run his business.  Some brokers will require you to send changes to them via email or fax in writing. Then you’ll have to wait days for an approval or ID card. But our portal allows you to make these changes in an instant. Transportation companies often need replacement ID Cards in the middle of the night, need to change out a vehicle at a moment’s notice and switch drivers on their policies with little time to spare.

“We use the online portal and it work’s like a charm. It really helps us. When a cab breaks down, we can go on the portal and easily take it off and put it back on. It doesn’t matter what time of the day or night. Another great thing is being able to add drivers 24 hours per day. It’s easy to use and we use it as a point of reference many times. Say we want to make sure a cab is on, we can log into the portal and make sure it’s there. It makes it a lot easier to run the company having a 24/7 portal.”

Schloemer started Northwoods Cab, LLC about 4 1/2 years ago. He started out in the taxi industry the way many others do, by working for another local cab company in town. After gaining experience and traction, he originally started the business further north in Tomahawk, WI. Soon after, he transferred the business into the Wausau area where they currently service about 6,000 calls/trips per month.

 

Keeping up with the competition

Although Uber has a presence in his area, he says they haven’t affected his business too much because he is able to keep his prices low enough, where riding with him is cheaper than in an Uber. One way he has been able to keep prices down is by hiring his drivers as independent contractors. He pays them 70% of the sales per day, and charges a weekly lease fee.

Northwoods Cab owner Aaron Schloemer with his son at Disney World, in front of the “Cab Garage.” We’ve been servicing his Wisconsin Taxi Insurance policy for the past fours years.

“A lot of taxi cab companies that have contractors pay 50%, and that isn’t enough to have the drivers stay, pay their bills and make a good income,” Schloemer said.

Some people get into the business to become their own boss and they think it will be easy to run once the basics are set up – obtaining Wisconsin taxi insurance, hiring and training drivers as well as holding monthly safety meetings. But, it isn’t always as easy as it seems.

“Don’t do it if you don’t love people and hard work. Don’t do it if you don’t know how to make decisions and handle problems. Because you are going to have problems every day,” Schloemer shared.

Day to day in the taxi business

While operating a taxi company may seem easy enough, there are daily challenges Schloemer faces that he says others should be aware of before starting out in the industry.

“The hardest thing is maintaining the fleet. The vehicles do get beat up pretty quick. It’s essential to our business that we have at least 10 cars on standby, ready to go, in case one should break down.”

Many people would not think of owning and operating at taxi company as a public service. But Schloemer considers it just that.

“Taking care of people and helping people do tasks they might not otherwise be able to get done,” is one of the benefits Schloemer says he enjoys about owning a taxi company. “Without us, they might not be able to get to their job on time or make it to their dialysis appointment,” he said.

How much insurance do I need?

How much insurance you need to purchase will depend on the type of transportation business you have, and where you are operating. Most limousines, black car or private car service business are overseen by the WI DOT and depending on their seating capacities, determine the limit of insurance that is needed.

Insurance limit requirements for limo and black cars with seating capacities (including driver) listed below:

  • 8 or less require $300,000
  • 15 or less require $1,500,000
  • 16 or more require $5,000,000

While Limo and black car limits are more straightforward, Wisconsin Taxi Insurance limits vary by municipality. Below are some of the requirements for Wisconsin taxi insurance by city:

  • Madison, WI – $1,000,000
  • Manitowoc, WI
  • Menomonie, WI – $1,000,000
  • Milwaukee, WI – $50,000/100,000/10,000
  • Sheboygan, WI – $100,000/300,000/100,000
  • Superior, WI – $500,000

 

Above are just some of the state specific requirements. Don’t see what you are looking for? Contact us as we are the Wisconsin taxi insurance experts and know exactly where to find this information so you don’t have to!

We would love to bring down the cost of your current  policy! Request a quote online by clicking here: https://abiweb.com/services/taxicab-insurance/

You can also call us at (800) 980-1950 ext. 4

 

 

 

AB5: Another Battle For Taxicab Owners

 

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AB5: Another Battle for Taxicab Owners

Written by Laura Loftus

As if it isn’t hard enough for taxicab, limo and paratransit drivers competing against the Amazon.com’s of transportation – Uber & Lyft – those in California are about to potentially fight the greatest battle of them yet against AB5.

Recently, CA legislature passed and signed into law AB5 (Assembly Bill 5) which goes into effect on January 1, 2020. This bill will implement the ABC test when determining whether companies need to classify drivers as independent contractors or employees.

Lyft and UBER stickers on the rear window of a vehicle offering rides in San Francisco Bay Area car.

With taxicab and limo drivers already struggling, it seems unfathomable that CA government would make it  more difficult for professionals to operate. But many people in the taxi and limo industry are worried about potential changes they will need to make within their business.

As a commercial insurance broker, specializing in Livery, For-Hire Insurance for those in the taxicab, limo, paratransit, shared economy and on demand delivery spaces – I hear it first hand on a day to day basis how they are affected by Uber and Lyft. They are upset that those companies don’t have to adhere to the same licensing, permitting and insurance requirements that they do. And now, they might be forced to provide Workers Compensation insurance for all “gig-economy” workers – which many taxi drivers claim to be.

This potential added expense could do more harm than good, in an already difficult marketplace.

How AB5 will work

In California, AB5 will implement a three-part “ABC” test. This test will be used to established if a worker is an employee or independent contractor. If a worker is an employee, they need to have Workers Compensation insurance along with medical benefits and paid sick days. The law also states that all workers will be considered an employee of the company unless they can prove:

  • (A) the worker is free from the employer’s control and direction;
  • (B) the worker performs work that is outside the usual course of the company’s primary business; and
  • (C) the worker is not customarily engaged in the same trade, occupation, or business as the work they are hired to perform

If the company cannot prove all of these items, then the worker needs to be classified as an employee.

 

Will your taxicab company be affected by AB5?

For Chris Sweis, SF Yellow Cab has been a family business since 1983. Like many others in this industry, he is one of many across the country who grew up in the business.  It is often traditional for the business to be passed down from generation to generation.

Sweis, who is also President of the  Taxicab Paratransit Association of California, wants to work with CA Legislature to make sure taxicab drivers are exempt from AB5. Sweis said, “We don’t know if they are going to have to make any changes because taxi drivers still needs to be tested under the ABC test and a lot depends on how they are operating. If they are operating as a co-op, that makes a big difference. In SF, they have the medallions system. So, it really depends on how they are operating.”

Many taxi companies are structured as co-ops. This means each taxi driver is part owner of the company. Most are also made up of individual owner-operators who owns their own vehicle.

Under this structure, it could be considered that owners are able to exempt themselves from Work Comp insurance. In California, owners can exclude themselves from coverage under a work -comp policy. Since these co-op owners are not technically employees – they may not be affected by the AB5 bill.

Companies like SF Yellow Cab that operate under the medallion system, feel the same could be said for them as well. The taxicab company owns the medallion but leases it to the owner of the vehicle. They are basically renting out their operating authority. With a lease agreement in place – it might be enough to say the owner/operator of the vehicle is employing themselves.

 

Should AB5 apply to taxicab drivers?

Matthew Daus, Esq. who is the Partner and Chairman for Windels Marx Transportation Group in NYC and also President of the International Association of Transportation Regulators explains in more detail. He talked about identifying whether or not your taxi or limo company can continue to classify drivers as independent contractors.

He said, “Let’s say you operate a factory and you manufacture dolls and you have a broken door. You call a contractor to fix the door. The contractor is a handyman to fix facilities, not in the business of selling dolls. That situation would likely involve that worker being an independent contractor – not an employee.”

Some transportation companies are worried that their current business structure might be tested and disrupted. Currently, it is common for taxicab companies to classify their drivers as “independent contractors.”

“I think the taxi and limo industry needs to mobilize like they’ve never had to before in order to be exempt from AB5. They should be making the argument that they’ve been decimated by Uber and Lyft for years and they need an exemption,” Daus said.

“And with the entire taxi industry struggling – I don’t think that is what the legislature wanted. Most people feel bad about what happened to those in the taxi industry. It’s time for the legislature to level the playing field,” Daus also said.

 

What can you do?

TPAC is trying to get in front of CA legislature to help determine how the state of California can still implement this bill but not negatively impact the already struggling taxi industry.

It is important to do what you can to voice your opinion in protecting the transportation industry.

Sweis said TPAC could use help from fellow taxicab owners throughout the country. “If they operate in a state that has an ABC test and there is some kind of law or legislature or court cases that exempts their drivers from an ABC test being independent contractors, whether on state or local level – that would be extremely helpful.”

Sweis asked that if you have anything to provide that might be helpful, to email directly at [email protected] .

A New Kind of Work Comp Insurance

With AB5 passing in California, those in taxi and limo business may need to start purchasing Work Comp insurance for their drivers come January 2020. Dave Haley, CEO of American Business Insurance is working on a cost-effective solution.

“Everyone is really worried about AB5 and they don’t know what to do,” Haley said.

As of today, the standard markets for Work Comp are not cheap. With the future of taxi and limo drivers at the forefront, Haley is working on a technology-based Work Comp product. His goal is to offer a product that is cost effective and easy to use.

“This new work comp product will offer a large savings for taxi and limo drivers. Compared to the work comp products currently available, our InsureTech solution will turn the traditional work comp system on its head.”

If  you need Work Comp for your transportation business, give us a call or email us. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Five Most Important Cannabis Business Software Purchases

Five Most Important Cannabis Business Software Purchases

Occasionally, American Business Insurance Services, Inc. hosts guest blogs from our partners who want to discuss the specifics of their services and the benefits they bring to customers. This blog features our partner Cue Cannabis, a Colorado based software company that allows cannabis businesses to purchase and manage various software and services to help run their company.

The legal marijuana industry is expanding, one state at a time, across the US. But while there are many business opportunities in this industry, it can still be challenging for a new business owner to make a profit. Cannabis business owners face the same stresses as normal business owners, like hiring, budgeting, and tracking merchandise, while also dealing with different challenges like staying compliant with state legislation. 

Purchasing software and the technological infrastructure for your business may not initially seem like the most interesting pursuit, but having the right set up will enhance the day-to-day efficiency of your business. At CUE Cannabis, we speak to many customers who don’t know where to start when it comes to purchasing software or setting up cameras and phone lines. It is an area where all business owners, from dispensaries to cultivators, or extractors, might struggle to find something that is right for their business. 

We’ve created a ‘hierarchy of software needs’ to help business owners prioritize their purchases. Further, each area of purchase comes with a few key questions that you can ask as a business owner in order to understand what might work best for your business. We’ll take you through the first three levels of this ‘hierarchy of software needs’ to help you with important business decisions.

1. Foundational software is critical for day-to-day operations

We designated a ‘foundational software’ category to include both software and infrastructure that is most important for day-to-day operations. In this category there is accounting, data security, compliance, and sales software like point-of-sale or seed-to-sale depending on your business. As the name suggests, laying the foundation for a successful operation will make the day-to-day of running your business more efficiently. When purchasing ‘foundational’ software, there are a few things to look for:

Accounting: Check with your accounting before deciding what to you because while many accountants can work with any software, some need you to have a program that is compatible with what they are already using. Also, if you don’t have an accountant, get one because it will make your life easier. 

Point-of-Sale: The hardware part of this software e.g. tablets, scanners, etc. can be a costly investment, but one great way to create some flexibility in your budget is by using a point of sale system that offers a month-by-month plan, which can make it easier for newer businesses. 

Data security: Cannabis is a highly regulated industry, meaning a lot of data is being collected. Understanding how your software is collecting and storing data should be one of the major questions you are asking. Consider what data practices you’ll have to store or transfer employee and customer information. 

A word about Technology and Infrastructure

Depending on the state requirements for your business, your building design, or the type of business you are running, technology and infrastructure will be an important ‘foundational’ piece. Examples of this could include purchasing security cameras for the business, which depending on your state of operation may be a legal requirement or just a good idea. Another element of technology to consider is the wifi and phone systems that will run your point-of-sale or help your employees get online.

Important questions to ask center around understanding how employees will work in the building and accomplish their jobs; depending on the business the use cases can be varied and complicated. Our biggest recommendation when considering the technology or infrastructure for your business is to consider an experienced partner who has extensive experience understanding not just the technology but how people will engage with it on a day-to-day basis. 

2. Other important software to make your business run efficiently

The aforementioned software is incredibly important for the operation of your business and the next category of software in the ‘hierarchy of needs’ will not only help you but also your employees. I’m talking specifically about HR, Payroll, and collaboration software like GSuite or Slack. The most important feature to consider across all this software is how ‘user-friendly’ is it, and how will it impact the employees that are using it (as well as yourself). 

When considering HR and Payroll software, for example, ask yourself questions like: Does this software integrating with my accounting software in order to manage payroll? Is it easy for managers and employees to access information? Does this software offer benefits that are easy to manage? 

With Collaboration software like Slack, GSuite, or other messaging tools, ask yourself about how your employees work and when they will engage with the software: are they mobile or office-based? What tasks do they need to do? 

HR, Payroll, and Collaboration software are crucial for the day-to-day running of your business. Ensuring that you hire the right people, pay them for their work and provide the tools to work effectively will contribute directly to the growth potential of the company. 

3. Improve your business with Data Analytics

After you have the right software, the next step is to make that software work for you. What I mean by this is understanding what information your software is collecting and how to use that to improve your business outcome. For example, consider your point-of-sale or seed-to-sale data to look at what products are doing well, and or what is not. Most business owners don’t realize how much data their business generates and what the possibilities are with this information. There are some amazing tools specifically designed for cannabis business owners that can help you analyze and visualize business data. 

We hope this discussion of foundational cannabis business software will give you a better understanding of how to make a purchase, but also what questions to ask when conducting research. If you want this checklist  

Now that you have a better understanding of how to prioritize your software and technology purchases, as well as what questions you can ask as you research. If you want to know more about the next levels of the ‘software hierarchy of needs,’ you can download your own guide here. 

About the Author: 

Fiona Foster is Marketing Manager for CUE Cannabis. She is also part of the CUE Expert team that advises business owners on how to find the best software and services for their company. 

UBI Telematics: The New Industry Standard

Written by Laura Loftus on September 18th, 2019

UBI Insurance is currently reserved for companies with access to the minimum annual premium of $100,000.  This is not a program for TNC operators, owner/operators with one car and is geared towards larger companies involved with providing services for the sharing economy.  GET A QUOTE

Usage Based Insurance (UBI telematics) products entered the personal auto marketplace some time ago. But it is a new concept for commercial auto policies. Whether you own and operate one vehicle in a small rural town, or a large fleet in an urban area –  insurance companies are always looking for ways to gain more business and limit their own risk. As a result, more and more insurance companies are offering UBI telematics to commercial fleets.

History of UBI Telematics

UBI telematics became popular with the invent of Transportation Network Companies like Uber and Lyft. As these types of companies grew the insurance industry responded by offering more options for UBI telematics. Companies like James River were one of the first to offer pay-per-mile or pay-as-you-drive plans. This got the rest of the world thinking. If Uber and Lyft can pay per mile, why can’t other transportation businesses obtain the same type of UBI telematics?

One reason UBI telematics was more easily implemented for Transportation Network Companies like Uber and Lyft is because the insurance company is not “on the risk” all the time. Most of these drivers carry their own personal auto policies. So, the TNC insurance is only “on” when the driver is logged into the app.

With the popularity of TNCs, it has affected the amount business taxi and limo companies are able to achieve. Traditional companies need to evolve in order to compete against Uber and Lyft. One way to do this, is to lower their costs with a UBI telematics policy.

How Pay-Per-Mile Insurance Works

UBI telematics works in many different ways.  The first is that you are provided with a device that plugs into the OBD port of your car. The device captures and reports mileage automatically to the insurance company. You are then billed at the agreed upon per-mile rate.

Another way mileage is captured and reported to insurance companies is through SDK integration of an app you might be using for dispatching of vehicles.

In the past, most for-hire, livery risks were charged a flat annual rate. It did not matter how many hours you spent on the road. It also didn’t matter how many miles you drove each month. But, now that UBI telematics is becoming more popular, many companies are offering this structure as an alternative.  Additionally, while most of the other personal auto insurance markets may provide this type of pricing structure, most do not capture driver analytics to help you coach and manage drivers.

UBI Telematics from American Business Insurance

As a UBI insurance broker, we are always looking for and creating solutions that are easy for our clients to use. As a result, we have created our own dashboard which captures the trends and habits of your drivers. Some UBI telematics structures actually charge different rates per driver and many will adjust the price mid-term (up and down) based on driver behavior.

Distracted driving is a problem that most UBI insurance brokers are trying to combat. By integrating telematics elements into pricing and policies, we are able to not only reduce the amount of money you are spending each year for insurance but also provide you with tools to limit risk to those markets.

Some of the data UBI telematics products capture include not only miles driven, but also:

  • Hard-braking incidents
  • G-Force of accidents
  • Hard-cornering
  • Excessive speed
  • Following too closely

By carefully managing and coaching drivers of bad driving habits before accidents occur, you keep your loss history low and your premiums lower.

UBI Telematics per Contract

While above options describe UBI telematics for all operations, we can also work with you to limit coverages on a per contract basis. What this means, is that sometimes the City or State will require a minimum auto limit of $100,000. But you want to obtain a contract to transport patients to and from doctor appointments. Most likely, that contract will require your fleet to have a limit of $1,000,000 or higher. Instead of providing you with a quote that increases the cost for the entire policy to $1M limit – we can write a separate excess policy that bills you by trip, or by mile for the contract only.

Another way to limit coverage is if for example your city requires the same $100k limit mentioned above, but you drop off at the airport who requires $1,000,000 while on airport property. Instead of increasing the premium for the policy to be $1M all the time, we can charge less of an increase by endorsing the policy to provide the higher limit while only on airport property.

How Does this Benefit Business Owners?

The secret to any business is operating at profitable margins. By keeping insurance costs low, commercial fleet owners are able to put money back into their business for advertising, newer vehicles, maintenance and repair. Also, driver morale will improve because they will know that their good driving habits will be recognized and, in many cases, rewarded.

UBI Insurance is currently reserved for companies with access to the minimum annual premium of $100,000.  This is not a program for TNC operators, owner/operators with one car and is geared towards larger companies involved with providing services for the sharing economy.  GET A QUOTE

Uber Freight and Commercial Trucking Insurance

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Uber Freight and Commercial Trucking Insurance

In May of 2017, Uber launched one of their newest services Uber Freight. Uber Freight is an exciting, new trucking app that matches vetted drivers with long-haul routes. The app allows drivers or dispatchers to book and confirm routes with the tap of a button. They have the choice to filter the routes they search for by pickup, destination, the offered price, and other factors. Uber Freight is designed to work for carriers of any size. Although, the service is particularly attractive to small fleets and independent owner-operators. In order for trucking fleets and owner-operators to work with Uber Freight they need to have the proper Commercial Trucking Insurance.

 

How Does Uber Freight Work? What are the advantages?

Uber Freight was created with the business model to appeal to smaller fleets and independent truck drivers. Therefore, the app is designed to give more power to operators and solve many problems drivers have with traditional freight brokerage. Before Uber Freight, drivers or Uber Freightoperators would have to make multiple calls to schedule loads. Now the booking process is streamlined. Booking is made simple through the app. As easy as Uber makes it to schedule a car to pick you up on the curb, they make it just as convenient for commercial truck drivers to schedule loads and routes.

Another problem drivers have with traditional methods are delayed payment. The standard for payment is 30 to 60 days, but with Uber Freight drivers can receive payment about seven days after completion. This allows small trucking fleets or owner-operators to continuously operate at full capacity when repairs and other issues arise. A third problem Uber Freight solves is the problem of deadhead miles. Deadhead miles are the number of miles commercial truck drivers drive from the point of unload to the point where their new load is ready to pickup. Uber Freight accounts for this and compensates drivers. Furthermore, the app also features a “Take Me Home”. This setting helps drivers book loads that will take them back home while still earning income.

Uber Freight is still in its beginning years, but with the way they are operating and handling freight brokerage, they are hoping to transform the industry. They are positioning themselves as a drivers first service. They believe that when drivers are empowered and delivery is more efficient all businesses run better. Take a look at the partnership that Uber Freight has with Ocean Spray, and you’ll see how this new service works.

Commercial Trucking Insurance 

As Uber Freight is very much geared towards smaller fleets for the time being, operators need to do all they can to protect their small businesses. We at American Business Insurance Services, Inc. are here to help. Commercial Trucking Insurance or Delivery Insurance is tremendously important to the safety and security of drivers, their freight, and their business. If you are thinking about contracting through Uber Freight, you will have to have the proper insurance coverage. At American Business Insurance Services, Inc. we shop all the currently competitive markets for you. By doing this we can find you the best coverage to fit your specific needs in the commercial trucking industry. 

 

Why You Need Coverage?

American Business Insurance Services, Inc. has identified the Uber Freight business model as one that will likely transform the way the freight delivery industry operates. The seamless Uber Freightadaption of this technology to all types of businesses, that have shipping needs, has allowed for convenience of scheduling, more carrier options for businesses, and expedited delivery.

Our team of licensed brokers are well aware of the coverage you will need as a delivery fleet or owner-operator service. Furthermore, some of the common types of coverage that apply to delivery and commercial trucking businesses are:

  • Auto Liability to protect bodily injury of all parties
  • (Auto)Property Damage to cover damage to property
  • Comprehensive & Collision to protect against most causes of loss to your vehicle(s)
  • Personal Injury or Medical Coverage
  • Cargo Coverage

Contacting American Business Insurance Services, Inc. will guarantee that you are fully covered under a commercial auto policy and allow you to operate your fleet with Uber Freight.

Why American Business Insurance Services, Inc.?

At American Business Insurance Services, Inc., our goal is to build long lasting, valued and trusted relationships. Our mission is to create an understanding with our clients that they are at the forefront of our business. Consequently, we strive to make sure we know our clients business thoroughly to create a true partnership. American Business Insurance Services, Inc. is committed to professional excellence, delivering on commitments on time and of the highest caliber. Therefore, we use only the best practices in the industry. Through our stringent processes and systems we let you operate your commercial trucking or delivery service with confidence.

In conclusion, the Uber Freight business model could transform the way trucking operates and we understand that. As the business changes we at American Business Insurance Services, Inc. adapt with the change to provide the best types of coverage for clients.

To get a quote for your commercial trucking fleet or delivery service Click Here.

 

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American Business Insurance Services, Inc

PERIOD X™ Fleet Management Software with Insurance Built In

Period X™ Quote

What is Period X™ insurance and how does it work to help you manage your fleet?

American Business Insurance Services, Inc. developed Period X™ for fleet owners or individuals that are renting their cars out on a car sharing platform. This applies to platforms such as Turo, HyreCar or GetAround.  This coverage comes with fleet management software through a web-based dashboard at no extra cost to your policy. This fleet management software comes with tools to ensure your fleet is running at maximum efficiency. When managing your fleet that operates through a Transportation Network Company, the coverage is usually provided to the renter through TNC Provider Insurance. It is important for fleet operators to know that insurance is not supplied through TNC Provider Insurance when the car is not rented out. Of course you want to make sure your car is covered at all times. That’s where our proprietary Period X™ insurance coverage comes into play.

 

 

What a Period X™ Insurance Policy Provides

Our Period X™ Insurance policy provides more than the minimum state limits in
almost all 50 states. A comprehensive insurance product to cover fleets that
are being rented out on Peer to Peer (P2P) rental platforms such as the ones mentioned above. Our product is one of a kind. If you are renting your vehicles out on P2P rental platforms PERSONAL INSURANCE DOES NOT COVER YOU for this type of business model.

fleet management

An insurance policy with fleet management software

We didn’t stop at just putting the Period X™ insurance product together, we did a lot more.  Every Period X™ policy holder receives a proprietary device for each vehicle that they insure. This includes a fleet management web-based dashboard to manage your fleet.  It would be one thing just to have proper coverage that nobody can offer, but below are some of the additional services we provide as part of this coverage:

  • Ability to add/delete vehicles online

  • GPS track each and every car at all times

  • Check billing

  • Access ID cards and so much more fleet management tools

Period X™ is fleet tracking with the insurance built in!

Why we created Period X™ with fleet management software

As usual, the best place to start is always the beginning. To make a long story much shorter, in the beginning there were taxicabs. When taxicabs were the only animal of their kind roaming the earth, life was simple and there was only one period of time. Things were pretty easy. If you needed insurance for a taxicab, you got a taxicab insurance policy that covered that taxi company 24 hours a day, end of story. fleet management software

Then, not too long ago, something called Uber and Lyft came onto the scene.  All of the sudden, things got complicated really fast in the insurance world.  These companies found that if they divided their insurance policy into separate periods of time, and that each period had a coverage limit assigned to it. This made it possible to reduce their exposure (and their insurance premiums) to maximize profits.

Then, we had another new company (HyreCar) facilitating TNC rentals between rideshare drivers that needed cars and vehicle owners who wanted to make money by providing those cars.  The term peer-to-peer rentals was coined.  

A New Problem Arises

Initially, the idea was that personal insurance would cover the party that was renting their vehicle out to the TNC drivers as long as they only had one or two cars. It did not take long for vehicle owners to see that they were netting $700+ a month per car. Seeing such great results, this resulted in the vehicle owners adding more and more cars until they had fleets. Vehicle owners now had 10, 20, or even 30+ cars, which is not covered by personal auto insurance. This issue lead to the need for the Period X™ product to be created since personal insurance doesn’t cover fleets that are primarily used to make money via rental app platforms and especially not TNC rentals.

Napkin math ensued and a new problem emerged: 

“How do I place insurance on my fleet of cars under an LLC or Corp and keep my personal lines insurance pricing?”  

The answer to that question is: Period X™ Insurance!  Our agency was the brains behind this exciting new insurance product. We are now positioned to bring it to the masses! Now, fleet owners who place their inventory on platforms such as; HyreCar, Turo, GetAround & similar peer-to-peer rental platforms have access to a reasonably priced app-based insuranceinsurance product that covers their fleet for only the period of time when the vehicle is not rented out and is being serviced and maintained to ready the car for the next rental.  

There are articles upon articles online in regards to Periods 1,2 & 3 and why they are the way they are. The basic idea is that when a rideshare driver has the rideshare app off, then the rideshare company has no involvement in what that driver does with their car. This results in no insurance for that period of time.  The instant the rideshare app is on and the driver is engaged with it, Period 1, 2 & 3 begins and typically state minimum auto liability limits apply.

fleet management software

 

Breaking down insurance policies divided into separate periods of time:

After the app is turned on and driver is engaged with Period 1, they scan for rides
they’d like to take. The instant the driver accepts a ride, they have entered Period 2. The insurance coverage offered by the rideshare providers increases a bit more to cover incidents that might occur while the driver is on their way to pick up a passenger.

insurance policy

The last (for now) action involved in a typical rideshare exchange is that the driver arrives at the pick-up destination. The instant the passenger(s) get into the driver’s car, Period 3 is activated. 

TNC insurance policy

Period 3 typically involves $1,000,000 of auto liability coverage via the rideshare company insurance policy. This is the riskiest period of time, because any accident occurring during that period fully engages the rideshare provider and all participants involved with that ride.

Period Policies for Commercial Auto Working Together

The “Period 1,2 & 3” policy setup is now the industry standard for app-based transportation companies that offer rides as a service. Now with American Business Insurance Services, Inc. Period X™ insurance coverage, fleet managers are able to go beyond the industry standard. With our Period X™, coverage never slips through the cracks making sure your TNC fleet is protected at all times.

After Uber & Lyft had been around for a couple of years, opportunity-minded people started to notice the great deal of demand for vehicles from drivers who wanted to make money driving for TNC companies, but did not have the means to purchase, lease or finance a vehicle for various reasons.

A few select companies have established a niche in this territory and filled this demand successfully.  These companies didn’t only see this driver need for vehicle inventory in the marketplace. They saw plenty of regular people out there that are not always driving their personal vehicles, or who were interested in purchasing vehicles for the sole reason of renting them out to TNC drivers who needed them. This is an industry that expected to have rapid growth. When creating a TNC company having the proper policy coverage protects your business and livelihood. 

Contact Us For Full Details on Period X™ and our Fleet Tracking Software

We’d love to tell you everything about this program because we’re SO excited about this new product. We can’t just give away all our secrets at once, can we? What we can tell you is that we’re open in most U.S. states, have a full-time I.T. department dedicated to continuously evolving the technology behind this product. Our experienced team of licensed professionals are excited to talk to you about how you can get Period X™ Insurance on your fleet. Give us a call today! Let’s solve your fleet insurance / management problems so you can get back out there and make some money!

Call Today: (800) 980-1950

https://abiweb.com/

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Paratransit Service Insurance in California

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Paratransit Service Insurance in California for Company Fleet of 15+ Vehicles

We all have loved ones, that at one time or another, are in need of consistent medical care. Whether they be our aging grandparents, parents, or even our in-laws- we want the best care for them. But the thing is people are busy. We can’t always find the time to escort our loved ones to doctor appointments and other medical treatment centers. Although, there are ways to make this process a little easier. Many families, hospitals, and doctor offices turn to Paratransit Service or Non-Emergency Medical Transportation (NEMT) providers to fill this need.

paratransit service

The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, made paratransit service a daily reality for many Americans with disabilities. By providing transportation for those with disabilities, paratransit services are paramount to the well-being and mobility of thousands of Americans.

California NEMT and Background

In California, the major hubs are Los Angeles, San Diego, San Jose, and San Francisco. There are over 7 million people in these cities. Many of the elderly people living here need transportation to medical centers at all hours of the day. 

Even for those who are fortunate enough to have loved ones to drive them around, it’s not always convenient. Everyone living in these cities knows that traffic is horrendous, finding parking is a nightmare, and a whole day could be filled with a doctor’s visit.

This is when paratransit service or NEMT comes into play. There are many paratransit agencies that operate fleets of 15+ vehicles in California that American Business Insurance Services, Inc. works with to provide the best available coverage. Those seeking transportation are able to be picked up at their specific location and then the NEMT vehicle discharges passengers on request at various hospitals or medical centers. Having the right paratransit fleet insurance is essential in making sure your business and customers are covered in case of an incident. 

When customers are looking to choose a paratransit service or agency to be responsible for their loved ones, they will be looking into the NEMT company to make sure their loved one is going to be safe and protected.  American Business Insurance Services, Inc. provides NEMT insurance to companies nationwide creating customized policies to best serve our clients needs.

How to Decide on Paratransit/ NEMT Insurance For Your Company Fleetparatransit service

There are a lot of factors that go into finding the best insurance coverage for your Paratransit Company’s large fleet. Therefore, prepare to answer a few questions when working with American Business Insurance to find you the best quote to match your business needs. 

  • Do your vehicles have lifts or ramps? 
  • Do your vehicles include backup cameras? 
  • Are the majority of your trips for passengers ambulatory or non-ambulatory? 
  • Do you contract with LogistiCare or other providers with strict insurance requirements?

Insurance companies ask these questions to ensure you are fully covered under your policy. At American Business Insurance Services, Inc., we guarantee the most thorough coverage for your large fleet. Furthermore, we have trained professionals who will take care of everything, and will guide you through the process of properly insuring your NEMT fleet most efficiently!

Why You (the Paratransit service/agency) Need Full Coverage

Having the proper paratransit or NEMT insurance is critical to operating a successful transportation business. The services that paratransit automobile fleets accomplish for those in need is truly life changing and deserves insurance that is equally up to par.

Moreover, the reason you (the Paratransit service/agency) need NEMT fleet insurance is to ensure the safety and reliability of your paratransit service company, protecting your passengers and your business.

Paratransit/NEMT Insurance at American Business Insurance Services, Inc.

paratransit service

At American Business Insurance Services, Inc., our goal is to build long lasting, valued and trusted relationships. Our mission is to create an understanding with our clients because we want them to know they are at the forefront of our business. American Business Insurance Services, Inc. is committed to professional excellence, delivering on commitments on time, and of the highest caliber. In addition, we use only the best practices in the industry through our stringent processes and systems that let you operate your California paratransit service company with confidence.

Furthermore, most agencies take days or even weeks to process a vehicle or driver change on your Paratransit policy. At American Business Insurance Services, Inc. we have a fast, easy, and user-friendly online customer portal that you will love. Our state-of-the-art agency portal allows you to manage your NEMT business 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. With this portal, policy changes can be made online at any time – day or night. This is essential in running a business that also operates 24/7.

We promise to do the leg work for you. We have built strong long term relationships with our carriers of paratransit insurance in order to find you the best policy to match your business needs. Our 35+ years experience in insuring commercial auto fleets makes American Business Insurance quick and efficient in finding the best carrier options.

Get a quote today!

Wisconsin Taxi Insurance: It’s Not What You Know, It’s Who You Know

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Wisconsin Taxi Insurance: It’s Not What You Know, It’s Who You Know

Written by Laura Loftus on Monday, June 24th, 2019

 

Northwoods Cab, LLC began working with American Business Insurance in 2015. At the time, he had 2 cars insured. Now, he services 6,000 trips per month and maintains about 15 taxis on the road at all times.

Finding the right broker to handle your Wisconsin Taxi Insurance is vital. Besides the fact that we’ve been one of the leading providers for those who need Wisconsin Taxi Insurance, we give you more than just an insurance policy.

Currently, we insure over 100 vehicles that require Wisconsin Taxi Insurance and because we have been working with both fleets and individual owner/operators for over 35 years, we have created an easy to use online portal for our customers to service their policies 24/7.

We also provide you with a live, customer service rep dedicated to servicing your policy and answering coverage questions during regular business hours. Choosing us as your broker means choosing a well-educated partner who truly understands your business.

 

Our goal is to keep your vehicles on the road, and your Wisconsin Taxi Insurance active

Aaron Schloemer from Northwoods Cab, LLC in Wasuau, WI has a fleet of about 15 taxi’s on the road. He has been a client of ours since 2015 and says that our online portal helps him to run his business.  Some brokers will require you to send changes to them via email or fax in writing. Then you’ll have to wait days for an approval or ID card. But our portal allows you to make these changes in an instant. Transportation companies often need replacement ID Cards in the middle of the night, need to change out a vehicle at a moment’s notice and switch drivers on their policies with little time to spare.

“We use the online portal and it work’s like a charm. It really helps us. When a cab breaks down, we can go on the portal and easily take it off and put it back on. It doesn’t matter what time of the day or night. Another great thing is being able to add drivers 24 hours per day. It’s easy to use and we use it as a point of reference many times. Say we want to make sure a cab is on, we can log into the portal and make sure it’s there. It makes it a lot easier to run the company having a 24/7 portal.”

Schloemer started Northwoods Cab, LLC about 4 1/2 years ago. He started out in the taxi industry the way many others do, by working for another local cab company in town. After gaining experience and traction, he originally started the business further north in Tomahawk, WI. Soon after, he transferred the business into the Wausau area where they currently service about 6,000 calls/trips per month.

 

Keeping up with the competition

Although Uber has a presence in his area, he says they haven’t affected his business too much because he is able to keep his prices low enough, where riding with him is cheaper than in an Uber. One way he has been able to keep prices down is by hiring his drivers as independent contractors. He pays them 70% of the sales per day, and charges a weekly lease fee.

Northwoods Cab owner Aaron Schloemer with his son at Disney World, in front of the “Cab Garage.” We’ve been servicing his Wisconsin Taxi Insurance policy for the past fours years.

“A lot of taxi cab companies that have contractors pay 50%, and that isn’t enough to have the drivers stay, pay their bills and make a good income,” Schloemer said.

Some people get into the business to become their own boss and they think it will be easy to run once the basics are set up – obtaining Wisconsin taxi insurance, hiring and training drivers as well as holding monthly safety meetings. But, it isn’t always as easy as it seems.

“Don’t do it if you don’t love people and hard work. Don’t do it if you don’t know how to make decisions and handle problems. Because you are going to have problems every day,” Schloemer shared.

Day to day in the taxi business

While operating a taxi company may seem easy enough, there are daily challenges Schloemer faces that he says others should be aware of before starting out in the industry.

“The hardest thing is maintaining the fleet. The vehicles do get beat up pretty quick. It’s essential to our business that we have at least 10 cars on standby, ready to go, in case one should break down.”

Many people would not think of owning and operating at taxi company as a public service. But Schloemer considers it just that.

“Taking care of people and helping people do tasks they might not otherwise be able to get done,” is one of the benefits Schloemer says he enjoys about owning a taxi company. “Without us, they might not be able to get to their job on time or make it to their dialysis appointment,” he said.

How much insurance do I need?

How much insurance you need to purchase will depend on the type of transportation business you have, and where you are operating. Most limousines, black car or private car service business are overseen by the WI DOT and depending on their seating capacities, determine the limit of insurance that is needed.

Insurance limit requirements for limo and black cars with seating capacities (including driver) listed below:

  • 8 or less require $300,000
  • 15 or less require $1,500,000
  • 16 or more require $5,000,000

While Limo and black car limits are more straightforward, Wisconsin Taxi Insurance limits vary by municipality. Below are some of the requirements for Wisconsin taxi insurance by city:

  • Madison, WI – $1,000,000
  • Manitowoc, WI
  • Menomonie, WI – $1,000,000
  • Milwaukee, WI – $50,000/100,000/10,000
  • Sheboygan, WI – $100,000/300,000/100,000
  • Superior, WI – $500,000

 

Above are just some of the state specific requirements. Don’t see what you are looking for? Contact us as we are the Wisconsin taxi insurance experts and know exactly where to find this information so you don’t have to!

We would love to bring down the cost of your current  policy! Request a quote online by clicking here: https://abiweb.com/services/taxicab-insurance/

You can also call us at (800) 980-1950 ext. 4

 

 

 

AB5: Another Battle For Taxicab Owners

 

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AB5: Another Battle for Taxicab Owners

Written by Laura Loftus

As if it isn’t hard enough for taxicab, limo and paratransit drivers competing against the Amazon.com’s of transportation – Uber & Lyft – those in California are about to potentially fight the greatest battle of them yet against AB5.

Recently, CA legislature passed and signed into law AB5 (Assembly Bill 5) which goes into effect on January 1, 2020. This bill will implement the ABC test when determining whether companies need to classify drivers as independent contractors or employees.

Lyft and UBER stickers on the rear window of a vehicle offering rides in San Francisco Bay Area car.

With taxicab and limo drivers already struggling, it seems unfathomable that CA government would make it  more difficult for professionals to operate. But many people in the taxi and limo industry are worried about potential changes they will need to make within their business.

As a commercial insurance broker, specializing in Livery, For-Hire Insurance for those in the taxicab, limo, paratransit, shared economy and on demand delivery spaces – I hear it first hand on a day to day basis how they are affected by Uber and Lyft. They are upset that those companies don’t have to adhere to the same licensing, permitting and insurance requirements that they do. And now, they might be forced to provide Workers Compensation insurance for all “gig-economy” workers – which many taxi drivers claim to be.

This potential added expense could do more harm than good, in an already difficult marketplace.

How AB5 will work

In California, AB5 will implement a three-part “ABC” test. This test will be used to established if a worker is an employee or independent contractor. If a worker is an employee, they need to have Workers Compensation insurance along with medical benefits and paid sick days. The law also states that all workers will be considered an employee of the company unless they can prove:

  • (A) the worker is free from the employer’s control and direction;
  • (B) the worker performs work that is outside the usual course of the company’s primary business; and
  • (C) the worker is not customarily engaged in the same trade, occupation, or business as the work they are hired to perform

If the company cannot prove all of these items, then the worker needs to be classified as an employee.

 

Will your taxicab company be affected by AB5?

For Chris Sweis, SF Yellow Cab has been a family business since 1983. Like many others in this industry, he is one of many across the country who grew up in the business.  It is often traditional for the business to be passed down from generation to generation.

Sweis, who is also President of the  Taxicab Paratransit Association of California, wants to work with CA Legislature to make sure taxicab drivers are exempt from AB5. Sweis said, “We don’t know if they are going to have to make any changes because taxi drivers still needs to be tested under the ABC test and a lot depends on how they are operating. If they are operating as a co-op, that makes a big difference. In SF, they have the medallions system. So, it really depends on how they are operating.”

Many taxi companies are structured as co-ops. This means each taxi driver is part owner of the company. Most are also made up of individual owner-operators who owns their own vehicle.

Under this structure, it could be considered that owners are able to exempt themselves from Work Comp insurance. In California, owners can exclude themselves from coverage under a work -comp policy. Since these co-op owners are not technically employees – they may not be affected by the AB5 bill.

Companies like SF Yellow Cab that operate under the medallion system, feel the same could be said for them as well. The taxicab company owns the medallion but leases it to the owner of the vehicle. They are basically renting out their operating authority. With a lease agreement in place – it might be enough to say the owner/operator of the vehicle is employing themselves.

 

Should AB5 apply to taxicab drivers?

Matthew Daus, Esq. who is the Partner and Chairman for Windels Marx Transportation Group in NYC and also President of the International Association of Transportation Regulators explains in more detail. He talked about identifying whether or not your taxi or limo company can continue to classify drivers as independent contractors.

He said, “Let’s say you operate a factory and you manufacture dolls and you have a broken door. You call a contractor to fix the door. The contractor is a handyman to fix facilities, not in the business of selling dolls. That situation would likely involve that worker being an independent contractor – not an employee.”

Some transportation companies are worried that their current business structure might be tested and disrupted. Currently, it is common for taxicab companies to classify their drivers as “independent contractors.”

“I think the taxi and limo industry needs to mobilize like they’ve never had to before in order to be exempt from AB5. They should be making the argument that they’ve been decimated by Uber and Lyft for years and they need an exemption,” Daus said.

“And with the entire taxi industry struggling – I don’t think that is what the legislature wanted. Most people feel bad about what happened to those in the taxi industry. It’s time for the legislature to level the playing field,” Daus also said.

 

What can you do?

TPAC is trying to get in front of CA legislature to help determine how the state of California can still implement this bill but not negatively impact the already struggling taxi industry.

It is important to do what you can to voice your opinion in protecting the transportation industry.

Sweis said TPAC could use help from fellow taxicab owners throughout the country. “If they operate in a state that has an ABC test and there is some kind of law or legislature or court cases that exempts their drivers from an ABC test being independent contractors, whether on state or local level – that would be extremely helpful.”

Sweis asked that if you have anything to provide that might be helpful, to email directly at [email protected] .

A New Kind of Work Comp Insurance

With AB5 passing in California, those in taxi and limo business may need to start purchasing Work Comp insurance for their drivers come January 2020. Dave Haley, CEO of American Business Insurance is working on a cost-effective solution.

“Everyone is really worried about AB5 and they don’t know what to do,” Haley said.

As of today, the standard markets for Work Comp are not cheap. With the future of taxi and limo drivers at the forefront, Haley is working on a technology-based Work Comp product. His goal is to offer a product that is cost effective and easy to use.

“This new work comp product will offer a large savings for taxi and limo drivers. Compared to the work comp products currently available, our InsureTech solution will turn the traditional work comp system on its head.”

If  you need Work Comp for your transportation business, give us a call or email us. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Five Most Important Cannabis Business Software Purchases

Five Most Important Cannabis Business Software Purchases

Occasionally, American Business Insurance Services, Inc. hosts guest blogs from our partners who want to discuss the specifics of their services and the benefits they bring to customers. This blog features our partner Cue Cannabis, a Colorado based software company that allows cannabis businesses to purchase and manage various software and services to help run their company.

The legal marijuana industry is expanding, one state at a time, across the US. But while there are many business opportunities in this industry, it can still be challenging for a new business owner to make a profit. Cannabis business owners face the same stresses as normal business owners, like hiring, budgeting, and tracking merchandise, while also dealing with different challenges like staying compliant with state legislation. 

Purchasing software and the technological infrastructure for your business may not initially seem like the most interesting pursuit, but having the right set up will enhance the day-to-day efficiency of your business. At CUE Cannabis, we speak to many customers who don’t know where to start when it comes to purchasing software or setting up cameras and phone lines. It is an area where all business owners, from dispensaries to cultivators, or extractors, might struggle to find something that is right for their business. 

We’ve created a ‘hierarchy of software needs’ to help business owners prioritize their purchases. Further, each area of purchase comes with a few key questions that you can ask as a business owner in order to understand what might work best for your business. We’ll take you through the first three levels of this ‘hierarchy of software needs’ to help you with important business decisions.

1. Foundational software is critical for day-to-day operations

We designated a ‘foundational software’ category to include both software and infrastructure that is most important for day-to-day operations. In this category there is accounting, data security, compliance, and sales software like point-of-sale or seed-to-sale depending on your business. As the name suggests, laying the foundation for a successful operation will make the day-to-day of running your business more efficiently. When purchasing ‘foundational’ software, there are a few things to look for:

Accounting: Check with your accounting before deciding what to you because while many accountants can work with any software, some need you to have a program that is compatible with what they are already using. Also, if you don’t have an accountant, get one because it will make your life easier. 

Point-of-Sale: The hardware part of this software e.g. tablets, scanners, etc. can be a costly investment, but one great way to create some flexibility in your budget is by using a point of sale system that offers a month-by-month plan, which can make it easier for newer businesses. 

Data security: Cannabis is a highly regulated industry, meaning a lot of data is being collected. Understanding how your software is collecting and storing data should be one of the major questions you are asking. Consider what data practices you’ll have to store or transfer employee and customer information. 

A word about Technology and Infrastructure

Depending on the state requirements for your business, your building design, or the type of business you are running, technology and infrastructure will be an important ‘foundational’ piece. Examples of this could include purchasing security cameras for the business, which depending on your state of operation may be a legal requirement or just a good idea. Another element of technology to consider is the wifi and phone systems that will run your point-of-sale or help your employees get online.

Important questions to ask center around understanding how employees will work in the building and accomplish their jobs; depending on the business the use cases can be varied and complicated. Our biggest recommendation when considering the technology or infrastructure for your business is to consider an experienced partner who has extensive experience understanding not just the technology but how people will engage with it on a day-to-day basis. 

2. Other important software to make your business run efficiently

The aforementioned software is incredibly important for the operation of your business and the next category of software in the ‘hierarchy of needs’ will not only help you but also your employees. I’m talking specifically about HR, Payroll, and collaboration software like GSuite or Slack. The most important feature to consider across all this software is how ‘user-friendly’ is it, and how will it impact the employees that are using it (as well as yourself). 

When considering HR and Payroll software, for example, ask yourself questions like: Does this software integrating with my accounting software in order to manage payroll? Is it easy for managers and employees to access information? Does this software offer benefits that are easy to manage? 

With Collaboration software like Slack, GSuite, or other messaging tools, ask yourself about how your employees work and when they will engage with the software: are they mobile or office-based? What tasks do they need to do? 

HR, Payroll, and Collaboration software are crucial for the day-to-day running of your business. Ensuring that you hire the right people, pay them for their work and provide the tools to work effectively will contribute directly to the growth potential of the company. 

3. Improve your business with Data Analytics

After you have the right software, the next step is to make that software work for you. What I mean by this is understanding what information your software is collecting and how to use that to improve your business outcome. For example, consider your point-of-sale or seed-to-sale data to look at what products are doing well, and or what is not. Most business owners don’t realize how much data their business generates and what the possibilities are with this information. There are some amazing tools specifically designed for cannabis business owners that can help you analyze and visualize business data. 

We hope this discussion of foundational cannabis business software will give you a better understanding of how to make a purchase, but also what questions to ask when conducting research. If you want this checklist  

Now that you have a better understanding of how to prioritize your software and technology purchases, as well as what questions you can ask as you research. If you want to know more about the next levels of the ‘software hierarchy of needs,’ you can download your own guide here. 

About the Author: 

Fiona Foster is Marketing Manager for CUE Cannabis. She is also part of the CUE Expert team that advises business owners on how to find the best software and services for their company. 

UBI Telematics: The New Industry Standard

Written by Laura Loftus on September 18th, 2019

UBI Insurance is currently reserved for companies with access to the minimum annual premium of $100,000.  This is not a program for TNC operators, owner/operators with one car and is geared towards larger companies involved with providing services for the sharing economy.  GET A QUOTE

Usage Based Insurance (UBI telematics) products entered the personal auto marketplace some time ago. But it is a new concept for commercial auto policies. Whether you own and operate one vehicle in a small rural town, or a large fleet in an urban area –  insurance companies are always looking for ways to gain more business and limit their own risk. As a result, more and more insurance companies are offering UBI telematics to commercial fleets.

History of UBI Telematics

UBI telematics became popular with the invent of Transportation Network Companies like Uber and Lyft. As these types of companies grew the insurance industry responded by offering more options for UBI telematics. Companies like James River were one of the first to offer pay-per-mile or pay-as-you-drive plans. This got the rest of the world thinking. If Uber and Lyft can pay per mile, why can’t other transportation businesses obtain the same type of UBI telematics?

One reason UBI telematics was more easily implemented for Transportation Network Companies like Uber and Lyft is because the insurance company is not “on the risk” all the time. Most of these drivers carry their own personal auto policies. So, the TNC insurance is only “on” when the driver is logged into the app.

With the popularity of TNCs, it has affected the amount business taxi and limo companies are able to achieve. Traditional companies need to evolve in order to compete against Uber and Lyft. One way to do this, is to lower their costs with a UBI telematics policy.

How Pay-Per-Mile Insurance Works

UBI telematics works in many different ways.  The first is that you are provided with a device that plugs into the OBD port of your car. The device captures and reports mileage automatically to the insurance company. You are then billed at the agreed upon per-mile rate.

Another way mileage is captured and reported to insurance companies is through SDK integration of an app you might be using for dispatching of vehicles.

In the past, most for-hire, livery risks were charged a flat annual rate. It did not matter how many hours you spent on the road. It also didn’t matter how many miles you drove each month. But, now that UBI telematics is becoming more popular, many companies are offering this structure as an alternative.  Additionally, while most of the other personal auto insurance markets may provide this type of pricing structure, most do not capture driver analytics to help you coach and manage drivers.

UBI Telematics from American Business Insurance

As a UBI insurance broker, we are always looking for and creating solutions that are easy for our clients to use. As a result, we have created our own dashboard which captures the trends and habits of your drivers. Some UBI telematics structures actually charge different rates per driver and many will adjust the price mid-term (up and down) based on driver behavior.

Distracted driving is a problem that most UBI insurance brokers are trying to combat. By integrating telematics elements into pricing and policies, we are able to not only reduce the amount of money you are spending each year for insurance but also provide you with tools to limit risk to those markets.

Some of the data UBI telematics products capture include not only miles driven, but also:

  • Hard-braking incidents
  • G-Force of accidents
  • Hard-cornering
  • Excessive speed
  • Following too closely

By carefully managing and coaching drivers of bad driving habits before accidents occur, you keep your loss history low and your premiums lower.

UBI Telematics per Contract

While above options describe UBI telematics for all operations, we can also work with you to limit coverages on a per contract basis. What this means, is that sometimes the City or State will require a minimum auto limit of $100,000. But you want to obtain a contract to transport patients to and from doctor appointments. Most likely, that contract will require your fleet to have a limit of $1,000,000 or higher. Instead of providing you with a quote that increases the cost for the entire policy to $1M limit – we can write a separate excess policy that bills you by trip, or by mile for the contract only.

Another way to limit coverage is if for example your city requires the same $100k limit mentioned above, but you drop off at the airport who requires $1,000,000 while on airport property. Instead of increasing the premium for the policy to be $1M all the time, we can charge less of an increase by endorsing the policy to provide the higher limit while only on airport property.

How Does this Benefit Business Owners?

The secret to any business is operating at profitable margins. By keeping insurance costs low, commercial fleet owners are able to put money back into their business for advertising, newer vehicles, maintenance and repair. Also, driver morale will improve because they will know that their good driving habits will be recognized and, in many cases, rewarded.

UBI Insurance is currently reserved for companies with access to the minimum annual premium of $100,000.  This is not a program for TNC operators, owner/operators with one car and is geared towards larger companies involved with providing services for the sharing economy.  GET A QUOTE

Uber Freight and Commercial Trucking Insurance

GET A QUOTE

Uber Freight and Commercial Trucking Insurance

In May of 2017, Uber launched one of their newest services Uber Freight. Uber Freight is an exciting, new trucking app that matches vetted drivers with long-haul routes. The app allows drivers or dispatchers to book and confirm routes with the tap of a button. They have the choice to filter the routes they search for by pickup, destination, the offered price, and other factors. Uber Freight is designed to work for carriers of any size. Although, the service is particularly attractive to small fleets and independent owner-operators. In order for trucking fleets and owner-operators to work with Uber Freight they need to have the proper Commercial Trucking Insurance.

 

How Does Uber Freight Work? What are the advantages?

Uber Freight was created with the business model to appeal to smaller fleets and independent truck drivers. Therefore, the app is designed to give more power to operators and solve many problems drivers have with traditional freight brokerage. Before Uber Freight, drivers or Uber Freightoperators would have to make multiple calls to schedule loads. Now the booking process is streamlined. Booking is made simple through the app. As easy as Uber makes it to schedule a car to pick you up on the curb, they make it just as convenient for commercial truck drivers to schedule loads and routes.

Another problem drivers have with traditional methods are delayed payment. The standard for payment is 30 to 60 days, but with Uber Freight drivers can receive payment about seven days after completion. This allows small trucking fleets or owner-operators to continuously operate at full capacity when repairs and other issues arise. A third problem Uber Freight solves is the problem of deadhead miles. Deadhead miles are the number of miles commercial truck drivers drive from the point of unload to the point where their new load is ready to pickup. Uber Freight accounts for this and compensates drivers. Furthermore, the app also features a “Take Me Home”. This setting helps drivers book loads that will take them back home while still earning income.

Uber Freight is still in its beginning years, but with the way they are operating and handling freight brokerage, they are hoping to transform the industry. They are positioning themselves as a drivers first service. They believe that when drivers are empowered and delivery is more efficient all businesses run better. Take a look at the partnership that Uber Freight has with Ocean Spray, and you’ll see how this new service works.

Commercial Trucking Insurance 

As Uber Freight is very much geared towards smaller fleets for the time being, operators need to do all they can to protect their small businesses. We at American Business Insurance Services, Inc. are here to help. Commercial Trucking Insurance or Delivery Insurance is tremendously important to the safety and security of drivers, their freight, and their business. If you are thinking about contracting through Uber Freight, you will have to have the proper insurance coverage. At American Business Insurance Services, Inc. we shop all the currently competitive markets for you. By doing this we can find you the best coverage to fit your specific needs in the commercial trucking industry. 

 

Why You Need Coverage?

American Business Insurance Services, Inc. has identified the Uber Freight business model as one that will likely transform the way the freight delivery industry operates. The seamless Uber Freightadaption of this technology to all types of businesses, that have shipping needs, has allowed for convenience of scheduling, more carrier options for businesses, and expedited delivery.

Our team of licensed brokers are well aware of the coverage you will need as a delivery fleet or owner-operator service. Furthermore, some of the common types of coverage that apply to delivery and commercial trucking businesses are:

  • Auto Liability to protect bodily injury of all parties
  • (Auto)Property Damage to cover damage to property
  • Comprehensive & Collision to protect against most causes of loss to your vehicle(s)
  • Personal Injury or Medical Coverage
  • Cargo Coverage

Contacting American Business Insurance Services, Inc. will guarantee that you are fully covered under a commercial auto policy and allow you to operate your fleet with Uber Freight.

Why American Business Insurance Services, Inc.?

At American Business Insurance Services, Inc., our goal is to build long lasting, valued and trusted relationships. Our mission is to create an understanding with our clients that they are at the forefront of our business. Consequently, we strive to make sure we know our clients business thoroughly to create a true partnership. American Business Insurance Services, Inc. is committed to professional excellence, delivering on commitments on time and of the highest caliber. Therefore, we use only the best practices in the industry. Through our stringent processes and systems we let you operate your commercial trucking or delivery service with confidence.

In conclusion, the Uber Freight business model could transform the way trucking operates and we understand that. As the business changes we at American Business Insurance Services, Inc. adapt with the change to provide the best types of coverage for clients.

To get a quote for your commercial trucking fleet or delivery service Click Here.

 

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American Business Insurance Services, Inc

PERIOD X™ Fleet Management Software with Insurance Built In

Period X™ Quote

What is Period X™ insurance and how does it work to help you manage your fleet?

American Business Insurance Services, Inc. developed Period X™ for fleet owners or individuals that are renting their cars out on a car sharing platform. This applies to platforms such as Turo, HyreCar or GetAround.  This coverage comes with fleet management software through a web-based dashboard at no extra cost to your policy. This fleet management software comes with tools to ensure your fleet is running at maximum efficiency. When managing your fleet that operates through a Transportation Network Company, the coverage is usually provided to the renter through TNC Provider Insurance. It is important for fleet operators to know that insurance is not supplied through TNC Provider Insurance when the car is not rented out. Of course you want to make sure your car is covered at all times. That’s where our proprietary Period X™ insurance coverage comes into play.

 

 

What a Period X™ Insurance Policy Provides

Our Period X™ Insurance policy provides more than the minimum state limits in
almost all 50 states. A comprehensive insurance product to cover fleets that
are being rented out on Peer to Peer (P2P) rental platforms such as the ones mentioned above. Our product is one of a kind. If you are renting your vehicles out on P2P rental platforms PERSONAL INSURANCE DOES NOT COVER YOU for this type of business model.

fleet management

An insurance policy with fleet management software

We didn’t stop at just putting the Period X™ insurance product together, we did a lot more.  Every Period X™ policy holder receives a proprietary device for each vehicle that they insure. This includes a fleet management web-based dashboard to manage your fleet.  It would be one thing just to have proper coverage that nobody can offer, but below are some of the additional services we provide as part of this coverage:

  • Ability to add/delete vehicles online

  • GPS track each and every car at all times

  • Check billing

  • Access ID cards and so much more fleet management tools

Period X™ is fleet tracking with the insurance built in!

Why we created Period X™ with fleet management software

As usual, the best place to start is always the beginning. To make a long story much shorter, in the beginning there were taxicabs. When taxicabs were the only animal of their kind roaming the earth, life was simple and there was only one period of time. Things were pretty easy. If you needed insurance for a taxicab, you got a taxicab insurance policy that covered that taxi company 24 hours a day, end of story. fleet management software

Then, not too long ago, something called Uber and Lyft came onto the scene.  All of the sudden, things got complicated really fast in the insurance world.  These companies found that if they divided their insurance policy into separate periods of time, and that each period had a coverage limit assigned to it. This made it possible to reduce their exposure (and their insurance premiums) to maximize profits.

Then, we had another new company (HyreCar) facilitating TNC rentals between rideshare drivers that needed cars and vehicle owners who wanted to make money by providing those cars.  The term peer-to-peer rentals was coined.  

A New Problem Arises

Initially, the idea was that personal insurance would cover the party that was renting their vehicle out to the TNC drivers as long as they only had one or two cars. It did not take long for vehicle owners to see that they were netting $700+ a month per car. Seeing such great results, this resulted in the vehicle owners adding more and more cars until they had fleets. Vehicle owners now had 10, 20, or even 30+ cars, which is not covered by personal auto insurance. This issue lead to the need for the Period X™ product to be created since personal insurance doesn’t cover fleets that are primarily used to make money via rental app platforms and especially not TNC rentals.

Napkin math ensued and a new problem emerged: 

“How do I place insurance on my fleet of cars under an LLC or Corp and keep my personal lines insurance pricing?”  

The answer to that question is: Period X™ Insurance!  Our agency was the brains behind this exciting new insurance product. We are now positioned to bring it to the masses! Now, fleet owners who place their inventory on platforms such as; HyreCar, Turo, GetAround & similar peer-to-peer rental platforms have access to a reasonably priced app-based insuranceinsurance product that covers their fleet for only the period of time when the vehicle is not rented out and is being serviced and maintained to ready the car for the next rental.  

There are articles upon articles online in regards to Periods 1,2 & 3 and why they are the way they are. The basic idea is that when a rideshare driver has the rideshare app off, then the rideshare company has no involvement in what that driver does with their car. This results in no insurance for that period of time.  The instant the rideshare app is on and the driver is engaged with it, Period 1, 2 & 3 begins and typically state minimum auto liability limits apply.

fleet management software

 

Breaking down insurance policies divided into separate periods of time:

After the app is turned on and driver is engaged with Period 1, they scan for rides
they’d like to take. The instant the driver accepts a ride, they have entered Period 2. The insurance coverage offered by the rideshare providers increases a bit more to cover incidents that might occur while the driver is on their way to pick up a passenger.

insurance policy

The last (for now) action involved in a typical rideshare exchange is that the driver arrives at the pick-up destination. The instant the passenger(s) get into the driver’s car, Period 3 is activated. 

TNC insurance policy

Period 3 typically involves $1,000,000 of auto liability coverage via the rideshare company insurance policy. This is the riskiest period of time, because any accident occurring during that period fully engages the rideshare provider and all participants involved with that ride.

Period Policies for Commercial Auto Working Together

The “Period 1,2 & 3” policy setup is now the industry standard for app-based transportation companies that offer rides as a service. Now with American Business Insurance Services, Inc. Period X™ insurance coverage, fleet managers are able to go beyond the industry standard. With our Period X™, coverage never slips through the cracks making sure your TNC fleet is protected at all times.

After Uber & Lyft had been around for a couple of years, opportunity-minded people started to notice the great deal of demand for vehicles from drivers who wanted to make money driving for TNC companies, but did not have the means to purchase, lease or finance a vehicle for various reasons.

A few select companies have established a niche in this territory and filled this demand successfully.  These companies didn’t only see this driver need for vehicle inventory in the marketplace. They saw plenty of regular people out there that are not always driving their personal vehicles, or who were interested in purchasing vehicles for the sole reason of renting them out to TNC drivers who needed them. This is an industry that expected to have rapid growth. When creating a TNC company having the proper policy coverage protects your business and livelihood. 

Contact Us For Full Details on Period X™ and our Fleet Tracking Software

We’d love to tell you everything about this program because we’re SO excited about this new product. We can’t just give away all our secrets at once, can we? What we can tell you is that we’re open in most U.S. states, have a full-time I.T. department dedicated to continuously evolving the technology behind this product. Our experienced team of licensed professionals are excited to talk to you about how you can get Period X™ Insurance on your fleet. Give us a call today! Let’s solve your fleet insurance / management problems so you can get back out there and make some money!

Call Today: (800) 980-1950

https://abiweb.com/

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Paratransit Service Insurance in California

GET A NEMT INSURANCE QUOTE TODAY

Paratransit Service Insurance in California for Company Fleet of 15+ Vehicles

We all have loved ones, that at one time or another, are in need of consistent medical care. Whether they be our aging grandparents, parents, or even our in-laws- we want the best care for them. But the thing is people are busy. We can’t always find the time to escort our loved ones to doctor appointments and other medical treatment centers. Although, there are ways to make this process a little easier. Many families, hospitals, and doctor offices turn to Paratransit Service or Non-Emergency Medical Transportation (NEMT) providers to fill this need.

paratransit service

The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, made paratransit service a daily reality for many Americans with disabilities. By providing transportation for those with disabilities, paratransit services are paramount to the well-being and mobility of thousands of Americans.

California NEMT and Background

In California, the major hubs are Los Angeles, San Diego, San Jose, and San Francisco. There are over 7 million people in these cities. Many of the elderly people living here need transportation to medical centers at all hours of the day. 

Even for those who are fortunate enough to have loved ones to drive them around, it’s not always convenient. Everyone living in these cities knows that traffic is horrendous, finding parking is a nightmare, and a whole day could be filled with a doctor’s visit.

This is when paratransit service or NEMT comes into play. There are many paratransit agencies that operate fleets of 15+ vehicles in California that American Business Insurance Services, Inc. works with to provide the best available coverage. Those seeking transportation are able to be picked up at their specific location and then the NEMT vehicle discharges passengers on request at various hospitals or medical centers. Having the right paratransit fleet insurance is essential in making sure your business and customers are covered in case of an incident. 

When customers are looking to choose a paratransit service or agency to be responsible for their loved ones, they will be looking into the NEMT company to make sure their loved one is going to be safe and protected.  American Business Insurance Services, Inc. provides NEMT insurance to companies nationwide creating customized policies to best serve our clients needs.

How to Decide on Paratransit/ NEMT Insurance For Your Company Fleetparatransit service

There are a lot of factors that go into finding the best insurance coverage for your Paratransit Company’s large fleet. Therefore, prepare to answer a few questions when working with American Business Insurance to find you the best quote to match your business needs. 

  • Do your vehicles have lifts or ramps? 
  • Do your vehicles include backup cameras? 
  • Are the majority of your trips for passengers ambulatory or non-ambulatory? 
  • Do you contract with LogistiCare or other providers with strict insurance requirements?

Insurance companies ask these questions to ensure you are fully covered under your policy. At American Business Insurance Services, Inc., we guarantee the most thorough coverage for your large fleet. Furthermore, we have trained professionals who will take care of everything, and will guide you through the process of properly insuring your NEMT fleet most efficiently!

Why You (the Paratransit service/agency) Need Full Coverage

Having the proper paratransit or NEMT insurance is critical to operating a successful transportation business. The services that paratransit automobile fleets accomplish for those in need is truly life changing and deserves insurance that is equally up to par.

Moreover, the reason you (the Paratransit service/agency) need NEMT fleet insurance is to ensure the safety and reliability of your paratransit service company, protecting your passengers and your business.

Paratransit/NEMT Insurance at American Business Insurance Services, Inc.

paratransit service

At American Business Insurance Services, Inc., our goal is to build long lasting, valued and trusted relationships. Our mission is to create an understanding with our clients because we want them to know they are at the forefront of our business. American Business Insurance Services, Inc. is committed to professional excellence, delivering on commitments on time, and of the highest caliber. In addition, we use only the best practices in the industry through our stringent processes and systems that let you operate your California paratransit service company with confidence.

Furthermore, most agencies take days or even weeks to process a vehicle or driver change on your Paratransit policy. At American Business Insurance Services, Inc. we have a fast, easy, and user-friendly online customer portal that you will love. Our state-of-the-art agency portal allows you to manage your NEMT business 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. With this portal, policy changes can be made online at any time – day or night. This is essential in running a business that also operates 24/7.

We promise to do the leg work for you. We have built strong long term relationships with our carriers of paratransit insurance in order to find you the best policy to match your business needs. Our 35+ years experience in insuring commercial auto fleets makes American Business Insurance quick and efficient in finding the best carrier options.

Get a quote today!

Wisconsin Taxi Insurance: It’s Not What You Know, It’s Who You Know

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Wisconsin Taxi Insurance: It’s Not What You Know, It’s Who You Know

Written by Laura Loftus on Monday, June 24th, 2019

 

Northwoods Cab, LLC began working with American Business Insurance in 2015. At the time, he had 2 cars insured. Now, he services 6,000 trips per month and maintains about 15 taxis on the road at all times.

Finding the right broker to handle your Wisconsin Taxi Insurance is vital. Besides the fact that we’ve been one of the leading providers for those who need Wisconsin Taxi Insurance, we give you more than just an insurance policy.

Currently, we insure over 100 vehicles that require Wisconsin Taxi Insurance and because we have been working with both fleets and individual owner/operators for over 35 years, we have created an easy to use online portal for our customers to service their policies 24/7.

We also provide you with a live, customer service rep dedicated to servicing your policy and answering coverage questions during regular business hours. Choosing us as your broker means choosing a well-educated partner who truly understands your business.

 

Our goal is to keep your vehicles on the road, and your Wisconsin Taxi Insurance active

Aaron Schloemer from Northwoods Cab, LLC in Wasuau, WI has a fleet of about 15 taxi’s on the road. He has been a client of ours since 2015 and says that our online portal helps him to run his business.  Some brokers will require you to send changes to them via email or fax in writing. Then you’ll have to wait days for an approval or ID card. But our portal allows you to make these changes in an instant. Transportation companies often need replacement ID Cards in the middle of the night, need to change out a vehicle at a moment’s notice and switch drivers on their policies with little time to spare.

“We use the online portal and it work’s like a charm. It really helps us. When a cab breaks down, we can go on the portal and easily take it off and put it back on. It doesn’t matter what time of the day or night. Another great thing is being able to add drivers 24 hours per day. It’s easy to use and we use it as a point of reference many times. Say we want to make sure a cab is on, we can log into the portal and make sure it’s there. It makes it a lot easier to run the company having a 24/7 portal.”

Schloemer started Northwoods Cab, LLC about 4 1/2 years ago. He started out in the taxi industry the way many others do, by working for another local cab company in town. After gaining experience and traction, he originally started the business further north in Tomahawk, WI. Soon after, he transferred the business into the Wausau area where they currently service about 6,000 calls/trips per month.

 

Keeping up with the competition

Although Uber has a presence in his area, he says they haven’t affected his business too much because he is able to keep his prices low enough, where riding with him is cheaper than in an Uber. One way he has been able to keep prices down is by hiring his drivers as independent contractors. He pays them 70% of the sales per day, and charges a weekly lease fee.

Northwoods Cab owner Aaron Schloemer with his son at Disney World, in front of the “Cab Garage.” We’ve been servicing his Wisconsin Taxi Insurance policy for the past fours years.

“A lot of taxi cab companies that have contractors pay 50%, and that isn’t enough to have the drivers stay, pay their bills and make a good income,” Schloemer said.

Some people get into the business to become their own boss and they think it will be easy to run once the basics are set up – obtaining Wisconsin taxi insurance, hiring and training drivers as well as holding monthly safety meetings. But, it isn’t always as easy as it seems.

“Don’t do it if you don’t love people and hard work. Don’t do it if you don’t know how to make decisions and handle problems. Because you are going to have problems every day,” Schloemer shared.

Day to day in the taxi business

While operating a taxi company may seem easy enough, there are daily challenges Schloemer faces that he says others should be aware of before starting out in the industry.

“The hardest thing is maintaining the fleet. The vehicles do get beat up pretty quick. It’s essential to our business that we have at least 10 cars on standby, ready to go, in case one should break down.”

Many people would not think of owning and operating at taxi company as a public service. But Schloemer considers it just that.

“Taking care of people and helping people do tasks they might not otherwise be able to get done,” is one of the benefits Schloemer says he enjoys about owning a taxi company. “Without us, they might not be able to get to their job on time or make it to their dialysis appointment,” he said.

How much insurance do I need?

How much insurance you need to purchase will depend on the type of transportation business you have, and where you are operating. Most limousines, black car or private car service business are overseen by the WI DOT and depending on their seating capacities, determine the limit of insurance that is needed.

Insurance limit requirements for limo and black cars with seating capacities (including driver) listed below:

  • 8 or less require $300,000
  • 15 or less require $1,500,000
  • 16 or more require $5,000,000

While Limo and black car limits are more straightforward, Wisconsin Taxi Insurance limits vary by municipality. Below are some of the requirements for Wisconsin taxi insurance by city:

  • Madison, WI – $1,000,000
  • Manitowoc, WI
  • Menomonie, WI – $1,000,000
  • Milwaukee, WI – $50,000/100,000/10,000
  • Sheboygan, WI – $100,000/300,000/100,000
  • Superior, WI – $500,000

 

Above are just some of the state specific requirements. Don’t see what you are looking for? Contact us as we are the Wisconsin taxi insurance experts and know exactly where to find this information so you don’t have to!

We would love to bring down the cost of your current  policy! Request a quote online by clicking here: https://abiweb.com/services/taxicab-insurance/

You can also call us at (800) 980-1950 ext. 4

 

 

 

AB5: Another Battle For Taxicab Owners

 

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AB5: Another Battle for Taxicab Owners

Written by Laura Loftus

As if it isn’t hard enough for taxicab, limo and paratransit drivers competing against the Amazon.com’s of transportation – Uber & Lyft – those in California are about to potentially fight the greatest battle of them yet against AB5.

Recently, CA legislature passed and signed into law AB5 (Assembly Bill 5) which goes into effect on January 1, 2020. This bill will implement the ABC test when determining whether companies need to classify drivers as independent contractors or employees.

Lyft and UBER stickers on the rear window of a vehicle offering rides in San Francisco Bay Area car.

With taxicab and limo drivers already struggling, it seems unfathomable that CA government would make it  more difficult for professionals to operate. But many people in the taxi and limo industry are worried about potential changes they will need to make within their business.

As a commercial insurance broker, specializing in Livery, For-Hire Insurance for those in the taxicab, limo, paratransit, shared economy and on demand delivery spaces – I hear it first hand on a day to day basis how they are affected by Uber and Lyft. They are upset that those companies don’t have to adhere to the same licensing, permitting and insurance requirements that they do. And now, they might be forced to provide Workers Compensation insurance for all “gig-economy” workers – which many taxi drivers claim to be.

This potential added expense could do more harm than good, in an already difficult marketplace.

How AB5 will work

In California, AB5 will implement a three-part “ABC” test. This test will be used to established if a worker is an employee or independent contractor. If a worker is an employee, they need to have Workers Compensation insurance along with medical benefits and paid sick days. The law also states that all workers will be considered an employee of the company unless they can prove:

  • (A) the worker is free from the employer’s control and direction;
  • (B) the worker performs work that is outside the usual course of the company’s primary business; and
  • (C) the worker is not customarily engaged in the same trade, occupation, or business as the work they are hired to perform

If the company cannot prove all of these items, then the worker needs to be classified as an employee.

 

Will your taxicab company be affected by AB5?

For Chris Sweis, SF Yellow Cab has been a family business since 1983. Like many others in this industry, he is one of many across the country who grew up in the business.  It is often traditional for the business to be passed down from generation to generation.

Sweis, who is also President of the  Taxicab Paratransit Association of California, wants to work with CA Legislature to make sure taxicab drivers are exempt from AB5. Sweis said, “We don’t know if they are going to have to make any changes because taxi drivers still needs to be tested under the ABC test and a lot depends on how they are operating. If they are operating as a co-op, that makes a big difference. In SF, they have the medallions system. So, it really depends on how they are operating.”

Many taxi companies are structured as co-ops. This means each taxi driver is part owner of the company. Most are also made up of individual owner-operators who owns their own vehicle.

Under this structure, it could be considered that owners are able to exempt themselves from Work Comp insurance. In California, owners can exclude themselves from coverage under a work -comp policy. Since these co-op owners are not technically employees – they may not be affected by the AB5 bill.

Companies like SF Yellow Cab that operate under the medallion system, feel the same could be said for them as well. The taxicab company owns the medallion but leases it to the owner of the vehicle. They are basically renting out their operating authority. With a lease agreement in place – it might be enough to say the owner/operator of the vehicle is employing themselves.

 

Should AB5 apply to taxicab drivers?

Matthew Daus, Esq. who is the Partner and Chairman for Windels Marx Transportation Group in NYC and also President of the International Association of Transportation Regulators explains in more detail. He talked about identifying whether or not your taxi or limo company can continue to classify drivers as independent contractors.

He said, “Let’s say you operate a factory and you manufacture dolls and you have a broken door. You call a contractor to fix the door. The contractor is a handyman to fix facilities, not in the business of selling dolls. That situation would likely involve that worker being an independent contractor – not an employee.”

Some transportation companies are worried that their current business structure might be tested and disrupted. Currently, it is common for taxicab companies to classify their drivers as “independent contractors.”

“I think the taxi and limo industry needs to mobilize like they’ve never had to before in order to be exempt from AB5. They should be making the argument that they’ve been decimated by Uber and Lyft for years and they need an exemption,” Daus said.

“And with the entire taxi industry struggling – I don’t think that is what the legislature wanted. Most people feel bad about what happened to those in the taxi industry. It’s time for the legislature to level the playing field,” Daus also said.

 

What can you do?

TPAC is trying to get in front of CA legislature to help determine how the state of California can still implement this bill but not negatively impact the already struggling taxi industry.

It is important to do what you can to voice your opinion in protecting the transportation industry.

Sweis said TPAC could use help from fellow taxicab owners throughout the country. “If they operate in a state that has an ABC test and there is some kind of law or legislature or court cases that exempts their drivers from an ABC test being independent contractors, whether on state or local level – that would be extremely helpful.”

Sweis asked that if you have anything to provide that might be helpful, to email directly at [email protected] .

A New Kind of Work Comp Insurance

With AB5 passing in California, those in taxi and limo business may need to start purchasing Work Comp insurance for their drivers come January 2020. Dave Haley, CEO of American Business Insurance is working on a cost-effective solution.

“Everyone is really worried about AB5 and they don’t know what to do,” Haley said.

As of today, the standard markets for Work Comp are not cheap. With the future of taxi and limo drivers at the forefront, Haley is working on a technology-based Work Comp product. His goal is to offer a product that is cost effective and easy to use.

“This new work comp product will offer a large savings for taxi and limo drivers. Compared to the work comp products currently available, our InsureTech solution will turn the traditional work comp system on its head.”

If  you need Work Comp for your transportation business, give us a call or email us. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Five Most Important Cannabis Business Software Purchases

Five Most Important Cannabis Business Software Purchases

Occasionally, American Business Insurance Services, Inc. hosts guest blogs from our partners who want to discuss the specifics of their services and the benefits they bring to customers. This blog features our partner Cue Cannabis, a Colorado based software company that allows cannabis businesses to purchase and manage various software and services to help run their company.

The legal marijuana industry is expanding, one state at a time, across the US. But while there are many business opportunities in this industry, it can still be challenging for a new business owner to make a profit. Cannabis business owners face the same stresses as normal business owners, like hiring, budgeting, and tracking merchandise, while also dealing with different challenges like staying compliant with state legislation. 

Purchasing software and the technological infrastructure for your business may not initially seem like the most interesting pursuit, but having the right set up will enhance the day-to-day efficiency of your business. At CUE Cannabis, we speak to many customers who don’t know where to start when it comes to purchasing software or setting up cameras and phone lines. It is an area where all business owners, from dispensaries to cultivators, or extractors, might struggle to find something that is right for their business. 

We’ve created a ‘hierarchy of software needs’ to help business owners prioritize their purchases. Further, each area of purchase comes with a few key questions that you can ask as a business owner in order to understand what might work best for your business. We’ll take you through the first three levels of this ‘hierarchy of software needs’ to help you with important business decisions.

1. Foundational software is critical for day-to-day operations

We designated a ‘foundational software’ category to include both software and infrastructure that is most important for day-to-day operations. In this category there is accounting, data security, compliance, and sales software like point-of-sale or seed-to-sale depending on your business. As the name suggests, laying the foundation for a successful operation will make the day-to-day of running your business more efficiently. When purchasing ‘foundational’ software, there are a few things to look for:

Accounting: Check with your accounting before deciding what to you because while many accountants can work with any software, some need you to have a program that is compatible with what they are already using. Also, if you don’t have an accountant, get one because it will make your life easier. 

Point-of-Sale: The hardware part of this software e.g. tablets, scanners, etc. can be a costly investment, but one great way to create some flexibility in your budget is by using a point of sale system that offers a month-by-month plan, which can make it easier for newer businesses. 

Data security: Cannabis is a highly regulated industry, meaning a lot of data is being collected. Understanding how your software is collecting and storing data should be one of the major questions you are asking. Consider what data practices you’ll have to store or transfer employee and customer information. 

A word about Technology and Infrastructure

Depending on the state requirements for your business, your building design, or the type of business you are running, technology and infrastructure will be an important ‘foundational’ piece. Examples of this could include purchasing security cameras for the business, which depending on your state of operation may be a legal requirement or just a good idea. Another element of technology to consider is the wifi and phone systems that will run your point-of-sale or help your employees get online.

Important questions to ask center around understanding how employees will work in the building and accomplish their jobs; depending on the business the use cases can be varied and complicated. Our biggest recommendation when considering the technology or infrastructure for your business is to consider an experienced partner who has extensive experience understanding not just the technology but how people will engage with it on a day-to-day basis. 

2. Other important software to make your business run efficiently

The aforementioned software is incredibly important for the operation of your business and the next category of software in the ‘hierarchy of needs’ will not only help you but also your employees. I’m talking specifically about HR, Payroll, and collaboration software like GSuite or Slack. The most important feature to consider across all this software is how ‘user-friendly’ is it, and how will it impact the employees that are using it (as well as yourself). 

When considering HR and Payroll software, for example, ask yourself questions like: Does this software integrating with my accounting software in order to manage payroll? Is it easy for managers and employees to access information? Does this software offer benefits that are easy to manage? 

With Collaboration software like Slack, GSuite, or other messaging tools, ask yourself about how your employees work and when they will engage with the software: are they mobile or office-based? What tasks do they need to do? 

HR, Payroll, and Collaboration software are crucial for the day-to-day running of your business. Ensuring that you hire the right people, pay them for their work and provide the tools to work effectively will contribute directly to the growth potential of the company. 

3. Improve your business with Data Analytics

After you have the right software, the next step is to make that software work for you. What I mean by this is understanding what information your software is collecting and how to use that to improve your business outcome. For example, consider your point-of-sale or seed-to-sale data to look at what products are doing well, and or what is not. Most business owners don’t realize how much data their business generates and what the possibilities are with this information. There are some amazing tools specifically designed for cannabis business owners that can help you analyze and visualize business data. 

We hope this discussion of foundational cannabis business software will give you a better understanding of how to make a purchase, but also what questions to ask when conducting research. If you want this checklist  

Now that you have a better understanding of how to prioritize your software and technology purchases, as well as what questions you can ask as you research. If you want to know more about the next levels of the ‘software hierarchy of needs,’ you can download your own guide here. 

About the Author: 

Fiona Foster is Marketing Manager for CUE Cannabis. She is also part of the CUE Expert team that advises business owners on how to find the best software and services for their company. 

UBI Telematics: The New Industry Standard

Written by Laura Loftus on September 18th, 2019

UBI Insurance is currently reserved for companies with access to the minimum annual premium of $100,000.  This is not a program for TNC operators, owner/operators with one car and is geared towards larger companies involved with providing services for the sharing economy.  GET A QUOTE

Usage Based Insurance (UBI telematics) products entered the personal auto marketplace some time ago. But it is a new concept for commercial auto policies. Whether you own and operate one vehicle in a small rural town, or a large fleet in an urban area –  insurance companies are always looking for ways to gain more business and limit their own risk. As a result, more and more insurance companies are offering UBI telematics to commercial fleets.

History of UBI Telematics

UBI telematics became popular with the invent of Transportation Network Companies like Uber and Lyft. As these types of companies grew the insurance industry responded by offering more options for UBI telematics. Companies like James River were one of the first to offer pay-per-mile or pay-as-you-drive plans. This got the rest of the world thinking. If Uber and Lyft can pay per mile, why can’t other transportation businesses obtain the same type of UBI telematics?

One reason UBI telematics was more easily implemented for Transportation Network Companies like Uber and Lyft is because the insurance company is not “on the risk” all the time. Most of these drivers carry their own personal auto policies. So, the TNC insurance is only “on” when the driver is logged into the app.

With the popularity of TNCs, it has affected the amount business taxi and limo companies are able to achieve. Traditional companies need to evolve in order to compete against Uber and Lyft. One way to do this, is to lower their costs with a UBI telematics policy.

How Pay-Per-Mile Insurance Works

UBI telematics works in many different ways.  The first is that you are provided with a device that plugs into the OBD port of your car. The device captures and reports mileage automatically to the insurance company. You are then billed at the agreed upon per-mile rate.

Another way mileage is captured and reported to insurance companies is through SDK integration of an app you might be using for dispatching of vehicles.

In the past, most for-hire, livery risks were charged a flat annual rate. It did not matter how many hours you spent on the road. It also didn’t matter how many miles you drove each month. But, now that UBI telematics is becoming more popular, many companies are offering this structure as an alternative.  Additionally, while most of the other personal auto insurance markets may provide this type of pricing structure, most do not capture driver analytics to help you coach and manage drivers.

UBI Telematics from American Business Insurance

As a UBI insurance broker, we are always looking for and creating solutions that are easy for our clients to use. As a result, we have created our own dashboard which captures the trends and habits of your drivers. Some UBI telematics structures actually charge different rates per driver and many will adjust the price mid-term (up and down) based on driver behavior.

Distracted driving is a problem that most UBI insurance brokers are trying to combat. By integrating telematics elements into pricing and policies, we are able to not only reduce the amount of money you are spending each year for insurance but also provide you with tools to limit risk to those markets.

Some of the data UBI telematics products capture include not only miles driven, but also:

  • Hard-braking incidents
  • G-Force of accidents
  • Hard-cornering
  • Excessive speed
  • Following too closely

By carefully managing and coaching drivers of bad driving habits before accidents occur, you keep your loss history low and your premiums lower.

UBI Telematics per Contract

While above options describe UBI telematics for all operations, we can also work with you to limit coverages on a per contract basis. What this means, is that sometimes the City or State will require a minimum auto limit of $100,000. But you want to obtain a contract to transport patients to and from doctor appointments. Most likely, that contract will require your fleet to have a limit of $1,000,000 or higher. Instead of providing you with a quote that increases the cost for the entire policy to $1M limit – we can write a separate excess policy that bills you by trip, or by mile for the contract only.

Another way to limit coverage is if for example your city requires the same $100k limit mentioned above, but you drop off at the airport who requires $1,000,000 while on airport property. Instead of increasing the premium for the policy to be $1M all the time, we can charge less of an increase by endorsing the policy to provide the higher limit while only on airport property.

How Does this Benefit Business Owners?

The secret to any business is operating at profitable margins. By keeping insurance costs low, commercial fleet owners are able to put money back into their business for advertising, newer vehicles, maintenance and repair. Also, driver morale will improve because they will know that their good driving habits will be recognized and, in many cases, rewarded.

UBI Insurance is currently reserved for companies with access to the minimum annual premium of $100,000.  This is not a program for TNC operators, owner/operators with one car and is geared towards larger companies involved with providing services for the sharing economy.  GET A QUOTE

Uber Freight and Commercial Trucking Insurance

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Uber Freight and Commercial Trucking Insurance

In May of 2017, Uber launched one of their newest services Uber Freight. Uber Freight is an exciting, new trucking app that matches vetted drivers with long-haul routes. The app allows drivers or dispatchers to book and confirm routes with the tap of a button. They have the choice to filter the routes they search for by pickup, destination, the offered price, and other factors. Uber Freight is designed to work for carriers of any size. Although, the service is particularly attractive to small fleets and independent owner-operators. In order for trucking fleets and owner-operators to work with Uber Freight they need to have the proper Commercial Trucking Insurance.

 

How Does Uber Freight Work? What are the advantages?

Uber Freight was created with the business model to appeal to smaller fleets and independent truck drivers. Therefore, the app is designed to give more power to operators and solve many problems drivers have with traditional freight brokerage. Before Uber Freight, drivers or Uber Freightoperators would have to make multiple calls to schedule loads. Now the booking process is streamlined. Booking is made simple through the app. As easy as Uber makes it to schedule a car to pick you up on the curb, they make it just as convenient for commercial truck drivers to schedule loads and routes.

Another problem drivers have with traditional methods are delayed payment. The standard for payment is 30 to 60 days, but with Uber Freight drivers can receive payment about seven days after completion. This allows small trucking fleets or owner-operators to continuously operate at full capacity when repairs and other issues arise. A third problem Uber Freight solves is the problem of deadhead miles. Deadhead miles are the number of miles commercial truck drivers drive from the point of unload to the point where their new load is ready to pickup. Uber Freight accounts for this and compensates drivers. Furthermore, the app also features a “Take Me Home”. This setting helps drivers book loads that will take them back home while still earning income.

Uber Freight is still in its beginning years, but with the way they are operating and handling freight brokerage, they are hoping to transform the industry. They are positioning themselves as a drivers first service. They believe that when drivers are empowered and delivery is more efficient all businesses run better. Take a look at the partnership that Uber Freight has with Ocean Spray, and you’ll see how this new service works.

Commercial Trucking Insurance 

As Uber Freight is very much geared towards smaller fleets for the time being, operators need to do all they can to protect their small businesses. We at American Business Insurance Services, Inc. are here to help. Commercial Trucking Insurance or Delivery Insurance is tremendously important to the safety and security of drivers, their freight, and their business. If you are thinking about contracting through Uber Freight, you will have to have the proper insurance coverage. At American Business Insurance Services, Inc. we shop all the currently competitive markets for you. By doing this we can find you the best coverage to fit your specific needs in the commercial trucking industry. 

 

Why You Need Coverage?

American Business Insurance Services, Inc. has identified the Uber Freight business model as one that will likely transform the way the freight delivery industry operates. The seamless Uber Freightadaption of this technology to all types of businesses, that have shipping needs, has allowed for convenience of scheduling, more carrier options for businesses, and expedited delivery.

Our team of licensed brokers are well aware of the coverage you will need as a delivery fleet or owner-operator service. Furthermore, some of the common types of coverage that apply to delivery and commercial trucking businesses are:

  • Auto Liability to protect bodily injury of all parties
  • (Auto)Property Damage to cover damage to property
  • Comprehensive & Collision to protect against most causes of loss to your vehicle(s)
  • Personal Injury or Medical Coverage
  • Cargo Coverage

Contacting American Business Insurance Services, Inc. will guarantee that you are fully covered under a commercial auto policy and allow you to operate your fleet with Uber Freight.

Why American Business Insurance Services, Inc.?

At American Business Insurance Services, Inc., our goal is to build long lasting, valued and trusted relationships. Our mission is to create an understanding with our clients that they are at the forefront of our business. Consequently, we strive to make sure we know our clients business thoroughly to create a true partnership. American Business Insurance Services, Inc. is committed to professional excellence, delivering on commitments on time and of the highest caliber. Therefore, we use only the best practices in the industry. Through our stringent processes and systems we let you operate your commercial trucking or delivery service with confidence.

In conclusion, the Uber Freight business model could transform the way trucking operates and we understand that. As the business changes we at American Business Insurance Services, Inc. adapt with the change to provide the best types of coverage for clients.

To get a quote for your commercial trucking fleet or delivery service Click Here.

 

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American Business Insurance Services, Inc

PERIOD X™ Fleet Management Software with Insurance Built In

Period X™ Quote

What is Period X™ insurance and how does it work to help you manage your fleet?

American Business Insurance Services, Inc. developed Period X™ for fleet owners or individuals that are renting their cars out on a car sharing platform. This applies to platforms such as Turo, HyreCar or GetAround.  This coverage comes with fleet management software through a web-based dashboard at no extra cost to your policy. This fleet management software comes with tools to ensure your fleet is running at maximum efficiency. When managing your fleet that operates through a Transportation Network Company, the coverage is usually provided to the renter through TNC Provider Insurance. It is important for fleet operators to know that insurance is not supplied through TNC Provider Insurance when the car is not rented out. Of course you want to make sure your car is covered at all times. That’s where our proprietary Period X™ insurance coverage comes into play.

 

 

What a Period X™ Insurance Policy Provides

Our Period X™ Insurance policy provides more than the minimum state limits in
almost all 50 states. A comprehensive insurance product to cover fleets that
are being rented out on Peer to Peer (P2P) rental platforms such as the ones mentioned above. Our product is one of a kind. If you are renting your vehicles out on P2P rental platforms PERSONAL INSURANCE DOES NOT COVER YOU for this type of business model.

fleet management

An insurance policy with fleet management software

We didn’t stop at just putting the Period X™ insurance product together, we did a lot more.  Every Period X™ policy holder receives a proprietary device for each vehicle that they insure. This includes a fleet management web-based dashboard to manage your fleet.  It would be one thing just to have proper coverage that nobody can offer, but below are some of the additional services we provide as part of this coverage:

  • Ability to add/delete vehicles online

  • GPS track each and every car at all times

  • Check billing

  • Access ID cards and so much more fleet management tools

Period X™ is fleet tracking with the insurance built in!

Why we created Period X™ with fleet management software

As usual, the best place to start is always the beginning. To make a long story much shorter, in the beginning there were taxicabs. When taxicabs were the only animal of their kind roaming the earth, life was simple and there was only one period of time. Things were pretty easy. If you needed insurance for a taxicab, you got a taxicab insurance policy that covered that taxi company 24 hours a day, end of story. fleet management software

Then, not too long ago, something called Uber and Lyft came onto the scene.  All of the sudden, things got complicated really fast in the insurance world.  These companies found that if they divided their insurance policy into separate periods of time, and that each period had a coverage limit assigned to it. This made it possible to reduce their exposure (and their insurance premiums) to maximize profits.

Then, we had another new company (HyreCar) facilitating TNC rentals between rideshare drivers that needed cars and vehicle owners who wanted to make money by providing those cars.  The term peer-to-peer rentals was coined.  

A New Problem Arises

Initially, the idea was that personal insurance would cover the party that was renting their vehicle out to the TNC drivers as long as they only had one or two cars. It did not take long for vehicle owners to see that they were netting $700+ a month per car. Seeing such great results, this resulted in the vehicle owners adding more and more cars until they had fleets. Vehicle owners now had 10, 20, or even 30+ cars, which is not covered by personal auto insurance. This issue lead to the need for the Period X™ product to be created since personal insurance doesn’t cover fleets that are primarily used to make money via rental app platforms and especially not TNC rentals.

Napkin math ensued and a new problem emerged: 

“How do I place insurance on my fleet of cars under an LLC or Corp and keep my personal lines insurance pricing?”  

The answer to that question is: Period X™ Insurance!  Our agency was the brains behind this exciting new insurance product. We are now positioned to bring it to the masses! Now, fleet owners who place their inventory on platforms such as; HyreCar, Turo, GetAround & similar peer-to-peer rental platforms have access to a reasonably priced app-based insuranceinsurance product that covers their fleet for only the period of time when the vehicle is not rented out and is being serviced and maintained to ready the car for the next rental.  

There are articles upon articles online in regards to Periods 1,2 & 3 and why they are the way they are. The basic idea is that when a rideshare driver has the rideshare app off, then the rideshare company has no involvement in what that driver does with their car. This results in no insurance for that period of time.  The instant the rideshare app is on and the driver is engaged with it, Period 1, 2 & 3 begins and typically state minimum auto liability limits apply.

fleet management software

 

Breaking down insurance policies divided into separate periods of time:

After the app is turned on and driver is engaged with Period 1, they scan for rides
they’d like to take. The instant the driver accepts a ride, they have entered Period 2. The insurance coverage offered by the rideshare providers increases a bit more to cover incidents that might occur while the driver is on their way to pick up a passenger.

insurance policy

The last (for now) action involved in a typical rideshare exchange is that the driver arrives at the pick-up destination. The instant the passenger(s) get into the driver’s car, Period 3 is activated. 

TNC insurance policy

Period 3 typically involves $1,000,000 of auto liability coverage via the rideshare company insurance policy. This is the riskiest period of time, because any accident occurring during that period fully engages the rideshare provider and all participants involved with that ride.

Period Policies for Commercial Auto Working Together

The “Period 1,2 & 3” policy setup is now the industry standard for app-based transportation companies that offer rides as a service. Now with American Business Insurance Services, Inc. Period X™ insurance coverage, fleet managers are able to go beyond the industry standard. With our Period X™, coverage never slips through the cracks making sure your TNC fleet is protected at all times.

After Uber & Lyft had been around for a couple of years, opportunity-minded people started to notice the great deal of demand for vehicles from drivers who wanted to make money driving for TNC companies, but did not have the means to purchase, lease or finance a vehicle for various reasons.

A few select companies have established a niche in this territory and filled this demand successfully.  These companies didn’t only see this driver need for vehicle inventory in the marketplace. They saw plenty of regular people out there that are not always driving their personal vehicles, or who were interested in purchasing vehicles for the sole reason of renting them out to TNC drivers who needed them. This is an industry that expected to have rapid growth. When creating a TNC company having the proper policy coverage protects your business and livelihood. 

Contact Us For Full Details on Period X™ and our Fleet Tracking Software

We’d love to tell you everything about this program because we’re SO excited about this new product. We can’t just give away all our secrets at once, can we? What we can tell you is that we’re open in most U.S. states, have a full-time I.T. department dedicated to continuously evolving the technology behind this product. Our experienced team of licensed professionals are excited to talk to you about how you can get Period X™ Insurance on your fleet. Give us a call today! Let’s solve your fleet insurance / management problems so you can get back out there and make some money!

Call Today: (800) 980-1950

https://abiweb.com/

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Paratransit Service Insurance in California

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Paratransit Service Insurance in California for Company Fleet of 15+ Vehicles

We all have loved ones, that at one time or another, are in need of consistent medical care. Whether they be our aging grandparents, parents, or even our in-laws- we want the best care for them. But the thing is people are busy. We can’t always find the time to escort our loved ones to doctor appointments and other medical treatment centers. Although, there are ways to make this process a little easier. Many families, hospitals, and doctor offices turn to Paratransit Service or Non-Emergency Medical Transportation (NEMT) providers to fill this need.

paratransit service

The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, made paratransit service a daily reality for many Americans with disabilities. By providing transportation for those with disabilities, paratransit services are paramount to the well-being and mobility of thousands of Americans.

California NEMT and Background

In California, the major hubs are Los Angeles, San Diego, San Jose, and San Francisco. There are over 7 million people in these cities. Many of the elderly people living here need transportation to medical centers at all hours of the day. 

Even for those who are fortunate enough to have loved ones to drive them around, it’s not always convenient. Everyone living in these cities knows that traffic is horrendous, finding parking is a nightmare, and a whole day could be filled with a doctor’s visit.

This is when paratransit service or NEMT comes into play. There are many paratransit agencies that operate fleets of 15+ vehicles in California that American Business Insurance Services, Inc. works with to provide the best available coverage. Those seeking transportation are able to be picked up at their specific location and then the NEMT vehicle discharges passengers on request at various hospitals or medical centers. Having the right paratransit fleet insurance is essential in making sure your business and customers are covered in case of an incident. 

When customers are looking to choose a paratransit service or agency to be responsible for their loved ones, they will be looking into the NEMT company to make sure their loved one is going to be safe and protected.  American Business Insurance Services, Inc. provides NEMT insurance to companies nationwide creating customized policies to best serve our clients needs.

How to Decide on Paratransit/ NEMT Insurance For Your Company Fleetparatransit service

There are a lot of factors that go into finding the best insurance coverage for your Paratransit Company’s large fleet. Therefore, prepare to answer a few questions when working with American Business Insurance to find you the best quote to match your business needs. 

  • Do your vehicles have lifts or ramps? 
  • Do your vehicles include backup cameras? 
  • Are the majority of your trips for passengers ambulatory or non-ambulatory? 
  • Do you contract with LogistiCare or other providers with strict insurance requirements?

Insurance companies ask these questions to ensure you are fully covered under your policy. At American Business Insurance Services, Inc., we guarantee the most thorough coverage for your large fleet. Furthermore, we have trained professionals who will take care of everything, and will guide you through the process of properly insuring your NEMT fleet most efficiently!

Why You (the Paratransit service/agency) Need Full Coverage

Having the proper paratransit or NEMT insurance is critical to operating a successful transportation business. The services that paratransit automobile fleets accomplish for those in need is truly life changing and deserves insurance that is equally up to par.

Moreover, the reason you (the Paratransit service/agency) need NEMT fleet insurance is to ensure the safety and reliability of your paratransit service company, protecting your passengers and your business.

Paratransit/NEMT Insurance at American Business Insurance Services, Inc.

paratransit service

At American Business Insurance Services, Inc., our goal is to build long lasting, valued and trusted relationships. Our mission is to create an understanding with our clients because we want them to know they are at the forefront of our business. American Business Insurance Services, Inc. is committed to professional excellence, delivering on commitments on time, and of the highest caliber. In addition, we use only the best practices in the industry through our stringent processes and systems that let you operate your California paratransit service company with confidence.

Furthermore, most agencies take days or even weeks to process a vehicle or driver change on your Paratransit policy. At American Business Insurance Services, Inc. we have a fast, easy, and user-friendly online customer portal that you will love. Our state-of-the-art agency portal allows you to manage your NEMT business 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. With this portal, policy changes can be made online at any time – day or night. This is essential in running a business that also operates 24/7.

We promise to do the leg work for you. We have built strong long term relationships with our carriers of paratransit insurance in order to find you the best policy to match your business needs. Our 35+ years experience in insuring commercial auto fleets makes American Business Insurance quick and efficient in finding the best carrier options.

Get a quote today!

Wisconsin Taxi Insurance: It’s Not What You Know, It’s Who You Know

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Wisconsin Taxi Insurance: It’s Not What You Know, It’s Who You Know

Written by Laura Loftus on Monday, June 24th, 2019

 

Northwoods Cab, LLC began working with American Business Insurance in 2015. At the time, he had 2 cars insured. Now, he services 6,000 trips per month and maintains about 15 taxis on the road at all times.

Finding the right broker to handle your Wisconsin Taxi Insurance is vital. Besides the fact that we’ve been one of the leading providers for those who need Wisconsin Taxi Insurance, we give you more than just an insurance policy.

Currently, we insure over 100 vehicles that require Wisconsin Taxi Insurance and because we have been working with both fleets and individual owner/operators for over 35 years, we have created an easy to use online portal for our customers to service their policies 24/7.

We also provide you with a live, customer service rep dedicated to servicing your policy and answering coverage questions during regular business hours. Choosing us as your broker means choosing a well-educated partner who truly understands your business.

 

Our goal is to keep your vehicles on the road, and your Wisconsin Taxi Insurance active

Aaron Schloemer from Northwoods Cab, LLC in Wasuau, WI has a fleet of about 15 taxi’s on the road. He has been a client of ours since 2015 and says that our online portal helps him to run his business.  Some brokers will require you to send changes to them via email or fax in writing. Then you’ll have to wait days for an approval or ID card. But our portal allows you to make these changes in an instant. Transportation companies often need replacement ID Cards in the middle of the night, need to change out a vehicle at a moment’s notice and switch drivers on their policies with little time to spare.

“We use the online portal and it work’s like a charm. It really helps us. When a cab breaks down, we can go on the portal and easily take it off and put it back on. It doesn’t matter what time of the day or night. Another great thing is being able to add drivers 24 hours per day. It’s easy to use and we use it as a point of reference many times. Say we want to make sure a cab is on, we can log into the portal and make sure it’s there. It makes it a lot easier to run the company having a 24/7 portal.”

Schloemer started Northwoods Cab, LLC about 4 1/2 years ago. He started out in the taxi industry the way many others do, by working for another local cab company in town. After gaining experience and traction, he originally started the business further north in Tomahawk, WI. Soon after, he transferred the business into the Wausau area where they currently service about 6,000 calls/trips per month.

 

Keeping up with the competition

Although Uber has a presence in his area, he says they haven’t affected his business too much because he is able to keep his prices low enough, where riding with him is cheaper than in an Uber. One way he has been able to keep prices down is by hiring his drivers as independent contractors. He pays them 70% of the sales per day, and charges a weekly lease fee.

Northwoods Cab owner Aaron Schloemer with his son at Disney World, in front of the “Cab Garage.” We’ve been servicing his Wisconsin Taxi Insurance policy for the past fours years.

“A lot of taxi cab companies that have contractors pay 50%, and that isn’t enough to have the drivers stay, pay their bills and make a good income,” Schloemer said.

Some people get into the business to become their own boss and they think it will be easy to run once the basics are set up – obtaining Wisconsin taxi insurance, hiring and training drivers as well as holding monthly safety meetings. But, it isn’t always as easy as it seems.

“Don’t do it if you don’t love people and hard work. Don’t do it if you don’t know how to make decisions and handle problems. Because you are going to have problems every day,” Schloemer shared.

Day to day in the taxi business

While operating a taxi company may seem easy enough, there are daily challenges Schloemer faces that he says others should be aware of before starting out in the industry.

“The hardest thing is maintaining the fleet. The vehicles do get beat up pretty quick. It’s essential to our business that we have at least 10 cars on standby, ready to go, in case one should break down.”

Many people would not think of owning and operating at taxi company as a public service. But Schloemer considers it just that.

“Taking care of people and helping people do tasks they might not otherwise be able to get done,” is one of the benefits Schloemer says he enjoys about owning a taxi company. “Without us, they might not be able to get to their job on time or make it to their dialysis appointment,” he said.

How much insurance do I need?

How much insurance you need to purchase will depend on the type of transportation business you have, and where you are operating. Most limousines, black car or private car service business are overseen by the WI DOT and depending on their seating capacities, determine the limit of insurance that is needed.

Insurance limit requirements for limo and black cars with seating capacities (including driver) listed below:

  • 8 or less require $300,000
  • 15 or less require $1,500,000
  • 16 or more require $5,000,000

While Limo and black car limits are more straightforward, Wisconsin Taxi Insurance limits vary by municipality. Below are some of the requirements for Wisconsin taxi insurance by city:

  • Madison, WI – $1,000,000
  • Manitowoc, WI
  • Menomonie, WI – $1,000,000
  • Milwaukee, WI – $50,000/100,000/10,000
  • Sheboygan, WI – $100,000/300,000/100,000
  • Superior, WI – $500,000

 

Above are just some of the state specific requirements. Don’t see what you are looking for? Contact us as we are the Wisconsin taxi insurance experts and know exactly where to find this information so you don’t have to!

We would love to bring down the cost of your current  policy! Request a quote online by clicking here: https://abiweb.com/services/taxicab-insurance/

You can also call us at (800) 980-1950 ext. 4

 

 

 

AB5: Another Battle For Taxicab Owners

 

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AB5: Another Battle for Taxicab Owners

Written by Laura Loftus

As if it isn’t hard enough for taxicab, limo and paratransit drivers competing against the Amazon.com’s of transportation – Uber & Lyft – those in California are about to potentially fight the greatest battle of them yet against AB5.

Recently, CA legislature passed and signed into law AB5 (Assembly Bill 5) which goes into effect on January 1, 2020. This bill will implement the ABC test when determining whether companies need to classify drivers as independent contractors or employees.

Lyft and UBER stickers on the rear window of a vehicle offering rides in San Francisco Bay Area car.

With taxicab and limo drivers already struggling, it seems unfathomable that CA government would make it  more difficult for professionals to operate. But many people in the taxi and limo industry are worried about potential changes they will need to make within their business.

As a commercial insurance broker, specializing in Livery, For-Hire Insurance for those in the taxicab, limo, paratransit, shared economy and on demand delivery spaces – I hear it first hand on a day to day basis how they are affected by Uber and Lyft. They are upset that those companies don’t have to adhere to the same licensing, permitting and insurance requirements that they do. And now, they might be forced to provide Workers Compensation insurance for all “gig-economy” workers – which many taxi drivers claim to be.

This potential added expense could do more harm than good, in an already difficult marketplace.

How AB5 will work

In California, AB5 will implement a three-part “ABC” test. This test will be used to established if a worker is an employee or independent contractor. If a worker is an employee, they need to have Workers Compensation insurance along with medical benefits and paid sick days. The law also states that all workers will be considered an employee of the company unless they can prove:

  • (A) the worker is free from the employer’s control and direction;
  • (B) the worker performs work that is outside the usual course of the company’s primary business; and
  • (C) the worker is not customarily engaged in the same trade, occupation, or business as the work they are hired to perform

If the company cannot prove all of these items, then the worker needs to be classified as an employee.

 

Will your taxicab company be affected by AB5?

For Chris Sweis, SF Yellow Cab has been a family business since 1983. Like many others in this industry, he is one of many across the country who grew up in the business.  It is often traditional for the business to be passed down from generation to generation.

Sweis, who is also President of the  Taxicab Paratransit Association of California, wants to work with CA Legislature to make sure taxicab drivers are exempt from AB5. Sweis said, “We don’t know if they are going to have to make any changes because taxi drivers still needs to be tested under the ABC test and a lot depends on how they are operating. If they are operating as a co-op, that makes a big difference. In SF, they have the medallions system. So, it really depends on how they are operating.”

Many taxi companies are structured as co-ops. This means each taxi driver is part owner of the company. Most are also made up of individual owner-operators who owns their own vehicle.

Under this structure, it could be considered that owners are able to exempt themselves from Work Comp insurance. In California, owners can exclude themselves from coverage under a work -comp policy. Since these co-op owners are not technically employees – they may not be affected by the AB5 bill.

Companies like SF Yellow Cab that operate under the medallion system, feel the same could be said for them as well. The taxicab company owns the medallion but leases it to the owner of the vehicle. They are basically renting out their operating authority. With a lease agreement in place – it might be enough to say the owner/operator of the vehicle is employing themselves.

 

Should AB5 apply to taxicab drivers?

Matthew Daus, Esq. who is the Partner and Chairman for Windels Marx Transportation Group in NYC and also President of the International Association of Transportation Regulators explains in more detail. He talked about identifying whether or not your taxi or limo company can continue to classify drivers as independent contractors.

He said, “Let’s say you operate a factory and you manufacture dolls and you have a broken door. You call a contractor to fix the door. The contractor is a handyman to fix facilities, not in the business of selling dolls. That situation would likely involve that worker being an independent contractor – not an employee.”

Some transportation companies are worried that their current business structure might be tested and disrupted. Currently, it is common for taxicab companies to classify their drivers as “independent contractors.”

“I think the taxi and limo industry needs to mobilize like they’ve never had to before in order to be exempt from AB5. They should be making the argument that they’ve been decimated by Uber and Lyft for years and they need an exemption,” Daus said.

“And with the entire taxi industry struggling – I don’t think that is what the legislature wanted. Most people feel bad about what happened to those in the taxi industry. It’s time for the legislature to level the playing field,” Daus also said.

 

What can you do?

TPAC is trying to get in front of CA legislature to help determine how the state of California can still implement this bill but not negatively impact the already struggling taxi industry.

It is important to do what you can to voice your opinion in protecting the transportation industry.

Sweis said TPAC could use help from fellow taxicab owners throughout the country. “If they operate in a state that has an ABC test and there is some kind of law or legislature or court cases that exempts their drivers from an ABC test being independent contractors, whether on state or local level – that would be extremely helpful.”

Sweis asked that if you have anything to provide that might be helpful, to email directly at [email protected] .

A New Kind of Work Comp Insurance

With AB5 passing in California, those in taxi and limo business may need to start purchasing Work Comp insurance for their drivers come January 2020. Dave Haley, CEO of American Business Insurance is working on a cost-effective solution.

“Everyone is really worried about AB5 and they don’t know what to do,” Haley said.

As of today, the standard markets for Work Comp are not cheap. With the future of taxi and limo drivers at the forefront, Haley is working on a technology-based Work Comp product. His goal is to offer a product that is cost effective and easy to use.

“This new work comp product will offer a large savings for taxi and limo drivers. Compared to the work comp products currently available, our InsureTech solution will turn the traditional work comp system on its head.”

If  you need Work Comp for your transportation business, give us a call or email us. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Five Most Important Cannabis Business Software Purchases

Five Most Important Cannabis Business Software Purchases

Occasionally, American Business Insurance Services, Inc. hosts guest blogs from our partners who want to discuss the specifics of their services and the benefits they bring to customers. This blog features our partner Cue Cannabis, a Colorado based software company that allows cannabis businesses to purchase and manage various software and services to help run their company.

The legal marijuana industry is expanding, one state at a time, across the US. But while there are many business opportunities in this industry, it can still be challenging for a new business owner to make a profit. Cannabis business owners face the same stresses as normal business owners, like hiring, budgeting, and tracking merchandise, while also dealing with different challenges like staying compliant with state legislation. 

Purchasing software and the technological infrastructure for your business may not initially seem like the most interesting pursuit, but having the right set up will enhance the day-to-day efficiency of your business. At CUE Cannabis, we speak to many customers who don’t know where to start when it comes to purchasing software or setting up cameras and phone lines. It is an area where all business owners, from dispensaries to cultivators, or extractors, might struggle to find something that is right for their business. 

We’ve created a ‘hierarchy of software needs’ to help business owners prioritize their purchases. Further, each area of purchase comes with a few key questions that you can ask as a business owner in order to understand what might work best for your business. We’ll take you through the first three levels of this ‘hierarchy of software needs’ to help you with important business decisions.

1. Foundational software is critical for day-to-day operations

We designated a ‘foundational software’ category to include both software and infrastructure that is most important for day-to-day operations. In this category there is accounting, data security, compliance, and sales software like point-of-sale or seed-to-sale depending on your business. As the name suggests, laying the foundation for a successful operation will make the day-to-day of running your business more efficiently. When purchasing ‘foundational’ software, there are a few things to look for:

Accounting: Check with your accounting before deciding what to you because while many accountants can work with any software, some need you to have a program that is compatible with what they are already using. Also, if you don’t have an accountant, get one because it will make your life easier. 

Point-of-Sale: The hardware part of this software e.g. tablets, scanners, etc. can be a costly investment, but one great way to create some flexibility in your budget is by using a point of sale system that offers a month-by-month plan, which can make it easier for newer businesses. 

Data security: Cannabis is a highly regulated industry, meaning a lot of data is being collected. Understanding how your software is collecting and storing data should be one of the major questions you are asking. Consider what data practices you’ll have to store or transfer employee and customer information. 

A word about Technology and Infrastructure

Depending on the state requirements for your business, your building design, or the type of business you are running, technology and infrastructure will be an important ‘foundational’ piece. Examples of this could include purchasing security cameras for the business, which depending on your state of operation may be a legal requirement or just a good idea. Another element of technology to consider is the wifi and phone systems that will run your point-of-sale or help your employees get online.

Important questions to ask center around understanding how employees will work in the building and accomplish their jobs; depending on the business the use cases can be varied and complicated. Our biggest recommendation when considering the technology or infrastructure for your business is to consider an experienced partner who has extensive experience understanding not just the technology but how people will engage with it on a day-to-day basis. 

2. Other important software to make your business run efficiently

The aforementioned software is incredibly important for the operation of your business and the next category of software in the ‘hierarchy of needs’ will not only help you but also your employees. I’m talking specifically about HR, Payroll, and collaboration software like GSuite or Slack. The most important feature to consider across all this software is how ‘user-friendly’ is it, and how will it impact the employees that are using it (as well as yourself). 

When considering HR and Payroll software, for example, ask yourself questions like: Does this software integrating with my accounting software in order to manage payroll? Is it easy for managers and employees to access information? Does this software offer benefits that are easy to manage? 

With Collaboration software like Slack, GSuite, or other messaging tools, ask yourself about how your employees work and when they will engage with the software: are they mobile or office-based? What tasks do they need to do? 

HR, Payroll, and Collaboration software are crucial for the day-to-day running of your business. Ensuring that you hire the right people, pay them for their work and provide the tools to work effectively will contribute directly to the growth potential of the company. 

3. Improve your business with Data Analytics

After you have the right software, the next step is to make that software work for you. What I mean by this is understanding what information your software is collecting and how to use that to improve your business outcome. For example, consider your point-of-sale or seed-to-sale data to look at what products are doing well, and or what is not. Most business owners don’t realize how much data their business generates and what the possibilities are with this information. There are some amazing tools specifically designed for cannabis business owners that can help you analyze and visualize business data. 

We hope this discussion of foundational cannabis business software will give you a better understanding of how to make a purchase, but also what questions to ask when conducting research. If you want this checklist  

Now that you have a better understanding of how to prioritize your software and technology purchases, as well as what questions you can ask as you research. If you want to know more about the next levels of the ‘software hierarchy of needs,’ you can download your own guide here. 

About the Author: 

Fiona Foster is Marketing Manager for CUE Cannabis. She is also part of the CUE Expert team that advises business owners on how to find the best software and services for their company. 

UBI Telematics: The New Industry Standard

Written by Laura Loftus on September 18th, 2019

UBI Insurance is currently reserved for companies with access to the minimum annual premium of $100,000.  This is not a program for TNC operators, owner/operators with one car and is geared towards larger companies involved with providing services for the sharing economy.  GET A QUOTE

Usage Based Insurance (UBI telematics) products entered the personal auto marketplace some time ago. But it is a new concept for commercial auto policies. Whether you own and operate one vehicle in a small rural town, or a large fleet in an urban area –  insurance companies are always looking for ways to gain more business and limit their own risk. As a result, more and more insurance companies are offering UBI telematics to commercial fleets.

History of UBI Telematics

UBI telematics became popular with the invent of Transportation Network Companies like Uber and Lyft. As these types of companies grew the insurance industry responded by offering more options for UBI telematics. Companies like James River were one of the first to offer pay-per-mile or pay-as-you-drive plans. This got the rest of the world thinking. If Uber and Lyft can pay per mile, why can’t other transportation businesses obtain the same type of UBI telematics?

One reason UBI telematics was more easily implemented for Transportation Network Companies like Uber and Lyft is because the insurance company is not “on the risk” all the time. Most of these drivers carry their own personal auto policies. So, the TNC insurance is only “on” when the driver is logged into the app.

With the popularity of TNCs, it has affected the amount business taxi and limo companies are able to achieve. Traditional companies need to evolve in order to compete against Uber and Lyft. One way to do this, is to lower their costs with a UBI telematics policy.

How Pay-Per-Mile Insurance Works

UBI telematics works in many different ways.  The first is that you are provided with a device that plugs into the OBD port of your car. The device captures and reports mileage automatically to the insurance company. You are then billed at the agreed upon per-mile rate.

Another way mileage is captured and reported to insurance companies is through SDK integration of an app you might be using for dispatching of vehicles.

In the past, most for-hire, livery risks were charged a flat annual rate. It did not matter how many hours you spent on the road. It also didn’t matter how many miles you drove each month. But, now that UBI telematics is becoming more popular, many companies are offering this structure as an alternative.  Additionally, while most of the other personal auto insurance markets may provide this type of pricing structure, most do not capture driver analytics to help you coach and manage drivers.

UBI Telematics from American Business Insurance

As a UBI insurance broker, we are always looking for and creating solutions that are easy for our clients to use. As a result, we have created our own dashboard which captures the trends and habits of your drivers. Some UBI telematics structures actually charge different rates per driver and many will adjust the price mid-term (up and down) based on driver behavior.

Distracted driving is a problem that most UBI insurance brokers are trying to combat. By integrating telematics elements into pricing and policies, we are able to not only reduce the amount of money you are spending each year for insurance but also provide you with tools to limit risk to those markets.

Some of the data UBI telematics products capture include not only miles driven, but also:

  • Hard-braking incidents
  • G-Force of accidents
  • Hard-cornering
  • Excessive speed
  • Following too closely

By carefully managing and coaching drivers of bad driving habits before accidents occur, you keep your loss history low and your premiums lower.

UBI Telematics per Contract

While above options describe UBI telematics for all operations, we can also work with you to limit coverages on a per contract basis. What this means, is that sometimes the City or State will require a minimum auto limit of $100,000. But you want to obtain a contract to transport patients to and from doctor appointments. Most likely, that contract will require your fleet to have a limit of $1,000,000 or higher. Instead of providing you with a quote that increases the cost for the entire policy to $1M limit – we can write a separate excess policy that bills you by trip, or by mile for the contract only.

Another way to limit coverage is if for example your city requires the same $100k limit mentioned above, but you drop off at the airport who requires $1,000,000 while on airport property. Instead of increasing the premium for the policy to be $1M all the time, we can charge less of an increase by endorsing the policy to provide the higher limit while only on airport property.

How Does this Benefit Business Owners?

The secret to any business is operating at profitable margins. By keeping insurance costs low, commercial fleet owners are able to put money back into their business for advertising, newer vehicles, maintenance and repair. Also, driver morale will improve because they will know that their good driving habits will be recognized and, in many cases, rewarded.

UBI Insurance is currently reserved for companies with access to the minimum annual premium of $100,000.  This is not a program for TNC operators, owner/operators with one car and is geared towards larger companies involved with providing services for the sharing economy.  GET A QUOTE

Uber Freight and Commercial Trucking Insurance

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Uber Freight and Commercial Trucking Insurance

In May of 2017, Uber launched one of their newest services Uber Freight. Uber Freight is an exciting, new trucking app that matches vetted drivers with long-haul routes. The app allows drivers or dispatchers to book and confirm routes with the tap of a button. They have the choice to filter the routes they search for by pickup, destination, the offered price, and other factors. Uber Freight is designed to work for carriers of any size. Although, the service is particularly attractive to small fleets and independent owner-operators. In order for trucking fleets and owner-operators to work with Uber Freight they need to have the proper Commercial Trucking Insurance.

 

How Does Uber Freight Work? What are the advantages?

Uber Freight was created with the business model to appeal to smaller fleets and independent truck drivers. Therefore, the app is designed to give more power to operators and solve many problems drivers have with traditional freight brokerage. Before Uber Freight, drivers or Uber Freightoperators would have to make multiple calls to schedule loads. Now the booking process is streamlined. Booking is made simple through the app. As easy as Uber makes it to schedule a car to pick you up on the curb, they make it just as convenient for commercial truck drivers to schedule loads and routes.

Another problem drivers have with traditional methods are delayed payment. The standard for payment is 30 to 60 days, but with Uber Freight drivers can receive payment about seven days after completion. This allows small trucking fleets or owner-operators to continuously operate at full capacity when repairs and other issues arise. A third problem Uber Freight solves is the problem of deadhead miles. Deadhead miles are the number of miles commercial truck drivers drive from the point of unload to the point where their new load is ready to pickup. Uber Freight accounts for this and compensates drivers. Furthermore, the app also features a “Take Me Home”. This setting helps drivers book loads that will take them back home while still earning income.

Uber Freight is still in its beginning years, but with the way they are operating and handling freight brokerage, they are hoping to transform the industry. They are positioning themselves as a drivers first service. They believe that when drivers are empowered and delivery is more efficient all businesses run better. Take a look at the partnership that Uber Freight has with Ocean Spray, and you’ll see how this new service works.

Commercial Trucking Insurance 

As Uber Freight is very much geared towards smaller fleets for the time being, operators need to do all they can to protect their small businesses. We at American Business Insurance Services, Inc. are here to help. Commercial Trucking Insurance or Delivery Insurance is tremendously important to the safety and security of drivers, their freight, and their business. If you are thinking about contracting through Uber Freight, you will have to have the proper insurance coverage. At American Business Insurance Services, Inc. we shop all the currently competitive markets for you. By doing this we can find you the best coverage to fit your specific needs in the commercial trucking industry. 

 

Why You Need Coverage?

American Business Insurance Services, Inc. has identified the Uber Freight business model as one that will likely transform the way the freight delivery industry operates. The seamless Uber Freightadaption of this technology to all types of businesses, that have shipping needs, has allowed for convenience of scheduling, more carrier options for businesses, and expedited delivery.

Our team of licensed brokers are well aware of the coverage you will need as a delivery fleet or owner-operator service. Furthermore, some of the common types of coverage that apply to delivery and commercial trucking businesses are:

  • Auto Liability to protect bodily injury of all parties
  • (Auto)Property Damage to cover damage to property
  • Comprehensive & Collision to protect against most causes of loss to your vehicle(s)
  • Personal Injury or Medical Coverage
  • Cargo Coverage

Contacting American Business Insurance Services, Inc. will guarantee that you are fully covered under a commercial auto policy and allow you to operate your fleet with Uber Freight.

Why American Business Insurance Services, Inc.?

At American Business Insurance Services, Inc., our goal is to build long lasting, valued and trusted relationships. Our mission is to create an understanding with our clients that they are at the forefront of our business. Consequently, we strive to make sure we know our clients business thoroughly to create a true partnership. American Business Insurance Services, Inc. is committed to professional excellence, delivering on commitments on time and of the highest caliber. Therefore, we use only the best practices in the industry. Through our stringent processes and systems we let you operate your commercial trucking or delivery service with confidence.

In conclusion, the Uber Freight business model could transform the way trucking operates and we understand that. As the business changes we at American Business Insurance Services, Inc. adapt with the change to provide the best types of coverage for clients.

To get a quote for your commercial trucking fleet or delivery service Click Here.

 

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American Business Insurance Services, Inc

PERIOD X™ Fleet Management Software with Insurance Built In

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What is Period X™ insurance and how does it work to help you manage your fleet?

American Business Insurance Services, Inc. developed Period X™ for fleet owners or individuals that are renting their cars out on a car sharing platform. This applies to platforms such as Turo, HyreCar or GetAround.  This coverage comes with fleet management software through a web-based dashboard at no extra cost to your policy. This fleet management software comes with tools to ensure your fleet is running at maximum efficiency. When managing your fleet that operates through a Transportation Network Company, the coverage is usually provided to the renter through TNC Provider Insurance. It is important for fleet operators to know that insurance is not supplied through TNC Provider Insurance when the car is not rented out. Of course you want to make sure your car is covered at all times. That’s where our proprietary Period X™ insurance coverage comes into play.

 

 

What a Period X™ Insurance Policy Provides

Our Period X™ Insurance policy provides more than the minimum state limits in
almost all 50 states. A comprehensive insurance product to cover fleets that
are being rented out on Peer to Peer (P2P) rental platforms such as the ones mentioned above. Our product is one of a kind. If you are renting your vehicles out on P2P rental platforms PERSONAL INSURANCE DOES NOT COVER YOU for this type of business model.

fleet management

An insurance policy with fleet management software

We didn’t stop at just putting the Period X™ insurance product together, we did a lot more.  Every Period X™ policy holder receives a proprietary device for each vehicle that they insure. This includes a fleet management web-based dashboard to manage your fleet.  It would be one thing just to have proper coverage that nobody can offer, but below are some of the additional services we provide as part of this coverage:

  • Ability to add/delete vehicles online

  • GPS track each and every car at all times

  • Check billing

  • Access ID cards and so much more fleet management tools

Period X™ is fleet tracking with the insurance built in!

Why we created Period X™ with fleet management software

As usual, the best place to start is always the beginning. To make a long story much shorter, in the beginning there were taxicabs. When taxicabs were the only animal of their kind roaming the earth, life was simple and there was only one period of time. Things were pretty easy. If you needed insurance for a taxicab, you got a taxicab insurance policy that covered that taxi company 24 hours a day, end of story. fleet management software

Then, not too long ago, something called Uber and Lyft came onto the scene.  All of the sudden, things got complicated really fast in the insurance world.  These companies found that if they divided their insurance policy into separate periods of time, and that each period had a coverage limit assigned to it. This made it possible to reduce their exposure (and their insurance premiums) to maximize profits.

Then, we had another new company (HyreCar) facilitating TNC rentals between rideshare drivers that needed cars and vehicle owners who wanted to make money by providing those cars.  The term peer-to-peer rentals was coined.  

A New Problem Arises

Initially, the idea was that personal insurance would cover the party that was renting their vehicle out to the TNC drivers as long as they only had one or two cars. It did not take long for vehicle owners to see that they were netting $700+ a month per car. Seeing such great results, this resulted in the vehicle owners adding more and more cars until they had fleets. Vehicle owners now had 10, 20, or even 30+ cars, which is not covered by personal auto insurance. This issue lead to the need for the Period X™ product to be created since personal insurance doesn’t cover fleets that are primarily used to make money via rental app platforms and especially not TNC rentals.

Napkin math ensued and a new problem emerged: 

“How do I place insurance on my fleet of cars under an LLC or Corp and keep my personal lines insurance pricing?”  

The answer to that question is: Period X™ Insurance!  Our agency was the brains behind this exciting new insurance product. We are now positioned to bring it to the masses! Now, fleet owners who place their inventory on platforms such as; HyreCar, Turo, GetAround & similar peer-to-peer rental platforms have access to a reasonably priced app-based insuranceinsurance product that covers their fleet for only the period of time when the vehicle is not rented out and is being serviced and maintained to ready the car for the next rental.  

There are articles upon articles online in regards to Periods 1,2 & 3 and why they are the way they are. The basic idea is that when a rideshare driver has the rideshare app off, then the rideshare company has no involvement in what that driver does with their car. This results in no insurance for that period of time.  The instant the rideshare app is on and the driver is engaged with it, Period 1, 2 & 3 begins and typically state minimum auto liability limits apply.

fleet management software

 

Breaking down insurance policies divided into separate periods of time:

After the app is turned on and driver is engaged with Period 1, they scan for rides
they’d like to take. The instant the driver accepts a ride, they have entered Period 2. The insurance coverage offered by the rideshare providers increases a bit more to cover incidents that might occur while the driver is on their way to pick up a passenger.

insurance policy

The last (for now) action involved in a typical rideshare exchange is that the driver arrives at the pick-up destination. The instant the passenger(s) get into the driver’s car, Period 3 is activated. 

TNC insurance policy

Period 3 typically involves $1,000,000 of auto liability coverage via the rideshare company insurance policy. This is the riskiest period of time, because any accident occurring during that period fully engages the rideshare provider and all participants involved with that ride.

Period Policies for Commercial Auto Working Together

The “Period 1,2 & 3” policy setup is now the industry standard for app-based transportation companies that offer rides as a service. Now with American Business Insurance Services, Inc. Period X™ insurance coverage, fleet managers are able to go beyond the industry standard. With our Period X™, coverage never slips through the cracks making sure your TNC fleet is protected at all times.

After Uber & Lyft had been around for a couple of years, opportunity-minded people started to notice the great deal of demand for vehicles from drivers who wanted to make money driving for TNC companies, but did not have the means to purchase, lease or finance a vehicle for various reasons.

A few select companies have established a niche in this territory and filled this demand successfully.  These companies didn’t only see this driver need for vehicle inventory in the marketplace. They saw plenty of regular people out there that are not always driving their personal vehicles, or who were interested in purchasing vehicles for the sole reason of renting them out to TNC drivers who needed them. This is an industry that expected to have rapid growth. When creating a TNC company having the proper policy coverage protects your business and livelihood. 

Contact Us For Full Details on Period X™ and our Fleet Tracking Software

We’d love to tell you everything about this program because we’re SO excited about this new product. We can’t just give away all our secrets at once, can we? What we can tell you is that we’re open in most U.S. states, have a full-time I.T. department dedicated to continuously evolving the technology behind this product. Our experienced team of licensed professionals are excited to talk to you about how you can get Period X™ Insurance on your fleet. Give us a call today! Let’s solve your fleet insurance / management problems so you can get back out there and make some money!

Call Today: (800) 980-1950

https://abiweb.com/

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Paratransit Service Insurance in California

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Paratransit Service Insurance in California for Company Fleet of 15+ Vehicles

We all have loved ones, that at one time or another, are in need of consistent medical care. Whether they be our aging grandparents, parents, or even our in-laws- we want the best care for them. But the thing is people are busy. We can’t always find the time to escort our loved ones to doctor appointments and other medical treatment centers. Although, there are ways to make this process a little easier. Many families, hospitals, and doctor offices turn to Paratransit Service or Non-Emergency Medical Transportation (NEMT) providers to fill this need.

paratransit service

The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, made paratransit service a daily reality for many Americans with disabilities. By providing transportation for those with disabilities, paratransit services are paramount to the well-being and mobility of thousands of Americans.

California NEMT and Background

In California, the major hubs are Los Angeles, San Diego, San Jose, and San Francisco. There are over 7 million people in these cities. Many of the elderly people living here need transportation to medical centers at all hours of the day. 

Even for those who are fortunate enough to have loved ones to drive them around, it’s not always convenient. Everyone living in these cities knows that traffic is horrendous, finding parking is a nightmare, and a whole day could be filled with a doctor’s visit.

This is when paratransit service or NEMT comes into play. There are many paratransit agencies that operate fleets of 15+ vehicles in California that American Business Insurance Services, Inc. works with to provide the best available coverage. Those seeking transportation are able to be picked up at their specific location and then the NEMT vehicle discharges passengers on request at various hospitals or medical centers. Having the right paratransit fleet insurance is essential in making sure your business and customers are covered in case of an incident. 

When customers are looking to choose a paratransit service or agency to be responsible for their loved ones, they will be looking into the NEMT company to make sure their loved one is going to be safe and protected.  American Business Insurance Services, Inc. provides NEMT insurance to companies nationwide creating customized policies to best serve our clients needs.

How to Decide on Paratransit/ NEMT Insurance For Your Company Fleetparatransit service

There are a lot of factors that go into finding the best insurance coverage for your Paratransit Company’s large fleet. Therefore, prepare to answer a few questions when working with American Business Insurance to find you the best quote to match your business needs. 

  • Do your vehicles have lifts or ramps? 
  • Do your vehicles include backup cameras? 
  • Are the majority of your trips for passengers ambulatory or non-ambulatory? 
  • Do you contract with LogistiCare or other providers with strict insurance requirements?

Insurance companies ask these questions to ensure you are fully covered under your policy. At American Business Insurance Services, Inc., we guarantee the most thorough coverage for your large fleet. Furthermore, we have trained professionals who will take care of everything, and will guide you through the process of properly insuring your NEMT fleet most efficiently!

Why You (the Paratransit service/agency) Need Full Coverage

Having the proper paratransit or NEMT insurance is critical to operating a successful transportation business. The services that paratransit automobile fleets accomplish for those in need is truly life changing and deserves insurance that is equally up to par.

Moreover, the reason you (the Paratransit service/agency) need NEMT fleet insurance is to ensure the safety and reliability of your paratransit service company, protecting your passengers and your business.

Paratransit/NEMT Insurance at American Business Insurance Services, Inc.

paratransit service

At American Business Insurance Services, Inc., our goal is to build long lasting, valued and trusted relationships. Our mission is to create an understanding with our clients because we want them to know they are at the forefront of our business. American Business Insurance Services, Inc. is committed to professional excellence, delivering on commitments on time, and of the highest caliber. In addition, we use only the best practices in the industry through our stringent processes and systems that let you operate your California paratransit service company with confidence.

Furthermore, most agencies take days or even weeks to process a vehicle or driver change on your Paratransit policy. At American Business Insurance Services, Inc. we have a fast, easy, and user-friendly online customer portal that you will love. Our state-of-the-art agency portal allows you to manage your NEMT business 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. With this portal, policy changes can be made online at any time – day or night. This is essential in running a business that also operates 24/7.

We promise to do the leg work for you. We have built strong long term relationships with our carriers of paratransit insurance in order to find you the best policy to match your business needs. Our 35+ years experience in insuring commercial auto fleets makes American Business Insurance quick and efficient in finding the best carrier options.

Get a quote today!

Wisconsin Taxi Insurance: It’s Not What You Know, It’s Who You Know

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Wisconsin Taxi Insurance: It’s Not What You Know, It’s Who You Know

Written by Laura Loftus on Monday, June 24th, 2019

 

Northwoods Cab, LLC began working with American Business Insurance in 2015. At the time, he had 2 cars insured. Now, he services 6,000 trips per month and maintains about 15 taxis on the road at all times.

Finding the right broker to handle your Wisconsin Taxi Insurance is vital. Besides the fact that we’ve been one of the leading providers for those who need Wisconsin Taxi Insurance, we give you more than just an insurance policy.

Currently, we insure over 100 vehicles that require Wisconsin Taxi Insurance and because we have been working with both fleets and individual owner/operators for over 35 years, we have created an easy to use online portal for our customers to service their policies 24/7.

We also provide you with a live, customer service rep dedicated to servicing your policy and answering coverage questions during regular business hours. Choosing us as your broker means choosing a well-educated partner who truly understands your business.

 

Our goal is to keep your vehicles on the road, and your Wisconsin Taxi Insurance active

Aaron Schloemer from Northwoods Cab, LLC in Wasuau, WI has a fleet of about 15 taxi’s on the road. He has been a client of ours since 2015 and says that our online portal helps him to run his business.  Some brokers will require you to send changes to them via email or fax in writing. Then you’ll have to wait days for an approval or ID card. But our portal allows you to make these changes in an instant. Transportation companies often need replacement ID Cards in the middle of the night, need to change out a vehicle at a moment’s notice and switch drivers on their policies with little time to spare.

“We use the online portal and it work’s like a charm. It really helps us. When a cab breaks down, we can go on the portal and easily take it off and put it back on. It doesn’t matter what time of the day or night. Another great thing is being able to add drivers 24 hours per day. It’s easy to use and we use it as a point of reference many times. Say we want to make sure a cab is on, we can log into the portal and make sure it’s there. It makes it a lot easier to run the company having a 24/7 portal.”

Schloemer started Northwoods Cab, LLC about 4 1/2 years ago. He started out in the taxi industry the way many others do, by working for another local cab company in town. After gaining experience and traction, he originally started the business further north in Tomahawk, WI. Soon after, he transferred the business into the Wausau area where they currently service about 6,000 calls/trips per month.

 

Keeping up with the competition

Although Uber has a presence in his area, he says they haven’t affected his business too much because he is able to keep his prices low enough, where riding with him is cheaper than in an Uber. One way he has been able to keep prices down is by hiring his drivers as independent contractors. He pays them 70% of the sales per day, and charges a weekly lease fee.

Northwoods Cab owner Aaron Schloemer with his son at Disney World, in front of the “Cab Garage.” We’ve been servicing his Wisconsin Taxi Insurance policy for the past fours years.

“A lot of taxi cab companies that have contractors pay 50%, and that isn’t enough to have the drivers stay, pay their bills and make a good income,” Schloemer said.

Some people get into the business to become their own boss and they think it will be easy to run once the basics are set up – obtaining Wisconsin taxi insurance, hiring and training drivers as well as holding monthly safety meetings. But, it isn’t always as easy as it seems.

“Don’t do it if you don’t love people and hard work. Don’t do it if you don’t know how to make decisions and handle problems. Because you are going to have problems every day,” Schloemer shared.

Day to day in the taxi business

While operating a taxi company may seem easy enough, there are daily challenges Schloemer faces that he says others should be aware of before starting out in the industry.

“The hardest thing is maintaining the fleet. The vehicles do get beat up pretty quick. It’s essential to our business that we have at least 10 cars on standby, ready to go, in case one should break down.”

Many people would not think of owning and operating at taxi company as a public service. But Schloemer considers it just that.

“Taking care of people and helping people do tasks they might not otherwise be able to get done,” is one of the benefits Schloemer says he enjoys about owning a taxi company. “Without us, they might not be able to get to their job on time or make it to their dialysis appointment,” he said.

How much insurance do I need?

How much insurance you need to purchase will depend on the type of transportation business you have, and where you are operating. Most limousines, black car or private car service business are overseen by the WI DOT and depending on their seating capacities, determine the limit of insurance that is needed.

Insurance limit requirements for limo and black cars with seating capacities (including driver) listed below:

  • 8 or less require $300,000
  • 15 or less require $1,500,000
  • 16 or more require $5,000,000

While Limo and black car limits are more straightforward, Wisconsin Taxi Insurance limits vary by municipality. Below are some of the requirements for Wisconsin taxi insurance by city:

  • Madison, WI – $1,000,000
  • Manitowoc, WI
  • Menomonie, WI – $1,000,000
  • Milwaukee, WI – $50,000/100,000/10,000
  • Sheboygan, WI – $100,000/300,000/100,000
  • Superior, WI – $500,000

 

Above are just some of the state specific requirements. Don’t see what you are looking for? Contact us as we are the Wisconsin taxi insurance experts and know exactly where to find this information so you don’t have to!

We would love to bring down the cost of your current  policy! Request a quote online by clicking here: https://abiweb.com/services/taxicab-insurance/

You can also call us at (800) 980-1950 ext. 4

 

 

 

AB5: Another Battle For Taxicab Owners

 

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AB5: Another Battle for Taxicab Owners

Written by Laura Loftus

As if it isn’t hard enough for taxicab, limo and paratransit drivers competing against the Amazon.com’s of transportation – Uber & Lyft – those in California are about to potentially fight the greatest battle of them yet against AB5.

Recently, CA legislature passed and signed into law AB5 (Assembly Bill 5) which goes into effect on January 1, 2020. This bill will implement the ABC test when determining whether companies need to classify drivers as independent contractors or employees.

Lyft and UBER stickers on the rear window of a vehicle offering rides in San Francisco Bay Area car.

With taxicab and limo drivers already struggling, it seems unfathomable that CA government would make it  more difficult for professionals to operate. But many people in the taxi and limo industry are worried about potential changes they will need to make within their business.

As a commercial insurance broker, specializing in Livery, For-Hire Insurance for those in the taxicab, limo, paratransit, shared economy and on demand delivery spaces – I hear it first hand on a day to day basis how they are affected by Uber and Lyft. They are upset that those companies don’t have to adhere to the same licensing, permitting and insurance requirements that they do. And now, they might be forced to provide Workers Compensation insurance for all “gig-economy” workers – which many taxi drivers claim to be.

This potential added expense could do more harm than good, in an already difficult marketplace.

How AB5 will work

In California, AB5 will implement a three-part “ABC” test. This test will be used to established if a worker is an employee or independent contractor. If a worker is an employee, they need to have Workers Compensation insurance along with medical benefits and paid sick days. The law also states that all workers will be considered an employee of the company unless they can prove:

  • (A) the worker is free from the employer’s control and direction;
  • (B) the worker performs work that is outside the usual course of the company’s primary business; and
  • (C) the worker is not customarily engaged in the same trade, occupation, or business as the work they are hired to perform

If the company cannot prove all of these items, then the worker needs to be classified as an employee.

 

Will your taxicab company be affected by AB5?

For Chris Sweis, SF Yellow Cab has been a family business since 1983. Like many others in this industry, he is one of many across the country who grew up in the business.  It is often traditional for the business to be passed down from generation to generation.

Sweis, who is also President of the  Taxicab Paratransit Association of California, wants to work with CA Legislature to make sure taxicab drivers are exempt from AB5. Sweis said, “We don’t know if they are going to have to make any changes because taxi drivers still needs to be tested under the ABC test and a lot depends on how they are operating. If they are operating as a co-op, that makes a big difference. In SF, they have the medallions system. So, it really depends on how they are operating.”

Many taxi companies are structured as co-ops. This means each taxi driver is part owner of the company. Most are also made up of individual owner-operators who owns their own vehicle.

Under this structure, it could be considered that owners are able to exempt themselves from Work Comp insurance. In California, owners can exclude themselves from coverage under a work -comp policy. Since these co-op owners are not technically employees – they may not be affected by the AB5 bill.

Companies like SF Yellow Cab that operate under the medallion system, feel the same could be said for them as well. The taxicab company owns the medallion but leases it to the owner of the vehicle. They are basically renting out their operating authority. With a lease agreement in place – it might be enough to say the owner/operator of the vehicle is employing themselves.

 

Should AB5 apply to taxicab drivers?

Matthew Daus, Esq. who is the Partner and Chairman for Windels Marx Transportation Group in NYC and also President of the International Association of Transportation Regulators explains in more detail. He talked about identifying whether or not your taxi or limo company can continue to classify drivers as independent contractors.

He said, “Let’s say you operate a factory and you manufacture dolls and you have a broken door. You call a contractor to fix the door. The contractor is a handyman to fix facilities, not in the business of selling dolls. That situation would likely involve that worker being an independent contractor – not an employee.”

Some transportation companies are worried that their current business structure might be tested and disrupted. Currently, it is common for taxicab companies to classify their drivers as “independent contractors.”

“I think the taxi and limo industry needs to mobilize like they’ve never had to before in order to be exempt from AB5. They should be making the argument that they’ve been decimated by Uber and Lyft for years and they need an exemption,” Daus said.

“And with the entire taxi industry struggling – I don’t think that is what the legislature wanted. Most people feel bad about what happened to those in the taxi industry. It’s time for the legislature to level the playing field,” Daus also said.

 

What can you do?

TPAC is trying to get in front of CA legislature to help determine how the state of California can still implement this bill but not negatively impact the already struggling taxi industry.

It is important to do what you can to voice your opinion in protecting the transportation industry.

Sweis said TPAC could use help from fellow taxicab owners throughout the country. “If they operate in a state that has an ABC test and there is some kind of law or legislature or court cases that exempts their drivers from an ABC test being independent contractors, whether on state or local level – that would be extremely helpful.”

Sweis asked that if you have anything to provide that might be helpful, to email directly at [email protected] .

A New Kind of Work Comp Insurance

With AB5 passing in California, those in taxi and limo business may need to start purchasing Work Comp insurance for their drivers come January 2020. Dave Haley, CEO of American Business Insurance is working on a cost-effective solution.

“Everyone is really worried about AB5 and they don’t know what to do,” Haley said.

As of today, the standard markets for Work Comp are not cheap. With the future of taxi and limo drivers at the forefront, Haley is working on a technology-based Work Comp product. His goal is to offer a product that is cost effective and easy to use.

“This new work comp product will offer a large savings for taxi and limo drivers. Compared to the work comp products currently available, our InsureTech solution will turn the traditional work comp system on its head.”

If  you need Work Comp for your transportation business, give us a call or email us. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Five Most Important Cannabis Business Software Purchases

Five Most Important Cannabis Business Software Purchases

Occasionally, American Business Insurance Services, Inc. hosts guest blogs from our partners who want to discuss the specifics of their services and the benefits they bring to customers. This blog features our partner Cue Cannabis, a Colorado based software company that allows cannabis businesses to purchase and manage various software and services to help run their company.

The legal marijuana industry is expanding, one state at a time, across the US. But while there are many business opportunities in this industry, it can still be challenging for a new business owner to make a profit. Cannabis business owners face the same stresses as normal business owners, like hiring, budgeting, and tracking merchandise, while also dealing with different challenges like staying compliant with state legislation. 

Purchasing software and the technological infrastructure for your business may not initially seem like the most interesting pursuit, but having the right set up will enhance the day-to-day efficiency of your business. At CUE Cannabis, we speak to many customers who don’t know where to start when it comes to purchasing software or setting up cameras and phone lines. It is an area where all business owners, from dispensaries to cultivators, or extractors, might struggle to find something that is right for their business. 

We’ve created a ‘hierarchy of software needs’ to help business owners prioritize their purchases. Further, each area of purchase comes with a few key questions that you can ask as a business owner in order to understand what might work best for your business. We’ll take you through the first three levels of this ‘hierarchy of software needs’ to help you with important business decisions.

1. Foundational software is critical for day-to-day operations

We designated a ‘foundational software’ category to include both software and infrastructure that is most important for day-to-day operations. In this category there is accounting, data security, compliance, and sales software like point-of-sale or seed-to-sale depending on your business. As the name suggests, laying the foundation for a successful operation will make the day-to-day of running your business more efficiently. When purchasing ‘foundational’ software, there are a few things to look for:

Accounting: Check with your accounting before deciding what to you because while many accountants can work with any software, some need you to have a program that is compatible with what they are already using. Also, if you don’t have an accountant, get one because it will make your life easier. 

Point-of-Sale: The hardware part of this software e.g. tablets, scanners, etc. can be a costly investment, but one great way to create some flexibility in your budget is by using a point of sale system that offers a month-by-month plan, which can make it easier for newer businesses. 

Data security: Cannabis is a highly regulated industry, meaning a lot of data is being collected. Understanding how your software is collecting and storing data should be one of the major questions you are asking. Consider what data practices you’ll have to store or transfer employee and customer information. 

A word about Technology and Infrastructure

Depending on the state requirements for your business, your building design, or the type of business you are running, technology and infrastructure will be an important ‘foundational’ piece. Examples of this could include purchasing security cameras for the business, which depending on your state of operation may be a legal requirement or just a good idea. Another element of technology to consider is the wifi and phone systems that will run your point-of-sale or help your employees get online.

Important questions to ask center around understanding how employees will work in the building and accomplish their jobs; depending on the business the use cases can be varied and complicated. Our biggest recommendation when considering the technology or infrastructure for your business is to consider an experienced partner who has extensive experience understanding not just the technology but how people will engage with it on a day-to-day basis. 

2. Other important software to make your business run efficiently

The aforementioned software is incredibly important for the operation of your business and the next category of software in the ‘hierarchy of needs’ will not only help you but also your employees. I’m talking specifically about HR, Payroll, and collaboration software like GSuite or Slack. The most important feature to consider across all this software is how ‘user-friendly’ is it, and how will it impact the employees that are using it (as well as yourself). 

When considering HR and Payroll software, for example, ask yourself questions like: Does this software integrating with my accounting software in order to manage payroll? Is it easy for managers and employees to access information? Does this software offer benefits that are easy to manage? 

With Collaboration software like Slack, GSuite, or other messaging tools, ask yourself about how your employees work and when they will engage with the software: are they mobile or office-based? What tasks do they need to do? 

HR, Payroll, and Collaboration software are crucial for the day-to-day running of your business. Ensuring that you hire the right people, pay them for their work and provide the tools to work effectively will contribute directly to the growth potential of the company. 

3. Improve your business with Data Analytics

After you have the right software, the next step is to make that software work for you. What I mean by this is understanding what information your software is collecting and how to use that to improve your business outcome. For example, consider your point-of-sale or seed-to-sale data to look at what products are doing well, and or what is not. Most business owners don’t realize how much data their business generates and what the possibilities are with this information. There are some amazing tools specifically designed for cannabis business owners that can help you analyze and visualize business data. 

We hope this discussion of foundational cannabis business software will give you a better understanding of how to make a purchase, but also what questions to ask when conducting research. If you want this checklist  

Now that you have a better understanding of how to prioritize your software and technology purchases, as well as what questions you can ask as you research. If you want to know more about the next levels of the ‘software hierarchy of needs,’ you can download your own guide here. 

About the Author: 

Fiona Foster is Marketing Manager for CUE Cannabis. She is also part of the CUE Expert team that advises business owners on how to find the best software and services for their company. 

UBI Telematics: The New Industry Standard

Written by Laura Loftus on September 18th, 2019

UBI Insurance is currently reserved for companies with access to the minimum annual premium of $100,000.  This is not a program for TNC operators, owner/operators with one car and is geared towards larger companies involved with providing services for the sharing economy.  GET A QUOTE

Usage Based Insurance (UBI telematics) products entered the personal auto marketplace some time ago. But it is a new concept for commercial auto policies. Whether you own and operate one vehicle in a small rural town, or a large fleet in an urban area –  insurance companies are always looking for ways to gain more business and limit their own risk. As a result, more and more insurance companies are offering UBI telematics to commercial fleets.

History of UBI Telematics

UBI telematics became popular with the invent of Transportation Network Companies like Uber and Lyft. As these types of companies grew the insurance industry responded by offering more options for UBI telematics. Companies like James River were one of the first to offer pay-per-mile or pay-as-you-drive plans. This got the rest of the world thinking. If Uber and Lyft can pay per mile, why can’t other transportation businesses obtain the same type of UBI telematics?

One reason UBI telematics was more easily implemented for Transportation Network Companies like Uber and Lyft is because the insurance company is not “on the risk” all the time. Most of these drivers carry their own personal auto policies. So, the TNC insurance is only “on” when the driver is logged into the app.

With the popularity of TNCs, it has affected the amount business taxi and limo companies are able to achieve. Traditional companies need to evolve in order to compete against Uber and Lyft. One way to do this, is to lower their costs with a UBI telematics policy.

How Pay-Per-Mile Insurance Works

UBI telematics works in many different ways.  The first is that you are provided with a device that plugs into the OBD port of your car. The device captures and reports mileage automatically to the insurance company. You are then billed at the agreed upon per-mile rate.

Another way mileage is captured and reported to insurance companies is through SDK integration of an app you might be using for dispatching of vehicles.

In the past, most for-hire, livery risks were charged a flat annual rate. It did not matter how many hours you spent on the road. It also didn’t matter how many miles you drove each month. But, now that UBI telematics is becoming more popular, many companies are offering this structure as an alternative.  Additionally, while most of the other personal auto insurance markets may provide this type of pricing structure, most do not capture driver analytics to help you coach and manage drivers.

UBI Telematics from American Business Insurance

As a UBI insurance broker, we are always looking for and creating solutions that are easy for our clients to use. As a result, we have created our own dashboard which captures the trends and habits of your drivers. Some UBI telematics structures actually charge different rates per driver and many will adjust the price mid-term (up and down) based on driver behavior.

Distracted driving is a problem that most UBI insurance brokers are trying to combat. By integrating telematics elements into pricing and policies, we are able to not only reduce the amount of money you are spending each year for insurance but also provide you with tools to limit risk to those markets.

Some of the data UBI telematics products capture include not only miles driven, but also:

  • Hard-braking incidents
  • G-Force of accidents
  • Hard-cornering
  • Excessive speed
  • Following too closely

By carefully managing and coaching drivers of bad driving habits before accidents occur, you keep your loss history low and your premiums lower.

UBI Telematics per Contract

While above options describe UBI telematics for all operations, we can also work with you to limit coverages on a per contract basis. What this means, is that sometimes the City or State will require a minimum auto limit of $100,000. But you want to obtain a contract to transport patients to and from doctor appointments. Most likely, that contract will require your fleet to have a limit of $1,000,000 or higher. Instead of providing you with a quote that increases the cost for the entire policy to $1M limit – we can write a separate excess policy that bills you by trip, or by mile for the contract only.

Another way to limit coverage is if for example your city requires the same $100k limit mentioned above, but you drop off at the airport who requires $1,000,000 while on airport property. Instead of increasing the premium for the policy to be $1M all the time, we can charge less of an increase by endorsing the policy to provide the higher limit while only on airport property.

How Does this Benefit Business Owners?

The secret to any business is operating at profitable margins. By keeping insurance costs low, commercial fleet owners are able to put money back into their business for advertising, newer vehicles, maintenance and repair. Also, driver morale will improve because they will know that their good driving habits will be recognized and, in many cases, rewarded.

UBI Insurance is currently reserved for companies with access to the minimum annual premium of $100,000.  This is not a program for TNC operators, owner/operators with one car and is geared towards larger companies involved with providing services for the sharing economy.  GET A QUOTE

Uber Freight and Commercial Trucking Insurance

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Uber Freight and Commercial Trucking Insurance

In May of 2017, Uber launched one of their newest services Uber Freight. Uber Freight is an exciting, new trucking app that matches vetted drivers with long-haul routes. The app allows drivers or dispatchers to book and confirm routes with the tap of a button. They have the choice to filter the routes they search for by pickup, destination, the offered price, and other factors. Uber Freight is designed to work for carriers of any size. Although, the service is particularly attractive to small fleets and independent owner-operators. In order for trucking fleets and owner-operators to work with Uber Freight they need to have the proper Commercial Trucking Insurance.

 

How Does Uber Freight Work? What are the advantages?

Uber Freight was created with the business model to appeal to smaller fleets and independent truck drivers. Therefore, the app is designed to give more power to operators and solve many problems drivers have with traditional freight brokerage. Before Uber Freight, drivers or Uber Freightoperators would have to make multiple calls to schedule loads. Now the booking process is streamlined. Booking is made simple through the app. As easy as Uber makes it to schedule a car to pick you up on the curb, they make it just as convenient for commercial truck drivers to schedule loads and routes.

Another problem drivers have with traditional methods are delayed payment. The standard for payment is 30 to 60 days, but with Uber Freight drivers can receive payment about seven days after completion. This allows small trucking fleets or owner-operators to continuously operate at full capacity when repairs and other issues arise. A third problem Uber Freight solves is the problem of deadhead miles. Deadhead miles are the number of miles commercial truck drivers drive from the point of unload to the point where their new load is ready to pickup. Uber Freight accounts for this and compensates drivers. Furthermore, the app also features a “Take Me Home”. This setting helps drivers book loads that will take them back home while still earning income.

Uber Freight is still in its beginning years, but with the way they are operating and handling freight brokerage, they are hoping to transform the industry. They are positioning themselves as a drivers first service. They believe that when drivers are empowered and delivery is more efficient all businesses run better. Take a look at the partnership that Uber Freight has with Ocean Spray, and you’ll see how this new service works.

Commercial Trucking Insurance 

As Uber Freight is very much geared towards smaller fleets for the time being, operators need to do all they can to protect their small businesses. We at American Business Insurance Services, Inc. are here to help. Commercial Trucking Insurance or Delivery Insurance is tremendously important to the safety and security of drivers, their freight, and their business. If you are thinking about contracting through Uber Freight, you will have to have the proper insurance coverage. At American Business Insurance Services, Inc. we shop all the currently competitive markets for you. By doing this we can find you the best coverage to fit your specific needs in the commercial trucking industry. 

 

Why You Need Coverage?

American Business Insurance Services, Inc. has identified the Uber Freight business model as one that will likely transform the way the freight delivery industry operates. The seamless Uber Freightadaption of this technology to all types of businesses, that have shipping needs, has allowed for convenience of scheduling, more carrier options for businesses, and expedited delivery.

Our team of licensed brokers are well aware of the coverage you will need as a delivery fleet or owner-operator service. Furthermore, some of the common types of coverage that apply to delivery and commercial trucking businesses are:

  • Auto Liability to protect bodily injury of all parties
  • (Auto)Property Damage to cover damage to property
  • Comprehensive & Collision to protect against most causes of loss to your vehicle(s)
  • Personal Injury or Medical Coverage
  • Cargo Coverage

Contacting American Business Insurance Services, Inc. will guarantee that you are fully covered under a commercial auto policy and allow you to operate your fleet with Uber Freight.

Why American Business Insurance Services, Inc.?

At American Business Insurance Services, Inc., our goal is to build long lasting, valued and trusted relationships. Our mission is to create an understanding with our clients that they are at the forefront of our business. Consequently, we strive to make sure we know our clients business thoroughly to create a true partnership. American Business Insurance Services, Inc. is committed to professional excellence, delivering on commitments on time and of the highest caliber. Therefore, we use only the best practices in the industry. Through our stringent processes and systems we let you operate your commercial trucking or delivery service with confidence.

In conclusion, the Uber Freight business model could transform the way trucking operates and we understand that. As the business changes we at American Business Insurance Services, Inc. adapt with the change to provide the best types of coverage for clients.

To get a quote for your commercial trucking fleet or delivery service Click Here.

 

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American Business Insurance Services, Inc

PERIOD X™ Fleet Management Software with Insurance Built In

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What is Period X™ insurance and how does it work to help you manage your fleet?

American Business Insurance Services, Inc. developed Period X™ for fleet owners or individuals that are renting their cars out on a car sharing platform. This applies to platforms such as Turo, HyreCar or GetAround.  This coverage comes with fleet management software through a web-based dashboard at no extra cost to your policy. This fleet management software comes with tools to ensure your fleet is running at maximum efficiency. When managing your fleet that operates through a Transportation Network Company, the coverage is usually provided to the renter through TNC Provider Insurance. It is important for fleet operators to know that insurance is not supplied through TNC Provider Insurance when the car is not rented out. Of course you want to make sure your car is covered at all times. That’s where our proprietary Period X™ insurance coverage comes into play.

 

 

What a Period X™ Insurance Policy Provides

Our Period X™ Insurance policy provides more than the minimum state limits in
almost all 50 states. A comprehensive insurance product to cover fleets that
are being rented out on Peer to Peer (P2P) rental platforms such as the ones mentioned above. Our product is one of a kind. If you are renting your vehicles out on P2P rental platforms PERSONAL INSURANCE DOES NOT COVER YOU for this type of business model.

fleet management

An insurance policy with fleet management software

We didn’t stop at just putting the Period X™ insurance product together, we did a lot more.  Every Period X™ policy holder receives a proprietary device for each vehicle that they insure. This includes a fleet management web-based dashboard to manage your fleet.  It would be one thing just to have proper coverage that nobody can offer, but below are some of the additional services we provide as part of this coverage:

  • Ability to add/delete vehicles online

  • GPS track each and every car at all times

  • Check billing

  • Access ID cards and so much more fleet management tools

Period X™ is fleet tracking with the insurance built in!

Why we created Period X™ with fleet management software

As usual, the best place to start is always the beginning. To make a long story much shorter, in the beginning there were taxicabs. When taxicabs were the only animal of their kind roaming the earth, life was simple and there was only one period of time. Things were pretty easy. If you needed insurance for a taxicab, you got a taxicab insurance policy that covered that taxi company 24 hours a day, end of story. fleet management software

Then, not too long ago, something called Uber and Lyft came onto the scene.  All of the sudden, things got complicated really fast in the insurance world.  These companies found that if they divided their insurance policy into separate periods of time, and that each period had a coverage limit assigned to it. This made it possible to reduce their exposure (and their insurance premiums) to maximize profits.

Then, we had another new company (HyreCar) facilitating TNC rentals between rideshare drivers that needed cars and vehicle owners who wanted to make money by providing those cars.  The term peer-to-peer rentals was coined.  

A New Problem Arises

Initially, the idea was that personal insurance would cover the party that was renting their vehicle out to the TNC drivers as long as they only had one or two cars. It did not take long for vehicle owners to see that they were netting $700+ a month per car. Seeing such great results, this resulted in the vehicle owners adding more and more cars until they had fleets. Vehicle owners now had 10, 20, or even 30+ cars, which is not covered by personal auto insurance. This issue lead to the need for the Period X™ product to be created since personal insurance doesn’t cover fleets that are primarily used to make money via rental app platforms and especially not TNC rentals.

Napkin math ensued and a new problem emerged: 

“How do I place insurance on my fleet of cars under an LLC or Corp and keep my personal lines insurance pricing?”  

The answer to that question is: Period X™ Insurance!  Our agency was the brains behind this exciting new insurance product. We are now positioned to bring it to the masses! Now, fleet owners who place their inventory on platforms such as; HyreCar, Turo, GetAround & similar peer-to-peer rental platforms have access to a reasonably priced app-based insuranceinsurance product that covers their fleet for only the period of time when the vehicle is not rented out and is being serviced and maintained to ready the car for the next rental.  

There are articles upon articles online in regards to Periods 1,2 & 3 and why they are the way they are. The basic idea is that when a rideshare driver has the rideshare app off, then the rideshare company has no involvement in what that driver does with their car. This results in no insurance for that period of time.  The instant the rideshare app is on and the driver is engaged with it, Period 1, 2 & 3 begins and typically state minimum auto liability limits apply.

fleet management software

 

Breaking down insurance policies divided into separate periods of time:

After the app is turned on and driver is engaged with Period 1, they scan for rides
they’d like to take. The instant the driver accepts a ride, they have entered Period 2. The insurance coverage offered by the rideshare providers increases a bit more to cover incidents that might occur while the driver is on their way to pick up a passenger.

insurance policy

The last (for now) action involved in a typical rideshare exchange is that the driver arrives at the pick-up destination. The instant the passenger(s) get into the driver’s car, Period 3 is activated. 

TNC insurance policy

Period 3 typically involves $1,000,000 of auto liability coverage via the rideshare company insurance policy. This is the riskiest period of time, because any accident occurring during that period fully engages the rideshare provider and all participants involved with that ride.

Period Policies for Commercial Auto Working Together

The “Period 1,2 & 3” policy setup is now the industry standard for app-based transportation companies that offer rides as a service. Now with American Business Insurance Services, Inc. Period X™ insurance coverage, fleet managers are able to go beyond the industry standard. With our Period X™, coverage never slips through the cracks making sure your TNC fleet is protected at all times.

After Uber & Lyft had been around for a couple of years, opportunity-minded people started to notice the great deal of demand for vehicles from drivers who wanted to make money driving for TNC companies, but did not have the means to purchase, lease or finance a vehicle for various reasons.

A few select companies have established a niche in this territory and filled this demand successfully.  These companies didn’t only see this driver need for vehicle inventory in the marketplace. They saw plenty of regular people out there that are not always driving their personal vehicles, or who were interested in purchasing vehicles for the sole reason of renting them out to TNC drivers who needed them. This is an industry that expected to have rapid growth. When creating a TNC company having the proper policy coverage protects your business and livelihood. 

Contact Us For Full Details on Period X™ and our Fleet Tracking Software

We’d love to tell you everything about this program because we’re SO excited about this new product. We can’t just give away all our secrets at once, can we? What we can tell you is that we’re open in most U.S. states, have a full-time I.T. department dedicated to continuously evolving the technology behind this product. Our experienced team of licensed professionals are excited to talk to you about how you can get Period X™ Insurance on your fleet. Give us a call today! Let’s solve your fleet insurance / management problems so you can get back out there and make some money!

Call Today: (800) 980-1950

https://abiweb.com/

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Paratransit Service Insurance in California

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Paratransit Service Insurance in California for Company Fleet of 15+ Vehicles

We all have loved ones, that at one time or another, are in need of consistent medical care. Whether they be our aging grandparents, parents, or even our in-laws- we want the best care for them. But the thing is people are busy. We can’t always find the time to escort our loved ones to doctor appointments and other medical treatment centers. Although, there are ways to make this process a little easier. Many families, hospitals, and doctor offices turn to Paratransit Service or Non-Emergency Medical Transportation (NEMT) providers to fill this need.

paratransit service

The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, made paratransit service a daily reality for many Americans with disabilities. By providing transportation for those with disabilities, paratransit services are paramount to the well-being and mobility of thousands of Americans.

California NEMT and Background

In California, the major hubs are Los Angeles, San Diego, San Jose, and San Francisco. There are over 7 million people in these cities. Many of the elderly people living here need transportation to medical centers at all hours of the day. 

Even for those who are fortunate enough to have loved ones to drive them around, it’s not always convenient. Everyone living in these cities knows that traffic is horrendous, finding parking is a nightmare, and a whole day could be filled with a doctor’s visit.

This is when paratransit service or NEMT comes into play. There are many paratransit agencies that operate fleets of 15+ vehicles in California that American Business Insurance Services, Inc. works with to provide the best available coverage. Those seeking transportation are able to be picked up at their specific location and then the NEMT vehicle discharges passengers on request at various hospitals or medical centers. Having the right paratransit fleet insurance is essential in making sure your business and customers are covered in case of an incident. 

When customers are looking to choose a paratransit service or agency to be responsible for their loved ones, they will be looking into the NEMT company to make sure their loved one is going to be safe and protected.  American Business Insurance Services, Inc. provides NEMT insurance to companies nationwide creating customized policies to best serve our clients needs.

How to Decide on Paratransit/ NEMT Insurance For Your Company Fleetparatransit service

There are a lot of factors that go into finding the best insurance coverage for your Paratransit Company’s large fleet. Therefore, prepare to answer a few questions when working with American Business Insurance to find you the best quote to match your business needs. 

  • Do your vehicles have lifts or ramps? 
  • Do your vehicles include backup cameras? 
  • Are the majority of your trips for passengers ambulatory or non-ambulatory? 
  • Do you contract with LogistiCare or other providers with strict insurance requirements?

Insurance companies ask these questions to ensure you are fully covered under your policy. At American Business Insurance Services, Inc., we guarantee the most thorough coverage for your large fleet. Furthermore, we have trained professionals who will take care of everything, and will guide you through the process of properly insuring your NEMT fleet most efficiently!

Why You (the Paratransit service/agency) Need Full Coverage

Having the proper paratransit or NEMT insurance is critical to operating a successful transportation business. The services that paratransit automobile fleets accomplish for those in need is truly life changing and deserves insurance that is equally up to par.

Moreover, the reason you (the Paratransit service/agency) need NEMT fleet insurance is to ensure the safety and reliability of your paratransit service company, protecting your passengers and your business.

Paratransit/NEMT Insurance at American Business Insurance Services, Inc.

paratransit service

At American Business Insurance Services, Inc., our goal is to build long lasting, valued and trusted relationships. Our mission is to create an understanding with our clients because we want them to know they are at the forefront of our business. American Business Insurance Services, Inc. is committed to professional excellence, delivering on commitments on time, and of the highest caliber. In addition, we use only the best practices in the industry through our stringent processes and systems that let you operate your California paratransit service company with confidence.

Furthermore, most agencies take days or even weeks to process a vehicle or driver change on your Paratransit policy. At American Business Insurance Services, Inc. we have a fast, easy, and user-friendly online customer portal that you will love. Our state-of-the-art agency portal allows you to manage your NEMT business 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. With this portal, policy changes can be made online at any time – day or night. This is essential in running a business that also operates 24/7.

We promise to do the leg work for you. We have built strong long term relationships with our carriers of paratransit insurance in order to find you the best policy to match your business needs. Our 35+ years experience in insuring commercial auto fleets makes American Business Insurance quick and efficient in finding the best carrier options.

Get a quote today!

Wisconsin Taxi Insurance: It’s Not What You Know, It’s Who You Know

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Wisconsin Taxi Insurance: It’s Not What You Know, It’s Who You Know

Written by Laura Loftus on Monday, June 24th, 2019

 

Northwoods Cab, LLC began working with American Business Insurance in 2015. At the time, he had 2 cars insured. Now, he services 6,000 trips per month and maintains about 15 taxis on the road at all times.

Finding the right broker to handle your Wisconsin Taxi Insurance is vital. Besides the fact that we’ve been one of the leading providers for those who need Wisconsin Taxi Insurance, we give you more than just an insurance policy.

Currently, we insure over 100 vehicles that require Wisconsin Taxi Insurance and because we have been working with both fleets and individual owner/operators for over 35 years, we have created an easy to use online portal for our customers to service their policies 24/7.

We also provide you with a live, customer service rep dedicated to servicing your policy and answering coverage questions during regular business hours. Choosing us as your broker means choosing a well-educated partner who truly understands your business.

 

Our goal is to keep your vehicles on the road, and your Wisconsin Taxi Insurance active

Aaron Schloemer from Northwoods Cab, LLC in Wasuau, WI has a fleet of about 15 taxi’s on the road. He has been a client of ours since 2015 and says that our online portal helps him to run his business.  Some brokers will require you to send changes to them via email or fax in writing. Then you’ll have to wait days for an approval or ID card. But our portal allows you to make these changes in an instant. Transportation companies often need replacement ID Cards in the middle of the night, need to change out a vehicle at a moment’s notice and switch drivers on their policies with little time to spare.

“We use the online portal and it work’s like a charm. It really helps us. When a cab breaks down, we can go on the portal and easily take it off and put it back on. It doesn’t matter what time of the day or night. Another great thing is being able to add drivers 24 hours per day. It’s easy to use and we use it as a point of reference many times. Say we want to make sure a cab is on, we can log into the portal and make sure it’s there. It makes it a lot easier to run the company having a 24/7 portal.”

Schloemer started Northwoods Cab, LLC about 4 1/2 years ago. He started out in the taxi industry the way many others do, by working for another local cab company in town. After gaining experience and traction, he originally started the business further north in Tomahawk, WI. Soon after, he transferred the business into the Wausau area where they currently service about 6,000 calls/trips per month.

 

Keeping up with the competition

Although Uber has a presence in his area, he says they haven’t affected his business too much because he is able to keep his prices low enough, where riding with him is cheaper than in an Uber. One way he has been able to keep prices down is by hiring his drivers as independent contractors. He pays them 70% of the sales per day, and charges a weekly lease fee.

Northwoods Cab owner Aaron Schloemer with his son at Disney World, in front of the “Cab Garage.” We’ve been servicing his Wisconsin Taxi Insurance policy for the past fours years.

“A lot of taxi cab companies that have contractors pay 50%, and that isn’t enough to have the drivers stay, pay their bills and make a good income,” Schloemer said.

Some people get into the business to become their own boss and they think it will be easy to run once the basics are set up – obtaining Wisconsin taxi insurance, hiring and training drivers as well as holding monthly safety meetings. But, it isn’t always as easy as it seems.

“Don’t do it if you don’t love people and hard work. Don’t do it if you don’t know how to make decisions and handle problems. Because you are going to have problems every day,” Schloemer shared.

Day to day in the taxi business

While operating a taxi company may seem easy enough, there are daily challenges Schloemer faces that he says others should be aware of before starting out in the industry.

“The hardest thing is maintaining the fleet. The vehicles do get beat up pretty quick. It’s essential to our business that we have at least 10 cars on standby, ready to go, in case one should break down.”

Many people would not think of owning and operating at taxi company as a public service. But Schloemer considers it just that.

“Taking care of people and helping people do tasks they might not otherwise be able to get done,” is one of the benefits Schloemer says he enjoys about owning a taxi company. “Without us, they might not be able to get to their job on time or make it to their dialysis appointment,” he said.

How much insurance do I need?

How much insurance you need to purchase will depend on the type of transportation business you have, and where you are operating. Most limousines, black car or private car service business are overseen by the WI DOT and depending on their seating capacities, determine the limit of insurance that is needed.

Insurance limit requirements for limo and black cars with seating capacities (including driver) listed below:

  • 8 or less require $300,000
  • 15 or less require $1,500,000
  • 16 or more require $5,000,000

While Limo and black car limits are more straightforward, Wisconsin Taxi Insurance limits vary by municipality. Below are some of the requirements for Wisconsin taxi insurance by city:

  • Madison, WI – $1,000,000
  • Manitowoc, WI
  • Menomonie, WI – $1,000,000
  • Milwaukee, WI – $50,000/100,000/10,000
  • Sheboygan, WI – $100,000/300,000/100,000
  • Superior, WI – $500,000

 

Above are just some of the state specific requirements. Don’t see what you are looking for? Contact us as we are the Wisconsin taxi insurance experts and know exactly where to find this information so you don’t have to!

We would love to bring down the cost of your current  policy! Request a quote online by clicking here: https://abiweb.com/services/taxicab-insurance/

You can also call us at (800) 980-1950 ext. 4

 

 

 

AB5: Another Battle For Taxicab Owners

 

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AB5: Another Battle for Taxicab Owners

Written by Laura Loftus

As if it isn’t hard enough for taxicab, limo and paratransit drivers competing against the Amazon.com’s of transportation – Uber & Lyft – those in California are about to potentially fight the greatest battle of them yet against AB5.

Recently, CA legislature passed and signed into law AB5 (Assembly Bill 5) which goes into effect on January 1, 2020. This bill will implement the ABC test when determining whether companies need to classify drivers as independent contractors or employees.

Lyft and UBER stickers on the rear window of a vehicle offering rides in San Francisco Bay Area car.

With taxicab and limo drivers already struggling, it seems unfathomable that CA government would make it  more difficult for professionals to operate. But many people in the taxi and limo industry are worried about potential changes they will need to make within their business.

As a commercial insurance broker, specializing in Livery, For-Hire Insurance for those in the taxicab, limo, paratransit, shared economy and on demand delivery spaces – I hear it first hand on a day to day basis how they are affected by Uber and Lyft. They are upset that those companies don’t have to adhere to the same licensing, permitting and insurance requirements that they do. And now, they might be forced to provide Workers Compensation insurance for all “gig-economy” workers – which many taxi drivers claim to be.

This potential added expense could do more harm than good, in an already difficult marketplace.

How AB5 will work

In California, AB5 will implement a three-part “ABC” test. This test will be used to established if a worker is an employee or independent contractor. If a worker is an employee, they need to have Workers Compensation insurance along with medical benefits and paid sick days. The law also states that all workers will be considered an employee of the company unless they can prove:

  • (A) the worker is free from the employer’s control and direction;
  • (B) the worker performs work that is outside the usual course of the company’s primary business; and
  • (C) the worker is not customarily engaged in the same trade, occupation, or business as the work they are hired to perform

If the company cannot prove all of these items, then the worker needs to be classified as an employee.

 

Will your taxicab company be affected by AB5?

For Chris Sweis, SF Yellow Cab has been a family business since 1983. Like many others in this industry, he is one of many across the country who grew up in the business.  It is often traditional for the business to be passed down from generation to generation.

Sweis, who is also President of the  Taxicab Paratransit Association of California, wants to work with CA Legislature to make sure taxicab drivers are exempt from AB5. Sweis said, “We don’t know if they are going to have to make any changes because taxi drivers still needs to be tested under the ABC test and a lot depends on how they are operating. If they are operating as a co-op, that makes a big difference. In SF, they have the medallions system. So, it really depends on how they are operating.”

Many taxi companies are structured as co-ops. This means each taxi driver is part owner of the company. Most are also made up of individual owner-operators who owns their own vehicle.

Under this structure, it could be considered that owners are able to exempt themselves from Work Comp insurance. In California, owners can exclude themselves from coverage under a work -comp policy. Since these co-op owners are not technically employees – they may not be affected by the AB5 bill.

Companies like SF Yellow Cab that operate under the medallion system, feel the same could be said for them as well. The taxicab company owns the medallion but leases it to the owner of the vehicle. They are basically renting out their operating authority. With a lease agreement in place – it might be enough to say the owner/operator of the vehicle is employing themselves.

 

Should AB5 apply to taxicab drivers?

Matthew Daus, Esq. who is the Partner and Chairman for Windels Marx Transportation Group in NYC and also President of the International Association of Transportation Regulators explains in more detail. He talked about identifying whether or not your taxi or limo company can continue to classify drivers as independent contractors.

He said, “Let’s say you operate a factory and you manufacture dolls and you have a broken door. You call a contractor to fix the door. The contractor is a handyman to fix facilities, not in the business of selling dolls. That situation would likely involve that worker being an independent contractor – not an employee.”

Some transportation companies are worried that their current business structure might be tested and disrupted. Currently, it is common for taxicab companies to classify their drivers as “independent contractors.”

“I think the taxi and limo industry needs to mobilize like they’ve never had to before in order to be exempt from AB5. They should be making the argument that they’ve been decimated by Uber and Lyft for years and they need an exemption,” Daus said.

“And with the entire taxi industry struggling – I don’t think that is what the legislature wanted. Most people feel bad about what happened to those in the taxi industry. It’s time for the legislature to level the playing field,” Daus also said.

 

What can you do?

TPAC is trying to get in front of CA legislature to help determine how the state of California can still implement this bill but not negatively impact the already struggling taxi industry.

It is important to do what you can to voice your opinion in protecting the transportation industry.

Sweis said TPAC could use help from fellow taxicab owners throughout the country. “If they operate in a state that has an ABC test and there is some kind of law or legislature or court cases that exempts their drivers from an ABC test being independent contractors, whether on state or local level – that would be extremely helpful.”

Sweis asked that if you have anything to provide that might be helpful, to email directly at [email protected] .

A New Kind of Work Comp Insurance

With AB5 passing in California, those in taxi and limo business may need to start purchasing Work Comp insurance for their drivers come January 2020. Dave Haley, CEO of American Business Insurance is working on a cost-effective solution.

“Everyone is really worried about AB5 and they don’t know what to do,” Haley said.

As of today, the standard markets for Work Comp are not cheap. With the future of taxi and limo drivers at the forefront, Haley is working on a technology-based Work Comp product. His goal is to offer a product that is cost effective and easy to use.

“This new work comp product will offer a large savings for taxi and limo drivers. Compared to the work comp products currently available, our InsureTech solution will turn the traditional work comp system on its head.”

If  you need Work Comp for your transportation business, give us a call or email us. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Five Most Important Cannabis Business Software Purchases

Five Most Important Cannabis Business Software Purchases

Occasionally, American Business Insurance Services, Inc. hosts guest blogs from our partners who want to discuss the specifics of their services and the benefits they bring to customers. This blog features our partner Cue Cannabis, a Colorado based software company that allows cannabis businesses to purchase and manage various software and services to help run their company.

The legal marijuana industry is expanding, one state at a time, across the US. But while there are many business opportunities in this industry, it can still be challenging for a new business owner to make a profit. Cannabis business owners face the same stresses as normal business owners, like hiring, budgeting, and tracking merchandise, while also dealing with different challenges like staying compliant with state legislation. 

Purchasing software and the technological infrastructure for your business may not initially seem like the most interesting pursuit, but having the right set up will enhance the day-to-day efficiency of your business. At CUE Cannabis, we speak to many customers who don’t know where to start when it comes to purchasing software or setting up cameras and phone lines. It is an area where all business owners, from dispensaries to cultivators, or extractors, might struggle to find something that is right for their business. 

We’ve created a ‘hierarchy of software needs’ to help business owners prioritize their purchases. Further, each area of purchase comes with a few key questions that you can ask as a business owner in order to understand what might work best for your business. We’ll take you through the first three levels of this ‘hierarchy of software needs’ to help you with important business decisions.

1. Foundational software is critical for day-to-day operations

We designated a ‘foundational software’ category to include both software and infrastructure that is most important for day-to-day operations. In this category there is accounting, data security, compliance, and sales software like point-of-sale or seed-to-sale depending on your business. As the name suggests, laying the foundation for a successful operation will make the day-to-day of running your business more efficiently. When purchasing ‘foundational’ software, there are a few things to look for:

Accounting: Check with your accounting before deciding what to you because while many accountants can work with any software, some need you to have a program that is compatible with what they are already using. Also, if you don’t have an accountant, get one because it will make your life easier. 

Point-of-Sale: The hardware part of this software e.g. tablets, scanners, etc. can be a costly investment, but one great way to create some flexibility in your budget is by using a point of sale system that offers a month-by-month plan, which can make it easier for newer businesses. 

Data security: Cannabis is a highly regulated industry, meaning a lot of data is being collected. Understanding how your software is collecting and storing data should be one of the major questions you are asking. Consider what data practices you’ll have to store or transfer employee and customer information. 

A word about Technology and Infrastructure

Depending on the state requirements for your business, your building design, or the type of business you are running, technology and infrastructure will be an important ‘foundational’ piece. Examples of this could include purchasing security cameras for the business, which depending on your state of operation may be a legal requirement or just a good idea. Another element of technology to consider is the wifi and phone systems that will run your point-of-sale or help your employees get online.

Important questions to ask center around understanding how employees will work in the building and accomplish their jobs; depending on the business the use cases can be varied and complicated. Our biggest recommendation when considering the technology or infrastructure for your business is to consider an experienced partner who has extensive experience understanding not just the technology but how people will engage with it on a day-to-day basis. 

2. Other important software to make your business run efficiently

The aforementioned software is incredibly important for the operation of your business and the next category of software in the ‘hierarchy of needs’ will not only help you but also your employees. I’m talking specifically about HR, Payroll, and collaboration software like GSuite or Slack. The most important feature to consider across all this software is how ‘user-friendly’ is it, and how will it impact the employees that are using it (as well as yourself). 

When considering HR and Payroll software, for example, ask yourself questions like: Does this software integrating with my accounting software in order to manage payroll? Is it easy for managers and employees to access information? Does this software offer benefits that are easy to manage? 

With Collaboration software like Slack, GSuite, or other messaging tools, ask yourself about how your employees work and when they will engage with the software: are they mobile or office-based? What tasks do they need to do? 

HR, Payroll, and Collaboration software are crucial for the day-to-day running of your business. Ensuring that you hire the right people, pay them for their work and provide the tools to work effectively will contribute directly to the growth potential of the company. 

3. Improve your business with Data Analytics

After you have the right software, the next step is to make that software work for you. What I mean by this is understanding what information your software is collecting and how to use that to improve your business outcome. For example, consider your point-of-sale or seed-to-sale data to look at what products are doing well, and or what is not. Most business owners don’t realize how much data their business generates and what the possibilities are with this information. There are some amazing tools specifically designed for cannabis business owners that can help you analyze and visualize business data. 

We hope this discussion of foundational cannabis business software will give you a better understanding of how to make a purchase, but also what questions to ask when conducting research. If you want this checklist  

Now that you have a better understanding of how to prioritize your software and technology purchases, as well as what questions you can ask as you research. If you want to know more about the next levels of the ‘software hierarchy of needs,’ you can download your own guide here. 

About the Author: 

Fiona Foster is Marketing Manager for CUE Cannabis. She is also part of the CUE Expert team that advises business owners on how to find the best software and services for their company. 

UBI Telematics: The New Industry Standard

Written by Laura Loftus on September 18th, 2019

UBI Insurance is currently reserved for companies with access to the minimum annual premium of $100,000.  This is not a program for TNC operators, owner/operators with one car and is geared towards larger companies involved with providing services for the sharing economy.  GET A QUOTE

Usage Based Insurance (UBI telematics) products entered the personal auto marketplace some time ago. But it is a new concept for commercial auto policies. Whether you own and operate one vehicle in a small rural town, or a large fleet in an urban area –  insurance companies are always looking for ways to gain more business and limit their own risk. As a result, more and more insurance companies are offering UBI telematics to commercial fleets.

History of UBI Telematics

UBI telematics became popular with the invent of Transportation Network Companies like Uber and Lyft. As these types of companies grew the insurance industry responded by offering more options for UBI telematics. Companies like James River were one of the first to offer pay-per-mile or pay-as-you-drive plans. This got the rest of the world thinking. If Uber and Lyft can pay per mile, why can’t other transportation businesses obtain the same type of UBI telematics?

One reason UBI telematics was more easily implemented for Transportation Network Companies like Uber and Lyft is because the insurance company is not “on the risk” all the time. Most of these drivers carry their own personal auto policies. So, the TNC insurance is only “on” when the driver is logged into the app.

With the popularity of TNCs, it has affected the amount business taxi and limo companies are able to achieve. Traditional companies need to evolve in order to compete against Uber and Lyft. One way to do this, is to lower their costs with a UBI telematics policy.

How Pay-Per-Mile Insurance Works

UBI telematics works in many different ways.  The first is that you are provided with a device that plugs into the OBD port of your car. The device captures and reports mileage automatically to the insurance company. You are then billed at the agreed upon per-mile rate.

Another way mileage is captured and reported to insurance companies is through SDK integration of an app you might be using for dispatching of vehicles.

In the past, most for-hire, livery risks were charged a flat annual rate. It did not matter how many hours you spent on the road. It also didn’t matter how many miles you drove each month. But, now that UBI telematics is becoming more popular, many companies are offering this structure as an alternative.  Additionally, while most of the other personal auto insurance markets may provide this type of pricing structure, most do not capture driver analytics to help you coach and manage drivers.

UBI Telematics from American Business Insurance

As a UBI insurance broker, we are always looking for and creating solutions that are easy for our clients to use. As a result, we have created our own dashboard which captures the trends and habits of your drivers. Some UBI telematics structures actually charge different rates per driver and many will adjust the price mid-term (up and down) based on driver behavior.

Distracted driving is a problem that most UBI insurance brokers are trying to combat. By integrating telematics elements into pricing and policies, we are able to not only reduce the amount of money you are spending each year for insurance but also provide you with tools to limit risk to those markets.

Some of the data UBI telematics products capture include not only miles driven, but also:

  • Hard-braking incidents
  • G-Force of accidents
  • Hard-cornering
  • Excessive speed
  • Following too closely

By carefully managing and coaching drivers of bad driving habits before accidents occur, you keep your loss history low and your premiums lower.

UBI Telematics per Contract

While above options describe UBI telematics for all operations, we can also work with you to limit coverages on a per contract basis. What this means, is that sometimes the City or State will require a minimum auto limit of $100,000. But you want to obtain a contract to transport patients to and from doctor appointments. Most likely, that contract will require your fleet to have a limit of $1,000,000 or higher. Instead of providing you with a quote that increases the cost for the entire policy to $1M limit – we can write a separate excess policy that bills you by trip, or by mile for the contract only.

Another way to limit coverage is if for example your city requires the same $100k limit mentioned above, but you drop off at the airport who requires $1,000,000 while on airport property. Instead of increasing the premium for the policy to be $1M all the time, we can charge less of an increase by endorsing the policy to provide the higher limit while only on airport property.

How Does this Benefit Business Owners?

The secret to any business is operating at profitable margins. By keeping insurance costs low, commercial fleet owners are able to put money back into their business for advertising, newer vehicles, maintenance and repair. Also, driver morale will improve because they will know that their good driving habits will be recognized and, in many cases, rewarded.

UBI Insurance is currently reserved for companies with access to the minimum annual premium of $100,000.  This is not a program for TNC operators, owner/operators with one car and is geared towards larger companies involved with providing services for the sharing economy.  GET A QUOTE

Uber Freight and Commercial Trucking Insurance

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Uber Freight and Commercial Trucking Insurance

In May of 2017, Uber launched one of their newest services Uber Freight. Uber Freight is an exciting, new trucking app that matches vetted drivers with long-haul routes. The app allows drivers or dispatchers to book and confirm routes with the tap of a button. They have the choice to filter the routes they search for by pickup, destination, the offered price, and other factors. Uber Freight is designed to work for carriers of any size. Although, the service is particularly attractive to small fleets and independent owner-operators. In order for trucking fleets and owner-operators to work with Uber Freight they need to have the proper Commercial Trucking Insurance.

 

How Does Uber Freight Work? What are the advantages?

Uber Freight was created with the business model to appeal to smaller fleets and independent truck drivers. Therefore, the app is designed to give more power to operators and solve many problems drivers have with traditional freight brokerage. Before Uber Freight, drivers or Uber Freightoperators would have to make multiple calls to schedule loads. Now the booking process is streamlined. Booking is made simple through the app. As easy as Uber makes it to schedule a car to pick you up on the curb, they make it just as convenient for commercial truck drivers to schedule loads and routes.

Another problem drivers have with traditional methods are delayed payment. The standard for payment is 30 to 60 days, but with Uber Freight drivers can receive payment about seven days after completion. This allows small trucking fleets or owner-operators to continuously operate at full capacity when repairs and other issues arise. A third problem Uber Freight solves is the problem of deadhead miles. Deadhead miles are the number of miles commercial truck drivers drive from the point of unload to the point where their new load is ready to pickup. Uber Freight accounts for this and compensates drivers. Furthermore, the app also features a “Take Me Home”. This setting helps drivers book loads that will take them back home while still earning income.

Uber Freight is still in its beginning years, but with the way they are operating and handling freight brokerage, they are hoping to transform the industry. They are positioning themselves as a drivers first service. They believe that when drivers are empowered and delivery is more efficient all businesses run better. Take a look at the partnership that Uber Freight has with Ocean Spray, and you’ll see how this new service works.

Commercial Trucking Insurance 

As Uber Freight is very much geared towards smaller fleets for the time being, operators need to do all they can to protect their small businesses. We at American Business Insurance Services, Inc. are here to help. Commercial Trucking Insurance or Delivery Insurance is tremendously important to the safety and security of drivers, their freight, and their business. If you are thinking about contracting through Uber Freight, you will have to have the proper insurance coverage. At American Business Insurance Services, Inc. we shop all the currently competitive markets for you. By doing this we can find you the best coverage to fit your specific needs in the commercial trucking industry. 

 

Why You Need Coverage?

American Business Insurance Services, Inc. has identified the Uber Freight business model as one that will likely transform the way the freight delivery industry operates. The seamless Uber Freightadaption of this technology to all types of businesses, that have shipping needs, has allowed for convenience of scheduling, more carrier options for businesses, and expedited delivery.

Our team of licensed brokers are well aware of the coverage you will need as a delivery fleet or owner-operator service. Furthermore, some of the common types of coverage that apply to delivery and commercial trucking businesses are:

  • Auto Liability to protect bodily injury of all parties
  • (Auto)Property Damage to cover damage to property
  • Comprehensive & Collision to protect against most causes of loss to your vehicle(s)
  • Personal Injury or Medical Coverage
  • Cargo Coverage

Contacting American Business Insurance Services, Inc. will guarantee that you are fully covered under a commercial auto policy and allow you to operate your fleet with Uber Freight.

Why American Business Insurance Services, Inc.?

At American Business Insurance Services, Inc., our goal is to build long lasting, valued and trusted relationships. Our mission is to create an understanding with our clients that they are at the forefront of our business. Consequently, we strive to make sure we know our clients business thoroughly to create a true partnership. American Business Insurance Services, Inc. is committed to professional excellence, delivering on commitments on time and of the highest caliber. Therefore, we use only the best practices in the industry. Through our stringent processes and systems we let you operate your commercial trucking or delivery service with confidence.

In conclusion, the Uber Freight business model could transform the way trucking operates and we understand that. As the business changes we at American Business Insurance Services, Inc. adapt with the change to provide the best types of coverage for clients.

To get a quote for your commercial trucking fleet or delivery service Click Here.

 

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American Business Insurance Services, Inc

PERIOD X™ Fleet Management Software with Insurance Built In

Period X™ Quote

What is Period X™ insurance and how does it work to help you manage your fleet?

American Business Insurance Services, Inc. developed Period X™ for fleet owners or individuals that are renting their cars out on a car sharing platform. This applies to platforms such as Turo, HyreCar or GetAround.  This coverage comes with fleet management software through a web-based dashboard at no extra cost to your policy. This fleet management software comes with tools to ensure your fleet is running at maximum efficiency. When managing your fleet that operates through a Transportation Network Company, the coverage is usually provided to the renter through TNC Provider Insurance. It is important for fleet operators to know that insurance is not supplied through TNC Provider Insurance when the car is not rented out. Of course you want to make sure your car is covered at all times. That’s where our proprietary Period X™ insurance coverage comes into play.

 

 

What a Period X™ Insurance Policy Provides

Our Period X™ Insurance policy provides more than the minimum state limits in
almost all 50 states. A comprehensive insurance product to cover fleets that
are being rented out on Peer to Peer (P2P) rental platforms such as the ones mentioned above. Our product is one of a kind. If you are renting your vehicles out on P2P rental platforms PERSONAL INSURANCE DOES NOT COVER YOU for this type of business model.

fleet management

An insurance policy with fleet management software

We didn’t stop at just putting the Period X™ insurance product together, we did a lot more.  Every Period X™ policy holder receives a proprietary device for each vehicle that they insure. This includes a fleet management web-based dashboard to manage your fleet.  It would be one thing just to have proper coverage that nobody can offer, but below are some of the additional services we provide as part of this coverage:

  • Ability to add/delete vehicles online

  • GPS track each and every car at all times

  • Check billing

  • Access ID cards and so much more fleet management tools

Period X™ is fleet tracking with the insurance built in!

Why we created Period X™ with fleet management software

As usual, the best place to start is always the beginning. To make a long story much shorter, in the beginning there were taxicabs. When taxicabs were the only animal of their kind roaming the earth, life was simple and there was only one period of time. Things were pretty easy. If you needed insurance for a taxicab, you got a taxicab insurance policy that covered that taxi company 24 hours a day, end of story. fleet management software

Then, not too long ago, something called Uber and Lyft came onto the scene.  All of the sudden, things got complicated really fast in the insurance world.  These companies found that if they divided their insurance policy into separate periods of time, and that each period had a coverage limit assigned to it. This made it possible to reduce their exposure (and their insurance premiums) to maximize profits.

Then, we had another new company (HyreCar) facilitating TNC rentals between rideshare drivers that needed cars and vehicle owners who wanted to make money by providing those cars.  The term peer-to-peer rentals was coined.  

A New Problem Arises

Initially, the idea was that personal insurance would cover the party that was renting their vehicle out to the TNC drivers as long as they only had one or two cars. It did not take long for vehicle owners to see that they were netting $700+ a month per car. Seeing such great results, this resulted in the vehicle owners adding more and more cars until they had fleets. Vehicle owners now had 10, 20, or even 30+ cars, which is not covered by personal auto insurance. This issue lead to the need for the Period X™ product to be created since personal insurance doesn’t cover fleets that are primarily used to make money via rental app platforms and especially not TNC rentals.

Napkin math ensued and a new problem emerged: 

“How do I place insurance on my fleet of cars under an LLC or Corp and keep my personal lines insurance pricing?”  

The answer to that question is: Period X™ Insurance!  Our agency was the brains behind this exciting new insurance product. We are now positioned to bring it to the masses! Now, fleet owners who place their inventory on platforms such as; HyreCar, Turo, GetAround & similar peer-to-peer rental platforms have access to a reasonably priced app-based insuranceinsurance product that covers their fleet for only the period of time when the vehicle is not rented out and is being serviced and maintained to ready the car for the next rental.  

There are articles upon articles online in regards to Periods 1,2 & 3 and why they are the way they are. The basic idea is that when a rideshare driver has the rideshare app off, then the rideshare company has no involvement in what that driver does with their car. This results in no insurance for that period of time.  The instant the rideshare app is on and the driver is engaged with it, Period 1, 2 & 3 begins and typically state minimum auto liability limits apply.

fleet management software

 

Breaking down insurance policies divided into separate periods of time:

After the app is turned on and driver is engaged with Period 1, they scan for rides
they’d like to take. The instant the driver accepts a ride, they have entered Period 2. The insurance coverage offered by the rideshare providers increases a bit more to cover incidents that might occur while the driver is on their way to pick up a passenger.

insurance policy

The last (for now) action involved in a typical rideshare exchange is that the driver arrives at the pick-up destination. The instant the passenger(s) get into the driver’s car, Period 3 is activated. 

TNC insurance policy

Period 3 typically involves $1,000,000 of auto liability coverage via the rideshare company insurance policy. This is the riskiest period of time, because any accident occurring during that period fully engages the rideshare provider and all participants involved with that ride.

Period Policies for Commercial Auto Working Together

The “Period 1,2 & 3” policy setup is now the industry standard for app-based transportation companies that offer rides as a service. Now with American Business Insurance Services, Inc. Period X™ insurance coverage, fleet managers are able to go beyond the industry standard. With our Period X™, coverage never slips through the cracks making sure your TNC fleet is protected at all times.

After Uber & Lyft had been around for a couple of years, opportunity-minded people started to notice the great deal of demand for vehicles from drivers who wanted to make money driving for TNC companies, but did not have the means to purchase, lease or finance a vehicle for various reasons.

A few select companies have established a niche in this territory and filled this demand successfully.  These companies didn’t only see this driver need for vehicle inventory in the marketplace. They saw plenty of regular people out there that are not always driving their personal vehicles, or who were interested in purchasing vehicles for the sole reason of renting them out to TNC drivers who needed them. This is an industry that expected to have rapid growth. When creating a TNC company having the proper policy coverage protects your business and livelihood. 

Contact Us For Full Details on Period X™ and our Fleet Tracking Software

We’d love to tell you everything about this program because we’re SO excited about this new product. We can’t just give away all our secrets at once, can we? What we can tell you is that we’re open in most U.S. states, have a full-time I.T. department dedicated to continuously evolving the technology behind this product. Our experienced team of licensed professionals are excited to talk to you about how you can get Period X™ Insurance on your fleet. Give us a call today! Let’s solve your fleet insurance / management problems so you can get back out there and make some money!

Call Today: (800) 980-1950

https://abiweb.com/

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Paratransit Service Insurance in California

GET A NEMT INSURANCE QUOTE TODAY

Paratransit Service Insurance in California for Company Fleet of 15+ Vehicles

We all have loved ones, that at one time or another, are in need of consistent medical care. Whether they be our aging grandparents, parents, or even our in-laws- we want the best care for them. But the thing is people are busy. We can’t always find the time to escort our loved ones to doctor appointments and other medical treatment centers. Although, there are ways to make this process a little easier. Many families, hospitals, and doctor offices turn to Paratransit Service or Non-Emergency Medical Transportation (NEMT) providers to fill this need.

paratransit service

The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, made paratransit service a daily reality for many Americans with disabilities. By providing transportation for those with disabilities, paratransit services are paramount to the well-being and mobility of thousands of Americans.

California NEMT and Background

In California, the major hubs are Los Angeles, San Diego, San Jose, and San Francisco. There are over 7 million people in these cities. Many of the elderly people living here need transportation to medical centers at all hours of the day. 

Even for those who are fortunate enough to have loved ones to drive them around, it’s not always convenient. Everyone living in these cities knows that traffic is horrendous, finding parking is a nightmare, and a whole day could be filled with a doctor’s visit.

This is when paratransit service or NEMT comes into play. There are many paratransit agencies that operate fleets of 15+ vehicles in California that American Business Insurance Services, Inc. works with to provide the best available coverage. Those seeking transportation are able to be picked up at their specific location and then the NEMT vehicle discharges passengers on request at various hospitals or medical centers. Having the right paratransit fleet insurance is essential in making sure your business and customers are covered in case of an incident. 

When customers are looking to choose a paratransit service or agency to be responsible for their loved ones, they will be looking into the NEMT company to make sure their loved one is going to be safe and protected.  American Business Insurance Services, Inc. provides NEMT insurance to companies nationwide creating customized policies to best serve our clients needs.

How to Decide on Paratransit/ NEMT Insurance For Your Company Fleetparatransit service

There are a lot of factors that go into finding the best insurance coverage for your Paratransit Company’s large fleet. Therefore, prepare to answer a few questions when working with American Business Insurance to find you the best quote to match your business needs. 

  • Do your vehicles have lifts or ramps? 
  • Do your vehicles include backup cameras? 
  • Are the majority of your trips for passengers ambulatory or non-ambulatory? 
  • Do you contract with LogistiCare or other providers with strict insurance requirements?

Insurance companies ask these questions to ensure you are fully covered under your policy. At American Business Insurance Services, Inc., we guarantee the most thorough coverage for your large fleet. Furthermore, we have trained professionals who will take care of everything, and will guide you through the process of properly insuring your NEMT fleet most efficiently!

Why You (the Paratransit service/agency) Need Full Coverage

Having the proper paratransit or NEMT insurance is critical to operating a successful transportation business. The services that paratransit automobile fleets accomplish for those in need is truly life changing and deserves insurance that is equally up to par.

Moreover, the reason you (the Paratransit service/agency) need NEMT fleet insurance is to ensure the safety and reliability of your paratransit service company, protecting your passengers and your business.

Paratransit/NEMT Insurance at American Business Insurance Services, Inc.

paratransit service

At American Business Insurance Services, Inc., our goal is to build long lasting, valued and trusted relationships. Our mission is to create an understanding with our clients because we want them to know they are at the forefront of our business. American Business Insurance Services, Inc. is committed to professional excellence, delivering on commitments on time, and of the highest caliber. In addition, we use only the best practices in the industry through our stringent processes and systems that let you operate your California paratransit service company with confidence.

Furthermore, most agencies take days or even weeks to process a vehicle or driver change on your Paratransit policy. At American Business Insurance Services, Inc. we have a fast, easy, and user-friendly online customer portal that you will love. Our state-of-the-art agency portal allows you to manage your NEMT business 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. With this portal, policy changes can be made online at any time – day or night. This is essential in running a business that also operates 24/7.

We promise to do the leg work for you. We have built strong long term relationships with our carriers of paratransit insurance in order to find you the best policy to match your business needs. Our 35+ years experience in insuring commercial auto fleets makes American Business Insurance quick and efficient in finding the best carrier options.

Get a quote today!

Wisconsin Taxi Insurance: It’s Not What You Know, It’s Who You Know

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Wisconsin Taxi Insurance: It’s Not What You Know, It’s Who You Know

Written by Laura Loftus on Monday, June 24th, 2019

 

Northwoods Cab, LLC began working with American Business Insurance in 2015. At the time, he had 2 cars insured. Now, he services 6,000 trips per month and maintains about 15 taxis on the road at all times.

Finding the right broker to handle your Wisconsin Taxi Insurance is vital. Besides the fact that we’ve been one of the leading providers for those who need Wisconsin Taxi Insurance, we give you more than just an insurance policy.

Currently, we insure over 100 vehicles that require Wisconsin Taxi Insurance and because we have been working with both fleets and individual owner/operators for over 35 years, we have created an easy to use online portal for our customers to service their policies 24/7.

We also provide you with a live, customer service rep dedicated to servicing your policy and answering coverage questions during regular business hours. Choosing us as your broker means choosing a well-educated partner who truly understands your business.

 

Our goal is to keep your vehicles on the road, and your Wisconsin Taxi Insurance active

Aaron Schloemer from Northwoods Cab, LLC in Wasuau, WI has a fleet of about 15 taxi’s on the road. He has been a client of ours since 2015 and says that our online portal helps him to run his business.  Some brokers will require you to send changes to them via email or fax in writing. Then you’ll have to wait days for an approval or ID card. But our portal allows you to make these changes in an instant. Transportation companies often need replacement ID Cards in the middle of the night, need to change out a vehicle at a moment’s notice and switch drivers on their policies with little time to spare.

“We use the online portal and it work’s like a charm. It really helps us. When a cab breaks down, we can go on the portal and easily take it off and put it back on. It doesn’t matter what time of the day or night. Another great thing is being able to add drivers 24 hours per day. It’s easy to use and we use it as a point of reference many times. Say we want to make sure a cab is on, we can log into the portal and make sure it’s there. It makes it a lot easier to run the company having a 24/7 portal.”

Schloemer started Northwoods Cab, LLC about 4 1/2 years ago. He started out in the taxi industry the way many others do, by working for another local cab company in town. After gaining experience and traction, he originally started the business further north in Tomahawk, WI. Soon after, he transferred the business into the Wausau area where they currently service about 6,000 calls/trips per month.

 

Keeping up with the competition

Although Uber has a presence in his area, he says they haven’t affected his business too much because he is able to keep his prices low enough, where riding with him is cheaper than in an Uber. One way he has been able to keep prices down is by hiring his drivers as independent contractors. He pays them 70% of the sales per day, and charges a weekly lease fee.

Northwoods Cab owner Aaron Schloemer with his son at Disney World, in front of the “Cab Garage.” We’ve been servicing his Wisconsin Taxi Insurance policy for the past fours years.

“A lot of taxi cab companies that have contractors pay 50%, and that isn’t enough to have the drivers stay, pay their bills and make a good income,” Schloemer said.

Some people get into the business to become their own boss and they think it will be easy to run once the basics are set up – obtaining Wisconsin taxi insurance, hiring and training drivers as well as holding monthly safety meetings. But, it isn’t always as easy as it seems.

“Don’t do it if you don’t love people and hard work. Don’t do it if you don’t know how to make decisions and handle problems. Because you are going to have problems every day,” Schloemer shared.

Day to day in the taxi business

While operating a taxi company may seem easy enough, there are daily challenges Schloemer faces that he says others should be aware of before starting out in the industry.

“The hardest thing is maintaining the fleet. The vehicles do get beat up pretty quick. It’s essential to our business that we have at least 10 cars on standby, ready to go, in case one should break down.”

Many people would not think of owning and operating at taxi company as a public service. But Schloemer considers it just that.

“Taking care of people and helping people do tasks they might not otherwise be able to get done,” is one of the benefits Schloemer says he enjoys about owning a taxi company. “Without us, they might not be able to get to their job on time or make it to their dialysis appointment,” he said.

How much insurance do I need?

How much insurance you need to purchase will depend on the type of transportation business you have, and where you are operating. Most limousines, black car or private car service business are overseen by the WI DOT and depending on their seating capacities, determine the limit of insurance that is needed.

Insurance limit requirements for limo and black cars with seating capacities (including driver) listed below:

  • 8 or less require $300,000
  • 15 or less require $1,500,000
  • 16 or more require $5,000,000

While Limo and black car limits are more straightforward, Wisconsin Taxi Insurance limits vary by municipality. Below are some of the requirements for Wisconsin taxi insurance by city:

  • Madison, WI – $1,000,000
  • Manitowoc, WI
  • Menomonie, WI – $1,000,000
  • Milwaukee, WI – $50,000/100,000/10,000
  • Sheboygan, WI – $100,000/300,000/100,000
  • Superior, WI – $500,000

 

Above are just some of the state specific requirements. Don’t see what you are looking for? Contact us as we are the Wisconsin taxi insurance experts and know exactly where to find this information so you don’t have to!

We would love to bring down the cost of your current  policy! Request a quote online by clicking here: https://abiweb.com/services/taxicab-insurance/

You can also call us at (800) 980-1950 ext. 4

 

 

 

AB5: Another Battle For Taxicab Owners

 

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AB5: Another Battle for Taxicab Owners

Written by Laura Loftus

As if it isn’t hard enough for taxicab, limo and paratransit drivers competing against the Amazon.com’s of transportation – Uber & Lyft – those in California are about to potentially fight the greatest battle of them yet against AB5.

Recently, CA legislature passed and signed into law AB5 (Assembly Bill 5) which goes into effect on January 1, 2020. This bill will implement the ABC test when determining whether companies need to classify drivers as independent contractors or employees.

Lyft and UBER stickers on the rear window of a vehicle offering rides in San Francisco Bay Area car.

With taxicab and limo drivers already struggling, it seems unfathomable that CA government would make it  more difficult for professionals to operate. But many people in the taxi and limo industry are worried about potential changes they will need to make within their business.

As a commercial insurance broker, specializing in Livery, For-Hire Insurance for those in the taxicab, limo, paratransit, shared economy and on demand delivery spaces – I hear it first hand on a day to day basis how they are affected by Uber and Lyft. They are upset that those companies don’t have to adhere to the same licensing, permitting and insurance requirements that they do. And now, they might be forced to provide Workers Compensation insurance for all “gig-economy” workers – which many taxi drivers claim to be.

This potential added expense could do more harm than good, in an already difficult marketplace.

How AB5 will work

In California, AB5 will implement a three-part “ABC” test. This test will be used to established if a worker is an employee or independent contractor. If a worker is an employee, they need to have Workers Compensation insurance along with medical benefits and paid sick days. The law also states that all workers will be considered an employee of the company unless they can prove:

  • (A) the worker is free from the employer’s control and direction;
  • (B) the worker performs work that is outside the usual course of the company’s primary business; and
  • (C) the worker is not customarily engaged in the same trade, occupation, or business as the work they are hired to perform

If the company cannot prove all of these items, then the worker needs to be classified as an employee.

 

Will your taxicab company be affected by AB5?

For Chris Sweis, SF Yellow Cab has been a family business since 1983. Like many others in this industry, he is one of many across the country who grew up in the business.  It is often traditional for the business to be passed down from generation to generation.

Sweis, who is also President of the  Taxicab Paratransit Association of California, wants to work with CA Legislature to make sure taxicab drivers are exempt from AB5. Sweis said, “We don’t know if they are going to have to make any changes because taxi drivers still needs to be tested under the ABC test and a lot depends on how they are operating. If they are operating as a co-op, that makes a big difference. In SF, they have the medallions system. So, it really depends on how they are operating.”

Many taxi companies are structured as co-ops. This means each taxi driver is part owner of the company. Most are also made up of individual owner-operators who owns their own vehicle.

Under this structure, it could be considered that owners are able to exempt themselves from Work Comp insurance. In California, owners can exclude themselves from coverage under a work -comp policy. Since these co-op owners are not technically employees – they may not be affected by the AB5 bill.

Companies like SF Yellow Cab that operate under the medallion system, feel the same could be said for them as well. The taxicab company owns the medallion but leases it to the owner of the vehicle. They are basically renting out their operating authority. With a lease agreement in place – it might be enough to say the owner/operator of the vehicle is employing themselves.

 

Should AB5 apply to taxicab drivers?

Matthew Daus, Esq. who is the Partner and Chairman for Windels Marx Transportation Group in NYC and also President of the International Association of Transportation Regulators explains in more detail. He talked about identifying whether or not your taxi or limo company can continue to classify drivers as independent contractors.

He said, “Let’s say you operate a factory and you manufacture dolls and you have a broken door. You call a contractor to fix the door. The contractor is a handyman to fix facilities, not in the business of selling dolls. That situation would likely involve that worker being an independent contractor – not an employee.”

Some transportation companies are worried that their current business structure might be tested and disrupted. Currently, it is common for taxicab companies to classify their drivers as “independent contractors.”

“I think the taxi and limo industry needs to mobilize like they’ve never had to before in order to be exempt from AB5. They should be making the argument that they’ve been decimated by Uber and Lyft for years and they need an exemption,” Daus said.

“And with the entire taxi industry struggling – I don’t think that is what the legislature wanted. Most people feel bad about what happened to those in the taxi industry. It’s time for the legislature to level the playing field,” Daus also said.

 

What can you do?

TPAC is trying to get in front of CA legislature to help determine how the state of California can still implement this bill but not negatively impact the already struggling taxi industry.

It is important to do what you can to voice your opinion in protecting the transportation industry.

Sweis said TPAC could use help from fellow taxicab owners throughout the country. “If they operate in a state that has an ABC test and there is some kind of law or legislature or court cases that exempts their drivers from an ABC test being independent contractors, whether on state or local level – that would be extremely helpful.”

Sweis asked that if you have anything to provide that might be helpful, to email directly at [email protected] .

A New Kind of Work Comp Insurance

With AB5 passing in California, those in taxi and limo business may need to start purchasing Work Comp insurance for their drivers come January 2020. Dave Haley, CEO of American Business Insurance is working on a cost-effective solution.

“Everyone is really worried about AB5 and they don’t know what to do,” Haley said.

As of today, the standard markets for Work Comp are not cheap. With the future of taxi and limo drivers at the forefront, Haley is working on a technology-based Work Comp product. His goal is to offer a product that is cost effective and easy to use.

“This new work comp product will offer a large savings for taxi and limo drivers. Compared to the work comp products currently available, our InsureTech solution will turn the traditional work comp system on its head.”

If  you need Work Comp for your transportation business, give us a call or email us. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Five Most Important Cannabis Business Software Purchases

Five Most Important Cannabis Business Software Purchases

Occasionally, American Business Insurance Services, Inc. hosts guest blogs from our partners who want to discuss the specifics of their services and the benefits they bring to customers. This blog features our partner Cue Cannabis, a Colorado based software company that allows cannabis businesses to purchase and manage various software and services to help run their company.

The legal marijuana industry is expanding, one state at a time, across the US. But while there are many business opportunities in this industry, it can still be challenging for a new business owner to make a profit. Cannabis business owners face the same stresses as normal business owners, like hiring, budgeting, and tracking merchandise, while also dealing with different challenges like staying compliant with state legislation. 

Purchasing software and the technological infrastructure for your business may not initially seem like the most interesting pursuit, but having the right set up will enhance the day-to-day efficiency of your business. At CUE Cannabis, we speak to many customers who don’t know where to start when it comes to purchasing software or setting up cameras and phone lines. It is an area where all business owners, from dispensaries to cultivators, or extractors, might struggle to find something that is right for their business. 

We’ve created a ‘hierarchy of software needs’ to help business owners prioritize their purchases. Further, each area of purchase comes with a few key questions that you can ask as a business owner in order to understand what might work best for your business. We’ll take you through the first three levels of this ‘hierarchy of software needs’ to help you with important business decisions.

1. Foundational software is critical for day-to-day operations

We designated a ‘foundational software’ category to include both software and infrastructure that is most important for day-to-day operations. In this category there is accounting, data security, compliance, and sales software like point-of-sale or seed-to-sale depending on your business. As the name suggests, laying the foundation for a successful operation will make the day-to-day of running your business more efficiently. When purchasing ‘foundational’ software, there are a few things to look for:

Accounting: Check with your accounting before deciding what to you because while many accountants can work with any software, some need you to have a program that is compatible with what they are already using. Also, if you don’t have an accountant, get one because it will make your life easier. 

Point-of-Sale: The hardware part of this software e.g. tablets, scanners, etc. can be a costly investment, but one great way to create some flexibility in your budget is by using a point of sale system that offers a month-by-month plan, which can make it easier for newer businesses. 

Data security: Cannabis is a highly regulated industry, meaning a lot of data is being collected. Understanding how your software is collecting and storing data should be one of the major questions you are asking. Consider what data practices you’ll have to store or transfer employee and customer information. 

A word about Technology and Infrastructure

Depending on the state requirements for your business, your building design, or the type of business you are running, technology and infrastructure will be an important ‘foundational’ piece. Examples of this could include purchasing security cameras for the business, which depending on your state of operation may be a legal requirement or just a good idea. Another element of technology to consider is the wifi and phone systems that will run your point-of-sale or help your employees get online.

Important questions to ask center around understanding how employees will work in the building and accomplish their jobs; depending on the business the use cases can be varied and complicated. Our biggest recommendation when considering the technology or infrastructure for your business is to consider an experienced partner who has extensive experience understanding not just the technology but how people will engage with it on a day-to-day basis. 

2. Other important software to make your business run efficiently

The aforementioned software is incredibly important for the operation of your business and the next category of software in the ‘hierarchy of needs’ will not only help you but also your employees. I’m talking specifically about HR, Payroll, and collaboration software like GSuite or Slack. The most important feature to consider across all this software is how ‘user-friendly’ is it, and how will it impact the employees that are using it (as well as yourself). 

When considering HR and Payroll software, for example, ask yourself questions like: Does this software integrating with my accounting software in order to manage payroll? Is it easy for managers and employees to access information? Does this software offer benefits that are easy to manage? 

With Collaboration software like Slack, GSuite, or other messaging tools, ask yourself about how your employees work and when they will engage with the software: are they mobile or office-based? What tasks do they need to do? 

HR, Payroll, and Collaboration software are crucial for the day-to-day running of your business. Ensuring that you hire the right people, pay them for their work and provide the tools to work effectively will contribute directly to the growth potential of the company. 

3. Improve your business with Data Analytics

After you have the right software, the next step is to make that software work for you. What I mean by this is understanding what information your software is collecting and how to use that to improve your business outcome. For example, consider your point-of-sale or seed-to-sale data to look at what products are doing well, and or what is not. Most business owners don’t realize how much data their business generates and what the possibilities are with this information. There are some amazing tools specifically designed for cannabis business owners that can help you analyze and visualize business data. 

We hope this discussion of foundational cannabis business software will give you a better understanding of how to make a purchase, but also what questions to ask when conducting research. If you want this checklist  

Now that you have a better understanding of how to prioritize your software and technology purchases, as well as what questions you can ask as you research. If you want to know more about the next levels of the ‘software hierarchy of needs,’ you can download your own guide here. 

About the Author: 

Fiona Foster is Marketing Manager for CUE Cannabis. She is also part of the CUE Expert team that advises business owners on how to find the best software and services for their company. 

UBI Telematics: The New Industry Standard

Written by Laura Loftus on September 18th, 2019

UBI Insurance is currently reserved for companies with access to the minimum annual premium of $100,000.  This is not a program for TNC operators, owner/operators with one car and is geared towards larger companies involved with providing services for the sharing economy.  GET A QUOTE

Usage Based Insurance (UBI telematics) products entered the personal auto marketplace some time ago. But it is a new concept for commercial auto policies. Whether you own and operate one vehicle in a small rural town, or a large fleet in an urban area –  insurance companies are always looking for ways to gain more business and limit their own risk. As a result, more and more insurance companies are offering UBI telematics to commercial fleets.

History of UBI Telematics

UBI telematics became popular with the invent of Transportation Network Companies like Uber and Lyft. As these types of companies grew the insurance industry responded by offering more options for UBI telematics. Companies like James River were one of the first to offer pay-per-mile or pay-as-you-drive plans. This got the rest of the world thinking. If Uber and Lyft can pay per mile, why can’t other transportation businesses obtain the same type of UBI telematics?

One reason UBI telematics was more easily implemented for Transportation Network Companies like Uber and Lyft is because the insurance company is not “on the risk” all the time. Most of these drivers carry their own personal auto policies. So, the TNC insurance is only “on” when the driver is logged into the app.

With the popularity of TNCs, it has affected the amount business taxi and limo companies are able to achieve. Traditional companies need to evolve in order to compete against Uber and Lyft. One way to do this, is to lower their costs with a UBI telematics policy.

How Pay-Per-Mile Insurance Works

UBI telematics works in many different ways.  The first is that you are provided with a device that plugs into the OBD port of your car. The device captures and reports mileage automatically to the insurance company. You are then billed at the agreed upon per-mile rate.

Another way mileage is captured and reported to insurance companies is through SDK integration of an app you might be using for dispatching of vehicles.

In the past, most for-hire, livery risks were charged a flat annual rate. It did not matter how many hours you spent on the road. It also didn’t matter how many miles you drove each month. But, now that UBI telematics is becoming more popular, many companies are offering this structure as an alternative.  Additionally, while most of the other personal auto insurance markets may provide this type of pricing structure, most do not capture driver analytics to help you coach and manage drivers.

UBI Telematics from American Business Insurance

As a UBI insurance broker, we are always looking for and creating solutions that are easy for our clients to use. As a result, we have created our own dashboard which captures the trends and habits of your drivers. Some UBI telematics structures actually charge different rates per driver and many will adjust the price mid-term (up and down) based on driver behavior.

Distracted driving is a problem that most UBI insurance brokers are trying to combat. By integrating telematics elements into pricing and policies, we are able to not only reduce the amount of money you are spending each year for insurance but also provide you with tools to limit risk to those markets.

Some of the data UBI telematics products capture include not only miles driven, but also:

  • Hard-braking incidents
  • G-Force of accidents
  • Hard-cornering
  • Excessive speed
  • Following too closely

By carefully managing and coaching drivers of bad driving habits before accidents occur, you keep your loss history low and your premiums lower.

UBI Telematics per Contract

While above options describe UBI telematics for all operations, we can also work with you to limit coverages on a per contract basis. What this means, is that sometimes the City or State will require a minimum auto limit of $100,000. But you want to obtain a contract to transport patients to and from doctor appointments. Most likely, that contract will require your fleet to have a limit of $1,000,000 or higher. Instead of providing you with a quote that increases the cost for the entire policy to $1M limit – we can write a separate excess policy that bills you by trip, or by mile for the contract only.

Another way to limit coverage is if for example your city requires the same $100k limit mentioned above, but you drop off at the airport who requires $1,000,000 while on airport property. Instead of increasing the premium for the policy to be $1M all the time, we can charge less of an increase by endorsing the policy to provide the higher limit while only on airport property.

How Does this Benefit Business Owners?

The secret to any business is operating at profitable margins. By keeping insurance costs low, commercial fleet owners are able to put money back into their business for advertising, newer vehicles, maintenance and repair. Also, driver morale will improve because they will know that their good driving habits will be recognized and, in many cases, rewarded.

UBI Insurance is currently reserved for companies with access to the minimum annual premium of $100,000.  This is not a program for TNC operators, owner/operators with one car and is geared towards larger companies involved with providing services for the sharing economy.  GET A QUOTE

Uber Freight and Commercial Trucking Insurance

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Uber Freight and Commercial Trucking Insurance

In May of 2017, Uber launched one of their newest services Uber Freight. Uber Freight is an exciting, new trucking app that matches vetted drivers with long-haul routes. The app allows drivers or dispatchers to book and confirm routes with the tap of a button. They have the choice to filter the routes they search for by pickup, destination, the offered price, and other factors. Uber Freight is designed to work for carriers of any size. Although, the service is particularly attractive to small fleets and independent owner-operators. In order for trucking fleets and owner-operators to work with Uber Freight they need to have the proper Commercial Trucking Insurance.

 

How Does Uber Freight Work? What are the advantages?

Uber Freight was created with the business model to appeal to smaller fleets and independent truck drivers. Therefore, the app is designed to give more power to operators and solve many problems drivers have with traditional freight brokerage. Before Uber Freight, drivers or Uber Freightoperators would have to make multiple calls to schedule loads. Now the booking process is streamlined. Booking is made simple through the app. As easy as Uber makes it to schedule a car to pick you up on the curb, they make it just as convenient for commercial truck drivers to schedule loads and routes.

Another problem drivers have with traditional methods are delayed payment. The standard for payment is 30 to 60 days, but with Uber Freight drivers can receive payment about seven days after completion. This allows small trucking fleets or owner-operators to continuously operate at full capacity when repairs and other issues arise. A third problem Uber Freight solves is the problem of deadhead miles. Deadhead miles are the number of miles commercial truck drivers drive from the point of unload to the point where their new load is ready to pickup. Uber Freight accounts for this and compensates drivers. Furthermore, the app also features a “Take Me Home”. This setting helps drivers book loads that will take them back home while still earning income.

Uber Freight is still in its beginning years, but with the way they are operating and handling freight brokerage, they are hoping to transform the industry. They are positioning themselves as a drivers first service. They believe that when drivers are empowered and delivery is more efficient all businesses run better. Take a look at the partnership that Uber Freight has with Ocean Spray, and you’ll see how this new service works.

Commercial Trucking Insurance 

As Uber Freight is very much geared towards smaller fleets for the time being, operators need to do all they can to protect their small businesses. We at American Business Insurance Services, Inc. are here to help. Commercial Trucking Insurance or Delivery Insurance is tremendously important to the safety and security of drivers, their freight, and their business. If you are thinking about contracting through Uber Freight, you will have to have the proper insurance coverage. At American Business Insurance Services, Inc. we shop all the currently competitive markets for you. By doing this we can find you the best coverage to fit your specific needs in the commercial trucking industry. 

 

Why You Need Coverage?

American Business Insurance Services, Inc. has identified the Uber Freight business model as one that will likely transform the way the freight delivery industry operates. The seamless Uber Freightadaption of this technology to all types of businesses, that have shipping needs, has allowed for convenience of scheduling, more carrier options for businesses, and expedited delivery.

Our team of licensed brokers are well aware of the coverage you will need as a delivery fleet or owner-operator service. Furthermore, some of the common types of coverage that apply to delivery and commercial trucking businesses are:

  • Auto Liability to protect bodily injury of all parties
  • (Auto)Property Damage to cover damage to property
  • Comprehensive & Collision to protect against most causes of loss to your vehicle(s)
  • Personal Injury or Medical Coverage
  • Cargo Coverage

Contacting American Business Insurance Services, Inc. will guarantee that you are fully covered under a commercial auto policy and allow you to operate your fleet with Uber Freight.

Why American Business Insurance Services, Inc.?

At American Business Insurance Services, Inc., our goal is to build long lasting, valued and trusted relationships. Our mission is to create an understanding with our clients that they are at the forefront of our business. Consequently, we strive to make sure we know our clients business thoroughly to create a true partnership. American Business Insurance Services, Inc. is committed to professional excellence, delivering on commitments on time and of the highest caliber. Therefore, we use only the best practices in the industry. Through our stringent processes and systems we let you operate your commercial trucking or delivery service with confidence.

In conclusion, the Uber Freight business model could transform the way trucking operates and we understand that. As the business changes we at American Business Insurance Services, Inc. adapt with the change to provide the best types of coverage for clients.

To get a quote for your commercial trucking fleet or delivery service Click Here.

 

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American Business Insurance Services, Inc

PERIOD X™ Fleet Management Software with Insurance Built In

Period X™ Quote

What is Period X™ insurance and how does it work to help you manage your fleet?

American Business Insurance Services, Inc. developed Period X™ for fleet owners or individuals that are renting their cars out on a car sharing platform. This applies to platforms such as Turo, HyreCar or GetAround.  This coverage comes with fleet management software through a web-based dashboard at no extra cost to your policy. This fleet management software comes with tools to ensure your fleet is running at maximum efficiency. When managing your fleet that operates through a Transportation Network Company, the coverage is usually provided to the renter through TNC Provider Insurance. It is important for fleet operators to know that insurance is not supplied through TNC Provider Insurance when the car is not rented out. Of course you want to make sure your car is covered at all times. That’s where our proprietary Period X™ insurance coverage comes into play.

 

 

What a Period X™ Insurance Policy Provides

Our Period X™ Insurance policy provides more than the minimum state limits in
almost all 50 states. A comprehensive insurance product to cover fleets that
are being rented out on Peer to Peer (P2P) rental platforms such as the ones mentioned above. Our product is one of a kind. If you are renting your vehicles out on P2P rental platforms PERSONAL INSURANCE DOES NOT COVER YOU for this type of business model.

fleet management

An insurance policy with fleet management software

We didn’t stop at just putting the Period X™ insurance product together, we did a lot more.  Every Period X™ policy holder receives a proprietary device for each vehicle that they insure. This includes a fleet management web-based dashboard to manage your fleet.  It would be one thing just to have proper coverage that nobody can offer, but below are some of the additional services we provide as part of this coverage:

  • Ability to add/delete vehicles online

  • GPS track each and every car at all times

  • Check billing

  • Access ID cards and so much more fleet management tools

Period X™ is fleet tracking with the insurance built in!

Why we created Period X™ with fleet management software

As usual, the best place to start is always the beginning. To make a long story much shorter, in the beginning there were taxicabs. When taxicabs were the only animal of their kind roaming the earth, life was simple and there was only one period of time. Things were pretty easy. If you needed insurance for a taxicab, you got a taxicab insurance policy that covered that taxi company 24 hours a day, end of story. fleet management software

Then, not too long ago, something called Uber and Lyft came onto the scene.  All of the sudden, things got complicated really fast in the insurance world.  These companies found that if they divided their insurance policy into separate periods of time, and that each period had a coverage limit assigned to it. This made it possible to reduce their exposure (and their insurance premiums) to maximize profits.

Then, we had another new company (HyreCar) facilitating TNC rentals between rideshare drivers that needed cars and vehicle owners who wanted to make money by providing those cars.  The term peer-to-peer rentals was coined.  

A New Problem Arises

Initially, the idea was that personal insurance would cover the party that was renting their vehicle out to the TNC drivers as long as they only had one or two cars. It did not take long for vehicle owners to see that they were netting $700+ a month per car. Seeing such great results, this resulted in the vehicle owners adding more and more cars until they had fleets. Vehicle owners now had 10, 20, or even 30+ cars, which is not covered by personal auto insurance. This issue lead to the need for the Period X™ product to be created since personal insurance doesn’t cover fleets that are primarily used to make money via rental app platforms and especially not TNC rentals.

Napkin math ensued and a new problem emerged: 

“How do I place insurance on my fleet of cars under an LLC or Corp and keep my personal lines insurance pricing?”  

The answer to that question is: Period X™ Insurance!  Our agency was the brains behind this exciting new insurance product. We are now positioned to bring it to the masses! Now, fleet owners who place their inventory on platforms such as; HyreCar, Turo, GetAround & similar peer-to-peer rental platforms have access to a reasonably priced app-based insuranceinsurance product that covers their fleet for only the period of time when the vehicle is not rented out and is being serviced and maintained to ready the car for the next rental.  

There are articles upon articles online in regards to Periods 1,2 & 3 and why they are the way they are. The basic idea is that when a rideshare driver has the rideshare app off, then the rideshare company has no involvement in what that driver does with their car. This results in no insurance for that period of time.  The instant the rideshare app is on and the driver is engaged with it, Period 1, 2 & 3 begins and typically state minimum auto liability limits apply.

fleet management software

 

Breaking down insurance policies divided into separate periods of time:

After the app is turned on and driver is engaged with Period 1, they scan for rides
they’d like to take. The instant the driver accepts a ride, they have entered Period 2. The insurance coverage offered by the rideshare providers increases a bit more to cover incidents that might occur while the driver is on their way to pick up a passenger.

insurance policy

The last (for now) action involved in a typical rideshare exchange is that the driver arrives at the pick-up destination. The instant the passenger(s) get into the driver’s car, Period 3 is activated. 

TNC insurance policy

Period 3 typically involves $1,000,000 of auto liability coverage via the rideshare company insurance policy. This is the riskiest period of time, because any accident occurring during that period fully engages the rideshare provider and all participants involved with that ride.

Period Policies for Commercial Auto Working Together

The “Period 1,2 & 3” policy setup is now the industry standard for app-based transportation companies that offer rides as a service. Now with American Business Insurance Services, Inc. Period X™ insurance coverage, fleet managers are able to go beyond the industry standard. With our Period X™, coverage never slips through the cracks making sure your TNC fleet is protected at all times.

After Uber & Lyft had been around for a couple of years, opportunity-minded people started to notice the great deal of demand for vehicles from drivers who wanted to make money driving for TNC companies, but did not have the means to purchase, lease or finance a vehicle for various reasons.

A few select companies have established a niche in this territory and filled this demand successfully.  These companies didn’t only see this driver need for vehicle inventory in the marketplace. They saw plenty of regular people out there that are not always driving their personal vehicles, or who were interested in purchasing vehicles for the sole reason of renting them out to TNC drivers who needed them. This is an industry that expected to have rapid growth. When creating a TNC company having the proper policy coverage protects your business and livelihood. 

Contact Us For Full Details on Period X™ and our Fleet Tracking Software

We’d love to tell you everything about this program because we’re SO excited about this new product. We can’t just give away all our secrets at once, can we? What we can tell you is that we’re open in most U.S. states, have a full-time I.T. department dedicated to continuously evolving the technology behind this product. Our experienced team of licensed professionals are excited to talk to you about how you can get Period X™ Insurance on your fleet. Give us a call today! Let’s solve your fleet insurance / management problems so you can get back out there and make some money!

Call Today: (800) 980-1950

https://abiweb.com/

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Paratransit Service Insurance in California

GET A NEMT INSURANCE QUOTE TODAY

Paratransit Service Insurance in California for Company Fleet of 15+ Vehicles

We all have loved ones, that at one time or another, are in need of consistent medical care. Whether they be our aging grandparents, parents, or even our in-laws- we want the best care for them. But the thing is people are busy. We can’t always find the time to escort our loved ones to doctor appointments and other medical treatment centers. Although, there are ways to make this process a little easier. Many families, hospitals, and doctor offices turn to Paratransit Service or Non-Emergency Medical Transportation (NEMT) providers to fill this need.

paratransit service

The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, made paratransit service a daily reality for many Americans with disabilities. By providing transportation for those with disabilities, paratransit services are paramount to the well-being and mobility of thousands of Americans.

California NEMT and Background

In California, the major hubs are Los Angeles, San Diego, San Jose, and San Francisco. There are over 7 million people in these cities. Many of the elderly people living here need transportation to medical centers at all hours of the day. 

Even for those who are fortunate enough to have loved ones to drive them around, it’s not always convenient. Everyone living in these cities knows that traffic is horrendous, finding parking is a nightmare, and a whole day could be filled with a doctor’s visit.

This is when paratransit service or NEMT comes into play. There are many paratransit agencies that operate fleets of 15+ vehicles in California that American Business Insurance Services, Inc. works with to provide the best available coverage. Those seeking transportation are able to be picked up at their specific location and then the NEMT vehicle discharges passengers on request at various hospitals or medical centers. Having the right paratransit fleet insurance is essential in making sure your business and customers are covered in case of an incident. 

When customers are looking to choose a paratransit service or agency to be responsible for their loved ones, they will be looking into the NEMT company to make sure their loved one is going to be safe and protected.  American Business Insurance Services, Inc. provides NEMT insurance to companies nationwide creating customized policies to best serve our clients needs.

How to Decide on Paratransit/ NEMT Insurance For Your Company Fleetparatransit service

There are a lot of factors that go into finding the best insurance coverage for your Paratransit Company’s large fleet. Therefore, prepare to answer a few questions when working with American Business Insurance to find you the best quote to match your business needs. 

  • Do your vehicles have lifts or ramps? 
  • Do your vehicles include backup cameras? 
  • Are the majority of your trips for passengers ambulatory or non-ambulatory? 
  • Do you contract with LogistiCare or other providers with strict insurance requirements?

Insurance companies ask these questions to ensure you are fully covered under your policy. At American Business Insurance Services, Inc., we guarantee the most thorough coverage for your large fleet. Furthermore, we have trained professionals who will take care of everything, and will guide you through the process of properly insuring your NEMT fleet most efficiently!

Why You (the Paratransit service/agency) Need Full Coverage

Having the proper paratransit or NEMT insurance is critical to operating a successful transportation business. The services that paratransit automobile fleets accomplish for those in need is truly life changing and deserves insurance that is equally up to par.

Moreover, the reason you (the Paratransit service/agency) need NEMT fleet insurance is to ensure the safety and reliability of your paratransit service company, protecting your passengers and your business.

Paratransit/NEMT Insurance at American Business Insurance Services, Inc.

paratransit service

At American Business Insurance Services, Inc., our goal is to build long lasting, valued and trusted relationships. Our mission is to create an understanding with our clients because we want them to know they are at the forefront of our business. American Business Insurance Services, Inc. is committed to professional excellence, delivering on commitments on time, and of the highest caliber. In addition, we use only the best practices in the industry through our stringent processes and systems that let you operate your California paratransit service company with confidence.

Furthermore, most agencies take days or even weeks to process a vehicle or driver change on your Paratransit policy. At American Business Insurance Services, Inc. we have a fast, easy, and user-friendly online customer portal that you will love. Our state-of-the-art agency portal allows you to manage your NEMT business 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. With this portal, policy changes can be made online at any time – day or night. This is essential in running a business that also operates 24/7.

We promise to do the leg work for you. We have built strong long term relationships with our carriers of paratransit insurance in order to find you the best policy to match your business needs. Our 35+ years experience in insuring commercial auto fleets makes American Business Insurance quick and efficient in finding the best carrier options.

Get a quote today!

Wisconsin Taxi Insurance: It’s Not What You Know, It’s Who You Know

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Wisconsin Taxi Insurance: It’s Not What You Know, It’s Who You Know

Written by Laura Loftus on Monday, June 24th, 2019

 

Northwoods Cab, LLC began working with American Business Insurance in 2015. At the time, he had 2 cars insured. Now, he services 6,000 trips per month and maintains about 15 taxis on the road at all times.

Finding the right broker to handle your Wisconsin Taxi Insurance is vital. Besides the fact that we’ve been one of the leading providers for those who need Wisconsin Taxi Insurance, we give you more than just an insurance policy.

Currently, we insure over 100 vehicles that require Wisconsin Taxi Insurance and because we have been working with both fleets and individual owner/operators for over 35 years, we have created an easy to use online portal for our customers to service their policies 24/7.

We also provide you with a live, customer service rep dedicated to servicing your policy and answering coverage questions during regular business hours. Choosing us as your broker means choosing a well-educated partner who truly understands your business.

 

Our goal is to keep your vehicles on the road, and your Wisconsin Taxi Insurance active

Aaron Schloemer from Northwoods Cab, LLC in Wasuau, WI has a fleet of about 15 taxi’s on the road. He has been a client of ours since 2015 and says that our online portal helps him to run his business.  Some brokers will require you to send changes to them via email or fax in writing. Then you’ll have to wait days for an approval or ID card. But our portal allows you to make these changes in an instant. Transportation companies often need replacement ID Cards in the middle of the night, need to change out a vehicle at a moment’s notice and switch drivers on their policies with little time to spare.

“We use the online portal and it work’s like a charm. It really helps us. When a cab breaks down, we can go on the portal and easily take it off and put it back on. It doesn’t matter what time of the day or night. Another great thing is being able to add drivers 24 hours per day. It’s easy to use and we use it as a point of reference many times. Say we want to make sure a cab is on, we can log into the portal and make sure it’s there. It makes it a lot easier to run the company having a 24/7 portal.”

Schloemer started Northwoods Cab, LLC about 4 1/2 years ago. He started out in the taxi industry the way many others do, by working for another local cab company in town. After gaining experience and traction, he originally started the business further north in Tomahawk, WI. Soon after, he transferred the business into the Wausau area where they currently service about 6,000 calls/trips per month.

 

Keeping up with the competition

Although Uber has a presence in his area, he says they haven’t affected his business too much because he is able to keep his prices low enough, where riding with him is cheaper than in an Uber. One way he has been able to keep prices down is by hiring his drivers as independent contractors. He pays them 70% of the sales per day, and charges a weekly lease fee.

Northwoods Cab owner Aaron Schloemer with his son at Disney World, in front of the “Cab Garage.” We’ve been servicing his Wisconsin Taxi Insurance policy for the past fours years.

“A lot of taxi cab companies that have contractors pay 50%, and that isn’t enough to have the drivers stay, pay their bills and make a good income,” Schloemer said.

Some people get into the business to become their own boss and they think it will be easy to run once the basics are set up – obtaining Wisconsin taxi insurance, hiring and training drivers as well as holding monthly safety meetings. But, it isn’t always as easy as it seems.

“Don’t do it if you don’t love people and hard work. Don’t do it if you don’t know how to make decisions and handle problems. Because you are going to have problems every day,” Schloemer shared.

Day to day in the taxi business

While operating a taxi company may seem easy enough, there are daily challenges Schloemer faces that he says others should be aware of before starting out in the industry.

“The hardest thing is maintaining the fleet. The vehicles do get beat up pretty quick. It’s essential to our business that we have at least 10 cars on standby, ready to go, in case one should break down.”

Many people would not think of owning and operating at taxi company as a public service. But Schloemer considers it just that.

“Taking care of people and helping people do tasks they might not otherwise be able to get done,” is one of the benefits Schloemer says he enjoys about owning a taxi company. “Without us, they might not be able to get to their job on time or make it to their dialysis appointment,” he said.

How much insurance do I need?

How much insurance you need to purchase will depend on the type of transportation business you have, and where you are operating. Most limousines, black car or private car service business are overseen by the WI DOT and depending on their seating capacities, determine the limit of insurance that is needed.

Insurance limit requirements for limo and black cars with seating capacities (including driver) listed below:

  • 8 or less require $300,000
  • 15 or less require $1,500,000
  • 16 or more require $5,000,000

While Limo and black car limits are more straightforward, Wisconsin Taxi Insurance limits vary by municipality. Below are some of the requirements for Wisconsin taxi insurance by city:

  • Madison, WI – $1,000,000
  • Manitowoc, WI
  • Menomonie, WI – $1,000,000
  • Milwaukee, WI – $50,000/100,000/10,000
  • Sheboygan, WI – $100,000/300,000/100,000
  • Superior, WI – $500,000

 

Above are just some of the state specific requirements. Don’t see what you are looking for? Contact us as we are the Wisconsin taxi insurance experts and know exactly where to find this information so you don’t have to!

We would love to bring down the cost of your current  policy! Request a quote online by clicking here: https://abiweb.com/services/taxicab-insurance/

You can also call us at (800) 980-1950 ext. 4

 

 

 

AB5: Another Battle For Taxicab Owners

 

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AB5: Another Battle for Taxicab Owners

Written by Laura Loftus

As if it isn’t hard enough for taxicab, limo and paratransit drivers competing against the Amazon.com’s of transportation – Uber & Lyft – those in California are about to potentially fight the greatest battle of them yet against AB5.

Recently, CA legislature passed and signed into law AB5 (Assembly Bill 5) which goes into effect on January 1, 2020. This bill will implement the ABC test when determining whether companies need to classify drivers as independent contractors or employees.

Lyft and UBER stickers on the rear window of a vehicle offering rides in San Francisco Bay Area car.

With taxicab and limo drivers already struggling, it seems unfathomable that CA government would make it  more difficult for professionals to operate. But many people in the taxi and limo industry are worried about potential changes they will need to make within their business.

As a commercial insurance broker, specializing in Livery, For-Hire Insurance for those in the taxicab, limo, paratransit, shared economy and on demand delivery spaces – I hear it first hand on a day to day basis how they are affected by Uber and Lyft. They are upset that those companies don’t have to adhere to the same licensing, permitting and insurance requirements that they do. And now, they might be forced to provide Workers Compensation insurance for all “gig-economy” workers – which many taxi drivers claim to be.

This potential added expense could do more harm than good, in an already difficult marketplace.

How AB5 will work

In California, AB5 will implement a three-part “ABC” test. This test will be used to established if a worker is an employee or independent contractor. If a worker is an employee, they need to have Workers Compensation insurance along with medical benefits and paid sick days. The law also states that all workers will be considered an employee of the company unless they can prove:

  • (A) the worker is free from the employer’s control and direction;
  • (B) the worker performs work that is outside the usual course of the company’s primary business; and
  • (C) the worker is not customarily engaged in the same trade, occupation, or business as the work they are hired to perform

If the company cannot prove all of these items, then the worker needs to be classified as an employee.

 

Will your taxicab company be affected by AB5?

For Chris Sweis, SF Yellow Cab has been a family business since 1983. Like many others in this industry, he is one of many across the country who grew up in the business.  It is often traditional for the business to be passed down from generation to generation.

Sweis, who is also President of the  Taxicab Paratransit Association of California, wants to work with CA Legislature to make sure taxicab drivers are exempt from AB5. Sweis said, “We don’t know if they are going to have to make any changes because taxi drivers still needs to be tested under the ABC test and a lot depends on how they are operating. If they are operating as a co-op, that makes a big difference. In SF, they have the medallions system. So, it really depends on how they are operating.”

Many taxi companies are structured as co-ops. This means each taxi driver is part owner of the company. Most are also made up of individual owner-operators who owns their own vehicle.

Under this structure, it could be considered that owners are able to exempt themselves from Work Comp insurance. In California, owners can exclude themselves from coverage under a work -comp policy. Since these co-op owners are not technically employees – they may not be affected by the AB5 bill.

Companies like SF Yellow Cab that operate under the medallion system, feel the same could be said for them as well. The taxicab company owns the medallion but leases it to the owner of the vehicle. They are basically renting out their operating authority. With a lease agreement in place – it might be enough to say the owner/operator of the vehicle is employing themselves.

 

Should AB5 apply to taxicab drivers?

Matthew Daus, Esq. who is the Partner and Chairman for Windels Marx Transportation Group in NYC and also President of the International Association of Transportation Regulators explains in more detail. He talked about identifying whether or not your taxi or limo company can continue to classify drivers as independent contractors.

He said, “Let’s say you operate a factory and you manufacture dolls and you have a broken door. You call a contractor to fix the door. The contractor is a handyman to fix facilities, not in the business of selling dolls. That situation would likely involve that worker being an independent contractor – not an employee.”

Some transportation companies are worried that their current business structure might be tested and disrupted. Currently, it is common for taxicab companies to classify their drivers as “independent contractors.”

“I think the taxi and limo industry needs to mobilize like they’ve never had to before in order to be exempt from AB5. They should be making the argument that they’ve been decimated by Uber and Lyft for years and they need an exemption,” Daus said.

“And with the entire taxi industry struggling – I don’t think that is what the legislature wanted. Most people feel bad about what happened to those in the taxi industry. It’s time for the legislature to level the playing field,” Daus also said.

 

What can you do?

TPAC is trying to get in front of CA legislature to help determine how the state of California can still implement this bill but not negatively impact the already struggling taxi industry.

It is important to do what you can to voice your opinion in protecting the transportation industry.

Sweis said TPAC could use help from fellow taxicab owners throughout the country. “If they operate in a state that has an ABC test and there is some kind of law or legislature or court cases that exempts their drivers from an ABC test being independent contractors, whether on state or local level – that would be extremely helpful.”

Sweis asked that if you have anything to provide that might be helpful, to email directly at [email protected] .

A New Kind of Work Comp Insurance

With AB5 passing in California, those in taxi and limo business may need to start purchasing Work Comp insurance for their drivers come January 2020. Dave Haley, CEO of American Business Insurance is working on a cost-effective solution.

“Everyone is really worried about AB5 and they don’t know what to do,” Haley said.

As of today, the standard markets for Work Comp are not cheap. With the future of taxi and limo drivers at the forefront, Haley is working on a technology-based Work Comp product. His goal is to offer a product that is cost effective and easy to use.

“This new work comp product will offer a large savings for taxi and limo drivers. Compared to the work comp products currently available, our InsureTech solution will turn the traditional work comp system on its head.”

If  you need Work Comp for your transportation business, give us a call or email us. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Five Most Important Cannabis Business Software Purchases

Five Most Important Cannabis Business Software Purchases

Occasionally, American Business Insurance Services, Inc. hosts guest blogs from our partners who want to discuss the specifics of their services and the benefits they bring to customers. This blog features our partner Cue Cannabis, a Colorado based software company that allows cannabis businesses to purchase and manage various software and services to help run their company.

The legal marijuana industry is expanding, one state at a time, across the US. But while there are many business opportunities in this industry, it can still be challenging for a new business owner to make a profit. Cannabis business owners face the same stresses as normal business owners, like hiring, budgeting, and tracking merchandise, while also dealing with different challenges like staying compliant with state legislation. 

Purchasing software and the technological infrastructure for your business may not initially seem like the most interesting pursuit, but having the right set up will enhance the day-to-day efficiency of your business. At CUE Cannabis, we speak to many customers who don’t know where to start when it comes to purchasing software or setting up cameras and phone lines. It is an area where all business owners, from dispensaries to cultivators, or extractors, might struggle to find something that is right for their business. 

We’ve created a ‘hierarchy of software needs’ to help business owners prioritize their purchases. Further, each area of purchase comes with a few key questions that you can ask as a business owner in order to understand what might work best for your business. We’ll take you through the first three levels of this ‘hierarchy of software needs’ to help you with important business decisions.

1. Foundational software is critical for day-to-day operations

We designated a ‘foundational software’ category to include both software and infrastructure that is most important for day-to-day operations. In this category there is accounting, data security, compliance, and sales software like point-of-sale or seed-to-sale depending on your business. As the name suggests, laying the foundation for a successful operation will make the day-to-day of running your business more efficiently. When purchasing ‘foundational’ software, there are a few things to look for:

Accounting: Check with your accounting before deciding what to you because while many accountants can work with any software, some need you to have a program that is compatible with what they are already using. Also, if you don’t have an accountant, get one because it will make your life easier. 

Point-of-Sale: The hardware part of this software e.g. tablets, scanners, etc. can be a costly investment, but one great way to create some flexibility in your budget is by using a point of sale system that offers a month-by-month plan, which can make it easier for newer businesses. 

Data security: Cannabis is a highly regulated industry, meaning a lot of data is being collected. Understanding how your software is collecting and storing data should be one of the major questions you are asking. Consider what data practices you’ll have to store or transfer employee and customer information. 

A word about Technology and Infrastructure

Depending on the state requirements for your business, your building design, or the type of business you are running, technology and infrastructure will be an important ‘foundational’ piece. Examples of this could include purchasing security cameras for the business, which depending on your state of operation may be a legal requirement or just a good idea. Another element of technology to consider is the wifi and phone systems that will run your point-of-sale or help your employees get online.

Important questions to ask center around understanding how employees will work in the building and accomplish their jobs; depending on the business the use cases can be varied and complicated. Our biggest recommendation when considering the technology or infrastructure for your business is to consider an experienced partner who has extensive experience understanding not just the technology but how people will engage with it on a day-to-day basis. 

2. Other important software to make your business run efficiently

The aforementioned software is incredibly important for the operation of your business and the next category of software in the ‘hierarchy of needs’ will not only help you but also your employees. I’m talking specifically about HR, Payroll, and collaboration software like GSuite or Slack. The most important feature to consider across all this software is how ‘user-friendly’ is it, and how will it impact the employees that are using it (as well as yourself). 

When considering HR and Payroll software, for example, ask yourself questions like: Does this software integrating with my accounting software in order to manage payroll? Is it easy for managers and employees to access information? Does this software offer benefits that are easy to manage? 

With Collaboration software like Slack, GSuite, or other messaging tools, ask yourself about how your employees work and when they will engage with the software: are they mobile or office-based? What tasks do they need to do? 

HR, Payroll, and Collaboration software are crucial for the day-to-day running of your business. Ensuring that you hire the right people, pay them for their work and provide the tools to work effectively will contribute directly to the growth potential of the company. 

3. Improve your business with Data Analytics

After you have the right software, the next step is to make that software work for you. What I mean by this is understanding what information your software is collecting and how to use that to improve your business outcome. For example, consider your point-of-sale or seed-to-sale data to look at what products are doing well, and or what is not. Most business owners don’t realize how much data their business generates and what the possibilities are with this information. There are some amazing tools specifically designed for cannabis business owners that can help you analyze and visualize business data. 

We hope this discussion of foundational cannabis business software will give you a better understanding of how to make a purchase, but also what questions to ask when conducting research. If you want this checklist  

Now that you have a better understanding of how to prioritize your software and technology purchases, as well as what questions you can ask as you research. If you want to know more about the next levels of the ‘software hierarchy of needs,’ you can download your own guide here. 

About the Author: 

Fiona Foster is Marketing Manager for CUE Cannabis. She is also part of the CUE Expert team that advises business owners on how to find the best software and services for their company. 

UBI Telematics: The New Industry Standard

Written by Laura Loftus on September 18th, 2019

UBI Insurance is currently reserved for companies with access to the minimum annual premium of $100,000.  This is not a program for TNC operators, owner/operators with one car and is geared towards larger companies involved with providing services for the sharing economy.  GET A QUOTE

Usage Based Insurance (UBI telematics) products entered the personal auto marketplace some time ago. But it is a new concept for commercial auto policies. Whether you own and operate one vehicle in a small rural town, or a large fleet in an urban area –  insurance companies are always looking for ways to gain more business and limit their own risk. As a result, more and more insurance companies are offering UBI telematics to commercial fleets.

History of UBI Telematics

UBI telematics became popular with the invent of Transportation Network Companies like Uber and Lyft. As these types of companies grew the insurance industry responded by offering more options for UBI telematics. Companies like James River were one of the first to offer pay-per-mile or pay-as-you-drive plans. This got the rest of the world thinking. If Uber and Lyft can pay per mile, why can’t other transportation businesses obtain the same type of UBI telematics?

One reason UBI telematics was more easily implemented for Transportation Network Companies like Uber and Lyft is because the insurance company is not “on the risk” all the time. Most of these drivers carry their own personal auto policies. So, the TNC insurance is only “on” when the driver is logged into the app.

With the popularity of TNCs, it has affected the amount business taxi and limo companies are able to achieve. Traditional companies need to evolve in order to compete against Uber and Lyft. One way to do this, is to lower their costs with a UBI telematics policy.

How Pay-Per-Mile Insurance Works

UBI telematics works in many different ways.  The first is that you are provided with a device that plugs into the OBD port of your car. The device captures and reports mileage automatically to the insurance company. You are then billed at the agreed upon per-mile rate.

Another way mileage is captured and reported to insurance companies is through SDK integration of an app you might be using for dispatching of vehicles.

In the past, most for-hire, livery risks were charged a flat annual rate. It did not matter how many hours you spent on the road. It also didn’t matter how many miles you drove each month. But, now that UBI telematics is becoming more popular, many companies are offering this structure as an alternative.  Additionally, while most of the other personal auto insurance markets may provide this type of pricing structure, most do not capture driver analytics to help you coach and manage drivers.

UBI Telematics from American Business Insurance

As a UBI insurance broker, we are always looking for and creating solutions that are easy for our clients to use. As a result, we have created our own dashboard which captures the trends and habits of your drivers. Some UBI telematics structures actually charge different rates per driver and many will adjust the price mid-term (up and down) based on driver behavior.

Distracted driving is a problem that most UBI insurance brokers are trying to combat. By integrating telematics elements into pricing and policies, we are able to not only reduce the amount of money you are spending each year for insurance but also provide you with tools to limit risk to those markets.

Some of the data UBI telematics products capture include not only miles driven, but also:

  • Hard-braking incidents
  • G-Force of accidents
  • Hard-cornering
  • Excessive speed
  • Following too closely

By carefully managing and coaching drivers of bad driving habits before accidents occur, you keep your loss history low and your premiums lower.

UBI Telematics per Contract

While above options describe UBI telematics for all operations, we can also work with you to limit coverages on a per contract basis. What this means, is that sometimes the City or State will require a minimum auto limit of $100,000. But you want to obtain a contract to transport patients to and from doctor appointments. Most likely, that contract will require your fleet to have a limit of $1,000,000 or higher. Instead of providing you with a quote that increases the cost for the entire policy to $1M limit – we can write a separate excess policy that bills you by trip, or by mile for the contract only.

Another way to limit coverage is if for example your city requires the same $100k limit mentioned above, but you drop off at the airport who requires $1,000,000 while on airport property. Instead of increasing the premium for the policy to be $1M all the time, we can charge less of an increase by endorsing the policy to provide the higher limit while only on airport property.

How Does this Benefit Business Owners?

The secret to any business is operating at profitable margins. By keeping insurance costs low, commercial fleet owners are able to put money back into their business for advertising, newer vehicles, maintenance and repair. Also, driver morale will improve because they will know that their good driving habits will be recognized and, in many cases, rewarded.

UBI Insurance is currently reserved for companies with access to the minimum annual premium of $100,000.  This is not a program for TNC operators, owner/operators with one car and is geared towards larger companies involved with providing services for the sharing economy.  GET A QUOTE

Uber Freight and Commercial Trucking Insurance

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Uber Freight and Commercial Trucking Insurance

In May of 2017, Uber launched one of their newest services Uber Freight. Uber Freight is an exciting, new trucking app that matches vetted drivers with long-haul routes. The app allows drivers or dispatchers to book and confirm routes with the tap of a button. They have the choice to filter the routes they search for by pickup, destination, the offered price, and other factors. Uber Freight is designed to work for carriers of any size. Although, the service is particularly attractive to small fleets and independent owner-operators. In order for trucking fleets and owner-operators to work with Uber Freight they need to have the proper Commercial Trucking Insurance.

 

How Does Uber Freight Work? What are the advantages?

Uber Freight was created with the business model to appeal to smaller fleets and independent truck drivers. Therefore, the app is designed to give more power to operators and solve many problems drivers have with traditional freight brokerage. Before Uber Freight, drivers or Uber Freightoperators would have to make multiple calls to schedule loads. Now the booking process is streamlined. Booking is made simple through the app. As easy as Uber makes it to schedule a car to pick you up on the curb, they make it just as convenient for commercial truck drivers to schedule loads and routes.

Another problem drivers have with traditional methods are delayed payment. The standard for payment is 30 to 60 days, but with Uber Freight drivers can receive payment about seven days after completion. This allows small trucking fleets or owner-operators to continuously operate at full capacity when repairs and other issues arise. A third problem Uber Freight solves is the problem of deadhead miles. Deadhead miles are the number of miles commercial truck drivers drive from the point of unload to the point where their new load is ready to pickup. Uber Freight accounts for this and compensates drivers. Furthermore, the app also features a “Take Me Home”. This setting helps drivers book loads that will take them back home while still earning income.

Uber Freight is still in its beginning years, but with the way they are operating and handling freight brokerage, they are hoping to transform the industry. They are positioning themselves as a drivers first service. They believe that when drivers are empowered and delivery is more efficient all businesses run better. Take a look at the partnership that Uber Freight has with Ocean Spray, and you’ll see how this new service works.

Commercial Trucking Insurance 

As Uber Freight is very much geared towards smaller fleets for the time being, operators need to do all they can to protect their small businesses. We at American Business Insurance Services, Inc. are here to help. Commercial Trucking Insurance or Delivery Insurance is tremendously important to the safety and security of drivers, their freight, and their business. If you are thinking about contracting through Uber Freight, you will have to have the proper insurance coverage. At American Business Insurance Services, Inc. we shop all the currently competitive markets for you. By doing this we can find you the best coverage to fit your specific needs in the commercial trucking industry. 

 

Why You Need Coverage?

American Business Insurance Services, Inc. has identified the Uber Freight business model as one that will likely transform the way the freight delivery industry operates. The seamless Uber Freightadaption of this technology to all types of businesses, that have shipping needs, has allowed for convenience of scheduling, more carrier options for businesses, and expedited delivery.

Our team of licensed brokers are well aware of the coverage you will need as a delivery fleet or owner-operator service. Furthermore, some of the common types of coverage that apply to delivery and commercial trucking businesses are:

  • Auto Liability to protect bodily injury of all parties
  • (Auto)Property Damage to cover damage to property
  • Comprehensive & Collision to protect against most causes of loss to your vehicle(s)
  • Personal Injury or Medical Coverage
  • Cargo Coverage

Contacting American Business Insurance Services, Inc. will guarantee that you are fully covered under a commercial auto policy and allow you to operate your fleet with Uber Freight.

Why American Business Insurance Services, Inc.?

At American Business Insurance Services, Inc., our goal is to build long lasting, valued and trusted relationships. Our mission is to create an understanding with our clients that they are at the forefront of our business. Consequently, we strive to make sure we know our clients business thoroughly to create a true partnership. American Business Insurance Services, Inc. is committed to professional excellence, delivering on commitments on time and of the highest caliber. Therefore, we use only the best practices in the industry. Through our stringent processes and systems we let you operate your commercial trucking or delivery service with confidence.

In conclusion, the Uber Freight business model could transform the way trucking operates and we understand that. As the business changes we at American Business Insurance Services, Inc. adapt with the change to provide the best types of coverage for clients.

To get a quote for your commercial trucking fleet or delivery service Click Here.

 

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American Business Insurance Services, Inc

PERIOD X™ Fleet Management Software with Insurance Built In

Period X™ Quote

What is Period X™ insurance and how does it work to help you manage your fleet?

American Business Insurance Services, Inc. developed Period X™ for fleet owners or individuals that are renting their cars out on a car sharing platform. This applies to platforms such as Turo, HyreCar or GetAround.  This coverage comes with fleet management software through a web-based dashboard at no extra cost to your policy. This fleet management software comes with tools to ensure your fleet is running at maximum efficiency. When managing your fleet that operates through a Transportation Network Company, the coverage is usually provided to the renter through TNC Provider Insurance. It is important for fleet operators to know that insurance is not supplied through TNC Provider Insurance when the car is not rented out. Of course you want to make sure your car is covered at all times. That’s where our proprietary Period X™ insurance coverage comes into play.

 

 

What a Period X™ Insurance Policy Provides

Our Period X™ Insurance policy provides more than the minimum state limits in
almost all 50 states. A comprehensive insurance product to cover fleets that
are being rented out on Peer to Peer (P2P) rental platforms such as the ones mentioned above. Our product is one of a kind. If you are renting your vehicles out on P2P rental platforms PERSONAL INSURANCE DOES NOT COVER YOU for this type of business model.

fleet management

An insurance policy with fleet management software

We didn’t stop at just putting the Period X™ insurance product together, we did a lot more.  Every Period X™ policy holder receives a proprietary device for each vehicle that they insure. This includes a fleet management web-based dashboard to manage your fleet.  It would be one thing just to have proper coverage that nobody can offer, but below are some of the additional services we provide as part of this coverage:

  • Ability to add/delete vehicles online

  • GPS track each and every car at all times

  • Check billing

  • Access ID cards and so much more fleet management tools

Period X™ is fleet tracking with the insurance built in!

Why we created Period X™ with fleet management software

As usual, the best place to start is always the beginning. To make a long story much shorter, in the beginning there were taxicabs. When taxicabs were the only animal of their kind roaming the earth, life was simple and there was only one period of time. Things were pretty easy. If you needed insurance for a taxicab, you got a taxicab insurance policy that covered that taxi company 24 hours a day, end of story. fleet management software

Then, not too long ago, something called Uber and Lyft came onto the scene.  All of the sudden, things got complicated really fast in the insurance world.  These companies found that if they divided their insurance policy into separate periods of time, and that each period had a coverage limit assigned to it. This made it possible to reduce their exposure (and their insurance premiums) to maximize profits.

Then, we had another new company (HyreCar) facilitating TNC rentals between rideshare drivers that needed cars and vehicle owners who wanted to make money by providing those cars.  The term peer-to-peer rentals was coined.  

A New Problem Arises

Initially, the idea was that personal insurance would cover the party that was renting their vehicle out to the TNC drivers as long as they only had one or two cars. It did not take long for vehicle owners to see that they were netting $700+ a month per car. Seeing such great results, this resulted in the vehicle owners adding more and more cars until they had fleets. Vehicle owners now had 10, 20, or even 30+ cars, which is not covered by personal auto insurance. This issue lead to the need for the Period X™ product to be created since personal insurance doesn’t cover fleets that are primarily used to make money via rental app platforms and especially not TNC rentals.

Napkin math ensued and a new problem emerged: 

“How do I place insurance on my fleet of cars under an LLC or Corp and keep my personal lines insurance pricing?”  

The answer to that question is: Period X™ Insurance!  Our agency was the brains behind this exciting new insurance product. We are now positioned to bring it to the masses! Now, fleet owners who place their inventory on platforms such as; HyreCar, Turo, GetAround & similar peer-to-peer rental platforms have access to a reasonably priced app-based insuranceinsurance product that covers their fleet for only the period of time when the vehicle is not rented out and is being serviced and maintained to ready the car for the next rental.  

There are articles upon articles online in regards to Periods 1,2 & 3 and why they are the way they are. The basic idea is that when a rideshare driver has the rideshare app off, then the rideshare company has no involvement in what that driver does with their car. This results in no insurance for that period of time.  The instant the rideshare app is on and the driver is engaged with it, Period 1, 2 & 3 begins and typically state minimum auto liability limits apply.

fleet management software

 

Breaking down insurance policies divided into separate periods of time:

After the app is turned on and driver is engaged with Period 1, they scan for rides
they’d like to take. The instant the driver accepts a ride, they have entered Period 2. The insurance coverage offered by the rideshare providers increases a bit more to cover incidents that might occur while the driver is on their way to pick up a passenger.

insurance policy

The last (for now) action involved in a typical rideshare exchange is that the driver arrives at the pick-up destination. The instant the passenger(s) get into the driver’s car, Period 3 is activated. 

TNC insurance policy

Period 3 typically involves $1,000,000 of auto liability coverage via the rideshare company insurance policy. This is the riskiest period of time, because any accident occurring during that period fully engages the rideshare provider and all participants involved with that ride.

Period Policies for Commercial Auto Working Together

The “Period 1,2 & 3” policy setup is now the industry standard for app-based transportation companies that offer rides as a service. Now with American Business Insurance Services, Inc. Period X™ insurance coverage, fleet managers are able to go beyond the industry standard. With our Period X™, coverage never slips through the cracks making sure your TNC fleet is protected at all times.

After Uber & Lyft had been around for a couple of years, opportunity-minded people started to notice the great deal of demand for vehicles from drivers who wanted to make money driving for TNC companies, but did not have the means to purchase, lease or finance a vehicle for various reasons.

A few select companies have established a niche in this territory and filled this demand successfully.  These companies didn’t only see this driver need for vehicle inventory in the marketplace. They saw plenty of regular people out there that are not always driving their personal vehicles, or who were interested in purchasing vehicles for the sole reason of renting them out to TNC drivers who needed them. This is an industry that expected to have rapid growth. When creating a TNC company having the proper policy coverage protects your business and livelihood. 

Contact Us For Full Details on Period X™ and our Fleet Tracking Software

We’d love to tell you everything about this program because we’re SO excited about this new product. We can’t just give away all our secrets at once, can we? What we can tell you is that we’re open in most U.S. states, have a full-time I.T. department dedicated to continuously evolving the technology behind this product. Our experienced team of licensed professionals are excited to talk to you about how you can get Period X™ Insurance on your fleet. Give us a call today! Let’s solve your fleet insurance / management problems so you can get back out there and make some money!

Call Today: (800) 980-1950

https://abiweb.com/

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Paratransit Service Insurance in California

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Paratransit Service Insurance in California for Company Fleet of 15+ Vehicles

We all have loved ones, that at one time or another, are in need of consistent medical care. Whether they be our aging grandparents, parents, or even our in-laws- we want the best care for them. But the thing is people are busy. We can’t always find the time to escort our loved ones to doctor appointments and other medical treatment centers. Although, there are ways to make this process a little easier. Many families, hospitals, and doctor offices turn to Paratransit Service or Non-Emergency Medical Transportation (NEMT) providers to fill this need.

paratransit service

The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, made paratransit service a daily reality for many Americans with disabilities. By providing transportation for those with disabilities, paratransit services are paramount to the well-being and mobility of thousands of Americans.

California NEMT and Background

In California, the major hubs are Los Angeles, San Diego, San Jose, and San Francisco. There are over 7 million people in these cities. Many of the elderly people living here need transportation to medical centers at all hours of the day. 

Even for those who are fortunate enough to have loved ones to drive them around, it’s not always convenient. Everyone living in these cities knows that traffic is horrendous, finding parking is a nightmare, and a whole day could be filled with a doctor’s visit.

This is when paratransit service or NEMT comes into play. There are many paratransit agencies that operate fleets of 15+ vehicles in California that American Business Insurance Services, Inc. works with to provide the best available coverage. Those seeking transportation are able to be picked up at their specific location and then the NEMT vehicle discharges passengers on request at various hospitals or medical centers. Having the right paratransit fleet insurance is essential in making sure your business and customers are covered in case of an incident. 

When customers are looking to choose a paratransit service or agency to be responsible for their loved ones, they will be looking into the NEMT company to make sure their loved one is going to be safe and protected.  American Business Insurance Services, Inc. provides NEMT insurance to companies nationwide creating customized policies to best serve our clients needs.

How to Decide on Paratransit/ NEMT Insurance For Your Company Fleetparatransit service

There are a lot of factors that go into finding the best insurance coverage for your Paratransit Company’s large fleet. Therefore, prepare to answer a few questions when working with American Business Insurance to find you the best quote to match your business needs. 

  • Do your vehicles have lifts or ramps? 
  • Do your vehicles include backup cameras? 
  • Are the majority of your trips for passengers ambulatory or non-ambulatory? 
  • Do you contract with LogistiCare or other providers with strict insurance requirements?

Insurance companies ask these questions to ensure you are fully covered under your policy. At American Business Insurance Services, Inc., we guarantee the most thorough coverage for your large fleet. Furthermore, we have trained professionals who will take care of everything, and will guide you through the process of properly insuring your NEMT fleet most efficiently!

Why You (the Paratransit service/agency) Need Full Coverage

Having the proper paratransit or NEMT insurance is critical to operating a successful transportation business. The services that paratransit automobile fleets accomplish for those in need is truly life changing and deserves insurance that is equally up to par.

Moreover, the reason you (the Paratransit service/agency) need NEMT fleet insurance is to ensure the safety and reliability of your paratransit service company, protecting your passengers and your business.

Paratransit/NEMT Insurance at American Business Insurance Services, Inc.

paratransit service

At American Business Insurance Services, Inc., our goal is to build long lasting, valued and trusted relationships. Our mission is to create an understanding with our clients because we want them to know they are at the forefront of our business. American Business Insurance Services, Inc. is committed to professional excellence, delivering on commitments on time, and of the highest caliber. In addition, we use only the best practices in the industry through our stringent processes and systems that let you operate your California paratransit service company with confidence.

Furthermore, most agencies take days or even weeks to process a vehicle or driver change on your Paratransit policy. At American Business Insurance Services, Inc. we have a fast, easy, and user-friendly online customer portal that you will love. Our state-of-the-art agency portal allows you to manage your NEMT business 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. With this portal, policy changes can be made online at any time – day or night. This is essential in running a business that also operates 24/7.

We promise to do the leg work for you. We have built strong long term relationships with our carriers of paratransit insurance in order to find you the best policy to match your business needs. Our 35+ years experience in insuring commercial auto fleets makes American Business Insurance quick and efficient in finding the best carrier options.

Get a quote today!

Wisconsin Taxi Insurance: It’s Not What You Know, It’s Who You Know

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Wisconsin Taxi Insurance: It’s Not What You Know, It’s Who You Know

Written by Laura Loftus on Monday, June 24th, 2019

 

Northwoods Cab, LLC began working with American Business Insurance in 2015. At the time, he had 2 cars insured. Now, he services 6,000 trips per month and maintains about 15 taxis on the road at all times.

Finding the right broker to handle your Wisconsin Taxi Insurance is vital. Besides the fact that we’ve been one of the leading providers for those who need Wisconsin Taxi Insurance, we give you more than just an insurance policy.

Currently, we insure over 100 vehicles that require Wisconsin Taxi Insurance and because we have been working with both fleets and individual owner/operators for over 35 years, we have created an easy to use online portal for our customers to service their policies 24/7.

We also provide you with a live, customer service rep dedicated to servicing your policy and answering coverage questions during regular business hours. Choosing us as your broker means choosing a well-educated partner who truly understands your business.

 

Our goal is to keep your vehicles on the road, and your Wisconsin Taxi Insurance active

Aaron Schloemer from Northwoods Cab, LLC in Wasuau, WI has a fleet of about 15 taxi’s on the road. He has been a client of ours since 2015 and says that our online portal helps him to run his business.  Some brokers will require you to send changes to them via email or fax in writing. Then you’ll have to wait days for an approval or ID card. But our portal allows you to make these changes in an instant. Transportation companies often need replacement ID Cards in the middle of the night, need to change out a vehicle at a moment’s notice and switch drivers on their policies with little time to spare.

“We use the online portal and it work’s like a charm. It really helps us. When a cab breaks down, we can go on the portal and easily take it off and put it back on. It doesn’t matter what time of the day or night. Another great thing is being able to add drivers 24 hours per day. It’s easy to use and we use it as a point of reference many times. Say we want to make sure a cab is on, we can log into the portal and make sure it’s there. It makes it a lot easier to run the company having a 24/7 portal.”

Schloemer started Northwoods Cab, LLC about 4 1/2 years ago. He started out in the taxi industry the way many others do, by working for another local cab company in town. After gaining experience and traction, he originally started the business further north in Tomahawk, WI. Soon after, he transferred the business into the Wausau area where they currently service about 6,000 calls/trips per month.

 

Keeping up with the competition

Although Uber has a presence in his area, he says they haven’t affected his business too much because he is able to keep his prices low enough, where riding with him is cheaper than in an Uber. One way he has been able to keep prices down is by hiring his drivers as independent contractors. He pays them 70% of the sales per day, and charges a weekly lease fee.

Northwoods Cab owner Aaron Schloemer with his son at Disney World, in front of the “Cab Garage.” We’ve been servicing his Wisconsin Taxi Insurance policy for the past fours years.

“A lot of taxi cab companies that have contractors pay 50%, and that isn’t enough to have the drivers stay, pay their bills and make a good income,” Schloemer said.

Some people get into the business to become their own boss and they think it will be easy to run once the basics are set up – obtaining Wisconsin taxi insurance, hiring and training drivers as well as holding monthly safety meetings. But, it isn’t always as easy as it seems.

“Don’t do it if you don’t love people and hard work. Don’t do it if you don’t know how to make decisions and handle problems. Because you are going to have problems every day,” Schloemer shared.

Day to day in the taxi business

While operating a taxi company may seem easy enough, there are daily challenges Schloemer faces that he says others should be aware of before starting out in the industry.

“The hardest thing is maintaining the fleet. The vehicles do get beat up pretty quick. It’s essential to our business that we have at least 10 cars on standby, ready to go, in case one should break down.”

Many people would not think of owning and operating at taxi company as a public service. But Schloemer considers it just that.

“Taking care of people and helping people do tasks they might not otherwise be able to get done,” is one of the benefits Schloemer says he enjoys about owning a taxi company. “Without us, they might not be able to get to their job on time or make it to their dialysis appointment,” he said.

How much insurance do I need?

How much insurance you need to purchase will depend on the type of transportation business you have, and where you are operating. Most limousines, black car or private car service business are overseen by the WI DOT and depending on their seating capacities, determine the limit of insurance that is needed.

Insurance limit requirements for limo and black cars with seating capacities (including driver) listed below:

  • 8 or less require $300,000
  • 15 or less require $1,500,000
  • 16 or more require $5,000,000

While Limo and black car limits are more straightforward, Wisconsin Taxi Insurance limits vary by municipality. Below are some of the requirements for Wisconsin taxi insurance by city:

  • Madison, WI – $1,000,000
  • Manitowoc, WI
  • Menomonie, WI – $1,000,000
  • Milwaukee, WI – $50,000/100,000/10,000
  • Sheboygan, WI – $100,000/300,000/100,000
  • Superior, WI – $500,000

 

Above are just some of the state specific requirements. Don’t see what you are looking for? Contact us as we are the Wisconsin taxi insurance experts and know exactly where to find this information so you don’t have to!

We would love to bring down the cost of your current  policy! Request a quote online by clicking here: https://abiweb.com/services/taxicab-insurance/

You can also call us at (800) 980-1950 ext. 4

 

 

 

AB5: Another Battle For Taxicab Owners

 

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AB5: Another Battle for Taxicab Owners

Written by Laura Loftus

As if it isn’t hard enough for taxicab, limo and paratransit drivers competing against the Amazon.com’s of transportation – Uber & Lyft – those in California are about to potentially fight the greatest battle of them yet against AB5.

Recently, CA legislature passed and signed into law AB5 (Assembly Bill 5) which goes into effect on January 1, 2020. This bill will implement the ABC test when determining whether companies need to classify drivers as independent contractors or employees.

Lyft and UBER stickers on the rear window of a vehicle offering rides in San Francisco Bay Area car.

With taxicab and limo drivers already struggling, it seems unfathomable that CA government would make it  more difficult for professionals to operate. But many people in the taxi and limo industry are worried about potential changes they will need to make within their business.

As a commercial insurance broker, specializing in Livery, For-Hire Insurance for those in the taxicab, limo, paratransit, shared economy and on demand delivery spaces – I hear it first hand on a day to day basis how they are affected by Uber and Lyft. They are upset that those companies don’t have to adhere to the same licensing, permitting and insurance requirements that they do. And now, they might be forced to provide Workers Compensation insurance for all “gig-economy” workers – which many taxi drivers claim to be.

This potential added expense could do more harm than good, in an already difficult marketplace.

How AB5 will work

In California, AB5 will implement a three-part “ABC” test. This test will be used to established if a worker is an employee or independent contractor. If a worker is an employee, they need to have Workers Compensation insurance along with medical benefits and paid sick days. The law also states that all workers will be considered an employee of the company unless they can prove:

  • (A) the worker is free from the employer’s control and direction;
  • (B) the worker performs work that is outside the usual course of the company’s primary business; and
  • (C) the worker is not customarily engaged in the same trade, occupation, or business as the work they are hired to perform

If the company cannot prove all of these items, then the worker needs to be classified as an employee.

 

Will your taxicab company be affected by AB5?

For Chris Sweis, SF Yellow Cab has been a family business since 1983. Like many others in this industry, he is one of many across the country who grew up in the business.  It is often traditional for the business to be passed down from generation to generation.

Sweis, who is also President of the  Taxicab Paratransit Association of California, wants to work with CA Legislature to make sure taxicab drivers are exempt from AB5. Sweis said, “We don’t know if they are going to have to make any changes because taxi drivers still needs to be tested under the ABC test and a lot depends on how they are operating. If they are operating as a co-op, that makes a big difference. In SF, they have the medallions system. So, it really depends on how they are operating.”

Many taxi companies are structured as co-ops. This means each taxi driver is part owner of the company. Most are also made up of individual owner-operators who owns their own vehicle.

Under this structure, it could be considered that owners are able to exempt themselves from Work Comp insurance. In California, owners can exclude themselves from coverage under a work -comp policy. Since these co-op owners are not technically employees – they may not be affected by the AB5 bill.

Companies like SF Yellow Cab that operate under the medallion system, feel the same could be said for them as well. The taxicab company owns the medallion but leases it to the owner of the vehicle. They are basically renting out their operating authority. With a lease agreement in place – it might be enough to say the owner/operator of the vehicle is employing themselves.

 

Should AB5 apply to taxicab drivers?

Matthew Daus, Esq. who is the Partner and Chairman for Windels Marx Transportation Group in NYC and also President of the International Association of Transportation Regulators explains in more detail. He talked about identifying whether or not your taxi or limo company can continue to classify drivers as independent contractors.

He said, “Let’s say you operate a factory and you manufacture dolls and you have a broken door. You call a contractor to fix the door. The contractor is a handyman to fix facilities, not in the business of selling dolls. That situation would likely involve that worker being an independent contractor – not an employee.”

Some transportation companies are worried that their current business structure might be tested and disrupted. Currently, it is common for taxicab companies to classify their drivers as “independent contractors.”

“I think the taxi and limo industry needs to mobilize like they’ve never had to before in order to be exempt from AB5. They should be making the argument that they’ve been decimated by Uber and Lyft for years and they need an exemption,” Daus said.

“And with the entire taxi industry struggling – I don’t think that is what the legislature wanted. Most people feel bad about what happened to those in the taxi industry. It’s time for the legislature to level the playing field,” Daus also said.

 

What can you do?

TPAC is trying to get in front of CA legislature to help determine how the state of California can still implement this bill but not negatively impact the already struggling taxi industry.

It is important to do what you can to voice your opinion in protecting the transportation industry.

Sweis said TPAC could use help from fellow taxicab owners throughout the country. “If they operate in a state that has an ABC test and there is some kind of law or legislature or court cases that exempts their drivers from an ABC test being independent contractors, whether on state or local level – that would be extremely helpful.”

Sweis asked that if you have anything to provide that might be helpful, to email directly at [email protected] .

A New Kind of Work Comp Insurance

With AB5 passing in California, those in taxi and limo business may need to start purchasing Work Comp insurance for their drivers come January 2020. Dave Haley, CEO of American Business Insurance is working on a cost-effective solution.

“Everyone is really worried about AB5 and they don’t know what to do,” Haley said.

As of today, the standard markets for Work Comp are not cheap. With the future of taxi and limo drivers at the forefront, Haley is working on a technology-based Work Comp product. His goal is to offer a product that is cost effective and easy to use.

“This new work comp product will offer a large savings for taxi and limo drivers. Compared to the work comp products currently available, our InsureTech solution will turn the traditional work comp system on its head.”

If  you need Work Comp for your transportation business, give us a call or email us. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Five Most Important Cannabis Business Software Purchases

Five Most Important Cannabis Business Software Purchases

Occasionally, American Business Insurance Services, Inc. hosts guest blogs from our partners who want to discuss the specifics of their services and the benefits they bring to customers. This blog features our partner Cue Cannabis, a Colorado based software company that allows cannabis businesses to purchase and manage various software and services to help run their company.

The legal marijuana industry is expanding, one state at a time, across the US. But while there are many business opportunities in this industry, it can still be challenging for a new business owner to make a profit. Cannabis business owners face the same stresses as normal business owners, like hiring, budgeting, and tracking merchandise, while also dealing with different challenges like staying compliant with state legislation. 

Purchasing software and the technological infrastructure for your business may not initially seem like the most interesting pursuit, but having the right set up will enhance the day-to-day efficiency of your business. At CUE Cannabis, we speak to many customers who don’t know where to start when it comes to purchasing software or setting up cameras and phone lines. It is an area where all business owners, from dispensaries to cultivators, or extractors, might struggle to find something that is right for their business. 

We’ve created a ‘hierarchy of software needs’ to help business owners prioritize their purchases. Further, each area of purchase comes with a few key questions that you can ask as a business owner in order to understand what might work best for your business. We’ll take you through the first three levels of this ‘hierarchy of software needs’ to help you with important business decisions.

1. Foundational software is critical for day-to-day operations

We designated a ‘foundational software’ category to include both software and infrastructure that is most important for day-to-day operations. In this category there is accounting, data security, compliance, and sales software like point-of-sale or seed-to-sale depending on your business. As the name suggests, laying the foundation for a successful operation will make the day-to-day of running your business more efficiently. When purchasing ‘foundational’ software, there are a few things to look for:

Accounting: Check with your accounting before deciding what to you because while many accountants can work with any software, some need you to have a program that is compatible with what they are already using. Also, if you don’t have an accountant, get one because it will make your life easier. 

Point-of-Sale: The hardware part of this software e.g. tablets, scanners, etc. can be a costly investment, but one great way to create some flexibility in your budget is by using a point of sale system that offers a month-by-month plan, which can make it easier for newer businesses. 

Data security: Cannabis is a highly regulated industry, meaning a lot of data is being collected. Understanding how your software is collecting and storing data should be one of the major questions you are asking. Consider what data practices you’ll have to store or transfer employee and customer information. 

A word about Technology and Infrastructure

Depending on the state requirements for your business, your building design, or the type of business you are running, technology and infrastructure will be an important ‘foundational’ piece. Examples of this could include purchasing security cameras for the business, which depending on your state of operation may be a legal requirement or just a good idea. Another element of technology to consider is the wifi and phone systems that will run your point-of-sale or help your employees get online.

Important questions to ask center around understanding how employees will work in the building and accomplish their jobs; depending on the business the use cases can be varied and complicated. Our biggest recommendation when considering the technology or infrastructure for your business is to consider an experienced partner who has extensive experience understanding not just the technology but how people will engage with it on a day-to-day basis. 

2. Other important software to make your business run efficiently

The aforementioned software is incredibly important for the operation of your business and the next category of software in the ‘hierarchy of needs’ will not only help you but also your employees. I’m talking specifically about HR, Payroll, and collaboration software like GSuite or Slack. The most important feature to consider across all this software is how ‘user-friendly’ is it, and how will it impact the employees that are using it (as well as yourself). 

When considering HR and Payroll software, for example, ask yourself questions like: Does this software integrating with my accounting software in order to manage payroll? Is it easy for managers and employees to access information? Does this software offer benefits that are easy to manage? 

With Collaboration software like Slack, GSuite, or other messaging tools, ask yourself about how your employees work and when they will engage with the software: are they mobile or office-based? What tasks do they need to do? 

HR, Payroll, and Collaboration software are crucial for the day-to-day running of your business. Ensuring that you hire the right people, pay them for their work and provide the tools to work effectively will contribute directly to the growth potential of the company. 

3. Improve your business with Data Analytics

After you have the right software, the next step is to make that software work for you. What I mean by this is understanding what information your software is collecting and how to use that to improve your business outcome. For example, consider your point-of-sale or seed-to-sale data to look at what products are doing well, and or what is not. Most business owners don’t realize how much data their business generates and what the possibilities are with this information. There are some amazing tools specifically designed for cannabis business owners that can help you analyze and visualize business data. 

We hope this discussion of foundational cannabis business software will give you a better understanding of how to make a purchase, but also what questions to ask when conducting research. If you want this checklist  

Now that you have a better understanding of how to prioritize your software and technology purchases, as well as what questions you can ask as you research. If you want to know more about the next levels of the ‘software hierarchy of needs,’ you can download your own guide here. 

About the Author: 

Fiona Foster is Marketing Manager for CUE Cannabis. She is also part of the CUE Expert team that advises business owners on how to find the best software and services for their company. 

UBI Telematics: The New Industry Standard

Written by Laura Loftus on September 18th, 2019

UBI Insurance is currently reserved for companies with access to the minimum annual premium of $100,000.  This is not a program for TNC operators, owner/operators with one car and is geared towards larger companies involved with providing services for the sharing economy.  GET A QUOTE

Usage Based Insurance (UBI telematics) products entered the personal auto marketplace some time ago. But it is a new concept for commercial auto policies. Whether you own and operate one vehicle in a small rural town, or a large fleet in an urban area –  insurance companies are always looking for ways to gain more business and limit their own risk. As a result, more and more insurance companies are offering UBI telematics to commercial fleets.

History of UBI Telematics

UBI telematics became popular with the invent of Transportation Network Companies like Uber and Lyft. As these types of companies grew the insurance industry responded by offering more options for UBI telematics. Companies like James River were one of the first to offer pay-per-mile or pay-as-you-drive plans. This got the rest of the world thinking. If Uber and Lyft can pay per mile, why can’t other transportation businesses obtain the same type of UBI telematics?

One reason UBI telematics was more easily implemented for Transportation Network Companies like Uber and Lyft is because the insurance company is not “on the risk” all the time. Most of these drivers carry their own personal auto policies. So, the TNC insurance is only “on” when the driver is logged into the app.

With the popularity of TNCs, it has affected the amount business taxi and limo companies are able to achieve. Traditional companies need to evolve in order to compete against Uber and Lyft. One way to do this, is to lower their costs with a UBI telematics policy.

How Pay-Per-Mile Insurance Works

UBI telematics works in many different ways.  The first is that you are provided with a device that plugs into the OBD port of your car. The device captures and reports mileage automatically to the insurance company. You are then billed at the agreed upon per-mile rate.

Another way mileage is captured and reported to insurance companies is through SDK integration of an app you might be using for dispatching of vehicles.

In the past, most for-hire, livery risks were charged a flat annual rate. It did not matter how many hours you spent on the road. It also didn’t matter how many miles you drove each month. But, now that UBI telematics is becoming more popular, many companies are offering this structure as an alternative.  Additionally, while most of the other personal auto insurance markets may provide this type of pricing structure, most do not capture driver analytics to help you coach and manage drivers.

UBI Telematics from American Business Insurance

As a UBI insurance broker, we are always looking for and creating solutions that are easy for our clients to use. As a result, we have created our own dashboard which captures the trends and habits of your drivers. Some UBI telematics structures actually charge different rates per driver and many will adjust the price mid-term (up and down) based on driver behavior.

Distracted driving is a problem that most UBI insurance brokers are trying to combat. By integrating telematics elements into pricing and policies, we are able to not only reduce the amount of money you are spending each year for insurance but also provide you with tools to limit risk to those markets.

Some of the data UBI telematics products capture include not only miles driven, but also:

  • Hard-braking incidents
  • G-Force of accidents
  • Hard-cornering
  • Excessive speed
  • Following too closely

By carefully managing and coaching drivers of bad driving habits before accidents occur, you keep your loss history low and your premiums lower.

UBI Telematics per Contract

While above options describe UBI telematics for all operations, we can also work with you to limit coverages on a per contract basis. What this means, is that sometimes the City or State will require a minimum auto limit of $100,000. But you want to obtain a contract to transport patients to and from doctor appointments. Most likely, that contract will require your fleet to have a limit of $1,000,000 or higher. Instead of providing you with a quote that increases the cost for the entire policy to $1M limit – we can write a separate excess policy that bills you by trip, or by mile for the contract only.

Another way to limit coverage is if for example your city requires the same $100k limit mentioned above, but you drop off at the airport who requires $1,000,000 while on airport property. Instead of increasing the premium for the policy to be $1M all the time, we can charge less of an increase by endorsing the policy to provide the higher limit while only on airport property.

How Does this Benefit Business Owners?

The secret to any business is operating at profitable margins. By keeping insurance costs low, commercial fleet owners are able to put money back into their business for advertising, newer vehicles, maintenance and repair. Also, driver morale will improve because they will know that their good driving habits will be recognized and, in many cases, rewarded.

UBI Insurance is currently reserved for companies with access to the minimum annual premium of $100,000.  This is not a program for TNC operators, owner/operators with one car and is geared towards larger companies involved with providing services for the sharing economy.  GET A QUOTE

Uber Freight and Commercial Trucking Insurance

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Uber Freight and Commercial Trucking Insurance

In May of 2017, Uber launched one of their newest services Uber Freight. Uber Freight is an exciting, new trucking app that matches vetted drivers with long-haul routes. The app allows drivers or dispatchers to book and confirm routes with the tap of a button. They have the choice to filter the routes they search for by pickup, destination, the offered price, and other factors. Uber Freight is designed to work for carriers of any size. Although, the service is particularly attractive to small fleets and independent owner-operators. In order for trucking fleets and owner-operators to work with Uber Freight they need to have the proper Commercial Trucking Insurance.

 

How Does Uber Freight Work? What are the advantages?

Uber Freight was created with the business model to appeal to smaller fleets and independent truck drivers. Therefore, the app is designed to give more power to operators and solve many problems drivers have with traditional freight brokerage. Before Uber Freight, drivers or Uber Freightoperators would have to make multiple calls to schedule loads. Now the booking process is streamlined. Booking is made simple through the app. As easy as Uber makes it to schedule a car to pick you up on the curb, they make it just as convenient for commercial truck drivers to schedule loads and routes.

Another problem drivers have with traditional methods are delayed payment. The standard for payment is 30 to 60 days, but with Uber Freight drivers can receive payment about seven days after completion. This allows small trucking fleets or owner-operators to continuously operate at full capacity when repairs and other issues arise. A third problem Uber Freight solves is the problem of deadhead miles. Deadhead miles are the number of miles commercial truck drivers drive from the point of unload to the point where their new load is ready to pickup. Uber Freight accounts for this and compensates drivers. Furthermore, the app also features a “Take Me Home”. This setting helps drivers book loads that will take them back home while still earning income.

Uber Freight is still in its beginning years, but with the way they are operating and handling freight brokerage, they are hoping to transform the industry. They are positioning themselves as a drivers first service. They believe that when drivers are empowered and delivery is more efficient all businesses run better. Take a look at the partnership that Uber Freight has with Ocean Spray, and you’ll see how this new service works.

Commercial Trucking Insurance 

As Uber Freight is very much geared towards smaller fleets for the time being, operators need to do all they can to protect their small businesses. We at American Business Insurance Services, Inc. are here to help. Commercial Trucking Insurance or Delivery Insurance is tremendously important to the safety and security of drivers, their freight, and their business. If you are thinking about contracting through Uber Freight, you will have to have the proper insurance coverage. At American Business Insurance Services, Inc. we shop all the currently competitive markets for you. By doing this we can find you the best coverage to fit your specific needs in the commercial trucking industry. 

 

Why You Need Coverage?

American Business Insurance Services, Inc. has identified the Uber Freight business model as one that will likely transform the way the freight delivery industry operates. The seamless Uber Freightadaption of this technology to all types of businesses, that have shipping needs, has allowed for convenience of scheduling, more carrier options for businesses, and expedited delivery.

Our team of licensed brokers are well aware of the coverage you will need as a delivery fleet or owner-operator service. Furthermore, some of the common types of coverage that apply to delivery and commercial trucking businesses are:

  • Auto Liability to protect bodily injury of all parties
  • (Auto)Property Damage to cover damage to property
  • Comprehensive & Collision to protect against most causes of loss to your vehicle(s)
  • Personal Injury or Medical Coverage
  • Cargo Coverage

Contacting American Business Insurance Services, Inc. will guarantee that you are fully covered under a commercial auto policy and allow you to operate your fleet with Uber Freight.

Why American Business Insurance Services, Inc.?

At American Business Insurance Services, Inc., our goal is to build long lasting, valued and trusted relationships. Our mission is to create an understanding with our clients that they are at the forefront of our business. Consequently, we strive to make sure we know our clients business thoroughly to create a true partnership. American Business Insurance Services, Inc. is committed to professional excellence, delivering on commitments on time and of the highest caliber. Therefore, we use only the best practices in the industry. Through our stringent processes and systems we let you operate your commercial trucking or delivery service with confidence.

In conclusion, the Uber Freight business model could transform the way trucking operates and we understand that. As the business changes we at American Business Insurance Services, Inc. adapt with the change to provide the best types of coverage for clients.

To get a quote for your commercial trucking fleet or delivery service Click Here.

 

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American Business Insurance Services, Inc

PERIOD X™ Fleet Management Software with Insurance Built In

Period X™ Quote

What is Period X™ insurance and how does it work to help you manage your fleet?

American Business Insurance Services, Inc. developed Period X™ for fleet owners or individuals that are renting their cars out on a car sharing platform. This applies to platforms such as Turo, HyreCar or GetAround.  This coverage comes with fleet management software through a web-based dashboard at no extra cost to your policy. This fleet management software comes with tools to ensure your fleet is running at maximum efficiency. When managing your fleet that operates through a Transportation Network Company, the coverage is usually provided to the renter through TNC Provider Insurance. It is important for fleet operators to know that insurance is not supplied through TNC Provider Insurance when the car is not rented out. Of course you want to make sure your car is covered at all times. That’s where our proprietary Period X™ insurance coverage comes into play.

 

 

What a Period X™ Insurance Policy Provides

Our Period X™ Insurance policy provides more than the minimum state limits in
almost all 50 states. A comprehensive insurance product to cover fleets that
are being rented out on Peer to Peer (P2P) rental platforms such as the ones mentioned above. Our product is one of a kind. If you are renting your vehicles out on P2P rental platforms PERSONAL INSURANCE DOES NOT COVER YOU for this type of business model.

fleet management

An insurance policy with fleet management software

We didn’t stop at just putting the Period X™ insurance product together, we did a lot more.  Every Period X™ policy holder receives a proprietary device for each vehicle that they insure. This includes a fleet management web-based dashboard to manage your fleet.  It would be one thing just to have proper coverage that nobody can offer, but below are some of the additional services we provide as part of this coverage:

  • Ability to add/delete vehicles online

  • GPS track each and every car at all times

  • Check billing

  • Access ID cards and so much more fleet management tools

Period X™ is fleet tracking with the insurance built in!

Why we created Period X™ with fleet management software

As usual, the best place to start is always the beginning. To make a long story much shorter, in the beginning there were taxicabs. When taxicabs were the only animal of their kind roaming the earth, life was simple and there was only one period of time. Things were pretty easy. If you needed insurance for a taxicab, you got a taxicab insurance policy that covered that taxi company 24 hours a day, end of story. fleet management software

Then, not too long ago, something called Uber and Lyft came onto the scene.  All of the sudden, things got complicated really fast in the insurance world.  These companies found that if they divided their insurance policy into separate periods of time, and that each period had a coverage limit assigned to it. This made it possible to reduce their exposure (and their insurance premiums) to maximize profits.

Then, we had another new company (HyreCar) facilitating TNC rentals between rideshare drivers that needed cars and vehicle owners who wanted to make money by providing those cars.  The term peer-to-peer rentals was coined.  

A New Problem Arises