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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

The Flywheel Shield can be installed using car handles.

 

A Whole New World

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

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

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

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

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

Budgeting for PPE

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

 

 

 

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

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

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

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

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

Show Me The Money

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

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

But is there any work?

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

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

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

Top 5 Revenue Generators during COVID-19:

Using your paycheck protection program payment toward insurance.

 

1. Appointments and other Non-Emergency transportation services

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

Below is a list of medical trip providers to consider.

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

 

2. Courier & delivery companies

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

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

3. Grocery & medicine delivery

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

4. Sign up for Uber/Lyft

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

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

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

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


Not All Policies are Created Equal

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

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

 

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

 

Short-Term Policies for Food Delivery Insurance

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

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

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

Insurance for Delivery Businesses During COVID-19

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

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

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

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

New Short-Term Food Delivery Insurance Program

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

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

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

Product highlights include:

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

 

Keeping Food Delivery Workers Safe

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

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

 

 

 

 

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Survival Guide for the Transportation Industry

The Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic is something no business expected or planned for at the beginning of this year. As an agency that specializes in insuring transportation risks, we feel the pain you are going through right now. We see the drastic business interruption due to COVID-19. We want to remind you that we were your partners before the virus and are here to support you through this crisis.

Can I still work during the Coronavirus (COVID-19) Pandemic?

Transportation businesses have been named an “essential business” and are allowed to remain open for business.

Taxi services during COVID-19With nationwide restrictions and hesitation around travelling due to COVID-19, business is naturally impacted. Especially for those in the for-hire, livery industry who rely  on airport pick-ups and drop-offs. But that doesn’t mean it’s time to give up altogether.

When faced with adversity, it is the time to re-evaluate, reinvent and rediscover business opportunities you might not have pursued before.

 

Below is a short list of what you can do to generate revenue:

  • Contact regular clients and let them know you are available to take them grocery shopping, to doctor appointments or the pharmacy.
  • Advertise that you are avoiding close contact with other people, washing hands regularly and disinfecting the passenger seating in your vehicle after every trip.
  • Contact companies and offer courier or delivery services for groceries, medications, etc. (most livery policies allow this type of transportation already and no extra coverage is needed).
  • In many areas, public transportation is closed but people working in industries deemed an “essential” business are still going to work. Many employers are offering private transportation to their employees so that they can avoid mass transit. Contact these businesses, let them know you are able to help!

 

Can you lower my insurance payments during Coronavirus COVID-19?

No one knows how long our lives will be disrupted and you might feel like you need to cancel your policy. We highly suggest not cancelling your policy at this time unless you absolutely have to. Instead, we suggest the following:

  • If you have multiple vehicles, you may delete all but 1 unit to keep the policy active.
  • Some cities such as San Francisco are allowing taxis to lower the liability limit temporarily to assist in the decrease of revenue/ability to make insurance payments.
  • Some cities such as Seattle and San Diego are allowing operators to temporarily suspend their operating authority. You can email us proof of that, and we can decrease the liability limit down to the state minimum while you are out of work.
  • Preventing your policy from cancelling is beneficial because if you decide to start working again, a cancelled policy will delay your ability to start working again. We will need to re-quote, collect another down payment and in some cases  –  track down current loss runs again.
  • If you must cancel, most carriers are allowing pro-rata cancellations which means you will not be penalized for cancelling early.

 

How can I stay safe while working during the  COVID-19 outbreak?

With increased measures being taken nationwide to prevent the spread, many people may be turning toward a more private or isolated form of transportation (Taxi, Black Car, Uber or Lyft) as opposed to their usual train or bus ride.Infographic of how to stop the coronavirus spread

Below is a list of 5 things you can do to keep your vehicles clean and prevent the virus from spreading to your passengers or yourself:

  1. Wash your hands properly and often.
  2. Cover your mouth and/or nose with a tissue or into the crook of your elbow when you cough or sneeze.
  3. Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces/objects. These include but aren’t limited to: steering wheel, car handles, gear stick, hand brake, and trunk.
  4. Clean and disinfect the passenger seating area in between each trip.
  5. Avoid contact with people who aren’t well or have poor immune systems.

COVID-19 Resource Guide for Transportation Companies

American Business Insurance understands the challenges you are facing during the COVID-19 are ongoing and changing. As an active member of The Transportation Alliance, we have a broad data base of resources and advisers in the transportation industry.

One of those individuals is Matthew W. Daus, Esq, Partner and Chairman of Windels Marx Transportation Practice Group. They are a dedicated firm supporting ground transportation industries in NYC, but have provided a series of webinars with helpful information for those struggling during COVID-19,

To watch the most recent free webinar around the Transportation Industry and COVID-19, click HERE.

Below is a list of topics related to this guide:

 

  • Guidelines for Businesses related to COVID-19
  • Business Preparedness Resources
  • Environmental Cleaning and Disinfection Recommendations
  • Basic Infection Prevention Measures
  • Relief for Businesses
  • Information sharing with Industry Members

 

American Business Insurance – open during the crisis

Insurance businesses are deemed an “essential” business and as such, we have been allowed to remain open. Although most of us are working remotely, calls are being forwarded, emails responded to and vehicle changes/cancellations are being processed.

If you have any questions or need advice on how to adjust your policy during these uncertain times, please contact us during regular business hours, Monday – Friday 8 am to 5 pm pacific at 800-980-1950. You can also email us anytime!

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

The Flywheel Shield can be installed using car handles.

 

A Whole New World

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

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

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

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

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

Budgeting for PPE

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

 

 

 

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

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

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

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

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

Show Me The Money

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

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

But is there any work?

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

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

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

Top 5 Revenue Generators during COVID-19:

Using your paycheck protection program payment toward insurance.

 

1. Appointments and other Non-Emergency transportation services

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

Below is a list of medical trip providers to consider.

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

 

2. Courier & delivery companies

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

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

3. Grocery & medicine delivery

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

4. Sign up for Uber/Lyft

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

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

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

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


Not All Policies are Created Equal

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

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

 

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

 

Short-Term Policies for Food Delivery Insurance

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

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

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

Insurance for Delivery Businesses During COVID-19

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

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

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

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

New Short-Term Food Delivery Insurance Program

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

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

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

Product highlights include:

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

 

Keeping Food Delivery Workers Safe

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

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

 

 

 

 

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Survival Guide for the Transportation Industry

The Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic is something no business expected or planned for at the beginning of this year. As an agency that specializes in insuring transportation risks, we feel the pain you are going through right now. We see the drastic business interruption due to COVID-19. We want to remind you that we were your partners before the virus and are here to support you through this crisis.

Can I still work during the Coronavirus (COVID-19) Pandemic?

Transportation businesses have been named an “essential business” and are allowed to remain open for business.

Taxi services during COVID-19With nationwide restrictions and hesitation around travelling due to COVID-19, business is naturally impacted. Especially for those in the for-hire, livery industry who rely  on airport pick-ups and drop-offs. But that doesn’t mean it’s time to give up altogether.

When faced with adversity, it is the time to re-evaluate, reinvent and rediscover business opportunities you might not have pursued before.

 

Below is a short list of what you can do to generate revenue:

  • Contact regular clients and let them know you are available to take them grocery shopping, to doctor appointments or the pharmacy.
  • Advertise that you are avoiding close contact with other people, washing hands regularly and disinfecting the passenger seating in your vehicle after every trip.
  • Contact companies and offer courier or delivery services for groceries, medications, etc. (most livery policies allow this type of transportation already and no extra coverage is needed).
  • In many areas, public transportation is closed but people working in industries deemed an “essential” business are still going to work. Many employers are offering private transportation to their employees so that they can avoid mass transit. Contact these businesses, let them know you are able to help!

 

Can you lower my insurance payments during Coronavirus COVID-19?

No one knows how long our lives will be disrupted and you might feel like you need to cancel your policy. We highly suggest not cancelling your policy at this time unless you absolutely have to. Instead, we suggest the following:

  • If you have multiple vehicles, you may delete all but 1 unit to keep the policy active.
  • Some cities such as San Francisco are allowing taxis to lower the liability limit temporarily to assist in the decrease of revenue/ability to make insurance payments.
  • Some cities such as Seattle and San Diego are allowing operators to temporarily suspend their operating authority. You can email us proof of that, and we can decrease the liability limit down to the state minimum while you are out of work.
  • Preventing your policy from cancelling is beneficial because if you decide to start working again, a cancelled policy will delay your ability to start working again. We will need to re-quote, collect another down payment and in some cases  –  track down current loss runs again.
  • If you must cancel, most carriers are allowing pro-rata cancellations which means you will not be penalized for cancelling early.

 

How can I stay safe while working during the  COVID-19 outbreak?

With increased measures being taken nationwide to prevent the spread, many people may be turning toward a more private or isolated form of transportation (Taxi, Black Car, Uber or Lyft) as opposed to their usual train or bus ride.Infographic of how to stop the coronavirus spread

Below is a list of 5 things you can do to keep your vehicles clean and prevent the virus from spreading to your passengers or yourself:

  1. Wash your hands properly and often.
  2. Cover your mouth and/or nose with a tissue or into the crook of your elbow when you cough or sneeze.
  3. Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces/objects. These include but aren’t limited to: steering wheel, car handles, gear stick, hand brake, and trunk.
  4. Clean and disinfect the passenger seating area in between each trip.
  5. Avoid contact with people who aren’t well or have poor immune systems.

COVID-19 Resource Guide for Transportation Companies

American Business Insurance understands the challenges you are facing during the COVID-19 are ongoing and changing. As an active member of The Transportation Alliance, we have a broad data base of resources and advisers in the transportation industry.

One of those individuals is Matthew W. Daus, Esq, Partner and Chairman of Windels Marx Transportation Practice Group. They are a dedicated firm supporting ground transportation industries in NYC, but have provided a series of webinars with helpful information for those struggling during COVID-19,

To watch the most recent free webinar around the Transportation Industry and COVID-19, click HERE.

Below is a list of topics related to this guide:

 

  • Guidelines for Businesses related to COVID-19
  • Business Preparedness Resources
  • Environmental Cleaning and Disinfection Recommendations
  • Basic Infection Prevention Measures
  • Relief for Businesses
  • Information sharing with Industry Members

 

American Business Insurance – open during the crisis

Insurance businesses are deemed an “essential” business and as such, we have been allowed to remain open. Although most of us are working remotely, calls are being forwarded, emails responded to and vehicle changes/cancellations are being processed.

If you have any questions or need advice on how to adjust your policy during these uncertain times, please contact us during regular business hours, Monday – Friday 8 am to 5 pm pacific at 800-980-1950. You can also email us anytime!

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

The Flywheel Shield can be installed using car handles.

 

A Whole New World

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

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

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

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

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

Budgeting for PPE

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

 

 

 

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

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

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

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

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

Show Me The Money

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

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

But is there any work?

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

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

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

Top 5 Revenue Generators during COVID-19:

Using your paycheck protection program payment toward insurance.

 

1. Appointments and other Non-Emergency transportation services

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

Below is a list of medical trip providers to consider.

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

 

2. Courier & delivery companies

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

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

3. Grocery & medicine delivery

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

4. Sign up for Uber/Lyft

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

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

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

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


Not All Policies are Created Equal

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

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

 

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

 

Short-Term Policies for Food Delivery Insurance

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

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

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

Insurance for Delivery Businesses During COVID-19

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

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

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

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

New Short-Term Food Delivery Insurance Program

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

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

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

Product highlights include:

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

 

Keeping Food Delivery Workers Safe

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

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

 

 

 

 

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Survival Guide for the Transportation Industry

The Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic is something no business expected or planned for at the beginning of this year. As an agency that specializes in insuring transportation risks, we feel the pain you are going through right now. We see the drastic business interruption due to COVID-19. We want to remind you that we were your partners before the virus and are here to support you through this crisis.

Can I still work during the Coronavirus (COVID-19) Pandemic?

Transportation businesses have been named an “essential business” and are allowed to remain open for business.

Taxi services during COVID-19With nationwide restrictions and hesitation around travelling due to COVID-19, business is naturally impacted. Especially for those in the for-hire, livery industry who rely  on airport pick-ups and drop-offs. But that doesn’t mean it’s time to give up altogether.

When faced with adversity, it is the time to re-evaluate, reinvent and rediscover business opportunities you might not have pursued before.

 

Below is a short list of what you can do to generate revenue:

  • Contact regular clients and let them know you are available to take them grocery shopping, to doctor appointments or the pharmacy.
  • Advertise that you are avoiding close contact with other people, washing hands regularly and disinfecting the passenger seating in your vehicle after every trip.
  • Contact companies and offer courier or delivery services for groceries, medications, etc. (most livery policies allow this type of transportation already and no extra coverage is needed).
  • In many areas, public transportation is closed but people working in industries deemed an “essential” business are still going to work. Many employers are offering private transportation to their employees so that they can avoid mass transit. Contact these businesses, let them know you are able to help!

 

Can you lower my insurance payments during Coronavirus COVID-19?

No one knows how long our lives will be disrupted and you might feel like you need to cancel your policy. We highly suggest not cancelling your policy at this time unless you absolutely have to. Instead, we suggest the following:

  • If you have multiple vehicles, you may delete all but 1 unit to keep the policy active.
  • Some cities such as San Francisco are allowing taxis to lower the liability limit temporarily to assist in the decrease of revenue/ability to make insurance payments.
  • Some cities such as Seattle and San Diego are allowing operators to temporarily suspend their operating authority. You can email us proof of that, and we can decrease the liability limit down to the state minimum while you are out of work.
  • Preventing your policy from cancelling is beneficial because if you decide to start working again, a cancelled policy will delay your ability to start working again. We will need to re-quote, collect another down payment and in some cases  –  track down current loss runs again.
  • If you must cancel, most carriers are allowing pro-rata cancellations which means you will not be penalized for cancelling early.

 

How can I stay safe while working during the  COVID-19 outbreak?

With increased measures being taken nationwide to prevent the spread, many people may be turning toward a more private or isolated form of transportation (Taxi, Black Car, Uber or Lyft) as opposed to their usual train or bus ride.Infographic of how to stop the coronavirus spread

Below is a list of 5 things you can do to keep your vehicles clean and prevent the virus from spreading to your passengers or yourself:

  1. Wash your hands properly and often.
  2. Cover your mouth and/or nose with a tissue or into the crook of your elbow when you cough or sneeze.
  3. Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces/objects. These include but aren’t limited to: steering wheel, car handles, gear stick, hand brake, and trunk.
  4. Clean and disinfect the passenger seating area in between each trip.
  5. Avoid contact with people who aren’t well or have poor immune systems.

COVID-19 Resource Guide for Transportation Companies

American Business Insurance understands the challenges you are facing during the COVID-19 are ongoing and changing. As an active member of The Transportation Alliance, we have a broad data base of resources and advisers in the transportation industry.

One of those individuals is Matthew W. Daus, Esq, Partner and Chairman of Windels Marx Transportation Practice Group. They are a dedicated firm supporting ground transportation industries in NYC, but have provided a series of webinars with helpful information for those struggling during COVID-19,

To watch the most recent free webinar around the Transportation Industry and COVID-19, click HERE.

Below is a list of topics related to this guide:

 

  • Guidelines for Businesses related to COVID-19
  • Business Preparedness Resources
  • Environmental Cleaning and Disinfection Recommendations
  • Basic Infection Prevention Measures
  • Relief for Businesses
  • Information sharing with Industry Members

 

American Business Insurance – open during the crisis

Insurance businesses are deemed an “essential” business and as such, we have been allowed to remain open. Although most of us are working remotely, calls are being forwarded, emails responded to and vehicle changes/cancellations are being processed.

If you have any questions or need advice on how to adjust your policy during these uncertain times, please contact us during regular business hours, Monday – Friday 8 am to 5 pm pacific at 800-980-1950. You can also email us anytime!

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

The Flywheel Shield can be installed using car handles.

 

A Whole New World

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

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

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

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

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

Budgeting for PPE

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

 

 

 

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

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

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

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

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

Show Me The Money

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

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

But is there any work?

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

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

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

Top 5 Revenue Generators during COVID-19:

Using your paycheck protection program payment toward insurance.

 

1. Appointments and other Non-Emergency transportation services

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

Below is a list of medical trip providers to consider.

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

 

2. Courier & delivery companies

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

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

3. Grocery & medicine delivery

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

4. Sign up for Uber/Lyft

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

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

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

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


Not All Policies are Created Equal

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

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

 

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

 

Short-Term Policies for Food Delivery Insurance

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

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

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

Insurance for Delivery Businesses During COVID-19

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

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

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

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

New Short-Term Food Delivery Insurance Program

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

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

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

Product highlights include:

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

 

Keeping Food Delivery Workers Safe

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

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

 

 

 

 

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Survival Guide for the Transportation Industry

The Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic is something no business expected or planned for at the beginning of this year. As an agency that specializes in insuring transportation risks, we feel the pain you are going through right now. We see the drastic business interruption due to COVID-19. We want to remind you that we were your partners before the virus and are here to support you through this crisis.

Can I still work during the Coronavirus (COVID-19) Pandemic?

Transportation businesses have been named an “essential business” and are allowed to remain open for business.

Taxi services during COVID-19With nationwide restrictions and hesitation around travelling due to COVID-19, business is naturally impacted. Especially for those in the for-hire, livery industry who rely  on airport pick-ups and drop-offs. But that doesn’t mean it’s time to give up altogether.

When faced with adversity, it is the time to re-evaluate, reinvent and rediscover business opportunities you might not have pursued before.

 

Below is a short list of what you can do to generate revenue:

  • Contact regular clients and let them know you are available to take them grocery shopping, to doctor appointments or the pharmacy.
  • Advertise that you are avoiding close contact with other people, washing hands regularly and disinfecting the passenger seating in your vehicle after every trip.
  • Contact companies and offer courier or delivery services for groceries, medications, etc. (most livery policies allow this type of transportation already and no extra coverage is needed).
  • In many areas, public transportation is closed but people working in industries deemed an “essential” business are still going to work. Many employers are offering private transportation to their employees so that they can avoid mass transit. Contact these businesses, let them know you are able to help!

 

Can you lower my insurance payments during Coronavirus COVID-19?

No one knows how long our lives will be disrupted and you might feel like you need to cancel your policy. We highly suggest not cancelling your policy at this time unless you absolutely have to. Instead, we suggest the following:

  • If you have multiple vehicles, you may delete all but 1 unit to keep the policy active.
  • Some cities such as San Francisco are allowing taxis to lower the liability limit temporarily to assist in the decrease of revenue/ability to make insurance payments.
  • Some cities such as Seattle and San Diego are allowing operators to temporarily suspend their operating authority. You can email us proof of that, and we can decrease the liability limit down to the state minimum while you are out of work.
  • Preventing your policy from cancelling is beneficial because if you decide to start working again, a cancelled policy will delay your ability to start working again. We will need to re-quote, collect another down payment and in some cases  –  track down current loss runs again.
  • If you must cancel, most carriers are allowing pro-rata cancellations which means you will not be penalized for cancelling early.

 

How can I stay safe while working during the  COVID-19 outbreak?

With increased measures being taken nationwide to prevent the spread, many people may be turning toward a more private or isolated form of transportation (Taxi, Black Car, Uber or Lyft) as opposed to their usual train or bus ride.Infographic of how to stop the coronavirus spread

Below is a list of 5 things you can do to keep your vehicles clean and prevent the virus from spreading to your passengers or yourself:

  1. Wash your hands properly and often.
  2. Cover your mouth and/or nose with a tissue or into the crook of your elbow when you cough or sneeze.
  3. Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces/objects. These include but aren’t limited to: steering wheel, car handles, gear stick, hand brake, and trunk.
  4. Clean and disinfect the passenger seating area in between each trip.
  5. Avoid contact with people who aren’t well or have poor immune systems.

COVID-19 Resource Guide for Transportation Companies

American Business Insurance understands the challenges you are facing during the COVID-19 are ongoing and changing. As an active member of The Transportation Alliance, we have a broad data base of resources and advisers in the transportation industry.

One of those individuals is Matthew W. Daus, Esq, Partner and Chairman of Windels Marx Transportation Practice Group. They are a dedicated firm supporting ground transportation industries in NYC, but have provided a series of webinars with helpful information for those struggling during COVID-19,

To watch the most recent free webinar around the Transportation Industry and COVID-19, click HERE.

Below is a list of topics related to this guide:

 

  • Guidelines for Businesses related to COVID-19
  • Business Preparedness Resources
  • Environmental Cleaning and Disinfection Recommendations
  • Basic Infection Prevention Measures
  • Relief for Businesses
  • Information sharing with Industry Members

 

American Business Insurance – open during the crisis

Insurance businesses are deemed an “essential” business and as such, we have been allowed to remain open. Although most of us are working remotely, calls are being forwarded, emails responded to and vehicle changes/cancellations are being processed.

If you have any questions or need advice on how to adjust your policy during these uncertain times, please contact us during regular business hours, Monday – Friday 8 am to 5 pm pacific at 800-980-1950. You can also email us anytime!

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

The Flywheel Shield can be installed using car handles.

 

A Whole New World

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

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

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

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

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

Budgeting for PPE

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

 

 

 

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

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

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

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

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

Show Me The Money

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

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

But is there any work?

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

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

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

Top 5 Revenue Generators during COVID-19:

Using your paycheck protection program payment toward insurance.

 

1. Appointments and other Non-Emergency transportation services

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

Below is a list of medical trip providers to consider.

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

 

2. Courier & delivery companies

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

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

3. Grocery & medicine delivery

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

4. Sign up for Uber/Lyft

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

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

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

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


Not All Policies are Created Equal

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

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

 

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

 

Short-Term Policies for Food Delivery Insurance

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

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

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

Insurance for Delivery Businesses During COVID-19

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

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

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

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

New Short-Term Food Delivery Insurance Program

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

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

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

Product highlights include:

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

 

Keeping Food Delivery Workers Safe

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

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

 

 

 

 

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Survival Guide for the Transportation Industry

The Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic is something no business expected or planned for at the beginning of this year. As an agency that specializes in insuring transportation risks, we feel the pain you are going through right now. We see the drastic business interruption due to COVID-19. We want to remind you that we were your partners before the virus and are here to support you through this crisis.

Can I still work during the Coronavirus (COVID-19) Pandemic?

Transportation businesses have been named an “essential business” and are allowed to remain open for business.

Taxi services during COVID-19With nationwide restrictions and hesitation around travelling due to COVID-19, business is naturally impacted. Especially for those in the for-hire, livery industry who rely  on airport pick-ups and drop-offs. But that doesn’t mean it’s time to give up altogether.

When faced with adversity, it is the time to re-evaluate, reinvent and rediscover business opportunities you might not have pursued before.

 

Below is a short list of what you can do to generate revenue:

  • Contact regular clients and let them know you are available to take them grocery shopping, to doctor appointments or the pharmacy.
  • Advertise that you are avoiding close contact with other people, washing hands regularly and disinfecting the passenger seating in your vehicle after every trip.
  • Contact companies and offer courier or delivery services for groceries, medications, etc. (most livery policies allow this type of transportation already and no extra coverage is needed).
  • In many areas, public transportation is closed but people working in industries deemed an “essential” business are still going to work. Many employers are offering private transportation to their employees so that they can avoid mass transit. Contact these businesses, let them know you are able to help!

 

Can you lower my insurance payments during Coronavirus COVID-19?

No one knows how long our lives will be disrupted and you might feel like you need to cancel your policy. We highly suggest not cancelling your policy at this time unless you absolutely have to. Instead, we suggest the following:

  • If you have multiple vehicles, you may delete all but 1 unit to keep the policy active.
  • Some cities such as San Francisco are allowing taxis to lower the liability limit temporarily to assist in the decrease of revenue/ability to make insurance payments.
  • Some cities such as Seattle and San Diego are allowing operators to temporarily suspend their operating authority. You can email us proof of that, and we can decrease the liability limit down to the state minimum while you are out of work.
  • Preventing your policy from cancelling is beneficial because if you decide to start working again, a cancelled policy will delay your ability to start working again. We will need to re-quote, collect another down payment and in some cases  –  track down current loss runs again.
  • If you must cancel, most carriers are allowing pro-rata cancellations which means you will not be penalized for cancelling early.

 

How can I stay safe while working during the  COVID-19 outbreak?

With increased measures being taken nationwide to prevent the spread, many people may be turning toward a more private or isolated form of transportation (Taxi, Black Car, Uber or Lyft) as opposed to their usual train or bus ride.Infographic of how to stop the coronavirus spread

Below is a list of 5 things you can do to keep your vehicles clean and prevent the virus from spreading to your passengers or yourself:

  1. Wash your hands properly and often.
  2. Cover your mouth and/or nose with a tissue or into the crook of your elbow when you cough or sneeze.
  3. Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces/objects. These include but aren’t limited to: steering wheel, car handles, gear stick, hand brake, and trunk.
  4. Clean and disinfect the passenger seating area in between each trip.
  5. Avoid contact with people who aren’t well or have poor immune systems.

COVID-19 Resource Guide for Transportation Companies

American Business Insurance understands the challenges you are facing during the COVID-19 are ongoing and changing. As an active member of The Transportation Alliance, we have a broad data base of resources and advisers in the transportation industry.

One of those individuals is Matthew W. Daus, Esq, Partner and Chairman of Windels Marx Transportation Practice Group. They are a dedicated firm supporting ground transportation industries in NYC, but have provided a series of webinars with helpful information for those struggling during COVID-19,

To watch the most recent free webinar around the Transportation Industry and COVID-19, click HERE.

Below is a list of topics related to this guide:

 

  • Guidelines for Businesses related to COVID-19
  • Business Preparedness Resources
  • Environmental Cleaning and Disinfection Recommendations
  • Basic Infection Prevention Measures
  • Relief for Businesses
  • Information sharing with Industry Members

 

American Business Insurance – open during the crisis

Insurance businesses are deemed an “essential” business and as such, we have been allowed to remain open. Although most of us are working remotely, calls are being forwarded, emails responded to and vehicle changes/cancellations are being processed.

If you have any questions or need advice on how to adjust your policy during these uncertain times, please contact us during regular business hours, Monday – Friday 8 am to 5 pm pacific at 800-980-1950. You can also email us anytime!

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

The Flywheel Shield can be installed using car handles.

 

A Whole New World

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

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

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

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

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

Budgeting for PPE

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

 

 

 

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

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

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

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

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

Show Me The Money

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

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

But is there any work?

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

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

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

Top 5 Revenue Generators during COVID-19:

Using your paycheck protection program payment toward insurance.

 

1. Appointments and other Non-Emergency transportation services

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

Below is a list of medical trip providers to consider.

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

 

2. Courier & delivery companies

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

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

3. Grocery & medicine delivery

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

4. Sign up for Uber/Lyft

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

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

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

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


Not All Policies are Created Equal

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

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

 

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

 

Short-Term Policies for Food Delivery Insurance

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

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

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

Insurance for Delivery Businesses During COVID-19

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

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

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

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

New Short-Term Food Delivery Insurance Program

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

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

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

Product highlights include:

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

 

Keeping Food Delivery Workers Safe

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

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

 

 

 

 

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Survival Guide for the Transportation Industry

The Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic is something no business expected or planned for at the beginning of this year. As an agency that specializes in insuring transportation risks, we feel the pain you are going through right now. We see the drastic business interruption due to COVID-19. We want to remind you that we were your partners before the virus and are here to support you through this crisis.

Can I still work during the Coronavirus (COVID-19) Pandemic?

Transportation businesses have been named an “essential business” and are allowed to remain open for business.

Taxi services during COVID-19With nationwide restrictions and hesitation around travelling due to COVID-19, business is naturally impacted. Especially for those in the for-hire, livery industry who rely  on airport pick-ups and drop-offs. But that doesn’t mean it’s time to give up altogether.

When faced with adversity, it is the time to re-evaluate, reinvent and rediscover business opportunities you might not have pursued before.

 

Below is a short list of what you can do to generate revenue:

  • Contact regular clients and let them know you are available to take them grocery shopping, to doctor appointments or the pharmacy.
  • Advertise that you are avoiding close contact with other people, washing hands regularly and disinfecting the passenger seating in your vehicle after every trip.
  • Contact companies and offer courier or delivery services for groceries, medications, etc. (most livery policies allow this type of transportation already and no extra coverage is needed).
  • In many areas, public transportation is closed but people working in industries deemed an “essential” business are still going to work. Many employers are offering private transportation to their employees so that they can avoid mass transit. Contact these businesses, let them know you are able to help!

 

Can you lower my insurance payments during Coronavirus COVID-19?

No one knows how long our lives will be disrupted and you might feel like you need to cancel your policy. We highly suggest not cancelling your policy at this time unless you absolutely have to. Instead, we suggest the following:

  • If you have multiple vehicles, you may delete all but 1 unit to keep the policy active.
  • Some cities such as San Francisco are allowing taxis to lower the liability limit temporarily to assist in the decrease of revenue/ability to make insurance payments.
  • Some cities such as Seattle and San Diego are allowing operators to temporarily suspend their operating authority. You can email us proof of that, and we can decrease the liability limit down to the state minimum while you are out of work.
  • Preventing your policy from cancelling is beneficial because if you decide to start working again, a cancelled policy will delay your ability to start working again. We will need to re-quote, collect another down payment and in some cases  –  track down current loss runs again.
  • If you must cancel, most carriers are allowing pro-rata cancellations which means you will not be penalized for cancelling early.

 

How can I stay safe while working during the  COVID-19 outbreak?

With increased measures being taken nationwide to prevent the spread, many people may be turning toward a more private or isolated form of transportation (Taxi, Black Car, Uber or Lyft) as opposed to their usual train or bus ride.Infographic of how to stop the coronavirus spread

Below is a list of 5 things you can do to keep your vehicles clean and prevent the virus from spreading to your passengers or yourself:

  1. Wash your hands properly and often.
  2. Cover your mouth and/or nose with a tissue or into the crook of your elbow when you cough or sneeze.
  3. Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces/objects. These include but aren’t limited to: steering wheel, car handles, gear stick, hand brake, and trunk.
  4. Clean and disinfect the passenger seating area in between each trip.
  5. Avoid contact with people who aren’t well or have poor immune systems.

COVID-19 Resource Guide for Transportation Companies

American Business Insurance understands the challenges you are facing during the COVID-19 are ongoing and changing. As an active member of The Transportation Alliance, we have a broad data base of resources and advisers in the transportation industry.

One of those individuals is Matthew W. Daus, Esq, Partner and Chairman of Windels Marx Transportation Practice Group. They are a dedicated firm supporting ground transportation industries in NYC, but have provided a series of webinars with helpful information for those struggling during COVID-19,

To watch the most recent free webinar around the Transportation Industry and COVID-19, click HERE.

Below is a list of topics related to this guide:

 

  • Guidelines for Businesses related to COVID-19
  • Business Preparedness Resources
  • Environmental Cleaning and Disinfection Recommendations
  • Basic Infection Prevention Measures
  • Relief for Businesses
  • Information sharing with Industry Members

 

American Business Insurance – open during the crisis

Insurance businesses are deemed an “essential” business and as such, we have been allowed to remain open. Although most of us are working remotely, calls are being forwarded, emails responded to and vehicle changes/cancellations are being processed.

If you have any questions or need advice on how to adjust your policy during these uncertain times, please contact us during regular business hours, Monday – Friday 8 am to 5 pm pacific at 800-980-1950. You can also email us anytime!

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

The Flywheel Shield can be installed using car handles.

 

A Whole New World

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

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

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

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

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

Budgeting for PPE

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

 

 

 

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

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

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

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

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

Show Me The Money

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

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

But is there any work?

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

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

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

Top 5 Revenue Generators during COVID-19:

Using your paycheck protection program payment toward insurance.

 

1. Appointments and other Non-Emergency transportation services

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

Below is a list of medical trip providers to consider.

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

 

2. Courier & delivery companies

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

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

3. Grocery & medicine delivery

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

4. Sign up for Uber/Lyft

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

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

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

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


Not All Policies are Created Equal

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

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

 

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

 

Short-Term Policies for Food Delivery Insurance

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

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

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

Insurance for Delivery Businesses During COVID-19

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

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

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

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

New Short-Term Food Delivery Insurance Program

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

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

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

Product highlights include:

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

 

Keeping Food Delivery Workers Safe

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

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

 

 

 

 

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Survival Guide for the Transportation Industry

The Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic is something no business expected or planned for at the beginning of this year. As an agency that specializes in insuring transportation risks, we feel the pain you are going through right now. We see the drastic business interruption due to COVID-19. We want to remind you that we were your partners before the virus and are here to support you through this crisis.

Can I still work during the Coronavirus (COVID-19) Pandemic?

Transportation businesses have been named an “essential business” and are allowed to remain open for business.

Taxi services during COVID-19With nationwide restrictions and hesitation around travelling due to COVID-19, business is naturally impacted. Especially for those in the for-hire, livery industry who rely  on airport pick-ups and drop-offs. But that doesn’t mean it’s time to give up altogether.

When faced with adversity, it is the time to re-evaluate, reinvent and rediscover business opportunities you might not have pursued before.

 

Below is a short list of what you can do to generate revenue:

  • Contact regular clients and let them know you are available to take them grocery shopping, to doctor appointments or the pharmacy.
  • Advertise that you are avoiding close contact with other people, washing hands regularly and disinfecting the passenger seating in your vehicle after every trip.
  • Contact companies and offer courier or delivery services for groceries, medications, etc. (most livery policies allow this type of transportation already and no extra coverage is needed).
  • In many areas, public transportation is closed but people working in industries deemed an “essential” business are still going to work. Many employers are offering private transportation to their employees so that they can avoid mass transit. Contact these businesses, let them know you are able to help!

 

Can you lower my insurance payments during Coronavirus COVID-19?

No one knows how long our lives will be disrupted and you might feel like you need to cancel your policy. We highly suggest not cancelling your policy at this time unless you absolutely have to. Instead, we suggest the following:

  • If you have multiple vehicles, you may delete all but 1 unit to keep the policy active.
  • Some cities such as San Francisco are allowing taxis to lower the liability limit temporarily to assist in the decrease of revenue/ability to make insurance payments.
  • Some cities such as Seattle and San Diego are allowing operators to temporarily suspend their operating authority. You can email us proof of that, and we can decrease the liability limit down to the state minimum while you are out of work.
  • Preventing your policy from cancelling is beneficial because if you decide to start working again, a cancelled policy will delay your ability to start working again. We will need to re-quote, collect another down payment and in some cases  –  track down current loss runs again.
  • If you must cancel, most carriers are allowing pro-rata cancellations which means you will not be penalized for cancelling early.

 

How can I stay safe while working during the  COVID-19 outbreak?

With increased measures being taken nationwide to prevent the spread, many people may be turning toward a more private or isolated form of transportation (Taxi, Black Car, Uber or Lyft) as opposed to their usual train or bus ride.Infographic of how to stop the coronavirus spread

Below is a list of 5 things you can do to keep your vehicles clean and prevent the virus from spreading to your passengers or yourself:

  1. Wash your hands properly and often.
  2. Cover your mouth and/or nose with a tissue or into the crook of your elbow when you cough or sneeze.
  3. Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces/objects. These include but aren’t limited to: steering wheel, car handles, gear stick, hand brake, and trunk.
  4. Clean and disinfect the passenger seating area in between each trip.
  5. Avoid contact with people who aren’t well or have poor immune systems.

COVID-19 Resource Guide for Transportation Companies

American Business Insurance understands the challenges you are facing during the COVID-19 are ongoing and changing. As an active member of The Transportation Alliance, we have a broad data base of resources and advisers in the transportation industry.

One of those individuals is Matthew W. Daus, Esq, Partner and Chairman of Windels Marx Transportation Practice Group. They are a dedicated firm supporting ground transportation industries in NYC, but have provided a series of webinars with helpful information for those struggling during COVID-19,

To watch the most recent free webinar around the Transportation Industry and COVID-19, click HERE.

Below is a list of topics related to this guide:

 

  • Guidelines for Businesses related to COVID-19
  • Business Preparedness Resources
  • Environmental Cleaning and Disinfection Recommendations
  • Basic Infection Prevention Measures
  • Relief for Businesses
  • Information sharing with Industry Members

 

American Business Insurance – open during the crisis

Insurance businesses are deemed an “essential” business and as such, we have been allowed to remain open. Although most of us are working remotely, calls are being forwarded, emails responded to and vehicle changes/cancellations are being processed.

If you have any questions or need advice on how to adjust your policy during these uncertain times, please contact us during regular business hours, Monday – Friday 8 am to 5 pm pacific at 800-980-1950. You can also email us anytime!

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

The Flywheel Shield can be installed using car handles.

 

A Whole New World

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

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

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

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

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

Budgeting for PPE

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

 

 

 

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

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

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

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

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

Show Me The Money

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

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

But is there any work?

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

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

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

Top 5 Revenue Generators during COVID-19:

Using your paycheck protection program payment toward insurance.

 

1. Appointments and other Non-Emergency transportation services

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

Below is a list of medical trip providers to consider.

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

 

2. Courier & delivery companies

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

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

3. Grocery & medicine delivery

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

4. Sign up for Uber/Lyft

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

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

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

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


Not All Policies are Created Equal

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

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

 

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

 

Short-Term Policies for Food Delivery Insurance

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

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

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

Insurance for Delivery Businesses During COVID-19

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

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

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

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

New Short-Term Food Delivery Insurance Program

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

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

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

Product highlights include:

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

 

Keeping Food Delivery Workers Safe

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

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

 

 

 

 

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Survival Guide for the Transportation Industry

The Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic is something no business expected or planned for at the beginning of this year. As an agency that specializes in insuring transportation risks, we feel the pain you are going through right now. We see the drastic business interruption due to COVID-19. We want to remind you that we were your partners before the virus and are here to support you through this crisis.

Can I still work during the Coronavirus (COVID-19) Pandemic?

Transportation businesses have been named an “essential business” and are allowed to remain open for business.

Taxi services during COVID-19With nationwide restrictions and hesitation around travelling due to COVID-19, business is naturally impacted. Especially for those in the for-hire, livery industry who rely  on airport pick-ups and drop-offs. But that doesn’t mean it’s time to give up altogether.

When faced with adversity, it is the time to re-evaluate, reinvent and rediscover business opportunities you might not have pursued before.

 

Below is a short list of what you can do to generate revenue:

  • Contact regular clients and let them know you are available to take them grocery shopping, to doctor appointments or the pharmacy.
  • Advertise that you are avoiding close contact with other people, washing hands regularly and disinfecting the passenger seating in your vehicle after every trip.
  • Contact companies and offer courier or delivery services for groceries, medications, etc. (most livery policies allow this type of transportation already and no extra coverage is needed).
  • In many areas, public transportation is closed but people working in industries deemed an “essential” business are still going to work. Many employers are offering private transportation to their employees so that they can avoid mass transit. Contact these businesses, let them know you are able to help!

 

Can you lower my insurance payments during Coronavirus COVID-19?

No one knows how long our lives will be disrupted and you might feel like you need to cancel your policy. We highly suggest not cancelling your policy at this time unless you absolutely have to. Instead, we suggest the following:

  • If you have multiple vehicles, you may delete all but 1 unit to keep the policy active.
  • Some cities such as San Francisco are allowing taxis to lower the liability limit temporarily to assist in the decrease of revenue/ability to make insurance payments.
  • Some cities such as Seattle and San Diego are allowing operators to temporarily suspend their operating authority. You can email us proof of that, and we can decrease the liability limit down to the state minimum while you are out of work.
  • Preventing your policy from cancelling is beneficial because if you decide to start working again, a cancelled policy will delay your ability to start working again. We will need to re-quote, collect another down payment and in some cases  –  track down current loss runs again.
  • If you must cancel, most carriers are allowing pro-rata cancellations which means you will not be penalized for cancelling early.

 

How can I stay safe while working during the  COVID-19 outbreak?

With increased measures being taken nationwide to prevent the spread, many people may be turning toward a more private or isolated form of transportation (Taxi, Black Car, Uber or Lyft) as opposed to their usual train or bus ride.Infographic of how to stop the coronavirus spread

Below is a list of 5 things you can do to keep your vehicles clean and prevent the virus from spreading to your passengers or yourself:

  1. Wash your hands properly and often.
  2. Cover your mouth and/or nose with a tissue or into the crook of your elbow when you cough or sneeze.
  3. Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces/objects. These include but aren’t limited to: steering wheel, car handles, gear stick, hand brake, and trunk.
  4. Clean and disinfect the passenger seating area in between each trip.
  5. Avoid contact with people who aren’t well or have poor immune systems.

COVID-19 Resource Guide for Transportation Companies

American Business Insurance understands the challenges you are facing during the COVID-19 are ongoing and changing. As an active member of The Transportation Alliance, we have a broad data base of resources and advisers in the transportation industry.

One of those individuals is Matthew W. Daus, Esq, Partner and Chairman of Windels Marx Transportation Practice Group. They are a dedicated firm supporting ground transportation industries in NYC, but have provided a series of webinars with helpful information for those struggling during COVID-19,

To watch the most recent free webinar around the Transportation Industry and COVID-19, click HERE.

Below is a list of topics related to this guide:

 

  • Guidelines for Businesses related to COVID-19
  • Business Preparedness Resources
  • Environmental Cleaning and Disinfection Recommendations
  • Basic Infection Prevention Measures
  • Relief for Businesses
  • Information sharing with Industry Members

 

American Business Insurance – open during the crisis

Insurance businesses are deemed an “essential” business and as such, we have been allowed to remain open. Although most of us are working remotely, calls are being forwarded, emails responded to and vehicle changes/cancellations are being processed.

If you have any questions or need advice on how to adjust your policy during these uncertain times, please contact us during regular business hours, Monday – Friday 8 am to 5 pm pacific at 800-980-1950. You can also email us anytime!

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

The Flywheel Shield can be installed using car handles.

 

A Whole New World

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

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

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

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

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

Budgeting for PPE

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

 

 

 

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

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

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

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

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

Show Me The Money

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

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

But is there any work?

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

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

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

Top 5 Revenue Generators during COVID-19:

Using your paycheck protection program payment toward insurance.

 

1. Appointments and other Non-Emergency transportation services

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

Below is a list of medical trip providers to consider.

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

 

2. Courier & delivery companies

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

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

3. Grocery & medicine delivery

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

4. Sign up for Uber/Lyft

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

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

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

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


Not All Policies are Created Equal

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

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

 

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

 

Short-Term Policies for Food Delivery Insurance

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

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

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

Insurance for Delivery Businesses During COVID-19

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

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

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

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

New Short-Term Food Delivery Insurance Program

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

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

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

Product highlights include:

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

 

Keeping Food Delivery Workers Safe

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

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

 

 

 

 

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Survival Guide for the Transportation Industry

The Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic is something no business expected or planned for at the beginning of this year. As an agency that specializes in insuring transportation risks, we feel the pain you are going through right now. We see the drastic business interruption due to COVID-19. We want to remind you that we were your partners before the virus and are here to support you through this crisis.

Can I still work during the Coronavirus (COVID-19) Pandemic?

Transportation businesses have been named an “essential business” and are allowed to remain open for business.

Taxi services during COVID-19With nationwide restrictions and hesitation around travelling due to COVID-19, business is naturally impacted. Especially for those in the for-hire, livery industry who rely  on airport pick-ups and drop-offs. But that doesn’t mean it’s time to give up altogether.

When faced with adversity, it is the time to re-evaluate, reinvent and rediscover business opportunities you might not have pursued before.

 

Below is a short list of what you can do to generate revenue:

  • Contact regular clients and let them know you are available to take them grocery shopping, to doctor appointments or the pharmacy.
  • Advertise that you are avoiding close contact with other people, washing hands regularly and disinfecting the passenger seating in your vehicle after every trip.
  • Contact companies and offer courier or delivery services for groceries, medications, etc. (most livery policies allow this type of transportation already and no extra coverage is needed).
  • In many areas, public transportation is closed but people working in industries deemed an “essential” business are still going to work. Many employers are offering private transportation to their employees so that they can avoid mass transit. Contact these businesses, let them know you are able to help!

 

Can you lower my insurance payments during Coronavirus COVID-19?

No one knows how long our lives will be disrupted and you might feel like you need to cancel your policy. We highly suggest not cancelling your policy at this time unless you absolutely have to. Instead, we suggest the following:

  • If you have multiple vehicles, you may delete all but 1 unit to keep the policy active.
  • Some cities such as San Francisco are allowing taxis to lower the liability limit temporarily to assist in the decrease of revenue/ability to make insurance payments.
  • Some cities such as Seattle and San Diego are allowing operators to temporarily suspend their operating authority. You can email us proof of that, and we can decrease the liability limit down to the state minimum while you are out of work.
  • Preventing your policy from cancelling is beneficial because if you decide to start working again, a cancelled policy will delay your ability to start working again. We will need to re-quote, collect another down payment and in some cases  –  track down current loss runs again.
  • If you must cancel, most carriers are allowing pro-rata cancellations which means you will not be penalized for cancelling early.

 

How can I stay safe while working during the  COVID-19 outbreak?

With increased measures being taken nationwide to prevent the spread, many people may be turning toward a more private or isolated form of transportation (Taxi, Black Car, Uber or Lyft) as opposed to their usual train or bus ride.Infographic of how to stop the coronavirus spread

Below is a list of 5 things you can do to keep your vehicles clean and prevent the virus from spreading to your passengers or yourself:

  1. Wash your hands properly and often.
  2. Cover your mouth and/or nose with a tissue or into the crook of your elbow when you cough or sneeze.
  3. Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces/objects. These include but aren’t limited to: steering wheel, car handles, gear stick, hand brake, and trunk.
  4. Clean and disinfect the passenger seating area in between each trip.
  5. Avoid contact with people who aren’t well or have poor immune systems.

COVID-19 Resource Guide for Transportation Companies

American Business Insurance understands the challenges you are facing during the COVID-19 are ongoing and changing. As an active member of The Transportation Alliance, we have a broad data base of resources and advisers in the transportation industry.

One of those individuals is Matthew W. Daus, Esq, Partner and Chairman of Windels Marx Transportation Practice Group. They are a dedicated firm supporting ground transportation industries in NYC, but have provided a series of webinars with helpful information for those struggling during COVID-19,

To watch the most recent free webinar around the Transportation Industry and COVID-19, click HERE.

Below is a list of topics related to this guide:

 

  • Guidelines for Businesses related to COVID-19
  • Business Preparedness Resources
  • Environmental Cleaning and Disinfection Recommendations
  • Basic Infection Prevention Measures
  • Relief for Businesses
  • Information sharing with Industry Members

 

American Business Insurance – open during the crisis

Insurance businesses are deemed an “essential” business and as such, we have been allowed to remain open. Although most of us are working remotely, calls are being forwarded, emails responded to and vehicle changes/cancellations are being processed.

If you have any questions or need advice on how to adjust your policy during these uncertain times, please contact us during regular business hours, Monday – Friday 8 am to 5 pm pacific at 800-980-1950. You can also email us anytime!

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

The Flywheel Shield can be installed using car handles.

 

A Whole New World

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

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

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

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

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

Budgeting for PPE

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

 

 

 

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

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

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

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

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

Show Me The Money

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

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

But is there any work?

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

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

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

Top 5 Revenue Generators during COVID-19:

Using your paycheck protection program payment toward insurance.

 

1. Appointments and other Non-Emergency transportation services

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

Below is a list of medical trip providers to consider.

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

 

2. Courier & delivery companies

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

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

3. Grocery & medicine delivery

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

4. Sign up for Uber/Lyft

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

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

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

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


Not All Policies are Created Equal

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

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

 

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

 

Short-Term Policies for Food Delivery Insurance

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

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

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

Insurance for Delivery Businesses During COVID-19

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

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

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

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

New Short-Term Food Delivery Insurance Program

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

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

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

Product highlights include:

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

 

Keeping Food Delivery Workers Safe

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

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

 

 

 

 

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Survival Guide for the Transportation Industry

The Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic is something no business expected or planned for at the beginning of this year. As an agency that specializes in insuring transportation risks, we feel the pain you are going through right now. We see the drastic business interruption due to COVID-19. We want to remind you that we were your partners before the virus and are here to support you through this crisis.

Can I still work during the Coronavirus (COVID-19) Pandemic?

Transportation businesses have been named an “essential business” and are allowed to remain open for business.

Taxi services during COVID-19With nationwide restrictions and hesitation around travelling due to COVID-19, business is naturally impacted. Especially for those in the for-hire, livery industry who rely  on airport pick-ups and drop-offs. But that doesn’t mean it’s time to give up altogether.

When faced with adversity, it is the time to re-evaluate, reinvent and rediscover business opportunities you might not have pursued before.

 

Below is a short list of what you can do to generate revenue:

  • Contact regular clients and let them know you are available to take them grocery shopping, to doctor appointments or the pharmacy.
  • Advertise that you are avoiding close contact with other people, washing hands regularly and disinfecting the passenger seating in your vehicle after every trip.
  • Contact companies and offer courier or delivery services for groceries, medications, etc. (most livery policies allow this type of transportation already and no extra coverage is needed).
  • In many areas, public transportation is closed but people working in industries deemed an “essential” business are still going to work. Many employers are offering private transportation to their employees so that they can avoid mass transit. Contact these businesses, let them know you are able to help!

 

Can you lower my insurance payments during Coronavirus COVID-19?

No one knows how long our lives will be disrupted and you might feel like you need to cancel your policy. We highly suggest not cancelling your policy at this time unless you absolutely have to. Instead, we suggest the following:

  • If you have multiple vehicles, you may delete all but 1 unit to keep the policy active.
  • Some cities such as San Francisco are allowing taxis to lower the liability limit temporarily to assist in the decrease of revenue/ability to make insurance payments.
  • Some cities such as Seattle and San Diego are allowing operators to temporarily suspend their operating authority. You can email us proof of that, and we can decrease the liability limit down to the state minimum while you are out of work.
  • Preventing your policy from cancelling is beneficial because if you decide to start working again, a cancelled policy will delay your ability to start working again. We will need to re-quote, collect another down payment and in some cases  –  track down current loss runs again.
  • If you must cancel, most carriers are allowing pro-rata cancellations which means you will not be penalized for cancelling early.

 

How can I stay safe while working during the  COVID-19 outbreak?

With increased measures being taken nationwide to prevent the spread, many people may be turning toward a more private or isolated form of transportation (Taxi, Black Car, Uber or Lyft) as opposed to their usual train or bus ride.Infographic of how to stop the coronavirus spread

Below is a list of 5 things you can do to keep your vehicles clean and prevent the virus from spreading to your passengers or yourself:

  1. Wash your hands properly and often.
  2. Cover your mouth and/or nose with a tissue or into the crook of your elbow when you cough or sneeze.
  3. Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces/objects. These include but aren’t limited to: steering wheel, car handles, gear stick, hand brake, and trunk.
  4. Clean and disinfect the passenger seating area in between each trip.
  5. Avoid contact with people who aren’t well or have poor immune systems.

COVID-19 Resource Guide for Transportation Companies

American Business Insurance understands the challenges you are facing during the COVID-19 are ongoing and changing. As an active member of The Transportation Alliance, we have a broad data base of resources and advisers in the transportation industry.

One of those individuals is Matthew W. Daus, Esq, Partner and Chairman of Windels Marx Transportation Practice Group. They are a dedicated firm supporting ground transportation industries in NYC, but have provided a series of webinars with helpful information for those struggling during COVID-19,

To watch the most recent free webinar around the Transportation Industry and COVID-19, click HERE.

Below is a list of topics related to this guide:

 

  • Guidelines for Businesses related to COVID-19
  • Business Preparedness Resources
  • Environmental Cleaning and Disinfection Recommendations
  • Basic Infection Prevention Measures
  • Relief for Businesses
  • Information sharing with Industry Members

 

American Business Insurance – open during the crisis

Insurance businesses are deemed an “essential” business and as such, we have been allowed to remain open. Although most of us are working remotely, calls are being forwarded, emails responded to and vehicle changes/cancellations are being processed.

If you have any questions or need advice on how to adjust your policy during these uncertain times, please contact us during regular business hours, Monday – Friday 8 am to 5 pm pacific at 800-980-1950. You can also email us anytime!

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

The Flywheel Shield can be installed using car handles.

 

A Whole New World

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

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

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

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

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

Budgeting for PPE

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

 

 

 

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

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

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

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

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

Show Me The Money

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

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

But is there any work?

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

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

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

Top 5 Revenue Generators during COVID-19:

Using your paycheck protection program payment toward insurance.

 

1. Appointments and other Non-Emergency transportation services

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

Below is a list of medical trip providers to consider.

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

 

2. Courier & delivery companies

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

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

3. Grocery & medicine delivery

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

4. Sign up for Uber/Lyft

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

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

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

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


Not All Policies are Created Equal

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

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

 

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

 

Short-Term Policies for Food Delivery Insurance

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

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

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

Insurance for Delivery Businesses During COVID-19

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

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

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

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

New Short-Term Food Delivery Insurance Program

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

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

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

Product highlights include:

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

 

Keeping Food Delivery Workers Safe

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

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

 

 

 

 

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Survival Guide for the Transportation Industry

The Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic is something no business expected or planned for at the beginning of this year. As an agency that specializes in insuring transportation risks, we feel the pain you are going through right now. We see the drastic business interruption due to COVID-19. We want to remind you that we were your partners before the virus and are here to support you through this crisis.

Can I still work during the Coronavirus (COVID-19) Pandemic?

Transportation businesses have been named an “essential business” and are allowed to remain open for business.

Taxi services during COVID-19With nationwide restrictions and hesitation around travelling due to COVID-19, business is naturally impacted. Especially for those in the for-hire, livery industry who rely  on airport pick-ups and drop-offs. But that doesn’t mean it’s time to give up altogether.

When faced with adversity, it is the time to re-evaluate, reinvent and rediscover business opportunities you might not have pursued before.

 

Below is a short list of what you can do to generate revenue:

  • Contact regular clients and let them know you are available to take them grocery shopping, to doctor appointments or the pharmacy.
  • Advertise that you are avoiding close contact with other people, washing hands regularly and disinfecting the passenger seating in your vehicle after every trip.
  • Contact companies and offer courier or delivery services for groceries, medications, etc. (most livery policies allow this type of transportation already and no extra coverage is needed).
  • In many areas, public transportation is closed but people working in industries deemed an “essential” business are still going to work. Many employers are offering private transportation to their employees so that they can avoid mass transit. Contact these businesses, let them know you are able to help!

 

Can you lower my insurance payments during Coronavirus COVID-19?

No one knows how long our lives will be disrupted and you might feel like you need to cancel your policy. We highly suggest not cancelling your policy at this time unless you absolutely have to. Instead, we suggest the following:

  • If you have multiple vehicles, you may delete all but 1 unit to keep the policy active.
  • Some cities such as San Francisco are allowing taxis to lower the liability limit temporarily to assist in the decrease of revenue/ability to make insurance payments.
  • Some cities such as Seattle and San Diego are allowing operators to temporarily suspend their operating authority. You can email us proof of that, and we can decrease the liability limit down to the state minimum while you are out of work.
  • Preventing your policy from cancelling is beneficial because if you decide to start working again, a cancelled policy will delay your ability to start working again. We will need to re-quote, collect another down payment and in some cases  –  track down current loss runs again.
  • If you must cancel, most carriers are allowing pro-rata cancellations which means you will not be penalized for cancelling early.

 

How can I stay safe while working during the  COVID-19 outbreak?

With increased measures being taken nationwide to prevent the spread, many people may be turning toward a more private or isolated form of transportation (Taxi, Black Car, Uber or Lyft) as opposed to their usual train or bus ride.Infographic of how to stop the coronavirus spread

Below is a list of 5 things you can do to keep your vehicles clean and prevent the virus from spreading to your passengers or yourself:

  1. Wash your hands properly and often.
  2. Cover your mouth and/or nose with a tissue or into the crook of your elbow when you cough or sneeze.
  3. Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces/objects. These include but aren’t limited to: steering wheel, car handles, gear stick, hand brake, and trunk.
  4. Clean and disinfect the passenger seating area in between each trip.
  5. Avoid contact with people who aren’t well or have poor immune systems.

COVID-19 Resource Guide for Transportation Companies

American Business Insurance understands the challenges you are facing during the COVID-19 are ongoing and changing. As an active member of The Transportation Alliance, we have a broad data base of resources and advisers in the transportation industry.

One of those individuals is Matthew W. Daus, Esq, Partner and Chairman of Windels Marx Transportation Practice Group. They are a dedicated firm supporting ground transportation industries in NYC, but have provided a series of webinars with helpful information for those struggling during COVID-19,

To watch the most recent free webinar around the Transportation Industry and COVID-19, click HERE.

Below is a list of topics related to this guide:

 

  • Guidelines for Businesses related to COVID-19
  • Business Preparedness Resources
  • Environmental Cleaning and Disinfection Recommendations
  • Basic Infection Prevention Measures
  • Relief for Businesses
  • Information sharing with Industry Members

 

American Business Insurance – open during the crisis

Insurance businesses are deemed an “essential” business and as such, we have been allowed to remain open. Although most of us are working remotely, calls are being forwarded, emails responded to and vehicle changes/cancellations are being processed.

If you have any questions or need advice on how to adjust your policy during these uncertain times, please contact us during regular business hours, Monday – Friday 8 am to 5 pm pacific at 800-980-1950. You can also email us anytime!

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

The Flywheel Shield can be installed using car handles.

 

A Whole New World

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

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

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

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

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

Budgeting for PPE

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

 

 

 

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

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

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

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

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

Show Me The Money

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

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

But is there any work?

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

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

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

Top 5 Revenue Generators during COVID-19:

Using your paycheck protection program payment toward insurance.

 

1. Appointments and other Non-Emergency transportation services

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

Below is a list of medical trip providers to consider.

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

 

2. Courier & delivery companies

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

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

3. Grocery & medicine delivery

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

4. Sign up for Uber/Lyft

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

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

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

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


Not All Policies are Created Equal

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

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

 

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

 

Short-Term Policies for Food Delivery Insurance

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

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

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

Insurance for Delivery Businesses During COVID-19

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

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

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

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

New Short-Term Food Delivery Insurance Program

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

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

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

Product highlights include:

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

 

Keeping Food Delivery Workers Safe

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

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

 

 

 

 

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Survival Guide for the Transportation Industry

The Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic is something no business expected or planned for at the beginning of this year. As an agency that specializes in insuring transportation risks, we feel the pain you are going through right now. We see the drastic business interruption due to COVID-19. We want to remind you that we were your partners before the virus and are here to support you through this crisis.

Can I still work during the Coronavirus (COVID-19) Pandemic?

Transportation businesses have been named an “essential business” and are allowed to remain open for business.

Taxi services during COVID-19With nationwide restrictions and hesitation around travelling due to COVID-19, business is naturally impacted. Especially for those in the for-hire, livery industry who rely  on airport pick-ups and drop-offs. But that doesn’t mean it’s time to give up altogether.

When faced with adversity, it is the time to re-evaluate, reinvent and rediscover business opportunities you might not have pursued before.

 

Below is a short list of what you can do to generate revenue:

  • Contact regular clients and let them know you are available to take them grocery shopping, to doctor appointments or the pharmacy.
  • Advertise that you are avoiding close contact with other people, washing hands regularly and disinfecting the passenger seating in your vehicle after every trip.
  • Contact companies and offer courier or delivery services for groceries, medications, etc. (most livery policies allow this type of transportation already and no extra coverage is needed).
  • In many areas, public transportation is closed but people working in industries deemed an “essential” business are still going to work. Many employers are offering private transportation to their employees so that they can avoid mass transit. Contact these businesses, let them know you are able to help!

 

Can you lower my insurance payments during Coronavirus COVID-19?

No one knows how long our lives will be disrupted and you might feel like you need to cancel your policy. We highly suggest not cancelling your policy at this time unless you absolutely have to. Instead, we suggest the following:

  • If you have multiple vehicles, you may delete all but 1 unit to keep the policy active.
  • Some cities such as San Francisco are allowing taxis to lower the liability limit temporarily to assist in the decrease of revenue/ability to make insurance payments.
  • Some cities such as Seattle and San Diego are allowing operators to temporarily suspend their operating authority. You can email us proof of that, and we can decrease the liability limit down to the state minimum while you are out of work.
  • Preventing your policy from cancelling is beneficial because if you decide to start working again, a cancelled policy will delay your ability to start working again. We will need to re-quote, collect another down payment and in some cases  –  track down current loss runs again.
  • If you must cancel, most carriers are allowing pro-rata cancellations which means you will not be penalized for cancelling early.

 

How can I stay safe while working during the  COVID-19 outbreak?

With increased measures being taken nationwide to prevent the spread, many people may be turning toward a more private or isolated form of transportation (Taxi, Black Car, Uber or Lyft) as opposed to their usual train or bus ride.Infographic of how to stop the coronavirus spread

Below is a list of 5 things you can do to keep your vehicles clean and prevent the virus from spreading to your passengers or yourself:

  1. Wash your hands properly and often.
  2. Cover your mouth and/or nose with a tissue or into the crook of your elbow when you cough or sneeze.
  3. Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces/objects. These include but aren’t limited to: steering wheel, car handles, gear stick, hand brake, and trunk.
  4. Clean and disinfect the passenger seating area in between each trip.
  5. Avoid contact with people who aren’t well or have poor immune systems.

COVID-19 Resource Guide for Transportation Companies

American Business Insurance understands the challenges you are facing during the COVID-19 are ongoing and changing. As an active member of The Transportation Alliance, we have a broad data base of resources and advisers in the transportation industry.

One of those individuals is Matthew W. Daus, Esq, Partner and Chairman of Windels Marx Transportation Practice Group. They are a dedicated firm supporting ground transportation industries in NYC, but have provided a series of webinars with helpful information for those struggling during COVID-19,

To watch the most recent free webinar around the Transportation Industry and COVID-19, click HERE.

Below is a list of topics related to this guide:

 

  • Guidelines for Businesses related to COVID-19
  • Business Preparedness Resources
  • Environmental Cleaning and Disinfection Recommendations
  • Basic Infection Prevention Measures
  • Relief for Businesses
  • Information sharing with Industry Members

 

American Business Insurance – open during the crisis

Insurance businesses are deemed an “essential” business and as such, we have been allowed to remain open. Although most of us are working remotely, calls are being forwarded, emails responded to and vehicle changes/cancellations are being processed.

If you have any questions or need advice on how to adjust your policy during these uncertain times, please contact us during regular business hours, Monday – Friday 8 am to 5 pm pacific at 800-980-1950. You can also email us anytime!

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

The Flywheel Shield can be installed using car handles.

 

A Whole New World

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

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

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

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

The Flywheel Shield, which went through several different prototypes is easy to install and has been tested by Flywheel Taxi of San Francisco already. It straps on around the front seat and has a sliding opening to pass through payment if needed (card or cash), vouchers and receipts between passenger and driver. At a price point ranging between $40-$50 (depending on order count), the Flywheel Shield is available to purchase for taxi companies across North America. Email [email protected] or call 630-886-6868 for more information on purchasing.

Budgeting for PPE

Many cities and municipalities are looking to purchase this type of PPE for drivers. Before purchasing, Kim said it’s a good idea to check with your City to see if they will reimburse transportation companies for purchasing and installing PPE in public transportation vehicles.

“Drivers feel safer and passengers are saying this is fantastic,” Kim added.

Kim is hoping that other transportation companies across the country will step up and make the necessary changes within the industry to keep people moving, safely.

The Coronavirus, which we know is mainly transmissible through airborne respiratory particles – can be halted from spreading via masks but also with plastic shields between people. Grocery stores have installed these shields in front of cashiers to keep them safe. Doctors and nurses wear them while on duty. It is essential that those working during the pandemic change the way they protected themselves.

Flywheel Taxi driver Lamb is married with 2 kids and is looking forward to installing the Flywheel Shield into his vehicles. He wants to keep not only himself and his family safe, but also his passengers.

“We need to treat these people like family. When you have that mentality, it’s not just a passenger. It’s Amelia’s son. It’s John’s brother. It’s not just a guy I pick up 3 times per week. There is a name attached to it and a story,” Lamb explained further. “There is a relationship there. It’s not just a business for me, it’s a commitment I have to the community to make sure their needs are always met.”

If you would like more information or would like to place an order for the Flywheel Shield, please call 630-886-6868 or email [email protected]

 

Written by Laura Loftus who is an Executive Broker/Sales and Underwriting Manager with more than 10 years of experience insuring business in the For-Hire, Livery & Shared Economy industries. Looking for a quote on your business?  Call us Monday – Friday, 8 am to 5 pm pacific: 800-980-1950 or email us anytime!

 

 

 

Using Your Paycheck Protection Program Payment for Transportation Businesses during COVID-19

As the days and weeks pass by, more and more people are staying home which is affecting not only the transportation industry – but businesses of all types nationwide.

If you are experiencing financial difficulties, you might be thinking about cancelling your policy. Instead, why not use your Paycheck Protection Program payment toward insurance. This way, you can continue to work and serve the community who needs your help.

If you haven’t already and still want to work, the U.S. Department of the Treasury has posted the NEW application form for the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). In short, these are zero-interest loans up to $10 million. These loans cover operational costs like payroll, health benefits, rent, mortgage payments, insurance premiums and utilities.

With taxicabs being named an essential business, there are other revenue generating opportunities for taxicab businesses you may not already be tapped into.

Show Me The Money

Paycheck Protection Program loans are administered through the Small Business Administration, but you have to apply through a local bank. We urge all transportation businesses to download and begin filling out the PPP loan application, and talk to your banker today. The Treasury Department has issued a useful fact sheet on what the loan covers.

In addition to the Paycheck Protection Program loan, we want to remind you that the Small Business Association has also created Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL) that are designed to quickly send $10,000 to distressed companies. The EIDL application is found online and will offer assistance loans for up to $2 million.

But is there any work?

It may feel like there is no work to be done, but as Ann Pilkington who works for Freedom Taxicab in Des Moines, IA told KCCI De Moines, “The main thing is getting people to their appointments because there are some people that wouldn’t last, like a dialysis patient or something, they wouldn’t make it without those med changes or that treatment on themselves.”

Of course, please wear a mask, wash your hands frequently and keep your car clean for at-risk passengers going to and from doctor appointments. It is important to protect yourself and your passengers while working during COVID-19.

Below is a short list of 5 revenue generating ideas you may be able to implement using your existing policy.

Top 5 Revenue Generators during COVID-19:

Using your paycheck protection program payment toward insurance.

 

1. Appointments and other Non-Emergency transportation services

This is probably the largest source of transportation needed right now. People still need to get dialysis, chemotherapy and other types of medical treatments during COVID-19. If you haven’t already added this service to your taxi platform, now is the time.

Below is a list of medical trip providers to consider.

  • LogistiCare – one the largest Non-Emergency Medical Transportation brokers in the United States. They have a presence in almost every state within the US.
  • EpicMD – NEMT trip provider with operations nationwide.
  • OneCall – NEMT broker that serves globally for everything from ambulatory ground transportation to air ambulances.
  • MTM – This is a popular NEMT provider with our existing client base. They have a presence is 75% of the country from coast to coast. They have especially higher trip volume within the East Coast states.
  • Acces2Care – Servicing 29 states, this program helps to dispatch NEMT trips through their parent company AMR which handles the emergency calls. All NEMT calls get sourced through Access2Care.Please note: accommodating passengers who are not ambulatory may not be permitted with your current policy.

 

2. Courier & delivery companies

Amazon is hiring 100,000 workers, mostly for fulfillment and delivery, and some UPS hubs are hiring as well, although—fair warning—both companies are facing criticism over employee safety. Some couriers are also hiring.

*No delivery of hazardous or illegal materials are permitted.  If you are considering cannabis delivery in legal states, we do have coverage for that with multiple markets. Click HERE to request a quote.

3. Grocery & medicine delivery

Grocery stores are your friends. Major chains such as KrogerMeijer, and Safeway are hiring in-store shelf stockers and delivery staff; ditto for regional chains such as Raley’s. Grocery delivery services and apps such as Instacart are also hiring.

4. Sign up for Uber/Lyft

While most taxi policies only allow a certain amount of TNC transport (if any at all), many of our clients have policies that are flexible with allowing drivers to use multiple sources of dispatch to generate revenue. Many drivers are staying home but people without their own sources of transportation still need to go grocery shopping, pick up medications from pharmacies and drop off supplies to loved ones.  And those in the medical field are opting for a more private form of transportation instead of their usual train or bus ride to and from work.

5. Pre-arranged, black car services (utilizing vehicles already within your fleet)

Again, as mentioned above, utilizing your current clientele database to advertise a clean, safe mode of transportation in these trying times is key. Send out texts letting people know you are working and available. Many assume everything is closed. But although people aren’t travelling through airports like they used to – there is clientele that still rely on taxi and black car services to get to the doctor or grocery store. There are doctors and nurses in urban areas who need to get to work but can’t take mass transit.

Be there to help them, they will remember that you helped them even after “everything goes back to normal.”


Not All Policies are Created Equal

Not all insurance companies allow you to do all the types of trips listed above on ONE policy. But WE do. If you don’t already accommodate these types of trips and want to, please contact us to see if your current policy allows for medical and courier trips.

Also, if you are high risk or live with someone who is – please take precaution in working during these times. Working through a pandemic is not for everyone but if you are willing and able – your customers will be forever grateful to you for helping them out when they needed it most!

 

Written by Laura Loftus who is an Executive Broker/Sales and Underwriting Manager with more than 10 years of experience insuring business in the For-Hire, Livery & Shared Economy industries. Looking for a quote on your business?  Call us Monday – Friday, 8 am to 5 pm pacific: 800-980-1950 or email us anytime!

 

Short-Term Policies for Food Delivery Insurance

As the Coronavirus continues to spread across the country, most non-essential businesses are closed nationwide. Although dining in isn’t allowed, restaurants are still allowed to open since they are considered an essential business.  Many restaurants are offering food delivery (even if they didn’t before) since it is allowed. Restaurants new to food delivery might need to purchase additional coverage with a Short-Term Food Delivery Insurance Policy.

It’s a whole new world of self -isolation and government-imposed quarantining. So, what does that mean for every-day life? Well, it’s completely changed as we know it. With that decision, many restaurants have revised their menus and implemented delivery to customers instead. Some are even selling their signature cocktails to-go.

However, what most businesses don’t realize is that allowing your employees to drive their cars to deliver food is not covered under their personal auto insurance. This is why a Short-Term Food Delivery Insurance policy may work for you or someone you know.

Insurance for Delivery Businesses During COVID-19

First off, to ease your mind a bit about potential liabilities, the FDA’s current position is that “there is no evidence to suggest that food produced in the United States can transmit COVID-19.” Furthermore, they went on to say that there is “no evidence of food or food packaging being associated with transmission of COVID-19.”

As always, as long as the food is prepared safely, the risk is low. Information around COVID-19 continues to change, but current evidence seems to point to food delivery as a less risky option than exposing yourself to a grocery store, bringing the bags and items into your home and preparing the food yourself.

Essentially, the major risk of dining within a restaurant is touching a table, counter, or other surface that someone who is contagious may have touched.

Because delivery businesses have become so important during this outbreak, it’s important for employers to get food delivery insurance.

New Short-Term Food Delivery Insurance Program

Whether offering food delivery is a permanent business change or temporary, we have access to a new program which is writing short-term food delivery insurance for restaurants.

food delivery insurance
Many restaurants are delivering food with tamper controls so you can be sure your food was untouched during delivery.

This program is written by an A.M. Best rated “A” X carrier and can accommodate a wide range of classes that have been affected by COVID-19. To contact an ABI producer for more information, click here.

Product highlights include:

  • Monoline coverage
  • 3- or 6-month policy
  • Quick turn-around time
  • Non-auditable policy
  • Limit options of $300K, $500K, $1M CSL
  • Deductible $2,500
  • Offering short term policies starting at $1,500
  • MVR screening service provided
  • Symbols 8 & 9 (hired and non-owned autos) commercial auto liability
  • No restrictive warranties
  • Available in all states except MI

 

Keeping Food Delivery Workers Safe

Many delivery companies have issued guidelines for workers during the outbreak, as Business Insider pointed out, and many of those same workers have taken additional precautions to keep themselves safe. Drivers and delivery workers for Uber, Lyft, and DoorDash told Business Insider they’re scouring their cars with bleach and cutting back on hours.

Even so, if you do opt for your restaurant to deliver food during the outbreak, consider implementing non-contact services. Also, advertise that you require your drivers to practice good hygiene, especially hand-washing. If you can, provide masks to your employees to protect themselves if they are not practicing contact-less delivery.

 

 

 

 

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Survival Guide for the Transportation Industry

The Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic is something no business expected or planned for at the beginning of this year. As an agency that specializes in insuring transportation risks, we feel the pain you are going through right now. We see the drastic business interruption due to COVID-19. We want to remind you that we were your partners before the virus and are here to support you through this crisis.

Can I still work during the Coronavirus (COVID-19) Pandemic?

Transportation businesses have been named an “essential business” and are allowed to remain open for business.

Taxi services during COVID-19With nationwide restrictions and hesitation around travelling due to COVID-19, business is naturally impacted. Especially for those in the for-hire, livery industry who rely  on airport pick-ups and drop-offs. But that doesn’t mean it’s time to give up altogether.

When faced with adversity, it is the time to re-evaluate, reinvent and rediscover business opportunities you might not have pursued before.

 

Below is a short list of what you can do to generate revenue:

  • Contact regular clients and let them know you are available to take them grocery shopping, to doctor appointments or the pharmacy.
  • Advertise that you are avoiding close contact with other people, washing hands regularly and disinfecting the passenger seating in your vehicle after every trip.
  • Contact companies and offer courier or delivery services for groceries, medications, etc. (most livery policies allow this type of transportation already and no extra coverage is needed).
  • In many areas, public transportation is closed but people working in industries deemed an “essential” business are still going to work. Many employers are offering private transportation to their employees so that they can avoid mass transit. Contact these businesses, let them know you are able to help!

 

Can you lower my insurance payments during Coronavirus COVID-19?

No one knows how long our lives will be disrupted and you might feel like you need to cancel your policy. We highly suggest not cancelling your policy at this time unless you absolutely have to. Instead, we suggest the following:

  • If you have multiple vehicles, you may delete all but 1 unit to keep the policy active.
  • Some cities such as San Francisco are allowing taxis to lower the liability limit temporarily to assist in the decrease of revenue/ability to make insurance payments.
  • Some cities such as Seattle and San Diego are allowing operators to temporarily suspend their operating authority. You can email us proof of that, and we can decrease the liability limit down to the state minimum while you are out of work.
  • Preventing your policy from cancelling is beneficial because if you decide to start working again, a cancelled policy will delay your ability to start working again. We will need to re-quote, collect another down payment and in some cases  –  track down current loss runs again.
  • If you must cancel, most carriers are allowing pro-rata cancellations which means you will not be penalized for cancelling early.

 

How can I stay safe while working during the  COVID-19 outbreak?

With increased measures being taken nationwide to prevent the spread, many people may be turning toward a more private or isolated form of transportation (Taxi, Black Car, Uber or Lyft) as opposed to their usual train or bus ride.Infographic of how to stop the coronavirus spread

Below is a list of 5 things you can do to keep your vehicles clean and prevent the virus from spreading to your passengers or yourself:

  1. Wash your hands properly and often.
  2. Cover your mouth and/or nose with a tissue or into the crook of your elbow when you cough or sneeze.
  3. Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces/objects. These include but aren’t limited to: steering wheel, car handles, gear stick, hand brake, and trunk.
  4. Clean and disinfect the passenger seating area in between each trip.
  5. Avoid contact with people who aren’t well or have poor immune systems.

COVID-19 Resource Guide for Transportation Companies

American Business Insurance understands the challenges you are facing during the COVID-19 are ongoing and changing. As an active member of The Transportation Alliance, we have a broad data base of resources and advisers in the transportation industry.

One of those individuals is Matthew W. Daus, Esq, Partner and Chairman of Windels Marx Transportation Practice Group. They are a dedicated firm supporting ground transportation industries in NYC, but have provided a series of webinars with helpful information for those struggling during COVID-19,

To watch the most recent free webinar around the Transportation Industry and COVID-19, click HERE.

Below is a list of topics related to this guide:

 

  • Guidelines for Businesses related to COVID-19
  • Business Preparedness Resources
  • Environmental Cleaning and Disinfection Recommendations
  • Basic Infection Prevention Measures
  • Relief for Businesses
  • Information sharing with Industry Members

 

American Business Insurance – open during the crisis

Insurance businesses are deemed an “essential” business and as such, we have been allowed to remain open. Although most of us are working remotely, calls are being forwarded, emails responded to and vehicle changes/cancellations are being processed.

If you have any questions or need advice on how to adjust your policy during these uncertain times, please contact us during regular business hours, Monday – Friday 8 am to 5 pm pacific at 800-980-1950. You can also email us anytime!

 

Written by Laura Loftus who is an Executive Broker/Sales and Underwriting Manager with more than 10 years of experience insuring business in the For-Hire, Livery & Shared Economy industries. Looking for a quote on your business?  Call us Monday – Friday, 8 am to 5 pm pacific: 800-980-1950 or email us anytime!

New, Easy to Purchase and Install PPE Available for Essential Transportation Companies

Every morning, Corey Lamb puts himself at risk to transport the City of San Francisco’s most vulnerable residents. He stocks his cab with all types of PPE (personal protective equipment) such as  gloves, masks and sanitizer.

Lamb, who has been a professional driver since 2006 and was named the 2019 Paratransit Taxi Driver of the Year by the City of San Francisco and Paratransit Board, has developed a deep passion and drive to focus his taxi services on the people who need him most.

“I focus on providing dignified transportation services for people who would otherwise be confined to their home. My focus is on them and their needs. What’s getting me through COVID is that I have a segment of my clientele that are dialysis patients. Regardless of what is going on in the world, they need to go to dialysis. I pick them up and take them. I make that happen,” Lamb said.

Flywheel Technologies is excited to be the sole distributor of PPE shields in North America.

Lamb owns two wheel chair accessible taxicabs in San Francisco. He also just purchased the first hybrid wheel chair vehicle in the City of San Francisco. As a child, his mother worked for a non-profit organization that taught adults with Autism and Down Syndrome. Their focus was to teach them how to be independent. The compassion Lamb saw  in his mother toward these people is the driving force behind him catering to those in need of transportation.

“I bought both cars brand new. I wanted my passengers to not feel like a run of the mil ride. For me, it’s important that they understand that I care they are being transported in a safe vehicle. The people who have disabilities are usually not considered in planning until the end. I wanted my business to show them they are being considered at the beginning,” Lamb stated.

 

New Types of PPE Available for Taxicab, Limo and Paratransit Drivers

The challenges of transporting the public today have changed compared to a few months ago. In today’s world of face masks, hand sanitizer and Lysol spray– the taxi industry is an essential business that needs to be proactive about using PPE, not only making passengers feel safe – but also their drivers.

That’s why Hansu Kim, President of Flywheel Technologies (a California based taxi booking app) has been working with Taxi Butler in the Netherlands to distribute the Flywheel Shield to transportation companies in need throughout North America.

“We want to bring more confidence in the taxi industry. For vehicles that are on the road, we need to show we are being proactive and staying safe compared to Uber and Lyft by utilizing different types of PPE,” Kim said.

The City of San Francisco has purchased 500 of these shields from Flywheel in response to a need to protect both drivers and passengers. Drivers are deemed essential workers and their passengers  include our most vulnerable population of elderly, medically fragile or immune compromised.

Since the shields are considered Personal Protective Equipment (PPE),  the City is able to use funds they received from government to equip taxis with this important PPE.

“These are easy to install and easy to remove. It gives real protection in an enclosed space. The Flywheel Shield is universal and works in all types of vehicles from a compact hybrid to a larger wheel chair accessible mini van (two of the most common vehicles used in the taxi industry),” Kim explained.

In addition to the shields, the City of San Francisco has introduced The Essential Trip Card designed to help the elderly and in need population purchase fares at reduced cost.

 

The Flywheel Shield is easy to install and priced affordably.
The Flywheel Shield is easy to install and priced affordably.

The Flywheel Shield can be installed using car handles.

 

A Whole New World

Pre-coronavirus, many transportation companies were making non-essential items such as phone chargers, mints and mini water bottles available for passengers.

Shields that were previously installed were mainly used to protect drivers from unruly or violent passengers. They were designed to protect the driver from robbery.

Right now, the majority of passengers using public transportation are first-responders and patients. Drivers need to feel safe about going to work every day and the general population needs to feel safe when riding in public transportation.

“As an essential service, we need to take proactive measures to protect drivers and passengers. We are transporting the most vulnerable – people with fragile medical needs, the elderly and first-responders,” Kim said.

The Flywheel Shield, which went through several different prototypes is easy to install and has been tested by Flywheel Taxi of San Francisco already. It straps on around the front seat and has a sliding opening to pass through payment if needed (card or cash), vouchers and receipts between passenger and driver. At a price point ranging between $40-$50 (depending on order count), the Flywheel Shield is available to purchase for taxi companies across North America. Email [email protected] or call 630-886-6868 for more information on purchasing.

Budgeting for PPE

Many cities and municipalities are looking to purchase this type of PPE for drivers. Before purchasing, Kim said it’s a good idea to check with your City to see if they will reimburse transportation companies for purchasing and installing PPE in public transportation vehicles.

“Drivers feel safer and passengers are saying this is fantastic,” Kim added.

Kim is hoping that other transportation companies across the country will step up and make the necessary changes within the industry to keep people moving, safely.

The Coronavirus, which we know is mainly transmissible through airborne respiratory particles – can be halted from spreading via masks but also with plastic shields between people. Grocery stores have installed these shields in front of cashiers to keep them safe. Doctors and nurses wear them while on duty. It is essential that those working during the pandemic change the way they protected themselves.

Flywheel Taxi driver Lamb is married with 2 kids and is looking forward to installing the Flywheel Shield into his vehicles. He wants to keep not only himself and his family safe, but also his passengers.

“We need to treat these people like family. When you have that mentality, it’s not just a passenger. It’s Amelia’s son. It’s John’s brother. It’s not just a guy I pick up 3 times per week. There is a name attached to it and a story,” Lamb explained further. “There is a relationship there. It’s not just a business for me, it’s a commitment I have to the community to make sure their needs are always met.”

If you would like more information or would like to place an order for the Flywheel Shield, please call 630-886-6868 or email [email protected]

 

Written by Laura Loftus who is an Executive Broker/Sales and Underwriting Manager with more than 10 years of experience insuring business in the For-Hire, Livery & Shared Economy industries. Looking for a quote on your business?  Call us Monday – Friday, 8 am to 5 pm pacific: 800-980-1950 or email us anytime!

 

 

 

Using Your Paycheck Protection Program Payment for Transportation Businesses during COVID-19

As the days and weeks pass by, more and more people are staying home which is affecting not only the transportation industry – but businesses of all types nationwide.

If you are experiencing financial difficulties, you might be thinking about cancelling your policy. Instead, why not use your Paycheck Protection Program payment toward insurance. This way, you can continue to work and serve the community who needs your help.

If you haven’t already and still want to work, the U.S. Department of the Treasury has posted the NEW application form for the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). In short, these are zero-interest loans up to $10 million. These loans cover operational costs like payroll, health benefits, rent, mortgage payments, insurance premiums and utilities.

With taxicabs being named an essential business, there are other revenue generating opportunities for taxicab businesses you may not already be tapped into.

Show Me The Money

Paycheck Protection Program loans are administered through the Small Business Administration, but you have to apply through a local bank. We urge all transportation businesses to download and begin filling out the PPP loan application, and talk to your banker today. The Treasury Department has issued a useful fact sheet on what the loan covers.

In addition to the Paycheck Protection Program loan, we want to remind you that the Small Business Association has also created Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL) that are designed to quickly send $10,000 to distressed companies. The EIDL application is found online and will offer assistance loans for up to $2 million.

But is there any work?

It may feel like there is no work to be done, but as Ann Pilkington who works for Freedom Taxicab in Des Moines, IA told KCCI De Moines, “The main thing is getting people to their appointments because there are some people that wouldn’t last, like a dialysis patient or something, they wouldn’t make it without those med changes or that treatment on themselves.”

Of course, please wear a mask, wash your hands frequently and keep your car clean for at-risk passengers going to and from doctor appointments. It is important to protect yourself and your passengers while working during COVID-19.

Below is a short list of 5 revenue generating ideas you may be able to implement using your existing policy.

Top 5 Revenue Generators during COVID-19:

Using your paycheck protection program payment toward insurance.

 

1. Appointments and other Non-Emergency transportation services

This is probably the largest source of transportation needed right now. People still need to get dialysis, chemotherapy and other types of medical treatments during COVID-19. If you haven’t already added this service to your taxi platform, now is the time.

Below is a list of medical trip providers to consider.

  • LogistiCare – one the largest Non-Emergency Medical Transportation brokers in the United States. They have a presence in almost every state within the US.
  • EpicMD – NEMT trip provider with operations nationwide.
  • OneCall – NEMT broker that serves globally for everything from ambulatory ground transportation to air ambulances.
  • MTM – This is a popular NEMT provider with our existing client base. They have a presence is 75% of the country from coast to coast. They have especially higher trip volume within the East Coast states.
  • Acces2Care – Servicing 29 states, this program helps to dispatch NEMT trips through their parent company AMR which handles the emergency calls. All NEMT calls get sourced through Access2Care.Please note: accommodating passengers who are not ambulatory may not be permitted with your current policy.

 

2. Courier & delivery companies

Amazon is hiring 100,000 workers, mostly for fulfillment and delivery, and some UPS hubs are hiring as well, although—fair warning—both companies are facing criticism over employee safety. Some couriers are also hiring.

*No delivery of hazardous or illegal materials are permitted.  If you are considering cannabis delivery in legal states, we do have coverage for that with multiple markets. Click HERE to request a quote.

3. Grocery & medicine delivery

Grocery stores are your friends. Major chains such as KrogerMeijer, and Safeway are hiring in-store shelf stockers and delivery staff; ditto for regional chains such as Raley’s. Grocery delivery services and apps such as Instacart are also hiring.

4. Sign up for Uber/Lyft

While most taxi policies only allow a certain amount of TNC transport (if any at all), many of our clients have policies that are flexible with allowing drivers to use multiple sources of dispatch to generate revenue. Many drivers are staying home but people without their own sources of transportation still need to go grocery shopping, pick up medications from pharmacies and drop off supplies to loved ones.  And those in the medical field are opting for a more private form of transportation instead of their usual train or bus ride to and from work.

5. Pre-arranged, black car services (utilizing vehicles already within your fleet)

Again, as mentioned above, utilizing your current clientele database to advertise a clean, safe mode of transportation in these trying times is key. Send out texts letting people know you are working and available. Many assume everything is closed. But although people aren’t travelling through airports like they used to – there is clientele that still rely on taxi and black car services to get to the doctor or grocery store. There are doctors and nurses in urban areas who need to get to work but can’t take mass transit.

Be there to help them, they will remember that you helped them even after “everything goes back to normal.”


Not All Policies are Created Equal

Not all insurance companies allow you to do all the types of trips listed above on ONE policy. But WE do. If you don’t already accommodate these types of trips and want to, please contact us to see if your current policy allows for medical and courier trips.

Also, if you are high risk or live with someone who is – please take precaution in working during these times. Working through a pandemic is not for everyone but if you are willing and able – your customers will be forever grateful to you for helping them out when they needed it most!

 

Written by Laura Loftus who is an Executive Broker/Sales and Underwriting Manager with more than 10 years of experience insuring business in the For-Hire, Livery & Shared Economy industries. Looking for a quote on your business?  Call us Monday – Friday, 8 am to 5 pm pacific: 800-980-1950 or email us anytime!

 

Short-Term Policies for Food Delivery Insurance

As the Coronavirus continues to spread across the country, most non-essential businesses are closed nationwide. Although dining in isn’t allowed, restaurants are still allowed to open since they are considered an essential business.  Many restaurants are offering food delivery (even if they didn’t before) since it is allowed. Restaurants new to food delivery might need to purchase additional coverage with a Short-Term Food Delivery Insurance Policy.

It’s a whole new world of self -isolation and government-imposed quarantining. So, what does that mean for every-day life? Well, it’s completely changed as we know it. With that decision, many restaurants have revised their menus and implemented delivery to customers instead. Some are even selling their signature cocktails to-go.

However, what most businesses don’t realize is that allowing your employees to drive their cars to deliver food is not covered under their personal auto insurance. This is why a Short-Term Food Delivery Insurance policy may work for you or someone you know.

Insurance for Delivery Businesses During COVID-19

First off, to ease your mind a bit about potential liabilities, the FDA’s current position is that “there is no evidence to suggest that food produced in the United States can transmit COVID-19.” Furthermore, they went on to say that there is “no evidence of food or food packaging being associated with transmission of COVID-19.”

As always, as long as the food is prepared safely, the risk is low. Information around COVID-19 continues to change, but current evidence seems to point to food delivery as a less risky option than exposing yourself to a grocery store, bringing the bags and items into your home and preparing the food yourself.

Essentially, the major risk of dining within a restaurant is touching a table, counter, or other surface that someone who is contagious may have touched.

Because delivery businesses have become so important during this outbreak, it’s important for employers to get food delivery insurance.

New Short-Term Food Delivery Insurance Program

Whether offering food delivery is a permanent business change or temporary, we have access to a new program which is writing short-term food delivery insurance for restaurants.

food delivery insurance
Many restaurants are delivering food with tamper controls so you can be sure your food was untouched during delivery.

This program is written by an A.M. Best rated “A” X carrier and can accommodate a wide range of classes that have been affected by COVID-19. To contact an ABI producer for more information, click here.

Product highlights include:

  • Monoline coverage
  • 3- or 6-month policy
  • Quick turn-around time
  • Non-auditable policy
  • Limit options of $300K, $500K, $1M CSL
  • Deductible $2,500
  • Offering short term policies starting at $1,500
  • MVR screening service provided
  • Symbols 8 & 9 (hired and non-owned autos) commercial auto liability
  • No restrictive warranties
  • Available in all states except MI

 

Keeping Food Delivery Workers Safe

Many delivery companies have issued guidelines for workers during the outbreak, as Business Insider pointed out, and many of those same workers have taken additional precautions to keep themselves safe. Drivers and delivery workers for Uber, Lyft, and DoorDash told Business Insider they’re scouring their cars with bleach and cutting back on hours.

Even so, if you do opt for your restaurant to deliver food during the outbreak, consider implementing non-contact services. Also, advertise that you require your drivers to practice good hygiene, especially hand-washing. If you can, provide masks to your employees to protect themselves if they are not practicing contact-less delivery.

 

 

 

 

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Survival Guide for the Transportation Industry

The Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic is something no business expected or planned for at the beginning of this year. As an agency that specializes in insuring transportation risks, we feel the pain you are going through right now. We see the drastic business interruption due to COVID-19. We want to remind you that we were your partners before the virus and are here to support you through this crisis.

Can I still work during the Coronavirus (COVID-19) Pandemic?

Transportation businesses have been named an “essential business” and are allowed to remain open for business.

Taxi services during COVID-19With nationwide restrictions and hesitation around travelling due to COVID-19, business is naturally impacted. Especially for those in the for-hire, livery industry who rely  on airport pick-ups and drop-offs. But that doesn’t mean it’s time to give up altogether.

When faced with adversity, it is the time to re-evaluate, reinvent and rediscover business opportunities you might not have pursued before.

 

Below is a short list of what you can do to generate revenue:

  • Contact regular clients and let them know you are available to take them grocery shopping, to doctor appointments or the pharmacy.
  • Advertise that you are avoiding close contact with other people, washing hands regularly and disinfecting the passenger seating in your vehicle after every trip.
  • Contact companies and offer courier or delivery services for groceries, medications, etc. (most livery policies allow this type of transportation already and no extra coverage is needed).
  • In many areas, public transportation is closed but people working in industries deemed an “essential” business are still going to work. Many employers are offering private transportation to their employees so that they can avoid mass transit. Contact these businesses, let them know you are able to help!

 

Can you lower my insurance payments during Coronavirus COVID-19?

No one knows how long our lives will be disrupted and you might feel like you need to cancel your policy. We highly suggest not cancelling your policy at this time unless you absolutely have to. Instead, we suggest the following:

  • If you have multiple vehicles, you may delete all but 1 unit to keep the policy active.
  • Some cities such as San Francisco are allowing taxis to lower the liability limit temporarily to assist in the decrease of revenue/ability to make insurance payments.
  • Some cities such as Seattle and San Diego are allowing operators to temporarily suspend their operating authority. You can email us proof of that, and we can decrease the liability limit down to the state minimum while you are out of work.
  • Preventing your policy from cancelling is beneficial because if you decide to start working again, a cancelled policy will delay your ability to start working again. We will need to re-quote, collect another down payment and in some cases  –  track down current loss runs again.
  • If you must cancel, most carriers are allowing pro-rata cancellations which means you will not be penalized for cancelling early.

 

How can I stay safe while working during the  COVID-19 outbreak?

With increased measures being taken nationwide to prevent the spread, many people may be turning toward a more private or isolated form of transportation (Taxi, Black Car, Uber or Lyft) as opposed to their usual train or bus ride.Infographic of how to stop the coronavirus spread

Below is a list of 5 things you can do to keep your vehicles clean and prevent the virus from spreading to your passengers or yourself:

  1. Wash your hands properly and often.
  2. Cover your mouth and/or nose with a tissue or into the crook of your elbow when you cough or sneeze.
  3. Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces/objects. These include but aren’t limited to: steering wheel, car handles, gear stick, hand brake, and trunk.
  4. Clean and disinfect the passenger seating area in between each trip.
  5. Avoid contact with people who aren’t well or have poor immune systems.

COVID-19 Resource Guide for Transportation Companies

American Business Insurance understands the challenges you are facing during the COVID-19 are ongoing and changing. As an active member of The Transportation Alliance, we have a broad data base of resources and advisers in the transportation industry.

One of those individuals is Matthew W. Daus, Esq, Partner and Chairman of Windels Marx Transportation Practice Group. They are a dedicated firm supporting ground transportation industries in NYC, but have provided a series of webinars with helpful information for those struggling during COVID-19,

To watch the most recent free webinar around the Transportation Industry and COVID-19, click HERE.

Below is a list of topics related to this guide:

 

  • Guidelines for Businesses related to COVID-19
  • Business Preparedness Resources
  • Environmental Cleaning and Disinfection Recommendations
  • Basic Infection Prevention Measures
  • Relief for Businesses
  • Information sharing with Industry Members

 

American Business Insurance – open during the crisis

Insurance businesses are deemed an “essential” business and as such, we have been allowed to remain open. Although most of us are working remotely, calls are being forwarded, emails responded to and vehicle changes/cancellations are being processed.

If you have any questions or need advice on how to adjust your policy during these uncertain times, please contact us during regular business hours, Monday – Friday 8 am to 5 pm pacific at 800-980-1950. You can also email us anytime!

 

Written by Laura Loftus who is an Executive Broker/Sales and Underwriting Manager with more than 10 years of experience insuring business in the For-Hire, Livery & Shared Economy industries. Looking for a quote on your business?  Call us Monday – Friday, 8 am to 5 pm pacific: 800-980-1950 or email us anytime!

New, Easy to Purchase and Install PPE Available for Essential Transportation Companies

Every morning, Corey Lamb puts himself at risk to transport the City of San Francisco’s most vulnerable residents. He stocks his cab with all types of PPE (personal protective equipment) such as  gloves, masks and sanitizer.

Lamb, who has been a professional driver since 2006 and was named the 2019 Paratransit Taxi Driver of the Year by the City of San Francisco and Paratransit Board, has developed a deep passion and drive to focus his taxi services on the people who need him most.

“I focus on providing dignified transportation services for people who would otherwise be confined to their home. My focus is on them and their needs. What’s getting me through COVID is that I have a segment of my clientele that are dialysis patients. Regardless of what is going on in the world, they need to go to dialysis. I pick them up and take them. I make that happen,” Lamb said.

Flywheel Technologies is excited to be the sole distributor of PPE shields in North America.

Lamb owns two wheel chair accessible taxicabs in San Francisco. He also just purchased the first hybrid wheel chair vehicle in the City of San Francisco. As a child, his mother worked for a non-profit organization that taught adults with Autism and Down Syndrome. Their focus was to teach them how to be independent. The compassion Lamb saw  in his mother toward these people is the driving force behind him catering to those in need of transportation.

“I bought both cars brand new. I wanted my passengers to not feel like a run of the mil ride. For me, it’s important that they understand that I care they are being transported in a safe vehicle. The people who have disabilities are usually not considered in planning until the end. I wanted my business to show them they are being considered at the beginning,” Lamb stated.

 

New Types of PPE Available for Taxicab, Limo and Paratransit Drivers

The challenges of transporting the public today have changed compared to a few months ago. In today’s world of face masks, hand sanitizer and Lysol spray– the taxi industry is an essential business that needs to be proactive about using PPE, not only making passengers feel safe – but also their drivers.

That’s why Hansu Kim, President of Flywheel Technologies (a California based taxi booking app) has been working with Taxi Butler in the Netherlands to distribute the Flywheel Shield to transportation companies in need throughout North America.

“We want to bring more confidence in the taxi industry. For vehicles that are on the road, we need to show we are being proactive and staying safe compared to Uber and Lyft by utilizing different types of PPE,” Kim said.

The City of San Francisco has purchased 500 of these shields from Flywheel in response to a need to protect both drivers and passengers. Drivers are deemed essential workers and their passengers  include our most vulnerable population of elderly, medically fragile or immune compromised.

Since the shields are considered Personal Protective Equipment (PPE),  the City is able to use funds they received from government to equip taxis with this important PPE.

“These are easy to install and easy to remove. It gives real protection in an enclosed space. The Flywheel Shield is universal and works in all types of vehicles from a compact hybrid to a larger wheel chair accessible mini van (two of the most common vehicles used in the taxi industry),” Kim explained.

In addition to the shields, the City of San Francisco has introduced The Essential Trip Card designed to help the elderly and in need population purchase fares at reduced cost.

 

The Flywheel Shield is easy to install and priced affordably.
The Flywheel Shield is easy to install and priced affordably.

The Flywheel Shield can be installed using car handles.

 

A Whole New World

Pre-coronavirus, many transportation companies were making non-essential items such as phone chargers, mints and mini water bottles available for passengers.

Shields that were previously installed were mainly used to protect drivers from unruly or violent passengers. They were designed to protect the driver from robbery.

Right now, the majority of passengers using public transportation are first-responders and patients. Drivers need to feel safe about going to work every day and the general population needs to feel safe when riding in public transportation.

“As an essential service, we need to take proactive measures to protect drivers and passengers. We are transporting the most vulnerable – people with fragile medical needs, the elderly and first-responders,” Kim said.

The Flywheel Shield, which went through several different prototypes is easy to install and has been tested by Flywheel Taxi of San Francisco already. It straps on around the front seat and has a sliding opening to pass through payment if needed (card or cash), vouchers and receipts between passenger and driver. At a price point ranging between $40-$50 (depending on order count), the Flywheel Shield is available to purchase for taxi companies across North America. Email [email protected] or call 630-886-6868 for more information on purchasing.

Budgeting for PPE

Many cities and municipalities are looking to purchase this type of PPE for drivers. Before purchasing, Kim said it’s a good idea to check with your City to see if they will reimburse transportation companies for purchasing and installing PPE in public transportation vehicles.

“Drivers feel safer and passengers are saying this is fantastic,” Kim added.

Kim is hoping that other transportation companies across the country will step up and make the necessary changes within the industry to keep people moving, safely.

The Coronavirus, which we know is mainly transmissible through airborne respiratory particles – can be halted from spreading via masks but also with plastic shields between people. Grocery stores have installed these shields in front of cashiers to keep them safe. Doctors and nurses wear them while on duty. It is essential that those working during the pandemic change the way they protected themselves.

Flywheel Taxi driver Lamb is married with 2 kids and is looking forward to installing the Flywheel Shield into his vehicles. He wants to keep not only himself and his family safe, but also his passengers.

“We need to treat these people like family. When you have that mentality, it’s not just a passenger. It’s Amelia’s son. It’s John’s brother. It’s not just a guy I pick up 3 times per week. There is a name attached to it and a story,” Lamb explained further. “There is a relationship there. It’s not just a business for me, it’s a commitment I have to the community to make sure their needs are always met.”

If you would like more information or would like to place an order for the Flywheel Shield, please call 630-886-6868 or email [email protected]

 

Written by Laura Loftus who is an Executive Broker/Sales and Underwriting Manager with more than 10 years of experience insuring business in the For-Hire, Livery & Shared Economy industries. Looking for a quote on your business?  Call us Monday – Friday, 8 am to 5 pm pacific: 800-980-1950 or email us anytime!

 

 

 

Using Your Paycheck Protection Program Payment for Transportation Businesses during COVID-19

As the days and weeks pass by, more and more people are staying home which is affecting not only the transportation industry – but businesses of all types nationwide.

If you are experiencing financial difficulties, you might be thinking about cancelling your policy. Instead, why not use your Paycheck Protection Program payment toward insurance. This way, you can continue to work and serve the community who needs your help.

If you haven’t already and still want to work, the U.S. Department of the Treasury has posted the NEW application form for the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). In short, these are zero-interest loans up to $10 million. These loans cover operational costs like payroll, health benefits, rent, mortgage payments, insurance premiums and utilities.

With taxicabs being named an essential business, there are other revenue generating opportunities for taxicab businesses you may not already be tapped into.

Show Me The Money

Paycheck Protection Program loans are administered through the Small Business Administration, but you have to apply through a local bank. We urge all transportation businesses to download and begin filling out the PPP loan application, and talk to your banker today. The Treasury Department has issued a useful fact sheet on what the loan covers.

In addition to the Paycheck Protection Program loan, we want to remind you that the Small Business Association has also created Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL) that are designed to quickly send $10,000 to distressed companies. The EIDL application is found online and will offer assistance loans for up to $2 million.

But is there any work?

It may feel like there is no work to be done, but as Ann Pilkington who works for Freedom Taxicab in Des Moines, IA told KCCI De Moines, “The main thing is getting people to their appointments because there are some people that wouldn’t last, like a dialysis patient or something, they wouldn’t make it without those med changes or that treatment on themselves.”

Of course, please wear a mask, wash your hands frequently and keep your car clean for at-risk passengers going to and from doctor appointments. It is important to protect yourself and your passengers while working during COVID-19.

Below is a short list of 5 revenue generating ideas you may be able to implement using your existing policy.

Top 5 Revenue Generators during COVID-19:

Using your paycheck protection program payment toward insurance.

 

1. Appointments and other Non-Emergency transportation services

This is probably the largest source of transportation needed right now. People still need to get dialysis, chemotherapy and other types of medical treatments during COVID-19. If you haven’t already added this service to your taxi platform, now is the time.

Below is a list of medical trip providers to consider.

  • LogistiCare – one the largest Non-Emergency Medical Transportation brokers in the United States. They have a presence in almost every state within the US.
  • EpicMD – NEMT trip provider with operations nationwide.
  • OneCall – NEMT broker that serves globally for everything from ambulatory ground transportation to air ambulances.
  • MTM – This is a popular NEMT provider with our existing client base. They have a presence is 75% of the country from coast to coast. They have especially higher trip volume within the East Coast states.
  • Acces2Care – Servicing 29 states, this program helps to dispatch NEMT trips through their parent company AMR which handles the emergency calls. All NEMT calls get sourced through Access2Care.Please note: accommodating passengers who are not ambulatory may not be permitted with your current policy.

 

2. Courier & delivery companies

Amazon is hiring 100,000 workers, mostly for fulfillment and delivery, and some UPS hubs are hiring as well, although—fair warning—both companies are facing criticism over employee safety. Some couriers are also hiring.

*No delivery of hazardous or illegal materials are permitted.  If you are considering cannabis delivery in legal states, we do have coverage for that with multiple markets. Click HERE to request a quote.

3. Grocery & medicine delivery

Grocery stores are your friends. Major chains such as KrogerMeijer, and Safeway are hiring in-store shelf stockers and delivery staff; ditto for regional chains such as Raley’s. Grocery delivery services and apps such as Instacart are also hiring.

4. Sign up for Uber/Lyft

While most taxi policies only allow a certain amount of TNC transport (if any at all), many of our clients have policies that are flexible with allowing drivers to use multiple sources of dispatch to generate revenue. Many drivers are staying home but people without their own sources of transportation still need to go grocery shopping, pick up medications from pharmacies and drop off supplies to loved ones.  And those in the medical field are opting for a more private form of transportation instead of their usual train or bus ride to and from work.

5. Pre-arranged, black car services (utilizing vehicles already within your fleet)

Again, as mentioned above, utilizing your current clientele database to advertise a clean, safe mode of transportation in these trying times is key. Send out texts letting people know you are working and available. Many assume everything is closed. But although people aren’t travelling through airports like they used to – there is clientele that still rely on taxi and black car services to get to the doctor or grocery store. There are doctors and nurses in urban areas who need to get to work but can’t take mass transit.

Be there to help them, they will remember that you helped them even after “everything goes back to normal.”


Not All Policies are Created Equal

Not all insurance companies allow you to do all the types of trips listed above on ONE policy. But WE do. If you don’t already accommodate these types of trips and want to, please contact us to see if your current policy allows for medical and courier trips.

Also, if you are high risk or live with someone who is – please take precaution in working during these times. Working through a pandemic is not for everyone but if you are willing and able – your customers will be forever grateful to you for helping them out when they needed it most!

 

Written by Laura Loftus who is an Executive Broker/Sales and Underwriting Manager with more than 10 years of experience insuring business in the For-Hire, Livery & Shared Economy industries. Looking for a quote on your business?  Call us Monday – Friday, 8 am to 5 pm pacific: 800-980-1950 or email us anytime!

 

Short-Term Policies for Food Delivery Insurance

As the Coronavirus continues to spread across the country, most non-essential businesses are closed nationwide. Although dining in isn’t allowed, restaurants are still allowed to open since they are considered an essential business.  Many restaurants are offering food delivery (even if they didn’t before) since it is allowed. Restaurants new to food delivery might need to purchase additional coverage with a Short-Term Food Delivery Insurance Policy.

It’s a whole new world of self -isolation and government-imposed quarantining. So, what does that mean for every-day life? Well, it’s completely changed as we know it. With that decision, many restaurants have revised their menus and implemented delivery to customers instead. Some are even selling their signature cocktails to-go.

However, what most businesses don’t realize is that allowing your employees to drive their cars to deliver food is not covered under their personal auto insurance. This is why a Short-Term Food Delivery Insurance policy may work for you or someone you know.

Insurance for Delivery Businesses During COVID-19

First off, to ease your mind a bit about potential liabilities, the FDA’s current position is that “there is no evidence to suggest that food produced in the United States can transmit COVID-19.” Furthermore, they went on to say that there is “no evidence of food or food packaging being associated with transmission of COVID-19.”

As always, as long as the food is prepared safely, the risk is low. Information around COVID-19 continues to change, but current evidence seems to point to food delivery as a less risky option than exposing yourself to a grocery store, bringing the bags and items into your home and preparing the food yourself.

Essentially, the major risk of dining within a restaurant is touching a table, counter, or other surface that someone who is contagious may have touched.

Because delivery businesses have become so important during this outbreak, it’s important for employers to get food delivery insurance.

New Short-Term Food Delivery Insurance Program

Whether offering food delivery is a permanent business change or temporary, we have access to a new program which is writing short-term food delivery insurance for restaurants.

food delivery insurance
Many restaurants are delivering food with tamper controls so you can be sure your food was untouched during delivery.

This program is written by an A.M. Best rated “A” X carrier and can accommodate a wide range of classes that have been affected by COVID-19. To contact an ABI producer for more information, click here.

Product highlights include:

  • Monoline coverage
  • 3- or 6-month policy
  • Quick turn-around time
  • Non-auditable policy
  • Limit options of $300K, $500K, $1M CSL
  • Deductible $2,500
  • Offering short term policies starting at $1,500
  • MVR screening service provided
  • Symbols 8 & 9 (hired and non-owned autos) commercial auto liability
  • No restrictive warranties
  • Available in all states except MI

 

Keeping Food Delivery Workers Safe

Many delivery companies have issued guidelines for workers during the outbreak, as Business Insider pointed out, and many of those same workers have taken additional precautions to keep themselves safe. Drivers and delivery workers for Uber, Lyft, and DoorDash told Business Insider they’re scouring their cars with bleach and cutting back on hours.

Even so, if you do opt for your restaurant to deliver food during the outbreak, consider implementing non-contact services. Also, advertise that you require your drivers to practice good hygiene, especially hand-washing. If you can, provide masks to your employees to protect themselves if they are not practicing contact-less delivery.

 

 

 

 

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Survival Guide for the Transportation Industry

The Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic is something no business expected or planned for at the beginning of this year. As an agency that specializes in insuring transportation risks, we feel the pain you are going through right now. We see the drastic business interruption due to COVID-19. We want to remind you that we were your partners before the virus and are here to support you through this crisis.

Can I still work during the Coronavirus (COVID-19) Pandemic?

Transportation businesses have been named an “essential business” and are allowed to remain open for business.

Taxi services during COVID-19With nationwide restrictions and hesitation around travelling due to COVID-19, business is naturally impacted. Especially for those in the for-hire, livery industry who rely  on airport pick-ups and drop-offs. But that doesn’t mean it’s time to give up altogether.

When faced with adversity, it is the time to re-evaluate, reinvent and rediscover business opportunities you might not have pursued before.

 

Below is a short list of what you can do to generate revenue:

  • Contact regular clients and let them know you are available to take them grocery shopping, to doctor appointments or the pharmacy.
  • Advertise that you are avoiding close contact with other people, washing hands regularly and disinfecting the passenger seating in your vehicle after every trip.
  • Contact companies and offer courier or delivery services for groceries, medications, etc. (most livery policies allow this type of transportation already and no extra coverage is needed).
  • In many areas, public transportation is closed but people working in industries deemed an “essential” business are still going to work. Many employers are offering private transportation to their employees so that they can avoid mass transit. Contact these businesses, let them know you are able to help!

 

Can you lower my insurance payments during Coronavirus COVID-19?

No one knows how long our lives will be disrupted and you might feel like you need to cancel your policy. We highly suggest not cancelling your policy at this time unless you absolutely have to. Instead, we suggest the following:

  • If you have multiple vehicles, you may delete all but 1 unit to keep the policy active.
  • Some cities such as San Francisco are allowing taxis to lower the liability limit temporarily to assist in the decrease of revenue/ability to make insurance payments.
  • Some cities such as Seattle and San Diego are allowing operators to temporarily suspend their operating authority. You can email us proof of that, and we can decrease the liability limit down to the state minimum while you are out of work.
  • Preventing your policy from cancelling is beneficial because if you decide to start working again, a cancelled policy will delay your ability to start working again. We will need to re-quote, collect another down payment and in some cases  –  track down current loss runs again.
  • If you must cancel, most carriers are allowing pro-rata cancellations which means you will not be penalized for cancelling early.

 

How can I stay safe while working during the  COVID-19 outbreak?

With increased measures being taken nationwide to prevent the spread, many people may be turning toward a more private or isolated form of transportation (Taxi, Black Car, Uber or Lyft) as opposed to their usual train or bus ride.Infographic of how to stop the coronavirus spread

Below is a list of 5 things you can do to keep your vehicles clean and prevent the virus from spreading to your passengers or yourself:

  1. Wash your hands properly and often.
  2. Cover your mouth and/or nose with a tissue or into the crook of your elbow when you cough or sneeze.
  3. Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces/objects. These include but aren’t limited to: steering wheel, car handles, gear stick, hand brake, and trunk.
  4. Clean and disinfect the passenger seating area in between each trip.
  5. Avoid contact with people who aren’t well or have poor immune systems.

COVID-19 Resource Guide for Transportation Companies

American Business Insurance understands the challenges you are facing during the COVID-19 are ongoing and changing. As an active member of The Transportation Alliance, we have a broad data base of resources and advisers in the transportation industry.

One of those individuals is Matthew W. Daus, Esq, Partner and Chairman of Windels Marx Transportation Practice Group. They are a dedicated firm supporting ground transportation industries in NYC, but have provided a series of webinars with helpful information for those struggling during COVID-19,

To watch the most recent free webinar around the Transportation Industry and COVID-19, click HERE.

Below is a list of topics related to this guide:

 

  • Guidelines for Businesses related to COVID-19
  • Business Preparedness Resources
  • Environmental Cleaning and Disinfection Recommendations
  • Basic Infection Prevention Measures
  • Relief for Businesses
  • Information sharing with Industry Members

 

American Business Insurance – open during the crisis

Insurance businesses are deemed an “essential” business and as such, we have been allowed to remain open. Although most of us are working remotely, calls are being forwarded, emails responded to and vehicle changes/cancellations are being processed.

If you have any questions or need advice on how to adjust your policy during these uncertain times, please contact us during regular business hours, Monday – Friday 8 am to 5 pm pacific at 800-980-1950. You can also email us anytime!

 

Written by Laura Loftus who is an Executive Broker/Sales and Underwriting Manager with more than 10 years of experience insuring business in the For-Hire, Livery & Shared Economy industries. Looking for a quote on your business?  Call us Monday – Friday, 8 am to 5 pm pacific: 800-980-1950 or email us anytime!

New, Easy to Purchase and Install PPE Available for Essential Transportation Companies

Every morning, Corey Lamb puts himself at risk to transport the City of San Francisco’s most vulnerable residents. He stocks his cab with all types of PPE (personal protective equipment) such as  gloves, masks and sanitizer.

Lamb, who has been a professional driver since 2006 and was named the 2019 Paratransit Taxi Driver of the Year by the City of San Francisco and Paratransit Board, has developed a deep passion and drive to focus his taxi services on the people who need him most.

“I focus on providing dignified transportation services for people who would otherwise be confined to their home. My focus is on them and their needs. What’s getting me through COVID is that I have a segment of my clientele that are dialysis patients. Regardless of what is going on in the world, they need to go to dialysis. I pick them up and take them. I make that happen,” Lamb said.

Flywheel Technologies is excited to be the sole distributor of PPE shields in North America.

Lamb owns two wheel chair accessible taxicabs in San Francisco. He also just purchased the first hybrid wheel chair vehicle in the City of San Francisco. As a child, his mother worked for a non-profit organization that taught adults with Autism and Down Syndrome. Their focus was to teach them how to be independent. The compassion Lamb saw  in his mother toward these people is the driving force behind him catering to those in need of transportation.

“I bought both cars brand new. I wanted my passengers to not feel like a run of the mil ride. For me, it’s important that they understand that I care they are being transported in a safe vehicle. The people who have disabilities are usually not considered in planning until the end. I wanted my business to show them they are being considered at the beginning,” Lamb stated.

 

New Types of PPE Available for Taxicab, Limo and Paratransit Drivers

The challenges of transporting the public today have changed compared to a few months ago. In today’s world of face masks, hand sanitizer and Lysol spray– the taxi industry is an essential business that needs to be proactive about using PPE, not only making passengers feel safe – but also their drivers.

That’s why Hansu Kim, President of Flywheel Technologies (a California based taxi booking app) has been working with Taxi Butler in the Netherlands to distribute the Flywheel Shield to transportation companies in need throughout North America.

“We want to bring more confidence in the taxi industry. For vehicles that are on the road, we need to show we are being proactive and staying safe compared to Uber and Lyft by utilizing different types of PPE,” Kim said.

The City of San Francisco has purchased 500 of these shields from Flywheel in response to a need to protect both drivers and passengers. Drivers are deemed essential workers and their passengers  include our most vulnerable population of elderly, medically fragile or immune compromised.

Since the shields are considered Personal Protective Equipment (PPE),  the City is able to use funds they received from government to equip taxis with this important PPE.

“These are easy to install and easy to remove. It gives real protection in an enclosed space. The Flywheel Shield is universal and works in all types of vehicles from a compact hybrid to a larger wheel chair accessible mini van (two of the most common vehicles used in the taxi industry),” Kim explained.

In addition to the shields, the City of San Francisco has introduced The Essential Trip Card designed to help the elderly and in need population purchase fares at reduced cost.

 

The Flywheel Shield is easy to install and priced affordably.
The Flywheel Shield is easy to install and priced affordably.

The Flywheel Shield can be installed using car handles.

 

A Whole New World

Pre-coronavirus, many transportation companies were making non-essential items such as phone chargers, mints and mini water bottles available for passengers.

Shields that were previously installed were mainly used to protect drivers from unruly or violent passengers. They were designed to protect the driver from robbery.

Right now, the majority of passengers using public transportation are first-responders and patients. Drivers need to feel safe about going to work every day and the general population needs to feel safe when riding in public transportation.

“As an essential service, we need to take proactive measures to protect drivers and passengers. We are transporting the most vulnerable – people with fragile medical needs, the elderly and first-responders,” Kim said.

The Flywheel Shield, which went through several different prototypes is easy to install and has been tested by Flywheel Taxi of San Francisco already. It straps on around the front seat and has a sliding opening to pass through payment if needed (card or cash), vouchers and receipts between passenger and driver. At a price point ranging between $40-$50 (depending on order count), the Flywheel Shield is available to purchase for taxi companies across North America. Email [email protected] or call 630-886-6868 for more information on purchasing.

Budgeting for PPE

Many cities and municipalities are looking to purchase this type of PPE for drivers. Before purchasing, Kim said it’s a good idea to check with your City to see if they will reimburse transportation companies for purchasing and installing PPE in public transportation vehicles.

“Drivers feel safer and passengers are saying this is fantastic,” Kim added.

Kim is hoping that other transportation companies across the country will step up and make the necessary changes within the industry to keep people moving, safely.

The Coronavirus, which we know is mainly transmissible through airborne respiratory particles – can be halted from spreading via masks but also with plastic shields between people. Grocery stores have installed these shields in front of cashiers to keep them safe. Doctors and nurses wear them while on duty. It is essential that those working during the pandemic change the way they protected themselves.

Flywheel Taxi driver Lamb is married with 2 kids and is looking forward to installing the Flywheel Shield into his vehicles. He wants to keep not only himself and his family safe, but also his passengers.

“We need to treat these people like family. When you have that mentality, it’s not just a passenger. It’s Amelia’s son. It’s John’s brother. It’s not just a guy I pick up 3 times per week. There is a name attached to it and a story,” Lamb explained further. “There is a relationship there. It’s not just a business for me, it’s a commitment I have to the community to make sure their needs are always met.”

If you would like more information or would like to place an order for the Flywheel Shield, please call 630-886-6868 or email [email protected]

 

Written by Laura Loftus who is an Executive Broker/Sales and Underwriting Manager with more than 10 years of experience insuring business in the For-Hire, Livery & Shared Economy industries. Looking for a quote on your business?  Call us Monday – Friday, 8 am to 5 pm pacific: 800-980-1950 or email us anytime!

 

 

 

Using Your Paycheck Protection Program Payment for Transportation Businesses during COVID-19

As the days and weeks pass by, more and more people are staying home which is affecting not only the transportation industry – but businesses of all types nationwide.

If you are experiencing financial difficulties, you might be thinking about cancelling your policy. Instead, why not use your Paycheck Protection Program payment toward insurance. This way, you can continue to work and serve the community who needs your help.

If you haven’t already and still want to work, the U.S. Department of the Treasury has posted the NEW application form for the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). In short, these are zero-interest loans up to $10 million. These loans cover operational costs like payroll, health benefits, rent, mortgage payments, insurance premiums and utilities.

With taxicabs being named an essential business, there are other revenue generating opportunities for taxicab businesses you may not already be tapped into.

Show Me The Money

Paycheck Protection Program loans are administered through the Small Business Administration, but you have to apply through a local bank. We urge all transportation businesses to download and begin filling out the PPP loan application, and talk to your banker today. The Treasury Department has issued a useful fact sheet on what the loan covers.

In addition to the Paycheck Protection Program loan, we want to remind you that the Small Business Association has also created Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL) that are designed to quickly send $10,000 to distressed companies. The EIDL application is found online and will offer assistance loans for up to $2 million.

But is there any work?

It may feel like there is no work to be done, but as Ann Pilkington who works for Freedom Taxicab in Des Moines, IA told KCCI De Moines, “The main thing is getting people to their appointments because there are some people that wouldn’t last, like a dialysis patient or something, they wouldn’t make it without those med changes or that treatment on themselves.”

Of course, please wear a mask, wash your hands frequently and keep your car clean for at-risk passengers going to and from doctor appointments. It is important to protect yourself and your passengers while working during COVID-19.

Below is a short list of 5 revenue generating ideas you may be able to implement using your existing policy.

Top 5 Revenue Generators during COVID-19:

Using your paycheck protection program payment toward insurance.

 

1. Appointments and other Non-Emergency transportation services

This is probably the largest source of transportation needed right now. People still need to get dialysis, chemotherapy and other types of medical treatments during COVID-19. If you haven’t already added this service to your taxi platform, now is the time.

Below is a list of medical trip providers to consider.

  • LogistiCare – one the largest Non-Emergency Medical Transportation brokers in the United States. They have a presence in almost every state within the US.
  • EpicMD – NEMT trip provider with operations nationwide.
  • OneCall – NEMT broker that serves globally for everything from ambulatory ground transportation to air ambulances.
  • MTM – This is a popular NEMT provider with our existing client base. They have a presence is 75% of the country from coast to coast. They have especially higher trip volume within the East Coast states.
  • Acces2Care – Servicing 29 states, this program helps to dispatch NEMT trips through their parent company AMR which handles the emergency calls. All NEMT calls get sourced through Access2Care.Please note: accommodating passengers who are not ambulatory may not be permitted with your current policy.

 

2. Courier & delivery companies

Amazon is hiring 100,000 workers, mostly for fulfillment and delivery, and some UPS hubs are hiring as well, although—fair warning—both companies are facing criticism over employee safety. Some couriers are also hiring.

*No delivery of hazardous or illegal materials are permitted.  If you are considering cannabis delivery in legal states, we do have coverage for that with multiple markets. Click HERE to request a quote.

3. Grocery & medicine delivery

Grocery stores are your friends. Major chains such as KrogerMeijer, and Safeway are hiring in-store shelf stockers and delivery staff; ditto for regional chains such as Raley’s. Grocery delivery services and apps such as Instacart are also hiring.

4. Sign up for Uber/Lyft

While most taxi policies only allow a certain amount of TNC transport (if any at all), many of our clients have policies that are flexible with allowing drivers to use multiple sources of dispatch to generate revenue. Many drivers are staying home but people without their own sources of transportation still need to go grocery shopping, pick up medications from pharmacies and drop off supplies to loved ones.  And those in the medical field are opting for a more private form of transportation instead of their usual train or bus ride to and from work.

5. Pre-arranged, black car services (utilizing vehicles already within your fleet)

Again, as mentioned above, utilizing your current clientele database to advertise a clean, safe mode of transportation in these trying times is key. Send out texts letting people know you are working and available. Many assume everything is closed. But although people aren’t travelling through airports like they used to – there is clientele that still rely on taxi and black car services to get to the doctor or grocery store. There are doctors and nurses in urban areas who need to get to work but can’t take mass transit.

Be there to help them, they will remember that you helped them even after “everything goes back to normal.”


Not All Policies are Created Equal

Not all insurance companies allow you to do all the types of trips listed above on ONE policy. But WE do. If you don’t already accommodate these types of trips and want to, please contact us to see if your current policy allows for medical and courier trips.

Also, if you are high risk or live with someone who is – please take precaution in working during these times. Working through a pandemic is not for everyone but if you are willing and able – your customers will be forever grateful to you for helping them out when they needed it most!

 

Written by Laura Loftus who is an Executive Broker/Sales and Underwriting Manager with more than 10 years of experience insuring business in the For-Hire, Livery & Shared Economy industries. Looking for a quote on your business?  Call us Monday – Friday, 8 am to 5 pm pacific: 800-980-1950 or email us anytime!

 

Short-Term Policies for Food Delivery Insurance

As the Coronavirus continues to spread across the country, most non-essential businesses are closed nationwide. Although dining in isn’t allowed, restaurants are still allowed to open since they are considered an essential business.  Many restaurants are offering food delivery (even if they didn’t before) since it is allowed. Restaurants new to food delivery might need to purchase additional coverage with a Short-Term Food Delivery Insurance Policy.

It’s a whole new world of self -isolation and government-imposed quarantining. So, what does that mean for every-day life? Well, it’s completely changed as we know it. With that decision, many restaurants have revised their menus and implemented delivery to customers instead. Some are even selling their signature cocktails to-go.

However, what most businesses don’t realize is that allowing your employees to drive their cars to deliver food is not covered under their personal auto insurance. This is why a Short-Term Food Delivery Insurance policy may work for you or someone you know.

Insurance for Delivery Businesses During COVID-19

First off, to ease your mind a bit about potential liabilities, the FDA’s current position is that “there is no evidence to suggest that food produced in the United States can transmit COVID-19.” Furthermore, they went on to say that there is “no evidence of food or food packaging being associated with transmission of COVID-19.”

As always, as long as the food is prepared safely, the risk is low. Information around COVID-19 continues to change, but current evidence seems to point to food delivery as a less risky option than exposing yourself to a grocery store, bringing the bags and items into your home and preparing the food yourself.

Essentially, the major risk of dining within a restaurant is touching a table, counter, or other surface that someone who is contagious may have touched.

Because delivery businesses have become so important during this outbreak, it’s important for employers to get food delivery insurance.

New Short-Term Food Delivery Insurance Program

Whether offering food delivery is a permanent business change or temporary, we have access to a new program which is writing short-term food delivery insurance for restaurants.

food delivery insurance
Many restaurants are delivering food with tamper controls so you can be sure your food was untouched during delivery.

This program is written by an A.M. Best rated “A” X carrier and can accommodate a wide range of classes that have been affected by COVID-19. To contact an ABI producer for more information, click here.

Product highlights include:

  • Monoline coverage
  • 3- or 6-month policy
  • Quick turn-around time
  • Non-auditable policy
  • Limit options of $300K, $500K, $1M CSL
  • Deductible $2,500
  • Offering short term policies starting at $1,500
  • MVR screening service provided
  • Symbols 8 & 9 (hired and non-owned autos) commercial auto liability
  • No restrictive warranties
  • Available in all states except MI

 

Keeping Food Delivery Workers Safe

Many delivery companies have issued guidelines for workers during the outbreak, as Business Insider pointed out, and many of those same workers have taken additional precautions to keep themselves safe. Drivers and delivery workers for Uber, Lyft, and DoorDash told Business Insider they’re scouring their cars with bleach and cutting back on hours.

Even so, if you do opt for your restaurant to deliver food during the outbreak, consider implementing non-contact services. Also, advertise that you require your drivers to practice good hygiene, especially hand-washing. If you can, provide masks to your employees to protect themselves if they are not practicing contact-less delivery.

 

 

 

 

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Survival Guide for the Transportation Industry

The Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic is something no business expected or planned for at the beginning of this year. As an agency that specializes in insuring transportation risks, we feel the pain you are going through right now. We see the drastic business interruption due to COVID-19. We want to remind you that we were your partners before the virus and are here to support you through this crisis.

Can I still work during the Coronavirus (COVID-19) Pandemic?

Transportation businesses have been named an “essential business” and are allowed to remain open for business.

Taxi services during COVID-19With nationwide restrictions and hesitation around travelling due to COVID-19, business is naturally impacted. Especially for those in the for-hire, livery industry who rely  on airport pick-ups and drop-offs. But that doesn’t mean it’s time to give up altogether.

When faced with adversity, it is the time to re-evaluate, reinvent and rediscover business opportunities you might not have pursued before.

 

Below is a short list of what you can do to generate revenue:

  • Contact regular clients and let them know you are available to take them grocery shopping, to doctor appointments or the pharmacy.
  • Advertise that you are avoiding close contact with other people, washing hands regularly and disinfecting the passenger seating in your vehicle after every trip.
  • Contact companies and offer courier or delivery services for groceries, medications, etc. (most livery policies allow this type of transportation already and no extra coverage is needed).
  • In many areas, public transportation is closed but people working in industries deemed an “essential” business are still going to work. Many employers are offering private transportation to their employees so that they can avoid mass transit. Contact these businesses, let them know you are able to help!

 

Can you lower my insurance payments during Coronavirus COVID-19?

No one knows how long our lives will be disrupted and you might feel like you need to cancel your policy. We highly suggest not cancelling your policy at this time unless you absolutely have to. Instead, we suggest the following:

  • If you have multiple vehicles, you may delete all but 1 unit to keep the policy active.
  • Some cities such as San Francisco are allowing taxis to lower the liability limit temporarily to assist in the decrease of revenue/ability to make insurance payments.
  • Some cities such as Seattle and San Diego are allowing operators to temporarily suspend their operating authority. You can email us proof of that, and we can decrease the liability limit down to the state minimum while you are out of work.
  • Preventing your policy from cancelling is beneficial because if you decide to start working again, a cancelled policy will delay your ability to start working again. We will need to re-quote, collect another down payment and in some cases  –  track down current loss runs again.
  • If you must cancel, most carriers are allowing pro-rata cancellations which means you will not be penalized for cancelling early.

 

How can I stay safe while working during the  COVID-19 outbreak?

With increased measures being taken nationwide to prevent the spread, many people may be turning toward a more private or isolated form of transportation (Taxi, Black Car, Uber or Lyft) as opposed to their usual train or bus ride.Infographic of how to stop the coronavirus spread

Below is a list of 5 things you can do to keep your vehicles clean and prevent the virus from spreading to your passengers or yourself:

  1. Wash your hands properly and often.
  2. Cover your mouth and/or nose with a tissue or into the crook of your elbow when you cough or sneeze.
  3. Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces/objects. These include but aren’t limited to: steering wheel, car handles, gear stick, hand brake, and trunk.
  4. Clean and disinfect the passenger seating area in between each trip.
  5. Avoid contact with people who aren’t well or have poor immune systems.

COVID-19 Resource Guide for Transportation Companies

American Business Insurance understands the challenges you are facing during the COVID-19 are ongoing and changing. As an active member of The Transportation Alliance, we have a broad data base of resources and advisers in the transportation industry.

One of those individuals is Matthew W. Daus, Esq, Partner and Chairman of Windels Marx Transportation Practice Group. They are a dedicated firm supporting ground transportation industries in NYC, but have provided a series of webinars with helpful information for those struggling during COVID-19,

To watch the most recent free webinar around the Transportation Industry and COVID-19, click HERE.

Below is a list of topics related to this guide:

 

  • Guidelines for Businesses related to COVID-19
  • Business Preparedness Resources
  • Environmental Cleaning and Disinfection Recommendations
  • Basic Infection Prevention Measures
  • Relief for Businesses
  • Information sharing with Industry Members

 

American Business Insurance – open during the crisis

Insurance businesses are deemed an “essential” business and as such, we have been allowed to remain open. Although most of us are working remotely, calls are being forwarded, emails responded to and vehicle changes/cancellations are being processed.

If you have any questions or need advice on how to adjust your policy during these uncertain times, please contact us during regular business hours, Monday – Friday 8 am to 5 pm pacific at 800-980-1950. You can also email us anytime!

 

Written by Laura Loftus who is an Executive Broker/Sales and Underwriting Manager with more than 10 years of experience insuring business in the For-Hire, Livery & Shared Economy industries. Looking for a quote on your business?  Call us Monday – Friday, 8 am to 5 pm pacific: 800-980-1950 or email us anytime!

New, Easy to Purchase and Install PPE Available for Essential Transportation Companies

Every morning, Corey Lamb puts himself at risk to transport the City of San Francisco’s most vulnerable residents. He stocks his cab with all types of PPE (personal protective equipment) such as  gloves, masks and sanitizer.

Lamb, who has been a professional driver since 2006 and was named the 2019 Paratransit Taxi Driver of the Year by the City of San Francisco and Paratransit Board, has developed a deep passion and drive to focus his taxi services on the people who need him most.

“I focus on providing dignified transportation services for people who would otherwise be confined to their home. My focus is on them and their needs. What’s getting me through COVID is that I have a segment of my clientele that are dialysis patients. Regardless of what is going on in the world, they need to go to dialysis. I pick them up and take them. I make that happen,” Lamb said.

Flywheel Technologies is excited to be the sole distributor of PPE shields in North America.

Lamb owns two wheel chair accessible taxicabs in San Francisco. He also just purchased the first hybrid wheel chair vehicle in the City of San Francisco. As a child, his mother worked for a non-profit organization that taught adults with Autism and Down Syndrome. Their focus was to teach them how to be independent. The compassion Lamb saw  in his mother toward these people is the driving force behind him catering to those in need of transportation.

“I bought both cars brand new. I wanted my passengers to not feel like a run of the mil ride. For me, it’s important that they understand that I care they are being transported in a safe vehicle. The people who have disabilities are usually not considered in planning until the end. I wanted my business to show them they are being considered at the beginning,” Lamb stated.

 

New Types of PPE Available for Taxicab, Limo and Paratransit Drivers

The challenges of transporting the public today have changed compared to a few months ago. In today’s world of face masks, hand sanitizer and Lysol spray– the taxi industry is an essential business that needs to be proactive about using PPE, not only making passengers feel safe – but also their drivers.

That’s why Hansu Kim, President of Flywheel Technologies (a California based taxi booking app) has been working with Taxi Butler in the Netherlands to distribute the Flywheel Shield to transportation companies in need throughout North America.

“We want to bring more confidence in the taxi industry. For vehicles that are on the road, we need to show we are being proactive and staying safe compared to Uber and Lyft by utilizing different types of PPE,” Kim said.

The City of San Francisco has purchased 500 of these shields from Flywheel in response to a need to protect both drivers and passengers. Drivers are deemed essential workers and their passengers  include our most vulnerable population of elderly, medically fragile or immune compromised.

Since the shields are considered Personal Protective Equipment (PPE),  the City is able to use funds they received from government to equip taxis with this important PPE.

“These are easy to install and easy to remove. It gives real protection in an enclosed space. The Flywheel Shield is universal and works in all types of vehicles from a compact hybrid to a larger wheel chair accessible mini van (two of the most common vehicles used in the taxi industry),” Kim explained.

In addition to the shields, the City of San Francisco has introduced The Essential Trip Card designed to help the elderly and in need population purchase fares at reduced cost.

 

The Flywheel Shield is easy to install and priced affordably.
The Flywheel Shield is easy to install and priced affordably.

The Flywheel Shield can be installed using car handles.

 

A Whole New World

Pre-coronavirus, many transportation companies were making non-essential items such as phone chargers, mints and mini water bottles available for passengers.

Shields that were previously installed were mainly used to protect drivers from unruly or violent passengers. They were designed to protect the driver from robbery.

Right now, the majority of passengers using public transportation are first-responders and patients. Drivers need to feel safe about going to work every day and the general population needs to feel safe when riding in public transportation.

“As an essential service, we need to take proactive measures to protect drivers and passengers. We are transporting the most vulnerable – people with fragile medical needs, the elderly and first-responders,” Kim said.

The Flywheel Shield, which went through several different prototypes is easy to install and has been tested by Flywheel Taxi of San Francisco already. It straps on around the front seat and has a sliding opening to pass through payment if needed (card or cash), vouchers and receipts between passenger and driver. At a price point ranging between $40-$50 (depending on order count), the Flywheel Shield is available to purchase for taxi companies across North America. Email [email protected] or call 630-886-6868 for more information on purchasing.

Budgeting for PPE

Many cities and municipalities are looking to purchase this type of PPE for drivers. Before purchasing, Kim said it’s a good idea to check with your City to see if they will reimburse transportation companies for purchasing and installing PPE in public transportation vehicles.

“Drivers feel safer and passengers are saying this is fantastic,” Kim added.

Kim is hoping that other transportation companies across the country will step up and make the necessary changes within the industry to keep people moving, safely.

The Coronavirus, which we know is mainly transmissible through airborne respiratory particles – can be halted from spreading via masks but also with plastic shields between people. Grocery stores have installed these shields in front of cashiers to keep them safe. Doctors and nurses wear them while on duty. It is essential that those working during the pandemic change the way they protected themselves.

Flywheel Taxi driver Lamb is married with 2 kids and is looking forward to installing the Flywheel Shield into his vehicles. He wants to keep not only himself and his family safe, but also his passengers.

“We need to treat these people like family. When you have that mentality, it’s not just a passenger. It’s Amelia’s son. It’s John’s brother. It’s not just a guy I pick up 3 times per week. There is a name attached to it and a story,” Lamb explained further. “There is a relationship there. It’s not just a business for me, it’s a commitment I have to the community to make sure their needs are always met.”

If you would like more information or would like to place an order for the Flywheel Shield, please call 630-886-6868 or email [email protected]

 

Written by Laura Loftus who is an Executive Broker/Sales and Underwriting Manager with more than 10 years of experience insuring business in the For-Hire, Livery & Shared Economy industries. Looking for a quote on your business?  Call us Monday – Friday, 8 am to 5 pm pacific: 800-980-1950 or email us anytime!

 

 

 

Using Your Paycheck Protection Program Payment for Transportation Businesses during COVID-19

As the days and weeks pass by, more and more people are staying home which is affecting not only the transportation industry – but businesses of all types nationwide.

If you are experiencing financial difficulties, you might be thinking about cancelling your policy. Instead, why not use your Paycheck Protection Program payment toward insurance. This way, you can continue to work and serve the community who needs your help.

If you haven’t already and still want to work, the U.S. Department of the Treasury has posted the NEW application form for the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). In short, these are zero-interest loans up to $10 million. These loans cover operational costs like payroll, health benefits, rent, mortgage payments, insurance premiums and utilities.

With taxicabs being named an essential business, there are other revenue generating opportunities for taxicab businesses you may not already be tapped into.

Show Me The Money

Paycheck Protection Program loans are administered through the Small Business Administration, but you have to apply through a local bank. We urge all transportation businesses to download and begin filling out the PPP loan application, and talk to your banker today. The Treasury Department has issued a useful fact sheet on what the loan covers.

In addition to the Paycheck Protection Program loan, we want to remind you that the Small Business Association has also created Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL) that are designed to quickly send $10,000 to distressed companies. The EIDL application is found online and will offer assistance loans for up to $2 million.

But is there any work?

It may feel like there is no work to be done, but as Ann Pilkington who works for Freedom Taxicab in Des Moines, IA told KCCI De Moines, “The main thing is getting people to their appointments because there are some people that wouldn’t last, like a dialysis patient or something, they wouldn’t make it without those med changes or that treatment on themselves.”

Of course, please wear a mask, wash your hands frequently and keep your car clean for at-risk passengers going to and from doctor appointments. It is important to protect yourself and your passengers while working during COVID-19.

Below is a short list of 5 revenue generating ideas you may be able to implement using your existing policy.

Top 5 Revenue Generators during COVID-19:

Using your paycheck protection program payment toward insurance.

 

1. Appointments and other Non-Emergency transportation services

This is probably the largest source of transportation needed right now. People still need to get dialysis, chemotherapy and other types of medical treatments during COVID-19. If you haven’t already added this service to your taxi platform, now is the time.

Below is a list of medical trip providers to consider.

  • LogistiCare – one the largest Non-Emergency Medical Transportation brokers in the United States. They have a presence in almost every state within the US.
  • EpicMD – NEMT trip provider with operations nationwide.
  • OneCall – NEMT broker that serves globally for everything from ambulatory ground transportation to air ambulances.
  • MTM – This is a popular NEMT provider with our existing client base. They have a presence is 75% of the country from coast to coast. They have especially higher trip volume within the East Coast states.
  • Acces2Care – Servicing 29 states, this program helps to dispatch NEMT trips through their parent company AMR which handles the emergency calls. All NEMT calls get sourced through Access2Care.Please note: accommodating passengers who are not ambulatory may not be permitted with your current policy.

 

2. Courier & delivery companies

Amazon is hiring 100,000 workers, mostly for fulfillment and delivery, and some UPS hubs are hiring as well, although—fair warning—both companies are facing criticism over employee safety. Some couriers are also hiring.

*No delivery of hazardous or illegal materials are permitted.  If you are considering cannabis delivery in legal states, we do have coverage for that with multiple markets. Click HERE to request a quote.

3. Grocery & medicine delivery

Grocery stores are your friends. Major chains such as KrogerMeijer, and Safeway are hiring in-store shelf stockers and delivery staff; ditto for regional chains such as Raley’s. Grocery delivery services and apps such as Instacart are also hiring.

4. Sign up for Uber/Lyft

While most taxi policies only allow a certain amount of TNC transport (if any at all), many of our clients have policies that are flexible with allowing drivers to use multiple sources of dispatch to generate revenue. Many drivers are staying home but people without their own sources of transportation still need to go grocery shopping, pick up medications from pharmacies and drop off supplies to loved ones.  And those in the medical field are opting for a more private form of transportation instead of their usual train or bus ride to and from work.

5. Pre-arranged, black car services (utilizing vehicles already within your fleet)

Again, as mentioned above, utilizing your current clientele database to advertise a clean, safe mode of transportation in these trying times is key. Send out texts letting people know you are working and available. Many assume everything is closed. But although people aren’t travelling through airports like they used to – there is clientele that still rely on taxi and black car services to get to the doctor or grocery store. There are doctors and nurses in urban areas who need to get to work but can’t take mass transit.

Be there to help them, they will remember that you helped them even after “everything goes back to normal.”


Not All Policies are Created Equal

Not all insurance companies allow you to do all the types of trips listed above on ONE policy. But WE do. If you don’t already accommodate these types of trips and want to, please contact us to see if your current policy allows for medical and courier trips.

Also, if you are high risk or live with someone who is – please take precaution in working during these times. Working through a pandemic is not for everyone but if you are willing and able – your customers will be forever grateful to you for helping them out when they needed it most!

 

Written by Laura Loftus who is an Executive Broker/Sales and Underwriting Manager with more than 10 years of experience insuring business in the For-Hire, Livery & Shared Economy industries. Looking for a quote on your business?  Call us Monday – Friday, 8 am to 5 pm pacific: 800-980-1950 or email us anytime!

 

Short-Term Policies for Food Delivery Insurance

As the Coronavirus continues to spread across the country, most non-essential businesses are closed nationwide. Although dining in isn’t allowed, restaurants are still allowed to open since they are considered an essential business.  Many restaurants are offering food delivery (even if they didn’t before) since it is allowed. Restaurants new to food delivery might need to purchase additional coverage with a Short-Term Food Delivery Insurance Policy.

It’s a whole new world of self -isolation and government-imposed quarantining. So, what does that mean for every-day life? Well, it’s completely changed as we know it. With that decision, many restaurants have revised their menus and implemented delivery to customers instead. Some are even selling their signature cocktails to-go.

However, what most businesses don’t realize is that allowing your employees to drive their cars to deliver food is not covered under their personal auto insurance. This is why a Short-Term Food Delivery Insurance policy may work for you or someone you know.

Insurance for Delivery Businesses During COVID-19

First off, to ease your mind a bit about potential liabilities, the FDA’s current position is that “there is no evidence to suggest that food produced in the United States can transmit COVID-19.” Furthermore, they went on to say that there is “no evidence of food or food packaging being associated with transmission of COVID-19.”

As always, as long as the food is prepared safely, the risk is low. Information around COVID-19 continues to change, but current evidence seems to point to food delivery as a less risky option than exposing yourself to a grocery store, bringing the bags and items into your home and preparing the food yourself.

Essentially, the major risk of dining within a restaurant is touching a table, counter, or other surface that someone who is contagious may have touched.

Because delivery businesses have become so important during this outbreak, it’s important for employers to get food delivery insurance.

New Short-Term Food Delivery Insurance Program

Whether offering food delivery is a permanent business change or temporary, we have access to a new program which is writing short-term food delivery insurance for restaurants.

food delivery insurance
Many restaurants are delivering food with tamper controls so you can be sure your food was untouched during delivery.

This program is written by an A.M. Best rated “A” X carrier and can accommodate a wide range of classes that have been affected by COVID-19. To contact an ABI producer for more information, click here.

Product highlights include:

  • Monoline coverage
  • 3- or 6-month policy
  • Quick turn-around time
  • Non-auditable policy
  • Limit options of $300K, $500K, $1M CSL
  • Deductible $2,500
  • Offering short term policies starting at $1,500
  • MVR screening service provided
  • Symbols 8 & 9 (hired and non-owned autos) commercial auto liability
  • No restrictive warranties
  • Available in all states except MI

 

Keeping Food Delivery Workers Safe

Many delivery companies have issued guidelines for workers during the outbreak, as Business Insider pointed out, and many of those same workers have taken additional precautions to keep themselves safe. Drivers and delivery workers for Uber, Lyft, and DoorDash told Business Insider they’re scouring their cars with bleach and cutting back on hours.

Even so, if you do opt for your restaurant to deliver food during the outbreak, consider implementing non-contact services. Also, advertise that you require your drivers to practice good hygiene, especially hand-washing. If you can, provide masks to your employees to protect themselves if they are not practicing contact-less delivery.

 

 

 

 

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Survival Guide for the Transportation Industry

The Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic is something no business expected or planned for at the beginning of this year. As an agency that specializes in insuring transportation risks, we feel the pain you are going through right now. We see the drastic business interruption due to COVID-19. We want to remind you that we were your partners before the virus and are here to support you through this crisis.

Can I still work during the Coronavirus (COVID-19) Pandemic?

Transportation businesses have been named an “essential business” and are allowed to remain open for business.

Taxi services during COVID-19With nationwide restrictions and hesitation around travelling due to COVID-19, business is naturally impacted. Especially for those in the for-hire, livery industry who rely  on airport pick-ups and drop-offs. But that doesn’t mean it’s time to give up altogether.

When faced with adversity, it is the time to re-evaluate, reinvent and rediscover business opportunities you might not have pursued before.

 

Below is a short list of what you can do to generate revenue:

  • Contact regular clients and let them know you are available to take them grocery shopping, to doctor appointments or the pharmacy.
  • Advertise that you are avoiding close contact with other people, washing hands regularly and disinfecting the passenger seating in your vehicle after every trip.
  • Contact companies and offer courier or delivery services for groceries, medications, etc. (most livery policies allow this type of transportation already and no extra coverage is needed).
  • In many areas, public transportation is closed but people working in industries deemed an “essential” business are still going to work. Many employers are offering private transportation to their employees so that they can avoid mass transit. Contact these businesses, let them know you are able to help!

 

Can you lower my insurance payments during Coronavirus COVID-19?

No one knows how long our lives will be disrupted and you might feel like you need to cancel your policy. We highly suggest not cancelling your policy at this time unless you absolutely have to. Instead, we suggest the following:

  • If you have multiple vehicles, you may delete all but 1 unit to keep the policy active.
  • Some cities such as San Francisco are allowing taxis to lower the liability limit temporarily to assist in the decrease of revenue/ability to make insurance payments.
  • Some cities such as Seattle and San Diego are allowing operators to temporarily suspend their operating authority. You can email us proof of that, and we can decrease the liability limit down to the state minimum while you are out of work.
  • Preventing your policy from cancelling is beneficial because if you decide to start working again, a cancelled policy will delay your ability to start working again. We will need to re-quote, collect another down payment and in some cases  –  track down current loss runs again.
  • If you must cancel, most carriers are allowing pro-rata cancellations which means you will not be penalized for cancelling early.

 

How can I stay safe while working during the  COVID-19 outbreak?

With increased measures being taken nationwide to prevent the spread, many people may be turning toward a more private or isolated form of transportation (Taxi, Black Car, Uber or Lyft) as opposed to their usual train or bus ride.Infographic of how to stop the coronavirus spread

Below is a list of 5 things you can do to keep your vehicles clean and prevent the virus from spreading to your passengers or yourself:

  1. Wash your hands properly and often.
  2. Cover your mouth and/or nose with a tissue or into the crook of your elbow when you cough or sneeze.
  3. Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces/objects. These include but aren’t limited to: steering wheel, car handles, gear stick, hand brake, and trunk.
  4. Clean and disinfect the passenger seating area in between each trip.
  5. Avoid contact with people who aren’t well or have poor immune systems.

COVID-19 Resource Guide for Transportation Companies

American Business Insurance understands the challenges you are facing during the COVID-19 are ongoing and changing. As an active member of The Transportation Alliance, we have a broad data base of resources and advisers in the transportation industry.

One of those individuals is Matthew W. Daus, Esq, Partner and Chairman of Windels Marx Transportation Practice Group. They are a dedicated firm supporting ground transportation industries in NYC, but have provided a series of webinars with helpful information for those struggling during COVID-19,

To watch the most recent free webinar around the Transportation Industry and COVID-19, click HERE.

Below is a list of topics related to this guide:

 

  • Guidelines for Businesses related to COVID-19
  • Business Preparedness Resources
  • Environmental Cleaning and Disinfection Recommendations
  • Basic Infection Prevention Measures
  • Relief for Businesses
  • Information sharing with Industry Members

 

American Business Insurance – open during the crisis

Insurance businesses are deemed an “essential” business and as such, we have been allowed to remain open. Although most of us are working remotely, calls are being forwarded, emails responded to and vehicle changes/cancellations are being processed.

If you have any questions or need advice on how to adjust your policy during these uncertain times, please contact us during regular business hours, Monday – Friday 8 am to 5 pm pacific at 800-980-1950. You can also email us anytime!

 

Written by Laura Loftus who is an Executive Broker/Sales and Underwriting Manager with more than 10 years of experience insuring business in the For-Hire, Livery & Shared Economy industries. Looking for a quote on your business?  Call us Monday – Friday, 8 am to 5 pm pacific: 800-980-1950 or email us anytime!

New, Easy to Purchase and Install PPE Available for Essential Transportation Companies

Every morning, Corey Lamb puts himself at risk to transport the City of San Francisco’s most vulnerable residents. He stocks his cab with all types of PPE (personal protective equipment) such as  gloves, masks and sanitizer.

Lamb, who has been a professional driver since 2006 and was named the 2019 Paratransit Taxi Driver of the Year by the City of San Francisco and Paratransit Board, has developed a deep passion and drive to focus his taxi services on the people who need him most.

“I focus on providing dignified transportation services for people who would otherwise be confined to their home. My focus is on them and their needs. What’s getting me through COVID is that I have a segment of my clientele that are dialysis patients. Regardless of what is going on in the world, they need to go to dialysis. I pick them up and take them. I make that happen,” Lamb said.

Flywheel Technologies is excited to be the sole distributor of PPE shields in North America.

Lamb owns two wheel chair accessible taxicabs in San Francisco. He also just purchased the first hybrid wheel chair vehicle in the City of San Francisco. As a child, his mother worked for a non-profit organization that taught adults with Autism and Down Syndrome. Their focus was to teach them how to be independent. The compassion Lamb saw  in his mother toward these people is the driving force behind him catering to those in need of transportation.

“I bought both cars brand new. I wanted my passengers to not feel like a run of the mil ride. For me, it’s important that they understand that I care they are being transported in a safe vehicle. The people who have disabilities are usually not considered in planning until the end. I wanted my business to show them they are being considered at the beginning,” Lamb stated.

 

New Types of PPE Available for Taxicab, Limo and Paratransit Drivers

The challenges of transporting the public today have changed compared to a few months ago. In today’s world of face masks, hand sanitizer and Lysol spray– the taxi industry is an essential business that needs to be proactive about using PPE, not only making passengers feel safe – but also their drivers.

That’s why Hansu Kim, President of Flywheel Technologies (a California based taxi booking app) has been working with Taxi Butler in the Netherlands to distribute the Flywheel Shield to transportation companies in need throughout North America.

“We want to bring more confidence in the taxi industry. For vehicles that are on the road, we need to show we are being proactive and staying safe compared to Uber and Lyft by utilizing different types of PPE,” Kim said.

The City of San Francisco has purchased 500 of these shields from Flywheel in response to a need to protect both drivers and passengers. Drivers are deemed essential workers and their passengers  include our most vulnerable population of elderly, medically fragile or immune compromised.

Since the shields are considered Personal Protective Equipment (PPE),  the City is able to use funds they received from government to equip taxis with this important PPE.

“These are easy to install and easy to remove. It gives real protection in an enclosed space. The Flywheel Shield is universal and works in all types of vehicles from a compact hybrid to a larger wheel chair accessible mini van (two of the most common vehicles used in the taxi industry),” Kim explained.

In addition to the shields, the City of San Francisco has introduced The Essential Trip Card designed to help the elderly and in need population purchase fares at reduced cost.

 

The Flywheel Shield is easy to install and priced affordably.
The Flywheel Shield is easy to install and priced affordably.

The Flywheel Shield can be installed using car handles.

 

A Whole New World

Pre-coronavirus, many transportation companies were making non-essential items such as phone chargers, mints and mini water bottles available for passengers.

Shields that were previously installed were mainly used to protect drivers from unruly or violent passengers. They were designed to protect the driver from robbery.

Right now, the majority of passengers using public transportation are first-responders and patients. Drivers need to feel safe about going to work every day and the general population needs to feel safe when riding in public transportation.

“As an essential service, we need to take proactive measures to protect drivers and passengers. We are transporting the most vulnerable – people with fragile medical needs, the elderly and first-responders,” Kim said.

The Flywheel Shield, which went through several different prototypes is easy to install and has been tested by Flywheel Taxi of San Francisco already. It straps on around the front seat and has a sliding opening to pass through payment if needed (card or cash), vouchers and receipts between passenger and driver. At a price point ranging between $40-$50 (depending on order count), the Flywheel Shield is available to purchase for taxi companies across North America. Email [email protected] or call 630-886-6868 for more information on purchasing.

Budgeting for PPE

Many cities and municipalities are looking to purchase this type of PPE for drivers. Before purchasing, Kim said it’s a good idea to check with your City to see if they will reimburse transportation companies for purchasing and installing PPE in public transportation vehicles.

“Drivers feel safer and passengers are saying this is fantastic,” Kim added.

Kim is hoping that other transportation companies across the country will step up and make the necessary changes within the industry to keep people moving, safely.

The Coronavirus, which we know is mainly transmissible through airborne respiratory particles – can be halted from spreading via masks but also with plastic shields between people. Grocery stores have installed these shields in front of cashiers to keep them safe. Doctors and nurses wear them while on duty. It is essential that those working during the pandemic change the way they protected themselves.

Flywheel Taxi driver Lamb is married with 2 kids and is looking forward to installing the Flywheel Shield into his vehicles. He wants to keep not only himself and his family safe, but also his passengers.

“We need to treat these people like family. When you have that mentality, it’s not just a passenger. It’s Amelia’s son. It’s John’s brother. It’s not just a guy I pick up 3 times per week. There is a name attached to it and a story,” Lamb explained further. “There is a relationship there. It’s not just a business for me, it’s a commitment I have to the community to make sure their needs are always met.”

If you would like more information or would like to place an order for the Flywheel Shield, please call 630-886-6868 or email [email protected]

 

Written by Laura Loftus who is an Executive Broker/Sales and Underwriting Manager with more than 10 years of experience insuring business in the For-Hire, Livery & Shared Economy industries. Looking for a quote on your business?  Call us Monday – Friday, 8 am to 5 pm pacific: 800-980-1950 or email us anytime!

 

 

 

Using Your Paycheck Protection Program Payment for Transportation Businesses during COVID-19

As the days and weeks pass by, more and more people are staying home which is affecting not only the transportation industry – but businesses of all types nationwide.

If you are experiencing financial difficulties, you might be thinking about cancelling your policy. Instead, why not use your Paycheck Protection Program payment toward insurance. This way, you can continue to work and serve the community who needs your help.

If you haven’t already and still want to work, the U.S. Department of the Treasury has posted the NEW application form for the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). In short, these are zero-interest loans up to $10 million. These loans cover operational costs like payroll, health benefits, rent, mortgage payments, insurance premiums and utilities.

With taxicabs being named an essential business, there are other revenue generating opportunities for taxicab businesses you may not already be tapped into.

Show Me The Money

Paycheck Protection Program loans are administered through the Small Business Administration, but you have to apply through a local bank. We urge all transportation businesses to download and begin filling out the PPP loan application, and talk to your banker today. The Treasury Department has issued a useful fact sheet on what the loan covers.

In addition to the Paycheck Protection Program loan, we want to remind you that the Small Business Association has also created Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL) that are designed to quickly send $10,000 to distressed companies. The EIDL application is found online and will offer assistance loans for up to $2 million.

But is there any work?

It may feel like there is no work to be done, but as Ann Pilkington who works for Freedom Taxicab in Des Moines, IA told KCCI De Moines, “The main thing is getting people to their appointments because there are some people that wouldn’t last, like a dialysis patient or something, they wouldn’t make it without those med changes or that treatment on themselves.”

Of course, please wear a mask, wash your hands frequently and keep your car clean for at-risk passengers going to and from doctor appointments. It is important to protect yourself and your passengers while working during COVID-19.

Below is a short list of 5 revenue generating ideas you may be able to implement using your existing policy.

Top 5 Revenue Generators during COVID-19:

Using your paycheck protection program payment toward insurance.

 

1. Appointments and other Non-Emergency transportation services

This is probably the largest source of transportation needed right now. People still need to get dialysis, chemotherapy and other types of medical treatments during COVID-19. If you haven’t already added this service to your taxi platform, now is the time.

Below is a list of medical trip providers to consider.

  • LogistiCare – one the largest Non-Emergency Medical Transportation brokers in the United States. They have a presence in almost every state within the US.
  • EpicMD – NEMT trip provider with operations nationwide.
  • OneCall – NEMT broker that serves globally for everything from ambulatory ground transportation to air ambulances.
  • MTM – This is a popular NEMT provider with our existing client base. They have a presence is 75% of the country from coast to coast. They have especially higher trip volume within the East Coast states.
  • Acces2Care – Servicing 29 states, this program helps to dispatch NEMT trips through their parent company AMR which handles the emergency calls. All NEMT calls get sourced through Access2Care.Please note: accommodating passengers who are not ambulatory may not be permitted with your current policy.

 

2. Courier & delivery companies

Amazon is hiring 100,000 workers, mostly for fulfillment and delivery, and some UPS hubs are hiring as well, although—fair warning—both companies are facing criticism over employee safety. Some couriers are also hiring.

*No delivery of hazardous or illegal materials are permitted.  If you are considering cannabis delivery in legal states, we do have coverage for that with multiple markets. Click HERE to request a quote.

3. Grocery & medicine delivery

Grocery stores are your friends. Major chains such as KrogerMeijer, and Safeway are hiring in-store shelf stockers and delivery staff; ditto for regional chains such as Raley’s. Grocery delivery services and apps such as Instacart are also hiring.

4. Sign up for Uber/Lyft

While most taxi policies only allow a certain amount of TNC transport (if any at all), many of our clients have policies that are flexible with allowing drivers to use multiple sources of dispatch to generate revenue. Many drivers are staying home but people without their own sources of transportation still need to go grocery shopping, pick up medications from pharmacies and drop off supplies to loved ones.  And those in the medical field are opting for a more private form of transportation instead of their usual train or bus ride to and from work.

5. Pre-arranged, black car services (utilizing vehicles already within your fleet)

Again, as mentioned above, utilizing your current clientele database to advertise a clean, safe mode of transportation in these trying times is key. Send out texts letting people know you are working and available. Many assume everything is closed. But although people aren’t travelling through airports like they used to – there is clientele that still rely on taxi and black car services to get to the doctor or grocery store. There are doctors and nurses in urban areas who need to get to work but can’t take mass transit.

Be there to help them, they will remember that you helped them even after “everything goes back to normal.”


Not All Policies are Created Equal

Not all insurance companies allow you to do all the types of trips listed above on ONE policy. But WE do. If you don’t already accommodate these types of trips and want to, please contact us to see if your current policy allows for medical and courier trips.

Also, if you are high risk or live with someone who is – please take precaution in working during these times. Working through a pandemic is not for everyone but if you are willing and able – your customers will be forever grateful to you for helping them out when they needed it most!

 

Written by Laura Loftus who is an Executive Broker/Sales and Underwriting Manager with more than 10 years of experience insuring business in the For-Hire, Livery & Shared Economy industries. Looking for a quote on your business?  Call us Monday – Friday, 8 am to 5 pm pacific: 800-980-1950 or email us anytime!

 

Short-Term Policies for Food Delivery Insurance

As the Coronavirus continues to spread across the country, most non-essential businesses are closed nationwide. Although dining in isn’t allowed, restaurants are still allowed to open since they are considered an essential business.  Many restaurants are offering food delivery (even if they didn’t before) since it is allowed. Restaurants new to food delivery might need to purchase additional coverage with a Short-Term Food Delivery Insurance Policy.

It’s a whole new world of self -isolation and government-imposed quarantining. So, what does that mean for every-day life? Well, it’s completely changed as we know it. With that decision, many restaurants have revised their menus and implemented delivery to customers instead. Some are even selling their signature cocktails to-go.

However, what most businesses don’t realize is that allowing your employees to drive their cars to deliver food is not covered under their personal auto insurance. This is why a Short-Term Food Delivery Insurance policy may work for you or someone you know.

Insurance for Delivery Businesses During COVID-19

First off, to ease your mind a bit about potential liabilities, the FDA’s current position is that “there is no evidence to suggest that food produced in the United States can transmit COVID-19.” Furthermore, they went on to say that there is “no evidence of food or food packaging being associated with transmission of COVID-19.”

As always, as long as the food is prepared safely, the risk is low. Information around COVID-19 continues to change, but current evidence seems to point to food delivery as a less risky option than exposing yourself to a grocery store, bringing the bags and items into your home and preparing the food yourself.

Essentially, the major risk of dining within a restaurant is touching a table, counter, or other surface that someone who is contagious may have touched.

Because delivery businesses have become so important during this outbreak, it’s important for employers to get food delivery insurance.

New Short-Term Food Delivery Insurance Program

Whether offering food delivery is a permanent business change or temporary, we have access to a new program which is writing short-term food delivery insurance for restaurants.

food delivery insurance
Many restaurants are delivering food with tamper controls so you can be sure your food was untouched during delivery.

This program is written by an A.M. Best rated “A” X carrier and can accommodate a wide range of classes that have been affected by COVID-19. To contact an ABI producer for more information, click here.

Product highlights include:

  • Monoline coverage
  • 3- or 6-month policy
  • Quick turn-around time
  • Non-auditable policy
  • Limit options of $300K, $500K, $1M CSL
  • Deductible $2,500
  • Offering short term policies starting at $1,500
  • MVR screening service provided
  • Symbols 8 & 9 (hired and non-owned autos) commercial auto liability
  • No restrictive warranties
  • Available in all states except MI

 

Keeping Food Delivery Workers Safe

Many delivery companies have issued guidelines for workers during the outbreak, as Business Insider pointed out, and many of those same workers have taken additional precautions to keep themselves safe. Drivers and delivery workers for Uber, Lyft, and DoorDash told Business Insider they’re scouring their cars with bleach and cutting back on hours.

Even so, if you do opt for your restaurant to deliver food during the outbreak, consider implementing non-contact services. Also, advertise that you require your drivers to practice good hygiene, especially hand-washing. If you can, provide masks to your employees to protect themselves if they are not practicing contact-less delivery.

 

 

 

 

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Survival Guide for the Transportation Industry

The Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic is something no business expected or planned for at the beginning of this year. As an agency that specializes in insuring transportation risks, we feel the pain you are going through right now. We see the drastic business interruption due to COVID-19. We want to remind you that we were your partners before the virus and are here to support you through this crisis.

Can I still work during the Coronavirus (COVID-19) Pandemic?

Transportation businesses have been named an “essential business” and are allowed to remain open for business.

Taxi services during COVID-19With nationwide restrictions and hesitation around travelling due to COVID-19, business is naturally impacted. Especially for those in the for-hire, livery industry who rely  on airport pick-ups and drop-offs. But that doesn’t mean it’s time to give up altogether.

When faced with adversity, it is the time to re-evaluate, reinvent and rediscover business opportunities you might not have pursued before.

 

Below is a short list of what you can do to generate revenue:

  • Contact regular clients and let them know you are available to take them grocery shopping, to doctor appointments or the pharmacy.
  • Advertise that you are avoiding close contact with other people, washing hands regularly and disinfecting the passenger seating in your vehicle after every trip.
  • Contact companies and offer courier or delivery services for groceries, medications, etc. (most livery policies allow this type of transportation already and no extra coverage is needed).
  • In many areas, public transportation is closed but people working in industries deemed an “essential” business are still going to work. Many employers are offering private transportation to their employees so that they can avoid mass transit. Contact these businesses, let them know you are able to help!

 

Can you lower my insurance payments during Coronavirus COVID-19?

No one knows how long our lives will be disrupted and you might feel like you need to cancel your policy. We highly suggest not cancelling your policy at this time unless you absolutely have to. Instead, we suggest the following:

  • If you have multiple vehicles, you may delete all but 1 unit to keep the policy active.
  • Some cities such as San Francisco are allowing taxis to lower the liability limit temporarily to assist in the decrease of revenue/ability to make insurance payments.
  • Some cities such as Seattle and San Diego are allowing operators to temporarily suspend their operating authority. You can email us proof of that, and we can decrease the liability limit down to the state minimum while you are out of work.
  • Preventing your policy from cancelling is beneficial because if you decide to start working again, a cancelled policy will delay your ability to start working again. We will need to re-quote, collect another down payment and in some cases  –  track down current loss runs again.
  • If you must cancel, most carriers are allowing pro-rata cancellations which means you will not be penalized for cancelling early.

 

How can I stay safe while working during the  COVID-19 outbreak?

With increased measures being taken nationwide to prevent the spread, many people may be turning toward a more private or isolated form of transportation (Taxi, Black Car, Uber or Lyft) as opposed to their usual train or bus ride.Infographic of how to stop the coronavirus spread

Below is a list of 5 things you can do to keep your vehicles clean and prevent the virus from spreading to your passengers or yourself:

  1. Wash your hands properly and often.
  2. Cover your mouth and/or nose with a tissue or into the crook of your elbow when you cough or sneeze.
  3. Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces/objects. These include but aren’t limited to: steering wheel, car handles, gear stick, hand brake, and trunk.
  4. Clean and disinfect the passenger seating area in between each trip.
  5. Avoid contact with people who aren’t well or have poor immune systems.

COVID-19 Resource Guide for Transportation Companies

American Business Insurance understands the challenges you are facing during the COVID-19 are ongoing and changing. As an active member of The Transportation Alliance, we have a broad data base of resources and advisers in the transportation industry.

One of those individuals is Matthew W. Daus, Esq, Partner and Chairman of Windels Marx Transportation Practice Group. They are a dedicated firm supporting ground transportation industries in NYC, but have provided a series of webinars with helpful information for those struggling during COVID-19,

To watch the most recent free webinar around the Transportation Industry and COVID-19, click HERE.

Below is a list of topics related to this guide:

 

  • Guidelines for Businesses related to COVID-19
  • Business Preparedness Resources
  • Environmental Cleaning and Disinfection Recommendations
  • Basic Infection Prevention Measures
  • Relief for Businesses
  • Information sharing with Industry Members

 

American Business Insurance – open during the crisis

Insurance businesses are deemed an “essential” business and as such, we have been allowed to remain open. Although most of us are working remotely, calls are being forwarded, emails responded to and vehicle changes/cancellations are being processed.

If you have any questions or need advice on how to adjust your policy during these uncertain times, please contact us during regular business hours, Monday – Friday 8 am to 5 pm pacific at 800-980-1950. You can also email us anytime!

 

Written by Laura Loftus who is an Executive Broker/Sales and Underwriting Manager with more than 10 years of experience insuring business in the For-Hire, Livery & Shared Economy industries. Looking for a quote on your business?  Call us Monday – Friday, 8 am to 5 pm pacific: 800-980-1950 or email us anytime!

New, Easy to Purchase and Install PPE Available for Essential Transportation Companies

Every morning, Corey Lamb puts himself at risk to transport the City of San Francisco’s most vulnerable residents. He stocks his cab with all types of PPE (personal protective equipment) such as  gloves, masks and sanitizer.

Lamb, who has been a professional driver since 2006 and was named the 2019 Paratransit Taxi Driver of the Year by the City of San Francisco and Paratransit Board, has developed a deep passion and drive to focus his taxi services on the people who need him most.

“I focus on providing dignified transportation services for people who would otherwise be confined to their home. My focus is on them and their needs. What’s getting me through COVID is that I have a segment of my clientele that are dialysis patients. Regardless of what is going on in the world, they need to go to dialysis. I pick them up and take them. I make that happen,” Lamb said.

Flywheel Technologies is excited to be the sole distributor of PPE shields in North America.

Lamb owns two wheel chair accessible taxicabs in San Francisco. He also just purchased the first hybrid wheel chair vehicle in the City of San Francisco. As a child, his mother worked for a non-profit organization that taught adults with Autism and Down Syndrome. Their focus was to teach them how to be independent. The compassion Lamb saw  in his mother toward these people is the driving force behind him catering to those in need of transportation.

“I bought both cars brand new. I wanted my passengers to not feel like a run of the mil ride. For me, it’s important that they understand that I care they are being transported in a safe vehicle. The people who have disabilities are usually not considered in planning until the end. I wanted my business to show them they are being considered at the beginning,” Lamb stated.

 

New Types of PPE Available for Taxicab, Limo and Paratransit Drivers

The challenges of transporting the public today have changed compared to a few months ago. In today’s world of face masks, hand sanitizer and Lysol spray– the taxi industry is an essential business that needs to be proactive about using PPE, not only making passengers feel safe – but also their drivers.

That’s why Hansu Kim, President of Flywheel Technologies (a California based taxi booking app) has been working with Taxi Butler in the Netherlands to distribute the Flywheel Shield to transportation companies in need throughout North America.

“We want to bring more confidence in the taxi industry. For vehicles that are on the road, we need to show we are being proactive and staying safe compared to Uber and Lyft by utilizing different types of PPE,” Kim said.

The City of San Francisco has purchased 500 of these shields from Flywheel in response to a need to protect both drivers and passengers. Drivers are deemed essential workers and their passengers  include our most vulnerable population of elderly, medically fragile or immune compromised.

Since the shields are considered Personal Protective Equipment (PPE),  the City is able to use funds they received from government to equip taxis with this important PPE.

“These are easy to install and easy to remove. It gives real protection in an enclosed space. The Flywheel Shield is universal and works in all types of vehicles from a compact hybrid to a larger wheel chair accessible mini van (two of the most common vehicles used in the taxi industry),” Kim explained.

In addition to the shields, the City of San Francisco has introduced The Essential Trip Card designed to help the elderly and in need population purchase fares at reduced cost.

 

The Flywheel Shield is easy to install and priced affordably.
The Flywheel Shield is easy to install and priced affordably.

The Flywheel Shield can be installed using car handles.

 

A Whole New World

Pre-coronavirus, many transportation companies were making non-essential items such as phone chargers, mints and mini water bottles available for passengers.

Shields that were previously installed were mainly used to protect drivers from unruly or violent passengers. They were designed to protect the driver from robbery.

Right now, the majority of passengers using public transportation are first-responders and patients. Drivers need to feel safe about going to work every day and the general population needs to feel safe when riding in public transportation.

“As an essential service, we need to take proactive measures to protect drivers and passengers. We are transporting the most vulnerable – people with fragile medical needs, the elderly and first-responders,” Kim said.

The Flywheel Shield, which went through several different prototypes is easy to install and has been tested by Flywheel Taxi of San Francisco already. It straps on around the front seat and has a sliding opening to pass through payment if needed (card or cash), vouchers and receipts between passenger and driver. At a price point ranging between $40-$50 (depending on order count), the Flywheel Shield is available to purchase for taxi companies across North America. Email [email protected] or call 630-886-6868 for more information on purchasing.

Budgeting for PPE

Many cities and municipalities are looking to purchase this type of PPE for drivers. Before purchasing, Kim said it’s a good idea to check with your City to see if they will reimburse transportation companies for purchasing and installing PPE in public transportation vehicles.

“Drivers feel safer and passengers are saying this is fantastic,” Kim added.

Kim is hoping that other transportation companies across the country will step up and make the necessary changes within the industry to keep people moving, safely.

The Coronavirus, which we know is mainly transmissible through airborne respiratory particles – can be halted from spreading via masks but also with plastic shields between people. Grocery stores have installed these shields in front of cashiers to keep them safe. Doctors and nurses wear them while on duty. It is essential that those working during the pandemic change the way they protected themselves.

Flywheel Taxi driver Lamb is married with 2 kids and is looking forward to installing the Flywheel Shield into his vehicles. He wants to keep not only himself and his family safe, but also his passengers.

“We need to treat these people like family. When you have that mentality, it’s not just a passenger. It’s Amelia’s son. It’s John’s brother. It’s not just a guy I pick up 3 times per week. There is a name attached to it and a story,” Lamb explained further. “There is a relationship there. It’s not just a business for me, it’s a commitment I have to the community to make sure their needs are always met.”

If you would like more information or would like to place an order for the Flywheel Shield, please call 630-886-6868 or email [email protected]

 

Written by Laura Loftus who is an Executive Broker/Sales and Underwriting Manager with more than 10 years of experience insuring business in the For-Hire, Livery & Shared Economy industries. Looking for a quote on your business?  Call us Monday – Friday, 8 am to 5 pm pacific: 800-980-1950 or email us anytime!

 

 

 

Using Your Paycheck Protection Program Payment for Transportation Businesses during COVID-19

As the days and weeks pass by, more and more people are staying home which is affecting not only the transportation industry – but businesses of all types nationwide.

If you are experiencing financial difficulties, you might be thinking about cancelling your policy. Instead, why not use your Paycheck Protection Program payment toward insurance. This way, you can continue to work and serve the community who needs your help.

If you haven’t already and still want to work, the U.S. Department of the Treasury has posted the NEW application form for the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). In short, these are zero-interest loans up to $10 million. These loans cover operational costs like payroll, health benefits, rent, mortgage payments, insurance premiums and utilities.

With taxicabs being named an essential business, there are other revenue generating opportunities for taxicab businesses you may not already be tapped into.

Show Me The Money

Paycheck Protection Program loans are administered through the Small Business Administration, but you have to apply through a local bank. We urge all transportation businesses to download and begin filling out the PPP loan application, and talk to your banker today. The Treasury Department has issued a useful fact sheet on what the loan covers.

In addition to the Paycheck Protection Program loan, we want to remind you that the Small Business Association has also created Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL) that are designed to quickly send $10,000 to distressed companies. The EIDL application is found online and will offer assistance loans for up to $2 million.

But is there any work?

It may feel like there is no work to be done, but as Ann Pilkington who works for Freedom Taxicab in Des Moines, IA told KCCI De Moines, “The main thing is getting people to their appointments because there are some people that wouldn’t last, like a dialysis patient or something, they wouldn’t make it without those med changes or that treatment on themselves.”

Of course, please wear a mask, wash your hands frequently and keep your car clean for at-risk passengers going to and from doctor appointments. It is important to protect yourself and your passengers while working during COVID-19.

Below is a short list of 5 revenue generating ideas you may be able to implement using your existing policy.

Top 5 Revenue Generators during COVID-19:

Using your paycheck protection program payment toward insurance.

 

1. Appointments and other Non-Emergency transportation services

This is probably the largest source of transportation needed right now. People still need to get dialysis, chemotherapy and other types of medical treatments during COVID-19. If you haven’t already added this service to your taxi platform, now is the time.

Below is a list of medical trip providers to consider.

  • LogistiCare – one the largest Non-Emergency Medical Transportation brokers in the United States. They have a presence in almost every state within the US.
  • EpicMD – NEMT trip provider with operations nationwide.
  • OneCall – NEMT broker that serves globally for everything from ambulatory ground transportation to air ambulances.
  • MTM – This is a popular NEMT provider with our existing client base. They have a presence is 75% of the country from coast to coast. They have especially higher trip volume within the East Coast states.
  • Acces2Care – Servicing 29 states, this program helps to dispatch NEMT trips through their parent company AMR which handles the emergency calls. All NEMT calls get sourced through Access2Care.Please note: accommodating passengers who are not ambulatory may not be permitted with your current policy.

 

2. Courier & delivery companies

Amazon is hiring 100,000 workers, mostly for fulfillment and delivery, and some UPS hubs are hiring as well, although—fair warning—both companies are facing criticism over employee safety. Some couriers are also hiring.

*No delivery of hazardous or illegal materials are permitted.  If you are considering cannabis delivery in legal states, we do have coverage for that with multiple markets. Click HERE to request a quote.

3. Grocery & medicine delivery

Grocery stores are your friends. Major chains such as KrogerMeijer, and Safeway are hiring in-store shelf stockers and delivery staff; ditto for regional chains such as Raley’s. Grocery delivery services and apps such as Instacart are also hiring.

4. Sign up for Uber/Lyft

While most taxi policies only allow a certain amount of TNC transport (if any at all), many of our clients have policies that are flexible with allowing drivers to use multiple sources of dispatch to generate revenue. Many drivers are staying home but people without their own sources of transportation still need to go grocery shopping, pick up medications from pharmacies and drop off supplies to loved ones.  And those in the medical field are opting for a more private form of transportation instead of their usual train or bus ride to and from work.

5. Pre-arranged, black car services (utilizing vehicles already within your fleet)

Again, as mentioned above, utilizing your current clientele database to advertise a clean, safe mode of transportation in these trying times is key. Send out texts letting people know you are working and available. Many assume everything is closed. But although people aren’t travelling through airports like they used to – there is clientele that still rely on taxi and black car services to get to the doctor or grocery store. There are doctors and nurses in urban areas who need to get to work but can’t take mass transit.

Be there to help them, they will remember that you helped them even after “everything goes back to normal.”


Not All Policies are Created Equal

Not all insurance companies allow you to do all the types of trips listed above on ONE policy. But WE do. If you don’t already accommodate these types of trips and want to, please contact us to see if your current policy allows for medical and courier trips.

Also, if you are high risk or live with someone who is – please take precaution in working during these times. Working through a pandemic is not for everyone but if you are willing and able – your customers will be forever grateful to you for helping them out when they needed it most!

 

Written by Laura Loftus who is an Executive Broker/Sales and Underwriting Manager with more than 10 years of experience insuring business in the For-Hire, Livery & Shared Economy industries. Looking for a quote on your business?  Call us Monday – Friday, 8 am to 5 pm pacific: 800-980-1950 or email us anytime!

 

Short-Term Policies for Food Delivery Insurance

As the Coronavirus continues to spread across the country, most non-essential businesses are closed nationwide. Although dining in isn’t allowed, restaurants are still allowed to open since they are considered an essential business.  Many restaurants are offering food delivery (even if they didn’t before) since it is allowed. Restaurants new to food delivery might need to purchase additional coverage with a Short-Term Food Delivery Insurance Policy.

It’s a whole new world of self -isolation and government-imposed quarantining. So, what does that mean for every-day life? Well, it’s completely changed as we know it. With that decision, many restaurants have revised their menus and implemented delivery to customers instead. Some are even selling their signature cocktails to-go.

However, what most businesses don’t realize is that allowing your employees to drive their cars to deliver food is not covered under their personal auto insurance. This is why a Short-Term Food Delivery Insurance policy may work for you or someone you know.

Insurance for Delivery Businesses During COVID-19

First off, to ease your mind a bit about potential liabilities, the FDA’s current position is that “there is no evidence to suggest that food produced in the United States can transmit COVID-19.” Furthermore, they went on to say that there is “no evidence of food or food packaging being associated with transmission of COVID-19.”

As always, as long as the food is prepared safely, the risk is low. Information around COVID-19 continues to change, but current evidence seems to point to food delivery as a less risky option than exposing yourself to a grocery store, bringing the bags and items into your home and preparing the food yourself.

Essentially, the major risk of dining within a restaurant is touching a table, counter, or other surface that someone who is contagious may have touched.

Because delivery businesses have become so important during this outbreak, it’s important for employers to get food delivery insurance.

New Short-Term Food Delivery Insurance Program

Whether offering food delivery is a permanent business change or temporary, we have access to a new program which is writing short-term food delivery insurance for restaurants.

food delivery insurance
Many restaurants are delivering food with tamper controls so you can be sure your food was untouched during delivery.

This program is written by an A.M. Best rated “A” X carrier and can accommodate a wide range of classes that have been affected by COVID-19. To contact an ABI producer for more information, click here.

Product highlights include:

  • Monoline coverage
  • 3- or 6-month policy
  • Quick turn-around time
  • Non-auditable policy
  • Limit options of $300K, $500K, $1M CSL
  • Deductible $2,500
  • Offering short term policies starting at $1,500
  • MVR screening service provided
  • Symbols 8 & 9 (hired and non-owned autos) commercial auto liability
  • No restrictive warranties
  • Available in all states except MI

 

Keeping Food Delivery Workers Safe

Many delivery companies have issued guidelines for workers during the outbreak, as Business Insider pointed out, and many of those same workers have taken additional precautions to keep themselves safe. Drivers and delivery workers for Uber, Lyft, and DoorDash told Business Insider they’re scouring their cars with bleach and cutting back on hours.

Even so, if you do opt for your restaurant to deliver food during the outbreak, consider implementing non-contact services. Also, advertise that you require your drivers to practice good hygiene, especially hand-washing. If you can, provide masks to your employees to protect themselves if they are not practicing contact-less delivery.

 

 

 

 

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Survival Guide for the Transportation Industry

The Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic is something no business expected or planned for at the beginning of this year. As an agency that specializes in insuring transportation risks, we feel the pain you are going through right now. We see the drastic business interruption due to COVID-19. We want to remind you that we were your partners before the virus and are here to support you through this crisis.

Can I still work during the Coronavirus (COVID-19) Pandemic?

Transportation businesses have been named an “essential business” and are allowed to remain open for business.

Taxi services during COVID-19With nationwide restrictions and hesitation around travelling due to COVID-19, business is naturally impacted. Especially for those in the for-hire, livery industry who rely  on airport pick-ups and drop-offs. But that doesn’t mean it’s time to give up altogether.

When faced with adversity, it is the time to re-evaluate, reinvent and rediscover business opportunities you might not have pursued before.

 

Below is a short list of what you can do to generate revenue:

  • Contact regular clients and let them know you are available to take them grocery shopping, to doctor appointments or the pharmacy.
  • Advertise that you are avoiding close contact with other people, washing hands regularly and disinfecting the passenger seating in your vehicle after every trip.
  • Contact companies and offer courier or delivery services for groceries, medications, etc. (most livery policies allow this type of transportation already and no extra coverage is needed).
  • In many areas, public transportation is closed but people working in industries deemed an “essential” business are still going to work. Many employers are offering private transportation to their employees so that they can avoid mass transit. Contact these businesses, let them know you are able to help!

 

Can you lower my insurance payments during Coronavirus COVID-19?

No one knows how long our lives will be disrupted and you might feel like you need to cancel your policy. We highly suggest not cancelling your policy at this time unless you absolutely have to. Instead, we suggest the following:

  • If you have multiple vehicles, you may delete all but 1 unit to keep the policy active.
  • Some cities such as San Francisco are allowing taxis to lower the liability limit temporarily to assist in the decrease of revenue/ability to make insurance payments.
  • Some cities such as Seattle and San Diego are allowing operators to temporarily suspend their operating authority. You can email us proof of that, and we can decrease the liability limit down to the state minimum while you are out of work.
  • Preventing your policy from cancelling is beneficial because if you decide to start working again, a cancelled policy will delay your ability to start working again. We will need to re-quote, collect another down payment and in some cases  –  track down current loss runs again.
  • If you must cancel, most carriers are allowing pro-rata cancellations which means you will not be penalized for cancelling early.

 

How can I stay safe while working during the  COVID-19 outbreak?

With increased measures being taken nationwide to prevent the spread, many people may be turning toward a more private or isolated form of transportation (Taxi, Black Car, Uber or Lyft) as opposed to their usual train or bus ride.Infographic of how to stop the coronavirus spread

Below is a list of 5 things you can do to keep your vehicles clean and prevent the virus from spreading to your passengers or yourself:

  1. Wash your hands properly and often.
  2. Cover your mouth and/or nose with a tissue or into the crook of your elbow when you cough or sneeze.
  3. Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces/objects. These include but aren’t limited to: steering wheel, car handles, gear stick, hand brake, and trunk.
  4. Clean and disinfect the passenger seating area in between each trip.
  5. Avoid contact with people who aren’t well or have poor immune systems.

COVID-19 Resource Guide for Transportation Companies

American Business Insurance understands the challenges you are facing during the COVID-19 are ongoing and changing. As an active member of The Transportation Alliance, we have a broad data base of resources and advisers in the transportation industry.

One of those individuals is Matthew W. Daus, Esq, Partner and Chairman of Windels Marx Transportation Practice Group. They are a dedicated firm supporting ground transportation industries in NYC, but have provided a series of webinars with helpful information for those struggling during COVID-19,

To watch the most recent free webinar around the Transportation Industry and COVID-19, click HERE.

Below is a list of topics related to this guide:

 

  • Guidelines for Businesses related to COVID-19
  • Business Preparedness Resources
  • Environmental Cleaning and Disinfection Recommendations
  • Basic Infection Prevention Measures
  • Relief for Businesses
  • Information sharing with Industry Members

 

American Business Insurance – open during the crisis

Insurance businesses are deemed an “essential” business and as such, we have been allowed to remain open. Although most of us are working remotely, calls are being forwarded, emails responded to and vehicle changes/cancellations are being processed.

If you have any questions or need advice on how to adjust your policy during these uncertain times, please contact us during regular business hours, Monday – Friday 8 am to 5 pm pacific at 800-980-1950. You can also email us anytime!

 

Written by Laura Loftus who is an Executive Broker/Sales and Underwriting Manager with more than 10 years of experience insuring business in the For-Hire, Livery & Shared Economy industries. Looking for a quote on your business?  Call us Monday – Friday, 8 am to 5 pm pacific: 800-980-1950 or email us anytime!

New, Easy to Purchase and Install PPE Available for Essential Transportation Companies

Every morning, Corey Lamb puts himself at risk to transport the City of San Francisco’s most vulnerable residents. He stocks his cab with all types of PPE (personal protective equipment) such as  gloves, masks and sanitizer.

Lamb, who has been a professional driver since 2006 and was named the 2019 Paratransit Taxi Driver of the Year by the City of San Francisco and Paratransit Board, has developed a deep passion and drive to focus his taxi services on the people who need him most.

“I focus on providing dignified transportation services for people who would otherwise be confined to their home. My focus is on them and their needs. What’s getting me through COVID is that I have a segment of my clientele that are dialysis patients. Regardless of what is going on in the world, they need to go to dialysis. I pick them up and take them. I make that happen,” Lamb said.

Flywheel Technologies is excited to be the sole distributor of PPE shields in North America.

Lamb owns two wheel chair accessible taxicabs in San Francisco. He also just purchased the first hybrid wheel chair vehicle in the City of San Francisco. As a child, his mother worked for a non-profit organization that taught adults with Autism and Down Syndrome. Their focus was to teach them how to be independent. The compassion Lamb saw  in his mother toward these people is the driving force behind him catering to those in need of transportation.

“I bought both cars brand new. I wanted my passengers to not feel like a run of the mil ride. For me, it’s important that they understand that I care they are being transported in a safe vehicle. The people who have disabilities are usually not considered in planning until the end. I wanted my business to show them they are being considered at the beginning,” Lamb stated.

 

New Types of PPE Available for Taxicab, Limo and Paratransit Drivers

The challenges of transporting the public today have changed compared to a few months ago. In today’s world of face masks, hand sanitizer and Lysol spray– the taxi industry is an essential business that needs to be proactive about using PPE, not only making passengers feel safe – but also their drivers.

That’s why Hansu Kim, President of Flywheel Technologies (a California based taxi booking app) has been working with Taxi Butler in the Netherlands to distribute the Flywheel Shield to transportation companies in need throughout North America.

“We want to bring more confidence in the taxi industry. For vehicles that are on the road, we need to show we are being proactive and staying safe compared to Uber and Lyft by utilizing different types of PPE,” Kim said.

The City of San Francisco has purchased 500 of these shields from Flywheel in response to a need to protect both drivers and passengers. Drivers are deemed essential workers and their passengers  include our most vulnerable population of elderly, medically fragile or immune compromised.

Since the shields are considered Personal Protective Equipment (PPE),  the City is able to use funds they received from government to equip taxis with this important PPE.

“These are easy to install and easy to remove. It gives real protection in an enclosed space. The Flywheel Shield is universal and works in all types of vehicles from a compact hybrid to a larger wheel chair accessible mini van (two of the most common vehicles used in the taxi industry),” Kim explained.

In addition to the shields, the City of San Francisco has introduced The Essential Trip Card designed to help the elderly and in need population purchase fares at reduced cost.

 

The Flywheel Shield is easy to install and priced affordably.
The Flywheel Shield is easy to install and priced affordably.

The Flywheel Shield can be installed using car handles.

 

A Whole New World

Pre-coronavirus, many transportation companies were making non-essential items such as phone chargers, mints and mini water bottles available for passengers.

Shields that were previously installed were mainly used to protect drivers from unruly or violent passengers. They were designed to protect the driver from robbery.

Right now, the majority of passengers using public transportation are first-responders and patients. Drivers need to feel safe about going to work every day and the general population needs to feel safe when riding in public transportation.

“As an essential service, we need to take proactive measures to protect drivers and passengers. We are transporting the most vulnerable – people with fragile medical needs, the elderly and first-responders,” Kim said.

The Flywheel Shield, which went through several different prototypes is easy to install and has been tested by Flywheel Taxi of San Francisco already. It straps on around the front seat and has a sliding opening to pass through payment if needed (card or cash), vouchers and receipts between passenger and driver. At a price point ranging between $40-$50 (depending on order count), the Flywheel Shield is available to purchase for taxi companies across North America. Email [email protected] or call 630-886-6868 for more information on purchasing.

Budgeting for PPE

Many cities and municipalities are looking to purchase this type of PPE for drivers. Before purchasing, Kim said it’s a good idea to check with your City to see if they will reimburse transportation companies for purchasing and installing PPE in public transportation vehicles.

“Drivers feel safer and passengers are saying this is fantastic,” Kim added.

Kim is hoping that other transportation companies across the country will step up and make the necessary changes within the industry to keep people moving, safely.

The Coronavirus, which we know is mainly transmissible through airborne respiratory particles – can be halted from spreading via masks but also with plastic shields between people. Grocery stores have installed these shields in front of cashiers to keep them safe. Doctors and nurses wear them while on duty. It is essential that those working during the pandemic change the way they protected themselves.

Flywheel Taxi driver Lamb is married with 2 kids and is looking forward to installing the Flywheel Shield into his vehicles. He wants to keep not only himself and his family safe, but also his passengers.

“We need to treat these people like family. When you have that mentality, it’s not just a passenger. It’s Amelia’s son. It’s John’s brother. It’s not just a guy I pick up 3 times per week. There is a name attached to it and a story,” Lamb explained further. “There is a relationship there. It’s not just a business for me, it’s a commitment I have to the community to make sure their needs are always met.”

If you would like more information or would like to place an order for the Flywheel Shield, please call 630-886-6868 or email [email protected]

 

Written by Laura Loftus who is an Executive Broker/Sales and Underwriting Manager with more than 10 years of experience insuring business in the For-Hire, Livery & Shared Economy industries. Looking for a quote on your business?  Call us Monday – Friday, 8 am to 5 pm pacific: 800-980-1950 or email us anytime!

 

 

 

Using Your Paycheck Protection Program Payment for Transportation Businesses during COVID-19

As the days and weeks pass by, more and more people are staying home which is affecting not only the transportation industry – but businesses of all types nationwide.

If you are experiencing financial difficulties, you might be thinking about cancelling your policy. Instead, why not use your Paycheck Protection Program payment toward insurance. This way, you can continue to work and serve the community who needs your help.

If you haven’t already and still want to work, the U.S. Department of the Treasury has posted the NEW application form for the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). In short, these are zero-interest loans up to $10 million. These loans cover operational costs like payroll, health benefits, rent, mortgage payments, insurance premiums and utilities.

With taxicabs being named an essential business, there are other revenue generating opportunities for taxicab businesses you may not already be tapped into.

Show Me The Money

Paycheck Protection Program loans are administered through the Small Business Administration, but you have to apply through a local bank. We urge all transportation businesses to download and begin filling out the