How to Insure Transportation Network Companies: A Detailed Guide to Getting your TNC off the Ground

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How to Insure Transportation Network Companies: A Detailed Guide to Getting your TNC off the Ground

Written by Laura Loftus on Monday, May 6th, 2019

Whether you are looking to start your own Transportation Network Company, On-Demand Delivery App or other Shared Economy business, one of the most important factors to consider is insurance! Sounds boring, I know. But as the world around us changes, insurance markets for transportation network companies are creating new structures and products. As an independent agency, American Business Insurance has direct relationships with all insurance companies currently writing specialized policies for transportation network companies.

Finding insurance for transportation network companies or other app-based businesses is no easy feat. As you may have already come to realize, most of your local brokers who specialize in personal lines don’t have relationships with insurance companies in this space. Many local brokers don’t understand what information to collect from business owners to present your transportation network company in the most insurable light.

Finding An Insurance Broker To Write Policies For Your Transportation Network Company

Most of the common insurance companies you may have already heard of are not writing policies because of the high-risk nature for transportation network companies. Insurance companies who are writing policies for transportation network companies are Surplus Lines carriers whose focus is in this specialized, technology driven market place.

Some people think that it is easy to join the long list of people who are trying to start transportation network companies to compete with those already dominating the world – Uber and Lyft. But in reality, the people who have created these transportation network companies worked for many years prior to actually launching.

To some, that might seem like a really long time but when an experienced insurance broker who is familiar with writing policies for transportation network companies asks you to assemble a list of items, it’s best to know exactly what you are getting yourself into. Don’t be fooled, there is a lot of prep, time and money that is required to build transportation network companies like Uber or Lyft.

transportation network companies

Minimum Premiums For Transportation Network Companies

As you might have anticipated, buying an insurance policy for transportation network companies is not cheap since most insurers in this space have minimum premiums of $75,000-100,000. We know, that is a lot of dough! The good news is, most of the carriers will accept a portion of that up-front and some even offer premium eroding endorsements. This means if your business doesn’t generate premium up to that amount within the year, they will carry over the credit to the following year.

Obtaining a quote requires you to find a broker who specializes in writing insurance for transportation network companies. Working with the right broker will not only save you time and money, but prevent you from buying coverages you don’t need and making sure that you have the ones you do. An experienced broker who is familiar with writing insurance for transportation network companies will know exactly what information to collect from you. They will also know how to present it best to the insurance markets who are writing policies for transportation network companies.

American Business Insurance Services, Inc.

Lucky for you, you found us! As an agency, we have been around long before ordering a ride from your smart-phone was an option. We specialize in public auto which means we understand more than anyone how transportation network companies operate.

transportation network companies

Items Transportation Network Companies Should Have Ready Before Calling Your Broker For A Quote:

Build the App:

  • One of the first questions I ask customers looking for insurance for transportation network companies is if the app is complete. Insurance company underwriters will want to download your app and make sure it’s working. Also, some companies have technology-based policies, meaning they integrate with your app to capture data on the drivers. Some even offer lower insurance rates based on favorable data collected (less speeding, hard stops, etcetera). Most policies for transportation network companies are usage based, so they have to be able to download your app and make sure it’s compatible with their insurance structure. Insurance companies often want to be able to pull reports from your app which include and are not limited to:

1. Knowing When A Trip Starts and Stops

2. How Many Miles For Each Trip

3. How Many Minutes/Hours For Each Trip

Business Plan & Projections:

  • There is a checklist of items the insurance company will want to see attached to the submission your broker sends. Your broker should be narrating to the insurance company all the hard work and thought you’ve put into creating these transportation network companies. Insurers will want to see a “pitch deck” which is something you might already have created to obtain investors. This document will present and explain your business model, why it is different from what is alreadyout there and how it will work long term. Some of the questions this document should answer are:

transportation network companies1. What are the company’s growth plans?

2. How will you monitor safety/loss control?

3. How is pricing structured so that the company is profitable?

 Safety and Training:

  • Safety and training is a big deal for insurers who are writing policies for transportation network companies. They will want to know what restrictions, checks and balances and training you will provide to drivers. They want to know how often you will check driving records and how often people have to pass background checks. The younger in age the drivers are that you allow to join your transportation network companies, the more expensive you can expect your insurance prices to be. Insurance companies want to know how you are going to prevent accidents from happening so that you build a positive reputation within the industry along side other transportation network companies like Uber and Lyft.

Bios on Key Officers/Investors:

  • Insurance companies want to know about the people behind the transportation network companies! If you want to join the group of dominating transportation network companies, they are going to want to know what experience you have, not only in transportation but also in being an entrepreneur. Take the time to write detailed bios for yourself and all other key members, officers and investors behind your transportation network company. Make sure to detail the knowledge and life experience you are bringing to the table in starting transportation network companies like Uber and Lyft. A well written, detailed bio will separate your company from all the rest and will give you a better advantage to better pricing on insurance for transportation network companies.

 Terms of Service & Privacy Conditions:

  • Although this may seem like a small piece of the puzzle to getting insurance for transportation network companies, most insurers want to see the liability of the app in regards to what they are promising to both their drivers and users. If you are a peer to peer platform, they want to see how the transaction will take place. Some of the questions that should be answered here are:

1. What Security Measures Are In Place To Protect The User?

2. How Should Complaints Be Filed?

3. What Terms and Conditions Does Your Company Adhere To? 

transportation network companies

Financial Balance Sheet:

  • Basically, a lot of what it takes to insure transportation network companies is having money, and a lot of it. Due to the hefty size of the minimum premiums for transportation network companies, generally ranging from $75,00-100,000, insurers want to make sure you not only have money to pay for the policy, but to also keep your business afloat and operating before you start turning a profit. It’s no secret that most transportation network companies do not profit until after the first year. Insurers want to see that you have raised money, not just for the cost of insurance but also for operating expenses, advertising and promotions.
  • When I review the balance sheet for transportation network companies, I know that most insurers want to see that you’ve raised at minimum $250,000-$1,000,000 in capital. Sometimes more. The reason for them wanting transportation network companies to raise this much money is because they know what it takes to gain traction in this unique space. They want to make sure the work they are putting in to quote and bind your policy will create a lasting relationship with you.

Guidance From American Business Insurance Services, INC

Starting any business takes time, research and money. We get phone calls from people daily thinking they are going to be the next Uber and Lyft. And believe me, we want you to make it big and compete against the monopoly that currently exists for transportation network companies. But in reality, we know that few of the phone calls we receive have actually taken the above steps which are required to make transportation network companies insurable.

If you have questions or need guidance, please give us a call and we will be happy to discuss over the phone! While some of the larger, corporate run agencies have the same relationships as us, few will offer the personal touch and value we have with every client.

Exclusive Contracts

Additionally, we have exclusive contracts with some companies that allow us to write at a lower minimum premium than others. We are an independent, family-run business with 75+ years of combined experience in the business insurance industry. We have invested in other transportation network companies, peer to peer and shared economy types of businesses. Most of us utilize transportation network companies and peer-to-peer apps regularly.

We literally have boots on the ground in this space and if you want the best pricing with the smoothest transaction – we are here for you!

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How to Save the MOST Money on Your Commercial Fleet Insurance Rates

ABI Transportation Experts Speak: How to Save the MOST Money on Your Commercial Fleet Insurance Rates

Written by Laura Loftus on Thursday, February 28th, 2019

 

When speaking with clients about their commercial fleet insurance, the most common concern is how to get the lowest insurance rates. About 100% of the customers I speak to daily all have the same goal – they want the lowest insurance rates available and will do whatever it takes to get it. Whether you own a Taxi, Limo, Paratransit or Shared Economy company (peer to peer platform app), it’s a given that you want your commercial fleet insurance coverage at the lowest insurance rates available. What many companies don’t realize, especially start-ups, is that commercial fleet insurance underwriters do quite a bit of digging on your company through a variety of platforms to “check you out” prior to releasing a quote. They read Yelp reviews, they look at your website, they do Better Business Bureau checks – all of it.

There are common mistakes that transportation service companies are repeatedly making that will create doubt in a commercial fleet insurance company. These mistakes actually prevent your broker from being able to find the lowest insurance rates for your company. Most of these companies think they are making business decisions that will guide them toward the lowest insurance rates, and are unaware that their current website or driver pool is actually hurting their chances of achieving the lowest possible commercial fleet insurance rate.

Five common flubs transportation service companies are making that prevent your commercial fleet insurance broker from obtaining the lowest insurance rates possible:

1) Company Website

The first and most common mistake we see from commercial auto risks who are in the “wheels” business as us underwriters call it – is that you over the amount of experience or size of your transportation service company.  It is common for commercial fleet insurance underwriters to google your company to pick apart your website. Here are some items you may think are helping your chances at obtaining the lowest insurance rates but are actually red flags to commercial fleet insurance companies:

  •  Words like “Fast Pick-up” or ‘Delivery in Minutes” – no commercial fleet insurance underwriter wants to see that you are promising rushed services. Rushing = equals unsafe driving behavior.

commercial fleet insurance

  • Advertising vehicles that are not actually part of your fleet. For example, just yesterday I was helping a 35-car fleet in Portland with obtaining commercial fleet insurance quotes. The list of vehicles they provided were all private passenger type vehicles (meaning seating capacity of 8 or less) – good! But when I searched the company online, they advertised a large shuttle bus and a higher seating capacity van. When I asked the client about this, they those vehicles had been sold and they had no plans to replace them. Keeping your website up to date and only advertising only what you can actually deliver will keep unwanted questions from creeping into the commercial fleet insurance underwriters’ mind. Creating uncertainty is the last thing you want to do with a commercial fleet insurance underwriter when trying to obtain the lowest insurance rates.
  •  Age of vehicles is important to commercial fleet insurance companies. Publishing a picture of a 30-year-old vehicle is no bueno. Keep your fleet serviced regularly (we recommend every three to four thousand miles and cycle out old units. Newer, cleaner & well-maintained vehicles are not only more desired by clientele (when trying to compete with Uber/Lyft) but also preferred by commercial fleet insurance companies trying to avoid claims due to mechanical defect.
  • If you boast 20 years of experience but your LLC was filed three years ago, it creates uncertainty with insurance companies. It’s better to accurately reflect your business as it is now, and not what you want it to be five years from now. Just as there are items to avoid putting on your website, there are points that you should include on your website. It is always a good idea to brag about highly trained drivers and safety training you provide (more on this later). Be sure to note the maintenance you keep up with for your fleet, the background checks the city you operate in mandates and the highest level of driving records required for your drivers. Commercial fleet insurance underwriters like stable fleets with safe drivers. Bottom line, safer risks translates to commercial fleet insurance underwriters offering the lowest insurance rates.

2) Creating a Business Name

This may seem simple enough but for transportation business owners looking to for the lowest insurance rates, people often think that commercial fleet insurance companies give the lowest insurance rates to Limo’s and Non-Emergency Medical risks over a taxi or airport shuttle. While this might be true, cornering yourself into a specific type of transportation in your business name narrows the list of commercial fleet insurance carriers you are eligible for. Many markets write only taxis or only limos. So, if you file your business name with the Secretary of State as Laura’s Taxi & Limo Service, LLC. – it could possibly make you ineligible for a limo commercial fleet insurance program because they don’t insure taxis and vice versa – even if your unit type meets their requirements. When talking with clients, I always say it’s best to be general about the transportation type within the name of their business, especially as market conditions change. You may be heavy in taxi trips one year but then obtain a paratransit contract and do more of that the following year. The more years of favorable loss history (loss runs) you can provide, the better chance you have at obtaining the lowest insurance rates. Choosing a business name that is general such as Laura’s Transportation Service, LLC. allows you flexibility to transform and evolve your business as the industry demands change.

3) Loss Control is Everything

Underwriters give commercial fleet insurance at the lowest insurance rates to companies with low levels of paid claims. Even in a hard insurance market, with rates rising for the good guys too, you can expect to pay more for commercial fleet insurance if you’re prior insurance companies have paid a lot in claims. Here are some suggestions in tightening loss control for your transportation service company:

  •  Hire a full-time loss control or driver manager who will enforce a safety culture. Doing this, will lower the frequency and severity of claim payouts and put your transportation service company in a better position to obtain the lowest insurance rates. This person should be in charge of overseeing the overall safety of your company. Managing and coaching your drivers is the key to a successful transportation service company. You are only as good as your worst driver.
  • commercial fleet insurance Invest in cameras that capture not only accidents but also driver analytics. This type of camera system will allow you to review driver behavior and correct bad habits before they cause an accident. We like to say this method is similar to that of a professional athlete. How do they improve? They watch their game film and correct bad habits. Driving professionally is the same. The more you do it, the more comfortable you get and having drivers watch themselves reduces risky behavior dramatically. Additionally, it’s a known fact that many commercial fleet insurance claims are paid because of he said/she said situations. Having accidents on camera is the best way to know who exactly was at fault and exonerate innocent drivers.
  •  Hold weekly safety huddles and or monthly meetings. Review the data and claims that have occurred recently and talk to your drivers about how they could have been prevented.
  •  Commit to investing in annual defensive driving training for your drivers. This annual reminder to drivers will ensure that bad habits are addressed and give each driver a time to reflect on their own performance.
  • Implement a reward program for safe drivers. Giving an incentive, even if it’s small monetary gift cards – keeps your drivers focused and motivated on safe driving habits.

4) The Driver Pool

The Driver Pool is so important when trying to achieve the lowest insurance rates from commercial fleet insurance providers for your transportation company. How you chose to manage drivers and who you hire is crucial. Create formal guidelines that clearly outline what is acceptable for employment. We recommend only hiring drivers with zero accidents within the past three years and minimal moving violations. Clean MVRs are best but we know that professional drivers with experience usually do not have clean MVRs and this is ok. Professional drivers are on the road up to 3x more than someone commuting to/from work so it’s a given that they will most likely have more violations on their records. Repeat offenders can impact the cost of your commercial fleet insurance and should be let go. No one is perfect, but you should train your drivers with the goal to be as safe as possible. Excessive violations on a driving record can cause surcharges and prevent you from obtaining the lower insurance rates. Additionally, younger drivers sometimes generate higher premiums for commercial fleet insurance as well as newly licensed individuals.

5) Contact an Experienced, Transportation Insurance Broker

commercial fleet insurance

Working with a transportation specialist versus a local agency makes a huge difference as commercial fleet insurance brokers have access to many more transportation focused insurance companies. Also, an experienced broker will review your company data prior to submitting to commercial fleet insurance companies. If they see something a commercial fleet insurance company won’t like, they can address it with you and provide you with an opportunity to make changes before submitting to each carrier. The more information you can provide to a commercial fleet insurance underwriter, the better chances you have at achieving the lowest insurance rates. Because the for-hire, livery insurance market is so thin, carriers often get multiple submissions from duplicate brokers. Try to work with one broker at a time. You may think contacting multiple agencies well help you, but if they are all going to the same markets for commercial fleet insurance – it’s duplicating not only your own work, but the insurance companies as well. The livery market is a tough class of business and finding an experienced broker will absolutely give you a leg up on finding the lowest insurance rates over a generalist broker.

American Business Insurance Services, Inc. has been working with transportation companies across the nation for 35+ years. We have direct relationships with the most competitive commercial fleet insurance companies. We know what it takes to submit a complete application and present your company in the best light possible – which will no doubt translate to finding commercial fleet insurance at the lowest insurance rate.

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Autonomous Car Insurance and How it Works

How Autonomous Car Insurance Works

With technology in our society advancing at such an incredible rate, all of our cars could have minds entirely of their own within years. As a matter of fact, we are on our way there already. They are not yet available on a large scale. However, autonomous cars certainly are a reality and could eventually integrate themselves fully into our everyday lives. The question that many are asking has to do with insurance for an autonomous car. Car insurance typically protects the driver and car from mistakes that are caused by the driver. So if all cars will be completely autonomous and self-sufficient from humans, what is the point of insurance? If the car gets in an accident, who is then held responsible? In this futuristic dilemma, car insurance will work a little differently than we’re used to, but American Business Insurance is prepared to handle it.

How Do Autonomous Vehicles Work?

Essentially, autonomous vehicle manufacturers and designers will think of everything that a car needs a human for and remove those needs. For example, an autonomous car will be built with a GPS in it, so it doesn’t need a person to control navigation. Many of them also have sensors in and around them, in order to help them avoid accidents. Of course, this would typically be the job of the driver. There is also the element of augmented reality. AR is a method of getting information to the driver, such as displaying it on the windshield. This information could be directions, the speed of the car, information about the music thats playing, etc. And the vehicle is the one that has it all. The would-be driver just turns into a rider, and the car handles the rest.

Changes in Insurance

Insurance for autonomous vehicles will play a different role than insurance for a regular car. Instead of the driver or owner of the vehicle being responsible for accidents, it would likely be the manufacturer of the autonomous vehicle. Now, its rare for a malfunction of the vehicle to be the cause of an accident; they are almost always a result of human error. This could be the largest change to car insurance if and when autonomous vehicles become a norm in our society. Manufacturers being held responsible for insuring each vehicle themselves will create an expensive, long-term process before the vehicles can be safely put to use. It will also require an extensive process of making sure that many ethical issues are covered.

ABI’s Role

The idea that human-operated vehicles will be obsolete in everyday life may seem plausible only in the distant future. However, functioning autonomous cars are on their way to changing transportation forever. There are countless pros to autonomous vehicles, but insuring all vehicles so that riders are promised complete safety would be the primary con. To ease the process of insuring self-driving cars, ABI’s Insurance Services have exactly what it takes for companies to make the transition from human-driven cars to self-driven cars. With 75 years of experience in transportation network companies, ABI can make riders feel safe using new technology, and help our society continue to evolve in amazing ways. ABI has direct relationships with the insurance carriers they write policies through, allowing for great efficiency and attention to detail. But you don’t have to wait for all cars to drive themselves to achieve this kind of protection and safety; contact ABI for both large and small fleet insurance today!

How ABI is Protecting HyreCar

How ABI is Protecting Hyrecar

Ride-sharing services are taking the world of transportation by storm. Uber and Lyft are constantly relied on both by riders who need to get places efficiently, and by those who are employed by either company. However, many people are not aware that vehicles must meet certain standards in order to provide rides by Uber and Lyft. Due to these specific requirements for cars, many who desire to drive for the ride-sharing service aren’t allowed the opportunity. There was nothing they could do- until Hyrecar.

The Solution

HyreCar has arrived as the first car-matching service that works hand in hand with Uber and Lyft. The concept is simple: for those who desire to drive but don’t have a car that meets the requirements, HyreCar allows you to rent one and get right to work. Most issues that are preventing certain cars from qualifying for Uber and Lyft are simply problems that are typical of older vehicles. Its a lot to ask of someone to make them purchase an entirely new vehicle just to pass the restrictions test. In turn, less people would drive for Uber and Lyft, which hurts both the would-be drivers and the companies themselves.

The Process

HyreCar realized the very simple solution to this problem, and the founders were shocked when they found that no one had discovered this niche market yet. HyreCar’s platform is easy to use, while still being thorough. It allows car owners to post their vehicles that are up for rental, and when drivers find one they want, they create a profile. This profile includes information such as driver’s license and social security numbers, and drivers can pay just by entering their credit card information into the platform. HyreCar’s founders believe that their screening process for drivers is even stricter than those of Uber and Lyft, checking things like criminal records, DMV records, and sex-offender databases.

Everybody Wins

Thanks to HyreCar, everybody involved benefits in some way. Cars that would otherwise be sitting in a garage or not in use somewhere are making their owners money. Those who wish to be drivers are given an easy way to fulfill that desire without buying a whole new car. Uber and Lyft have more drivers for their companies and therefore generate more business. HyreCar benefits by charging drivers that rent from them a 10% fee and car owners a 15% fee.

How ABI is Covering HyreCar

American Business Insurance is providing HyreCar with a unique insurance policy to ensure the highest level of safety for both the drivers and riders. When a driver is not driving for a ride-sharing platform but is still in possession of the rented car, they are covered by ABI’s policy that covers both the riders and drivers. When they are driving for a ride-sharing platform with the rented car, the insurance defaults to the state-mandated policy provided by the respective ride-sharing company.

As far as HyreCar is aware, they are the only car-matching service that utilizes a unique insurance policy such as the one provided by American Business Insurance. Thanks to ABI, HyreCar now has a competitive advantage that will likely continue to garner success for the company.

Best Fleet Insurance Quotes

Here at American Business Insurance, we offer the best fleet insurance quotes for your corporate operations. American Business Insurance has been insuring businesses and fleets for over 30 years, providing coverage to services such as taxi and limousine. You can get the best insurance quote from us through our website, where you can find a wide range of information from custom insurance policies to our state-of-the-art online portal system, where you can be able to look at recent statements, claims, and such. What differentiates us from other competing companies is our flexibility, we have a strong support from customer service that make sure each customer’s specific needs are met. We know that every person and business has a different need, so we strive to provide a wide range of services and customization to fit different needs. If you are still wondering about using American Business Insurance for your company, here are a couple reasons why we provide the best fleet insurance quotes

3 Reasons why ABI Provides the Best Fleet Insurance Quotes

Doing Business since 1984

Yes, that is 30 plus years of providing insurance policies to a network of commercial transportation fleets. We have stayed in business for all this time, because we have always strived to provide our customers with the best corporate fleet insurance quotes. American Business Insurance has seen it all over the 30 years of what happens in the industry, so are always in the lead of industry and able to fluctuate with the market as it has its ups and downs.

Wide Range of Customers

Our services cover companies such as taxis, limousines, shuttles, buses and ambulances. Our best policies keep these companies thriving by keeping their customers safe and drivers insured. Such companies need alternatives from your typical consumer auto insurance policies, so feature such as Pay Per Mile, Pay per gallon, etc. Our company offers alternatives for those who drive for a living, often cutting prices on unnecessary coverage that other companies upcharge you for.

Adopting New Technologies

American Business Insurance will provide you with the best fleet insurance quotes. These best fleet insurance quotes come with the best service, whether that being streamlining the account management process for you or having a responsive customer service team. We are here to help always, from providing you with the best fleet insurance quotes to keeping customer satisfaction high. For us, that means adopting new ways of technology and bringing us closer to you.

In conclusion, you should get a quote for you business from us, because American Business Insurance provides you with the best fleet insurance quotes. When you own a fleet of vehicles for your business, whether that being a taxi company, or a trucking company, our flexible and customizable policies will make sure there is coverage available for you at the most available pricing. American Business Insurance has the experience, connections, and newest technologies to make sure your business stays alive and protected. So if you are still wondering if American Business Insurance can provide you with the BEST fleet insurance quotes, go to www.abiweb.com and see for yourself. Get Insured.

How to Insure Transportation Network Companies: A Detailed Guide to Getting your TNC off the Ground

GET A QUOTE

How to Insure Transportation Network Companies: A Detailed Guide to Getting your TNC off the Ground

Written by Laura Loftus on Monday, May 6th, 2019

Whether you are looking to start your own Transportation Network Company, On-Demand Delivery App or other Shared Economy business, one of the most important factors to consider is insurance! Sounds boring, I know. But as the world around us changes, insurance markets for transportation network companies are creating new structures and products. As an independent agency, American Business Insurance has direct relationships with all insurance companies currently writing specialized policies for transportation network companies.

Finding insurance for transportation network companies or other app-based businesses is no easy feat. As you may have already come to realize, most of your local brokers who specialize in personal lines don’t have relationships with insurance companies in this space. Many local brokers don’t understand what information to collect from business owners to present your transportation network company in the most insurable light.

Finding An Insurance Broker To Write Policies For Your Transportation Network Company

Most of the common insurance companies you may have already heard of are not writing policies because of the high-risk nature for transportation network companies. Insurance companies who are writing policies for transportation network companies are Surplus Lines carriers whose focus is in this specialized, technology driven market place.

Some people think that it is easy to join the long list of people who are trying to start transportation network companies to compete with those already dominating the world – Uber and Lyft. But in reality, the people who have created these transportation network companies worked for many years prior to actually launching.

To some, that might seem like a really long time but when an experienced insurance broker who is familiar with writing policies for transportation network companies asks you to assemble a list of items, it’s best to know exactly what you are getting yourself into. Don’t be fooled, there is a lot of prep, time and money that is required to build transportation network companies like Uber or Lyft.

transportation network companies

Minimum Premiums For Transportation Network Companies

As you might have anticipated, buying an insurance policy for transportation network companies is not cheap since most insurers in this space have minimum premiums of $75,000-100,000. We know, that is a lot of dough! The good news is, most of the carriers will accept a portion of that up-front and some even offer premium eroding endorsements. This means if your business doesn’t generate premium up to that amount within the year, they will carry over the credit to the following year.

Obtaining a quote requires you to find a broker who specializes in writing insurance for transportation network companies. Working with the right broker will not only save you time and money, but prevent you from buying coverages you don’t need and making sure that you have the ones you do. An experienced broker who is familiar with writing insurance for transportation network companies will know exactly what information to collect from you. They will also know how to present it best to the insurance markets who are writing policies for transportation network companies.

American Business Insurance Services, Inc.

Lucky for you, you found us! As an agency, we have been around long before ordering a ride from your smart-phone was an option. We specialize in public auto which means we understand more than anyone how transportation network companies operate.

transportation network companies

Items Transportation Network Companies Should Have Ready Before Calling Your Broker For A Quote:

Build the App:

  • One of the first questions I ask customers looking for insurance for transportation network companies is if the app is complete. Insurance company underwriters will want to download your app and make sure it’s working. Also, some companies have technology-based policies, meaning they integrate with your app to capture data on the drivers. Some even offer lower insurance rates based on favorable data collected (less speeding, hard stops, etcetera). Most policies for transportation network companies are usage based, so they have to be able to download your app and make sure it’s compatible with their insurance structure. Insurance companies often want to be able to pull reports from your app which include and are not limited to:

1. Knowing When A Trip Starts and Stops

2. How Many Miles For Each Trip

3. How Many Minutes/Hours For Each Trip

Business Plan & Projections:

  • There is a checklist of items the insurance company will want to see attached to the submission your broker sends. Your broker should be narrating to the insurance company all the hard work and thought you’ve put into creating these transportation network companies. Insurers will want to see a “pitch deck” which is something you might already have created to obtain investors. This document will present and explain your business model, why it is different from what is alreadyout there and how it will work long term. Some of the questions this document should answer are:

transportation network companies1. What are the company’s growth plans?

2. How will you monitor safety/loss control?

3. How is pricing structured so that the company is profitable?

 Safety and Training:

  • Safety and training is a big deal for insurers who are writing policies for transportation network companies. They will want to know what restrictions, checks and balances and training you will provide to drivers. They want to know how often you will check driving records and how often people have to pass background checks. The younger in age the drivers are that you allow to join your transportation network companies, the more expensive you can expect your insurance prices to be. Insurance companies want to know how you are going to prevent accidents from happening so that you build a positive reputation within the industry along side other transportation network companies like Uber and Lyft.

Bios on Key Officers/Investors:

  • Insurance companies want to know about the people behind the transportation network companies! If you want to join the group of dominating transportation network companies, they are going to want to know what experience you have, not only in transportation but also in being an entrepreneur. Take the time to write detailed bios for yourself and all other key members, officers and investors behind your transportation network company. Make sure to detail the knowledge and life experience you are bringing to the table in starting transportation network companies like Uber and Lyft. A well written, detailed bio will separate your company from all the rest and will give you a better advantage to better pricing on insurance for transportation network companies.

 Terms of Service & Privacy Conditions:

  • Although this may seem like a small piece of the puzzle to getting insurance for transportation network companies, most insurers want to see the liability of the app in regards to what they are promising to both their drivers and users. If you are a peer to peer platform, they want to see how the transaction will take place. Some of the questions that should be answered here are:

1. What Security Measures Are In Place To Protect The User?

2. How Should Complaints Be Filed?

3. What Terms and Conditions Does Your Company Adhere To? 

transportation network companies

Financial Balance Sheet:

  • Basically, a lot of what it takes to insure transportation network companies is having money, and a lot of it. Due to the hefty size of the minimum premiums for transportation network companies, generally ranging from $75,00-100,000, insurers want to make sure you not only have money to pay for the policy, but to also keep your business afloat and operating before you start turning a profit. It’s no secret that most transportation network companies do not profit until after the first year. Insurers want to see that you have raised money, not just for the cost of insurance but also for operating expenses, advertising and promotions.
  • When I review the balance sheet for transportation network companies, I know that most insurers want to see that you’ve raised at minimum $250,000-$1,000,000 in capital. Sometimes more. The reason for them wanting transportation network companies to raise this much money is because they know what it takes to gain traction in this unique space. They want to make sure the work they are putting in to quote and bind your policy will create a lasting relationship with you.

Guidance From American Business Insurance Services, INC

Starting any business takes time, research and money. We get phone calls from people daily thinking they are going to be the next Uber and Lyft. And believe me, we want you to make it big and compete against the monopoly that currently exists for transportation network companies. But in reality, we know that few of the phone calls we receive have actually taken the above steps which are required to make transportation network companies insurable.

If you have questions or need guidance, please give us a call and we will be happy to discuss over the phone! While some of the larger, corporate run agencies have the same relationships as us, few will offer the personal touch and value we have with every client.

Exclusive Contracts

Additionally, we have exclusive contracts with some companies that allow us to write at a lower minimum premium than others. We are an independent, family-run business with 75+ years of combined experience in the business insurance industry. We have invested in other transportation network companies, peer to peer and shared economy types of businesses. Most of us utilize transportation network companies and peer-to-peer apps regularly.

We literally have boots on the ground in this space and if you want the best pricing with the smoothest transaction – we are here for you!

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How to Save the MOST Money on Your Commercial Fleet Insurance Rates

ABI Transportation Experts Speak: How to Save the MOST Money on Your Commercial Fleet Insurance Rates

Written by Laura Loftus on Thursday, February 28th, 2019

 

When speaking with clients about their commercial fleet insurance, the most common concern is how to get the lowest insurance rates. About 100% of the customers I speak to daily all have the same goal – they want the lowest insurance rates available and will do whatever it takes to get it. Whether you own a Taxi, Limo, Paratransit or Shared Economy company (peer to peer platform app), it’s a given that you want your commercial fleet insurance coverage at the lowest insurance rates available. What many companies don’t realize, especially start-ups, is that commercial fleet insurance underwriters do quite a bit of digging on your company through a variety of platforms to “check you out” prior to releasing a quote. They read Yelp reviews, they look at your website, they do Better Business Bureau checks – all of it.

There are common mistakes that transportation service companies are repeatedly making that will create doubt in a commercial fleet insurance company. These mistakes actually prevent your broker from being able to find the lowest insurance rates for your company. Most of these companies think they are making business decisions that will guide them toward the lowest insurance rates, and are unaware that their current website or driver pool is actually hurting their chances of achieving the lowest possible commercial fleet insurance rate.

Five common flubs transportation service companies are making that prevent your commercial fleet insurance broker from obtaining the lowest insurance rates possible:

1) Company Website

The first and most common mistake we see from commercial auto risks who are in the “wheels” business as us underwriters call it – is that you over the amount of experience or size of your transportation service company.  It is common for commercial fleet insurance underwriters to google your company to pick apart your website. Here are some items you may think are helping your chances at obtaining the lowest insurance rates but are actually red flags to commercial fleet insurance companies:

  •  Words like “Fast Pick-up” or ‘Delivery in Minutes” – no commercial fleet insurance underwriter wants to see that you are promising rushed services. Rushing = equals unsafe driving behavior.

commercial fleet insurance

  • Advertising vehicles that are not actually part of your fleet. For example, just yesterday I was helping a 35-car fleet in Portland with obtaining commercial fleet insurance quotes. The list of vehicles they provided were all private passenger type vehicles (meaning seating capacity of 8 or less) – good! But when I searched the company online, they advertised a large shuttle bus and a higher seating capacity van. When I asked the client about this, they those vehicles had been sold and they had no plans to replace them. Keeping your website up to date and only advertising only what you can actually deliver will keep unwanted questions from creeping into the commercial fleet insurance underwriters’ mind. Creating uncertainty is the last thing you want to do with a commercial fleet insurance underwriter when trying to obtain the lowest insurance rates.
  •  Age of vehicles is important to commercial fleet insurance companies. Publishing a picture of a 30-year-old vehicle is no bueno. Keep your fleet serviced regularly (we recommend every three to four thousand miles and cycle out old units. Newer, cleaner & well-maintained vehicles are not only more desired by clientele (when trying to compete with Uber/Lyft) but also preferred by commercial fleet insurance companies trying to avoid claims due to mechanical defect.
  • If you boast 20 years of experience but your LLC was filed three years ago, it creates uncertainty with insurance companies. It’s better to accurately reflect your business as it is now, and not what you want it to be five years from now. Just as there are items to avoid putting on your website, there are points that you should include on your website. It is always a good idea to brag about highly trained drivers and safety training you provide (more on this later). Be sure to note the maintenance you keep up with for your fleet, the background checks the city you operate in mandates and the highest level of driving records required for your drivers. Commercial fleet insurance underwriters like stable fleets with safe drivers. Bottom line, safer risks translates to commercial fleet insurance underwriters offering the lowest insurance rates.

2) Creating a Business Name

This may seem simple enough but for transportation business owners looking to for the lowest insurance rates, people often think that commercial fleet insurance companies give the lowest insurance rates to Limo’s and Non-Emergency Medical risks over a taxi or airport shuttle. While this might be true, cornering yourself into a specific type of transportation in your business name narrows the list of commercial fleet insurance carriers you are eligible for. Many markets write only taxis or only limos. So, if you file your business name with the Secretary of State as Laura’s Taxi & Limo Service, LLC. – it could possibly make you ineligible for a limo commercial fleet insurance program because they don’t insure taxis and vice versa – even if your unit type meets their requirements. When talking with clients, I always say it’s best to be general about the transportation type within the name of their business, especially as market conditions change. You may be heavy in taxi trips one year but then obtain a paratransit contract and do more of that the following year. The more years of favorable loss history (loss runs) you can provide, the better chance you have at obtaining the lowest insurance rates. Choosing a business name that is general such as Laura’s Transportation Service, LLC. allows you flexibility to transform and evolve your business as the industry demands change.

3) Loss Control is Everything

Underwriters give commercial fleet insurance at the lowest insurance rates to companies with low levels of paid claims. Even in a hard insurance market, with rates rising for the good guys too, you can expect to pay more for commercial fleet insurance if you’re prior insurance companies have paid a lot in claims. Here are some suggestions in tightening loss control for your transportation service company:

  •  Hire a full-time loss control or driver manager who will enforce a safety culture. Doing this, will lower the frequency and severity of claim payouts and put your transportation service company in a better position to obtain the lowest insurance rates. This person should be in charge of overseeing the overall safety of your company. Managing and coaching your drivers is the key to a successful transportation service company. You are only as good as your worst driver.
  • commercial fleet insurance Invest in cameras that capture not only accidents but also driver analytics. This type of camera system will allow you to review driver behavior and correct bad habits before they cause an accident. We like to say this method is similar to that of a professional athlete. How do they improve? They watch their game film and correct bad habits. Driving professionally is the same. The more you do it, the more comfortable you get and having drivers watch themselves reduces risky behavior dramatically. Additionally, it’s a known fact that many commercial fleet insurance claims are paid because of he said/she said situations. Having accidents on camera is the best way to know who exactly was at fault and exonerate innocent drivers.
  •  Hold weekly safety huddles and or monthly meetings. Review the data and claims that have occurred recently and talk to your drivers about how they could have been prevented.
  •  Commit to investing in annual defensive driving training for your drivers. This annual reminder to drivers will ensure that bad habits are addressed and give each driver a time to reflect on their own performance.
  • Implement a reward program for safe drivers. Giving an incentive, even if it’s small monetary gift cards – keeps your drivers focused and motivated on safe driving habits.

4) The Driver Pool

The Driver Pool is so important when trying to achieve the lowest insurance rates from commercial fleet insurance providers for your transportation company. How you chose to manage drivers and who you hire is crucial. Create formal guidelines that clearly outline what is acceptable for employment. We recommend only hiring drivers with zero accidents within the past three years and minimal moving violations. Clean MVRs are best but we know that professional drivers with experience usually do not have clean MVRs and this is ok. Professional drivers are on the road up to 3x more than someone commuting to/from work so it’s a given that they will most likely have more violations on their records. Repeat offenders can impact the cost of your commercial fleet insurance and should be let go. No one is perfect, but you should train your drivers with the goal to be as safe as possible. Excessive violations on a driving record can cause surcharges and prevent you from obtaining the lower insurance rates. Additionally, younger drivers sometimes generate higher premiums for commercial fleet insurance as well as newly licensed individuals.

5) Contact an Experienced, Transportation Insurance Broker

commercial fleet insurance

Working with a transportation specialist versus a local agency makes a huge difference as commercial fleet insurance brokers have access to many more transportation focused insurance companies. Also, an experienced broker will review your company data prior to submitting to commercial fleet insurance companies. If they see something a commercial fleet insurance company won’t like, they can address it with you and provide you with an opportunity to make changes before submitting to each carrier. The more information you can provide to a commercial fleet insurance underwriter, the better chances you have at achieving the lowest insurance rates. Because the for-hire, livery insurance market is so thin, carriers often get multiple submissions from duplicate brokers. Try to work with one broker at a time. You may think contacting multiple agencies well help you, but if they are all going to the same markets for commercial fleet insurance – it’s duplicating not only your own work, but the insurance companies as well. The livery market is a tough class of business and finding an experienced broker will absolutely give you a leg up on finding the lowest insurance rates over a generalist broker.

American Business Insurance Services, Inc. has been working with transportation companies across the nation for 35+ years. We have direct relationships with the most competitive commercial fleet insurance companies. We know what it takes to submit a complete application and present your company in the best light possible – which will no doubt translate to finding commercial fleet insurance at the lowest insurance rate.

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Autonomous Car Insurance and How it Works

How Autonomous Car Insurance Works

With technology in our society advancing at such an incredible rate, all of our cars could have minds entirely of their own within years. As a matter of fact, we are on our way there already. They are not yet available on a large scale. However, autonomous cars certainly are a reality and could eventually integrate themselves fully into our everyday lives. The question that many are asking has to do with insurance for an autonomous car. Car insurance typically protects the driver and car from mistakes that are caused by the driver. So if all cars will be completely autonomous and self-sufficient from humans, what is the point of insurance? If the car gets in an accident, who is then held responsible? In this futuristic dilemma, car insurance will work a little differently than we’re used to, but American Business Insurance is prepared to handle it.

How Do Autonomous Vehicles Work?

Essentially, autonomous vehicle manufacturers and designers will think of everything that a car needs a human for and remove those needs. For example, an autonomous car will be built with a GPS in it, so it doesn’t need a person to control navigation. Many of them also have sensors in and around them, in order to help them avoid accidents. Of course, this would typically be the job of the driver. There is also the element of augmented reality. AR is a method of getting information to the driver, such as displaying it on the windshield. This information could be directions, the speed of the car, information about the music thats playing, etc. And the vehicle is the one that has it all. The would-be driver just turns into a rider, and the car handles the rest.

Changes in Insurance

Insurance for autonomous vehicles will play a different role than insurance for a regular car. Instead of the driver or owner of the vehicle being responsible for accidents, it would likely be the manufacturer of the autonomous vehicle. Now, its rare for a malfunction of the vehicle to be the cause of an accident; they are almost always a result of human error. This could be the largest change to car insurance if and when autonomous vehicles become a norm in our society. Manufacturers being held responsible for insuring each vehicle themselves will create an expensive, long-term process before the vehicles can be safely put to use. It will also require an extensive process of making sure that many ethical issues are covered.

ABI’s Role

The idea that human-operated vehicles will be obsolete in everyday life may seem plausible only in the distant future. However, functioning autonomous cars are on their way to changing transportation forever. There are countless pros to autonomous vehicles, but insuring all vehicles so that riders are promised complete safety would be the primary con. To ease the process of insuring self-driving cars, ABI’s Insurance Services have exactly what it takes for companies to make the transition from human-driven cars to self-driven cars. With 75 years of experience in transportation network companies, ABI can make riders feel safe using new technology, and help our society continue to evolve in amazing ways. ABI has direct relationships with the insurance carriers they write policies through, allowing for great efficiency and attention to detail. But you don’t have to wait for all cars to drive themselves to achieve this kind of protection and safety; contact ABI for both large and small fleet insurance today!

How ABI is Protecting HyreCar

How ABI is Protecting Hyrecar

Ride-sharing services are taking the world of transportation by storm. Uber and Lyft are constantly relied on both by riders who need to get places efficiently, and by those who are employed by either company. However, many people are not aware that vehicles must meet certain standards in order to provide rides by Uber and Lyft. Due to these specific requirements for cars, many who desire to drive for the ride-sharing service aren’t allowed the opportunity. There was nothing they could do- until Hyrecar.

The Solution

HyreCar has arrived as the first car-matching service that works hand in hand with Uber and Lyft. The concept is simple: for those who desire to drive but don’t have a car that meets the requirements, HyreCar allows you to rent one and get right to work. Most issues that are preventing certain cars from qualifying for Uber and Lyft are simply problems that are typical of older vehicles. Its a lot to ask of someone to make them purchase an entirely new vehicle just to pass the restrictions test. In turn, less people would drive for Uber and Lyft, which hurts both the would-be drivers and the companies themselves.

The Process

HyreCar realized the very simple solution to this problem, and the founders were shocked when they found that no one had discovered this niche market yet. HyreCar’s platform is easy to use, while still being thorough. It allows car owners to post their vehicles that are up for rental, and when drivers find one they want, they create a profile. This profile includes information such as driver’s license and social security numbers, and drivers can pay just by entering their credit card information into the platform. HyreCar’s founders believe that their screening process for drivers is even stricter than those of Uber and Lyft, checking things like criminal records, DMV records, and sex-offender databases.

Everybody Wins

Thanks to HyreCar, everybody involved benefits in some way. Cars that would otherwise be sitting in a garage or not in use somewhere are making their owners money. Those who wish to be drivers are given an easy way to fulfill that desire without buying a whole new car. Uber and Lyft have more drivers for their companies and therefore generate more business. HyreCar benefits by charging drivers that rent from them a 10% fee and car owners a 15% fee.

How ABI is Covering HyreCar

American Business Insurance is providing HyreCar with a unique insurance policy to ensure the highest level of safety for both the drivers and riders. When a driver is not driving for a ride-sharing platform but is still in possession of the rented car, they are covered by ABI’s policy that covers both the riders and drivers. When they are driving for a ride-sharing platform with the rented car, the insurance defaults to the state-mandated policy provided by the respective ride-sharing company.

As far as HyreCar is aware, they are the only car-matching service that utilizes a unique insurance policy such as the one provided by American Business Insurance. Thanks to ABI, HyreCar now has a competitive advantage that will likely continue to garner success for the company.

Best Fleet Insurance Quotes

Here at American Business Insurance, we offer the best fleet insurance quotes for your corporate operations. American Business Insurance has been insuring businesses and fleets for over 30 years, providing coverage to services such as taxi and limousine. You can get the best insurance quote from us through our website, where you can find a wide range of information from custom insurance policies to our state-of-the-art online portal system, where you can be able to look at recent statements, claims, and such. What differentiates us from other competing companies is our flexibility, we have a strong support from customer service that make sure each customer’s specific needs are met. We know that every person and business has a different need, so we strive to provide a wide range of services and customization to fit different needs. If you are still wondering about using American Business Insurance for your company, here are a couple reasons why we provide the best fleet insurance quotes

3 Reasons why ABI Provides the Best Fleet Insurance Quotes

Doing Business since 1984

Yes, that is 30 plus years of providing insurance policies to a network of commercial transportation fleets. We have stayed in business for all this time, because we have always strived to provide our customers with the best corporate fleet insurance quotes. American Business Insurance has seen it all over the 30 years of what happens in the industry, so are always in the lead of industry and able to fluctuate with the market as it has its ups and downs.

Wide Range of Customers

Our services cover companies such as taxis, limousines, shuttles, buses and ambulances. Our best policies keep these companies thriving by keeping their customers safe and drivers insured. Such companies need alternatives from your typical consumer auto insurance policies, so feature such as Pay Per Mile, Pay per gallon, etc. Our company offers alternatives for those who drive for a living, often cutting prices on unnecessary coverage that other companies upcharge you for.

Adopting New Technologies

American Business Insurance will provide you with the best fleet insurance quotes. These best fleet insurance quotes come with the best service, whether that being streamlining the account management process for you or having a responsive customer service team. We are here to help always, from providing you with the best fleet insurance quotes to keeping customer satisfaction high. For us, that means adopting new ways of technology and bringing us closer to you.

In conclusion, you should get a quote for you business from us, because American Business Insurance provides you with the best fleet insurance quotes. When you own a fleet of vehicles for your business, whether that being a taxi company, or a trucking company, our flexible and customizable policies will make sure there is coverage available for you at the most available pricing. American Business Insurance has the experience, connections, and newest technologies to make sure your business stays alive and protected. So if you are still wondering if American Business Insurance can provide you with the BEST fleet insurance quotes, go to www.abiweb.com and see for yourself. Get Insured.

How to Insure Transportation Network Companies: A Detailed Guide to Getting your TNC off the Ground

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How to Insure Transportation Network Companies: A Detailed Guide to Getting your TNC off the Ground

Written by Laura Loftus on Monday, May 6th, 2019

Whether you are looking to start your own Transportation Network Company, On-Demand Delivery App or other Shared Economy business, one of the most important factors to consider is insurance! Sounds boring, I know. But as the world around us changes, insurance markets for transportation network companies are creating new structures and products. As an independent agency, American Business Insurance has direct relationships with all insurance companies currently writing specialized policies for transportation network companies.

Finding insurance for transportation network companies or other app-based businesses is no easy feat. As you may have already come to realize, most of your local brokers who specialize in personal lines don’t have relationships with insurance companies in this space. Many local brokers don’t understand what information to collect from business owners to present your transportation network company in the most insurable light.

Finding An Insurance Broker To Write Policies For Your Transportation Network Company

Most of the common insurance companies you may have already heard of are not writing policies because of the high-risk nature for transportation network companies. Insurance companies who are writing policies for transportation network companies are Surplus Lines carriers whose focus is in this specialized, technology driven market place.

Some people think that it is easy to join the long list of people who are trying to start transportation network companies to compete with those already dominating the world – Uber and Lyft. But in reality, the people who have created these transportation network companies worked for many years prior to actually launching.

To some, that might seem like a really long time but when an experienced insurance broker who is familiar with writing policies for transportation network companies asks you to assemble a list of items, it’s best to know exactly what you are getting yourself into. Don’t be fooled, there is a lot of prep, time and money that is required to build transportation network companies like Uber or Lyft.

transportation network companies

Minimum Premiums For Transportation Network Companies

As you might have anticipated, buying an insurance policy for transportation network companies is not cheap since most insurers in this space have minimum premiums of $75,000-100,000. We know, that is a lot of dough! The good news is, most of the carriers will accept a portion of that up-front and some even offer premium eroding endorsements. This means if your business doesn’t generate premium up to that amount within the year, they will carry over the credit to the following year.

Obtaining a quote requires you to find a broker who specializes in writing insurance for transportation network companies. Working with the right broker will not only save you time and money, but prevent you from buying coverages you don’t need and making sure that you have the ones you do. An experienced broker who is familiar with writing insurance for transportation network companies will know exactly what information to collect from you. They will also know how to present it best to the insurance markets who are writing policies for transportation network companies.

American Business Insurance Services, Inc.

Lucky for you, you found us! As an agency, we have been around long before ordering a ride from your smart-phone was an option. We specialize in public auto which means we understand more than anyone how transportation network companies operate.

transportation network companies

Items Transportation Network Companies Should Have Ready Before Calling Your Broker For A Quote:

Build the App:

  • One of the first questions I ask customers looking for insurance for transportation network companies is if the app is complete. Insurance company underwriters will want to download your app and make sure it’s working. Also, some companies have technology-based policies, meaning they integrate with your app to capture data on the drivers. Some even offer lower insurance rates based on favorable data collected (less speeding, hard stops, etcetera). Most policies for transportation network companies are usage based, so they have to be able to download your app and make sure it’s compatible with their insurance structure. Insurance companies often want to be able to pull reports from your app which include and are not limited to:

1. Knowing When A Trip Starts and Stops

2. How Many Miles For Each Trip

3. How Many Minutes/Hours For Each Trip

Business Plan & Projections:

  • There is a checklist of items the insurance company will want to see attached to the submission your broker sends. Your broker should be narrating to the insurance company all the hard work and thought you’ve put into creating these transportation network companies. Insurers will want to see a “pitch deck” which is something you might already have created to obtain investors. This document will present and explain your business model, why it is different from what is alreadyout there and how it will work long term. Some of the questions this document should answer are:

transportation network companies1. What are the company’s growth plans?

2. How will you monitor safety/loss control?

3. How is pricing structured so that the company is profitable?

 Safety and Training:

  • Safety and training is a big deal for insurers who are writing policies for transportation network companies. They will want to know what restrictions, checks and balances and training you will provide to drivers. They want to know how often you will check driving records and how often people have to pass background checks. The younger in age the drivers are that you allow to join your transportation network companies, the more expensive you can expect your insurance prices to be. Insurance companies want to know how you are going to prevent accidents from happening so that you build a positive reputation within the industry along side other transportation network companies like Uber and Lyft.

Bios on Key Officers/Investors:

  • Insurance companies want to know about the people behind the transportation network companies! If you want to join the group of dominating transportation network companies, they are going to want to know what experience you have, not only in transportation but also in being an entrepreneur. Take the time to write detailed bios for yourself and all other key members, officers and investors behind your transportation network company. Make sure to detail the knowledge and life experience you are bringing to the table in starting transportation network companies like Uber and Lyft. A well written, detailed bio will separate your company from all the rest and will give you a better advantage to better pricing on insurance for transportation network companies.

 Terms of Service & Privacy Conditions:

  • Although this may seem like a small piece of the puzzle to getting insurance for transportation network companies, most insurers want to see the liability of the app in regards to what they are promising to both their drivers and users. If you are a peer to peer platform, they want to see how the transaction will take place. Some of the questions that should be answered here are:

1. What Security Measures Are In Place To Protect The User?

2. How Should Complaints Be Filed?

3. What Terms and Conditions Does Your Company Adhere To? 

transportation network companies

Financial Balance Sheet:

  • Basically, a lot of what it takes to insure transportation network companies is having money, and a lot of it. Due to the hefty size of the minimum premiums for transportation network companies, generally ranging from $75,00-100,000, insurers want to make sure you not only have money to pay for the policy, but to also keep your business afloat and operating before you start turning a profit. It’s no secret that most transportation network companies do not profit until after the first year. Insurers want to see that you have raised money, not just for the cost of insurance but also for operating expenses, advertising and promotions.
  • When I review the balance sheet for transportation network companies, I know that most insurers want to see that you’ve raised at minimum $250,000-$1,000,000 in capital. Sometimes more. The reason for them wanting transportation network companies to raise this much money is because they know what it takes to gain traction in this unique space. They want to make sure the work they are putting in to quote and bind your policy will create a lasting relationship with you.

Guidance From American Business Insurance Services, INC

Starting any business takes time, research and money. We get phone calls from people daily thinking they are going to be the next Uber and Lyft. And believe me, we want you to make it big and compete against the monopoly that currently exists for transportation network companies. But in reality, we know that few of the phone calls we receive have actually taken the above steps which are required to make transportation network companies insurable.

If you have questions or need guidance, please give us a call and we will be happy to discuss over the phone! While some of the larger, corporate run agencies have the same relationships as us, few will offer the personal touch and value we have with every client.

Exclusive Contracts

Additionally, we have exclusive contracts with some companies that allow us to write at a lower minimum premium than others. We are an independent, family-run business with 75+ years of combined experience in the business insurance industry. We have invested in other transportation network companies, peer to peer and shared economy types of businesses. Most of us utilize transportation network companies and peer-to-peer apps regularly.

We literally have boots on the ground in this space and if you want the best pricing with the smoothest transaction – we are here for you!

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How to Save the MOST Money on Your Commercial Fleet Insurance Rates

ABI Transportation Experts Speak: How to Save the MOST Money on Your Commercial Fleet Insurance Rates

Written by Laura Loftus on Thursday, February 28th, 2019

 

When speaking with clients about their commercial fleet insurance, the most common concern is how to get the lowest insurance rates. About 100% of the customers I speak to daily all have the same goal – they want the lowest insurance rates available and will do whatever it takes to get it. Whether you own a Taxi, Limo, Paratransit or Shared Economy company (peer to peer platform app), it’s a given that you want your commercial fleet insurance coverage at the lowest insurance rates available. What many companies don’t realize, especially start-ups, is that commercial fleet insurance underwriters do quite a bit of digging on your company through a variety of platforms to “check you out” prior to releasing a quote. They read Yelp reviews, they look at your website, they do Better Business Bureau checks – all of it.

There are common mistakes that transportation service companies are repeatedly making that will create doubt in a commercial fleet insurance company. These mistakes actually prevent your broker from being able to find the lowest insurance rates for your company. Most of these companies think they are making business decisions that will guide them toward the lowest insurance rates, and are unaware that their current website or driver pool is actually hurting their chances of achieving the lowest possible commercial fleet insurance rate.

Five common flubs transportation service companies are making that prevent your commercial fleet insurance broker from obtaining the lowest insurance rates possible:

1) Company Website

The first and most common mistake we see from commercial auto risks who are in the “wheels” business as us underwriters call it – is that you over the amount of experience or size of your transportation service company.  It is common for commercial fleet insurance underwriters to google your company to pick apart your website. Here are some items you may think are helping your chances at obtaining the lowest insurance rates but are actually red flags to commercial fleet insurance companies:

  •  Words like “Fast Pick-up” or ‘Delivery in Minutes” – no commercial fleet insurance underwriter wants to see that you are promising rushed services. Rushing = equals unsafe driving behavior.

commercial fleet insurance

  • Advertising vehicles that are not actually part of your fleet. For example, just yesterday I was helping a 35-car fleet in Portland with obtaining commercial fleet insurance quotes. The list of vehicles they provided were all private passenger type vehicles (meaning seating capacity of 8 or less) – good! But when I searched the company online, they advertised a large shuttle bus and a higher seating capacity van. When I asked the client about this, they those vehicles had been sold and they had no plans to replace them. Keeping your website up to date and only advertising only what you can actually deliver will keep unwanted questions from creeping into the commercial fleet insurance underwriters’ mind. Creating uncertainty is the last thing you want to do with a commercial fleet insurance underwriter when trying to obtain the lowest insurance rates.
  •  Age of vehicles is important to commercial fleet insurance companies. Publishing a picture of a 30-year-old vehicle is no bueno. Keep your fleet serviced regularly (we recommend every three to four thousand miles and cycle out old units. Newer, cleaner & well-maintained vehicles are not only more desired by clientele (when trying to compete with Uber/Lyft) but also preferred by commercial fleet insurance companies trying to avoid claims due to mechanical defect.
  • If you boast 20 years of experience but your LLC was filed three years ago, it creates uncertainty with insurance companies. It’s better to accurately reflect your business as it is now, and not what you want it to be five years from now. Just as there are items to avoid putting on your website, there are points that you should include on your website. It is always a good idea to brag about highly trained drivers and safety training you provide (more on this later). Be sure to note the maintenance you keep up with for your fleet, the background checks the city you operate in mandates and the highest level of driving records required for your drivers. Commercial fleet insurance underwriters like stable fleets with safe drivers. Bottom line, safer risks translates to commercial fleet insurance underwriters offering the lowest insurance rates.

2) Creating a Business Name

This may seem simple enough but for transportation business owners looking to for the lowest insurance rates, people often think that commercial fleet insurance companies give the lowest insurance rates to Limo’s and Non-Emergency Medical risks over a taxi or airport shuttle. While this might be true, cornering yourself into a specific type of transportation in your business name narrows the list of commercial fleet insurance carriers you are eligible for. Many markets write only taxis or only limos. So, if you file your business name with the Secretary of State as Laura’s Taxi & Limo Service, LLC. – it could possibly make you ineligible for a limo commercial fleet insurance program because they don’t insure taxis and vice versa – even if your unit type meets their requirements. When talking with clients, I always say it’s best to be general about the transportation type within the name of their business, especially as market conditions change. You may be heavy in taxi trips one year but then obtain a paratransit contract and do more of that the following year. The more years of favorable loss history (loss runs) you can provide, the better chance you have at obtaining the lowest insurance rates. Choosing a business name that is general such as Laura’s Transportation Service, LLC. allows you flexibility to transform and evolve your business as the industry demands change.

3) Loss Control is Everything

Underwriters give commercial fleet insurance at the lowest insurance rates to companies with low levels of paid claims. Even in a hard insurance market, with rates rising for the good guys too, you can expect to pay more for commercial fleet insurance if you’re prior insurance companies have paid a lot in claims. Here are some suggestions in tightening loss control for your transportation service company:

  •  Hire a full-time loss control or driver manager who will enforce a safety culture. Doing this, will lower the frequency and severity of claim payouts and put your transportation service company in a better position to obtain the lowest insurance rates. This person should be in charge of overseeing the overall safety of your company. Managing and coaching your drivers is the key to a successful transportation service company. You are only as good as your worst driver.
  • commercial fleet insurance Invest in cameras that capture not only accidents but also driver analytics. This type of camera system will allow you to review driver behavior and correct bad habits before they cause an accident. We like to say this method is similar to that of a professional athlete. How do they improve? They watch their game film and correct bad habits. Driving professionally is the same. The more you do it, the more comfortable you get and having drivers watch themselves reduces risky behavior dramatically. Additionally, it’s a known fact that many commercial fleet insurance claims are paid because of he said/she said situations. Having accidents on camera is the best way to know who exactly was at fault and exonerate innocent drivers.
  •  Hold weekly safety huddles and or monthly meetings. Review the data and claims that have occurred recently and talk to your drivers about how they could have been prevented.
  •  Commit to investing in annual defensive driving training for your drivers. This annual reminder to drivers will ensure that bad habits are addressed and give each driver a time to reflect on their own performance.
  • Implement a reward program for safe drivers. Giving an incentive, even if it’s small monetary gift cards – keeps your drivers focused and motivated on safe driving habits.

4) The Driver Pool

The Driver Pool is so important when trying to achieve the lowest insurance rates from commercial fleet insurance providers for your transportation company. How you chose to manage drivers and who you hire is crucial. Create formal guidelines that clearly outline what is acceptable for employment. We recommend only hiring drivers with zero accidents within the past three years and minimal moving violations. Clean MVRs are best but we know that professional drivers with experience usually do not have clean MVRs and this is ok. Professional drivers are on the road up to 3x more than someone commuting to/from work so it’s a given that they will most likely have more violations on their records. Repeat offenders can impact the cost of your commercial fleet insurance and should be let go. No one is perfect, but you should train your drivers with the goal to be as safe as possible. Excessive violations on a driving record can cause surcharges and prevent you from obtaining the lower insurance rates. Additionally, younger drivers sometimes generate higher premiums for commercial fleet insurance as well as newly licensed individuals.

5) Contact an Experienced, Transportation Insurance Broker

commercial fleet insurance

Working with a transportation specialist versus a local agency makes a huge difference as commercial fleet insurance brokers have access to many more transportation focused insurance companies. Also, an experienced broker will review your company data prior to submitting to commercial fleet insurance companies. If they see something a commercial fleet insurance company won’t like, they can address it with you and provide you with an opportunity to make changes before submitting to each carrier. The more information you can provide to a commercial fleet insurance underwriter, the better chances you have at achieving the lowest insurance rates. Because the for-hire, livery insurance market is so thin, carriers often get multiple submissions from duplicate brokers. Try to work with one broker at a time. You may think contacting multiple agencies well help you, but if they are all going to the same markets for commercial fleet insurance – it’s duplicating not only your own work, but the insurance companies as well. The livery market is a tough class of business and finding an experienced broker will absolutely give you a leg up on finding the lowest insurance rates over a generalist broker.

American Business Insurance Services, Inc. has been working with transportation companies across the nation for 35+ years. We have direct relationships with the most competitive commercial fleet insurance companies. We know what it takes to submit a complete application and present your company in the best light possible – which will no doubt translate to finding commercial fleet insurance at the lowest insurance rate.

Looking for a quote? Click here

Autonomous Car Insurance and How it Works

How Autonomous Car Insurance Works

With technology in our society advancing at such an incredible rate, all of our cars could have minds entirely of their own within years. As a matter of fact, we are on our way there already. They are not yet available on a large scale. However, autonomous cars certainly are a reality and could eventually integrate themselves fully into our everyday lives. The question that many are asking has to do with insurance for an autonomous car. Car insurance typically protects the driver and car from mistakes that are caused by the driver. So if all cars will be completely autonomous and self-sufficient from humans, what is the point of insurance? If the car gets in an accident, who is then held responsible? In this futuristic dilemma, car insurance will work a little differently than we’re used to, but American Business Insurance is prepared to handle it.

How Do Autonomous Vehicles Work?

Essentially, autonomous vehicle manufacturers and designers will think of everything that a car needs a human for and remove those needs. For example, an autonomous car will be built with a GPS in it, so it doesn’t need a person to control navigation. Many of them also have sensors in and around them, in order to help them avoid accidents. Of course, this would typically be the job of the driver. There is also the element of augmented reality. AR is a method of getting information to the driver, such as displaying it on the windshield. This information could be directions, the speed of the car, information about the music thats playing, etc. And the vehicle is the one that has it all. The would-be driver just turns into a rider, and the car handles the rest.

Changes in Insurance

Insurance for autonomous vehicles will play a different role than insurance for a regular car. Instead of the driver or owner of the vehicle being responsible for accidents, it would likely be the manufacturer of the autonomous vehicle. Now, its rare for a malfunction of the vehicle to be the cause of an accident; they are almost always a result of human error. This could be the largest change to car insurance if and when autonomous vehicles become a norm in our society. Manufacturers being held responsible for insuring each vehicle themselves will create an expensive, long-term process before the vehicles can be safely put to use. It will also require an extensive process of making sure that many ethical issues are covered.

ABI’s Role

The idea that human-operated vehicles will be obsolete in everyday life may seem plausible only in the distant future. However, functioning autonomous cars are on their way to changing transportation forever. There are countless pros to autonomous vehicles, but insuring all vehicles so that riders are promised complete safety would be the primary con. To ease the process of insuring self-driving cars, ABI’s Insurance Services have exactly what it takes for companies to make the transition from human-driven cars to self-driven cars. With 75 years of experience in transportation network companies, ABI can make riders feel safe using new technology, and help our society continue to evolve in amazing ways. ABI has direct relationships with the insurance carriers they write policies through, allowing for great efficiency and attention to detail. But you don’t have to wait for all cars to drive themselves to achieve this kind of protection and safety; contact ABI for both large and small fleet insurance today!

How ABI is Protecting HyreCar

How ABI is Protecting Hyrecar

Ride-sharing services are taking the world of transportation by storm. Uber and Lyft are constantly relied on both by riders who need to get places efficiently, and by those who are employed by either company. However, many people are not aware that vehicles must meet certain standards in order to provide rides by Uber and Lyft. Due to these specific requirements for cars, many who desire to drive for the ride-sharing service aren’t allowed the opportunity. There was nothing they could do- until Hyrecar.

The Solution

HyreCar has arrived as the first car-matching service that works hand in hand with Uber and Lyft. The concept is simple: for those who desire to drive but don’t have a car that meets the requirements, HyreCar allows you to rent one and get right to work. Most issues that are preventing certain cars from qualifying for Uber and Lyft are simply problems that are typical of older vehicles. Its a lot to ask of someone to make them purchase an entirely new vehicle just to pass the restrictions test. In turn, less people would drive for Uber and Lyft, which hurts both the would-be drivers and the companies themselves.

The Process

HyreCar realized the very simple solution to this problem, and the founders were shocked when they found that no one had discovered this niche market yet. HyreCar’s platform is easy to use, while still being thorough. It allows car owners to post their vehicles that are up for rental, and when drivers find one they want, they create a profile. This profile includes information such as driver’s license and social security numbers, and drivers can pay just by entering their credit card information into the platform. HyreCar’s founders believe that their screening process for drivers is even stricter than those of Uber and Lyft, checking things like criminal records, DMV records, and sex-offender databases.

Everybody Wins

Thanks to HyreCar, everybody involved benefits in some way. Cars that would otherwise be sitting in a garage or not in use somewhere are making their owners money. Those who wish to be drivers are given an easy way to fulfill that desire without buying a whole new car. Uber and Lyft have more drivers for their companies and therefore generate more business. HyreCar benefits by charging drivers that rent from them a 10% fee and car owners a 15% fee.

How ABI is Covering HyreCar

American Business Insurance is providing HyreCar with a unique insurance policy to ensure the highest level of safety for both the drivers and riders. When a driver is not driving for a ride-sharing platform but is still in possession of the rented car, they are covered by ABI’s policy that covers both the riders and drivers. When they are driving for a ride-sharing platform with the rented car, the insurance defaults to the state-mandated policy provided by the respective ride-sharing company.

As far as HyreCar is aware, they are the only car-matching service that utilizes a unique insurance policy such as the one provided by American Business Insurance. Thanks to ABI, HyreCar now has a competitive advantage that will likely continue to garner success for the company.

Best Fleet Insurance Quotes

Here at American Business Insurance, we offer the best fleet insurance quotes for your corporate operations. American Business Insurance has been insuring businesses and fleets for over 30 years, providing coverage to services such as taxi and limousine. You can get the best insurance quote from us through our website, where you can find a wide range of information from custom insurance policies to our state-of-the-art online portal system, where you can be able to look at recent statements, claims, and such. What differentiates us from other competing companies is our flexibility, we have a strong support from customer service that make sure each customer’s specific needs are met. We know that every person and business has a different need, so we strive to provide a wide range of services and customization to fit different needs. If you are still wondering about using American Business Insurance for your company, here are a couple reasons why we provide the best fleet insurance quotes

3 Reasons why ABI Provides the Best Fleet Insurance Quotes

Doing Business since 1984

Yes, that is 30 plus years of providing insurance policies to a network of commercial transportation fleets. We have stayed in business for all this time, because we have always strived to provide our customers with the best corporate fleet insurance quotes. American Business Insurance has seen it all over the 30 years of what happens in the industry, so are always in the lead of industry and able to fluctuate with the market as it has its ups and downs.

Wide Range of Customers

Our services cover companies such as taxis, limousines, shuttles, buses and ambulances. Our best policies keep these companies thriving by keeping their customers safe and drivers insured. Such companies need alternatives from your typical consumer auto insurance policies, so feature such as Pay Per Mile, Pay per gallon, etc. Our company offers alternatives for those who drive for a living, often cutting prices on unnecessary coverage that other companies upcharge you for.

Adopting New Technologies

American Business Insurance will provide you with the best fleet insurance quotes. These best fleet insurance quotes come with the best service, whether that being streamlining the account management process for you or having a responsive customer service team. We are here to help always, from providing you with the best fleet insurance quotes to keeping customer satisfaction high. For us, that means adopting new ways of technology and bringing us closer to you.

In conclusion, you should get a quote for you business from us, because American Business Insurance provides you with the best fleet insurance quotes. When you own a fleet of vehicles for your business, whether that being a taxi company, or a trucking company, our flexible and customizable policies will make sure there is coverage available for you at the most available pricing. American Business Insurance has the experience, connections, and newest technologies to make sure your business stays alive and protected. So if you are still wondering if American Business Insurance can provide you with the BEST fleet insurance quotes, go to www.abiweb.com and see for yourself. Get Insured.

How to Insure Transportation Network Companies: A Detailed Guide to Getting your TNC off the Ground

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How to Insure Transportation Network Companies: A Detailed Guide to Getting your TNC off the Ground

Written by Laura Loftus on Monday, May 6th, 2019

Whether you are looking to start your own Transportation Network Company, On-Demand Delivery App or other Shared Economy business, one of the most important factors to consider is insurance! Sounds boring, I know. But as the world around us changes, insurance markets for transportation network companies are creating new structures and products. As an independent agency, American Business Insurance has direct relationships with all insurance companies currently writing specialized policies for transportation network companies.

Finding insurance for transportation network companies or other app-based businesses is no easy feat. As you may have already come to realize, most of your local brokers who specialize in personal lines don’t have relationships with insurance companies in this space. Many local brokers don’t understand what information to collect from business owners to present your transportation network company in the most insurable light.

Finding An Insurance Broker To Write Policies For Your Transportation Network Company

Most of the common insurance companies you may have already heard of are not writing policies because of the high-risk nature for transportation network companies. Insurance companies who are writing policies for transportation network companies are Surplus Lines carriers whose focus is in this specialized, technology driven market place.

Some people think that it is easy to join the long list of people who are trying to start transportation network companies to compete with those already dominating the world – Uber and Lyft. But in reality, the people who have created these transportation network companies worked for many years prior to actually launching.

To some, that might seem like a really long time but when an experienced insurance broker who is familiar with writing policies for transportation network companies asks you to assemble a list of items, it’s best to know exactly what you are getting yourself into. Don’t be fooled, there is a lot of prep, time and money that is required to build transportation network companies like Uber or Lyft.

transportation network companies

Minimum Premiums For Transportation Network Companies

As you might have anticipated, buying an insurance policy for transportation network companies is not cheap since most insurers in this space have minimum premiums of $75,000-100,000. We know, that is a lot of dough! The good news is, most of the carriers will accept a portion of that up-front and some even offer premium eroding endorsements. This means if your business doesn’t generate premium up to that amount within the year, they will carry over the credit to the following year.

Obtaining a quote requires you to find a broker who specializes in writing insurance for transportation network companies. Working with the right broker will not only save you time and money, but prevent you from buying coverages you don’t need and making sure that you have the ones you do. An experienced broker who is familiar with writing insurance for transportation network companies will know exactly what information to collect from you. They will also know how to present it best to the insurance markets who are writing policies for transportation network companies.

American Business Insurance Services, Inc.

Lucky for you, you found us! As an agency, we have been around long before ordering a ride from your smart-phone was an option. We specialize in public auto which means we understand more than anyone how transportation network companies operate.

transportation network companies

Items Transportation Network Companies Should Have Ready Before Calling Your Broker For A Quote:

Build the App:

  • One of the first questions I ask customers looking for insurance for transportation network companies is if the app is complete. Insurance company underwriters will want to download your app and make sure it’s working. Also, some companies have technology-based policies, meaning they integrate with your app to capture data on the drivers. Some even offer lower insurance rates based on favorable data collected (less speeding, hard stops, etcetera). Most policies for transportation network companies are usage based, so they have to be able to download your app and make sure it’s compatible with their insurance structure. Insurance companies often want to be able to pull reports from your app which include and are not limited to:

1. Knowing When A Trip Starts and Stops

2. How Many Miles For Each Trip

3. How Many Minutes/Hours For Each Trip

Business Plan & Projections:

  • There is a checklist of items the insurance company will want to see attached to the submission your broker sends. Your broker should be narrating to the insurance company all the hard work and thought you’ve put into creating these transportation network companies. Insurers will want to see a “pitch deck” which is something you might already have created to obtain investors. This document will present and explain your business model, why it is different from what is alreadyout there and how it will work long term. Some of the questions this document should answer are:

transportation network companies1. What are the company’s growth plans?

2. How will you monitor safety/loss control?

3. How is pricing structured so that the company is profitable?

 Safety and Training:

  • Safety and training is a big deal for insurers who are writing policies for transportation network companies. They will want to know what restrictions, checks and balances and training you will provide to drivers. They want to know how often you will check driving records and how often people have to pass background checks. The younger in age the drivers are that you allow to join your transportation network companies, the more expensive you can expect your insurance prices to be. Insurance companies want to know how you are going to prevent accidents from happening so that you build a positive reputation within the industry along side other transportation network companies like Uber and Lyft.

Bios on Key Officers/Investors:

  • Insurance companies want to know about the people behind the transportation network companies! If you want to join the group of dominating transportation network companies, they are going to want to know what experience you have, not only in transportation but also in being an entrepreneur. Take the time to write detailed bios for yourself and all other key members, officers and investors behind your transportation network company. Make sure to detail the knowledge and life experience you are bringing to the table in starting transportation network companies like Uber and Lyft. A well written, detailed bio will separate your company from all the rest and will give you a better advantage to better pricing on insurance for transportation network companies.

 Terms of Service & Privacy Conditions:

  • Although this may seem like a small piece of the puzzle to getting insurance for transportation network companies, most insurers want to see the liability of the app in regards to what they are promising to both their drivers and users. If you are a peer to peer platform, they want to see how the transaction will take place. Some of the questions that should be answered here are:

1. What Security Measures Are In Place To Protect The User?

2. How Should Complaints Be Filed?

3. What Terms and Conditions Does Your Company Adhere To? 

transportation network companies

Financial Balance Sheet:

  • Basically, a lot of what it takes to insure transportation network companies is having money, and a lot of it. Due to the hefty size of the minimum premiums for transportation network companies, generally ranging from $75,00-100,000, insurers want to make sure you not only have money to pay for the policy, but to also keep your business afloat and operating before you start turning a profit. It’s no secret that most transportation network companies do not profit until after the first year. Insurers want to see that you have raised money, not just for the cost of insurance but also for operating expenses, advertising and promotions.
  • When I review the balance sheet for transportation network companies, I know that most insurers want to see that you’ve raised at minimum $250,000-$1,000,000 in capital. Sometimes more. The reason for them wanting transportation network companies to raise this much money is because they know what it takes to gain traction in this unique space. They want to make sure the work they are putting in to quote and bind your policy will create a lasting relationship with you.

Guidance From American Business Insurance Services, INC

Starting any business takes time, research and money. We get phone calls from people daily thinking they are going to be the next Uber and Lyft. And believe me, we want you to make it big and compete against the monopoly that currently exists for transportation network companies. But in reality, we know that few of the phone calls we receive have actually taken the above steps which are required to make transportation network companies insurable.

If you have questions or need guidance, please give us a call and we will be happy to discuss over the phone! While some of the larger, corporate run agencies have the same relationships as us, few will offer the personal touch and value we have with every client.

Exclusive Contracts

Additionally, we have exclusive contracts with some companies that allow us to write at a lower minimum premium than others. We are an independent, family-run business with 75+ years of combined experience in the business insurance industry. We have invested in other transportation network companies, peer to peer and shared economy types of businesses. Most of us utilize transportation network companies and peer-to-peer apps regularly.

We literally have boots on the ground in this space and if you want the best pricing with the smoothest transaction – we are here for you!

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How to Save the MOST Money on Your Commercial Fleet Insurance Rates

ABI Transportation Experts Speak: How to Save the MOST Money on Your Commercial Fleet Insurance Rates

Written by Laura Loftus on Thursday, February 28th, 2019

 

When speaking with clients about their commercial fleet insurance, the most common concern is how to get the lowest insurance rates. About 100% of the customers I speak to daily all have the same goal – they want the lowest insurance rates available and will do whatever it takes to get it. Whether you own a Taxi, Limo, Paratransit or Shared Economy company (peer to peer platform app), it’s a given that you want your commercial fleet insurance coverage at the lowest insurance rates available. What many companies don’t realize, especially start-ups, is that commercial fleet insurance underwriters do quite a bit of digging on your company through a variety of platforms to “check you out” prior to releasing a quote. They read Yelp reviews, they look at your website, they do Better Business Bureau checks – all of it.

There are common mistakes that transportation service companies are repeatedly making that will create doubt in a commercial fleet insurance company. These mistakes actually prevent your broker from being able to find the lowest insurance rates for your company. Most of these companies think they are making business decisions that will guide them toward the lowest insurance rates, and are unaware that their current website or driver pool is actually hurting their chances of achieving the lowest possible commercial fleet insurance rate.

Five common flubs transportation service companies are making that prevent your commercial fleet insurance broker from obtaining the lowest insurance rates possible:

1) Company Website

The first and most common mistake we see from commercial auto risks who are in the “wheels” business as us underwriters call it – is that you over the amount of experience or size of your transportation service company.  It is common for commercial fleet insurance underwriters to google your company to pick apart your website. Here are some items you may think are helping your chances at obtaining the lowest insurance rates but are actually red flags to commercial fleet insurance companies:

  •  Words like “Fast Pick-up” or ‘Delivery in Minutes” – no commercial fleet insurance underwriter wants to see that you are promising rushed services. Rushing = equals unsafe driving behavior.

commercial fleet insurance

  • Advertising vehicles that are not actually part of your fleet. For example, just yesterday I was helping a 35-car fleet in Portland with obtaining commercial fleet insurance quotes. The list of vehicles they provided were all private passenger type vehicles (meaning seating capacity of 8 or less) – good! But when I searched the company online, they advertised a large shuttle bus and a higher seating capacity van. When I asked the client about this, they those vehicles had been sold and they had no plans to replace them. Keeping your website up to date and only advertising only what you can actually deliver will keep unwanted questions from creeping into the commercial fleet insurance underwriters’ mind. Creating uncertainty is the last thing you want to do with a commercial fleet insurance underwriter when trying to obtain the lowest insurance rates.
  •  Age of vehicles is important to commercial fleet insurance companies. Publishing a picture of a 30-year-old vehicle is no bueno. Keep your fleet serviced regularly (we recommend every three to four thousand miles and cycle out old units. Newer, cleaner & well-maintained vehicles are not only more desired by clientele (when trying to compete with Uber/Lyft) but also preferred by commercial fleet insurance companies trying to avoid claims due to mechanical defect.
  • If you boast 20 years of experience but your LLC was filed three years ago, it creates uncertainty with insurance companies. It’s better to accurately reflect your business as it is now, and not what you want it to be five years from now. Just as there are items to avoid putting on your website, there are points that you should include on your website. It is always a good idea to brag about highly trained drivers and safety training you provide (more on this later). Be sure to note the maintenance you keep up with for your fleet, the background checks the city you operate in mandates and the highest level of driving records required for your drivers. Commercial fleet insurance underwriters like stable fleets with safe drivers. Bottom line, safer risks translates to commercial fleet insurance underwriters offering the lowest insurance rates.

2) Creating a Business Name

This may seem simple enough but for transportation business owners looking to for the lowest insurance rates, people often think that commercial fleet insurance companies give the lowest insurance rates to Limo’s and Non-Emergency Medical risks over a taxi or airport shuttle. While this might be true, cornering yourself into a specific type of transportation in your business name narrows the list of commercial fleet insurance carriers you are eligible for. Many markets write only taxis or only limos. So, if you file your business name with the Secretary of State as Laura’s Taxi & Limo Service, LLC. – it could possibly make you ineligible for a limo commercial fleet insurance program because they don’t insure taxis and vice versa – even if your unit type meets their requirements. When talking with clients, I always say it’s best to be general about the transportation type within the name of their business, especially as market conditions change. You may be heavy in taxi trips one year but then obtain a paratransit contract and do more of that the following year. The more years of favorable loss history (loss runs) you can provide, the better chance you have at obtaining the lowest insurance rates. Choosing a business name that is general such as Laura’s Transportation Service, LLC. allows you flexibility to transform and evolve your business as the industry demands change.

3) Loss Control is Everything

Underwriters give commercial fleet insurance at the lowest insurance rates to companies with low levels of paid claims. Even in a hard insurance market, with rates rising for the good guys too, you can expect to pay more for commercial fleet insurance if you’re prior insurance companies have paid a lot in claims. Here are some suggestions in tightening loss control for your transportation service company:

  •  Hire a full-time loss control or driver manager who will enforce a safety culture. Doing this, will lower the frequency and severity of claim payouts and put your transportation service company in a better position to obtain the lowest insurance rates. This person should be in charge of overseeing the overall safety of your company. Managing and coaching your drivers is the key to a successful transportation service company. You are only as good as your worst driver.
  • commercial fleet insurance Invest in cameras that capture not only accidents but also driver analytics. This type of camera system will allow you to review driver behavior and correct bad habits before they cause an accident. We like to say this method is similar to that of a professional athlete. How do they improve? They watch their game film and correct bad habits. Driving professionally is the same. The more you do it, the more comfortable you get and having drivers watch themselves reduces risky behavior dramatically. Additionally, it’s a known fact that many commercial fleet insurance claims are paid because of he said/she said situations. Having accidents on camera is the best way to know who exactly was at fault and exonerate innocent drivers.
  •  Hold weekly safety huddles and or monthly meetings. Review the data and claims that have occurred recently and talk to your drivers about how they could have been prevented.
  •  Commit to investing in annual defensive driving training for your drivers. This annual reminder to drivers will ensure that bad habits are addressed and give each driver a time to reflect on their own performance.
  • Implement a reward program for safe drivers. Giving an incentive, even if it’s small monetary gift cards – keeps your drivers focused and motivated on safe driving habits.

4) The Driver Pool

The Driver Pool is so important when trying to achieve the lowest insurance rates from commercial fleet insurance providers for your transportation company. How you chose to manage drivers and who you hire is crucial. Create formal guidelines that clearly outline what is acceptable for employment. We recommend only hiring drivers with zero accidents within the past three years and minimal moving violations. Clean MVRs are best but we know that professional drivers with experience usually do not have clean MVRs and this is ok. Professional drivers are on the road up to 3x more than someone commuting to/from work so it’s a given that they will most likely have more violations on their records. Repeat offenders can impact the cost of your commercial fleet insurance and should be let go. No one is perfect, but you should train your drivers with the goal to be as safe as possible. Excessive violations on a driving record can cause surcharges and prevent you from obtaining the lower insurance rates. Additionally, younger drivers sometimes generate higher premiums for commercial fleet insurance as well as newly licensed individuals.

5) Contact an Experienced, Transportation Insurance Broker

commercial fleet insurance

Working with a transportation specialist versus a local agency makes a huge difference as commercial fleet insurance brokers have access to many more transportation focused insurance companies. Also, an experienced broker will review your company data prior to submitting to commercial fleet insurance companies. If they see something a commercial fleet insurance company won’t like, they can address it with you and provide you with an opportunity to make changes before submitting to each carrier. The more information you can provide to a commercial fleet insurance underwriter, the better chances you have at achieving the lowest insurance rates. Because the for-hire, livery insurance market is so thin, carriers often get multiple submissions from duplicate brokers. Try to work with one broker at a time. You may think contacting multiple agencies well help you, but if they are all going to the same markets for commercial fleet insurance – it’s duplicating not only your own work, but the insurance companies as well. The livery market is a tough class of business and finding an experienced broker will absolutely give you a leg up on finding the lowest insurance rates over a generalist broker.

American Business Insurance Services, Inc. has been working with transportation companies across the nation for 35+ years. We have direct relationships with the most competitive commercial fleet insurance companies. We know what it takes to submit a complete application and present your company in the best light possible – which will no doubt translate to finding commercial fleet insurance at the lowest insurance rate.

Looking for a quote? Click here

Autonomous Car Insurance and How it Works

How Autonomous Car Insurance Works

With technology in our society advancing at such an incredible rate, all of our cars could have minds entirely of their own within years. As a matter of fact, we are on our way there already. They are not yet available on a large scale. However, autonomous cars certainly are a reality and could eventually integrate themselves fully into our everyday lives. The question that many are asking has to do with insurance for an autonomous car. Car insurance typically protects the driver and car from mistakes that are caused by the driver. So if all cars will be completely autonomous and self-sufficient from humans, what is the point of insurance? If the car gets in an accident, who is then held responsible? In this futuristic dilemma, car insurance will work a little differently than we’re used to, but American Business Insurance is prepared to handle it.

How Do Autonomous Vehicles Work?

Essentially, autonomous vehicle manufacturers and designers will think of everything that a car needs a human for and remove those needs. For example, an autonomous car will be built with a GPS in it, so it doesn’t need a person to control navigation. Many of them also have sensors in and around them, in order to help them avoid accidents. Of course, this would typically be the job of the driver. There is also the element of augmented reality. AR is a method of getting information to the driver, such as displaying it on the windshield. This information could be directions, the speed of the car, information about the music thats playing, etc. And the vehicle is the one that has it all. The would-be driver just turns into a rider, and the car handles the rest.

Changes in Insurance

Insurance for autonomous vehicles will play a different role than insurance for a regular car. Instead of the driver or owner of the vehicle being responsible for accidents, it would likely be the manufacturer of the autonomous vehicle. Now, its rare for a malfunction of the vehicle to be the cause of an accident; they are almost always a result of human error. This could be the largest change to car insurance if and when autonomous vehicles become a norm in our society. Manufacturers being held responsible for insuring each vehicle themselves will create an expensive, long-term process before the vehicles can be safely put to use. It will also require an extensive process of making sure that many ethical issues are covered.

ABI’s Role

The idea that human-operated vehicles will be obsolete in everyday life may seem plausible only in the distant future. However, functioning autonomous cars are on their way to changing transportation forever. There are countless pros to autonomous vehicles, but insuring all vehicles so that riders are promised complete safety would be the primary con. To ease the process of insuring self-driving cars, ABI’s Insurance Services have exactly what it takes for companies to make the transition from human-driven cars to self-driven cars. With 75 years of experience in transportation network companies, ABI can make riders feel safe using new technology, and help our society continue to evolve in amazing ways. ABI has direct relationships with the insurance carriers they write policies through, allowing for great efficiency and attention to detail. But you don’t have to wait for all cars to drive themselves to achieve this kind of protection and safety; contact ABI for both large and small fleet insurance today!

How ABI is Protecting HyreCar

How ABI is Protecting Hyrecar

Ride-sharing services are taking the world of transportation by storm. Uber and Lyft are constantly relied on both by riders who need to get places efficiently, and by those who are employed by either company. However, many people are not aware that vehicles must meet certain standards in order to provide rides by Uber and Lyft. Due to these specific requirements for cars, many who desire to drive for the ride-sharing service aren’t allowed the opportunity. There was nothing they could do- until Hyrecar.

The Solution

HyreCar has arrived as the first car-matching service that works hand in hand with Uber and Lyft. The concept is simple: for those who desire to drive but don’t have a car that meets the requirements, HyreCar allows you to rent one and get right to work. Most issues that are preventing certain cars from qualifying for Uber and Lyft are simply problems that are typical of older vehicles. Its a lot to ask of someone to make them purchase an entirely new vehicle just to pass the restrictions test. In turn, less people would drive for Uber and Lyft, which hurts both the would-be drivers and the companies themselves.

The Process

HyreCar realized the very simple solution to this problem, and the founders were shocked when they found that no one had discovered this niche market yet. HyreCar’s platform is easy to use, while still being thorough. It allows car owners to post their vehicles that are up for rental, and when drivers find one they want, they create a profile. This profile includes information such as driver’s license and social security numbers, and drivers can pay just by entering their credit card information into the platform. HyreCar’s founders believe that their screening process for drivers is even stricter than those of Uber and Lyft, checking things like criminal records, DMV records, and sex-offender databases.

Everybody Wins

Thanks to HyreCar, everybody involved benefits in some way. Cars that would otherwise be sitting in a garage or not in use somewhere are making their owners money. Those who wish to be drivers are given an easy way to fulfill that desire without buying a whole new car. Uber and Lyft have more drivers for their companies and therefore generate more business. HyreCar benefits by charging drivers that rent from them a 10% fee and car owners a 15% fee.

How ABI is Covering HyreCar

American Business Insurance is providing HyreCar with a unique insurance policy to ensure the highest level of safety for both the drivers and riders. When a driver is not driving for a ride-sharing platform but is still in possession of the rented car, they are covered by ABI’s policy that covers both the riders and drivers. When they are driving for a ride-sharing platform with the rented car, the insurance defaults to the state-mandated policy provided by the respective ride-sharing company.

As far as HyreCar is aware, they are the only car-matching service that utilizes a unique insurance policy such as the one provided by American Business Insurance. Thanks to ABI, HyreCar now has a competitive advantage that will likely continue to garner success for the company.

Best Fleet Insurance Quotes

Here at American Business Insurance, we offer the best fleet insurance quotes for your corporate operations. American Business Insurance has been insuring businesses and fleets for over 30 years, providing coverage to services such as taxi and limousine. You can get the best insurance quote from us through our website, where you can find a wide range of information from custom insurance policies to our state-of-the-art online portal system, where you can be able to look at recent statements, claims, and such. What differentiates us from other competing companies is our flexibility, we have a strong support from customer service that make sure each customer’s specific needs are met. We know that every person and business has a different need, so we strive to provide a wide range of services and customization to fit different needs. If you are still wondering about using American Business Insurance for your company, here are a couple reasons why we provide the best fleet insurance quotes

3 Reasons why ABI Provides the Best Fleet Insurance Quotes

Doing Business since 1984

Yes, that is 30 plus years of providing insurance policies to a network of commercial transportation fleets. We have stayed in business for all this time, because we have always strived to provide our customers with the best corporate fleet insurance quotes. American Business Insurance has seen it all over the 30 years of what happens in the industry, so are always in the lead of industry and able to fluctuate with the market as it has its ups and downs.

Wide Range of Customers

Our services cover companies such as taxis, limousines, shuttles, buses and ambulances. Our best policies keep these companies thriving by keeping their customers safe and drivers insured. Such companies need alternatives from your typical consumer auto insurance policies, so feature such as Pay Per Mile, Pay per gallon, etc. Our company offers alternatives for those who drive for a living, often cutting prices on unnecessary coverage that other companies upcharge you for.

Adopting New Technologies

American Business Insurance will provide you with the best fleet insurance quotes. These best fleet insurance quotes come with the best service, whether that being streamlining the account management process for you or having a responsive customer service team. We are here to help always, from providing you with the best fleet insurance quotes to keeping customer satisfaction high. For us, that means adopting new ways of technology and bringing us closer to you.

In conclusion, you should get a quote for you business from us, because American Business Insurance provides you with the best fleet insurance quotes. When you own a fleet of vehicles for your business, whether that being a taxi company, or a trucking company, our flexible and customizable policies will make sure there is coverage available for you at the most available pricing. American Business Insurance has the experience, connections, and newest technologies to make sure your business stays alive and protected. So if you are still wondering if American Business Insurance can provide you with the BEST fleet insurance quotes, go to www.abiweb.com and see for yourself. Get Insured.

How to Insure Transportation Network Companies: A Detailed Guide to Getting your TNC off the Ground

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How to Insure Transportation Network Companies: A Detailed Guide to Getting your TNC off the Ground

Written by Laura Loftus on Monday, May 6th, 2019

Whether you are looking to start your own Transportation Network Company, On-Demand Delivery App or other Shared Economy business, one of the most important factors to consider is insurance! Sounds boring, I know. But as the world around us changes, insurance markets for transportation network companies are creating new structures and products. As an independent agency, American Business Insurance has direct relationships with all insurance companies currently writing specialized policies for transportation network companies.

Finding insurance for transportation network companies or other app-based businesses is no easy feat. As you may have already come to realize, most of your local brokers who specialize in personal lines don’t have relationships with insurance companies in this space. Many local brokers don’t understand what information to collect from business owners to present your transportation network company in the most insurable light.

Finding An Insurance Broker To Write Policies For Your Transportation Network Company

Most of the common insurance companies you may have already heard of are not writing policies because of the high-risk nature for transportation network companies. Insurance companies who are writing policies for transportation network companies are Surplus Lines carriers whose focus is in this specialized, technology driven market place.

Some people think that it is easy to join the long list of people who are trying to start transportation network companies to compete with those already dominating the world – Uber and Lyft. But in reality, the people who have created these transportation network companies worked for many years prior to actually launching.

To some, that might seem like a really long time but when an experienced insurance broker who is familiar with writing policies for transportation network companies asks you to assemble a list of items, it’s best to know exactly what you are getting yourself into. Don’t be fooled, there is a lot of prep, time and money that is required to build transportation network companies like Uber or Lyft.

transportation network companies

Minimum Premiums For Transportation Network Companies

As you might have anticipated, buying an insurance policy for transportation network companies is not cheap since most insurers in this space have minimum premiums of $75,000-100,000. We know, that is a lot of dough! The good news is, most of the carriers will accept a portion of that up-front and some even offer premium eroding endorsements. This means if your business doesn’t generate premium up to that amount within the year, they will carry over the credit to the following year.

Obtaining a quote requires you to find a broker who specializes in writing insurance for transportation network companies. Working with the right broker will not only save you time and money, but prevent you from buying coverages you don’t need and making sure that you have the ones you do. An experienced broker who is familiar with writing insurance for transportation network companies will know exactly what information to collect from you. They will also know how to present it best to the insurance markets who are writing policies for transportation network companies.

American Business Insurance Services, Inc.

Lucky for you, you found us! As an agency, we have been around long before ordering a ride from your smart-phone was an option. We specialize in public auto which means we understand more than anyone how transportation network companies operate.

transportation network companies

Items Transportation Network Companies Should Have Ready Before Calling Your Broker For A Quote:

Build the App:

  • One of the first questions I ask customers looking for insurance for transportation network companies is if the app is complete. Insurance company underwriters will want to download your app and make sure it’s working. Also, some companies have technology-based policies, meaning they integrate with your app to capture data on the drivers. Some even offer lower insurance rates based on favorable data collected (less speeding, hard stops, etcetera). Most policies for transportation network companies are usage based, so they have to be able to download your app and make sure it’s compatible with their insurance structure. Insurance companies often want to be able to pull reports from your app which include and are not limited to:

1. Knowing When A Trip Starts and Stops

2. How Many Miles For Each Trip

3. How Many Minutes/Hours For Each Trip

Business Plan & Projections:

  • There is a checklist of items the insurance company will want to see attached to the submission your broker sends. Your broker should be narrating to the insurance company all the hard work and thought you’ve put into creating these transportation network companies. Insurers will want to see a “pitch deck” which is something you might already have created to obtain investors. This document will present and explain your business model, why it is different from what is alreadyout there and how it will work long term. Some of the questions this document should answer are:

transportation network companies1. What are the company’s growth plans?

2. How will you monitor safety/loss control?

3. How is pricing structured so that the company is profitable?

 Safety and Training:

  • Safety and training is a big deal for insurers who are writing policies for transportation network companies. They will want to know what restrictions, checks and balances and training you will provide to drivers. They want to know how often you will check driving records and how often people have to pass background checks. The younger in age the drivers are that you allow to join your transportation network companies, the more expensive you can expect your insurance prices to be. Insurance companies want to know how you are going to prevent accidents from happening so that you build a positive reputation within the industry along side other transportation network companies like Uber and Lyft.

Bios on Key Officers/Investors:

  • Insurance companies want to know about the people behind the transportation network companies! If you want to join the group of dominating transportation network companies, they are going to want to know what experience you have, not only in transportation but also in being an entrepreneur. Take the time to write detailed bios for yourself and all other key members, officers and investors behind your transportation network company. Make sure to detail the knowledge and life experience you are bringing to the table in starting transportation network companies like Uber and Lyft. A well written, detailed bio will separate your company from all the rest and will give you a better advantage to better pricing on insurance for transportation network companies.

 Terms of Service & Privacy Conditions:

  • Although this may seem like a small piece of the puzzle to getting insurance for transportation network companies, most insurers want to see the liability of the app in regards to what they are promising to both their drivers and users. If you are a peer to peer platform, they want to see how the transaction will take place. Some of the questions that should be answered here are:

1. What Security Measures Are In Place To Protect The User?

2. How Should Complaints Be Filed?

3. What Terms and Conditions Does Your Company Adhere To? 

transportation network companies

Financial Balance Sheet:

  • Basically, a lot of what it takes to insure transportation network companies is having money, and a lot of it. Due to the hefty size of the minimum premiums for transportation network companies, generally ranging from $75,00-100,000, insurers want to make sure you not only have money to pay for the policy, but to also keep your business afloat and operating before you start turning a profit. It’s no secret that most transportation network companies do not profit until after the first year. Insurers want to see that you have raised money, not just for the cost of insurance but also for operating expenses, advertising and promotions.
  • When I review the balance sheet for transportation network companies, I know that most insurers want to see that you’ve raised at minimum $250,000-$1,000,000 in capital. Sometimes more. The reason for them wanting transportation network companies to raise this much money is because they know what it takes to gain traction in this unique space. They want to make sure the work they are putting in to quote and bind your policy will create a lasting relationship with you.

Guidance From American Business Insurance Services, INC

Starting any business takes time, research and money. We get phone calls from people daily thinking they are going to be the next Uber and Lyft. And believe me, we want you to make it big and compete against the monopoly that currently exists for transportation network companies. But in reality, we know that few of the phone calls we receive have actually taken the above steps which are required to make transportation network companies insurable.

If you have questions or need guidance, please give us a call and we will be happy to discuss over the phone! While some of the larger, corporate run agencies have the same relationships as us, few will offer the personal touch and value we have with every client.

Exclusive Contracts

Additionally, we have exclusive contracts with some companies that allow us to write at a lower minimum premium than others. We are an independent, family-run business with 75+ years of combined experience in the business insurance industry. We have invested in other transportation network companies, peer to peer and shared economy types of businesses. Most of us utilize transportation network companies and peer-to-peer apps regularly.

We literally have boots on the ground in this space and if you want the best pricing with the smoothest transaction – we are here for you!

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How to Save the MOST Money on Your Commercial Fleet Insurance Rates

ABI Transportation Experts Speak: How to Save the MOST Money on Your Commercial Fleet Insurance Rates

Written by Laura Loftus on Thursday, February 28th, 2019

 

When speaking with clients about their commercial fleet insurance, the most common concern is how to get the lowest insurance rates. About 100% of the customers I speak to daily all have the same goal – they want the lowest insurance rates available and will do whatever it takes to get it. Whether you own a Taxi, Limo, Paratransit or Shared Economy company (peer to peer platform app), it’s a given that you want your commercial fleet insurance coverage at the lowest insurance rates available. What many companies don’t realize, especially start-ups, is that commercial fleet insurance underwriters do quite a bit of digging on your company through a variety of platforms to “check you out” prior to releasing a quote. They read Yelp reviews, they look at your website, they do Better Business Bureau checks – all of it.

There are common mistakes that transportation service companies are repeatedly making that will create doubt in a commercial fleet insurance company. These mistakes actually prevent your broker from being able to find the lowest insurance rates for your company. Most of these companies think they are making business decisions that will guide them toward the lowest insurance rates, and are unaware that their current website or driver pool is actually hurting their chances of achieving the lowest possible commercial fleet insurance rate.

Five common flubs transportation service companies are making that prevent your commercial fleet insurance broker from obtaining the lowest insurance rates possible:

1) Company Website

The first and most common mistake we see from commercial auto risks who are in the “wheels” business as us underwriters call it – is that you over the amount of experience or size of your transportation service company.  It is common for commercial fleet insurance underwriters to google your company to pick apart your website. Here are some items you may think are helping your chances at obtaining the lowest insurance rates but are actually red flags to commercial fleet insurance companies:

  •  Words like “Fast Pick-up” or ‘Delivery in Minutes” – no commercial fleet insurance underwriter wants to see that you are promising rushed services. Rushing = equals unsafe driving behavior.

commercial fleet insurance

  • Advertising vehicles that are not actually part of your fleet. For example, just yesterday I was helping a 35-car fleet in Portland with obtaining commercial fleet insurance quotes. The list of vehicles they provided were all private passenger type vehicles (meaning seating capacity of 8 or less) – good! But when I searched the company online, they advertised a large shuttle bus and a higher seating capacity van. When I asked the client about this, they those vehicles had been sold and they had no plans to replace them. Keeping your website up to date and only advertising only what you can actually deliver will keep unwanted questions from creeping into the commercial fleet insurance underwriters’ mind. Creating uncertainty is the last thing you want to do with a commercial fleet insurance underwriter when trying to obtain the lowest insurance rates.
  •  Age of vehicles is important to commercial fleet insurance companies. Publishing a picture of a 30-year-old vehicle is no bueno. Keep your fleet serviced regularly (we recommend every three to four thousand miles and cycle out old units. Newer, cleaner & well-maintained vehicles are not only more desired by clientele (when trying to compete with Uber/Lyft) but also preferred by commercial fleet insurance companies trying to avoid claims due to mechanical defect.
  • If you boast 20 years of experience but your LLC was filed three years ago, it creates uncertainty with insurance companies. It’s better to accurately reflect your business as it is now, and not what you want it to be five years from now. Just as there are items to avoid putting on your website, there are points that you should include on your website. It is always a good idea to brag about highly trained drivers and safety training you provide (more on this later). Be sure to note the maintenance you keep up with for your fleet, the background checks the city you operate in mandates and the highest level of driving records required for your drivers. Commercial fleet insurance underwriters like stable fleets with safe drivers. Bottom line, safer risks translates to commercial fleet insurance underwriters offering the lowest insurance rates.

2) Creating a Business Name

This may seem simple enough but for transportation business owners looking to for the lowest insurance rates, people often think that commercial fleet insurance companies give the lowest insurance rates to Limo’s and Non-Emergency Medical risks over a taxi or airport shuttle. While this might be true, cornering yourself into a specific type of transportation in your business name narrows the list of commercial fleet insurance carriers you are eligible for. Many markets write only taxis or only limos. So, if you file your business name with the Secretary of State as Laura’s Taxi & Limo Service, LLC. – it could possibly make you ineligible for a limo commercial fleet insurance program because they don’t insure taxis and vice versa – even if your unit type meets their requirements. When talking with clients, I always say it’s best to be general about the transportation type within the name of their business, especially as market conditions change. You may be heavy in taxi trips one year but then obtain a paratransit contract and do more of that the following year. The more years of favorable loss history (loss runs) you can provide, the better chance you have at obtaining the lowest insurance rates. Choosing a business name that is general such as Laura’s Transportation Service, LLC. allows you flexibility to transform and evolve your business as the industry demands change.

3) Loss Control is Everything

Underwriters give commercial fleet insurance at the lowest insurance rates to companies with low levels of paid claims. Even in a hard insurance market, with rates rising for the good guys too, you can expect to pay more for commercial fleet insurance if you’re prior insurance companies have paid a lot in claims. Here are some suggestions in tightening loss control for your transportation service company:

  •  Hire a full-time loss control or driver manager who will enforce a safety culture. Doing this, will lower the frequency and severity of claim payouts and put your transportation service company in a better position to obtain the lowest insurance rates. This person should be in charge of overseeing the overall safety of your company. Managing and coaching your drivers is the key to a successful transportation service company. You are only as good as your worst driver.
  • commercial fleet insurance Invest in cameras that capture not only accidents but also driver analytics. This type of camera system will allow you to review driver behavior and correct bad habits before they cause an accident. We like to say this method is similar to that of a professional athlete. How do they improve? They watch their game film and correct bad habits. Driving professionally is the same. The more you do it, the more comfortable you get and having drivers watch themselves reduces risky behavior dramatically. Additionally, it’s a known fact that many commercial fleet insurance claims are paid because of he said/she said situations. Having accidents on camera is the best way to know who exactly was at fault and exonerate innocent drivers.
  •  Hold weekly safety huddles and or monthly meetings. Review the data and claims that have occurred recently and talk to your drivers about how they could have been prevented.
  •  Commit to investing in annual defensive driving training for your drivers. This annual reminder to drivers will ensure that bad habits are addressed and give each driver a time to reflect on their own performance.
  • Implement a reward program for safe drivers. Giving an incentive, even if it’s small monetary gift cards – keeps your drivers focused and motivated on safe driving habits.

4) The Driver Pool

The Driver Pool is so important when trying to achieve the lowest insurance rates from commercial fleet insurance providers for your transportation company. How you chose to manage drivers and who you hire is crucial. Create formal guidelines that clearly outline what is acceptable for employment. We recommend only hiring drivers with zero accidents within the past three years and minimal moving violations. Clean MVRs are best but we know that professional drivers with experience usually do not have clean MVRs and this is ok. Professional drivers are on the road up to 3x more than someone commuting to/from work so it’s a given that they will most likely have more violations on their records. Repeat offenders can impact the cost of your commercial fleet insurance and should be let go. No one is perfect, but you should train your drivers with the goal to be as safe as possible. Excessive violations on a driving record can cause surcharges and prevent you from obtaining the lower insurance rates. Additionally, younger drivers sometimes generate higher premiums for commercial fleet insurance as well as newly licensed individuals.

5) Contact an Experienced, Transportation Insurance Broker

commercial fleet insurance

Working with a transportation specialist versus a local agency makes a huge difference as commercial fleet insurance brokers have access to many more transportation focused insurance companies. Also, an experienced broker will review your company data prior to submitting to commercial fleet insurance companies. If they see something a commercial fleet insurance company won’t like, they can address it with you and provide you with an opportunity to make changes before submitting to each carrier. The more information you can provide to a commercial fleet insurance underwriter, the better chances you have at achieving the lowest insurance rates. Because the for-hire, livery insurance market is so thin, carriers often get multiple submissions from duplicate brokers. Try to work with one broker at a time. You may think contacting multiple agencies well help you, but if they are all going to the same markets for commercial fleet insurance – it’s duplicating not only your own work, but the insurance companies as well. The livery market is a tough class of business and finding an experienced broker will absolutely give you a leg up on finding the lowest insurance rates over a generalist broker.

American Business Insurance Services, Inc. has been working with transportation companies across the nation for 35+ years. We have direct relationships with the most competitive commercial fleet insurance companies. We know what it takes to submit a complete application and present your company in the best light possible – which will no doubt translate to finding commercial fleet insurance at the lowest insurance rate.

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Autonomous Car Insurance and How it Works

How Autonomous Car Insurance Works

With technology in our society advancing at such an incredible rate, all of our cars could have minds entirely of their own within years. As a matter of fact, we are on our way there already. They are not yet available on a large scale. However, autonomous cars certainly are a reality and could eventually integrate themselves fully into our everyday lives. The question that many are asking has to do with insurance for an autonomous car. Car insurance typically protects the driver and car from mistakes that are caused by the driver. So if all cars will be completely autonomous and self-sufficient from humans, what is the point of insurance? If the car gets in an accident, who is then held responsible? In this futuristic dilemma, car insurance will work a little differently than we’re used to, but American Business Insurance is prepared to handle it.

How Do Autonomous Vehicles Work?

Essentially, autonomous vehicle manufacturers and designers will think of everything that a car needs a human for and remove those needs. For example, an autonomous car will be built with a GPS in it, so it doesn’t need a person to control navigation. Many of them also have sensors in and around them, in order to help them avoid accidents. Of course, this would typically be the job of the driver. There is also the element of augmented reality. AR is a method of getting information to the driver, such as displaying it on the windshield. This information could be directions, the speed of the car, information about the music thats playing, etc. And the vehicle is the one that has it all. The would-be driver just turns into a rider, and the car handles the rest.

Changes in Insurance

Insurance for autonomous vehicles will play a different role than insurance for a regular car. Instead of the driver or owner of the vehicle being responsible for accidents, it would likely be the manufacturer of the autonomous vehicle. Now, its rare for a malfunction of the vehicle to be the cause of an accident; they are almost always a result of human error. This could be the largest change to car insurance if and when autonomous vehicles become a norm in our society. Manufacturers being held responsible for insuring each vehicle themselves will create an expensive, long-term process before the vehicles can be safely put to use. It will also require an extensive process of making sure that many ethical issues are covered.

ABI’s Role

The idea that human-operated vehicles will be obsolete in everyday life may seem plausible only in the distant future. However, functioning autonomous cars are on their way to changing transportation forever. There are countless pros to autonomous vehicles, but insuring all vehicles so that riders are promised complete safety would be the primary con. To ease the process of insuring self-driving cars, ABI’s Insurance Services have exactly what it takes for companies to make the transition from human-driven cars to self-driven cars. With 75 years of experience in transportation network companies, ABI can make riders feel safe using new technology, and help our society continue to evolve in amazing ways. ABI has direct relationships with the insurance carriers they write policies through, allowing for great efficiency and attention to detail. But you don’t have to wait for all cars to drive themselves to achieve this kind of protection and safety; contact ABI for both large and small fleet insurance today!

How ABI is Protecting HyreCar

How ABI is Protecting Hyrecar

Ride-sharing services are taking the world of transportation by storm. Uber and Lyft are constantly relied on both by riders who need to get places efficiently, and by those who are employed by either company. However, many people are not aware that vehicles must meet certain standards in order to provide rides by Uber and Lyft. Due to these specific requirements for cars, many who desire to drive for the ride-sharing service aren’t allowed the opportunity. There was nothing they could do- until Hyrecar.

The Solution

HyreCar has arrived as the first car-matching service that works hand in hand with Uber and Lyft. The concept is simple: for those who desire to drive but don’t have a car that meets the requirements, HyreCar allows you to rent one and get right to work. Most issues that are preventing certain cars from qualifying for Uber and Lyft are simply problems that are typical of older vehicles. Its a lot to ask of someone to make them purchase an entirely new vehicle just to pass the restrictions test. In turn, less people would drive for Uber and Lyft, which hurts both the would-be drivers and the companies themselves.

The Process

HyreCar realized the very simple solution to this problem, and the founders were shocked when they found that no one had discovered this niche market yet. HyreCar’s platform is easy to use, while still being thorough. It allows car owners to post their vehicles that are up for rental, and when drivers find one they want, they create a profile. This profile includes information such as driver’s license and social security numbers, and drivers can pay just by entering their credit card information into the platform. HyreCar’s founders believe that their screening process for drivers is even stricter than those of Uber and Lyft, checking things like criminal records, DMV records, and sex-offender databases.

Everybody Wins

Thanks to HyreCar, everybody involved benefits in some way. Cars that would otherwise be sitting in a garage or not in use somewhere are making their owners money. Those who wish to be drivers are given an easy way to fulfill that desire without buying a whole new car. Uber and Lyft have more drivers for their companies and therefore generate more business. HyreCar benefits by charging drivers that rent from them a 10% fee and car owners a 15% fee.

How ABI is Covering HyreCar

American Business Insurance is providing HyreCar with a unique insurance policy to ensure the highest level of safety for both the drivers and riders. When a driver is not driving for a ride-sharing platform but is still in possession of the rented car, they are covered by ABI’s policy that covers both the riders and drivers. When they are driving for a ride-sharing platform with the rented car, the insurance defaults to the state-mandated policy provided by the respective ride-sharing company.

As far as HyreCar is aware, they are the only car-matching service that utilizes a unique insurance policy such as the one provided by American Business Insurance. Thanks to ABI, HyreCar now has a competitive advantage that will likely continue to garner success for the company.

Best Fleet Insurance Quotes

Here at American Business Insurance, we offer the best fleet insurance quotes for your corporate operations. American Business Insurance has been insuring businesses and fleets for over 30 years, providing coverage to services such as taxi and limousine. You can get the best insurance quote from us through our website, where you can find a wide range of information from custom insurance policies to our state-of-the-art online portal system, where you can be able to look at recent statements, claims, and such. What differentiates us from other competing companies is our flexibility, we have a strong support from customer service that make sure each customer’s specific needs are met. We know that every person and business has a different need, so we strive to provide a wide range of services and customization to fit different needs. If you are still wondering about using American Business Insurance for your company, here are a couple reasons why we provide the best fleet insurance quotes

3 Reasons why ABI Provides the Best Fleet Insurance Quotes

Doing Business since 1984

Yes, that is 30 plus years of providing insurance policies to a network of commercial transportation fleets. We have stayed in business for all this time, because we have always strived to provide our customers with the best corporate fleet insurance quotes. American Business Insurance has seen it all over the 30 years of what happens in the industry, so are always in the lead of industry and able to fluctuate with the market as it has its ups and downs.

Wide Range of Customers

Our services cover companies such as taxis, limousines, shuttles, buses and ambulances. Our best policies keep these companies thriving by keeping their customers safe and drivers insured. Such companies need alternatives from your typical consumer auto insurance policies, so feature such as Pay Per Mile, Pay per gallon, etc. Our company offers alternatives for those who drive for a living, often cutting prices on unnecessary coverage that other companies upcharge you for.

Adopting New Technologies

American Business Insurance will provide you with the best fleet insurance quotes. These best fleet insurance quotes come with the best service, whether that being streamlining the account management process for you or having a responsive customer service team. We are here to help always, from providing you with the best fleet insurance quotes to keeping customer satisfaction high. For us, that means adopting new ways of technology and bringing us closer to you.

In conclusion, you should get a quote for you business from us, because American Business Insurance provides you with the best fleet insurance quotes. When you own a fleet of vehicles for your business, whether that being a taxi company, or a trucking company, our flexible and customizable policies will make sure there is coverage available for you at the most available pricing. American Business Insurance has the experience, connections, and newest technologies to make sure your business stays alive and protected. So if you are still wondering if American Business Insurance can provide you with the BEST fleet insurance quotes, go to www.abiweb.com and see for yourself. Get Insured.

How to Insure Transportation Network Companies: A Detailed Guide to Getting your TNC off the Ground

GET A QUOTE

How to Insure Transportation Network Companies: A Detailed Guide to Getting your TNC off the Ground

Written by Laura Loftus on Monday, May 6th, 2019

Whether you are looking to start your own Transportation Network Company, On-Demand Delivery App or other Shared Economy business, one of the most important factors to consider is insurance! Sounds boring, I know. But as the world around us changes, insurance markets for transportation network companies are creating new structures and products. As an independent agency, American Business Insurance has direct relationships with all insurance companies currently writing specialized policies for transportation network companies.

Finding insurance for transportation network companies or other app-based businesses is no easy feat. As you may have already come to realize, most of your local brokers who specialize in personal lines don’t have relationships with insurance companies in this space. Many local brokers don’t understand what information to collect from business owners to present your transportation network company in the most insurable light.

Finding An Insurance Broker To Write Policies For Your Transportation Network Company

Most of the common insurance companies you may have already heard of are not writing policies because of the high-risk nature for transportation network companies. Insurance companies who are writing policies for transportation network companies are Surplus Lines carriers whose focus is in this specialized, technology driven market place.

Some people think that it is easy to join the long list of people who are trying to start transportation network companies to compete with those already dominating the world – Uber and Lyft. But in reality, the people who have created these transportation network companies worked for many years prior to actually launching.

To some, that might seem like a really long time but when an experienced insurance broker who is familiar with writing policies for transportation network companies asks you to assemble a list of items, it’s best to know exactly what you are getting yourself into. Don’t be fooled, there is a lot of prep, time and money that is required to build transportation network companies like Uber or Lyft.

transportation network companies

Minimum Premiums For Transportation Network Companies

As you might have anticipated, buying an insurance policy for transportation network companies is not cheap since most insurers in this space have minimum premiums of $75,000-100,000. We know, that is a lot of dough! The good news is, most of the carriers will accept a portion of that up-front and some even offer premium eroding endorsements. This means if your business doesn’t generate premium up to that amount within the year, they will carry over the credit to the following year.

Obtaining a quote requires you to find a broker who specializes in writing insurance for transportation network companies. Working with the right broker will not only save you time and money, but prevent you from buying coverages you don’t need and making sure that you have the ones you do. An experienced broker who is familiar with writing insurance for transportation network companies will know exactly what information to collect from you. They will also know how to present it best to the insurance markets who are writing policies for transportation network companies.

American Business Insurance Services, Inc.

Lucky for you, you found us! As an agency, we have been around long before ordering a ride from your smart-phone was an option. We specialize in public auto which means we understand more than anyone how transportation network companies operate.

transportation network companies

Items Transportation Network Companies Should Have Ready Before Calling Your Broker For A Quote:

Build the App:

  • One of the first questions I ask customers looking for insurance for transportation network companies is if the app is complete. Insurance company underwriters will want to download your app and make sure it’s working. Also, some companies have technology-based policies, meaning they integrate with your app to capture data on the drivers. Some even offer lower insurance rates based on favorable data collected (less speeding, hard stops, etcetera). Most policies for transportation network companies are usage based, so they have to be able to download your app and make sure it’s compatible with their insurance structure. Insurance companies often want to be able to pull reports from your app which include and are not limited to:

1. Knowing When A Trip Starts and Stops

2. How Many Miles For Each Trip

3. How Many Minutes/Hours For Each Trip

Business Plan & Projections:

  • There is a checklist of items the insurance company will want to see attached to the submission your broker sends. Your broker should be narrating to the insurance company all the hard work and thought you’ve put into creating these transportation network companies. Insurers will want to see a “pitch deck” which is something you might already have created to obtain investors. This document will present and explain your business model, why it is different from what is alreadyout there and how it will work long term. Some of the questions this document should answer are:

transportation network companies1. What are the company’s growth plans?

2. How will you monitor safety/loss control?

3. How is pricing structured so that the company is profitable?

 Safety and Training:

  • Safety and training is a big deal for insurers who are writing policies for transportation network companies. They will want to know what restrictions, checks and balances and training you will provide to drivers. They want to know how often you will check driving records and how often people have to pass background checks. The younger in age the drivers are that you allow to join your transportation network companies, the more expensive you can expect your insurance prices to be. Insurance companies want to know how you are going to prevent accidents from happening so that you build a positive reputation within the industry along side other transportation network companies like Uber and Lyft.

Bios on Key Officers/Investors:

  • Insurance companies want to know about the people behind the transportation network companies! If you want to join the group of dominating transportation network companies, they are going to want to know what experience you have, not only in transportation but also in being an entrepreneur. Take the time to write detailed bios for yourself and all other key members, officers and investors behind your transportation network company. Make sure to detail the knowledge and life experience you are bringing to the table in starting transportation network companies like Uber and Lyft. A well written, detailed bio will separate your company from all the rest and will give you a better advantage to better pricing on insurance for transportation network companies.

 Terms of Service & Privacy Conditions:

  • Although this may seem like a small piece of the puzzle to getting insurance for transportation network companies, most insurers want to see the liability of the app in regards to what they are promising to both their drivers and users. If you are a peer to peer platform, they want to see how the transaction will take place. Some of the questions that should be answered here are:

1. What Security Measures Are In Place To Protect The User?

2. How Should Complaints Be Filed?

3. What Terms and Conditions Does Your Company Adhere To? 

transportation network companies

Financial Balance Sheet:

  • Basically, a lot of what it takes to insure transportation network companies is having money, and a lot of it. Due to the hefty size of the minimum premiums for transportation network companies, generally ranging from $75,00-100,000, insurers want to make sure you not only have money to pay for the policy, but to also keep your business afloat and operating before you start turning a profit. It’s no secret that most transportation network companies do not profit until after the first year. Insurers want to see that you have raised money, not just for the cost of insurance but also for operating expenses, advertising and promotions.
  • When I review the balance sheet for transportation network companies, I know that most insurers want to see that you’ve raised at minimum $250,000-$1,000,000 in capital. Sometimes more. The reason for them wanting transportation network companies to raise this much money is because they know what it takes to gain traction in this unique space. They want to make sure the work they are putting in to quote and bind your policy will create a lasting relationship with you.

Guidance From American Business Insurance Services, INC

Starting any business takes time, research and money. We get phone calls from people daily thinking they are going to be the next Uber and Lyft. And believe me, we want you to make it big and compete against the monopoly that currently exists for transportation network companies. But in reality, we know that few of the phone calls we receive have actually taken the above steps which are required to make transportation network companies insurable.

If you have questions or need guidance, please give us a call and we will be happy to discuss over the phone! While some of the larger, corporate run agencies have the same relationships as us, few will offer the personal touch and value we have with every client.

Exclusive Contracts

Additionally, we have exclusive contracts with some companies that allow us to write at a lower minimum premium than others. We are an independent, family-run business with 75+ years of combined experience in the business insurance industry. We have invested in other transportation network companies, peer to peer and shared economy types of businesses. Most of us utilize transportation network companies and peer-to-peer apps regularly.

We literally have boots on the ground in this space and if you want the best pricing with the smoothest transaction – we are here for you!

GET A QUOTE

Follow Us on Instagram & Facebook!

 

How to Save the MOST Money on Your Commercial Fleet Insurance Rates

ABI Transportation Experts Speak: How to Save the MOST Money on Your Commercial Fleet Insurance Rates

Written by Laura Loftus on Thursday, February 28th, 2019

 

When speaking with clients about their commercial fleet insurance, the most common concern is how to get the lowest insurance rates. About 100% of the customers I speak to daily all have the same goal – they want the lowest insurance rates available and will do whatever it takes to get it. Whether you own a Taxi, Limo, Paratransit or Shared Economy company (peer to peer platform app), it’s a given that you want your commercial fleet insurance coverage at the lowest insurance rates available. What many companies don’t realize, especially start-ups, is that commercial fleet insurance underwriters do quite a bit of digging on your company through a variety of platforms to “check you out” prior to releasing a quote. They read Yelp reviews, they look at your website, they do Better Business Bureau checks – all of it.

There are common mistakes that transportation service companies are repeatedly making that will create doubt in a commercial fleet insurance company. These mistakes actually prevent your broker from being able to find the lowest insurance rates for your company. Most of these companies think they are making business decisions that will guide them toward the lowest insurance rates, and are unaware that their current website or driver pool is actually hurting their chances of achieving the lowest possible commercial fleet insurance rate.

Five common flubs transportation service companies are making that prevent your commercial fleet insurance broker from obtaining the lowest insurance rates possible:

1) Company Website

The first and most common mistake we see from commercial auto risks who are in the “wheels” business as us underwriters call it – is that you over the amount of experience or size of your transportation service company.  It is common for commercial fleet insurance underwriters to google your company to pick apart your website. Here are some items you may think are helping your chances at obtaining the lowest insurance rates but are actually red flags to commercial fleet insurance companies:

  •  Words like “Fast Pick-up” or ‘Delivery in Minutes” – no commercial fleet insurance underwriter wants to see that you are promising rushed services. Rushing = equals unsafe driving behavior.

commercial fleet insurance

  • Advertising vehicles that are not actually part of your fleet. For example, just yesterday I was helping a 35-car fleet in Portland with obtaining commercial fleet insurance quotes. The list of vehicles they provided were all private passenger type vehicles (meaning seating capacity of 8 or less) – good! But when I searched the company online, they advertised a large shuttle bus and a higher seating capacity van. When I asked the client about this, they those vehicles had been sold and they had no plans to replace them. Keeping your website up to date and only advertising only what you can actually deliver will keep unwanted questions from creeping into the commercial fleet insurance underwriters’ mind. Creating uncertainty is the last thing you want to do with a commercial fleet insurance underwriter when trying to obtain the lowest insurance rates.
  •  Age of vehicles is important to commercial fleet insurance companies. Publishing a picture of a 30-year-old vehicle is no bueno. Keep your fleet serviced regularly (we recommend every three to four thousand miles and cycle out old units. Newer, cleaner & well-maintained vehicles are not only more desired by clientele (when trying to compete with Uber/Lyft) but also preferred by commercial fleet insurance companies trying to avoid claims due to mechanical defect.
  • If you boast 20 years of experience but your LLC was filed three years ago, it creates uncertainty with insurance companies. It’s better to accurately reflect your business as it is now, and not what you want it to be five years from now. Just as there are items to avoid putting on your website, there are points that you should include on your website. It is always a good idea to brag about highly trained drivers and safety training you provide (more on this later). Be sure to note the maintenance you keep up with for your fleet, the background checks the city you operate in mandates and the highest level of driving records required for your drivers. Commercial fleet insurance underwriters like stable fleets with safe drivers. Bottom line, safer risks translates to commercial fleet insurance underwriters offering the lowest insurance rates.

2) Creating a Business Name

This may seem simple enough but for transportation business owners looking to for the lowest insurance rates, people often think that commercial fleet insurance companies give the lowest insurance rates to Limo’s and Non-Emergency Medical risks over a taxi or airport shuttle. While this might be true, cornering yourself into a specific type of transportation in your business name narrows the list of commercial fleet insurance carriers you are eligible for. Many markets write only taxis or only limos. So, if you file your business name with the Secretary of State as Laura’s Taxi & Limo Service, LLC. – it could possibly make you ineligible for a limo commercial fleet insurance program because they don’t insure taxis and vice versa – even if your unit type meets their requirements. When talking with clients, I always say it’s best to be general about the transportation type within the name of their business, especially as market conditions change. You may be heavy in taxi trips one year but then obtain a paratransit contract and do more of that the following year. The more years of favorable loss history (loss runs) you can provide, the better chance you have at obtaining the lowest insurance rates. Choosing a business name that is general such as Laura’s Transportation Service, LLC. allows you flexibility to transform and evolve your business as the industry demands change.

3) Loss Control is Everything

Underwriters give commercial fleet insurance at the lowest insurance rates to companies with low levels of paid claims. Even in a hard insurance market, with rates rising for the good guys too, you can expect to pay more for commercial fleet insurance if you’re prior insurance companies have paid a lot in claims. Here are some suggestions in tightening loss control for your transportation service company:

  •  Hire a full-time loss control or driver manager who will enforce a safety culture. Doing this, will lower the frequency and severity of claim payouts and put your transportation service company in a better position to obtain the lowest insurance rates. This person should be in charge of overseeing the overall safety of your company. Managing and coaching your drivers is the key to a successful transportation service company. You are only as good as your worst driver.
  • commercial fleet insurance Invest in cameras that capture not only accidents but also driver analytics. This type of camera system will allow you to review driver behavior and correct bad habits before they cause an accident. We like to say this method is similar to that of a professional athlete. How do they improve? They watch their game film and correct bad habits. Driving professionally is the same. The more you do it, the more comfortable you get and having drivers watch themselves reduces risky behavior dramatically. Additionally, it’s a known fact that many commercial fleet insurance claims are paid because of he said/she said situations. Having accidents on camera is the best way to know who exactly was at fault and exonerate innocent drivers.
  •  Hold weekly safety huddles and or monthly meetings. Review the data and claims that have occurred recently and talk to your drivers about how they could have been prevented.
  •  Commit to investing in annual defensive driving training for your drivers. This annual reminder to drivers will ensure that bad habits are addressed and give each driver a time to reflect on their own performance.
  • Implement a reward program for safe drivers. Giving an incentive, even if it’s small monetary gift cards – keeps your drivers focused and motivated on safe driving habits.

4) The Driver Pool

The Driver Pool is so important when trying to achieve the lowest insurance rates from commercial fleet insurance providers for your transportation company. How you chose to manage drivers and who you hire is crucial. Create formal guidelines that clearly outline what is acceptable for employment. We recommend only hiring drivers with zero accidents within the past three years and minimal moving violations. Clean MVRs are best but we know that professional drivers with experience usually do not have clean MVRs and this is ok. Professional drivers are on the road up to 3x more than someone commuting to/from work so it’s a given that they will most likely have more violations on their records. Repeat offenders can impact the cost of your commercial fleet insurance and should be let go. No one is perfect, but you should train your drivers with the goal to be as safe as possible. Excessive violations on a driving record can cause surcharges and prevent you from obtaining the lower insurance rates. Additionally, younger drivers sometimes generate higher premiums for commercial fleet insurance as well as newly licensed individuals.

5) Contact an Experienced, Transportation Insurance Broker

commercial fleet insurance

Working with a transportation specialist versus a local agency makes a huge difference as commercial fleet insurance brokers have access to many more transportation focused insurance companies. Also, an experienced broker will review your company data prior to submitting to commercial fleet insurance companies. If they see something a commercial fleet insurance company won’t like, they can address it with you and provide you with an opportunity to make changes before submitting to each carrier. The more information you can provide to a commercial fleet insurance underwriter, the better chances you have at achieving the lowest insurance rates. Because the for-hire, livery insurance market is so thin, carriers often get multiple submissions from duplicate brokers. Try to work with one broker at a time. You may think contacting multiple agencies well help you, but if they are all going to the same markets for commercial fleet insurance – it’s duplicating not only your own work, but the insurance companies as well. The livery market is a tough class of business and finding an experienced broker will absolutely give you a leg up on finding the lowest insurance rates over a generalist broker.

American Business Insurance Services, Inc. has been working with transportation companies across the nation for 35+ years. We have direct relationships with the most competitive commercial fleet insurance companies. We know what it takes to submit a complete application and present your company in the best light possible – which will no doubt translate to finding commercial fleet insurance at the lowest insurance rate.

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Autonomous Car Insurance and How it Works

How Autonomous Car Insurance Works

With technology in our society advancing at such an incredible rate, all of our cars could have minds entirely of their own within years. As a matter of fact, we are on our way there already. They are not yet available on a large scale. However, autonomous cars certainly are a reality and could eventually integrate themselves fully into our everyday lives. The question that many are asking has to do with insurance for an autonomous car. Car insurance typically protects the driver and car from mistakes that are caused by the driver. So if all cars will be completely autonomous and self-sufficient from humans, what is the point of insurance? If the car gets in an accident, who is then held responsible? In this futuristic dilemma, car insurance will work a little differently than we’re used to, but American Business Insurance is prepared to handle it.

How Do Autonomous Vehicles Work?

Essentially, autonomous vehicle manufacturers and designers will think of everything that a car needs a human for and remove those needs. For example, an autonomous car will be built with a GPS in it, so it doesn’t need a person to control navigation. Many of them also have sensors in and around them, in order to help them avoid accidents. Of course, this would typically be the job of the driver. There is also the element of augmented reality. AR is a method of getting information to the driver, such as displaying it on the windshield. This information could be directions, the speed of the car, information about the music thats playing, etc. And the vehicle is the one that has it all. The would-be driver just turns into a rider, and the car handles the rest.

Changes in Insurance

Insurance for autonomous vehicles will play a different role than insurance for a regular car. Instead of the driver or owner of the vehicle being responsible for accidents, it would likely be the manufacturer of the autonomous vehicle. Now, its rare for a malfunction of the vehicle to be the cause of an accident; they are almost always a result of human error. This could be the largest change to car insurance if and when autonomous vehicles become a norm in our society. Manufacturers being held responsible for insuring each vehicle themselves will create an expensive, long-term process before the vehicles can be safely put to use. It will also require an extensive process of making sure that many ethical issues are covered.

ABI’s Role

The idea that human-operated vehicles will be obsolete in everyday life may seem plausible only in the distant future. However, functioning autonomous cars are on their way to changing transportation forever. There are countless pros to autonomous vehicles, but insuring all vehicles so that riders are promised complete safety would be the primary con. To ease the process of insuring self-driving cars, ABI’s Insurance Services have exactly what it takes for companies to make the transition from human-driven cars to self-driven cars. With 75 years of experience in transportation network companies, ABI can make riders feel safe using new technology, and help our society continue to evolve in amazing ways. ABI has direct relationships with the insurance carriers they write policies through, allowing for great efficiency and attention to detail. But you don’t have to wait for all cars to drive themselves to achieve this kind of protection and safety; contact ABI for both large and small fleet insurance today!

How ABI is Protecting HyreCar

How ABI is Protecting Hyrecar

Ride-sharing services are taking the world of transportation by storm. Uber and Lyft are constantly relied on both by riders who need to get places efficiently, and by those who are employed by either company. However, many people are not aware that vehicles must meet certain standards in order to provide rides by Uber and Lyft. Due to these specific requirements for cars, many who desire to drive for the ride-sharing service aren’t allowed the opportunity. There was nothing they could do- until Hyrecar.

The Solution

HyreCar has arrived as the first car-matching service that works hand in hand with Uber and Lyft. The concept is simple: for those who desire to drive but don’t have a car that meets the requirements, HyreCar allows you to rent one and get right to work. Most issues that are preventing certain cars from qualifying for Uber and Lyft are simply problems that are typical of older vehicles. Its a lot to ask of someone to make them purchase an entirely new vehicle just to pass the restrictions test. In turn, less people would drive for Uber and Lyft, which hurts both the would-be drivers and the companies themselves.

The Process

HyreCar realized the very simple solution to this problem, and the founders were shocked when they found that no one had discovered this niche market yet. HyreCar’s platform is easy to use, while still being thorough. It allows car owners to post their vehicles that are up for rental, and when drivers find one they want, they create a profile. This profile includes information such as driver’s license and social security numbers, and drivers can pay just by entering their credit card information into the platform. HyreCar’s founders believe that their screening process for drivers is even stricter than those of Uber and Lyft, checking things like criminal records, DMV records, and sex-offender databases.

Everybody Wins

Thanks to HyreCar, everybody involved benefits in some way. Cars that would otherwise be sitting in a garage or not in use somewhere are making their owners money. Those who wish to be drivers are given an easy way to fulfill that desire without buying a whole new car. Uber and Lyft have more drivers for their companies and therefore generate more business. HyreCar benefits by charging drivers that rent from them a 10% fee and car owners a 15% fee.

How ABI is Covering HyreCar

American Business Insurance is providing HyreCar with a unique insurance policy to ensure the highest level of safety for both the drivers and riders. When a driver is not driving for a ride-sharing platform but is still in possession of the rented car, they are covered by ABI’s policy that covers both the riders and drivers. When they are driving for a ride-sharing platform with the rented car, the insurance defaults to the state-mandated policy provided by the respective ride-sharing company.

As far as HyreCar is aware, they are the only car-matching service that utilizes a unique insurance policy such as the one provided by American Business Insurance. Thanks to ABI, HyreCar now has a competitive advantage that will likely continue to garner success for the company.

Best Fleet Insurance Quotes

Here at American Business Insurance, we offer the best fleet insurance quotes for your corporate operations. American Business Insurance has been insuring businesses and fleets for over 30 years, providing coverage to services such as taxi and limousine. You can get the best insurance quote from us through our website, where you can find a wide range of information from custom insurance policies to our state-of-the-art online portal system, where you can be able to look at recent statements, claims, and such. What differentiates us from other competing companies is our flexibility, we have a strong support from customer service that make sure each customer’s specific needs are met. We know that every person and business has a different need, so we strive to provide a wide range of services and customization to fit different needs. If you are still wondering about using American Business Insurance for your company, here are a couple reasons why we provide the best fleet insurance quotes

3 Reasons why ABI Provides the Best Fleet Insurance Quotes

Doing Business since 1984

Yes, that is 30 plus years of providing insurance policies to a network of commercial transportation fleets. We have stayed in business for all this time, because we have always strived to provide our customers with the best corporate fleet insurance quotes. American Business Insurance has seen it all over the 30 years of what happens in the industry, so are always in the lead of industry and able to fluctuate with the market as it has its ups and downs.

Wide Range of Customers

Our services cover companies such as taxis, limousines, shuttles, buses and ambulances. Our best policies keep these companies thriving by keeping their customers safe and drivers insured. Such companies need alternatives from your typical consumer auto insurance policies, so feature such as Pay Per Mile, Pay per gallon, etc. Our company offers alternatives for those who drive for a living, often cutting prices on unnecessary coverage that other companies upcharge you for.

Adopting New Technologies

American Business Insurance will provide you with the best fleet insurance quotes. These best fleet insurance quotes come with the best service, whether that being streamlining the account management process for you or having a responsive customer service team. We are here to help always, from providing you with the best fleet insurance quotes to keeping customer satisfaction high. For us, that means adopting new ways of technology and bringing us closer to you.

In conclusion, you should get a quote for you business from us, because American Business Insurance provides you with the best fleet insurance quotes. When you own a fleet of vehicles for your business, whether that being a taxi company, or a trucking company, our flexible and customizable policies will make sure there is coverage available for you at the most available pricing. American Business Insurance has the experience, connections, and newest technologies to make sure your business stays alive and protected. So if you are still wondering if American Business Insurance can provide you with the BEST fleet insurance quotes, go to www.abiweb.com and see for yourself. Get Insured.

How to Insure Transportation Network Companies: A Detailed Guide to Getting your TNC off the Ground

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How to Insure Transportation Network Companies: A Detailed Guide to Getting your TNC off the Ground

Written by Laura Loftus on Monday, May 6th, 2019

Whether you are looking to start your own Transportation Network Company, On-Demand Delivery App or other Shared Economy business, one of the most important factors to consider is insurance! Sounds boring, I know. But as the world around us changes, insurance markets for transportation network companies are creating new structures and products. As an independent agency, American Business Insurance has direct relationships with all insurance companies currently writing specialized policies for transportation network companies.

Finding insurance for transportation network companies or other app-based businesses is no easy feat. As you may have already come to realize, most of your local brokers who specialize in personal lines don’t have relationships with insurance companies in this space. Many local brokers don’t understand what information to collect from business owners to present your transportation network company in the most insurable light.

Finding An Insurance Broker To Write Policies For Your Transportation Network Company

Most of the common insurance companies you may have already heard of are not writing policies because of the high-risk nature for transportation network companies. Insurance companies who are writing policies for transportation network companies are Surplus Lines carriers whose focus is in this specialized, technology driven market place.

Some people think that it is easy to join the long list of people who are trying to start transportation network companies to compete with those already dominating the world – Uber and Lyft. But in reality, the people who have created these transportation network companies worked for many years prior to actually launching.

To some, that might seem like a really long time but when an experienced insurance broker who is familiar with writing policies for transportation network companies asks you to assemble a list of items, it’s best to know exactly what you are getting yourself into. Don’t be fooled, there is a lot of prep, time and money that is required to build transportation network companies like Uber or Lyft.

transportation network companies

Minimum Premiums For Transportation Network Companies

As you might have anticipated, buying an insurance policy for transportation network companies is not cheap since most insurers in this space have minimum premiums of $75,000-100,000. We know, that is a lot of dough! The good news is, most of the carriers will accept a portion of that up-front and some even offer premium eroding endorsements. This means if your business doesn’t generate premium up to that amount within the year, they will carry over the credit to the following year.

Obtaining a quote requires you to find a broker who specializes in writing insurance for transportation network companies. Working with the right broker will not only save you time and money, but prevent you from buying coverages you don’t need and making sure that you have the ones you do. An experienced broker who is familiar with writing insurance for transportation network companies will know exactly what information to collect from you. They will also know how to present it best to the insurance markets who are writing policies for transportation network companies.

American Business Insurance Services, Inc.

Lucky for you, you found us! As an agency, we have been around long before ordering a ride from your smart-phone was an option. We specialize in public auto which means we understand more than anyone how transportation network companies operate.

transportation network companies

Items Transportation Network Companies Should Have Ready Before Calling Your Broker For A Quote:

Build the App:

  • One of the first questions I ask customers looking for insurance for transportation network companies is if the app is complete. Insurance company underwriters will want to download your app and make sure it’s working. Also, some companies have technology-based policies, meaning they integrate with your app to capture data on the drivers. Some even offer lower insurance rates based on favorable data collected (less speeding, hard stops, etcetera). Most policies for transportation network companies are usage based, so they have to be able to download your app and make sure it’s compatible with their insurance structure. Insurance companies often want to be able to pull reports from your app which include and are not limited to:

1. Knowing When A Trip Starts and Stops

2. How Many Miles For Each Trip

3. How Many Minutes/Hours For Each Trip

Business Plan & Projections:

  • There is a checklist of items the insurance company will want to see attached to the submission your broker sends. Your broker should be narrating to the insurance company all the hard work and thought you’ve put into creating these transportation network companies. Insurers will want to see a “pitch deck” which is something you might already have created to obtain investors. This document will present and explain your business model, why it is different from what is alreadyout there and how it will work long term. Some of the questions this document should answer are:

transportation network companies1. What are the company’s growth plans?

2. How will you monitor safety/loss control?

3. How is pricing structured so that the company is profitable?

 Safety and Training:

  • Safety and training is a big deal for insurers who are writing policies for transportation network companies. They will want to know what restrictions, checks and balances and training you will provide to drivers. They want to know how often you will check driving records and how often people have to pass background checks. The younger in age the drivers are that you allow to join your transportation network companies, the more expensive you can expect your insurance prices to be. Insurance companies want to know how you are going to prevent accidents from happening so that you build a positive reputation within the industry along side other transportation network companies like Uber and Lyft.

Bios on Key Officers/Investors:

  • Insurance companies want to know about the people behind the transportation network companies! If you want to join the group of dominating transportation network companies, they are going to want to know what experience you have, not only in transportation but also in being an entrepreneur. Take the time to write detailed bios for yourself and all other key members, officers and investors behind your transportation network company. Make sure to detail the knowledge and life experience you are bringing to the table in starting transportation network companies like Uber and Lyft. A well written, detailed bio will separate your company from all the rest and will give you a better advantage to better pricing on insurance for transportation network companies.

 Terms of Service & Privacy Conditions:

  • Although this may seem like a small piece of the puzzle to getting insurance for transportation network companies, most insurers want to see the liability of the app in regards to what they are promising to both their drivers and users. If you are a peer to peer platform, they want to see how the transaction will take place. Some of the questions that should be answered here are:

1. What Security Measures Are In Place To Protect The User?

2. How Should Complaints Be Filed?

3. What Terms and Conditions Does Your Company Adhere To? 

transportation network companies

Financial Balance Sheet:

  • Basically, a lot of what it takes to insure transportation network companies is having money, and a lot of it. Due to the hefty size of the minimum premiums for transportation network companies, generally ranging from $75,00-100,000, insurers want to make sure you not only have money to pay for the policy, but to also keep your business afloat and operating before you start turning a profit. It’s no secret that most transportation network companies do not profit until after the first year. Insurers want to see that you have raised money, not just for the cost of insurance but also for operating expenses, advertising and promotions.
  • When I review the balance sheet for transportation network companies, I know that most insurers want to see that you’ve raised at minimum $250,000-$1,000,000 in capital. Sometimes more. The reason for them wanting transportation network companies to raise this much money is because they know what it takes to gain traction in this unique space. They want to make sure the work they are putting in to quote and bind your policy will create a lasting relationship with you.

Guidance From American Business Insurance Services, INC

Starting any business takes time, research and money. We get phone calls from people daily thinking they are going to be the next Uber and Lyft. And believe me, we want you to make it big and compete against the monopoly that currently exists for transportation network companies. But in reality, we know that few of the phone calls we receive have actually taken the above steps which are required to make transportation network companies insurable.

If you have questions or need guidance, please give us a call and we will be happy to discuss over the phone! While some of the larger, corporate run agencies have the same relationships as us, few will offer the personal touch and value we have with every client.

Exclusive Contracts

Additionally, we have exclusive contracts with some companies that allow us to write at a lower minimum premium than others. We are an independent, family-run business with 75+ years of combined experience in the business insurance industry. We have invested in other transportation network companies, peer to peer and shared economy types of businesses. Most of us utilize transportation network companies and peer-to-peer apps regularly.

We literally have boots on the ground in this space and if you want the best pricing with the smoothest transaction – we are here for you!

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How to Save the MOST Money on Your Commercial Fleet Insurance Rates

ABI Transportation Experts Speak: How to Save the MOST Money on Your Commercial Fleet Insurance Rates

Written by Laura Loftus on Thursday, February 28th, 2019

 

When speaking with clients about their commercial fleet insurance, the most common concern is how to get the lowest insurance rates. About 100% of the customers I speak to daily all have the same goal – they want the lowest insurance rates available and will do whatever it takes to get it. Whether you own a Taxi, Limo, Paratransit or Shared Economy company (peer to peer platform app), it’s a given that you want your commercial fleet insurance coverage at the lowest insurance rates available. What many companies don’t realize, especially start-ups, is that commercial fleet insurance underwriters do quite a bit of digging on your company through a variety of platforms to “check you out” prior to releasing a quote. They read Yelp reviews, they look at your website, they do Better Business Bureau checks – all of it.

There are common mistakes that transportation service companies are repeatedly making that will create doubt in a commercial fleet insurance company. These mistakes actually prevent your broker from being able to find the lowest insurance rates for your company. Most of these companies think they are making business decisions that will guide them toward the lowest insurance rates, and are unaware that their current website or driver pool is actually hurting their chances of achieving the lowest possible commercial fleet insurance rate.

Five common flubs transportation service companies are making that prevent your commercial fleet insurance broker from obtaining the lowest insurance rates possible:

1) Company Website

The first and most common mistake we see from commercial auto risks who are in the “wheels” business as us underwriters call it – is that you over the amount of experience or size of your transportation service company.  It is common for commercial fleet insurance underwriters to google your company to pick apart your website. Here are some items you may think are helping your chances at obtaining the lowest insurance rates but are actually red flags to commercial fleet insurance companies:

  •  Words like “Fast Pick-up” or ‘Delivery in Minutes” – no commercial fleet insurance underwriter wants to see that you are promising rushed services. Rushing = equals unsafe driving behavior.

commercial fleet insurance

  • Advertising vehicles that are not actually part of your fleet. For example, just yesterday I was helping a 35-car fleet in Portland with obtaining commercial fleet insurance quotes. The list of vehicles they provided were all private passenger type vehicles (meaning seating capacity of 8 or less) – good! But when I searched the company online, they advertised a large shuttle bus and a higher seating capacity van. When I asked the client about this, they those vehicles had been sold and they had no plans to replace them. Keeping your website up to date and only advertising only what you can actually deliver will keep unwanted questions from creeping into the commercial fleet insurance underwriters’ mind. Creating uncertainty is the last thing you want to do with a commercial fleet insurance underwriter when trying to obtain the lowest insurance rates.
  •  Age of vehicles is important to commercial fleet insurance companies. Publishing a picture of a 30-year-old vehicle is no bueno. Keep your fleet serviced regularly (we recommend every three to four thousand miles and cycle out old units. Newer, cleaner & well-maintained vehicles are not only more desired by clientele (when trying to compete with Uber/Lyft) but also preferred by commercial fleet insurance companies trying to avoid claims due to mechanical defect.
  • If you boast 20 years of experience but your LLC was filed three years ago, it creates uncertainty with insurance companies. It’s better to accurately reflect your business as it is now, and not what you want it to be five years from now. Just as there are items to avoid putting on your website, there are points that you should include on your website. It is always a good idea to brag about highly trained drivers and safety training you provide (more on this later). Be sure to note the maintenance you keep up with for your fleet, the background checks the city you operate in mandates and the highest level of driving records required for your drivers. Commercial fleet insurance underwriters like stable fleets with safe drivers. Bottom line, safer risks translates to commercial fleet insurance underwriters offering the lowest insurance rates.

2) Creating a Business Name

This may seem simple enough but for transportation business owners looking to for the lowest insurance rates, people often think that commercial fleet insurance companies give the lowest insurance rates to Limo’s and Non-Emergency Medical risks over a taxi or airport shuttle. While this might be true, cornering yourself into a specific type of transportation in your business name narrows the list of commercial fleet insurance carriers you are eligible for. Many markets write only taxis or only limos. So, if you file your business name with the Secretary of State as Laura’s Taxi & Limo Service, LLC. – it could possibly make you ineligible for a limo commercial fleet insurance program because they don’t insure taxis and vice versa – even if your unit type meets their requirements. When talking with clients, I always say it’s best to be general about the transportation type within the name of their business, especially as market conditions change. You may be heavy in taxi trips one year but then obtain a paratransit contract and do more of that the following year. The more years of favorable loss history (loss runs) you can provide, the better chance you have at obtaining the lowest insurance rates. Choosing a business name that is general such as Laura’s Transportation Service, LLC. allows you flexibility to transform and evolve your business as the industry demands change.

3) Loss Control is Everything

Underwriters give commercial fleet insurance at the lowest insurance rates to companies with low levels of paid claims. Even in a hard insurance market, with rates rising for the good guys too, you can expect to pay more for commercial fleet insurance if you’re prior insurance companies have paid a lot in claims. Here are some suggestions in tightening loss control for your transportation service company:

  •  Hire a full-time loss control or driver manager who will enforce a safety culture. Doing this, will lower the frequency and severity of claim payouts and put your transportation service company in a better position to obtain the lowest insurance rates. This person should be in charge of overseeing the overall safety of your company. Managing and coaching your drivers is the key to a successful transportation service company. You are only as good as your worst driver.
  • commercial fleet insurance Invest in cameras that capture not only accidents but also driver analytics. This type of camera system will allow you to review driver behavior and correct bad habits before they cause an accident. We like to say this method is similar to that of a professional athlete. How do they improve? They watch their game film and correct bad habits. Driving professionally is the same. The more you do it, the more comfortable you get and having drivers watch themselves reduces risky behavior dramatically. Additionally, it’s a known fact that many commercial fleet insurance claims are paid because of he said/she said situations. Having accidents on camera is the best way to know who exactly was at fault and exonerate innocent drivers.
  •  Hold weekly safety huddles and or monthly meetings. Review the data and claims that have occurred recently and talk to your drivers about how they could have been prevented.
  •  Commit to investing in annual defensive driving training for your drivers. This annual reminder to drivers will ensure that bad habits are addressed and give each driver a time to reflect on their own performance.
  • Implement a reward program for safe drivers. Giving an incentive, even if it’s small monetary gift cards – keeps your drivers focused and motivated on safe driving habits.

4) The Driver Pool

The Driver Pool is so important when trying to achieve the lowest insurance rates from commercial fleet insurance providers for your transportation company. How you chose to manage drivers and who you hire is crucial. Create formal guidelines that clearly outline what is acceptable for employment. We recommend only hiring drivers with zero accidents within the past three years and minimal moving violations. Clean MVRs are best but we know that professional drivers with experience usually do not have clean MVRs and this is ok. Professional drivers are on the road up to 3x more than someone commuting to/from work so it’s a given that they will most likely have more violations on their records. Repeat offenders can impact the cost of your commercial fleet insurance and should be let go. No one is perfect, but you should train your drivers with the goal to be as safe as possible. Excessive violations on a driving record can cause surcharges and prevent you from obtaining the lower insurance rates. Additionally, younger drivers sometimes generate higher premiums for commercial fleet insurance as well as newly licensed individuals.

5) Contact an Experienced, Transportation Insurance Broker

commercial fleet insurance

Working with a transportation specialist versus a local agency makes a huge difference as commercial fleet insurance brokers have access to many more transportation focused insurance companies. Also, an experienced broker will review your company data prior to submitting to commercial fleet insurance companies. If they see something a commercial fleet insurance company won’t like, they can address it with you and provide you with an opportunity to make changes before submitting to each carrier. The more information you can provide to a commercial fleet insurance underwriter, the better chances you have at achieving the lowest insurance rates. Because the for-hire, livery insurance market is so thin, carriers often get multiple submissions from duplicate brokers. Try to work with one broker at a time. You may think contacting multiple agencies well help you, but if they are all going to the same markets for commercial fleet insurance – it’s duplicating not only your own work, but the insurance companies as well. The livery market is a tough class of business and finding an experienced broker will absolutely give you a leg up on finding the lowest insurance rates over a generalist broker.

American Business Insurance Services, Inc. has been working with transportation companies across the nation for 35+ years. We have direct relationships with the most competitive commercial fleet insurance companies. We know what it takes to submit a complete application and present your company in the best light possible – which will no doubt translate to finding commercial fleet insurance at the lowest insurance rate.

Looking for a quote? Click here

Autonomous Car Insurance and How it Works

How Autonomous Car Insurance Works

With technology in our society advancing at such an incredible rate, all of our cars could have minds entirely of their own within years. As a matter of fact, we are on our way there already. They are not yet available on a large scale. However, autonomous cars certainly are a reality and could eventually integrate themselves fully into our everyday lives. The question that many are asking has to do with insurance for an autonomous car. Car insurance typically protects the driver and car from mistakes that are caused by the driver. So if all cars will be completely autonomous and self-sufficient from humans, what is the point of insurance? If the car gets in an accident, who is then held responsible? In this futuristic dilemma, car insurance will work a little differently than we’re used to, but American Business Insurance is prepared to handle it.

How Do Autonomous Vehicles Work?

Essentially, autonomous vehicle manufacturers and designers will think of everything that a car needs a human for and remove those needs. For example, an autonomous car will be built with a GPS in it, so it doesn’t need a person to control navigation. Many of them also have sensors in and around them, in order to help them avoid accidents. Of course, this would typically be the job of the driver. There is also the element of augmented reality. AR is a method of getting information to the driver, such as displaying it on the windshield. This information could be directions, the speed of the car, information about the music thats playing, etc. And the vehicle is the one that has it all. The would-be driver just turns into a rider, and the car handles the rest.

Changes in Insurance

Insurance for autonomous vehicles will play a different role than insurance for a regular car. Instead of the driver or owner of the vehicle being responsible for accidents, it would likely be the manufacturer of the autonomous vehicle. Now, its rare for a malfunction of the vehicle to be the cause of an accident; they are almost always a result of human error. This could be the largest change to car insurance if and when autonomous vehicles become a norm in our society. Manufacturers being held responsible for insuring each vehicle themselves will create an expensive, long-term process before the vehicles can be safely put to use. It will also require an extensive process of making sure that many ethical issues are covered.

ABI’s Role

The idea that human-operated vehicles will be obsolete in everyday life may seem plausible only in the distant future. However, functioning autonomous cars are on their way to changing transportation forever. There are countless pros to autonomous vehicles, but insuring all vehicles so that riders are promised complete safety would be the primary con. To ease the process of insuring self-driving cars, ABI’s Insurance Services have exactly what it takes for companies to make the transition from human-driven cars to self-driven cars. With 75 years of experience in transportation network companies, ABI can make riders feel safe using new technology, and help our society continue to evolve in amazing ways. ABI has direct relationships with the insurance carriers they write policies through, allowing for great efficiency and attention to detail. But you don’t have to wait for all cars to drive themselves to achieve this kind of protection and safety; contact ABI for both large and small fleet insurance today!

How ABI is Protecting HyreCar

How ABI is Protecting Hyrecar

Ride-sharing services are taking the world of transportation by storm. Uber and Lyft are constantly relied on both by riders who need to get places efficiently, and by those who are employed by either company. However, many people are not aware that vehicles must meet certain standards in order to provide rides by Uber and Lyft. Due to these specific requirements for cars, many who desire to drive for the ride-sharing service aren’t allowed the opportunity. There was nothing they could do- until Hyrecar.

The Solution

HyreCar has arrived as the first car-matching service that works hand in hand with Uber and Lyft. The concept is simple: for those who desire to drive but don’t have a car that meets the requirements, HyreCar allows you to rent one and get right to work. Most issues that are preventing certain cars from qualifying for Uber and Lyft are simply problems that are typical of older vehicles. Its a lot to ask of someone to make them purchase an entirely new vehicle just to pass the restrictions test. In turn, less people would drive for Uber and Lyft, which hurts both the would-be drivers and the companies themselves.

The Process

HyreCar realized the very simple solution to this problem, and the founders were shocked when they found that no one had discovered this niche market yet. HyreCar’s platform is easy to use, while still being thorough. It allows car owners to post their vehicles that are up for rental, and when drivers find one they want, they create a profile. This profile includes information such as driver’s license and social security numbers, and drivers can pay just by entering their credit card information into the platform. HyreCar’s founders believe that their screening process for drivers is even stricter than those of Uber and Lyft, checking things like criminal records, DMV records, and sex-offender databases.

Everybody Wins

Thanks to HyreCar, everybody involved benefits in some way. Cars that would otherwise be sitting in a garage or not in use somewhere are making their owners money. Those who wish to be drivers are given an easy way to fulfill that desire without buying a whole new car. Uber and Lyft have more drivers for their companies and therefore generate more business. HyreCar benefits by charging drivers that rent from them a 10% fee and car owners a 15% fee.

How ABI is Covering HyreCar

American Business Insurance is providing HyreCar with a unique insurance policy to ensure the highest level of safety for both the drivers and riders. When a driver is not driving for a ride-sharing platform but is still in possession of the rented car, they are covered by ABI’s policy that covers both the riders and drivers. When they are driving for a ride-sharing platform with the rented car, the insurance defaults to the state-mandated policy provided by the respective ride-sharing company.

As far as HyreCar is aware, they are the only car-matching service that utilizes a unique insurance policy such as the one provided by American Business Insurance. Thanks to ABI, HyreCar now has a competitive advantage that will likely continue to garner success for the company.

Best Fleet Insurance Quotes

Here at American Business Insurance, we offer the best fleet insurance quotes for your corporate operations. American Business Insurance has been insuring businesses and fleets for over 30 years, providing coverage to services such as taxi and limousine. You can get the best insurance quote from us through our website, where you can find a wide range of information from custom insurance policies to our state-of-the-art online portal system, where you can be able to look at recent statements, claims, and such. What differentiates us from other competing companies is our flexibility, we have a strong support from customer service that make sure each customer’s specific needs are met. We know that every person and business has a different need, so we strive to provide a wide range of services and customization to fit different needs. If you are still wondering about using American Business Insurance for your company, here are a couple reasons why we provide the best fleet insurance quotes

3 Reasons why ABI Provides the Best Fleet Insurance Quotes

Doing Business since 1984

Yes, that is 30 plus years of providing insurance policies to a network of commercial transportation fleets. We have stayed in business for all this time, because we have always strived to provide our customers with the best corporate fleet insurance quotes. American Business Insurance has seen it all over the 30 years of what happens in the industry, so are always in the lead of industry and able to fluctuate with the market as it has its ups and downs.

Wide Range of Customers

Our services cover companies such as taxis, limousines, shuttles, buses and ambulances. Our best policies keep these companies thriving by keeping their customers safe and drivers insured. Such companies need alternatives from your typical consumer auto insurance policies, so feature such as Pay Per Mile, Pay per gallon, etc. Our company offers alternatives for those who drive for a living, often cutting prices on unnecessary coverage that other companies upcharge you for.

Adopting New Technologies

American Business Insurance will provide you with the best fleet insurance quotes. These best fleet insurance quotes come with the best service, whether that being streamlining the account management process for you or having a responsive customer service team. We are here to help always, from providing you with the best fleet insurance quotes to keeping customer satisfaction high. For us, that means adopting new ways of technology and bringing us closer to you.

In conclusion, you should get a quote for you business from us, because American Business Insurance provides you with the best fleet insurance quotes. When you own a fleet of vehicles for your business, whether that being a taxi company, or a trucking company, our flexible and customizable policies will make sure there is coverage available for you at the most available pricing. American Business Insurance has the experience, connections, and newest technologies to make sure your business stays alive and protected. So if you are still wondering if American Business Insurance can provide you with the BEST fleet insurance quotes, go to www.abiweb.com and see for yourself. Get Insured.

How to Insure Transportation Network Companies: A Detailed Guide to Getting your TNC off the Ground

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How to Insure Transportation Network Companies: A Detailed Guide to Getting your TNC off the Ground

Written by Laura Loftus on Monday, May 6th, 2019

Whether you are looking to start your own Transportation Network Company, On-Demand Delivery App or other Shared Economy business, one of the most important factors to consider is insurance! Sounds boring, I know. But as the world around us changes, insurance markets for transportation network companies are creating new structures and products. As an independent agency, American Business Insurance has direct relationships with all insurance companies currently writing specialized policies for transportation network companies.

Finding insurance for transportation network companies or other app-based businesses is no easy feat. As you may have already come to realize, most of your local brokers who specialize in personal lines don’t have relationships with insurance companies in this space. Many local brokers don’t understand what information to collect from business owners to present your transportation network company in the most insurable light.

Finding An Insurance Broker To Write Policies For Your Transportation Network Company

Most of the common insurance companies you may have already heard of are not writing policies because of the high-risk nature for transportation network companies. Insurance companies who are writing policies for transportation network companies are Surplus Lines carriers whose focus is in this specialized, technology driven market place.

Some people think that it is easy to join the long list of people who are trying to start transportation network companies to compete with those already dominating the world – Uber and Lyft. But in reality, the people who have created these transportation network companies worked for many years prior to actually launching.

To some, that might seem like a really long time but when an experienced insurance broker who is familiar with writing policies for transportation network companies asks you to assemble a list of items, it’s best to know exactly what you are getting yourself into. Don’t be fooled, there is a lot of prep, time and money that is required to build transportation network companies like Uber or Lyft.

transportation network companies

Minimum Premiums For Transportation Network Companies

As you might have anticipated, buying an insurance policy for transportation network companies is not cheap since most insurers in this space have minimum premiums of $75,000-100,000. We know, that is a lot of dough! The good news is, most of the carriers will accept a portion of that up-front and some even offer premium eroding endorsements. This means if your business doesn’t generate premium up to that amount within the year, they will carry over the credit to the following year.

Obtaining a quote requires you to find a broker who specializes in writing insurance for transportation network companies. Working with the right broker will not only save you time and money, but prevent you from buying coverages you don’t need and making sure that you have the ones you do. An experienced broker who is familiar with writing insurance for transportation network companies will know exactly what information to collect from you. They will also know how to present it best to the insurance markets who are writing policies for transportation network companies.

American Business Insurance Services, Inc.

Lucky for you, you found us! As an agency, we have been around long before ordering a ride from your smart-phone was an option. We specialize in public auto which means we understand more than anyone how transportation network companies operate.

transportation network companies

Items Transportation Network Companies Should Have Ready Before Calling Your Broker For A Quote:

Build the App:

  • One of the first questions I ask customers looking for insurance for transportation network companies is if the app is complete. Insurance company underwriters will want to download your app and make sure it’s working. Also, some companies have technology-based policies, meaning they integrate with your app to capture data on the drivers. Some even offer lower insurance rates based on favorable data collected (less speeding, hard stops, etcetera). Most policies for transportation network companies are usage based, so they have to be able to download your app and make sure it’s compatible with their insurance structure. Insurance companies often want to be able to pull reports from your app which include and are not limited to:

1. Knowing When A Trip Starts and Stops

2. How Many Miles For Each Trip

3. How Many Minutes/Hours For Each Trip

Business Plan & Projections:

  • There is a checklist of items the insurance company will want to see attached to the submission your broker sends. Your broker should be narrating to the insurance company all the hard work and thought you’ve put into creating these transportation network companies. Insurers will want to see a “pitch deck” which is something you might already have created to obtain investors. This document will present and explain your business model, why it is different from what is alreadyout there and how it will work long term. Some of the questions this document should answer are:

transportation network companies1. What are the company’s growth plans?

2. How will you monitor safety/loss control?

3. How is pricing structured so that the company is profitable?

 Safety and Training:

  • Safety and training is a big deal for insurers who are writing policies for transportation network companies. They will want to know what restrictions, checks and balances and training you will provide to drivers. They want to know how often you will check driving records and how often people have to pass background checks. The younger in age the drivers are that you allow to join your transportation network companies, the more expensive you can expect your insurance prices to be. Insurance companies want to know how you are going to prevent accidents from happening so that you build a positive reputation within the industry along side other transportation network companies like Uber and Lyft.

Bios on Key Officers/Investors:

  • Insurance companies want to know about the people behind the transportation network companies! If you want to join the group of dominating transportation network companies, they are going to want to know what experience you have, not only in transportation but also in being an entrepreneur. Take the time to write detailed bios for yourself and all other key members, officers and investors behind your transportation network company. Make sure to detail the knowledge and life experience you are bringing to the table in starting transportation network companies like Uber and Lyft. A well written, detailed bio will separate your company from all the rest and will give you a better advantage to better pricing on insurance for transportation network companies.

 Terms of Service & Privacy Conditions:

  • Although this may seem like a small piece of the puzzle to getting insurance for transportation network companies, most insurers want to see the liability of the app in regards to what they are promising to both their drivers and users. If you are a peer to peer platform, they want to see how the transaction will take place. Some of the questions that should be answered here are:

1. What Security Measures Are In Place To Protect The User?

2. How Should Complaints Be Filed?

3. What Terms and Conditions Does Your Company Adhere To? 

transportation network companies

Financial Balance Sheet:

  • Basically, a lot of what it takes to insure transportation network companies is having money, and a lot of it. Due to the hefty size of the minimum premiums for transportation network companies, generally ranging from $75,00-100,000, insurers want to make sure you not only have money to pay for the policy, but to also keep your business afloat and operating before you start turning a profit. It’s no secret that most transportation network companies do not profit until after the first year. Insurers want to see that you have raised money, not just for the cost of insurance but also for operating expenses, advertising and promotions.
  • When I review the balance sheet for transportation network companies, I know that most insurers want to see that you’ve raised at minimum $250,000-$1,000,000 in capital. Sometimes more. The reason for them wanting transportation network companies to raise this much money is because they know what it takes to gain traction in this unique space. They want to make sure the work they are putting in to quote and bind your policy will create a lasting relationship with you.

Guidance From American Business Insurance Services, INC

Starting any business takes time, research and money. We get phone calls from people daily thinking they are going to be the next Uber and Lyft. And believe me, we want you to make it big and compete against the monopoly that currently exists for transportation network companies. But in reality, we know that few of the phone calls we receive have actually taken the above steps which are required to make transportation network companies insurable.

If you have questions or need guidance, please give us a call and we will be happy to discuss over the phone! While some of the larger, corporate run agencies have the same relationships as us, few will offer the personal touch and value we have with every client.

Exclusive Contracts

Additionally, we have exclusive contracts with some companies that allow us to write at a lower minimum premium than others. We are an independent, family-run business with 75+ years of combined experience in the business insurance industry. We have invested in other transportation network companies, peer to peer and shared economy types of businesses. Most of us utilize transportation network companies and peer-to-peer apps regularly.

We literally have boots on the ground in this space and if you want the best pricing with the smoothest transaction – we are here for you!

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How to Save the MOST Money on Your Commercial Fleet Insurance Rates

ABI Transportation Experts Speak: How to Save the MOST Money on Your Commercial Fleet Insurance Rates

Written by Laura Loftus on Thursday, February 28th, 2019

 

When speaking with clients about their commercial fleet insurance, the most common concern is how to get the lowest insurance rates. About 100% of the customers I speak to daily all have the same goal – they want the lowest insurance rates available and will do whatever it takes to get it. Whether you own a Taxi, Limo, Paratransit or Shared Economy company (peer to peer platform app), it’s a given that you want your commercial fleet insurance coverage at the lowest insurance rates available. What many companies don’t realize, especially start-ups, is that commercial fleet insurance underwriters do quite a bit of digging on your company through a variety of platforms to “check you out” prior to releasing a quote. They read Yelp reviews, they look at your website, they do Better Business Bureau checks – all of it.

There are common mistakes that transportation service companies are repeatedly making that will create doubt in a commercial fleet insurance company. These mistakes actually prevent your broker from being able to find the lowest insurance rates for your company. Most of these companies think they are making business decisions that will guide them toward the lowest insurance rates, and are unaware that their current website or driver pool is actually hurting their chances of achieving the lowest possible commercial fleet insurance rate.

Five common flubs transportation service companies are making that prevent your commercial fleet insurance broker from obtaining the lowest insurance rates possible:

1) Company Website

The first and most common mistake we see from commercial auto risks who are in the “wheels” business as us underwriters call it – is that you over the amount of experience or size of your transportation service company.  It is common for commercial fleet insurance underwriters to google your company to pick apart your website. Here are some items you may think are helping your chances at obtaining the lowest insurance rates but are actually red flags to commercial fleet insurance companies:

  •  Words like “Fast Pick-up” or ‘Delivery in Minutes” – no commercial fleet insurance underwriter wants to see that you are promising rushed services. Rushing = equals unsafe driving behavior.

commercial fleet insurance

  • Advertising vehicles that are not actually part of your fleet. For example, just yesterday I was helping a 35-car fleet in Portland with obtaining commercial fleet insurance quotes. The list of vehicles they provided were all private passenger type vehicles (meaning seating capacity of 8 or less) – good! But when I searched the company online, they advertised a large shuttle bus and a higher seating capacity van. When I asked the client about this, they those vehicles had been sold and they had no plans to replace them. Keeping your website up to date and only advertising only what you can actually deliver will keep unwanted questions from creeping into the commercial fleet insurance underwriters’ mind. Creating uncertainty is the last thing you want to do with a commercial fleet insurance underwriter when trying to obtain the lowest insurance rates.
  •  Age of vehicles is important to commercial fleet insurance companies. Publishing a picture of a 30-year-old vehicle is no bueno. Keep your fleet serviced regularly (we recommend every three to four thousand miles and cycle out old units. Newer, cleaner & well-maintained vehicles are not only more desired by clientele (when trying to compete with Uber/Lyft) but also preferred by commercial fleet insurance companies trying to avoid claims due to mechanical defect.
  • If you boast 20 years of experience but your LLC was filed three years ago, it creates uncertainty with insurance companies. It’s better to accurately reflect your business as it is now, and not what you want it to be five years from now. Just as there are items to avoid putting on your website, there are points that you should include on your website. It is always a good idea to brag about highly trained drivers and safety training you provide (more on this later). Be sure to note the maintenance you keep up with for your fleet, the background checks the city you operate in mandates and the highest level of driving records required for your drivers. Commercial fleet insurance underwriters like stable fleets with safe drivers. Bottom line, safer risks translates to commercial fleet insurance underwriters offering the lowest insurance rates.

2) Creating a Business Name

This may seem simple enough but for transportation business owners looking to for the lowest insurance rates, people often think that commercial fleet insurance companies give the lowest insurance rates to Limo’s and Non-Emergency Medical risks over a taxi or airport shuttle. While this might be true, cornering yourself into a specific type of transportation in your business name narrows the list of commercial fleet insurance carriers you are eligible for. Many markets write only taxis or only limos. So, if you file your business name with the Secretary of State as Laura’s Taxi & Limo Service, LLC. – it could possibly make you ineligible for a limo commercial fleet insurance program because they don’t insure taxis and vice versa – even if your unit type meets their requirements. When talking with clients, I always say it’s best to be general about the transportation type within the name of their business, especially as market conditions change. You may be heavy in taxi trips one year but then obtain a paratransit contract and do more of that the following year. The more years of favorable loss history (loss runs) you can provide, the better chance you have at obtaining the lowest insurance rates. Choosing a business name that is general such as Laura’s Transportation Service, LLC. allows you flexibility to transform and evolve your business as the industry demands change.

3) Loss Control is Everything

Underwriters give commercial fleet insurance at the lowest insurance rates to companies with low levels of paid claims. Even in a hard insurance market, with rates rising for the good guys too, you can expect to pay more for commercial fleet insurance if you’re prior insurance companies have paid a lot in claims. Here are some suggestions in tightening loss control for your transportation service company:

  •  Hire a full-time loss control or driver manager who will enforce a safety culture. Doing this, will lower the frequency and severity of claim payouts and put your transportation service company in a better position to obtain the lowest insurance rates. This person should be in charge of overseeing the overall safety of your company. Managing and coaching your drivers is the key to a successful transportation service company. You are only as good as your worst driver.
  • commercial fleet insurance Invest in cameras that capture not only accidents but also driver analytics. This type of camera system will allow you to review driver behavior and correct bad habits before they cause an accident. We like to say this method is similar to that of a professional athlete. How do they improve? They watch their game film and correct bad habits. Driving professionally is the same. The more you do it, the more comfortable you get and having drivers watch themselves reduces risky behavior dramatically. Additionally, it’s a known fact that many commercial fleet insurance claims are paid because of he said/she said situations. Having accidents on camera is the best way to know who exactly was at fault and exonerate innocent drivers.
  •  Hold weekly safety huddles and or monthly meetings. Review the data and claims that have occurred recently and talk to your drivers about how they could have been prevented.
  •  Commit to investing in annual defensive driving training for your drivers. This annual reminder to drivers will ensure that bad habits are addressed and give each driver a time to reflect on their own performance.
  • Implement a reward program for safe drivers. Giving an incentive, even if it’s small monetary gift cards – keeps your drivers focused and motivated on safe driving habits.

4) The Driver Pool

The Driver Pool is so important when trying to achieve the lowest insurance rates from commercial fleet insurance providers for your transportation company. How you chose to manage drivers and who you hire is crucial. Create formal guidelines that clearly outline what is acceptable for employment. We recommend only hiring drivers with zero accidents within the past three years and minimal moving violations. Clean MVRs are best but we know that professional drivers with experience usually do not have clean MVRs and this is ok. Professional drivers are on the road up to 3x more than someone commuting to/from work so it’s a given that they will most likely have more violations on their records. Repeat offenders can impact the cost of your commercial fleet insurance and should be let go. No one is perfect, but you should train your drivers with the goal to be as safe as possible. Excessive violations on a driving record can cause surcharges and prevent you from obtaining the lower insurance rates. Additionally, younger drivers sometimes generate higher premiums for commercial fleet insurance as well as newly licensed individuals.

5) Contact an Experienced, Transportation Insurance Broker

commercial fleet insurance

Working with a transportation specialist versus a local agency makes a huge difference as commercial fleet insurance brokers have access to many more transportation focused insurance companies. Also, an experienced broker will review your company data prior to submitting to commercial fleet insurance companies. If they see something a commercial fleet insurance company won’t like, they can address it with you and provide you with an opportunity to make changes before submitting to each carrier. The more information you can provide to a commercial fleet insurance underwriter, the better chances you have at achieving the lowest insurance rates. Because the for-hire, livery insurance market is so thin, carriers often get multiple submissions from duplicate brokers. Try to work with one broker at a time. You may think contacting multiple agencies well help you, but if they are all going to the same markets for commercial fleet insurance – it’s duplicating not only your own work, but the insurance companies as well. The livery market is a tough class of business and finding an experienced broker will absolutely give you a leg up on finding the lowest insurance rates over a generalist broker.

American Business Insurance Services, Inc. has been working with transportation companies across the nation for 35+ years. We have direct relationships with the most competitive commercial fleet insurance companies. We know what it takes to submit a complete application and present your company in the best light possible – which will no doubt translate to finding commercial fleet insurance at the lowest insurance rate.

Looking for a quote? Click here

Autonomous Car Insurance and How it Works

How Autonomous Car Insurance Works

With technology in our society advancing at such an incredible rate, all of our cars could have minds entirely of their own within years. As a matter of fact, we are on our way there already. They are not yet available on a large scale. However, autonomous cars certainly are a reality and could eventually integrate themselves fully into our everyday lives. The question that many are asking has to do with insurance for an autonomous car. Car insurance typically protects the driver and car from mistakes that are caused by the driver. So if all cars will be completely autonomous and self-sufficient from humans, what is the point of insurance? If the car gets in an accident, who is then held responsible? In this futuristic dilemma, car insurance will work a little differently than we’re used to, but American Business Insurance is prepared to handle it.

How Do Autonomous Vehicles Work?

Essentially, autonomous vehicle manufacturers and designers will think of everything that a car needs a human for and remove those needs. For example, an autonomous car will be built with a GPS in it, so it doesn’t need a person to control navigation. Many of them also have sensors in and around them, in order to help them avoid accidents. Of course, this would typically be the job of the driver. There is also the element of augmented reality. AR is a method of getting information to the driver, such as displaying it on the windshield. This information could be directions, the speed of the car, information about the music thats playing, etc. And the vehicle is the one that has it all. The would-be driver just turns into a rider, and the car handles the rest.

Changes in Insurance

Insurance for autonomous vehicles will play a different role than insurance for a regular car. Instead of the driver or owner of the vehicle being responsible for accidents, it would likely be the manufacturer of the autonomous vehicle. Now, its rare for a malfunction of the vehicle to be the cause of an accident; they are almost always a result of human error. This could be the largest change to car insurance if and when autonomous vehicles become a norm in our society. Manufacturers being held responsible for insuring each vehicle themselves will create an expensive, long-term process before the vehicles can be safely put to use. It will also require an extensive process of making sure that many ethical issues are covered.

ABI’s Role

The idea that human-operated vehicles will be obsolete in everyday life may seem plausible only in the distant future. However, functioning autonomous cars are on their way to changing transportation forever. There are countless pros to autonomous vehicles, but insuring all vehicles so that riders are promised complete safety would be the primary con. To ease the process of insuring self-driving cars, ABI’s Insurance Services have exactly what it takes for companies to make the transition from human-driven cars to self-driven cars. With 75 years of experience in transportation network companies, ABI can make riders feel safe using new technology, and help our society continue to evolve in amazing ways. ABI has direct relationships with the insurance carriers they write policies through, allowing for great efficiency and attention to detail. But you don’t have to wait for all cars to drive themselves to achieve this kind of protection and safety; contact ABI for both large and small fleet insurance today!

How ABI is Protecting HyreCar

How ABI is Protecting Hyrecar

Ride-sharing services are taking the world of transportation by storm. Uber and Lyft are constantly relied on both by riders who need to get places efficiently, and by those who are employed by either company. However, many people are not aware that vehicles must meet certain standards in order to provide rides by Uber and Lyft. Due to these specific requirements for cars, many who desire to drive for the ride-sharing service aren’t allowed the opportunity. There was nothing they could do- until Hyrecar.

The Solution

HyreCar has arrived as the first car-matching service that works hand in hand with Uber and Lyft. The concept is simple: for those who desire to drive but don’t have a car that meets the requirements, HyreCar allows you to rent one and get right to work. Most issues that are preventing certain cars from qualifying for Uber and Lyft are simply problems that are typical of older vehicles. Its a lot to ask of someone to make them purchase an entirely new vehicle just to pass the restrictions test. In turn, less people would drive for Uber and Lyft, which hurts both the would-be drivers and the companies themselves.

The Process

HyreCar realized the very simple solution to this problem, and the founders were shocked when they found that no one had discovered this niche market yet. HyreCar’s platform is easy to use, while still being thorough. It allows car owners to post their vehicles that are up for rental, and when drivers find one they want, they create a profile. This profile includes information such as driver’s license and social security numbers, and drivers can pay just by entering their credit card information into the platform. HyreCar’s founders believe that their screening process for drivers is even stricter than those of Uber and Lyft, checking things like criminal records, DMV records, and sex-offender databases.

Everybody Wins

Thanks to HyreCar, everybody involved benefits in some way. Cars that would otherwise be sitting in a garage or not in use somewhere are making their owners money. Those who wish to be drivers are given an easy way to fulfill that desire without buying a whole new car. Uber and Lyft have more drivers for their companies and therefore generate more business. HyreCar benefits by charging drivers that rent from them a 10% fee and car owners a 15% fee.

How ABI is Covering HyreCar

American Business Insurance is providing HyreCar with a unique insurance policy to ensure the highest level of safety for both the drivers and riders. When a driver is not driving for a ride-sharing platform but is still in possession of the rented car, they are covered by ABI’s policy that covers both the riders and drivers. When they are driving for a ride-sharing platform with the rented car, the insurance defaults to the state-mandated policy provided by the respective ride-sharing company.

As far as HyreCar is aware, they are the only car-matching service that utilizes a unique insurance policy such as the one provided by American Business Insurance. Thanks to ABI, HyreCar now has a competitive advantage that will likely continue to garner success for the company.

Best Fleet Insurance Quotes

Here at American Business Insurance, we offer the best fleet insurance quotes for your corporate operations. American Business Insurance has been insuring businesses and fleets for over 30 years, providing coverage to services such as taxi and limousine. You can get the best insurance quote from us through our website, where you can find a wide range of information from custom insurance policies to our state-of-the-art online portal system, where you can be able to look at recent statements, claims, and such. What differentiates us from other competing companies is our flexibility, we have a strong support from customer service that make sure each customer’s specific needs are met. We know that every person and business has a different need, so we strive to provide a wide range of services and customization to fit different needs. If you are still wondering about using American Business Insurance for your company, here are a couple reasons why we provide the best fleet insurance quotes

3 Reasons why ABI Provides the Best Fleet Insurance Quotes

Doing Business since 1984

Yes, that is 30 plus years of providing insurance policies to a network of commercial transportation fleets. We have stayed in business for all this time, because we have always strived to provide our customers with the best corporate fleet insurance quotes. American Business Insurance has seen it all over the 30 years of what happens in the industry, so are always in the lead of industry and able to fluctuate with the market as it has its ups and downs.

Wide Range of Customers

Our services cover companies such as taxis, limousines, shuttles, buses and ambulances. Our best policies keep these companies thriving by keeping their customers safe and drivers insured. Such companies need alternatives from your typical consumer auto insurance policies, so feature such as Pay Per Mile, Pay per gallon, etc. Our company offers alternatives for those who drive for a living, often cutting prices on unnecessary coverage that other companies upcharge you for.

Adopting New Technologies

American Business Insurance will provide you with the best fleet insurance quotes. These best fleet insurance quotes come with the best service, whether that being streamlining the account management process for you or having a responsive customer service team. We are here to help always, from providing you with the best fleet insurance quotes to keeping customer satisfaction high. For us, that means adopting new ways of technology and bringing us closer to you.

In conclusion, you should get a quote for you business from us, because American Business Insurance provides you with the best fleet insurance quotes. When you own a fleet of vehicles for your business, whether that being a taxi company, or a trucking company, our flexible and customizable policies will make sure there is coverage available for you at the most available pricing. American Business Insurance has the experience, connections, and newest technologies to make sure your business stays alive and protected. So if you are still wondering if American Business Insurance can provide you with the BEST fleet insurance quotes, go to www.abiweb.com and see for yourself. Get Insured.

How to Insure Transportation Network Companies: A Detailed Guide to Getting your TNC off the Ground

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How to Insure Transportation Network Companies: A Detailed Guide to Getting your TNC off the Ground

Written by Laura Loftus on Monday, May 6th, 2019

Whether you are looking to start your own Transportation Network Company, On-Demand Delivery App or other Shared Economy business, one of the most important factors to consider is insurance! Sounds boring, I know. But as the world around us changes, insurance markets for transportation network companies are creating new structures and products. As an independent agency, American Business Insurance has direct relationships with all insurance companies currently writing specialized policies for transportation network companies.

Finding insurance for transportation network companies or other app-based businesses is no easy feat. As you may have already come to realize, most of your local brokers who specialize in personal lines don’t have relationships with insurance companies in this space. Many local brokers don’t understand what information to collect from business owners to present your transportation network company in the most insurable light.

Finding An Insurance Broker To Write Policies For Your Transportation Network Company

Most of the common insurance companies you may have already heard of are not writing policies because of the high-risk nature for transportation network companies. Insurance companies who are writing policies for transportation network companies are Surplus Lines carriers whose focus is in this specialized, technology driven market place.

Some people think that it is easy to join the long list of people who are trying to start transportation network companies to compete with those already dominating the world – Uber and Lyft. But in reality, the people who have created these transportation network companies worked for many years prior to actually launching.

To some, that might seem like a really long time but when an experienced insurance broker who is familiar with writing policies for transportation network companies asks you to assemble a list of items, it’s best to know exactly what you are getting yourself into. Don’t be fooled, there is a lot of prep, time and money that is required to build transportation network companies like Uber or Lyft.

transportation network companies

Minimum Premiums For Transportation Network Companies

As you might have anticipated, buying an insurance policy for transportation network companies is not cheap since most insurers in this space have minimum premiums of $75,000-100,000. We know, that is a lot of dough! The good news is, most of the carriers will accept a portion of that up-front and some even offer premium eroding endorsements. This means if your business doesn’t generate premium up to that amount within the year, they will carry over the credit to the following year.

Obtaining a quote requires you to find a broker who specializes in writing insurance for transportation network companies. Working with the right broker will not only save you time and money, but prevent you from buying coverages you don’t need and making sure that you have the ones you do. An experienced broker who is familiar with writing insurance for transportation network companies will know exactly what information to collect from you. They will also know how to present it best to the insurance markets who are writing policies for transportation network companies.

American Business Insurance Services, Inc.

Lucky for you, you found us! As an agency, we have been around long before ordering a ride from your smart-phone was an option. We specialize in public auto which means we understand more than anyone how transportation network companies operate.

transportation network companies

Items Transportation Network Companies Should Have Ready Before Calling Your Broker For A Quote:

Build the App:

  • One of the first questions I ask customers looking for insurance for transportation network companies is if the app is complete. Insurance company underwriters will want to download your app and make sure it’s working. Also, some companies have technology-based policies, meaning they integrate with your app to capture data on the drivers. Some even offer lower insurance rates based on favorable data collected (less speeding, hard stops, etcetera). Most policies for transportation network companies are usage based, so they have to be able to download your app and make sure it’s compatible with their insurance structure. Insurance companies often want to be able to pull reports from your app which include and are not limited to:

1. Knowing When A Trip Starts and Stops

2. How Many Miles For Each Trip

3. How Many Minutes/Hours For Each Trip

Business Plan & Projections:

  • There is a checklist of items the insurance company will want to see attached to the submission your broker sends. Your broker should be narrating to the insurance company all the hard work and thought you’ve put into creating these transportation network companies. Insurers will want to see a “pitch deck” which is something you might already have created to obtain investors. This document will present and explain your business model, why it is different from what is alreadyout there and how it will work long term. Some of the questions this document should answer are:

transportation network companies1. What are the company’s growth plans?

2. How will you monitor safety/loss control?

3. How is pricing structured so that the company is profitable?

 Safety and Training:

  • Safety and training is a big deal for insurers who are writing policies for transportation network companies. They will want to know what restrictions, checks and balances and training you will provide to drivers. They want to know how often you will check driving records and how often people have to pass background checks. The younger in age the drivers are that you allow to join your transportation network companies, the more expensive you can expect your insurance prices to be. Insurance companies want to know how you are going to prevent accidents from happening so that you build a positive reputation within the industry along side other transportation network companies like Uber and Lyft.

Bios on Key Officers/Investors:

  • Insurance companies want to know about the people behind the transportation network companies! If you want to join the group of dominating transportation network companies, they are going to want to know what experience you have, not only in transportation but also in being an entrepreneur. Take the time to write detailed bios for yourself and all other key members, officers and investors behind your transportation network company. Make sure to detail the knowledge and life experience you are bringing to the table in starting transportation network companies like Uber and Lyft. A well written, detailed bio will separate your company from all the rest and will give you a better advantage to better pricing on insurance for transportation network companies.

 Terms of Service & Privacy Conditions:

  • Although this may seem like a small piece of the puzzle to getting insurance for transportation network companies, most insurers want to see the liability of the app in regards to what they are promising to both their drivers and users. If you are a peer to peer platform, they want to see how the transaction will take place. Some of the questions that should be answered here are:

1. What Security Measures Are In Place To Protect The User?

2. How Should Complaints Be Filed?

3. What Terms and Conditions Does Your Company Adhere To? 

transportation network companies

Financial Balance Sheet:

  • Basically, a lot of what it takes to insure transportation network companies is having money, and a lot of it. Due to the hefty size of the minimum premiums for transportation network companies, generally ranging from $75,00-100,000, insurers want to make sure you not only have money to pay for the policy, but to also keep your business afloat and operating before you start turning a profit. It’s no secret that most transportation network companies do not profit until after the first year. Insurers want to see that you have raised money, not just for the cost of insurance but also for operating expenses, advertising and promotions.
  • When I review the balance sheet for transportation network companies, I know that most insurers want to see that you’ve raised at minimum $250,000-$1,000,000 in capital. Sometimes more. The reason for them wanting transportation network companies to raise this much money is because they know what it takes to gain traction in this unique space. They want to make sure the work they are putting in to quote and bind your policy will create a lasting relationship with you.

Guidance From American Business Insurance Services, INC

Starting any business takes time, research and money. We get phone calls from people daily thinking they are going to be the next Uber and Lyft. And believe me, we want you to make it big and compete against the monopoly that currently exists for transportation network companies. But in reality, we know that few of the phone calls we receive have actually taken the above steps which are required to make transportation network companies insurable.

If you have questions or need guidance, please give us a call and we will be happy to discuss over the phone! While some of the larger, corporate run agencies have the same relationships as us, few will offer the personal touch and value we have with every client.

Exclusive Contracts

Additionally, we have exclusive contracts with some companies that allow us to write at a lower minimum premium than others. We are an independent, family-run business with 75+ years of combined experience in the business insurance industry. We have invested in other transportation network companies, peer to peer and shared economy types of businesses. Most of us utilize transportation network companies and peer-to-peer apps regularly.

We literally have boots on the ground in this space and if you want the best pricing with the smoothest transaction – we are here for you!

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How to Save the MOST Money on Your Commercial Fleet Insurance Rates

ABI Transportation Experts Speak: How to Save the MOST Money on Your Commercial Fleet Insurance Rates

Written by Laura Loftus on Thursday, February 28th, 2019

 

When speaking with clients about their commercial fleet insurance, the most common concern is how to get the lowest insurance rates. About 100% of the customers I speak to daily all have the same goal – they want the lowest insurance rates available and will do whatever it takes to get it. Whether you own a Taxi, Limo, Paratransit or Shared Economy company (peer to peer platform app), it’s a given that you want your commercial fleet insurance coverage at the lowest insurance rates available. What many companies don’t realize, especially start-ups, is that commercial fleet insurance underwriters do quite a bit of digging on your company through a variety of platforms to “check you out” prior to releasing a quote. They read Yelp reviews, they look at your website, they do Better Business Bureau checks – all of it.

There are common mistakes that transportation service companies are repeatedly making that will create doubt in a commercial fleet insurance company. These mistakes actually prevent your broker from being able to find the lowest insurance rates for your company. Most of these companies think they are making business decisions that will guide them toward the lowest insurance rates, and are unaware that their current website or driver pool is actually hurting their chances of achieving the lowest possible commercial fleet insurance rate.

Five common flubs transportation service companies are making that prevent your commercial fleet insurance broker from obtaining the lowest insurance rates possible:

1) Company Website

The first and most common mistake we see from commercial auto risks who are in the “wheels” business as us underwriters call it – is that you over the amount of experience or size of your transportation service company.  It is common for commercial fleet insurance underwriters to google your company to pick apart your website. Here are some items you may think are helping your chances at obtaining the lowest insurance rates but are actually red flags to commercial fleet insurance companies:

  •  Words like “Fast Pick-up” or ‘Delivery in Minutes” – no commercial fleet insurance underwriter wants to see that you are promising rushed services. Rushing = equals unsafe driving behavior.

commercial fleet insurance

  • Advertising vehicles that are not actually part of your fleet. For example, just yesterday I was helping a 35-car fleet in Portland with obtaining commercial fleet insurance quotes. The list of vehicles they provided were all private passenger type vehicles (meaning seating capacity of 8 or less) – good! But when I searched the company online, they advertised a large shuttle bus and a higher seating capacity van. When I asked the client about this, they those vehicles had been sold and they had no plans to replace them. Keeping your website up to date and only advertising only what you can actually deliver will keep unwanted questions from creeping into the commercial fleet insurance underwriters’ mind. Creating uncertainty is the last thing you want to do with a commercial fleet insurance underwriter when trying to obtain the lowest insurance rates.
  •  Age of vehicles is important to commercial fleet insurance companies. Publishing a picture of a 30-year-old vehicle is no bueno. Keep your fleet serviced regularly (we recommend every three to four thousand miles and cycle out old units. Newer, cleaner & well-maintained vehicles are not only more desired by clientele (when trying to compete with Uber/Lyft) but also preferred by commercial fleet insurance companies trying to avoid claims due to mechanical defect.
  • If you boast 20 years of experience but your LLC was filed three years ago, it creates uncertainty with insurance companies. It’s better to accurately reflect your business as it is now, and not what you want it to be five years from now. Just as there are items to avoid putting on your website, there are points that you should include on your website. It is always a good idea to brag about highly trained drivers and safety training you provide (more on this later). Be sure to note the maintenance you keep up with for your fleet, the background checks the city you operate in mandates and the highest level of driving records required for your drivers. Commercial fleet insurance underwriters like stable fleets with safe drivers. Bottom line, safer risks translates to commercial fleet insurance underwriters offering the lowest insurance rates.

2) Creating a Business Name

This may seem simple enough but for transportation business owners looking to for the lowest insurance rates, people often think that commercial fleet insurance companies give the lowest insurance rates to Limo’s and Non-Emergency Medical risks over a taxi or airport shuttle. While this might be true, cornering yourself into a specific type of transportation in your business name narrows the list of commercial fleet insurance carriers you are eligible for. Many markets write only taxis or only limos. So, if you file your business name with the Secretary of State as Laura’s Taxi & Limo Service, LLC. – it could possibly make you ineligible for a limo commercial fleet insurance program because they don’t insure taxis and vice versa – even if your unit type meets their requirements. When talking with clients, I always say it’s best to be general about the transportation type within the name of their business, especially as market conditions change. You may be heavy in taxi trips one year but then obtain a paratransit contract and do more of that the following year. The more years of favorable loss history (loss runs) you can provide, the better chance you have at obtaining the lowest insurance rates. Choosing a business name that is general such as Laura’s Transportation Service, LLC. allows you flexibility to transform and evolve your business as the industry demands change.

3) Loss Control is Everything

Underwriters give commercial fleet insurance at the lowest insurance rates to companies with low levels of paid claims. Even in a hard insurance market, with rates rising for the good guys too, you can expect to pay more for commercial fleet insurance if you’re prior insurance companies have paid a lot in claims. Here are some suggestions in tightening loss control for your transportation service company:

  •  Hire a full-time loss control or driver manager who will enforce a safety culture. Doing this, will lower the frequency and severity of claim payouts and put your transportation service company in a better position to obtain the lowest insurance rates. This person should be in charge of overseeing the overall safety of your company. Managing and coaching your drivers is the key to a successful transportation service company. You are only as good as your worst driver.
  • commercial fleet insurance Invest in cameras that capture not only accidents but also driver analytics. This type of camera system will allow you to review driver behavior and correct bad habits before they cause an accident. We like to say this method is similar to that of a professional athlete. How do they improve? They watch their game film and correct bad habits. Driving professionally is the same. The more you do it, the more comfortable you get and having drivers watch themselves reduces risky behavior dramatically. Additionally, it’s a known fact that many commercial fleet insurance claims are paid because of he said/she said situations. Having accidents on camera is the best way to know who exactly was at fault and exonerate innocent drivers.
  •  Hold weekly safety huddles and or monthly meetings. Review the data and claims that have occurred recently and talk to your drivers about how they could have been prevented.
  •  Commit to investing in annual defensive driving training for your drivers. This annual reminder to drivers will ensure that bad habits are addressed and give each driver a time to reflect on their own performance.
  • Implement a reward program for safe drivers. Giving an incentive, even if it’s small monetary gift cards – keeps your drivers focused and motivated on safe driving habits.

4) The Driver Pool

The Driver Pool is so important when trying to achieve the lowest insurance rates from commercial fleet insurance providers for your transportation company. How you chose to manage drivers and who you hire is crucial. Create formal guidelines that clearly outline what is acceptable for employment. We recommend only hiring drivers with zero accidents within the past three years and minimal moving violations. Clean MVRs are best but we know that professional drivers with experience usually do not have clean MVRs and this is ok. Professional drivers are on the road up to 3x more than someone commuting to/from work so it’s a given that they will most likely have more violations on their records. Repeat offenders can impact the cost of your commercial fleet insurance and should be let go. No one is perfect, but you should train your drivers with the goal to be as safe as possible. Excessive violations on a driving record can cause surcharges and prevent you from obtaining the lower insurance rates. Additionally, younger drivers sometimes generate higher premiums for commercial fleet insurance as well as newly licensed individuals.

5) Contact an Experienced, Transportation Insurance Broker

commercial fleet insurance

Working with a transportation specialist versus a local agency makes a huge difference as commercial fleet insurance brokers have access to many more transportation focused insurance companies. Also, an experienced broker will review your company data prior to submitting to commercial fleet insurance companies. If they see something a commercial fleet insurance company won’t like, they can address it with you and provide you with an opportunity to make changes before submitting to each carrier. The more information you can provide to a commercial fleet insurance underwriter, the better chances you have at achieving the lowest insurance rates. Because the for-hire, livery insurance market is so thin, carriers often get multiple submissions from duplicate brokers. Try to work with one broker at a time. You may think contacting multiple agencies well help you, but if they are all going to the same markets for commercial fleet insurance – it’s duplicating not only your own work, but the insurance companies as well. The livery market is a tough class of business and finding an experienced broker will absolutely give you a leg up on finding the lowest insurance rates over a generalist broker.

American Business Insurance Services, Inc. has been working with transportation companies across the nation for 35+ years. We have direct relationships with the most competitive commercial fleet insurance companies. We know what it takes to submit a complete application and present your company in the best light possible – which will no doubt translate to finding commercial fleet insurance at the lowest insurance rate.

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Autonomous Car Insurance and How it Works

How Autonomous Car Insurance Works

With technology in our society advancing at such an incredible rate, all of our cars could have minds entirely of their own within years. As a matter of fact, we are on our way there already. They are not yet available on a large scale. However, autonomous cars certainly are a reality and could eventually integrate themselves fully into our everyday lives. The question that many are asking has to do with insurance for an autonomous car. Car insurance typically protects the driver and car from mistakes that are caused by the driver. So if all cars will be completely autonomous and self-sufficient from humans, what is the point of insurance? If the car gets in an accident, who is then held responsible? In this futuristic dilemma, car insurance will work a little differently than we’re used to, but American Business Insurance is prepared to handle it.

How Do Autonomous Vehicles Work?

Essentially, autonomous vehicle manufacturers and designers will think of everything that a car needs a human for and remove those needs. For example, an autonomous car will be built with a GPS in it, so it doesn’t need a person to control navigation. Many of them also have sensors in and around them, in order to help them avoid accidents. Of course, this would typically be the job of the driver. There is also the element of augmented reality. AR is a method of getting information to the driver, such as displaying it on the windshield. This information could be directions, the speed of the car, information about the music thats playing, etc. And the vehicle is the one that has it all. The would-be driver just turns into a rider, and the car handles the rest.

Changes in Insurance

Insurance for autonomous vehicles will play a different role than insurance for a regular car. Instead of the driver or owner of the vehicle being responsible for accidents, it would likely be the manufacturer of the autonomous vehicle. Now, its rare for a malfunction of the vehicle to be the cause of an accident; they are almost always a result of human error. This could be the largest change to car insurance if and when autonomous vehicles become a norm in our society. Manufacturers being held responsible for insuring each vehicle themselves will create an expensive, long-term process before the vehicles can be safely put to use. It will also require an extensive process of making sure that many ethical issues are covered.

ABI’s Role

The idea that human-operated vehicles will be obsolete in everyday life may seem plausible only in the distant future. However, functioning autonomous cars are on their way to changing transportation forever. There are countless pros to autonomous vehicles, but insuring all vehicles so that riders are promised complete safety would be the primary con. To ease the process of insuring self-driving cars, ABI’s Insurance Services have exactly what it takes for companies to make the transition from human-driven cars to self-driven cars. With 75 years of experience in transportation network companies, ABI can make riders feel safe using new technology, and help our society continue to evolve in amazing ways. ABI has direct relationships with the insurance carriers they write policies through, allowing for great efficiency and attention to detail. But you don’t have to wait for all cars to drive themselves to achieve this kind of protection and safety; contact ABI for both large and small fleet insurance today!

How ABI is Protecting HyreCar

How ABI is Protecting Hyrecar

Ride-sharing services are taking the world of transportation by storm. Uber and Lyft are constantly relied on both by riders who need to get places efficiently, and by those who are employed by either company. However, many people are not aware that vehicles must meet certain standards in order to provide rides by Uber and Lyft. Due to these specific requirements for cars, many who desire to drive for the ride-sharing service aren’t allowed the opportunity. There was nothing they could do- until Hyrecar.

The Solution

HyreCar has arrived as the first car-matching service that works hand in hand with Uber and Lyft. The concept is simple: for those who desire to drive but don’t have a car that meets the requirements, HyreCar allows you to rent one and get right to work. Most issues that are preventing certain cars from qualifying for Uber and Lyft are simply problems that are typical of older vehicles. Its a lot to ask of someone to make them purchase an entirely new vehicle just to pass the restrictions test. In turn, less people would drive for Uber and Lyft, which hurts both the would-be drivers and the companies themselves.

The Process

HyreCar realized the very simple solution to this problem, and the founders were shocked when they found that no one had discovered this niche market yet. HyreCar’s platform is easy to use, while still being thorough. It allows car owners to post their vehicles that are up for rental, and when drivers find one they want, they create a profile. This profile includes information such as driver’s license and social security numbers, and drivers can pay just by entering their credit card information into the platform. HyreCar’s founders believe that their screening process for drivers is even stricter than those of Uber and Lyft, checking things like criminal records, DMV records, and sex-offender databases.

Everybody Wins

Thanks to HyreCar, everybody involved benefits in some way. Cars that would otherwise be sitting in a garage or not in use somewhere are making their owners money. Those who wish to be drivers are given an easy way to fulfill that desire without buying a whole new car. Uber and Lyft have more drivers for their companies and therefore generate more business. HyreCar benefits by charging drivers that rent from them a 10% fee and car owners a 15% fee.

How ABI is Covering HyreCar

American Business Insurance is providing HyreCar with a unique insurance policy to ensure the highest level of safety for both the drivers and riders. When a driver is not driving for a ride-sharing platform but is still in possession of the rented car, they are covered by ABI’s policy that covers both the riders and drivers. When they are driving for a ride-sharing platform with the rented car, the insurance defaults to the state-mandated policy provided by the respective ride-sharing company.

As far as HyreCar is aware, they are the only car-matching service that utilizes a unique insurance policy such as the one provided by American Business Insurance. Thanks to ABI, HyreCar now has a competitive advantage that will likely continue to garner success for the company.

Best Fleet Insurance Quotes

Here at American Business Insurance, we offer the best fleet insurance quotes for your corporate operations. American Business Insurance has been insuring businesses and fleets for over 30 years, providing coverage to services such as taxi and limousine. You can get the best insurance quote from us through our website, where you can find a wide range of information from custom insurance policies to our state-of-the-art online portal system, where you can be able to look at recent statements, claims, and such. What differentiates us from other competing companies is our flexibility, we have a strong support from customer service that make sure each customer’s specific needs are met. We know that every person and business has a different need, so we strive to provide a wide range of services and customization to fit different needs. If you are still wondering about using American Business Insurance for your company, here are a couple reasons why we provide the best fleet insurance quotes

3 Reasons why ABI Provides the Best Fleet Insurance Quotes

Doing Business since 1984

Yes, that is 30 plus years of providing insurance policies to a network of commercial transportation fleets. We have stayed in business for all this time, because we have always strived to provide our customers with the best corporate fleet insurance quotes. American Business Insurance has seen it all over the 30 years of what happens in the industry, so are always in the lead of industry and able to fluctuate with the market as it has its ups and downs.

Wide Range of Customers

Our services cover companies such as taxis, limousines, shuttles, buses and ambulances. Our best policies keep these companies thriving by keeping their customers safe and drivers insured. Such companies need alternatives from your typical consumer auto insurance policies, so feature such as Pay Per Mile, Pay per gallon, etc. Our company offers alternatives for those who drive for a living, often cutting prices on unnecessary coverage that other companies upcharge you for.

Adopting New Technologies

American Business Insurance will provide you with the best fleet insurance quotes. These best fleet insurance quotes come with the best service, whether that being streamlining the account management process for you or having a responsive customer service team. We are here to help always, from providing you with the best fleet insurance quotes to keeping customer satisfaction high. For us, that means adopting new ways of technology and bringing us closer to you.

In conclusion, you should get a quote for you business from us, because American Business Insurance provides you with the best fleet insurance quotes. When you own a fleet of vehicles for your business, whether that being a taxi company, or a trucking company, our flexible and customizable policies will make sure there is coverage available for you at the most available pricing. American Business Insurance has the experience, connections, and newest technologies to make sure your business stays alive and protected. So if you are still wondering if American Business Insurance can provide you with the BEST fleet insurance quotes, go to www.abiweb.com and see for yourself. Get Insured.

How to Insure Transportation Network Companies: A Detailed Guide to Getting your TNC off the Ground

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How to Insure Transportation Network Companies: A Detailed Guide to Getting your TNC off the Ground

Written by Laura Loftus on Monday, May 6th, 2019

Whether you are looking to start your own Transportation Network Company, On-Demand Delivery App or other Shared Economy business, one of the most important factors to consider is insurance! Sounds boring, I know. But as the world around us changes, insurance markets for transportation network companies are creating new structures and products. As an independent agency, American Business Insurance has direct relationships with all insurance companies currently writing specialized policies for transportation network companies.

Finding insurance for transportation network companies or other app-based businesses is no easy feat. As you may have already come to realize, most of your local brokers who specialize in personal lines don’t have relationships with insurance companies in this space. Many local brokers don’t understand what information to collect from business owners to present your transportation network company in the most insurable light.

Finding An Insurance Broker To Write Policies For Your Transportation Network Company

Most of the common insurance companies you may have already heard of are not writing policies because of the high-risk nature for transportation network companies. Insurance companies who are writing policies for transportation network companies are Surplus Lines carriers whose focus is in this specialized, technology driven market place.

Some people think that it is easy to join the long list of people who are trying to start transportation network companies to compete with those already dominating the world – Uber and Lyft. But in reality, the people who have created these transportation network companies worked for many years prior to actually launching.

To some, that might seem like a really long time but when an experienced insurance broker who is familiar with writing policies for transportation network companies asks you to assemble a list of items, it’s best to know exactly what you are getting yourself into. Don’t be fooled, there is a lot of prep, time and money that is required to build transportation network companies like Uber or Lyft.

transportation network companies

Minimum Premiums For Transportation Network Companies

As you might have anticipated, buying an insurance policy for transportation network companies is not cheap since most insurers in this space have minimum premiums of $75,000-100,000. We know, that is a lot of dough! The good news is, most of the carriers will accept a portion of that up-front and some even offer premium eroding endorsements. This means if your business doesn’t generate premium up to that amount within the year, they will carry over the credit to the following year.

Obtaining a quote requires you to find a broker who specializes in writing insurance for transportation network companies. Working with the right broker will not only save you time and money, but prevent you from buying coverages you don’t need and making sure that you have the ones you do. An experienced broker who is familiar with writing insurance for transportation network companies will know exactly what information to collect from you. They will also know how to present it best to the insurance markets who are writing policies for transportation network companies.

American Business Insurance Services, Inc.

Lucky for you, you found us! As an agency, we have been around long before ordering a ride from your smart-phone was an option. We specialize in public auto which means we understand more than anyone how transportation network companies operate.

transportation network companies

Items Transportation Network Companies Should Have Ready Before Calling Your Broker For A Quote:

Build the App:

  • One of the first questions I ask customers looking for insurance for transportation network companies is if the app is complete. Insurance company underwriters will want to download your app and make sure it’s working. Also, some companies have technology-based policies, meaning they integrate with your app to capture data on the drivers. Some even offer lower insurance rates based on favorable data collected (less speeding, hard stops, etcetera). Most policies for transportation network companies are usage based, so they have to be able to download your app and make sure it’s compatible with their insurance structure. Insurance companies often want to be able to pull reports from your app which include and are not limited to:

1. Knowing When A Trip Starts and Stops

2. How Many Miles For Each Trip

3. How Many Minutes/Hours For Each Trip

Business Plan & Projections:

  • There is a checklist of items the insurance company will want to see attached to the submission your broker sends. Your broker should be narrating to the insurance company all the hard work and thought you’ve put into creating these transportation network companies. Insurers will want to see a “pitch deck” which is something you might already have created to obtain investors. This document will present and explain your business model, why it is different from what is alreadyout there and how it will work long term. Some of the questions this document should answer are:

transportation network companies1. What are the company’s growth plans?

2. How will you monitor safety/loss control?

3. How is pricing structured so that the company is profitable?

 Safety and Training:

  • Safety and training is a big deal for insurers who are writing policies for transportation network companies. They will want to know what restrictions, checks and balances and training you will provide to drivers. They want to know how often you will check driving records and how often people have to pass background checks. The younger in age the drivers are that you allow to join your transportation network companies, the more expensive you can expect your insurance prices to be. Insurance companies want to know how you are going to prevent accidents from happening so that you build a positive reputation within the industry along side other transportation network companies like Uber and Lyft.

Bios on Key Officers/Investors:

  • Insurance companies want to know about the people behind the transportation network companies! If you want to join the group of dominating transportation network companies, they are going to want to know what experience you have, not only in transportation but also in being an entrepreneur. Take the time to write detailed bios for yourself and all other key members, officers and investors behind your transportation network company. Make sure to detail the knowledge and life experience you are bringing to the table in starting transportation network companies like Uber and Lyft. A well written, detailed bio will separate your company from all the rest and will give you a better advantage to better pricing on insurance for transportation network companies.

 Terms of Service & Privacy Conditions:

  • Although this may seem like a small piece of the puzzle to getting insurance for transportation network companies, most insurers want to see the liability of the app in regards to what they are promising to both their drivers and users. If you are a peer to peer platform, they want to see how the transaction will take place. Some of the questions that should be answered here are:

1. What Security Measures Are In Place To Protect The User?

2. How Should Complaints Be Filed?

3. What Terms and Conditions Does Your Company Adhere To? 

transportation network companies

Financial Balance Sheet:

  • Basically, a lot of what it takes to insure transportation network companies is having money, and a lot of it. Due to the hefty size of the minimum premiums for transportation network companies, generally ranging from $75,00-100,000, insurers want to make sure you not only have money to pay for the policy, but to also keep your business afloat and operating before you start turning a profit. It’s no secret that most transportation network companies do not profit until after the first year. Insurers want to see that you have raised money, not just for the cost of insurance but also for operating expenses, advertising and promotions.
  • When I review the balance sheet for transportation network companies, I know that most insurers want to see that you’ve raised at minimum $250,000-$1,000,000 in capital. Sometimes more. The reason for them wanting transportation network companies to raise this much money is because they know what it takes to gain traction in this unique space. They want to make sure the work they are putting in to quote and bind your policy will create a lasting relationship with you.

Guidance From American Business Insurance Services, INC

Starting any business takes time, research and money. We get phone calls from people daily thinking they are going to be the next Uber and Lyft. And believe me, we want you to make it big and compete against the monopoly that currently exists for transportation network companies. But in reality, we know that few of the phone calls we receive have actually taken the above steps which are required to make transportation network companies insurable.

If you have questions or need guidance, please give us a call and we will be happy to discuss over the phone! While some of the larger, corporate run agencies have the same relationships as us, few will offer the personal touch and value we have with every client.

Exclusive Contracts

Additionally, we have exclusive contracts with some companies that allow us to write at a lower minimum premium than others. We are an independent, family-run business with 75+ years of combined experience in the business insurance industry. We have invested in other transportation network companies, peer to peer and shared economy types of businesses. Most of us utilize transportation network companies and peer-to-peer apps regularly.

We literally have boots on the ground in this space and if you want the best pricing with the smoothest transaction – we are here for you!

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How to Save the MOST Money on Your Commercial Fleet Insurance Rates

ABI Transportation Experts Speak: How to Save the MOST Money on Your Commercial Fleet Insurance Rates

Written by Laura Loftus on Thursday, February 28th, 2019

 

When speaking with clients about their commercial fleet insurance, the most common concern is how to get the lowest insurance rates. About 100% of the customers I speak to daily all have the same goal – they want the lowest insurance rates available and will do whatever it takes to get it. Whether you own a Taxi, Limo, Paratransit or Shared Economy company (peer to peer platform app), it’s a given that you want your commercial fleet insurance coverage at the lowest insurance rates available. What many companies don’t realize, especially start-ups, is that commercial fleet insurance underwriters do quite a bit of digging on your company through a variety of platforms to “check you out” prior to releasing a quote. They read Yelp reviews, they look at your website, they do Better Business Bureau checks – all of it.

There are common mistakes that transportation service companies are repeatedly making that will create doubt in a commercial fleet insurance company. These mistakes actually prevent your broker from being able to find the lowest insurance rates for your company. Most of these companies think they are making business decisions that will guide them toward the lowest insurance rates, and are unaware that their current website or driver pool is actually hurting their chances of achieving the lowest possible commercial fleet insurance rate.

Five common flubs transportation service companies are making that prevent your commercial fleet insurance broker from obtaining the lowest insurance rates possible:

1) Company Website

The first and most common mistake we see from commercial auto risks who are in the “wheels” business as us underwriters call it – is that you over the amount of experience or size of your transportation service company.  It is common for commercial fleet insurance underwriters to google your company to pick apart your website. Here are some items you may think are helping your chances at obtaining the lowest insurance rates but are actually red flags to commercial fleet insurance companies:

  •  Words like “Fast Pick-up” or ‘Delivery in Minutes” – no commercial fleet insurance underwriter wants to see that you are promising rushed services. Rushing = equals unsafe driving behavior.

commercial fleet insurance

  • Advertising vehicles that are not actually part of your fleet. For example, just yesterday I was helping a 35-car fleet in Portland with obtaining commercial fleet insurance quotes. The list of vehicles they provided were all private passenger type vehicles (meaning seating capacity of 8 or less) – good! But when I searched the company online, they advertised a large shuttle bus and a higher seating capacity van. When I asked the client about this, they those vehicles had been sold and they had no plans to replace them. Keeping your website up to date and only advertising only what you can actually deliver will keep unwanted questions from creeping into the commercial fleet insurance underwriters’ mind. Creating uncertainty is the last thing you want to do with a commercial fleet insurance underwriter when trying to obtain the lowest insurance rates.
  •  Age of vehicles is important to commercial fleet insurance companies. Publishing a picture of a 30-year-old vehicle is no bueno. Keep your fleet serviced regularly (we recommend every three to four thousand miles and cycle out old units. Newer, cleaner & well-maintained vehicles are not only more desired by clientele (when trying to compete with Uber/Lyft) but also preferred by commercial fleet insurance companies trying to avoid claims due to mechanical defect.
  • If you boast 20 years of experience but your LLC was filed three years ago, it creates uncertainty with insurance companies. It’s better to accurately reflect your business as it is now, and not what you want it to be five years from now. Just as there are items to avoid putting on your website, there are points that you should include on your website. It is always a good idea to brag about highly trained drivers and safety training you provide (more on this later). Be sure to note the maintenance you keep up with for your fleet, the background checks the city you operate in mandates and the highest level of driving records required for your drivers. Commercial fleet insurance underwriters like stable fleets with safe drivers. Bottom line, safer risks translates to commercial fleet insurance underwriters offering the lowest insurance rates.

2) Creating a Business Name

This may seem simple enough but for transportation business owners looking to for the lowest insurance rates, people often think that commercial fleet insurance companies give the lowest insurance rates to Limo’s and Non-Emergency Medical risks over a taxi or airport shuttle. While this might be true, cornering yourself into a specific type of transportation in your business name narrows the list of commercial fleet insurance carriers you are eligible for. Many markets write only taxis or only limos. So, if you file your business name with the Secretary of State as Laura’s Taxi & Limo Service, LLC. – it could possibly make you ineligible for a limo commercial fleet insurance program because they don’t insure taxis and vice versa – even if your unit type meets their requirements. When talking with clients, I always say it’s best to be general about the transportation type within the name of their business, especially as market conditions change. You may be heavy in taxi trips one year but then obtain a paratransit contract and do more of that the following year. The more years of favorable loss history (loss runs) you can provide, the better chance you have at obtaining the lowest insurance rates. Choosing a business name that is general such as Laura’s Transportation Service, LLC. allows you flexibility to transform and evolve your business as the industry demands change.

3) Loss Control is Everything

Underwriters give commercial fleet insurance at the lowest insurance rates to companies with low levels of paid claims. Even in a hard insurance market, with rates rising for the good guys too, you can expect to pay more for commercial fleet insurance if you’re prior insurance companies have paid a lot in claims. Here are some suggestions in tightening loss control for your transportation service company:

  •  Hire a full-time loss control or driver manager who will enforce a safety culture. Doing this, will lower the frequency and severity of claim payouts and put your transportation service company in a better position to obtain the lowest insurance rates. This person should be in charge of overseeing the overall safety of your company. Managing and coaching your drivers is the key to a successful transportation service company. You are only as good as your worst driver.
  • commercial fleet insurance Invest in cameras that capture not only accidents but also driver analytics. This type of camera system will allow you to review driver behavior and correct bad habits before they cause an accident. We like to say this method is similar to that of a professional athlete. How do they improve? They watch their game film and correct bad habits. Driving professionally is the same. The more you do it, the more comfortable you get and having drivers watch themselves reduces risky behavior dramatically. Additionally, it’s a known fact that many commercial fleet insurance claims are paid because of he said/she said situations. Having accidents on camera is the best way to know who exactly was at fault and exonerate innocent drivers.
  •  Hold weekly safety huddles and or monthly meetings. Review the data and claims that have occurred recently and talk to your drivers about how they could have been prevented.
  •  Commit to investing in annual defensive driving training for your drivers. This annual reminder to drivers will ensure that bad habits are addressed and give each driver a time to reflect on their own performance.
  • Implement a reward program for safe drivers. Giving an incentive, even if it’s small monetary gift cards – keeps your drivers focused and motivated on safe driving habits.

4) The Driver Pool

The Driver Pool is so important when trying to achieve the lowest insurance rates from commercial fleet insurance providers for your transportation company. How you chose to manage drivers and who you hire is crucial. Create formal guidelines that clearly outline what is acceptable for employment. We recommend only hiring drivers with zero accidents within the past three years and minimal moving violations. Clean MVRs are best but we know that professional drivers with experience usually do not have clean MVRs and this is ok. Professional drivers are on the road up to 3x more than someone commuting to/from work so it’s a given that they will most likely have more violations on their records. Repeat offenders can impact the cost of your commercial fleet insurance and should be let go. No one is perfect, but you should train your drivers with the goal to be as safe as possible. Excessive violations on a driving record can cause surcharges and prevent you from obtaining the lower insurance rates. Additionally, younger drivers sometimes generate higher premiums for commercial fleet insurance as well as newly licensed individuals.

5) Contact an Experienced, Transportation Insurance Broker

commercial fleet insurance

Working with a transportation specialist versus a local agency makes a huge difference as commercial fleet insurance brokers have access to many more transportation focused insurance companies. Also, an experienced broker will review your company data prior to submitting to commercial fleet insurance companies. If they see something a commercial fleet insurance company won’t like, they can address it with you and provide you with an opportunity to make changes before submitting to each carrier. The more information you can provide to a commercial fleet insurance underwriter, the better chances you have at achieving the lowest insurance rates. Because the for-hire, livery insurance market is so thin, carriers often get multiple submissions from duplicate brokers. Try to work with one broker at a time. You may think contacting multiple agencies well help you, but if they are all going to the same markets for commercial fleet insurance – it’s duplicating not only your own work, but the insurance companies as well. The livery market is a tough class of business and finding an experienced broker will absolutely give you a leg up on finding the lowest insurance rates over a generalist broker.

American Business Insurance Services, Inc. has been working with transportation companies across the nation for 35+ years. We have direct relationships with the most competitive commercial fleet insurance companies. We know what it takes to submit a complete application and present your company in the best light possible – which will no doubt translate to finding commercial fleet insurance at the lowest insurance rate.

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Autonomous Car Insurance and How it Works

How Autonomous Car Insurance Works

With technology in our society advancing at such an incredible rate, all of our cars could have minds entirely of their own within years. As a matter of fact, we are on our way there already. They are not yet available on a large scale. However, autonomous cars certainly are a reality and could eventually integrate themselves fully into our everyday lives. The question that many are asking has to do with insurance for an autonomous car. Car insurance typically protects the driver and car from mistakes that are caused by the driver. So if all cars will be completely autonomous and self-sufficient from humans, what is the point of insurance? If the car gets in an accident, who is then held responsible? In this futuristic dilemma, car insurance will work a little differently than we’re used to, but American Business Insurance is prepared to handle it.

How Do Autonomous Vehicles Work?

Essentially, autonomous vehicle manufacturers and designers will think of everything that a car needs a human for and remove those needs. For example, an autonomous car will be built with a GPS in it, so it doesn’t need a person to control navigation. Many of them also have sensors in and around them, in order to help them avoid accidents. Of course, this would typically be the job of the driver. There is also the element of augmented reality. AR is a method of getting information to the driver, such as displaying it on the windshield. This information could be directions, the speed of the car, information about the music thats playing, etc. And the vehicle is the one that has it all. The would-be driver just turns into a rider, and the car handles the rest.

Changes in Insurance

Insurance for autonomous vehicles will play a different role than insurance for a regular car. Instead of the driver or owner of the vehicle being responsible for accidents, it would likely be the manufacturer of the autonomous vehicle. Now, its rare for a malfunction of the vehicle to be the cause of an accident; they are almost always a result of human error. This could be the largest change to car insurance if and when autonomous vehicles become a norm in our society. Manufacturers being held responsible for insuring each vehicle themselves will create an expensive, long-term process before the vehicles can be safely put to use. It will also require an extensive process of making sure that many ethical issues are covered.

ABI’s Role

The idea that human-operated vehicles will be obsolete in everyday life may seem plausible only in the distant future. However, functioning autonomous cars are on their way to changing transportation forever. There are countless pros to autonomous vehicles, but insuring all vehicles so that riders are promised complete safety would be the primary con. To ease the process of insuring self-driving cars, ABI’s Insurance Services have exactly what it takes for companies to make the transition from human-driven cars to self-driven cars. With 75 years of experience in transportation network companies, ABI can make riders feel safe using new technology, and help our society continue to evolve in amazing ways. ABI has direct relationships with the insurance carriers they write policies through, allowing for great efficiency and attention to detail. But you don’t have to wait for all cars to drive themselves to achieve this kind of protection and safety; contact ABI for both large and small fleet insurance today!

How ABI is Protecting HyreCar

How ABI is Protecting Hyrecar

Ride-sharing services are taking the world of transportation by storm. Uber and Lyft are constantly relied on both by riders who need to get places efficiently, and by those who are employed by either company. However, many people are not aware that vehicles must meet certain standards in order to provide rides by Uber and Lyft. Due to these specific requirements for cars, many who desire to drive for the ride-sharing service aren’t allowed the opportunity. There was nothing they could do- until Hyrecar.

The Solution

HyreCar has arrived as the first car-matching service that works hand in hand with Uber and Lyft. The concept is simple: for those who desire to drive but don’t have a car that meets the requirements, HyreCar allows you to rent one and get right to work. Most issues that are preventing certain cars from qualifying for Uber and Lyft are simply problems that are typical of older vehicles. Its a lot to ask of someone to make them purchase an entirely new vehicle just to pass the restrictions test. In turn, less people would drive for Uber and Lyft, which hurts both the would-be drivers and the companies themselves.

The Process

HyreCar realized the very simple solution to this problem, and the founders were shocked when they found that no one had discovered this niche market yet. HyreCar’s platform is easy to use, while still being thorough. It allows car owners to post their vehicles that are up for rental, and when drivers find one they want, they create a profile. This profile includes information such as driver’s license and social security numbers, and drivers can pay just by entering their credit card information into the platform. HyreCar’s founders believe that their screening process for drivers is even stricter than those of Uber and Lyft, checking things like criminal records, DMV records, and sex-offender databases.

Everybody Wins

Thanks to HyreCar, everybody involved benefits in some way. Cars that would otherwise be sitting in a garage or not in use somewhere are making their owners money. Those who wish to be drivers are given an easy way to fulfill that desire without buying a whole new car. Uber and Lyft have more drivers for their companies and therefore generate more business. HyreCar benefits by charging drivers that rent from them a 10% fee and car owners a 15% fee.

How ABI is Covering HyreCar

American Business Insurance is providing HyreCar with a unique insurance policy to ensure the highest level of safety for both the drivers and riders. When a driver is not driving for a ride-sharing platform but is still in possession of the rented car, they are covered by ABI’s policy that covers both the riders and drivers. When they are driving for a ride-sharing platform with the rented car, the insurance defaults to the state-mandated policy provided by the respective ride-sharing company.

As far as HyreCar is aware, they are the only car-matching service that utilizes a unique insurance policy such as the one provided by American Business Insurance. Thanks to ABI, HyreCar now has a competitive advantage that will likely continue to garner success for the company.

Best Fleet Insurance Quotes

Here at American Business Insurance, we offer the best fleet insurance quotes for your corporate operations. American Business Insurance has been insuring businesses and fleets for over 30 years, providing coverage to services such as taxi and limousine. You can get the best insurance quote from us through our website, where you can find a wide range of information from custom insurance policies to our state-of-the-art online portal system, where you can be able to look at recent statements, claims, and such. What differentiates us from other competing companies is our flexibility, we have a strong support from customer service that make sure each customer’s specific needs are met. We know that every person and business has a different need, so we strive to provide a wide range of services and customization to fit different needs. If you are still wondering about using American Business Insurance for your company, here are a couple reasons why we provide the best fleet insurance quotes

3 Reasons why ABI Provides the Best Fleet Insurance Quotes

Doing Business since 1984

Yes, that is 30 plus years of providing insurance policies to a network of commercial transportation fleets. We have stayed in business for all this time, because we have always strived to provide our customers with the best corporate fleet insurance quotes. American Business Insurance has seen it all over the 30 years of what happens in the industry, so are always in the lead of industry and able to fluctuate with the market as it has its ups and downs.

Wide Range of Customers

Our services cover companies such as taxis, limousines, shuttles, buses and ambulances. Our best policies keep these companies thriving by keeping their customers safe and drivers insured. Such companies need alternatives from your typical consumer auto insurance policies, so feature such as Pay Per Mile, Pay per gallon, etc. Our company offers alternatives for those who drive for a living, often cutting prices on unnecessary coverage that other companies upcharge you for.

Adopting New Technologies

American Business Insurance will provide you with the best fleet insurance quotes. These best fleet insurance quotes come with the best service, whether that being streamlining the account management process for you or having a responsive customer service team. We are here to help always, from providing you with the best fleet insurance quotes to keeping customer satisfaction high. For us, that means adopting new ways of technology and bringing us closer to you.

In conclusion, you should get a quote for you business from us, because American Business Insurance provides you with the best fleet insurance quotes. When you own a fleet of vehicles for your business, whether that being a taxi company, or a trucking company, our flexible and customizable policies will make sure there is coverage available for you at the most available pricing. American Business Insurance has the experience, connections, and newest technologies to make sure your business stays alive and protected. So if you are still wondering if American Business Insurance can provide you with the BEST fleet insurance quotes, go to www.abiweb.com and see for yourself. Get Insured.

How to Insure Transportation Network Companies: A Detailed Guide to Getting your TNC off the Ground

GET A QUOTE

How to Insure Transportation Network Companies: A Detailed Guide to Getting your TNC off the Ground

Written by Laura Loftus on Monday, May 6th, 2019

Whether you are looking to start your own Transportation Network Company, On-Demand Delivery App or other Shared Economy business, one of the most important factors to consider is insurance! Sounds boring, I know. But as the world around us changes, insurance markets for transportation network companies are creating new structures and products. As an independent agency, American Business Insurance has direct relationships with all insurance companies currently writing specialized policies for transportation network companies.

Finding insurance for transportation network companies or other app-based businesses is no easy feat. As you may have already come to realize, most of your local brokers who specialize in personal lines don’t have relationships with insurance companies in this space. Many local brokers don’t understand what information to collect from business owners to present your transportation network company in the most insurable light.

Finding An Insurance Broker To Write Policies For Your Transportation Network Company

Most of the common insurance companies you may have already heard of are not writing policies because of the high-risk nature for transportation network companies. Insurance companies who are writing policies for transportation network companies are Surplus Lines carriers whose focus is in this specialized, technology driven market place.

Some people think that it is easy to join the long list of people who are trying to start transportation network companies to compete with those already dominating the world – Uber and Lyft. But in reality, the people who have created these transportation network companies worked for many years prior to actually launching.

To some, that might seem like a really long time but when an experienced insurance broker who is familiar with writing policies for transportation network companies asks you to assemble a list of items, it’s best to know exactly what you are getting yourself into. Don’t be fooled, there is a lot of prep, time and money that is required to build transportation network companies like Uber or Lyft.

transportation network companies

Minimum Premiums For Transportation Network Companies

As you might have anticipated, buying an insurance policy for transportation network companies is not cheap since most insurers in this space have minimum premiums of $75,000-100,000. We know, that is a lot of dough! The good news is, most of the carriers will accept a portion of that up-front and some even offer premium eroding endorsements. This means if your business doesn’t generate premium up to that amount within the year, they will carry over the credit to the following year.

Obtaining a quote requires you to find a broker who specializes in writing insurance for transportation network companies. Working with the right broker will not only save you time and money, but prevent you from buying coverages you don’t need and making sure that you have the ones you do. An experienced broker who is familiar with writing insurance for transportation network companies will know exactly what information to collect from you. They will also know how to present it best to the insurance markets who are writing policies for transportation network companies.

American Business Insurance Services, Inc.

Lucky for you, you found us! As an agency, we have been around long before ordering a ride from your smart-phone was an option. We specialize in public auto which means we understand more than anyone how transportation network companies operate.

transportation network companies

Items Transportation Network Companies Should Have Ready Before Calling Your Broker For A Quote:

Build the App:

  • One of the first questions I ask customers looking for insurance for transportation network companies is if the app is complete. Insurance company underwriters will want to download your app and make sure it’s working. Also, some companies have technology-based policies, meaning they integrate with your app to capture data on the drivers. Some even offer lower insurance rates based on favorable data collected (less speeding, hard stops, etcetera). Most policies for transportation network companies are usage based, so they have to be able to download your app and make sure it’s compatible with their insurance structure. Insurance companies often want to be able to pull reports from your app which include and are not limited to:

1. Knowing When A Trip Starts and Stops

2. How Many Miles For Each Trip

3. How Many Minutes/Hours For Each Trip

Business Plan & Projections:

  • There is a checklist of items the insurance company will want to see attached to the submission your broker sends. Your broker should be narrating to the insurance company all the hard work and thought you’ve put into creating these transportation network companies. Insurers will want to see a “pitch deck” which is something you might already have created to obtain investors. This document will present and explain your business model, why it is different from what is alreadyout there and how it will work long term. Some of the questions this document should answer are:

transportation network companies1. What are the company’s growth plans?

2. How will you monitor safety/loss control?

3. How is pricing structured so that the company is profitable?

 Safety and Training:

  • Safety and training is a big deal for insurers who are writing policies for transportation network companies. They will want to know what restrictions, checks and balances and training you will provide to drivers. They want to know how often you will check driving records and how often people have to pass background checks. The younger in age the drivers are that you allow to join your transportation network companies, the more expensive you can expect your insurance prices to be. Insurance companies want to know how you are going to prevent accidents from happening so that you build a positive reputation within the industry along side other transportation network companies like Uber and Lyft.

Bios on Key Officers/Investors:

  • Insurance companies want to know about the people behind the transportation network companies! If you want to join the group of dominating transportation network companies, they are going to want to know what experience you have, not only in transportation but also in being an entrepreneur. Take the time to write detailed bios for yourself and all other key members, officers and investors behind your transportation network company. Make sure to detail the knowledge and life experience you are bringing to the table in starting transportation network companies like Uber and Lyft. A well written, detailed bio will separate your company from all the rest and will give you a better advantage to better pricing on insurance for transportation network companies.

 Terms of Service & Privacy Conditions:

  • Although this may seem like a small piece of the puzzle to getting insurance for transportation network companies, most insurers want to see the liability of the app in regards to what they are promising to both their drivers and users. If you are a peer to peer platform, they want to see how the transaction will take place. Some of the questions that should be answered here are:

1. What Security Measures Are In Place To Protect The User?

2. How Should Complaints Be Filed?

3. What Terms and Conditions Does Your Company Adhere To? 

transportation network companies

Financial Balance Sheet:

  • Basically, a lot of what it takes to insure transportation network companies is having money, and a lot of it. Due to the hefty size of the minimum premiums for transportation network companies, generally ranging from $75,00-100,000, insurers want to make sure you not only have money to pay for the policy, but to also keep your business afloat and operating before you start turning a profit. It’s no secret that most transportation network companies do not profit until after the first year. Insurers want to see that you have raised money, not just for the cost of insurance but also for operating expenses, advertising and promotions.
  • When I review the balance sheet for transportation network companies, I know that most insurers want to see that you’ve raised at minimum $250,000-$1,000,000 in capital. Sometimes more. The reason for them wanting transportation network companies to raise this much money is because they know what it takes to gain traction in this unique space. They want to make sure the work they are putting in to quote and bind your policy will create a lasting relationship with you.

Guidance From American Business Insurance Services, INC

Starting any business takes time, research and money. We get phone calls from people daily thinking they are going to be the next Uber and Lyft. And believe me, we want you to make it big and compete against the monopoly that currently exists for transportation network companies. But in reality, we know that few of the phone calls we receive have actually taken the above steps which are required to make transportation network companies insurable.

If you have questions or need guidance, please give us a call and we will be happy to discuss over the phone! While some of the larger, corporate run agencies have the same relationships as us, few will offer the personal touch and value we have with every client.

Exclusive Contracts

Additionally, we have exclusive contracts with some companies that allow us to write at a lower minimum premium than others. We are an independent, family-run business with 75+ years of combined experience in the business insurance industry. We have invested in other transportation network companies, peer to peer and shared economy types of businesses. Most of us utilize transportation network companies and peer-to-peer apps regularly.

We literally have boots on the ground in this space and if you want the best pricing with the smoothest transaction – we are here for you!

GET A QUOTE

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How to Save the MOST Money on Your Commercial Fleet Insurance Rates

ABI Transportation Experts Speak: How to Save the MOST Money on Your Commercial Fleet Insurance Rates

Written by Laura Loftus on Thursday, February 28th, 2019

 

When speaking with clients about their commercial fleet insurance, the most common concern is how to get the lowest insurance rates. About 100% of the customers I speak to daily all have the same goal – they want the lowest insurance rates available and will do whatever it takes to get it. Whether you own a Taxi, Limo, Paratransit or Shared Economy company (peer to peer platform app), it’s a given that you want your commercial fleet insurance coverage at the lowest insurance rates available. What many companies don’t realize, especially start-ups, is that commercial fleet insurance underwriters do quite a bit of digging on your company through a variety of platforms to “check you out” prior to releasing a quote. They read Yelp reviews, they look at your website, they do Better Business Bureau checks – all of it.

There are common mistakes that transportation service companies are repeatedly making that will create doubt in a commercial fleet insurance company. These mistakes actually prevent your broker from being able to find the lowest insurance rates for your company. Most of these companies think they are making business decisions that will guide them toward the lowest insurance rates, and are unaware that their current website or driver pool is actually hurting their chances of achieving the lowest possible commercial fleet insurance rate.

Five common flubs transportation service companies are making that prevent your commercial fleet insurance broker from obtaining the lowest insurance rates possible:

1) Company Website

The first and most common mistake we see from commercial auto risks who are in the “wheels” business as us underwriters call it – is that you over the amount of experience or size of your transportation service company.  It is common for commercial fleet insurance underwriters to google your company to pick apart your website. Here are some items you may think are helping your chances at obtaining the lowest insurance rates but are actually red flags to commercial fleet insurance companies:

  •  Words like “Fast Pick-up” or ‘Delivery in Minutes” – no commercial fleet insurance underwriter wants to see that you are promising rushed services. Rushing = equals unsafe driving behavior.

commercial fleet insurance

  • Advertising vehicles that are not actually part of your fleet. For example, just yesterday I was helping a 35-car fleet in Portland with obtaining commercial fleet insurance quotes. The list of vehicles they provided were all private passenger type vehicles (meaning seating capacity of 8 or less) – good! But when I searched the company online, they advertised a large shuttle bus and a higher seating capacity van. When I asked the client about this, they those vehicles had been sold and they had no plans to replace them. Keeping your website up to date and only advertising only what you can actually deliver will keep unwanted questions from creeping into the commercial fleet insurance underwriters’ mind. Creating uncertainty is the last thing you want to do with a commercial fleet insurance underwriter when trying to obtain the lowest insurance rates.
  •  Age of vehicles is important to commercial fleet insurance companies. Publishing a picture of a 30-year-old vehicle is no bueno. Keep your fleet serviced regularly (we recommend every three to four thousand miles and cycle out old units. Newer, cleaner & well-maintained vehicles are not only more desired by clientele (when trying to compete with Uber/Lyft) but also preferred by commercial fleet insurance companies trying to avoid claims due to mechanical defect.
  • If you boast 20 years of experience but your LLC was filed three years ago, it creates uncertainty with insurance companies. It’s better to accurately reflect your business as it is now, and not what you want it to be five years from now. Just as there are items to avoid putting on your website, there are points that you should include on your website. It is always a good idea to brag about highly trained drivers and safety training you provide (more on this later). Be sure to note the maintenance you keep up with for your fleet, the background checks the city you operate in mandates and the highest level of driving records required for your drivers. Commercial fleet insurance underwriters like stable fleets with safe drivers. Bottom line, safer risks translates to commercial fleet insurance underwriters offering the lowest insurance rates.

2) Creating a Business Name

This may seem simple enough but for transportation business owners looking to for the lowest insurance rates, people often think that commercial fleet insurance companies give the lowest insurance rates to Limo’s and Non-Emergency Medical risks over a taxi or airport shuttle. While this might be true, cornering yourself into a specific type of transportation in your business name narrows the list of commercial fleet insurance carriers you are eligible for. Many markets write only taxis or only limos. So, if you file your business name with the Secretary of State as Laura’s Taxi & Limo Service, LLC. – it could possibly make you ineligible for a limo commercial fleet insurance program because they don’t insure taxis and vice versa – even if your unit type meets their requirements. When talking with clients, I always say it’s best to be general about the transportation type within the name of their business, especially as market conditions change. You may be heavy in taxi trips one year but then obtain a paratransit contract and do more of that the following year. The more years of favorable loss history (loss runs) you can provide, the better chance you have at obtaining the lowest insurance rates. Choosing a business name that is general such as Laura’s Transportation Service, LLC. allows you flexibility to transform and evolve your business as the industry demands change.

3) Loss Control is Everything

Underwriters give commercial fleet insurance at the lowest insurance rates to companies with low levels of paid claims. Even in a hard insurance market, with rates rising for the good guys too, you can expect to pay more for commercial fleet insurance if you’re prior insurance companies have paid a lot in claims. Here are some suggestions in tightening loss control for your transportation service company:

  •  Hire a full-time loss control or driver manager who will enforce a safety culture. Doing this, will lower the frequency and severity of claim payouts and put your transportation service company in a better position to obtain the lowest insurance rates. This person should be in charge of overseeing the overall safety of your company. Managing and coaching your drivers is the key to a successful transportation service company. You are only as good as your worst driver.
  • commercial fleet insurance Invest in cameras that capture not only accidents but also driver analytics. This type of camera system will allow you to review driver behavior and correct bad habits before they cause an accident. We like to say this method is similar to that of a professional athlete. How do they improve? They watch their game film and correct bad habits. Driving professionally is the same. The more you do it, the more comfortable you get and having drivers watch themselves reduces risky behavior dramatically. Additionally, it’s a known fact that many commercial fleet insurance claims are paid because of he said/she said situations. Having accidents on camera is the best way to know who exactly was at fault and exonerate innocent drivers.
  •  Hold weekly safety huddles and or monthly meetings. Review the data and claims that have occurred recently and talk to your drivers about how they could have been prevented.
  •  Commit to investing in annual defensive driving training for your drivers. This annual reminder to drivers will ensure that bad habits are addressed and give each driver a time to reflect on their own performance.
  • Implement a reward program for safe drivers. Giving an incentive, even if it’s small monetary gift cards – keeps your drivers focused and motivated on safe driving habits.

4) The Driver Pool

The Driver Pool is so important when trying to achieve the lowest insurance rates from commercial fleet insurance providers for your transportation company. How you chose to manage drivers and who you hire is crucial. Create formal guidelines that clearly outline what is acceptable for employment. We recommend only hiring drivers with zero accidents within the past three years and minimal moving violations. Clean MVRs are best but we know that professional drivers with experience usually do not have clean MVRs and this is ok. Professional drivers are on the road up to 3x more than someone commuting to/from work so it’s a given that they will most likely have more violations on their records. Repeat offenders can impact the cost of your commercial fleet insurance and should be let go. No one is perfect, but you should train your drivers with the goal to be as safe as possible. Excessive violations on a driving record can cause surcharges and prevent you from obtaining the lower insurance rates. Additionally, younger drivers sometimes generate higher premiums for commercial fleet insurance as well as newly licensed individuals.

5) Contact an Experienced, Transportation Insurance Broker

commercial fleet insurance

Working with a transportation specialist versus a local agency makes a huge difference as commercial fleet insurance brokers have access to many more transportation focused insurance companies. Also, an experienced broker will review your company data prior to submitting to commercial fleet insurance companies. If they see something a commercial fleet insurance company won’t like, they can address it with you and provide you with an opportunity to make changes before submitting to each carrier. The more information you can provide to a commercial fleet insurance underwriter, the better chances you have at achieving the lowest insurance rates. Because the for-hire, livery insurance market is so thin, carriers often get multiple submissions from duplicate brokers. Try to work with one broker at a time. You may think contacting multiple agencies well help you, but if they are all going to the same markets for commercial fleet insurance – it’s duplicating not only your own work, but the insurance companies as well. The livery market is a tough class of business and finding an experienced broker will absolutely give you a leg up on finding the lowest insurance rates over a generalist broker.

American Business Insurance Services, Inc. has been working with transportation companies across the nation for 35+ years. We have direct relationships with the most competitive commercial fleet insurance companies. We know what it takes to submit a complete application and present your company in the best light possible – which will no doubt translate to finding commercial fleet insurance at the lowest insurance rate.

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Autonomous Car Insurance and How it Works

How Autonomous Car Insurance Works

With technology in our society advancing at such an incredible rate, all of our cars could have minds entirely of their own within years. As a matter of fact, we are on our way there already. They are not yet available on a large scale. However, autonomous cars certainly are a reality and could eventually integrate themselves fully into our everyday lives. The question that many are asking has to do with insurance for an autonomous car. Car insurance typically protects the driver and car from mistakes that are caused by the driver. So if all cars will be completely autonomous and self-sufficient from humans, what is the point of insurance? If the car gets in an accident, who is then held responsible? In this futuristic dilemma, car insurance will work a little differently than we’re used to, but American Business Insurance is prepared to handle it.

How Do Autonomous Vehicles Work?

Essentially, autonomous vehicle manufacturers and designers will think of everything that a car needs a human for and remove those needs. For example, an autonomous car will be built with a GPS in it, so it doesn’t need a person to control navigation. Many of them also have sensors in and around them, in order to help them avoid accidents. Of course, this would typically be the job of the driver. There is also the element of augmented reality. AR is a method of getting information to the driver, such as displaying it on the windshield. This information could be directions, the speed of the car, information about the music thats playing, etc. And the vehicle is the one that has it all. The would-be driver just turns into a rider, and the car handles the rest.

Changes in Insurance

Insurance for autonomous vehicles will play a different role than insurance for a regular car. Instead of the driver or owner of the vehicle being responsible for accidents, it would likely be the manufacturer of the autonomous vehicle. Now, its rare for a malfunction of the vehicle to be the cause of an accident; they are almost always a result of human error. This could be the largest change to car insurance if and when autonomous vehicles become a norm in our society. Manufacturers being held responsible for insuring each vehicle themselves will create an expensive, long-term process before the vehicles can be safely put to use. It will also require an extensive process of making sure that many ethical issues are covered.

ABI’s Role

The idea that human-operated vehicles will be obsolete in everyday life may seem plausible only in the distant future. However, functioning autonomous cars are on their way to changing transportation forever. There are countless pros to autonomous vehicles, but insuring all vehicles so that riders are promised complete safety would be the primary con. To ease the process of insuring self-driving cars, ABI’s Insurance Services have exactly what it takes for companies to make the transition from human-driven cars to self-driven cars. With 75 years of experience in transportation network companies, ABI can make riders feel safe using new technology, and help our society continue to evolve in amazing ways. ABI has direct relationships with the insurance carriers they write policies through, allowing for great efficiency and attention to detail. But you don’t have to wait for all cars to drive themselves to achieve this kind of protection and safety; contact ABI for both large and small fleet insurance today!

How ABI is Protecting HyreCar

How ABI is Protecting Hyrecar

Ride-sharing services are taking the world of transportation by storm. Uber and Lyft are constantly relied on both by riders who need to get places efficiently, and by those who are employed by either company. However, many people are not aware that vehicles must meet certain standards in order to provide rides by Uber and Lyft. Due to these specific requirements for cars, many who desire to drive for the ride-sharing service aren’t allowed the opportunity. There was nothing they could do- until Hyrecar.

The Solution

HyreCar has arrived as the first car-matching service that works hand in hand with Uber and Lyft. The concept is simple: for those who desire to drive but don’t have a car that meets the requirements, HyreCar allows you to rent one and get right to work. Most issues that are preventing certain cars from qualifying for Uber and Lyft are simply problems that are typical of older vehicles. Its a lot to ask of someone to make them purchase an entirely new vehicle just to pass the restrictions test. In turn, less people would drive for Uber and Lyft, which hurts both the would-be drivers and the companies themselves.

The Process

HyreCar realized the very simple solution to this problem, and the founders were shocked when they found that no one had discovered this niche market yet. HyreCar’s platform is easy to use, while still being thorough. It allows car owners to post their vehicles that are up for rental, and when drivers find one they want, they create a profile. This profile includes information such as driver’s license and social security numbers, and drivers can pay just by entering their credit card information into the platform. HyreCar’s founders believe that their screening process for drivers is even stricter than those of Uber and Lyft, checking things like criminal records, DMV records, and sex-offender databases.

Everybody Wins

Thanks to HyreCar, everybody involved benefits in some way. Cars that would otherwise be sitting in a garage or not in use somewhere are making their owners money. Those who wish to be drivers are given an easy way to fulfill that desire without buying a whole new car. Uber and Lyft have more drivers for their companies and therefore generate more business. HyreCar benefits by charging drivers that rent from them a 10% fee and car owners a 15% fee.

How ABI is Covering HyreCar

American Business Insurance is providing HyreCar with a unique insurance policy to ensure the highest level of safety for both the drivers and riders. When a driver is not driving for a ride-sharing platform but is still in possession of the rented car, they are covered by ABI’s policy that covers both the riders and drivers. When they are driving for a ride-sharing platform with the rented car, the insurance defaults to the state-mandated policy provided by the respective ride-sharing company.

As far as HyreCar is aware, they are the only car-matching service that utilizes a unique insurance policy such as the one provided by American Business Insurance. Thanks to ABI, HyreCar now has a competitive advantage that will likely continue to garner success for the company.

Best Fleet Insurance Quotes

Here at American Business Insurance, we offer the best fleet insurance quotes for your corporate operations. American Business Insurance has been insuring businesses and fleets for over 30 years, providing coverage to services such as taxi and limousine. You can get the best insurance quote from us through our website, where you can find a wide range of information from custom insurance policies to our state-of-the-art online portal system, where you can be able to look at recent statements, claims, and such. What differentiates us from other competing companies is our flexibility, we have a strong support from customer service that make sure each customer’s specific needs are met. We know that every person and business has a different need, so we strive to provide a wide range of services and customization to fit different needs. If you are still wondering about using American Business Insurance for your company, here are a couple reasons why we provide the best fleet insurance quotes

3 Reasons why ABI Provides the Best Fleet Insurance Quotes

Doing Business since 1984

Yes, that is 30 plus years of providing insurance policies to a network of commercial transportation fleets. We have stayed in business for all this time, because we have always strived to provide our customers with the best corporate fleet insurance quotes. American Business Insurance has seen it all over the 30 years of what happens in the industry, so are always in the lead of industry and able to fluctuate with the market as it has its ups and downs.

Wide Range of Customers

Our services cover companies such as taxis, limousines, shuttles, buses and ambulances. Our best policies keep these companies thriving by keeping their customers safe and drivers insured. Such companies need alternatives from your typical consumer auto insurance policies, so feature such as Pay Per Mile, Pay per gallon, etc. Our company offers alternatives for those who drive for a living, often cutting prices on unnecessary coverage that other companies upcharge you for.

Adopting New Technologies

American Business Insurance will provide you with the best fleet insurance quotes. These best fleet insurance quotes come with the best service, whether that being streamlining the account management process for you or having a responsive customer service team. We are here to help always, from providing you with the best fleet insurance quotes to keeping customer satisfaction high. For us, that means adopting new ways of technology and bringing us closer to you.

In conclusion, you should get a quote for you business from us, because American Business Insurance provides you with the best fleet insurance quotes. When you own a fleet of vehicles for your business, whether that being a taxi company, or a trucking company, our flexible and customizable policies will make sure there is coverage available for you at the most available pricing. American Business Insurance has the experience, connections, and newest technologies to make sure your business stays alive and protected. So if you are still wondering if American Business Insurance can provide you with the BEST fleet insurance quotes, go to www.abiweb.com and see for yourself. Get Insured.

How to Insure Transportation Network Companies: A Detailed Guide to Getting your TNC off the Ground

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How to Insure Transportation Network Companies: A Detailed Guide to Getting your TNC off the Ground

Written by Laura Loftus on Monday, May 6th, 2019

Whether you are looking to start your own Transportation Network Company, On-Demand Delivery App or other Shared Economy business, one of the most important factors to consider is insurance! Sounds boring, I know. But as the world around us changes, insurance markets for transportation network companies are creating new structures and products. As an independent agency, American Business Insurance has direct relationships with all insurance companies currently writing specialized policies for transportation network companies.

Finding insurance for transportation network companies or other app-based businesses is no easy feat. As you may have already come to realize, most of your local brokers who specialize in personal lines don’t have relationships with insurance companies in this space. Many local brokers don’t understand what information to collect from business owners to present your transportation network company in the most insurable light.

Finding An Insurance Broker To Write Policies For Your Transportation Network Company

Most of the common insurance companies you may have already heard of are not writing policies because of the high-risk nature for transportation network companies. Insurance companies who are writing policies for transportation network companies are Surplus Lines carriers whose focus is in this specialized, technology driven market place.

Some people think that it is easy to join the long list of people who are trying to start transportation network companies to compete with those already dominating the world – Uber and Lyft. But in reality, the people who have created these transportation network companies worked for many years prior to actually launching.

To some, that might seem like a really long time but when an experienced insurance broker who is familiar with writing policies for transportation network companies asks you to assemble a list of items, it’s best to know exactly what you are getting yourself into. Don’t be fooled, there is a lot of prep, time and money that is required to build transportation network companies like Uber or Lyft.

transportation network companies

Minimum Premiums For Transportation Network Companies

As you might have anticipated, buying an insurance policy for transportation network companies is not cheap since most insurers in this space have minimum premiums of $75,000-100,000. We know, that is a lot of dough! The good news is, most of the carriers will accept a portion of that up-front and some even offer premium eroding endorsements. This means if your business doesn’t generate premium up to that amount within the year, they will carry over the credit to the following year.

Obtaining a quote requires you to find a broker who specializes in writing insurance for transportation network companies. Working with the right broker will not only save you time and money, but prevent you from buying coverages you don’t need and making sure that you have the ones you do. An experienced broker who is familiar with writing insurance for transportation network companies will know exactly what information to collect from you. They will also know how to present it best to the insurance markets who are writing policies for transportation network companies.

American Business Insurance Services, Inc.

Lucky for you, you found us! As an agency, we have been around long before ordering a ride from your smart-phone was an option. We specialize in public auto which means we understand more than anyone how transportation network companies operate.

transportation network companies

Items Transportation Network Companies Should Have Ready Before Calling Your Broker For A Quote:

Build the App:

  • One of the first questions I ask customers looking for insurance for transportation network companies is if the app is complete. Insurance company underwriters will want to download your app and make sure it’s working. Also, some companies have technology-based policies, meaning they integrate with your app to capture data on the drivers. Some even offer lower insurance rates based on favorable data collected (less speeding, hard stops, etcetera). Most policies for transportation network companies are usage based, so they have to be able to download your app and make sure it’s compatible with their insurance structure. Insurance companies often want to be able to pull reports from your app which include and are not limited to:

1. Knowing When A Trip Starts and Stops

2. How Many Miles For Each Trip

3. How Many Minutes/Hours For Each Trip

Business Plan & Projections:

  • There is a checklist of items the insurance company will want to see attached to the submission your broker sends. Your broker should be narrating to the insurance company all the hard work and thought you’ve put into creating these transportation network companies. Insurers will want to see a “pitch deck” which is something you might already have created to obtain investors. This document will present and explain your business model, why it is different from what is alreadyout there and how it will work long term. Some of the questions this document should answer are:

transportation network companies1. What are the company’s growth plans?

2. How will you monitor safety/loss control?

3. How is pricing structured so that the company is profitable?

 Safety and Training:

  • Safety and training is a big deal for insurers who are writing policies for transportation network companies. They will want to know what restrictions, checks and balances and training you will provide to drivers. They want to know how often you will check driving records and how often people have to pass background checks. The younger in age the drivers are that you allow to join your transportation network companies, the more expensive you can expect your insurance prices to be. Insurance companies want to know how you are going to prevent accidents from happening so that you build a positive reputation within the industry along side other transportation network companies like Uber and Lyft.

Bios on Key Officers/Investors:

  • Insurance companies want to know about the people behind the transportation network companies! If you want to join the group of dominating transportation network companies, they are going to want to know what experience you have, not only in transportation but also in being an entrepreneur. Take the time to write detailed bios for yourself and all other key members, officers and investors behind your transportation network company. Make sure to detail the knowledge and life experience you are bringing to the table in starting transportation network companies like Uber and Lyft. A well written, detailed bio will separate your company from all the rest and will give you a better advantage to better pricing on insurance for transportation network companies.

 Terms of Service & Privacy Conditions:

  • Although this may seem like a small piece of the puzzle to getting insurance for transportation network companies, most insurers want to see the liability of the app in regards to what they are promising to both their drivers and users. If you are a peer to peer platform, they want to see how the transaction will take place. Some of the questions that should be answered here are:

1. What Security Measures Are In Place To Protect The User?

2. How Should Complaints Be Filed?

3. What Terms and Conditions Does Your Company Adhere To? 

transportation network companies

Financial Balance Sheet:

  • Basically, a lot of what it takes to insure transportation network companies is having money, and a lot of it. Due to the hefty size of the minimum premiums for transportation network companies, generally ranging from $75,00-100,000, insurers want to make sure you not only have money to pay for the policy, but to also keep your business afloat and operating before you start turning a profit. It’s no secret that most transportation network companies do not profit until after the first year. Insurers want to see that you have raised money, not just for the cost of insurance but also for operating expenses, advertising and promotions.
  • When I review the balance sheet for transportation network companies, I know that most insurers want to see that you’ve raised at minimum $250,000-$1,000,000 in capital. Sometimes more. The reason for them wanting transportation network companies to raise this much money is because they know what it takes to gain traction in this unique space. They want to make sure the work they are putting in to quote and bind your policy will create a lasting relationship with you.

Guidance From American Business Insurance Services, INC

Starting any business takes time, research and money. We get phone calls from people daily thinking they are going to be the next Uber and Lyft. And believe me, we want you to make it big and compete against the monopoly that currently exists for transportation network companies. But in reality, we know that few of the phone calls we receive have actually taken the above steps which are required to make transportation network companies insurable.

If you have questions or need guidance, please give us a call and we will be happy to discuss over the phone! While some of the larger, corporate run agencies have the same relationships as us, few will offer the personal touch and value we have with every client.

Exclusive Contracts

Additionally, we have exclusive contracts with some companies that allow us to write at a lower minimum premium than others. We are an independent, family-run business with 75+ years of combined experience in the business insurance industry. We have invested in other transportation network companies, peer to peer and shared economy types of businesses. Most of us utilize transportation network companies and peer-to-peer apps regularly.

We literally have boots on the ground in this space and if you want the best pricing with the smoothest transaction – we are here for you!

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How to Save the MOST Money on Your Commercial Fleet Insurance Rates

ABI Transportation Experts Speak: How to Save the MOST Money on Your Commercial Fleet Insurance Rates

Written by Laura Loftus on Thursday, February 28th, 2019

 

When speaking with clients about their commercial fleet insurance, the most common concern is how to get the lowest insurance rates. About 100% of the customers I speak to daily all have the same goal – they want the lowest insurance rates available and will do whatever it takes to get it. Whether you own a Taxi, Limo, Paratransit or Shared Economy company (peer to peer platform app), it’s a given that you want your commercial fleet insurance coverage at the lowest insurance rates available. What many companies don’t realize, especially start-ups, is that commercial fleet insurance underwriters do quite a bit of digging on your company through a variety of platforms to “check you out” prior to releasing a quote. They read Yelp reviews, they look at your website, they do Better Business Bureau checks – all of it.

There are common mistakes that transportation service companies are repeatedly making that will create doubt in a commercial fleet insurance company. These mistakes actually prevent your broker from being able to find the lowest insurance rates for your company. Most of these companies think they are making business decisions that will guide them toward the lowest insurance rates, and are unaware that their current website or driver pool is actually hurting their chances of achieving the lowest possible commercial fleet insurance rate.

Five common flubs transportation service companies are making that prevent your commercial fleet insurance broker from obtaining the lowest insurance rates possible:

1) Company Website

The first and most common mistake we see from commercial auto risks who are in the “wheels” business as us underwriters call it – is that you over the amount of experience or size of your transportation service company.  It is common for commercial fleet insurance underwriters to google your company to pick apart your website. Here are some items you may think are helping your chances at obtaining the lowest insurance rates but are actually red flags to commercial fleet insurance companies:

  •  Words like “Fast Pick-up” or ‘Delivery in Minutes” – no commercial fleet insurance underwriter wants to see that you are promising rushed services. Rushing = equals unsafe driving behavior.

commercial fleet insurance

  • Advertising vehicles that are not actually part of your fleet. For example, just yesterday I was helping a 35-car fleet in Portland with obtaining commercial fleet insurance quotes. The list of vehicles they provided were all private passenger type vehicles (meaning seating capacity of 8 or less) – good! But when I searched the company online, they advertised a large shuttle bus and a higher seating capacity van. When I asked the client about this, they those vehicles had been sold and they had no plans to replace them. Keeping your website up to date and only advertising only what you can actually deliver will keep unwanted questions from creeping into the commercial fleet insurance underwriters’ mind. Creating uncertainty is the last thing you want to do with a commercial fleet insurance underwriter when trying to obtain the lowest insurance rates.
  •  Age of vehicles is important to commercial fleet insurance companies. Publishing a picture of a 30-year-old vehicle is no bueno. Keep your fleet serviced regularly (we recommend every three to four thousand miles and cycle out old units. Newer, cleaner & well-maintained vehicles are not only more desired by clientele (when trying to compete with Uber/Lyft) but also preferred by commercial fleet insurance companies trying to avoid claims due to mechanical defect.
  • If you boast 20 years of experience but your LLC was filed three years ago, it creates uncertainty with insurance companies. It’s better to accurately reflect your business as it is now, and not what you want it to be five years from now. Just as there are items to avoid putting on your website, there are points that you should include on your website. It is always a good idea to brag about highly trained drivers and safety training you provide (more on this later). Be sure to note the maintenance you keep up with for your fleet, the background checks the city you operate in mandates and the highest level of driving records required for your drivers. Commercial fleet insurance underwriters like stable fleets with safe drivers. Bottom line, safer risks translates to commercial fleet insurance underwriters offering the lowest insurance rates.

2) Creating a Business Name

This may seem simple enough but for transportation business owners looking to for the lowest insurance rates, people often think that commercial fleet insurance companies give the lowest insurance rates to Limo’s and Non-Emergency Medical risks over a taxi or airport shuttle. While this might be true, cornering yourself into a specific type of transportation in your business name narrows the list of commercial fleet insurance carriers you are eligible for. Many markets write only taxis or only limos. So, if you file your business name with the Secretary of State as Laura’s Taxi & Limo Service, LLC. – it could possibly make you ineligible for a limo commercial fleet insurance program because they don’t insure taxis and vice versa – even if your unit type meets their requirements. When talking with clients, I always say it’s best to be general about the transportation type within the name of their business, especially as market conditions change. You may be heavy in taxi trips one year but then obtain a paratransit contract and do more of that the following year. The more years of favorable loss history (loss runs) you can provide, the better chance you have at obtaining the lowest insurance rates. Choosing a business name that is general such as Laura’s Transportation Service, LLC. allows you flexibility to transform and evolve your business as the industry demands change.

3) Loss Control is Everything

Underwriters give commercial fleet insurance at the lowest insurance rates to companies with low levels of paid claims. Even in a hard insurance market, with rates rising for the good guys too, you can expect to pay more for commercial fleet insurance if you’re prior insurance companies have paid a lot in claims. Here are some suggestions in tightening loss control for your transportation service company:

  •  Hire a full-time loss control or driver manager who will enforce a safety culture. Doing this, will lower the frequency and severity of claim payouts and put your transportation service company in a better position to obtain the lowest insurance rates. This person should be in charge of overseeing the overall safety of your company. Managing and coaching your drivers is the key to a successful transportation service company. You are only as good as your worst driver.
  • commercial fleet insurance Invest in cameras that capture not only accidents but also driver analytics. This type of camera system will allow you to review driver behavior and correct bad habits before they cause an accident. We like to say this method is similar to that of a professional athlete. How do they improve? They watch their game film and correct bad habits. Driving professionally is the same. The more you do it, the more comfortable you get and having drivers watch themselves reduces risky behavior dramatically. Additionally, it’s a known fact that many commercial fleet insurance claims are paid because of he said/she said situations. Having accidents on camera is the best way to know who exactly was at fault and exonerate innocent drivers.
  •  Hold weekly safety huddles and or monthly meetings. Review the data and claims that have occurred recently and talk to your drivers about how they could have been prevented.
  •  Commit to investing in annual defensive driving training for your drivers. This annual reminder to drivers will ensure that bad habits are addressed and give each driver a time to reflect on their own performance.
  • Implement a reward program for safe drivers. Giving an incentive, even if it’s small monetary gift cards – keeps your drivers focused and motivated on safe driving habits.

4) The Driver Pool

The Driver Pool is so important when trying to achieve the lowest insurance rates from commercial fleet insurance providers for your transportation company. How you chose to manage drivers and who you hire is crucial. Create formal guidelines that clearly outline what is acceptable for employment. We recommend only hiring drivers with zero accidents within the past three years and minimal moving violations. Clean MVRs are best but we know that professional drivers with experience usually do not have clean MVRs and this is ok. Professional drivers are on the road up to 3x more than someone commuting to/from work so it’s a given that they will most likely have more violations on their records. Repeat offenders can impact the cost of your commercial fleet insurance and should be let go. No one is perfect, but you should train your drivers with the goal to be as safe as possible. Excessive violations on a driving record can cause surcharges and prevent you from obtaining the lower insurance rates. Additionally, younger drivers sometimes generate higher premiums for commercial fleet insurance as well as newly licensed individuals.

5) Contact an Experienced, Transportation Insurance Broker

commercial fleet insurance

Working with a transportation specialist versus a local agency makes a huge difference as commercial fleet insurance brokers have access to many more transportation focused insurance companies. Also, an experienced broker will review your company data prior to submitting to commercial fleet insurance companies. If they see something a commercial fleet insurance company won’t like, they can address it with you and provide you with an opportunity to make changes before submitting to each carrier. The more information you can provide to a commercial fleet insurance underwriter, the better chances you have at achieving the lowest insurance rates. Because the for-hire, livery insurance market is so thin, carriers often get multiple submissions from duplicate brokers. Try to work with one broker at a time. You may think contacting multiple agencies well help you, but if they are all going to the same markets for commercial fleet insurance – it’s duplicating not only your own work, but the insurance companies as well. The livery market is a tough class of business and finding an experienced broker will absolutely give you a leg up on finding the lowest insurance rates over a generalist broker.

American Business Insurance Services, Inc. has been working with transportation companies across the nation for 35+ years. We have direct relationships with the most competitive commercial fleet insurance companies. We know what it takes to submit a complete application and present your company in the best light possible – which will no doubt translate to finding commercial fleet insurance at the lowest insurance rate.

Looking for a quote? Click here

Autonomous Car Insurance and How it Works

How Autonomous Car Insurance Works

With technology in our society advancing at such an incredible rate, all of our cars could have minds entirely of their own within years. As a matter of fact, we are on our way there already. They are not yet available on a large scale. However, autonomous cars certainly are a reality and could eventually integrate themselves fully into our everyday lives. The question that many are asking has to do with insurance for an autonomous car. Car insurance typically protects the driver and car from mistakes that are caused by the driver. So if all cars will be completely autonomous and self-sufficient from humans, what is the point of insurance? If the car gets in an accident, who is then held responsible? In this futuristic dilemma, car insurance will work a little differently than we’re used to, but American Business Insurance is prepared to handle it.

How Do Autonomous Vehicles Work?

Essentially, autonomous vehicle manufacturers and designers will think of everything that a car needs a human for and remove those needs. For example, an autonomous car will be built with a GPS in it, so it doesn’t need a person to control navigation. Many of them also have sensors in and around them, in order to help them avoid accidents. Of course, this would typically be the job of the driver. There is also the element of augmented reality. AR is a method of getting information to the driver, such as displaying it on the windshield. This information could be directions, the speed of the car, information about the music thats playing, etc. And the vehicle is the one that has it all. The would-be driver just turns into a rider, and the car handles the rest.

Changes in Insurance

Insurance for autonomous vehicles will play a different role than insurance for a regular car. Instead of the driver or owner of the vehicle being responsible for accidents, it would likely be the manufacturer of the autonomous vehicle. Now, its rare for a malfunction of the vehicle to be the cause of an accident; they are almost always a result of human error. This could be the largest change to car insurance if and when autonomous vehicles become a norm in our society. Manufacturers being held responsible for insuring each vehicle themselves will create an expensive, long-term process before the vehicles can be safely put to use. It will also require an extensive process of making sure that many ethical issues are covered.

ABI’s Role

The idea that human-operated vehicles will be obsolete in everyday life may seem plausible only in the distant future. However, functioning autonomous cars are on their way to changing transportation forever. There are countless pros to autonomous vehicles, but insuring all vehicles so that riders are promised complete safety would be the primary con. To ease the process of insuring self-driving cars, ABI’s Insurance Services have exactly what it takes for companies to make the transition from human-driven cars to self-driven cars. With 75 years of experience in transportation network companies, ABI can make riders feel safe using new technology, and help our society continue to evolve in amazing ways. ABI has direct relationships with the insurance carriers they write policies through, allowing for great efficiency and attention to detail. But you don’t have to wait for all cars to drive themselves to achieve this kind of protection and safety; contact ABI for both large and small fleet insurance today!

How ABI is Protecting HyreCar

How ABI is Protecting Hyrecar

Ride-sharing services are taking the world of transportation by storm. Uber and Lyft are constantly relied on both by riders who need to get places efficiently, and by those who are employed by either company. However, many people are not aware that vehicles must meet certain standards in order to provide rides by Uber and Lyft. Due to these specific requirements for cars, many who desire to drive for the ride-sharing service aren’t allowed the opportunity. There was nothing they could do- until Hyrecar.

The Solution

HyreCar has arrived as the first car-matching service that works hand in hand with Uber and Lyft. The concept is simple: for those who desire to drive but don’t have a car that meets the requirements, HyreCar allows you to rent one and get right to work. Most issues that are preventing certain cars from qualifying for Uber and Lyft are simply problems that are typical of older vehicles. Its a lot to ask of someone to make them purchase an entirely new vehicle just to pass the restrictions test. In turn, less people would drive for Uber and Lyft, which hurts both the would-be drivers and the companies themselves.

The Process

HyreCar realized the very simple solution to this problem, and the founders were shocked when they found that no one had discovered this niche market yet. HyreCar’s platform is easy to use, while still being thorough. It allows car owners to post their vehicles that are up for rental, and when drivers find one they want, they create a profile. This profile includes information such as driver’s license and social security numbers, and drivers can pay just by entering their credit card information into the platform. HyreCar’s founders believe that their screening process for drivers is even stricter than those of Uber and Lyft, checking things like criminal records, DMV records, and sex-offender databases.

Everybody Wins

Thanks to HyreCar, everybody involved benefits in some way. Cars that would otherwise be sitting in a garage or not in use somewhere are making their owners money. Those who wish to be drivers are given an easy way to fulfill that desire without buying a whole new car. Uber and Lyft have more drivers for their companies and therefore generate more business. HyreCar benefits by charging drivers that rent from them a 10% fee and car owners a 15% fee.

How ABI is Covering HyreCar

American Business Insurance is providing HyreCar with a unique insurance policy to ensure the highest level of safety for both the drivers and riders. When a driver is not driving for a ride-sharing platform but is still in possession of the rented car, they are covered by ABI’s policy that covers both the riders and drivers. When they are driving for a ride-sharing platform with the rented car, the insurance defaults to the state-mandated policy provided by the respective ride-sharing company.

As far as HyreCar is aware, they are the only car-matching service that utilizes a unique insurance policy such as the one provided by American Business Insurance. Thanks to ABI, HyreCar now has a competitive advantage that will likely continue to garner success for the company.

Best Fleet Insurance Quotes

Here at American Business Insurance, we offer the best fleet insurance quotes for your corporate operations. American Business Insurance has been insuring businesses and fleets for over 30 years, providing coverage to services such as taxi and limousine. You can get the best insurance quote from us through our website, where you can find a wide range of information from custom insurance policies to our state-of-the-art online portal system, where you can be able to look at recent statements, claims, and such. What differentiates us from other competing companies is our flexibility, we have a strong support from customer service that make sure each customer’s specific needs are met. We know that every person and business has a different need, so we strive to provide a wide range of services and customization to fit different needs. If you are still wondering about using American Business Insurance for your company, here are a couple reasons why we provide the best fleet insurance quotes

3 Reasons why ABI Provides the Best Fleet Insurance Quotes

Doing Business since 1984

Yes, that is 30 plus years of providing insurance policies to a network of commercial transportation fleets. We have stayed in business for all this time, because we have always strived to provide our customers with the best corporate fleet insurance quotes. American Business Insurance has seen it all over the 30 years of what happens in the industry, so are always in the lead of industry and able to fluctuate with the market as it has its ups and downs.

Wide Range of Customers

Our services cover companies such as taxis, limousines, shuttles, buses and ambulances. Our best policies keep these companies thriving by keeping their customers safe and drivers insured. Such companies need alternatives from your typical consumer auto insurance policies, so feature such as Pay Per Mile, Pay per gallon, etc. Our company offers alternatives for those who drive for a living, often cutting prices on unnecessary coverage that other companies upcharge you for.

Adopting New Technologies

American Business Insurance will provide you with the best fleet insurance quotes. These best fleet insurance quotes come with the best service, whether that being streamlining the account management process for you or having a responsive customer service team. We are here to help always, from providing you with the best fleet insurance quotes to keeping customer satisfaction high. For us, that means adopting new ways of technology and bringing us closer to you.

In conclusion, you should get a quote for you business from us, because American Business Insurance provides you with the best fleet insurance quotes. When you own a fleet of vehicles for your business, whether that being a taxi company, or a trucking company, our flexible and customizable policies will make sure there is coverage available for you at the most available pricing. American Business Insurance has the experience, connections, and newest technologies to make sure your business stays alive and protected. So if you are still wondering if American Business Insurance can provide you with the BEST fleet insurance quotes, go to www.abiweb.com and see for yourself. Get Insured.

How to Insure Transportation Network Companies: A Detailed Guide to Getting your TNC off the Ground

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How to Insure Transportation Network Companies: A Detailed Guide to Getting your TNC off the Ground

Written by Laura Loftus on Monday, May 6th, 2019

Whether you are looking to start your own Transportation Network Company, On-Demand Delivery App or other Shared Economy business, one of the most important factors to consider is insurance! Sounds boring, I know. But as the world around us changes, insurance markets for transportation network companies are creating new structures and products. As an independent agency, American Business Insurance has direct relationships with all insurance companies currently writing specialized policies for transportation network companies.

Finding insurance for transportation network companies or other app-based businesses is no easy feat. As you may have already come to realize, most of your local brokers who specialize in personal lines don’t have relationships with insurance companies in this space. Many local brokers don’t understand what information to collect from business owners to present your transportation network company in the most insurable light.

Finding An Insurance Broker To Write Policies For Your Transportation Network Company

Most of the common insurance companies you may have already heard of are not writing policies because of the high-risk nature for transportation network companies. Insurance companies who are writing policies for transportation network companies are Surplus Lines carriers whose focus is in this specialized, technology driven market place.

Some people think that it is easy to join the long list of people who are trying to start transportation network companies to compete with those already dominating the world – Uber and Lyft. But in reality, the people who have created these transportation network companies worked for many years prior to actually launching.

To some, that might seem like a really long time but when an experienced insurance broker who is familiar with writing policies for transportation network companies asks you to assemble a list of items, it’s best to know exactly what you are getting yourself into. Don’t be fooled, there is a lot of prep, time and money that is required to build transportation network companies like Uber or Lyft.

transportation network companies

Minimum Premiums For Transportation Network Companies

As you might have anticipated, buying an insurance policy for transportation network companies is not cheap since most insurers in this space have minimum premiums of $75,000-100,000. We know, that is a lot of dough! The good news is, most of the carriers will accept a portion of that up-front and some even offer premium eroding endorsements. This means if your business doesn’t generate premium up to that amount within the year, they will carry over the credit to the following year.

Obtaining a quote requires you to find a broker who specializes in writing insurance for transportation network companies. Working with the right broker will not only save you time and money, but prevent you from buying coverages you don’t need and making sure that you have the ones you do. An experienced broker who is familiar with writing insurance for transportation network companies will know exactly what information to collect from you. They will also know how to present it best to the insurance markets who are writing policies for transportation network companies.

American Business Insurance Services, Inc.

Lucky for you, you found us! As an agency, we have been around long before ordering a ride from your smart-phone was an option. We specialize in public auto which means we understand more than anyone how transportation network companies operate.

transportation network companies

Items Transportation Network Companies Should Have Ready Before Calling Your Broker For A Quote:

Build the App:

  • One of the first questions I ask customers looking for insurance for transportation network companies is if the app is complete. Insurance company underwriters will want to download your app and make sure it’s working. Also, some companies have technology-based policies, meaning they integrate with your app to capture data on the drivers. Some even offer lower insurance rates based on favorable data collected (less speeding, hard stops, etcetera). Most policies for transportation network companies are usage based, so they have to be able to download your app and make sure it’s compatible with their insurance structure. Insurance companies often want to be able to pull reports from your app which include and are not limited to:

1. Knowing When A Trip Starts and Stops

2. How Many Miles For Each Trip

3. How Many Minutes/Hours For Each Trip

Business Plan & Projections:

  • There is a checklist of items the insurance company will want to see attached to the submission your broker sends. Your broker should be narrating to the insurance company all the hard work and thought you’ve put into creating these transportation network companies. Insurers will want to see a “pitch deck” which is something you might already have created to obtain investors. This document will present and explain your business model, why it is different from what is alreadyout there and how it will work long term. Some of the questions this document should answer are:

transportation network companies1. What are the company’s growth plans?

2. How will you monitor safety/loss control?

3. How is pricing structured so that the company is profitable?

 Safety and Training:

  • Safety and training is a big deal for insurers who are writing policies for transportation network companies. They will want to know what restrictions, checks and balances and training you will provide to drivers. They want to know how often you will check driving records and how often people have to pass background checks. The younger in age the drivers are that you allow to join your transportation network companies, the more expensive you can expect your insurance prices to be. Insurance companies want to know how you are going to prevent accidents from happening so that you build a positive reputation within the industry along side other transportation network companies like Uber and Lyft.

Bios on Key Officers/Investors:

  • Insurance companies want to know about the people behind the transportation network companies! If you want to join the group of dominating transportation network companies, they are going to want to know what experience you have, not only in transportation but also in being an entrepreneur. Take the time to write detailed bios for yourself and all other key members, officers and investors behind your transportation network company. Make sure to detail the knowledge and life experience you are bringing to the table in starting transportation network companies like Uber and Lyft. A well written, detailed bio will separate your company from all the rest and will give you a better advantage to better pricing on insurance for transportation network companies.

 Terms of Service & Privacy Conditions:

  • Although this may seem like a small piece of the puzzle to getting insurance for transportation network companies, most insurers want to see the liability of the app in regards to what they are promising to both their drivers and users. If you are a peer to peer platform, they want to see how the transaction will take place. Some of the questions that should be answered here are:

1. What Security Measures Are In Place To Protect The User?

2. How Should Complaints Be Filed?

3. What Terms and Conditions Does Your Company Adhere To? 

transportation network companies

Financial Balance Sheet:

  • Basically, a lot of what it takes to insure transportation network companies is having money, and a lot of it. Due to the hefty size of the minimum premiums for transportation network companies, generally ranging from $75,00-100,000, insurers want to make sure you not only have money to pay for the policy, but to also keep your business afloat and operating before you start turning a profit. It’s no secret that most transportation network companies do not profit until after the first year. Insurers want to see that you have raised money, not just for the cost of insurance but also for operating expenses, advertising and promotions.
  • When I review the balance sheet for transportation network companies, I know that most insurers want to see that you’ve raised at minimum $250,000-$1,000,000 in capital. Sometimes more. The reason for them wanting transportation network companies to raise this much money is because they know what it takes to gain traction in this unique space. They want to make sure the work they are putting in to quote and bind your policy will create a lasting relationship with you.

Guidance From American Business Insurance Services, INC

Starting any business takes time, research and money. We get phone calls from people daily thinking they are going to be the next Uber and Lyft. And believe me, we want you to make it big and compete against the monopoly that currently exists for transportation network companies. But in reality, we know that few of the phone calls we receive have actually taken the above steps which are required to make transportation network companies insurable.

If you have questions or need guidance, please give us a call and we will be happy to discuss over the phone! While some of the larger, corporate run agencies have the same relationships as us, few will offer the personal touch and value we have with every client.

Exclusive Contracts

Additionally, we have exclusive contracts with some companies that allow us to write at a lower minimum premium than others. We are an independent, family-run business with 75+ years of combined experience in the business insurance industry. We have invested in other transportation network companies, peer to peer and shared economy types of businesses. Most of us utilize transportation network companies and peer-to-peer apps regularly.

We literally have boots on the ground in this space and if you want the best pricing with the smoothest transaction – we are here for you!

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How to Save the MOST Money on Your Commercial Fleet Insurance Rates

ABI Transportation Experts Speak: How to Save the MOST Money on Your Commercial Fleet Insurance Rates

Written by Laura Loftus on Thursday, February 28th, 2019

 

When speaking with clients about their commercial fleet insurance, the most common concern is how to get the lowest insurance rates. About 100% of the customers I speak to daily all have the same goal – they want the lowest insurance rates available and will do whatever it takes to get it. Whether you own a Taxi, Limo, Paratransit or Shared Economy company (peer to peer platform app), it’s a given that you want your commercial fleet insurance coverage at the lowest insurance rates available. What many companies don’t realize, especially start-ups, is that commercial fleet insurance underwriters do quite a bit of digging on your company through a variety of platforms to “check you out” prior to releasing a quote. They read Yelp reviews, they look at your website, they do Better Business Bureau checks – all of it.

There are common mistakes that transportation service companies are repeatedly making that will create doubt in a commercial fleet insurance company. These mistakes actually prevent your broker from being able to find the lowest insurance rates for your company. Most of these companies think they are making business decisions that will guide them toward the lowest insurance rates, and are unaware that their current website or driver pool is actually hurting their chances of achieving the lowest possible commercial fleet insurance rate.

Five common flubs transportation service companies are making that prevent your commercial fleet insurance broker from obtaining the lowest insurance rates possible:

1) Company Website

The first and most common mistake we see from commercial auto risks who are in the “wheels” business as us underwriters call it – is that you over the amount of experience or size of your transportation service company.  It is common for commercial fleet insurance underwriters to google your company to pick apart your website. Here are some items you may think are helping your chances at obtaining the lowest insurance rates but are actually red flags to commercial fleet insurance companies:

  •  Words like “Fast Pick-up” or ‘Delivery in Minutes” – no commercial fleet insurance underwriter wants to see that you are promising rushed services. Rushing = equals unsafe driving behavior.

commercial fleet insurance

  • Advertising vehicles that are not actually part of your fleet. For example, just yesterday I was helping a 35-car fleet in Portland with obtaining commercial fleet insurance quotes. The list of vehicles they provided were all private passenger type vehicles (meaning seating capacity of 8 or less) – good! But when I searched the company online, they advertised a large shuttle bus and a higher seating capacity van. When I asked the client about this, they those vehicles had been sold and they had no plans to replace them. Keeping your website up to date and only advertising only what you can actually deliver will keep unwanted questions from creeping into the commercial fleet insurance underwriters’ mind. Creating uncertainty is the last thing you want to do with a commercial fleet insurance underwriter when trying to obtain the lowest insurance rates.
  •  Age of vehicles is important to commercial fleet insurance companies. Publishing a picture of a 30-year-old vehicle is no bueno. Keep your fleet serviced regularly (we recommend every three to four thousand miles and cycle out old units. Newer, cleaner & well-maintained vehicles are not only more desired by clientele (when trying to compete with Uber/Lyft) but also preferred by commercial fleet insurance companies trying to avoid claims due to mechanical defect.
  • If you boast 20 years of experience but your LLC was filed three years ago, it creates uncertainty with insurance companies. It’s better to accurately reflect your business as it is now, and not what you want it to be five years from now. Just as there are items to avoid putting on your website, there are points that you should include on your website. It is always a good idea to brag about highly trained drivers and safety training you provide (more on this later). Be sure to note the maintenance you keep up with for your fleet, the background checks the city you operate in mandates and the highest level of driving records required for your drivers. Commercial fleet insurance underwriters like stable fleets with safe drivers. Bottom line, safer risks translates to commercial fleet insurance underwriters offering the lowest insurance rates.

2) Creating a Business Name

This may seem simple enough but for transportation business owners looking to for the lowest insurance rates, people often think that commercial fleet insurance companies give the lowest insurance rates to Limo’s and Non-Emergency Medical risks over a taxi or airport shuttle. While this might be true, cornering yourself into a specific type of transportation in your business name narrows the list of commercial fleet insurance carriers you are eligible for. Many markets write only taxis or only limos. So, if you file your business name with the Secretary of State as Laura’s Taxi & Limo Service, LLC. – it could possibly make you ineligible for a limo commercial fleet insurance program because they don’t insure taxis and vice versa – even if your unit type meets their requirements. When talking with clients, I always say it’s best to be general about the transportation type within the name of their business, especially as market conditions change. You may be heavy in taxi trips one year but then obtain a paratransit contract and do more of that the following year. The more years of favorable loss history (loss runs) you can provide, the better chance you have at obtaining the lowest insurance rates. Choosing a business name that is general such as Laura’s Transportation Service, LLC. allows you flexibility to transform and evolve your business as the industry demands change.

3) Loss Control is Everything

Underwriters give commercial fleet insurance at the lowest insurance rates to companies with low levels of paid claims. Even in a hard insurance market, with rates rising for the good guys too, you can expect to pay more for commercial fleet insurance if you’re prior insurance companies have paid a lot in claims. Here are some suggestions in tightening loss control for your transportation service company:

  •  Hire a full-time loss control or driver manager who will enforce a safety culture. Doing this, will lower the frequency and severity of claim payouts and put your transportation service company in a better position to obtain the lowest insurance rates. This person should be in charge of overseeing the overall safety of your company. Managing and coaching your drivers is the key to a successful transportation service company. You are only as good as your worst driver.
  • commercial fleet insurance Invest in cameras that capture not only accidents but also driver analytics. This type of camera system will allow you to review driver behavior and correct bad habits before they cause an accident. We like to say this method is similar to that of a professional athlete. How do they improve? They watch their game film and correct bad habits. Driving professionally is the same. The more you do it, the more comfortable you get and having drivers watch themselves reduces risky behavior dramatically. Additionally, it’s a known fact that many commercial fleet insurance claims are paid because of he said/she said situations. Having accidents on camera is the best way to know who exactly was at fault and exonerate innocent drivers.
  •  Hold weekly safety huddles and or monthly meetings. Review the data and claims that have occurred recently and talk to your drivers about how they could have been prevented.
  •  Commit to investing in annual defensive driving training for your drivers. This annual reminder to drivers will ensure that bad habits are addressed and give each driver a time to reflect on their own performance.
  • Implement a reward program for safe drivers. Giving an incentive, even if it’s small monetary gift cards – keeps your drivers focused and motivated on safe driving habits.

4) The Driver Pool

The Driver Pool is so important when trying to achieve the lowest insurance rates from commercial fleet insurance providers for your transportation company. How you chose to manage drivers and who you hire is crucial. Create formal guidelines that clearly outline what is acceptable for employment. We recommend only hiring drivers with zero accidents within the past three years and minimal moving violations. Clean MVRs are best but we know that professional drivers with experience usually do not have clean MVRs and this is ok. Professional drivers are on the road up to 3x more than someone commuting to/from work so it’s a given that they will most likely have more violations on their records. Repeat offenders can impact the cost of your commercial fleet insurance and should be let go. No one is perfect, but you should train your drivers with the goal to be as safe as possible. Excessive violations on a driving record can cause surcharges and prevent you from obtaining the lower insurance rates. Additionally, younger drivers sometimes generate higher premiums for commercial fleet insurance as well as newly licensed individuals.

5) Contact an Experienced, Transportation Insurance Broker

commercial fleet insurance

Working with a transportation specialist versus a local agency makes a huge difference as commercial fleet insurance brokers have access to many more transportation focused insurance companies. Also, an experienced broker will review your company data prior to submitting to commercial fleet insurance companies. If they see something a commercial fleet insurance company won’t like, they can address it with you and provide you with an opportunity to make changes before submitting to each carrier. The more information you can provide to a commercial fleet insurance underwriter, the better chances you have at achieving the lowest insurance rates. Because the for-hire, livery insurance market is so thin, carriers often get multiple submissions from duplicate brokers. Try to work with one broker at a time. You may think contacting multiple agencies well help you, but if they are all going to the same markets for commercial fleet insurance – it’s duplicating not only your own work, but the insurance companies as well. The livery market is a tough class of business and finding an experienced broker will absolutely give you a leg up on finding the lowest insurance rates over a generalist broker.

American Business Insurance Services, Inc. has been working with transportation companies across the nation for 35+ years. We have direct relationships with the most competitive commercial fleet insurance companies. We know what it takes to submit a complete application and present your company in the best light possible – which will no doubt translate to finding commercial fleet insurance at the lowest insurance rate.

Looking for a quote? Click here

Autonomous Car Insurance and How it Works

How Autonomous Car Insurance Works

With technology in our society advancing at such an incredible rate, all of our cars could have minds entirely of their own within years. As a matter of fact, we are on our way there already. They are not yet available on a large scale. However, autonomous cars certainly are a reality and could eventually integrate themselves fully into our everyday lives. The question that many are asking has to do with insurance for an autonomous car. Car insurance typically protects the driver and car from mistakes that are caused by the driver. So if all cars will be completely autonomous and self-sufficient from humans, what is the point of insurance? If the car gets in an accident, who is then held responsible? In this futuristic dilemma, car insurance will work a little differently than we’re used to, but American Business Insurance is prepared to handle it.

How Do Autonomous Vehicles Work?

Essentially, autonomous vehicle manufacturers and designers will think of everything that a car needs a human for and remove those needs. For example, an autonomous car will be built with a GPS in it, so it doesn’t need a person to control navigation. Many of them also have sensors in and around them, in order to help them avoid accidents. Of course, this would typically be the job of the driver. There is also the element of augmented reality. AR is a method of getting information to the driver, such as displaying it on the windshield. This information could be directions, the speed of the car, information about the music thats playing, etc. And the vehicle is the one that has it all. The would-be driver just turns into a rider, and the car handles the rest.

Changes in Insurance

Insurance for autonomous vehicles will play a different role than insurance for a regular car. Instead of the driver or owner of the vehicle being responsible for accidents, it would likely be the manufacturer of the autonomous vehicle. Now, its rare for a malfunction of the vehicle to be the cause of an accident; they are almost always a result of human error. This could be the largest change to car insurance if and when autonomous vehicles become a norm in our society. Manufacturers being held responsible for insuring each vehicle themselves will create an expensive, long-term process before the vehicles can be safely put to use. It will also require an extensive process of making sure that many ethical issues are covered.

ABI’s Role

The idea that human-operated vehicles will be obsolete in everyday life may seem plausible only in the distant future. However, functioning autonomous cars are on their way to changing transportation forever. There are countless pros to autonomous vehicles, but insuring all vehicles so that riders are promised complete safety would be the primary con. To ease the process of insuring self-driving cars, ABI’s Insurance Services have exactly what it takes for companies to make the transition from human-driven cars to self-driven cars. With 75 years of experience in transportation network companies, ABI can make riders feel safe using new technology, and help our society continue to evolve in amazing ways. ABI has direct relationships with the insurance carriers they write policies through, allowing for great efficiency and attention to detail. But you don’t have to wait for all cars to drive themselves to achieve this kind of protection and safety; contact ABI for both large and small fleet insurance today!

How ABI is Protecting HyreCar

How ABI is Protecting Hyrecar

Ride-sharing services are taking the world of transportation by storm. Uber and Lyft are constantly relied on both by riders who need to get places efficiently, and by those who are employed by either company. However, many people are not aware that vehicles must meet certain standards in order to provide rides by Uber and Lyft. Due to these specific requirements for cars, many who desire to drive for the ride-sharing service aren’t allowed the opportunity. There was nothing they could do- until Hyrecar.

The Solution

HyreCar has arrived as the first car-matching service that works hand in hand with Uber and Lyft. The concept is simple: for those who desire to drive but don’t have a car that meets the requirements, HyreCar allows you to rent one and get right to work. Most issues that are preventing certain cars from qualifying for Uber and Lyft are simply problems that are typical of older vehicles. Its a lot to ask of someone to make them purchase an entirely new vehicle just to pass the restrictions test. In turn, less people would drive for Uber and Lyft, which hurts both the would-be drivers and the companies themselves.

The Process

HyreCar realized the very simple solution to this problem, and the founders were shocked when they found that no one had discovered this niche market yet. HyreCar’s platform is easy to use, while still being thorough. It allows car owners to post their vehicles that are up for rental, and when drivers find one they want, they create a profile. This profile includes information such as driver’s license and social security numbers, and drivers can pay just by entering their credit card information into the platform. HyreCar’s founders believe that their screening process for drivers is even stricter than those of Uber and Lyft, checking things like criminal records, DMV records, and sex-offender databases.

Everybody Wins

Thanks to HyreCar, everybody involved benefits in some way. Cars that would otherwise be sitting in a garage or not in use somewhere are making their owners money. Those who wish to be drivers are given an easy way to fulfill that desire without buying a whole new car. Uber and Lyft have more drivers for their companies and therefore generate more business. HyreCar benefits by charging drivers that rent from them a 10% fee and car owners a 15% fee.

How ABI is Covering HyreCar

American Business Insurance is providing HyreCar with a unique insurance policy to ensure the highest level of safety for both the drivers and riders. When a driver is not driving for a ride-sharing platform but is still in possession of the rented car, they are covered by ABI’s policy that covers both the riders and drivers. When they are driving for a ride-sharing platform with the rented car, the insurance defaults to the state-mandated policy provided by the respective ride-sharing company.

As far as HyreCar is aware, they are the only car-matching service that utilizes a unique insurance policy such as the one provided by American Business Insurance. Thanks to ABI, HyreCar now has a competitive advantage that will likely continue to garner success for the company.

Best Fleet Insurance Quotes

Here at American Business Insurance, we offer the best fleet insurance quotes for your corporate operations. American Business Insurance has been insuring businesses and fleets for over 30 years, providing coverage to services such as taxi and limousine. You can get the best insurance quote from us through our website, where you can find a wide range of information from custom insurance policies to our state-of-the-art online portal system, where you can be able to look at recent statements, claims, and such. What differentiates us from other competing companies is our flexibility, we have a strong support from customer service that make sure each customer’s specific needs are met. We know that every person and business has a different need, so we strive to provide a wide range of services and customization to fit different needs. If you are still wondering about using American Business Insurance for your company, here are a couple reasons why we provide the best fleet insurance quotes

3 Reasons why ABI Provides the Best Fleet Insurance Quotes

Doing Business since 1984

Yes, that is 30 plus years of providing insurance policies to a network of commercial transportation fleets. We have stayed in business for all this time, because we have always strived to provide our customers with the best corporate fleet insurance quotes. American Business Insurance has seen it all over the 30 years of what happens in the industry, so are always in the lead of industry and able to fluctuate with the market as it has its ups and downs.

Wide Range of Customers

Our services cover companies such as taxis, limousines, shuttles, buses and ambulances. Our best policies keep these companies thriving by keeping their customers safe and drivers insured. Such companies need alternatives from your typical consumer auto insurance policies, so feature such as Pay Per Mile, Pay per gallon, etc. Our company offers alternatives for those who drive for a living, often cutting prices on unnecessary coverage that other companies upcharge you for.

Adopting New Technologies

American Business Insurance will provide you with the best fleet insurance quotes. These best fleet insurance quotes come with the best service, whether that being streamlining the account management process for you or having a responsive customer service team. We are here to help always, from providing you with the best fleet insurance quotes to keeping customer satisfaction high. For us, that means adopting new ways of technology and bringing us closer to you.

In conclusion, you should get a quote for you business from us, because American Business Insurance provides you with the best fleet insurance quotes. When you own a fleet of vehicles for your business, whether that being a taxi company, or a trucking company, our flexible and customizable policies will make sure there is coverage available for you at the most available pricing. American Business Insurance has the experience, connections, and newest technologies to make sure your business stays alive and protected. So if you are still wondering if American Business Insurance can provide you with the BEST fleet insurance quotes, go to www.abiweb.com and see for yourself. Get Insured.

How to Insure Transportation Network Companies: A Detailed Guide to Getting your TNC off the Ground

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How to Insure Transportation Network Companies: A Detailed Guide to Getting your TNC off the Ground

Written by Laura Loftus on Monday, May 6th, 2019

Whether you are looking to start your own Transportation Network Company, On-Demand Delivery App or other Shared Economy business, one of the most important factors to consider is insurance! Sounds boring, I know. But as the world around us changes, insurance markets for transportation network companies are creating new structures and products. As an independent agency, American Business Insurance has direct relationships with all insurance companies currently writing specialized policies for transportation network companies.

Finding insurance for transportation network companies or other app-based businesses is no easy feat. As you may have already come to realize, most of your local brokers who specialize in personal lines don’t have relationships with insurance companies in this space. Many local brokers don’t understand what information to collect from business owners to present your transportation network company in the most insurable light.

Finding An Insurance Broker To Write Policies For Your Transportation Network Company

Most of the common insurance companies you may have already heard of are not writing policies because of the high-risk nature for transportation network companies. Insurance companies who are writing policies for transportation network companies are Surplus Lines carriers whose focus is in this specialized, technology driven market place.

Some people think that it is easy to join the long list of people who are trying to start transportation network companies to compete with those already dominating the world – Uber and Lyft. But in reality, the people who have created these transportation network companies worked for many years prior to actually launching.

To some, that might seem like a really long time but when an experienced insurance broker who is familiar with writing policies for transportation network companies asks you to assemble a list of items, it’s best to know exactly what you are getting yourself into. Don’t be fooled, there is a lot of prep, time and money that is required to build transportation network companies like Uber or Lyft.

transportation network companies

Minimum Premiums For Transportation Network Companies

As you might have anticipated, buying an insurance policy for transportation network companies is not cheap since most insurers in this space have minimum premiums of $75,000-100,000. We know, that is a lot of dough! The good news is, most of the carriers will accept a portion of that up-front and some even offer premium eroding endorsements. This means if your business doesn’t generate premium up to that amount within the year, they will carry over the credit to the following year.

Obtaining a quote requires you to find a broker who specializes in writing insurance for transportation network companies. Working with the right broker will not only save you time and money, but prevent you from buying coverages you don’t need and making sure that you have the ones you do. An experienced broker who is familiar with writing insurance for transportation network companies will know exactly what information to collect from you. They will also know how to present it best to the insurance markets who are writing policies for transportation network companies.

American Business Insurance Services, Inc.

Lucky for you, you found us! As an agency, we have been around long before ordering a ride from your smart-phone was an option. We specialize in public auto which means we understand more than anyone how transportation network companies operate.

transportation network companies

Items Transportation Network Companies Should Have Ready Before Calling Your Broker For A Quote:

Build the App:

  • One of the first questions I ask customers looking for insurance for transportation network companies is if the app is complete. Insurance company underwriters will want to download your app and make sure it’s working. Also, some companies have technology-based policies, meaning they integrate with your app to capture data on the drivers. Some even offer lower insurance rates based on favorable data collected (less speeding, hard stops, etcetera). Most policies for transportation network companies are usage based, so they have to be able to download your app and make sure it’s compatible with their insurance structure. Insurance companies often want to be able to pull reports from your app which include and are not limited to:

1. Knowing When A Trip Starts and Stops

2. How Many Miles For Each Trip

3. How Many Minutes/Hours For Each Trip

Business Plan & Projections:

  • There is a checklist of items the insurance company will want to see attached to the submission your broker sends. Your broker should be narrating to the insurance company all the hard work and thought you’ve put into creating these transportation network companies. Insurers will want to see a “pitch deck” which is something you might already have created to obtain investors. This document will present and explain your business model, why it is different from what is alreadyout there and how it will work long term. Some of the questions this document should answer are:

transportation network companies1. What are the company’s growth plans?

2. How will you monitor safety/loss control?

3. How is pricing structured so that the company is profitable?

 Safety and Training:

  • Safety and training is a big deal for insurers who are writing policies for transportation network companies. They will want to know what restrictions, checks and balances and training you will provide to drivers. They want to know how often you will check driving records and how often people have to pass background checks. The younger in age the drivers are that you allow to join your transportation network companies, the more expensive you can expect your insurance prices to be. Insurance companies want to know how you are going to prevent accidents from happening so that you build a positive reputation within the industry along side other transportation network companies like Uber and Lyft.

Bios on Key Officers/Investors:

  • Insurance companies want to know about the people behind the transportation network companies! If you want to join the group of dominating transportation network companies, they are going to want to know what experience you have, not only in transportation but also in being an entrepreneur. Take the time to write detailed bios for yourself and all other key members, officers and investors behind your transportation network company. Make sure to detail the knowledge and life experience you are bringing to the table in starting transportation network companies like Uber and Lyft. A well written, detailed bio will separate your company from all the rest and will give you a better advantage to better pricing on insurance for transportation network companies.

 Terms of Service & Privacy Conditions:

  • Although this may seem like a small piece of the puzzle to getting insurance for transportation network companies, most insurers want to see the liability of the app in regards to what they are promising to both their drivers and users. If you are a peer to peer platform, they want to see how the transaction will take place. Some of the questions that should be answered here are:

1. What Security Measures Are In Place To Protect The User?

2. How Should Complaints Be Filed?

3. What Terms and Conditions Does Your Company Adhere To? 

transportation network companies

Financial Balance Sheet:

  • Basically, a lot of what it takes to insure transportation network companies is having money, and a lot of it. Due to the hefty size of the minimum premiums for transportation network companies, generally ranging from $75,00-100,000, insurers want to make sure you not only have money to pay for the policy, but to also keep your business afloat and operating before you start turning a profit. It’s no secret that most transportation network companies do not profit until after the first year. Insurers want to see that you have raised money, not just for the cost of insurance but also for operating expenses, advertising and promotions.
  • When I review the balance sheet for transportation network companies, I know that most insurers want to see that you’ve raised at minimum $250,000-$1,000,000 in capital. Sometimes more. The reason for them wanting transportation network companies to raise this much money is because they know what it takes to gain traction in this unique space. They want to make sure the work they are putting in to quote and bind your policy will create a lasting relationship with you.

Guidance From American Business Insurance Services, INC

Starting any business takes time, research and money. We get phone calls from people daily thinking they are going to be the next Uber and Lyft. And believe me, we want you to make it big and compete against the monopoly that currently exists for transportation network companies. But in reality, we know that few of the phone calls we receive have actually taken the above steps which are required to make transportation network companies insurable.

If you have questions or need guidance, please give us a call and we will be happy to discuss over the phone! While some of the larger, corporate run agencies have the same relationships as us, few will offer the personal touch and value we have with every client.

Exclusive Contracts

Additionally, we have exclusive contracts with some companies that allow us to write at a lower minimum premium than others. We are an independent, family-run business with 75+ years of combined experience in the business insurance industry. We have invested in other transportation network companies, peer to peer and shared economy types of businesses. Most of us utilize transportation network companies and peer-to-peer apps regularly.

We literally have boots on the ground in this space and if you want the best pricing with the smoothest transaction – we are here for you!

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How to Save the MOST Money on Your Commercial Fleet Insurance Rates

ABI Transportation Experts Speak: How to Save the MOST Money on Your Commercial Fleet Insurance Rates

Written by Laura Loftus on Thursday, February 28th, 2019

 

When speaking with clients about their commercial fleet insurance, the most common concern is how to get the lowest insurance rates. About 100% of the customers I speak to daily all have the same goal – they want the lowest insurance rates available and will do whatever it takes to get it. Whether you own a Taxi, Limo, Paratransit or Shared Economy company (peer to peer platform app), it’s a given that you want your commercial fleet insurance coverage at the lowest insurance rates available. What many companies don’t realize, especially start-ups, is that commercial fleet insurance underwriters do quite a bit of digging on your company through a variety of platforms to “check you out” prior to releasing a quote. They read Yelp reviews, they look at your website, they do Better Business Bureau checks – all of it.

There are common mistakes that transportation service companies are repeatedly making that will create doubt in a commercial fleet insurance company. These mistakes actually prevent your broker from being able to find the lowest insurance rates for your company. Most of these companies think they are making business decisions that will guide them toward the lowest insurance rates, and are unaware that their current website or driver pool is actually hurting their chances of achieving the lowest possible commercial fleet insurance rate.

Five common flubs transportation service companies are making that prevent your commercial fleet insurance broker from obtaining the lowest insurance rates possible:

1) Company Website

The first and most common mistake we see from commercial auto risks who are in the “wheels” business as us underwriters call it – is that you over the amount of experience or size of your transportation service company.  It is common for commercial fleet insurance underwriters to google your company to pick apart your website. Here are some items you may think are helping your chances at obtaining the lowest insurance rates but are actually red flags to commercial fleet insurance companies:

  •  Words like “Fast Pick-up” or ‘Delivery in Minutes” – no commercial fleet insurance underwriter wants to see that you are promising rushed services. Rushing = equals unsafe driving behavior.

commercial fleet insurance

  • Advertising vehicles that are not actually part of your fleet. For example, just yesterday I was helping a 35-car fleet in Portland with obtaining commercial fleet insurance quotes. The list of vehicles they provided were all private passenger type vehicles (meaning seating capacity of 8 or less) – good! But when I searched the company online, they advertised a large shuttle bus and a higher seating capacity van. When I asked the client about this, they those vehicles had been sold and they had no plans to replace them. Keeping your website up to date and only advertising only what you can actually deliver will keep unwanted questions from creeping into the commercial fleet insurance underwriters’ mind. Creating uncertainty is the last thing you want to do with a commercial fleet insurance underwriter when trying to obtain the lowest insurance rates.
  •  Age of vehicles is important to commercial fleet insurance companies. Publishing a picture of a 30-year-old vehicle is no bueno. Keep your fleet serviced regularly (we recommend every three to four thousand miles and cycle out old units. Newer, cleaner & well-maintained vehicles are not only more desired by clientele (when trying to compete with Uber/Lyft) but also preferred by commercial fleet insurance companies trying to avoid claims due to mechanical defect.
  • If you boast 20 years of experience but your LLC was filed three years ago, it creates uncertainty with insurance companies. It’s better to accurately reflect your business as it is now, and not what you want it to be five years from now. Just as there are items to avoid putting on your website, there are points that you should include on your website. It is always a good idea to brag about highly trained drivers and safety training you provide (more on this later). Be sure to note the maintenance you keep up with for your fleet, the background checks the city you operate in mandates and the highest level of driving records required for your drivers. Commercial fleet insurance underwriters like stable fleets with safe drivers. Bottom line, safer risks translates to commercial fleet insurance underwriters offering the lowest insurance rates.

2) Creating a Business Name

This may seem simple enough but for transportation business owners looking to for the lowest insurance rates, people often think that commercial fleet insurance companies give the lowest insurance rates to Limo’s and Non-Emergency Medical risks over a taxi or airport shuttle. While this might be true, cornering yourself into a specific type of transportation in your business name narrows the list of commercial fleet insurance carriers you are eligible for. Many markets write only taxis or only limos. So, if you file your business name with the Secretary of State as Laura’s Taxi & Limo Service, LLC. – it could possibly make you ineligible for a limo commercial fleet insurance program because they don’t insure taxis and vice versa – even if your unit type meets their requirements. When talking with clients, I always say it’s best to be general about the transportation type within the name of their business, especially as market conditions change. You may be heavy in taxi trips one year but then obtain a paratransit contract and do more of that the following year. The more years of favorable loss history (loss runs) you can provide, the better chance you have at obtaining the lowest insurance rates. Choosing a business name that is general such as Laura’s Transportation Service, LLC. allows you flexibility to transform and evolve your business as the industry demands change.

3) Loss Control is Everything

Underwriters give commercial fleet insurance at the lowest insurance rates to companies with low levels of paid claims. Even in a hard insurance market, with rates rising for the good guys too, you can expect to pay more for commercial fleet insurance if you’re prior insurance companies have paid a lot in claims. Here are some suggestions in tightening loss control for your transportation service company:

  •  Hire a full-time loss control or driver manager who will enforce a safety culture. Doing this, will lower the frequency and severity of claim payouts and put your transportation service company in a better position to obtain the lowest insurance rates. This person should be in charge of overseeing the overall safety of your company. Managing and coaching your drivers is the key to a successful transportation service company. You are only as good as your worst driver.
  • commercial fleet insurance Invest in cameras that capture not only accidents but also driver analytics. This type of camera system will allow you to review driver behavior and correct bad habits before they cause an accident. We like to say this method is similar to that of a professional athlete. How do they improve? They watch their game film and correct bad habits. Driving professionally is the same. The more you do it, the more comfortable you get and having drivers watch themselves reduces risky behavior dramatically. Additionally, it’s a known fact that many commercial fleet insurance claims are paid because of he said/she said situations. Having accidents on camera is the best way to know who exactly was at fault and exonerate innocent drivers.
  •  Hold weekly safety huddles and or monthly meetings. Review the data and claims that have occurred recently and talk to your drivers about how they could have been prevented.
  •  Commit to investing in annual defensive driving training for your drivers. This annual reminder to drivers will ensure that bad habits are addressed and give each driver a time to reflect on their own performance.
  • Implement a reward program for safe drivers. Giving an incentive, even if it’s small monetary gift cards – keeps your drivers focused and motivated on safe driving habits.

4) The Driver Pool

The Driver Pool is so important when trying to achieve the lowest insurance rates from commercial fleet insurance providers for your transportation company. How you chose to manage drivers and who you hire is crucial. Create formal guidelines that clearly outline what is acceptable for employment. We recommend only hiring drivers with zero accidents within the past three years and minimal moving violations. Clean MVRs are best but we know that professional drivers with experience usually do not have clean MVRs and this is ok. Professional drivers are on the road up to 3x more than someone commuting to/from work so it’s a given that they will most likely have more violations on their records. Repeat offenders can impact the cost of your commercial fleet insurance and should be let go. No one is perfect, but you should train your drivers with the goal to be as safe as possible. Excessive violations on a driving record can cause surcharges and prevent you from obtaining the lower insurance rates. Additionally, younger drivers sometimes generate higher premiums for commercial fleet insurance as well as newly licensed individuals.

5) Contact an Experienced, Transportation Insurance Broker

commercial fleet insurance

Working with a transportation specialist versus a local agency makes a huge difference as commercial fleet insurance brokers have access to many more transportation focused insurance companies. Also, an experienced broker will review your company data prior to submitting to commercial fleet insurance companies. If they see something a commercial fleet insurance company won’t like, they can address it with you and provide you with an opportunity to make changes before submitting to each carrier. The more information you can provide to a commercial fleet insurance underwriter, the better chances you have at achieving the lowest insurance rates. Because the for-hire, livery insurance market is so thin, carriers often get multiple submissions from duplicate brokers. Try to work with one broker at a time. You may think contacting multiple agencies well help you, but if they are all going to the same markets for commercial fleet insurance – it’s duplicating not only your own work, but the insurance companies as well. The livery market is a tough class of business and finding an experienced broker will absolutely give you a leg up on finding the lowest insurance rates over a generalist broker.

American Business Insurance Services, Inc. has been working with transportation companies across the nation for 35+ years. We have direct relationships with the most competitive commercial fleet insurance companies. We know what it takes to submit a complete application and present your company in the best light possible – which will no doubt translate to finding commercial fleet insurance at the lowest insurance rate.

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Autonomous Car Insurance and How it Works

How Autonomous Car Insurance Works

With technology in our society advancing at such an incredible rate, all of our cars could have minds entirely of their own within years. As a matter of fact, we are on our way there already. They are not yet available on a large scale. However, autonomous cars certainly are a reality and could eventually integrate themselves fully into our everyday lives. The question that many are asking has to do with insurance for an autonomous car. Car insurance typically protects the driver and car from mistakes that are caused by the driver. So if all cars will be completely autonomous and self-sufficient from humans, what is the point of insurance? If the car gets in an accident, who is then held responsible? In this futuristic dilemma, car insurance will work a little differently than we’re used to, but American Business Insurance is prepared to handle it.

How Do Autonomous Vehicles Work?

Essentially, autonomous vehicle manufacturers and designers will think of everything that a car needs a human for and remove those needs. For example, an autonomous car will be built with a GPS in it, so it doesn’t need a person to control navigation. Many of them also have sensors in and around them, in order to help them avoid accidents. Of course, this would typically be the job of the driver. There is also the element of augmented reality. AR is a method of getting information to the driver, such as displaying it on the windshield. This information could be directions, the speed of the car, information about the music thats playing, etc. And the vehicle is the one that has it all. The would-be driver just turns into a rider, and the car handles the rest.

Changes in Insurance

Insurance for autonomous vehicles will play a different role than insurance for a regular car. Instead of the driver or owner of the vehicle being responsible for accidents, it would likely be the manufacturer of the autonomous vehicle. Now, its rare for a malfunction of the vehicle to be the cause of an accident; they are almost always a result of human error. This could be the largest change to car insurance if and when autonomous vehicles become a norm in our society. Manufacturers being held responsible for insuring each vehicle themselves will create an expensive, long-term process before the vehicles can be safely put to use. It will also require an extensive process of making sure that many ethical issues are covered.

ABI’s Role

The idea that human-operated vehicles will be obsolete in everyday life may seem plausible only in the distant future. However, functioning autonomous cars are on their way to changing transportation forever. There are countless pros to autonomous vehicles, but insuring all vehicles so that riders are promised complete safety would be the primary con. To ease the process of insuring self-driving cars, ABI’s Insurance Services have exactly what it takes for companies to make the transition from human-driven cars to self-driven cars. With 75 years of experience in transportation network companies, ABI can make riders feel safe using new technology, and help our society continue to evolve in amazing ways. ABI has direct relationships with the insurance carriers they write policies through, allowing for great efficiency and attention to detail. But you don’t have to wait for all cars to drive themselves to achieve this kind of protection and safety; contact ABI for both large and small fleet insurance today!

How ABI is Protecting HyreCar

How ABI is Protecting Hyrecar

Ride-sharing services are taking the world of transportation by storm. Uber and Lyft are constantly relied on both by riders who need to get places efficiently, and by those who are employed by either company. However, many people are not aware that vehicles must meet certain standards in order to provide rides by Uber and Lyft. Due to these specific requirements for cars, many who desire to drive for the ride-sharing service aren’t allowed the opportunity. There was nothing they could do- until Hyrecar.

The Solution

HyreCar has arrived as the first car-matching service that works hand in hand with Uber and Lyft. The concept is simple: for those who desire to drive but don’t have a car that meets the requirements, HyreCar allows you to rent one and get right to work. Most issues that are preventing certain cars from qualifying for Uber and Lyft are simply problems that are typical of older vehicles. Its a lot to ask of someone to make them purchase an entirely new vehicle just to pass the restrictions test. In turn, less people would drive for Uber and Lyft, which hurts both the would-be drivers and the companies themselves.

The Process

HyreCar realized the very simple solution to this problem, and the founders were shocked when they found that no one had discovered this niche market yet. HyreCar’s platform is easy to use, while still being thorough. It allows car owners to post their vehicles that are up for rental, and when drivers find one they want, they create a profile. This profile includes information such as driver’s license and social security numbers, and drivers can pay just by entering their credit card information into the platform. HyreCar’s founders believe that their screening process for drivers is even stricter than those of Uber and Lyft, checking things like criminal records, DMV records, and sex-offender databases.

Everybody Wins

Thanks to HyreCar, everybody involved benefits in some way. Cars that would otherwise be sitting in a garage or not in use somewhere are making their owners money. Those who wish to be drivers are given an easy way to fulfill that desire without buying a whole new car. Uber and Lyft have more drivers for their companies and therefore generate more business. HyreCar benefits by charging drivers that rent from them a 10% fee and car owners a 15% fee.

How ABI is Covering HyreCar

American Business Insurance is providing HyreCar with a unique insurance policy to ensure the highest level of safety for both the drivers and riders. When a driver is not driving for a ride-sharing platform but is still in possession of the rented car, they are covered by ABI’s policy that covers both the riders and drivers. When they are driving for a ride-sharing platform with the rented car, the insurance defaults to the state-mandated policy provided by the respective ride-sharing company.

As far as HyreCar is aware, they are the only car-matching service that utilizes a unique insurance policy such as the one provided by American Business Insurance. Thanks to ABI, HyreCar now has a competitive advantage that will likely continue to garner success for the company.

Best Fleet Insurance Quotes

Here at American Business Insurance, we offer the best fleet insurance quotes for your corporate operations. American Business Insurance has been insuring businesses and fleets for over 30 years, providing coverage to services such as taxi and limousine. You can get the best insurance quote from us through our website, where you can find a wide range of information from custom insurance policies to our state-of-the-art online portal system, where you can be able to look at recent statements, claims, and such. What differentiates us from other competing companies is our flexibility, we have a strong support from customer service that make sure each customer’s specific needs are met. We know that every person and business has a different need, so we strive to provide a wide range of services and customization to fit different needs. If you are still wondering about using American Business Insurance for your company, here are a couple reasons why we provide the best fleet insurance quotes

3 Reasons why ABI Provides the Best Fleet Insurance Quotes

Doing Business since 1984

Yes, that is 30 plus years of providing insurance policies to a network of commercial transportation fleets. We have stayed in business for all this time, because we have always strived to provide our customers with the best corporate fleet insurance quotes. American Business Insurance has seen it all over the 30 years of what happens in the industry, so are always in the lead of industry and able to fluctuate with the market as it has its ups and downs.

Wide Range of Customers

Our services cover companies such as taxis, limousines, shuttles, buses and ambulances. Our best policies keep these companies thriving by keeping their customers safe and drivers insured. Such companies need alternatives from your typical consumer auto insurance policies, so feature such as Pay Per Mile, Pay per gallon, etc. Our company offers alternatives for those who drive for a living, often cutting prices on unnecessary coverage that other companies upcharge you for.

Adopting New Technologies

American Business Insurance will provide you with the best fleet insurance quotes. These best fleet insurance quotes come with the best service, whether that being streamlining the account management process for you or having a responsive customer service team. We are here to help always, from providing you with the best fleet insurance quotes to keeping customer satisfaction high. For us, that means adopting new ways of technology and bringing us closer to you.

In conclusion, you should get a quote for you business from us, because American Business Insurance provides you with the best fleet insurance quotes. When you own a fleet of vehicles for your business, whether that being a taxi company, or a trucking company, our flexible and customizable policies will make sure there is coverage available for you at the most available pricing. American Business Insurance has the experience, connections, and newest technologies to make sure your business stays alive and protected. So if you are still wondering if American Business Insurance can provide you with the BEST fleet insurance quotes, go to www.abiweb.com and see for yourself. Get Insured.

How to Insure Transportation Network Companies: A Detailed Guide to Getting your TNC off the Ground

GET A QUOTE

How to Insure Transportation Network Companies: A Detailed Guide to Getting your TNC off the Ground

Written by Laura Loftus on Monday, May 6th, 2019

Whether you are looking to start your own Transportation Network Company, On-Demand Delivery App or other Shared Economy business, one of the most important factors to consider is insurance! Sounds boring, I know. But as the world around us changes, insurance markets for transportation network companies are creating new structures and products. As an independent agency, American Business Insurance has direct relationships with all insurance companies currently writing specialized policies for transportation network companies.

Finding insurance for transportation network companies or other app-based businesses is no easy feat. As you may have already come to realize, most of your local brokers who specialize in personal lines don’t have relationships with insurance companies in this space. Many local brokers don’t understand what information to collect from business owners to present your transportation network company in the most insurable light.

Finding An Insurance Broker To Write Policies For Your Transportation Network Company

Most of the common insurance companies you may have already heard of are not writing policies because of the high-risk nature for transportation network companies. Insurance companies who are writing policies for transportation network companies are Surplus Lines carriers whose focus is in this specialized, technology driven market place.

Some people think that it is easy to join the long list of people who are trying to start transportation network companies to compete with those already dominating the world – Uber and Lyft. But in reality, the people who have created these transportation network companies worked for many years prior to actually launching.

To some, that might seem like a really long time but when an experienced insurance broker who is familiar with writing policies for transportation network companies asks you to assemble a list of items, it’s best to know exactly what you are getting yourself into. Don’t be fooled, there is a lot of prep, time and money that is required to build transportation network companies like Uber or Lyft.

transportation network companies

Minimum Premiums For Transportation Network Companies

As you might have anticipated, buying an insurance policy for transportation network companies is not cheap since most insurers in this space have minimum premiums of $75,000-100,000. We know, that is a lot of dough! The good news is, most of the carriers will accept a portion of that up-front and some even offer premium eroding endorsements. This means if your business doesn’t generate premium up to that amount within the year, they will carry over the credit to the following year.

Obtaining a quote requires you to find a broker who specializes in writing insurance for transportation network companies. Working with the right broker will not only save you time and money, but prevent you from buying coverages you don’t need and making sure that you have the ones you do. An experienced broker who is familiar with writing insurance for transportation network companies will know exactly what information to collect from you. They will also know how to present it best to the insurance markets who are writing policies for transportation network companies.

American Business Insurance Services, Inc.

Lucky for you, you found us! As an agency, we have been around long before ordering a ride from your smart-phone was an option. We specialize in public auto which means we understand more than anyone how transportation network companies operate.

transportation network companies

Items Transportation Network Companies Should Have Ready Before Calling Your Broker For A Quote:

Build the App:

  • One of the first questions I ask customers looking for insurance for transportation network companies is if the app is complete. Insurance company underwriters will want to download your app and make sure it’s working. Also, some companies have technology-based policies, meaning they integrate with your app to capture data on the drivers. Some even offer lower insurance rates based on favorable data collected (less speeding, hard stops, etcetera). Most policies for transportation network companies are usage based, so they have to be able to download your app and make sure it’s compatible with their insurance structure. Insurance companies often want to be able to pull reports from your app which include and are not limited to:

1. Knowing When A Trip Starts and Stops

2. How Many Miles For Each Trip

3. How Many Minutes/Hours For Each Trip

Business Plan & Projections:

  • There is a checklist of items the insurance company will want to see attached to the submission your broker sends. Your broker should be narrating to the insurance company all the hard work and thought you’ve put into creating these transportation network companies. Insurers will want to see a “pitch deck” which is something you might already have created to obtain investors. This document will present and explain your business model, why it is different from what is alreadyout there and how it will work long term. Some of the questions this document should answer are:

transportation network companies1. What are the company’s growth plans?

2. How will you monitor safety/loss control?

3. How is pricing structured so that the company is profitable?

 Safety and Training:

  • Safety and training is a big deal for insurers who are writing policies for transportation network companies. They will want to know what restrictions, checks and balances and training you will provide to drivers. They want to know how often you will check driving records and how often people have to pass background checks. The younger in age the drivers are that you allow to join your transportation network companies, the more expensive you can expect your insurance prices to be. Insurance companies want to know how you are going to prevent accidents from happening so that you build a positive reputation within the industry along side other transportation network companies like Uber and Lyft.

Bios on Key Officers/Investors:

  • Insurance companies want to know about the people behind the transportation network companies! If you want to join the group of dominating transportation network companies, they are going to want to know what experience you have, not only in transportation but also in being an entrepreneur. Take the time to write detailed bios for yourself and all other key members, officers and investors behind your transportation network company. Make sure to detail the knowledge and life experience you are bringing to the table in starting transportation network companies like Uber and Lyft. A well written, detailed bio will separate your company from all the rest and will give you a better advantage to better pricing on insurance for transportation network companies.

 Terms of Service & Privacy Conditions:

  • Although this may seem like a small piece of the puzzle to getting insurance for transportation network companies, most insurers want to see the liability of the app in regards to what they are promising to both their drivers and users. If you are a peer to peer platform, they want to see how the transaction will take place. Some of the questions that should be answered here are:

1. What Security Measures Are In Place To Protect The User?

2. How Should Complaints Be Filed?

3. What Terms and Conditions Does Your Company Adhere To? 

transportation network companies

Financial Balance Sheet:

  • Basically, a lot of what it takes to insure transportation network companies is having money, and a lot of it. Due to the hefty size of the minimum premiums for transportation network companies, generally ranging from $75,00-100,000, insurers want to make sure you not only have money to pay for the policy, but to also keep your business afloat and operating before you start turning a profit. It’s no secret that most transportation network companies do not profit until after the first year. Insurers want to see that you have raised money, not just for the cost of insurance but also for operating expenses, advertising and promotions.
  • When I review the balance sheet for transportation network companies, I know that most insurers want to see that you’ve raised at minimum $250,000-$1,000,000 in capital. Sometimes more. The reason for them wanting transportation network companies to raise this much money is because they know what it takes to gain traction in this unique space. They want to make sure the work they are putting in to quote and bind your policy will create a lasting relationship with you.

Guidance From American Business Insurance Services, INC

Starting any business takes time, research and money. We get phone calls from people daily thinking they are going to be the next Uber and Lyft. And believe me, we want you to make it big and compete against the monopoly that currently exists for transportation network companies. But in reality, we know that few of the phone calls we receive have actually taken the above steps which are required to make transportation network companies insurable.

If you have questions or need guidance, please give us a call and we will be happy to discuss over the phone! While some of the larger, corporate run agencies have the same relationships as us, few will offer the personal touch and value we have with every client.

Exclusive Contracts

Additionally, we have exclusive contracts with some companies that allow us to write at a lower minimum premium than others. We are an independent, family-run business with 75+ years of combined experience in the business insurance industry. We have invested in other transportation network companies, peer to peer and shared economy types of businesses. Most of us utilize transportation network companies and peer-to-peer apps regularly.

We literally have boots on the ground in this space and if you want the best pricing with the smoothest transaction – we are here for you!

GET A QUOTE

Follow Us on Instagram & Facebook!

 

How to Save the MOST Money on Your Commercial Fleet Insurance Rates

ABI Transportation Experts Speak: How to Save the MOST Money on Your Commercial Fleet Insurance Rates

Written by Laura Loftus on Thursday, February 28th, 2019

 

When speaking with clients about their commercial fleet insurance, the most common concern is how to get the lowest insurance rates. About 100% of the customers I speak to daily all have the same goal – they want the lowest insurance rates available and will do whatever it takes to get it. Whether you own a Taxi, Limo, Paratransit or Shared Economy company (peer to peer platform app), it’s a given that you want your commercial fleet insurance coverage at the lowest insurance rates available. What many companies don’t realize, especially start-ups, is that commercial fleet insurance underwriters do quite a bit of digging on your company through a variety of platforms to “check you out” prior to releasing a quote. They read Yelp reviews, they look at your website, they do Better Business Bureau checks – all of it.

There are common mistakes that transportation service companies are repeatedly making that will create doubt in a commercial fleet insurance company. These mistakes actually prevent your broker from being able to find the lowest insurance rates for your company. Most of these companies think they are making business decisions that will guide them toward the lowest insurance rates, and are unaware that their current website or driver pool is actually hurting their chances of achieving the lowest possible commercial fleet insurance rate.

Five common flubs transportation service companies are making that prevent your commercial fleet insurance broker from obtaining the lowest insurance rates possible:

1) Company Website

The first and most common mistake we see from commercial auto risks who are in the “wheels” business as us underwriters call it – is that you over the amount of experience or size of your transportation service company.  It is common for commercial fleet insurance underwriters to google your company to pick apart your website. Here are some items you may think are helping your chances at obtaining the lowest insurance rates but are actually red flags to commercial fleet insurance companies:

  •  Words like “Fast Pick-up” or ‘Delivery in Minutes” – no commercial fleet insurance underwriter wants to see that you are promising rushed services. Rushing = equals unsafe driving behavior.

commercial fleet insurance

  • Advertising vehicles that are not actually part of your fleet. For example, just yesterday I was helping a 35-car fleet in Portland with obtaining commercial fleet insurance quotes. The list of vehicles they provided were all private passenger type vehicles (meaning seating capacity of 8 or less) – good! But when I searched the company online, they advertised a large shuttle bus and a higher seating capacity van. When I asked the client about this, they those vehicles had been sold and they had no plans to replace them. Keeping your website up to date and only advertising only what you can actually deliver will keep unwanted questions from creeping into the commercial fleet insurance underwriters’ mind. Creating uncertainty is the last thing you want to do with a commercial fleet insurance underwriter when trying to obtain the lowest insurance rates.
  •  Age of vehicles is important to commercial fleet insurance companies. Publishing a picture of a 30-year-old vehicle is no bueno. Keep your fleet serviced regularly (we recommend every three to four thousand miles and cycle out old units. Newer, cleaner & well-maintained vehicles are not only more desired by clientele (when trying to compete with Uber/Lyft) but also preferred by commercial fleet insurance companies trying to avoid claims due to mechanical defect.
  • If you boast 20 years of experience but your LLC was filed three years ago, it creates uncertainty with insurance companies. It’s better to accurately reflect your business as it is now, and not what you want it to be five years from now. Just as there are items to avoid putting on your website, there are points that you should include on your website. It is always a good idea to brag about highly trained drivers and safety training you provide (more on this later). Be sure to note the maintenance you keep up with for your fleet, the background checks the city you operate in mandates and the highest level of driving records required for your drivers. Commercial fleet insurance underwriters like stable fleets with safe drivers. Bottom line, safer risks translates to commercial fleet insurance underwriters offering the lowest insurance rates.

2) Creating a Business Name

This may seem simple enough but for transportation business owners looking to for the lowest insurance rates, people often think that commercial fleet insurance companies give the lowest insurance rates to Limo’s and Non-Emergency Medical risks over a taxi or airport shuttle. While this might be true, cornering yourself into a specific type of transportation in your business name narrows the list of commercial fleet insurance carriers you are eligible for. Many markets write only taxis or only limos. So, if you file your business name with the Secretary of State as Laura’s Taxi & Limo Service, LLC. – it could possibly make you ineligible for a limo commercial fleet insurance program because they don’t insure taxis and vice versa – even if your unit type meets their requirements. When talking with clients, I always say it’s best to be general about the transportation type within the name of their business, especially as market conditions change. You may be heavy in taxi trips one year but then obtain a paratransit contract and do more of that the following year. The more years of favorable loss history (loss runs) you can provide, the better chance you have at obtaining the lowest insurance rates. Choosing a business name that is general such as Laura’s Transportation Service, LLC. allows you flexibility to transform and evolve your business as the industry demands change.

3) Loss Control is Everything

Underwriters give commercial fleet insurance at the lowest insurance rates to companies with low levels of paid claims. Even in a hard insurance market, with rates rising for the good guys too, you can expect to pay more for commercial fleet insurance if you’re prior insurance companies have paid a lot in claims. Here are some suggestions in tightening loss control for your transportation service company:

  •  Hire a full-time loss control or driver manager who will enforce a safety culture. Doing this, will lower the frequency and severity of claim payouts and put your transportation service company in a better position to obtain the lowest insurance rates. This person should be in charge of overseeing the overall safety of your company. Managing and coaching your drivers is the key to a successful transportation service company. You are only as good as your worst driver.
  • commercial fleet insurance Invest in cameras that capture not only accidents but also driver analytics. This type of camera system will allow you to review driver behavior and correct bad habits before they cause an accident. We like to say this method is similar to that of a professional athlete. How do they improve? They watch their game film and correct bad habits. Driving professionally is the same. The more you do it, the more comfortable you get and having drivers watch themselves reduces risky behavior dramatically. Additionally, it’s a known fact that many commercial fleet insurance claims are paid because of he said/she said situations. Having accidents on camera is the best way to know who exactly was at fault and exonerate innocent drivers.
  •  Hold weekly safety huddles and or monthly meetings. Review the data and claims that have occurred recently and talk to your drivers about how they could have been prevented.
  •  Commit to investing in annual defensive driving training for your drivers. This annual reminder to drivers will ensure that bad habits are addressed and give each driver a time to reflect on their own performance.
  • Implement a reward program for safe drivers. Giving an incentive, even if it’s small monetary gift cards – keeps your drivers focused and motivated on safe driving habits.

4) The Driver Pool

The Driver Pool is so important when trying to achieve the lowest insurance rates from commercial fleet insurance providers for your transportation company. How you chose to manage drivers and who you hire is crucial. Create formal guidelines that clearly outline what is acceptable for employment. We recommend only hiring drivers with zero accidents within the past three years and minimal moving violations. Clean MVRs are best but we know that professional drivers with experience usually do not have clean MVRs and this is ok. Professional drivers are on the road up to 3x more than someone commuting to/from work so it’s a given that they will most likely have more violations on their records. Repeat offenders can impact the cost of your commercial fleet insurance and should be let go. No one is perfect, but you should train your drivers with the goal to be as safe as possible. Excessive violations on a driving record can cause surcharges and prevent you from obtaining the lower insurance rates. Additionally, younger drivers sometimes generate higher premiums for commercial fleet insurance as well as newly licensed individuals.

5) Contact an Experienced, Transportation Insurance Broker

commercial fleet insurance

Working with a transportation specialist versus a local agency makes a huge difference as commercial fleet insurance brokers have access to many more transportation focused insurance companies. Also, an experienced broker will review your company data prior to submitting to commercial fleet insurance companies. If they see something a commercial fleet insurance company won’t like, they can address it with you and provide you with an opportunity to make changes before submitting to each carrier. The more information you can provide to a commercial fleet insurance underwriter, the better chances you have at achieving the lowest insurance rates. Because the for-hire, livery insurance market is so thin, carriers often get multiple submissions from duplicate brokers. Try to work with one broker at a time. You may think contacting multiple agencies well help you, but if they are all going to the same markets for commercial fleet insurance – it’s duplicating not only your own work, but the insurance companies as well. The livery market is a tough class of business and finding an experienced broker will absolutely give you a leg up on finding the lowest insurance rates over a generalist broker.

American Business Insurance Services, Inc. has been working with transportation companies across the nation for 35+ years. We have direct relationships with the most competitive commercial fleet insurance companies. We know what it takes to submit a complete application and present your company in the best light possible – which will no doubt translate to finding commercial fleet insurance at the lowest insurance rate.

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Autonomous Car Insurance and How it Works

How Autonomous Car Insurance Works

With technology in our society advancing at such an incredible rate, all of our cars could have minds entirely of their own within years. As a matter of fact, we are on our way there already. They are not yet available on a large scale. However, autonomous cars certainly are a reality and could eventually integrate themselves fully into our everyday lives. The question that many are asking has to do with insurance for an autonomous car. Car insurance typically protects the driver and car from mistakes that are caused by the driver. So if all cars will be completely autonomous and self-sufficient from humans, what is the point of insurance? If the car gets in an accident, who is then held responsible? In this futuristic dilemma, car insurance will work a little differently than we’re used to, but American Business Insurance is prepared to handle it.

How Do Autonomous Vehicles Work?

Essentially, autonomous vehicle manufacturers and designers will think of everything that a car needs a human for and remove those needs. For example, an autonomous car will be built with a GPS in it, so it doesn’t need a person to control navigation. Many of them also have sensors in and around them, in order to help them avoid accidents. Of course, this would typically be the job of the driver. There is also the element of augmented reality. AR is a method of getting information to the driver, such as displaying it on the windshield. This information could be directions, the speed of the car, information about the music thats playing, etc. And the vehicle is the one that has it all. The would-be driver just turns into a rider, and the car handles the rest.

Changes in Insurance

Insurance for autonomous vehicles will play a different role than insurance for a regular car. Instead of the driver or owner of the vehicle being responsible for accidents, it would likely be the manufacturer of the autonomous vehicle. Now, its rare for a malfunction of the vehicle to be the cause of an accident; they are almost always a result of human error. This could be the largest change to car insurance if and when autonomous vehicles become a norm in our society. Manufacturers being held responsible for insuring each vehicle themselves will create an expensive, long-term process before the vehicles can be safely put to use. It will also require an extensive process of making sure that many ethical issues are covered.

ABI’s Role

The idea that human-operated vehicles will be obsolete in everyday life may seem plausible only in the distant future. However, functioning autonomous cars are on their way to changing transportation forever. There are countless pros to autonomous vehicles, but insuring all vehicles so that riders are promised complete safety would be the primary con. To ease the process of insuring self-driving cars, ABI’s Insurance Services have exactly what it takes for companies to make the transition from human-driven cars to self-driven cars. With 75 years of experience in transportation network companies, ABI can make riders feel safe using new technology, and help our society continue to evolve in amazing ways. ABI has direct relationships with the insurance carriers they write policies through, allowing for great efficiency and attention to detail. But you don’t have to wait for all cars to drive themselves to achieve this kind of protection and safety; contact ABI for both large and small fleet insurance today!

How ABI is Protecting HyreCar

How ABI is Protecting Hyrecar

Ride-sharing services are taking the world of transportation by storm. Uber and Lyft are constantly relied on both by riders who need to get places efficiently, and by those who are employed by either company. However, many people are not aware that vehicles must meet certain standards in order to provide rides by Uber and Lyft. Due to these specific requirements for cars, many who desire to drive for the ride-sharing service aren’t allowed the opportunity. There was nothing they could do- until Hyrecar.

The Solution

HyreCar has arrived as the first car-matching service that works hand in hand with Uber and Lyft. The concept is simple: for those who desire to drive but don’t have a car that meets the requirements, HyreCar allows you to rent one and get right to work. Most issues that are preventing certain cars from qualifying for Uber and Lyft are simply problems that are typical of older vehicles. Its a lot to ask of someone to make them purchase an entirely new vehicle just to pass the restrictions test. In turn, less people would drive for Uber and Lyft, which hurts both the would-be drivers and the companies themselves.

The Process

HyreCar realized the very simple solution to this problem, and the founders were shocked when they found that no one had discovered this niche market yet. HyreCar’s platform is easy to use, while still being thorough. It allows car owners to post their vehicles that are up for rental, and when drivers find one they want, they create a profile. This profile includes information such as driver’s license and social security numbers, and drivers can pay just by entering their credit card information into the platform. HyreCar’s founders believe that their screening process for drivers is even stricter than those of Uber and Lyft, checking things like criminal records, DMV records, and sex-offender databases.

Everybody Wins

Thanks to HyreCar, everybody involved benefits in some way. Cars that would otherwise be sitting in a garage or not in use somewhere are making their owners money. Those who wish to be drivers are given an easy way to fulfill that desire without buying a whole new car. Uber and Lyft have more drivers for their companies and therefore generate more business. HyreCar benefits by charging drivers that rent from them a 10% fee and car owners a 15% fee.

How ABI is Covering HyreCar

American Business Insurance is providing HyreCar with a unique insurance policy to ensure the highest level of safety for both the drivers and riders. When a driver is not driving for a ride-sharing platform but is still in possession of the rented car, they are covered by ABI’s policy that covers both the riders and drivers. When they are driving for a ride-sharing platform with the rented car, the insurance defaults to the state-mandated policy provided by the respective ride-sharing company.

As far as HyreCar is aware, they are the only car-matching service that utilizes a unique insurance policy such as the one provided by American Business Insurance. Thanks to ABI, HyreCar now has a competitive advantage that will likely continue to garner success for the company.

Best Fleet Insurance Quotes

Here at American Business Insurance, we offer the best fleet insurance quotes for your corporate operations. American Business Insurance has been insuring businesses and fleets for over 30 years, providing coverage to services such as taxi and limousine. You can get the best insurance quote from us through our website, where you can find a wide range of information from custom insurance policies to our state-of-the-art online portal system, where you can be able to look at recent statements, claims, and such. What differentiates us from other competing companies is our flexibility, we have a strong support from customer service that make sure each customer’s specific needs are met. We know that every person and business has a different need, so we strive to provide a wide range of services and customization to fit different needs. If you are still wondering about using American Business Insurance for your company, here are a couple reasons why we provide the best fleet insurance quotes

3 Reasons why ABI Provides the Best Fleet Insurance Quotes

Doing Business since 1984

Yes, that is 30 plus years of providing insurance policies to a network of commercial transportation fleets. We have stayed in business for all this time, because we have always strived to provide our customers with the best corporate fleet insurance quotes. American Business Insurance has seen it all over the 30 years of what happens in the industry, so are always in the lead of industry and able to fluctuate with the market as it has its ups and downs.

Wide Range of Customers

Our services cover companies such as taxis, limousines, shuttles, buses and ambulances. Our best policies keep these companies thriving by keeping their customers safe and drivers insured. Such companies need alternatives from your typical consumer auto insurance policies, so feature such as Pay Per Mile, Pay per gallon, etc. Our company offers alternatives for those who drive for a living, often cutting prices on unnecessary coverage that other companies upcharge you for.

Adopting New Technologies

American Business Insurance will provide you with the best fleet insurance quotes. These best fleet insurance quotes come with the best service, whether that being streamlining the account management process for you or having a responsive customer service team. We are here to help always, from providing you with the best fleet insurance quotes to keeping customer satisfaction high. For us, that means adopting new ways of technology and bringing us closer to you.

In conclusion, you should get a quote for you business from us, because American Business Insurance provides you with the best fleet insurance quotes. When you own a fleet of vehicles for your business, whether that being a taxi company, or a trucking company, our flexible and customizable policies will make sure there is coverage available for you at the most available pricing. American Business Insurance has the experience, connections, and newest technologies to make sure your business stays alive and protected. So if you are still wondering if American Business Insurance can provide you with the BEST fleet insurance quotes, go to www.abiweb.com and see for yourself. Get Insured.

How to Insure Transportation Network Companies: A Detailed Guide to Getting your TNC off the Ground

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How to Insure Transportation Network Companies: A Detailed Guide to Getting your TNC off the Ground

Written by Laura Loftus on Monday, May 6th, 2019

Whether you are looking to start your own Transportation Network Company, On-Demand Delivery App or other Shared Economy business, one of the most important factors to consider is insurance! Sounds boring, I know. But as the world around us changes, insurance markets for transportation network companies are creating new structures and products. As an independent agency, American Business Insurance has direct relationships with all insurance companies currently writing specialized policies for transportation network companies.

Finding insurance for transportation network companies or other app-based businesses is no easy feat. As you may have already come to realize, most of your local brokers who specialize in personal lines don’t have relationships with insurance companies in this space. Many local brokers don’t understand what information to collect from business owners to present your transportation network company in the most insurable light.

Finding An Insurance Broker To Write Policies For Your Transportation Network Company

Most of the common insurance companies you may have already heard of are not writing policies because of the high-risk nature for transportation network companies. Insurance companies who are writing policies for transportation network companies are Surplus Lines carriers whose focus is in this specialized, technology driven market place.

Some people think that it is easy to join the long list of people who are trying to start transportation network companies to compete with those already dominating the world – Uber and Lyft. But in reality, the people who have created these transportation network companies worked for many years prior to actually launching.

To some, that might seem like a really long time but when an experienced insurance broker who is familiar with writing policies for transportation network companies asks you to assemble a list of items, it’s best to know exactly what you are getting yourself into. Don’t be fooled, there is a lot of prep, time and money that is required to build transportation network companies like Uber or Lyft.

transportation network companies

Minimum Premiums For Transportation Network Companies

As you might have anticipated, buying an insurance policy for transportation network companies is not cheap since most insurers in this space have minimum premiums of $75,000-100,000. We know, that is a lot of dough! The good news is, most of the carriers will accept a portion of that up-front and some even offer premium eroding endorsements. This means if your business doesn’t generate premium up to that amount within the year, they will carry over the credit to the following year.

Obtaining a quote requires you to find a broker who specializes in writing insurance for transportation network companies. Working with the right broker will not only save you time and money, but prevent you from buying coverages you don’t need and making sure that you have the ones you do. An experienced broker who is familiar with writing insurance for transportation network companies will know exactly what information to collect from you. They will also know how to present it best to the insurance markets who are writing policies for transportation network companies.

American Business Insurance Services, Inc.

Lucky for you, you found us! As an agency, we have been around long before ordering a ride from your smart-phone was an option. We specialize in public auto which means we understand more than anyone how transportation network companies operate.

transportation network companies

Items Transportation Network Companies Should Have Ready Before Calling Your Broker For A Quote:

Build the App:

  • One of the first questions I ask customers looking for insurance for transportation network companies is if the app is complete. Insurance company underwriters will want to download your app and make sure it’s working. Also, some companies have technology-based policies, meaning they integrate with your app to capture data on the drivers. Some even offer lower insurance rates based on favorable data collected (less speeding, hard stops, etcetera). Most policies for transportation network companies are usage based, so they have to be able to download your app and make sure it’s compatible with their insurance structure. Insurance companies often want to be able to pull reports from your app which include and are not limited to:

1. Knowing When A Trip Starts and Stops

2. How Many Miles For Each Trip

3. How Many Minutes/Hours For Each Trip

Business Plan & Projections:

  • There is a checklist of items the insurance company will want to see attached to the submission your broker sends. Your broker should be narrating to the insurance company all the hard work and thought you’ve put into creating these transportation network companies. Insurers will want to see a “pitch deck” which is something you might already have created to obtain investors. This document will present and explain your business model, why it is different from what is alreadyout there and how it will work long term. Some of the questions this document should answer are:

transportation network companies1. What are the company’s growth plans?

2. How will you monitor safety/loss control?

3. How is pricing structured so that the company is profitable?

 Safety and Training:

  • Safety and training is a big deal for insurers who are writing policies for transportation network companies. They will want to know what restrictions, checks and balances and training you will provide to drivers. They want to know how often you will check driving records and how often people have to pass background checks. The younger in age the drivers are that you allow to join your transportation network companies, the more expensive you can expect your insurance prices to be. Insurance companies want to know how you are going to prevent accidents from happening so that you build a positive reputation within the industry along side other transportation network companies like Uber and Lyft.

Bios on Key Officers/Investors:

  • Insurance companies want to know about the people behind the transportation network companies! If you want to join the group of dominating transportation network companies, they are going to want to know what experience you have, not only in transportation but also in being an entrepreneur. Take the time to write detailed bios for yourself and all other key members, officers and investors behind your transportation network company. Make sure to detail the knowledge and life experience you are bringing to the table in starting transportation network companies like Uber and Lyft. A well written, detailed bio will separate your company from all the rest and will give you a better advantage to better pricing on insurance for transportation network companies.

 Terms of Service & Privacy Conditions:

  • Although this may seem like a small piece of the puzzle to getting insurance for transportation network companies, most insurers want to see the liability of the app in regards to what they are promising to both their drivers and users. If you are a peer to peer platform, they want to see how the transaction will take place. Some of the questions that should be answered here are:

1. What Security Measures Are In Place To Protect The User?

2. How Should Complaints Be Filed?

3. What Terms and Conditions Does Your Company Adhere To? 

transportation network companies

Financial Balance Sheet:

  • Basically, a lot of what it takes to insure transportation network companies is having money, and a lot of it. Due to the hefty size of the minimum premiums for transportation network companies, generally ranging from $75,00-100,000, insurers want to make sure you not only have money to pay for the policy, but to also keep your business afloat and operating before you start turning a profit. It’s no secret that most transportation network companies do not profit until after the first year. Insurers want to see that you have raised money, not just for the cost of insurance but also for operating expenses, advertising and promotions.
  • When I review the balance sheet for transportation network companies, I know that most insurers want to see that you’ve raised at minimum $250,000-$1,000,000 in capital. Sometimes more. The reason for them wanting transportation network companies to raise this much money is because they know what it takes to gain traction in this unique space. They want to make sure the work they are putting in to quote and bind your policy will create a lasting relationship with you.

Guidance From American Business Insurance Services, INC

Starting any business takes time, research and money. We get phone calls from people daily thinking they are going to be the next Uber and Lyft. And believe me, we want you to make it big and compete against the monopoly that currently exists for transportation network companies. But in reality, we know that few of the phone calls we receive have actually taken the above steps which are required to make transportation network companies insurable.

If you have questions or need guidance, please give us a call and we will be happy to discuss over the phone! While some of the larger, corporate run agencies have the same relationships as us, few will offer the personal touch and value we have with every client.

Exclusive Contracts

Additionally, we have exclusive contracts with some companies that allow us to write at a lower minimum premium than others. We are an independent, family-run business with 75+ years of combined experience in the business insurance industry. We have invested in other transportation network companies, peer to peer and shared economy types of businesses. Most of us utilize transportation network companies and peer-to-peer apps regularly.

We literally have boots on the ground in this space and if you want the best pricing with the smoothest transaction – we are here for you!

GET A QUOTE

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How to Save the MOST Money on Your Commercial Fleet Insurance Rates

ABI Transportation Experts Speak: How to Save the MOST Money on Your Commercial Fleet Insurance Rates

Written by Laura Loftus on Thursday, February 28th, 2019

 

When speaking with clients about their commercial fleet insurance, the most common concern is how to get the lowest insurance rates. About 100% of the customers I speak to daily all have the same goal – they want the lowest insurance rates available and will do whatever it takes to get it. Whether you own a Taxi, Limo, Paratransit or Shared Economy company (peer to peer platform app), it’s a given that you want your commercial fleet insurance coverage at the lowest insurance rates available. What many companies don’t realize, especially start-ups, is that commercial fleet insurance underwriters do quite a bit of digging on your company through a variety of platforms to “check you out” prior to releasing a quote. They read Yelp reviews, they look at your website, they do Better Business Bureau checks – all of it.

There are common mistakes that transportation service companies are repeatedly making that will create doubt in a commercial fleet insurance company. These mistakes actually prevent your broker from being able to find the lowest insurance rates for your company. Most of these companies think they are making business decisions that will guide them toward the lowest insurance rates, and are unaware that their current website or driver pool is actually hurting their chances of achieving the lowest possible commercial fleet insurance rate.

Five common flubs transportation service companies are making that prevent your commercial fleet insurance broker from obtaining the lowest insurance rates possible:

1) Company Website

The first and most common mistake we see from commercial auto risks who are in the “wheels” business as us underwriters call it – is that you over the amount of experience or size of your transportation service company.  It is common for commercial fleet insurance underwriters to google your company to pick apart your website. Here are some items you may think are helping your chances at obtaining the lowest insurance rates but are actually red flags to commercial fleet insurance companies:

  •  Words like “Fast Pick-up” or ‘Delivery in Minutes” – no commercial fleet insurance underwriter wants to see that you are promising rushed services. Rushing = equals unsafe driving behavior.

commercial fleet insurance

  • Advertising vehicles that are not actually part of your fleet. For example, just yesterday I was helping a 35-car fleet in Portland with obtaining commercial fleet insurance quotes. The list of vehicles they provided were all private passenger type vehicles (meaning seating capacity of 8 or less) – good! But when I searched the company online, they advertised a large shuttle bus and a higher seating capacity van. When I asked the client about this, they those vehicles had been sold and they had no plans to replace them. Keeping your website up to date and only advertising only what you can actually deliver will keep unwanted questions from creeping into the commercial fleet insurance underwriters’ mind. Creating uncertainty is the last thing you want to do with a commercial fleet insurance underwriter when trying to obtain the lowest insurance rates.
  •  Age of vehicles is important to commercial fleet insurance companies. Publishing a picture of a 30-year-old vehicle is no bueno. Keep your fleet serviced regularly (we recommend every three to four thousand miles and cycle out old units. Newer, cleaner & well-maintained vehicles are not only more desired by clientele (when trying to compete with Uber/Lyft) but also preferred by commercial fleet insurance companies trying to avoid claims due to mechanical defect.
  • If you boast 20 years of experience but your LLC was filed three years ago, it creates uncertainty with insurance companies. It’s better to accurately reflect your business as it is now, and not what you want it to be five years from now. Just as there are items to avoid putting on your website, there are points that you should include on your website. It is always a good idea to brag about highly trained drivers and safety training you provide (more on this later). Be sure to note the maintenance you keep up with for your fleet, the background checks the city you operate in mandates and the highest level of driving records required for your drivers. Commercial fleet insurance underwriters like stable fleets with safe drivers. Bottom line, safer risks translates to commercial fleet insurance underwriters offering the lowest insurance rates.

2) Creating a Business Name

This may seem simple enough but for transportation business owners looking to for the lowest insurance rates, people often think that commercial fleet insurance companies give the lowest insurance rates to Limo’s and Non-Emergency Medical risks over a taxi or airport shuttle. While this might be true, cornering yourself into a specific type of transportation in your business name narrows the list of commercial fleet insurance carriers you are eligible for. Many markets write only taxis or only limos. So, if you file your business name with the Secretary of State as Laura’s Taxi & Limo Service, LLC. – it could possibly make you ineligible for a limo commercial fleet insurance program because they don’t insure taxis and vice versa – even if your unit type meets their requirements. When talking with clients, I always say it’s best to be general about the transportation type within the name of their business, especially as market conditions change. You may be heavy in taxi trips one year but then obtain a paratransit contract and do more of that the following year. The more years of favorable loss history (loss runs) you can provide, the better chance you have at obtaining the lowest insurance rates. Choosing a business name that is general such as Laura’s Transportation Service, LLC. allows you flexibility to transform and evolve your business as the industry demands change.

3) Loss Control is Everything

Underwriters give commercial fleet insurance at the lowest insurance rates to companies with low levels of paid claims. Even in a hard insurance market, with rates rising for the good guys too, you can expect to pay more for commercial fleet insurance if you’re prior insurance companies have paid a lot in claims. Here are some suggestions in tightening loss control for your transportation service company:

  •  Hire a full-time loss control or driver manager who will enforce a safety culture. Doing this, will lower the frequency and severity of claim payouts and put your transportation service company in a better position to obtain the lowest insurance rates. This person should be in charge of overseeing the overall safety of your company. Managing and coaching your drivers is the key to a successful transportation service company. You are only as good as your worst driver.
  • commercial fleet insurance Invest in cameras that capture not only accidents but also driver analytics. This type of camera system will allow you to review driver behavior and correct bad habits before they cause an accident. We like to say this method is similar to that of a professional athlete. How do they improve? They watch their game film and correct bad habits. Driving professionally is the same. The more you do it, the more comfortable you get and having drivers watch themselves reduces risky behavior dramatically. Additionally, it’s a known fact that many commercial fleet insurance claims are paid because of he said/she said situations. Having accidents on camera is the best way to know who exactly was at fault and exonerate innocent drivers.
  •  Hold weekly safety huddles and or monthly meetings. Review the data and claims that have occurred recently and talk to your drivers about how they could have been prevented.
  •  Commit to investing in annual defensive driving training for your drivers. This annual reminder to drivers will ensure that bad habits are addressed and give each driver a time to reflect on their own performance.
  • Implement a reward program for safe drivers. Giving an incentive, even if it’s small monetary gift cards – keeps your drivers focused and motivated on safe driving habits.

4) The Driver Pool

The Driver Pool is so important when trying to achieve the lowest insurance rates from commercial fleet insurance providers for your transportation company. How you chose to manage drivers and who you hire is crucial. Create formal guidelines that clearly outline what is acceptable for employment. We recommend only hiring drivers with zero accidents within the past three years and minimal moving violations. Clean MVRs are best but we know that professional drivers with experience usually do not have clean MVRs and this is ok. Professional drivers are on the road up to 3x more than someone commuting to/from work so it’s a given that they will most likely have more violations on their records. Repeat offenders can impact the cost of your commercial fleet insurance and should be let go. No one is perfect, but you should train your drivers with the goal to be as safe as possible. Excessive violations on a driving record can cause surcharges and prevent you from obtaining the lower insurance rates. Additionally, younger drivers sometimes generate higher premiums for commercial fleet insurance as well as newly licensed individuals.

5) Contact an Experienced, Transportation Insurance Broker

commercial fleet insurance

Working with a transportation specialist versus a local agency makes a huge difference as commercial fleet insurance brokers have access to many more transportation focused insurance companies. Also, an experienced broker will review your company data prior to submitting to commercial fleet insurance companies. If they see something a commercial fleet insurance company won’t like, they can address it with you and provide you with an opportunity to make changes before submitting to each carrier. The more information you can provide to a commercial fleet insurance underwriter, the better chances you have at achieving the lowest insurance rates. Because the for-hire, livery insurance market is so thin, carriers often get multiple submissions from duplicate brokers. Try to work with one broker at a time. You may think contacting multiple agencies well help you, but if they are all going to the same markets for commercial fleet insurance – it’s duplicating not only your own work, but the insurance companies as well. The livery market is a tough class of business and finding an experienced broker will absolutely give you a leg up on finding the lowest insurance rates over a generalist broker.

American Business Insurance Services, Inc. has been working with transportation companies across the nation for 35+ years. We have direct relationships with the most competitive commercial fleet insurance companies. We know what it takes to submit a complete application and present your company in the best light possible – which will no doubt translate to finding commercial fleet insurance at the lowest insurance rate.

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Autonomous Car Insurance and How it Works

How Autonomous Car Insurance Works

With technology in our society advancing at such an incredible rate, all of our cars could have minds entirely of their own within years. As a matter of fact, we are on our way there already. They are not yet available on a large scale. However, autonomous cars certainly are a reality and could eventually integrate themselves fully into our everyday lives. The question that many are asking has to do with insurance for an autonomous car. Car insurance typically protects the driver and car from mistakes that are caused by the driver. So if all cars will be completely autonomous and self-sufficient from humans, what is the point of insurance? If the car gets in an accident, who is then held responsible? In this futuristic dilemma, car insurance will work a little differently than we’re used to, but American Business Insurance is prepared to handle it.

How Do Autonomous Vehicles Work?

Essentially, autonomous vehicle manufacturers and designers will think of everything that a car needs a human for and remove those needs. For example, an autonomous car will be built with a GPS in it, so it doesn’t need a person to control navigation. Many of them also have sensors in and around them, in order to help them avoid accidents. Of course, this would typically be the job of the driver. There is also the element of augmented reality. AR is a method of getting information to the driver, such as displaying it on the windshield. This information could be directions, the speed of the car, information about the music thats playing, etc. And the vehicle is the one that has it all. The would-be driver just turns into a rider, and the car handles the rest.

Changes in Insurance

Insurance for autonomous vehicles will play a different role than insurance for a regular car. Instead of the driver or owner of the vehicle being responsible for accidents, it would likely be the manufacturer of the autonomous vehicle. Now, its rare for a malfunction of the vehicle to be the cause of an accident; they are almost always a result of human error. This could be the largest change to car insurance if and when autonomous vehicles become a norm in our society. Manufacturers being held responsible for insuring each vehicle themselves will create an expensive, long-term process before the vehicles can be safely put to use. It will also require an extensive process of making sure that many ethical issues are covered.

ABI’s Role

The idea that human-operated vehicles will be obsolete in everyday life may seem plausible only in the distant future. However, functioning autonomous cars are on their way to changing transportation forever. There are countless pros to autonomous vehicles, but insuring all vehicles so that riders are promised complete safety would be the primary con. To ease the process of insuring self-driving cars, ABI’s Insurance Services have exactly what it takes for companies to make the transition from human-driven cars to self-driven cars. With 75 years of experience in transportation network companies, ABI can make riders feel safe using new technology, and help our society continue to evolve in amazing ways. ABI has direct relationships with the insurance carriers they write policies through, allowing for great efficiency and attention to detail. But you don’t have to wait for all cars to drive themselves to achieve this kind of protection and safety; contact ABI for both large and small fleet insurance today!

How ABI is Protecting HyreCar

How ABI is Protecting Hyrecar

Ride-sharing services are taking the world of transportation by storm. Uber and Lyft are constantly relied on both by riders who need to get places efficiently, and by those who are employed by either company. However, many people are not aware that vehicles must meet certain standards in order to provide rides by Uber and Lyft. Due to these specific requirements for cars, many who desire to drive for the ride-sharing service aren’t allowed the opportunity. There was nothing they could do- until Hyrecar.

The Solution

HyreCar has arrived as the first car-matching service that works hand in hand with Uber and Lyft. The concept is simple: for those who desire to drive but don’t have a car that meets the requirements, HyreCar allows you to rent one and get right to work. Most issues that are preventing certain cars from qualifying for Uber and Lyft are simply problems that are typical of older vehicles. Its a lot to ask of someone to make them purchase an entirely new vehicle just to pass the restrictions test. In turn, less people would drive for Uber and Lyft, which hurts both the would-be drivers and the companies themselves.

The Process

HyreCar realized the very simple solution to this problem, and the founders were shocked when they found that no one had discovered this niche market yet. HyreCar’s platform is easy to use, while still being thorough. It allows car owners to post their vehicles that are up for rental, and when drivers find one they want, they create a profile. This profile includes information such as driver’s license and social security numbers, and drivers can pay just by entering their credit card information into the platform. HyreCar’s founders believe that their screening process for drivers is even stricter than those of Uber and Lyft, checking things like criminal records, DMV records, and sex-offender databases.

Everybody Wins

Thanks to HyreCar, everybody involved benefits in some way. Cars that would otherwise be sitting in a garage or not in use somewhere are making their owners money. Those who wish to be drivers are given an easy way to fulfill that desire without buying a whole new car. Uber and Lyft have more drivers for their companies and therefore generate more business. HyreCar benefits by charging drivers that rent from them a 10% fee and car owners a 15% fee.

How ABI is Covering HyreCar

American Business Insurance is providing HyreCar with a unique insurance policy to ensure the highest level of safety for both the drivers and riders. When a driver is not driving for a ride-sharing platform but is still in possession of the rented car, they are covered by ABI’s policy that covers both the riders and drivers. When they are driving for a ride-sharing platform with the rented car, the insurance defaults to the state-mandated policy provided by the respective ride-sharing company.

As far as HyreCar is aware, they are the only car-matching service that utilizes a unique insurance policy such as the one provided by American Business Insurance. Thanks to ABI, HyreCar now has a competitive advantage that will likely continue to garner success for the company.

Best Fleet Insurance Quotes

Here at American Business Insurance, we offer the best fleet insurance quotes for your corporate operations. American Business Insurance has been insuring businesses and fleets for over 30 years, providing coverage to services such as taxi and limousine. You can get the best insurance quote from us through our website, where you can find a wide range of information from custom insurance policies to our state-of-the-art online portal system, where you can be able to look at recent statements, claims, and such. What differentiates us from other competing companies is our flexibility, we have a strong support from customer service that make sure each customer’s specific needs are met. We know that every person and business has a different need, so we strive to provide a wide range of services and customization to fit different needs. If you are still wondering about using American Business Insurance for your company, here are a couple reasons why we provide the best fleet insurance quotes

3 Reasons why ABI Provides the Best Fleet Insurance Quotes

Doing Business since 1984

Yes, that is 30 plus years of providing insurance policies to a network of commercial transportation fleets. We have stayed in business for all this time, because we have always strived to provide our customers with the best corporate fleet insurance quotes. American Business Insurance has seen it all over the 30 years of what happens in the industry, so are always in the lead of industry and able to fluctuate with the market as it has its ups and downs.

Wide Range of Customers

Our services cover companies such as taxis, limousines, shuttles, buses and ambulances. Our best policies keep these companies thriving by keeping their customers safe and drivers insured. Such companies need alternatives from your typical consumer auto insurance policies, so feature such as Pay Per Mile, Pay per gallon, etc. Our company offers alternatives for those who drive for a living, often cutting prices on unnecessary coverage that other companies upcharge you for.

Adopting New Technologies

American Business Insurance will provide you with the best fleet insurance quotes. These best fleet insurance quotes come with the best service, whether that being streamlining the account management process for you or having a responsive customer service team. We are here to help always, from providing you with the best fleet insurance quotes to keeping customer satisfaction high. For us, that means adopting new ways of technology and bringing us closer to you.

In conclusion, you should get a quote for you business from us, because American Business Insurance provides you with the best fleet insurance quotes. When you own a fleet of vehicles for your business, whether that being a taxi company, or a trucking company, our flexible and customizable policies will make sure there is coverage available for you at the most available pricing. American Business Insurance has the experience, connections, and newest technologies to make sure your business stays alive and protected. So if you are still wondering if American Business Insurance can provide you with the BEST fleet insurance quotes, go to www.abiweb.com and see for yourself. Get Insured.

How to Insure Transportation Network Companies: A Detailed Guide to Getting your TNC off the Ground

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How to Insure Transportation Network Companies: A Detailed Guide to Getting your TNC off the Ground

Written by Laura Loftus on Monday, May 6th, 2019

Whether you are looking to start your own Transportation Network Company, On-Demand Delivery App or other Shared Economy business, one of the most important factors to consider is insurance! Sounds boring, I know. But as the world around us changes, insurance markets for transportation network companies are creating new structures and products. As an independent agency, American Business Insurance has direct relationships with all insurance companies currently writing specialized policies for transportation network companies.

Finding insurance for transportation network companies or other app-based businesses is no easy feat. As you may have already come to realize, most of your local brokers who specialize in personal lines don’t have relationships with insurance companies in this space. Many local brokers don’t understand what information to collect from business owners to present your transportation network company in the most insurable light.

Finding An Insurance Broker To Write Policies For Your Transportation Network Company

Most of the common insurance companies you may have already heard of are not writing policies because of the high-risk nature for transportation network companies. Insurance companies who are writing policies for transportation network companies are Surplus Lines carriers whose focus is in this specialized, technology driven market place.

Some people think that it is easy to join the long list of people who are trying to start transportation network companies to compete with those already dominating the world – Uber and Lyft. But in reality, the people who have created these transportation network companies worked for many years prior to actually launching.

To some, that might seem like a really long time but when an experienced insurance broker who is familiar with writing policies for transportation network companies asks you to assemble a list of items, it’s best to know exactly what you are getting yourself into. Don’t be fooled, there is a lot of prep, time and money that is required to build transportation network companies like Uber or Lyft.

transportation network companies

Minimum Premiums For Transportation Network Companies

As you might have anticipated, buying an insurance policy for transportation network companies is not cheap since most insurers in this space have minimum premiums of $75,000-100,000. We know, that is a lot of dough! The good news is, most of the carriers will accept a portion of that up-front and some even offer premium eroding endorsements. This means if your business doesn’t generate premium up to that amount within the year, they will carry over the credit to the following year.

Obtaining a quote requires you to find a broker who specializes in writing insurance for transportation network companies. Working with the right broker will not only save you time and money, but prevent you from buying coverages you don’t need and making sure that you have the ones you do. An experienced broker who is familiar with writing insurance for transportation network companies will know exactly what information to collect from you. They will also know how to present it best to the insurance markets who are writing policies for transportation network companies.

American Business Insurance Services, Inc.

Lucky for you, you found us! As an agency, we have been around long before ordering a ride from your smart-phone was an option. We specialize in public auto which means we understand more than anyone how transportation network companies operate.

transportation network companies

Items Transportation Network Companies Should Have Ready Before Calling Your Broker For A Quote:

Build the App:

  • One of the first questions I ask customers looking for insurance for transportation network companies is if the app is complete. Insurance company underwriters will want to download your app and make sure it’s working. Also, some companies have technology-based policies, meaning they integrate with your app to capture data on the drivers. Some even offer lower insurance rates based on favorable data collected (less speeding, hard stops, etcetera). Most policies for transportation network companies are usage based, so they have to be able to download your app and make sure it’s compatible with their insurance structure. Insurance companies often want to be able to pull reports from your app which include and are not limited to:

1. Knowing When A Trip Starts and Stops

2. How Many Miles For Each Trip

3. How Many Minutes/Hours For Each Trip

Business Plan & Projections:

  • There is a checklist of items the insurance company will want to see attached to the submission your broker sends. Your broker should be narrating to the insurance company all the hard work and thought you’ve put into creating these transportation network companies. Insurers will want to see a “pitch deck” which is something you might already have created to obtain investors. This document will present and explain your business model, why it is different from what is alreadyout there and how it will work long term. Some of the questions this document should answer are:

transportation network companies1. What are the company’s growth plans?

2. How will you monitor safety/loss control?

3. How is pricing structured so that the company is profitable?

 Safety and Training:

  • Safety and training is a big deal for insurers who are writing policies for transportation network companies. They will want to know what restrictions, checks and balances and training you will provide to drivers. They want to know how often you will check driving records and how often people have to pass background checks. The younger in age the drivers are that you allow to join your transportation network companies, the more expensive you can expect your insurance prices to be. Insurance companies want to know how you are going to prevent accidents from happening so that you build a positive reputation within the industry along side other transportation network companies like Uber and Lyft.

Bios on Key Officers/Investors:

  • Insurance companies want to know about the people behind the transportation network companies! If you want to join the group of dominating transportation network companies, they are going to want to know what experience you have, not only in transportation but also in being an entrepreneur. Take the time to write detailed bios for yourself and all other key members, officers and investors behind your transportation network company. Make sure to detail the knowledge and life experience you are bringing to the table in starting transportation network companies like Uber and Lyft. A well written, detailed bio will separate your company from all the rest and will give you a better advantage to better pricing on insurance for transportation network companies.

 Terms of Service & Privacy Conditions:

  • Although this may seem like a small piece of the puzzle to getting insurance for transportation network companies, most insurers want to see the liability of the app in regards to what they are promising to both their drivers and users. If you are a peer to peer platform, they want to see how the transaction will take place. Some of the questions that should be answered here are:

1. What Security Measures Are In Place To Protect The User?

2. How Should Complaints Be Filed?

3. What Terms and Conditions Does Your Company Adhere To? 

transportation network companies

Financial Balance Sheet:

  • Basically, a lot of what it takes to insure transportation network companies is having money, and a lot of it. Due to the hefty size of the minimum premiums for transportation network companies, generally ranging from $75,00-100,000, insurers want to make sure you not only have money to pay for the policy, but to also keep your business afloat and operating before you start turning a profit. It’s no secret that most transportation network companies do not profit until after the first year. Insurers want to see that you have raised money, not just for the cost of insurance but also for operating expenses, advertising and promotions.
  • When I review the balance sheet for transportation network companies, I know that most insurers want to see that you’ve raised at minimum $250,000-$1,000,000 in capital. Sometimes more. The reason for them wanting transportation network companies to raise this much money is because they know what it takes to gain traction in this unique space. They want to make sure the work they are putting in to quote and bind your policy will create a lasting relationship with you.

Guidance From American Business Insurance Services, INC

Starting any business takes time, research and money. We get phone calls from people daily thinking they are going to be the next Uber and Lyft. And believe me, we want you to make it big and compete against the monopoly that currently exists for transportation network companies. But in reality, we know that few of the phone calls we receive have actually taken the above steps which are required to make transportation network companies insurable.

If you have questions or need guidance, please give us a call and we will be happy to discuss over the phone! While some of the larger, corporate run agencies have the same relationships as us, few will offer the personal touch and value we have with every client.

Exclusive Contracts

Additionally, we have exclusive contracts with some companies that allow us to write at a lower minimum premium than others. We are an independent, family-run business with 75+ years of combined experience in the business insurance industry. We have invested in other transportation network companies, peer to peer and shared economy types of businesses. Most of us utilize transportation network companies and peer-to-peer apps regularly.

We literally have boots on the ground in this space and if you want the best pricing with the smoothest transaction – we are here for you!

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How to Save the MOST Money on Your Commercial Fleet Insurance Rates

ABI Transportation Experts Speak: How to Save the MOST Money on Your Commercial Fleet Insurance Rates

Written by Laura Loftus on Thursday, February 28th, 2019

 

When speaking with clients about their commercial fleet insurance, the most common concern is how to get the lowest insurance rates. About 100% of the customers I speak to daily all have the same goal – they want the lowest insurance rates available and will do whatever it takes to get it. Whether you own a Taxi, Limo, Paratransit or Shared Economy company (peer to peer platform app), it’s a given that you want your commercial fleet insurance coverage at the lowest insurance rates available. What many companies don’t realize, especially start-ups, is that commercial fleet insurance underwriters do quite a bit of digging on your company through a variety of platforms to “check you out” prior to releasing a quote. They read Yelp reviews, they look at your website, they do Better Business Bureau checks – all of it.

There are common mistakes that transportation service companies are repeatedly making that will create doubt in a commercial fleet insurance company. These mistakes actually prevent your broker from being able to find the lowest insurance rates for your company. Most of these companies think they are making business decisions that will guide them toward the lowest insurance rates, and are unaware that their current website or driver pool is actually hurting their chances of achieving the lowest possible commercial fleet insurance rate.

Five common flubs transportation service companies are making that prevent your commercial fleet insurance broker from obtaining the lowest insurance rates possible:

1) Company Website

The first and most common mistake we see from commercial auto risks who are in the “wheels” business as us underwriters call it – is that you over the amount of experience or size of your transportation service company.  It is common for commercial fleet insurance underwriters to google your company to pick apart your website. Here are some items you may think are helping your chances at obtaining the lowest insurance rates but are actually red flags to commercial fleet insurance companies:

  •  Words like “Fast Pick-up” or ‘Delivery in Minutes” – no commercial fleet insurance underwriter wants to see that you are promising rushed services. Rushing = equals unsafe driving behavior.

commercial fleet insurance

  • Advertising vehicles that are not actually part of your fleet. For example, just yesterday I was helping a 35-car fleet in Portland with obtaining commercial fleet insurance quotes. The list of vehicles they provided were all private passenger type vehicles (meaning seating capacity of 8 or less) – good! But when I searched the company online, they advertised a large shuttle bus and a higher seating capacity van. When I asked the client about this, they those vehicles had been sold and they had no plans to replace them. Keeping your website up to date and only advertising only what you can actually deliver will keep unwanted questions from creeping into the commercial fleet insurance underwriters’ mind. Creating uncertainty is the last thing you want to do with a commercial fleet insurance underwriter when trying to obtain the lowest insurance rates.
  •  Age of vehicles is important to commercial fleet insurance companies. Publishing a picture of a 30-year-old vehicle is no bueno. Keep your fleet serviced regularly (we recommend every three to four thousand miles and cycle out old units. Newer, cleaner & well-maintained vehicles are not only more desired by clientele (when trying to compete with Uber/Lyft) but also preferred by commercial fleet insurance companies trying to avoid claims due to mechanical defect.
  • If you boast 20 years of experience but your LLC was filed three years ago, it creates uncertainty with insurance companies. It’s better to accurately reflect your business as it is now, and not what you want it to be five years from now. Just as there are items to avoid putting on your website, there are points that you should include on your website. It is always a good idea to brag about highly trained drivers and safety training you provide (more on this later). Be sure to note the maintenance you keep up with for your fleet, the background checks the city you operate in mandates and the highest level of driving records required for your drivers. Commercial fleet insurance underwriters like stable fleets with safe drivers. Bottom line, safer risks translates to commercial fleet insurance underwriters offering the lowest insurance rates.

2) Creating a Business Name

This may seem simple enough but for transportation business owners looking to for the lowest insurance rates, people often think that commercial fleet insurance companies give the lowest insurance rates to Limo’s and Non-Emergency Medical risks over a taxi or airport shuttle. While this might be true, cornering yourself into a specific type of transportation in your business name narrows the list of commercial fleet insurance carriers you are eligible for. Many markets write only taxis or only limos. So, if you file your business name with the Secretary of State as Laura’s Taxi & Limo Service, LLC. – it could possibly make you ineligible for a limo commercial fleet insurance program because they don’t insure taxis and vice versa – even if your unit type meets their requirements. When talking with clients, I always say it’s best to be general about the transportation type within the name of their business, especially as market conditions change. You may be heavy in taxi trips one year but then obtain a paratransit contract and do more of that the following year. The more years of favorable loss history (loss runs) you can provide, the better chance you have at obtaining the lowest insurance rates. Choosing a business name that is general such as Laura’s Transportation Service, LLC. allows you flexibility to transform and evolve your business as the industry demands change.

3) Loss Control is Everything

Underwriters give commercial fleet insurance at the lowest insurance rates to companies with low levels of paid claims. Even in a hard insurance market, with rates rising for the good guys too, you can expect to pay more for commercial fleet insurance if you’re prior insurance companies have paid a lot in claims. Here are some suggestions in tightening loss control for your transportation service company:

  •  Hire a full-time loss control or driver manager who will enforce a safety culture. Doing this, will lower the frequency and severity of claim payouts and put your transportation service company in a better position to obtain the lowest insurance rates. This person should be in charge of overseeing the overall safety of your company. Managing and coaching your drivers is the key to a successful transportation service company. You are only as good as your worst driver.
  • commercial fleet insurance Invest in cameras that capture not only accidents but also driver analytics. This type of camera system will allow you to review driver behavior and correct bad habits before they cause an accident. We like to say this method is similar to that of a professional athlete. How do they improve? They watch their game film and correct bad habits. Driving professionally is the same. The more you do it, the more comfortable you get and having drivers watch themselves reduces risky behavior dramatically. Additionally, it’s a known fact that many commercial fleet insurance claims are paid because of he said/she said situations. Having accidents on camera is the best way to know who exactly was at fault and exonerate innocent drivers.
  •  Hold weekly safety huddles and or monthly meetings. Review the data and claims that have occurred recently and talk to your drivers about how they could have been prevented.
  •  Commit to investing in annual defensive driving training for your drivers. This annual reminder to drivers will ensure that bad habits are addressed and give each driver a time to reflect on their own performance.
  • Implement a reward program for safe drivers. Giving an incentive, even if it’s small monetary gift cards – keeps your drivers focused and motivated on safe driving habits.

4) The Driver Pool

The Driver Pool is so important when trying to achieve the lowest insurance rates from commercial fleet insurance providers for your transportation company. How you chose to manage drivers and who you hire is crucial. Create formal guidelines that clearly outline what is acceptable for employment. We recommend only hiring drivers with zero accidents within the past three years and minimal moving violations. Clean MVRs are best but we know that professional drivers with experience usually do not have clean MVRs and this is ok. Professional drivers are on the road up to 3x more than someone commuting to/from work so it’s a given that they will most likely have more violations on their records. Repeat offenders can impact the cost of your commercial fleet insurance and should be let go. No one is perfect, but you should train your drivers with the goal to be as safe as possible. Excessive violations on a driving record can cause surcharges and prevent you from obtaining the lower insurance rates. Additionally, younger drivers sometimes generate higher premiums for commercial fleet insurance as well as newly licensed individuals.

5) Contact an Experienced, Transportation Insurance Broker

commercial fleet insurance

Working with a transportation specialist versus a local agency makes a huge difference as commercial fleet insurance brokers have access to many more transportation focused insurance companies. Also, an experienced broker will review your company data prior to submitting to commercial fleet insurance companies. If they see something a commercial fleet insurance company won’t like, they can address it with you and provide you with an opportunity to make changes before submitting to each carrier. The more information you can provide to a commercial fleet insurance underwriter, the better chances you have at achieving the lowest insurance rates. Because the for-hire, livery insurance market is so thin, carriers often get multiple submissions from duplicate brokers. Try to work with one broker at a time. You may think contacting multiple agencies well help you, but if they are all going to the same markets for commercial fleet insurance – it’s duplicating not only your own work, but the insurance companies as well. The livery market is a tough class of business and finding an experienced broker will absolutely give you a leg up on finding the lowest insurance rates over a generalist broker.

American Business Insurance Services, Inc. has been working with transportation companies across the nation for 35+ years. We have direct relationships with the most competitive commercial fleet insurance companies. We know what it takes to submit a complete application and present your company in the best light possible – which will no doubt translate to finding commercial fleet insurance at the lowest insurance rate.

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Autonomous Car Insurance and How it Works

How Autonomous Car Insurance Works

With technology in our society advancing at such an incredible rate, all of our cars could have minds entirely of their own within years. As a matter of fact, we are on our way there already. They are not yet available on a large scale. However, autonomous cars certainly are a reality and could eventually integrate themselves fully into our everyday lives. The question that many are asking has to do with insurance for an autonomous car. Car insurance typically protects the driver and car from mistakes that are caused by the driver. So if all cars will be completely autonomous and self-sufficient from humans, what is the point of insurance? If the car gets in an accident, who is then held responsible? In this futuristic dilemma, car insurance will work a little differently than we’re used to, but American Business Insurance is prepared to handle it.

How Do Autonomous Vehicles Work?

Essentially, autonomous vehicle manufacturers and designers will think of everything that a car needs a human for and remove those needs. For example, an autonomous car will be built with a GPS in it, so it doesn’t need a person to control navigation. Many of them also have sensors in and around them, in order to help them avoid accidents. Of course, this would typically be the job of the driver. There is also the element of augmented reality. AR is a method of getting information to the driver, such as displaying it on the windshield. This information could be directions, the speed of the car, information about the music thats playing, etc. And the vehicle is the one that has it all. The would-be driver just turns into a rider, and the car handles the rest.

Changes in Insurance

Insurance for autonomous vehicles will play a different role than insurance for a regular car. Instead of the driver or owner of the vehicle being responsible for accidents, it would likely be the manufacturer of the autonomous vehicle. Now, its rare for a malfunction of the vehicle to be the cause of an accident; they are almost always a result of human error. This could be the largest change to car insurance if and when autonomous vehicles become a norm in our society. Manufacturers being held responsible for insuring each vehicle themselves will create an expensive, long-term process before the vehicles can be safely put to use. It will also require an extensive process of making sure that many ethical issues are covered.

ABI’s Role

The idea that human-operated vehicles will be obsolete in everyday life may seem plausible only in the distant future. However, functioning autonomous cars are on their way to changing transportation forever. There are countless pros to autonomous vehicles, but insuring all vehicles so that riders are promised complete safety would be the primary con. To ease the process of insuring self-driving cars, ABI’s Insurance Services have exactly what it takes for companies to make the transition from human-driven cars to self-driven cars. With 75 years of experience in transportation network companies, ABI can make riders feel safe using new technology, and help our society continue to evolve in amazing ways. ABI has direct relationships with the insurance carriers they write policies through, allowing for great efficiency and attention to detail. But you don’t have to wait for all cars to drive themselves to achieve this kind of protection and safety; contact ABI for both large and small fleet insurance today!

How ABI is Protecting HyreCar

How ABI is Protecting Hyrecar

Ride-sharing services are taking the world of transportation by storm. Uber and Lyft are constantly relied on both by riders who need to get places efficiently, and by those who are employed by either company. However, many people are not aware that vehicles must meet certain standards in order to provide rides by Uber and Lyft. Due to these specific requirements for cars, many who desire to drive for the ride-sharing service aren’t allowed the opportunity. There was nothing they could do- until Hyrecar.

The Solution

HyreCar has arrived as the first car-matching service that works hand in hand with Uber and Lyft. The concept is simple: for those who desire to drive but don’t have a car that meets the requirements, HyreCar allows you to rent one and get right to work. Most issues that are preventing certain cars from qualifying for Uber and Lyft are simply problems that are typical of older vehicles. Its a lot to ask of someone to make them purchase an entirely new vehicle just to pass the restrictions test. In turn, less people would drive for Uber and Lyft, which hurts both the would-be drivers and the companies themselves.

The Process

HyreCar realized the very simple solution to this problem, and the founders were shocked when they found that no one had discovered this niche market yet. HyreCar’s platform is easy to use, while still being thorough. It allows car owners to post their vehicles that are up for rental, and when drivers find one they want, they create a profile. This profile includes information such as driver’s license and social security numbers, and drivers can pay just by entering their credit card information into the platform. HyreCar’s founders believe that their screening process for drivers is even stricter than those of Uber and Lyft, checking things like criminal records, DMV records, and sex-offender databases.

Everybody Wins

Thanks to HyreCar, everybody involved benefits in some way. Cars that would otherwise be sitting in a garage or not in use somewhere are making their owners money. Those who wish to be drivers are given an easy way to fulfill that desire without buying a whole new car. Uber and Lyft have more drivers for their companies and therefore generate more business. HyreCar benefits by charging drivers that rent from them a 10% fee and car owners a 15% fee.

How ABI is Covering HyreCar

American Business Insurance is providing HyreCar with a unique insurance policy to ensure the highest level of safety for both the drivers and riders. When a driver is not driving for a ride-sharing platform but is still in possession of the rented car, they are covered by ABI’s policy that covers both the riders and drivers. When they are driving for a ride-sharing platform with the rented car, the insurance defaults to the state-mandated policy provided by the respective ride-sharing company.

As far as HyreCar is aware, they are the only car-matching service that utilizes a unique insurance policy such as the one provided by American Business Insurance. Thanks to ABI, HyreCar now has a competitive advantage that will likely continue to garner success for the company.

Best Fleet Insurance Quotes

Here at American Business Insurance, we offer the best fleet insurance quotes for your corporate operations. American Business Insurance has been insuring businesses and fleets for over 30 years, providing coverage to services such as taxi and limousine. You can get the best insurance quote from us through our website, where you can find a wide range of information from custom insurance policies to our state-of-the-art online portal system, where you can be able to look at recent statements, claims, and such. What differentiates us from other competing companies is our flexibility, we have a strong support from customer service that make sure each customer’s specific needs are met. We know that every person and business has a different need, so we strive to provide a wide range of services and customization to fit different needs. If you are still wondering about using American Business Insurance for your company, here are a couple reasons why we provide the best fleet insurance quotes

3 Reasons why ABI Provides the Best Fleet Insurance Quotes

Doing Business since 1984

Yes, that is 30 plus years of providing insurance policies to a network of commercial transportation fleets. We have stayed in business for all this time, because we have always strived to provide our customers with the best corporate fleet insurance quotes. American Business Insurance has seen it all over the 30 years of what happens in the industry, so are always in the lead of industry and able to fluctuate with the market as it has its ups and downs.

Wide Range of Customers

Our services cover companies such as taxis, limousines, shuttles, buses and ambulances. Our best policies keep these companies thriving by keeping their customers safe and drivers insured. Such companies need alternatives from your typical consumer auto insurance policies, so feature such as Pay Per Mile, Pay per gallon, etc. Our company offers alternatives for those who drive for a living, often cutting prices on unnecessary coverage that other companies upcharge you for.

Adopting New Technologies

American Business Insurance will provide you with the best fleet insurance quotes. These best fleet insurance quotes come with the best service, whether that being streamlining the account management process for you or having a responsive customer service team. We are here to help always, from providing you with the best fleet insurance quotes to keeping customer satisfaction high. For us, that means adopting new ways of technology and bringing us closer to you.

In conclusion, you should get a quote for you business from us, because American Business Insurance provides you with the best fleet insurance quotes. When you own a fleet of vehicles for your business, whether that being a taxi company, or a trucking company, our flexible and customizable policies will make sure there is coverage available for you at the most available pricing. American Business Insurance has the experience, connections, and newest technologies to make sure your business stays alive and protected. So if you are still wondering if American Business Insurance can provide you with the BEST fleet insurance quotes, go to www.abiweb.com and see for yourself. Get Insured.

How to Insure Transportation Network Companies: A Detailed Guide to Getting your TNC off the Ground

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How to Insure Transportation Network Companies: A Detailed Guide to Getting your TNC off the Ground

Written by Laura Loftus on Monday, May 6th, 2019

Whether you are looking to start your own Transportation Network Company, On-Demand Delivery App or other Shared Economy business, one of the most important factors to consider is insurance! Sounds boring, I know. But as the world around us changes, insurance markets for transportation network companies are creating new structures and products. As an independent agency, American Business Insurance has direct relationships with all insurance companies currently writing specialized policies for transportation network companies.

Finding insurance for transportation network companies or other app-based businesses is no easy feat. As you may have already come to realize, most of your local brokers who specialize in personal lines don’t have relationships with insurance companies in this space. Many local brokers don’t understand what information to collect from business owners to present your transportation network company in the most insurable light.

Finding An Insurance Broker To Write Policies For Your Transportation Network Company

Most of the common insurance companies you may have already heard of are not writing policies because of the high-risk nature for transportation network companies. Insurance companies who are writing policies for transportation network companies are Surplus Lines carriers whose focus is in this specialized, technology driven market place.

Some people think that it is easy to join the long list of people who are trying to start transportation network companies to compete with those already dominating the world – Uber and Lyft. But in reality, the people who have created these transportation network companies worked for many years prior to actually launching.

To some, that might seem like a really long time but when an experienced insurance broker who is familiar with writing policies for transportation network companies asks you to assemble a list of items, it’s best to know exactly what you are getting yourself into. Don’t be fooled, there is a lot of prep, time and money that is required to build transportation network companies like Uber or Lyft.

transportation network companies

Minimum Premiums For Transportation Network Companies

As you might have anticipated, buying an insurance policy for transportation network companies is not cheap since most insurers in this space have minimum premiums of $75,000-100,000. We know, that is a lot of dough! The good news is, most of the carriers will accept a portion of that up-front and some even offer premium eroding endorsements. This means if your business doesn’t generate premium up to that amount within the year, they will carry over the credit to the following year.

Obtaining a quote requires you to find a broker who specializes in writing insurance for transportation network companies. Working with the right broker will not only save you time and money, but prevent you from buying coverages you don’t need and making sure that you have the ones you do. An experienced broker who is familiar with writing insurance for transportation network companies will know exactly what information to collect from you. They will also know how to present it best to the insurance markets who are writing policies for transportation network companies.

American Business Insurance Services, Inc.

Lucky for you, you found us! As an agency, we have been around long before ordering a ride from your smart-phone was an option. We specialize in public auto which means we understand more than anyone how transportation network companies operate.

transportation network companies

Items Transportation Network Companies Should Have Ready Before Calling Your Broker For A Quote:

Build the App:

  • One of the first questions I ask customers looking for insurance for transportation network companies is if the app is complete. Insurance company underwriters will want to download your app and make sure it’s working. Also, some companies have technology-based policies, meaning they integrate with your app to capture data on the drivers. Some even offer lower insurance rates based on favorable data collected (less speeding, hard stops, etcetera). Most policies for transportation network companies are usage based, so they have to be able to download your app and make sure it’s compatible with their insurance structure. Insurance companies often want to be able to pull reports from your app which include and are not limited to:

1. Knowing When A Trip Starts and Stops

2. How Many Miles For Each Trip

3. How Many Minutes/Hours For Each Trip

Business Plan & Projections:

  • There is a checklist of items the insurance company will want to see attached to the submission your broker sends. Your broker should be narrating to the insurance company all the hard work and thought you’ve put into creating these transportation network companies. Insurers will want to see a “pitch deck” which is something you might already have created to obtain investors. This document will present and explain your business model, why it is different from what is alreadyout there and how it will work long term. Some of the questions this document should answer are:

transportation network companies1. What are the company’s growth plans?

2. How will you monitor safety/loss control?

3. How is pricing structured so that the company is profitable?

 Safety and Training:

  • Safety and training is a big deal for insurers who are writing policies for transportation network companies. They will want to know what restrictions, checks and balances and training you will provide to drivers. They want to know how often you will check driving records and how often people have to pass background checks. The younger in age the drivers are that you allow to join your transportation network companies, the more expensive you can expect your insurance prices to be. Insurance companies want to know how you are going to prevent accidents from happening so that you build a positive reputation within the industry along side other transportation network companies like Uber and Lyft.

Bios on Key Officers/Investors:

  • Insurance companies want to know about the people behind the transportation network companies! If you want to join the group of dominating transportation network companies, they are going to want to know what experience you have, not only in transportation but also in being an entrepreneur. Take the time to write detailed bios for yourself and all other key members, officers and investors behind your transportation network company. Make sure to detail the knowledge and life experience you are bringing to the table in starting transportation network companies like Uber and Lyft. A well written, detailed bio will separate your company from all the rest and will give you a better advantage to better pricing on insurance for transportation network companies.

 Terms of Service & Privacy Conditions:

  • Although this may seem like a small piece of the puzzle to getting insurance for transportation network companies, most insurers want to see the liability of the app in regards to what they are promising to both their drivers and users. If you are a peer to peer platform, they want to see how the transaction will take place. Some of the questions that should be answered here are:

1. What Security Measures Are In Place To Protect The User?

2. How Should Complaints Be Filed?

3. What Terms and Conditions Does Your Company Adhere To? 

transportation network companies

Financial Balance Sheet:

  • Basically, a lot of what it takes to insure transportation network companies is having money, and a lot of it. Due to the hefty size of the minimum premiums for transportation network companies, generally ranging from $75,00-100,000, insurers want to make sure you not only have money to pay for the policy, but to also keep your business afloat and operating before you start turning a profit. It’s no secret that most transportation network companies do not profit until after the first year. Insurers want to see that you have raised money, not just for the cost of insurance but also for operating expenses, advertising and promotions.
  • When I review the balance sheet for transportation network companies, I know that most insurers want to see that you’ve raised at minimum $250,000-$1,000,000 in capital. Sometimes more. The reason for them wanting transportation network companies to raise this much money is because they know what it takes to gain traction in this unique space. They want to make sure the work they are putting in to quote and bind your policy will create a lasting relationship with you.

Guidance From American Business Insurance Services, INC

Starting any business takes time, research and money. We get phone calls from people daily thinking they are going to be the next Uber and Lyft. And believe me, we want you to make it big and compete against the monopoly that currently exists for transportation network companies. But in reality, we know that few of the phone calls we receive have actually taken the above steps which are required to make transportation network companies insurable.

If you have questions or need guidance, please give us a call and we will be happy to discuss over the phone! While some of the larger, corporate run agencies have the same relationships as us, few will offer the personal touch and value we have with every client.

Exclusive Contracts

Additionally, we have exclusive contracts with some companies that allow us to write at a lower minimum premium than others. We are an independent, family-run business with 75+ years of combined experience in the business insurance industry. We have invested in other transportation network companies, peer to peer and shared economy types of businesses. Most of us utilize transportation network companies and peer-to-peer apps regularly.

We literally have boots on the ground in this space and if you want the best pricing with the smoothest transaction – we are here for you!

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How to Save the MOST Money on Your Commercial Fleet Insurance Rates

ABI Transportation Experts Speak: How to Save the MOST Money on Your Commercial Fleet Insurance Rates

Written by Laura Loftus on Thursday, February 28th, 2019

 

When speaking with clients about their commercial fleet insurance, the most common concern is how to get the lowest insurance rates. About 100% of the customers I speak to daily all have the same goal – they want the lowest insurance rates available and will do whatever it takes to get it. Whether you own a Taxi, Limo, Paratransit or Shared Economy company (peer to peer platform app), it’s a given that you want your commercial fleet insurance coverage at the lowest insurance rates available. What many companies don’t realize, especially start-ups, is that commercial fleet insurance underwriters do quite a bit of digging on your company through a variety of platforms to “check you out” prior to releasing a quote. They read Yelp reviews, they look at your website, they do Better Business Bureau checks – all of it.

There are common mistakes that transportation service companies are repeatedly making that will create doubt in a commercial fleet insurance company. These mistakes actually prevent your broker from being able to find the lowest insurance rates for your company. Most of these companies think they are making business decisions that will guide them toward the lowest insurance rates, and are unaware that their current website or driver poo