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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

 

Keeping up with the competition

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

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

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

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

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

Day to day in the taxi business

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

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

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

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

How much insurance do I need?

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

 

 

 

Insurance Coverage For Your Rental Car Fleet in California

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Rental Car Fleet Insurance Coverage in California

Do you own or operate a rental car service? Are you looking to partner with a transportation network company in California? Nowadays there are multiple ways to get into this ever-growing transportation industry. The rise of ridesharing apps and on-demand delivery apps utilizing rental car fleets in recent years, has more and more entrepreneurs looking to start their own transportation companies. The proper fleet insurance is essential in getting your business off the ground.

With the ever-changing market comes the requirement of insurance policies that can accommodate the unique needs of each business. There is no one insurance policy that fits all that’s why American Business Insurance Services, Inc. is able to find you the right insurance policy for your rental car fleet based off your individual needs. Skip the hassle of comparing multiple insurance quotes based off daunting numbers and endless calls with salespersons and representatives. As an independent agency, American Business Insurance Services, Inc. has direct relationships with all insurance companies currently writing specialized policies for transportation companies such as rental car fleets.

Different Types of Rental Car Fleets

As mentioned earlier, the barriers to enter the rental car industry is getting lower in recent years due to the growth of ridesharing apps and on-demand delivery services. More and more people are choosing to travel in vehicles not their own, as well as relying on on-demand drivers to deliver special goods. Especially in places like Los Angeles and San Francisco where traffic is really bad. The new trend of people relying on services of rental car fleets or other on-demand transportation services continues to rise. On top of that, California is by far the biggest automotive market in the United States.

In California people are more dependent on cars than public transit making California a great location to start a rental car fleet company. Whether you own a car rental company servicing travelers and businessmen, or a car dealership providing rental cars to customers, or you are simply an entrepreneur renting your own cars to other people, you will need fleet insurance to cover your company. Luckily at American Business Insurance Services, Inc. we have the connections and expertise to help you find the best insurance coverage for your rental car fleet.

Fleet Insurance – What does It Cover?

Whether your rental car fleet is working with a Transportation Network Company or on its own, the most important coverages to have for your rental car fleet are liability and physical damage. The transportation industry is a high-risk industry and it is important to have coverage for liability and physical damage. Living in California, you’ve probably seen a fair share of accidents on a daily basis on the highways. Accidents do happen, and the cold truth is the more miles your rental car fleet operates, the higher the chance that one of your drivers is involved in an incident.

In case of an incident, proper coverage for liability and collision will give you peace of mind as a business owner by knowing that your rental car fleet is protected on the road. Liability coverage is a must for rental car businesses, because it protects your fleet from potential negligence and mechanical failures.

There are coverage options that will cover all of the cars in your rental fleet, and also coverages that apply to drivers. There are policies for short-term car rentals or ones that operate on a pay-by-mile basis. That all depends on what kind of business you own and operate!

As your business grows, so does your need for more coverage. American Business Insurance Services, Inc. will help you adjust your limits accordingly to make sure you have proper coverage. Our friendly representatives will work with you and your company to fully understand your needs.

Additional Coverages For Rental Car Fleet Insurance

The number of fleet trucks, vans and SUVs on the roads in the U.S. is over 11.7 million. In Los Angeles alone, there are over 6 million vehicles in urbanized areas. The transportation sector is an ever-growing industry. As your company fleet grows, you may want to consider additional coverages such as inland marine coverage to protect any cargo or goods you are transporting.  You may also want to consider raising your liability coverage limits when you have more drivers, because the truth is the bigger your business is the more you have to lose!

Most insurance policies will cover the State’s mandated minimum insurance coverage that include liability and collision coverage. Additional coverages to consider would be roadside assistance, uninsured motorist coverage, and other coverages such as theft and vandalism. Consider the scope of your business, where you operate out of, and any special needs that you require.

Fleet Insurance – How Much Will It Cost

While there is no one single answer to this question, there are some indicators that will help you determine the costs of your fleet insurance plan. Typically, the more drivers and vehicles you have on your fleet, the more expensive the policy is. For example, consider the value of your vehicles – do you own a fleet of luxury European import cars? That is going to cost relatively more to maintain and fix, than say a fleet of economy cars. However, if the cars in your fleet are more likely to break down you run the risk of an increased premium. Another thing to consider is the intended use of your rental car vehicles. Are you using the fleet to transport people? That is going to cost more than  if you own a fleet of service vehicles (plumbers, electricians, etc) that are intended for special uses.

There is no single answer to how much it’s going to cost to insure your rental car fleet, but American Business Insurance Services, Inc will be able to cater to your needs and provide you with a quote in a short amount of time. Get Quote Now

How To Save Money on Rental Car Fleet Insurance

Typically to save money in a competitive insurance marketplace, you’d need to compare the different price offerings from different companies. American Business Insurance Services, Inc. differs from its competitors by its ability to work with different insurance companies writing specialized policies to provide you with a comprehensive coverage package. Located in the Los Angeles metropolitan area, American Business Insurance Services, Inc. has connections not only in California but with insurance providers nationwide. Tell us about your business, and we will do the research and get back to you with a policy that best fits your rental car fleet company.

Other ways to save on your premium is to reduce your coverage, but sometimes this wouldn’t be viable because of your business needs. While this certainly is an option for personal auto coverages, we wouldn’t recommend this for businesses like a rental car fleet. Another way to save on insurance premium is to raise your deductible amount. While this can seem like a cost-saving option in the short term, be sure that your business can pay the deductible when an incident arises.

Look into the regulations and mandated minimums in the State of California. Have an idea of what the minimum cost is going to be and know what your business is looking for. The easiest and best ways to save on an insurance policy is to combine multiple policies under the same provider and maintain a good driving record!

Get an Insurance Quote for Your Rental Car Fleet

In conclusion, you should look into fleet insurance policies if you have multiple vehicles in your transportation network company. Fleet Insurance makes managing your business and expenses easier, because no matter how many cars are in your fleet, one policy covers all! Whether you own a rental car company in California, or you’re just starting a business and looking to purchase a fleet of your own, you should purchase comprehensive insurance coverage. Tell us about your fleet company and we will help you find the best customizable insurance policy!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

transportation network companies

Minimum Premiums For Transportation Network Companies

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

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

American Business Insurance Services, Inc.

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

transportation network companies

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

Build the App:

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

1. Knowing When A Trip Starts and Stops

2. How Many Miles For Each Trip

3. How Many Minutes/Hours For Each Trip

Business Plan & Projections:

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

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

2. How will you monitor safety/loss control?

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

 Safety and Training:

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

Bios on Key Officers/Investors:

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

 Terms of Service & Privacy Conditions:

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

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

2. How Should Complaints Be Filed?

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

transportation network companies

Financial Balance Sheet:

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

Guidance From American Business Insurance Services, INC

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

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

Exclusive Contracts

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

1) Company Website

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

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

commercial fleet insurance

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

2) Creating a Business Name

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

3) Loss Control is Everything

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

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

4) The Driver Pool

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

5) Contact an Experienced, Transportation Insurance Broker

commercial fleet insurance

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

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

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Public Auto Insurance

American Business Insurance Public Auto Insurance

We get it, dealing with public auto insurance companies can definitely be a little more than inconvenient, but we want to make life a lot more simple if you’re looking for public auto insurance. Our experience within the livery industry allows us to optimize our services for you and streamline any process involved. We have worked for over 30 years to ensure that our version of public auto is different, and done the right way. 

American Business Insurance has been an industry leader in public auto insurance for over 30 years. We not only care deeply about our clients, but have a deep understanding of the intricacies within the public transportation field. Some of the amazing breakthroughs we have made within the industry that make our process simpler are:

Extensive shopping of the entire coverage spectrum:

We want to make it simpler and easier for you. It really can’t get any better; we take the time to browse the entire spectrum of coverage within the market, to get you the best price possible.

Fast, helpful service

A plethora of public auto insurance services are completed within our very own company. If you do business with us, you can be sure that you won’t deal with a million different brokers or agents. We can handle anything all in house, from insurance claims to billing, and everything in between. ABI will help in every area that we can. We want to make public transportation insurance a great experience for you.

We write custom policies

When it comes to insurance policies, things can get really messy and complicated really fast. We understand that you don’t want to have to deal with all the details that you may or may not have a ton of experience in. We get it, per day insurance and per mile insurance can get really tricky and intricate, but we’re here to make it simple and write a custom policy that works for you and your wheels, whether it be an entire fleet, or just a few sets. No other company will take the effort to custom tailor to your needs, and no one else can match our timeliness.

Easy, real-time tracking

In the unfortunate case of an accident, insurance companies often need a lot of information regarding specific details like the time, place, date, speeds, and more regarding the nature of the accident. Being able to provide as many details as possible puts you in the best position possible to make the process easier, and to have a more successful case. Fortunately, we offer tracking devices that provide us with every detail we need in the case of any accident, and we offer simple, easy installation.

Easy-to-use online portal

Online portals are rarely found within larger, b2b insurance companies. They are the typical standard for personal insurance, and are able to simplify the relationship between client and provider. That is why we’ve broken the mold and provided an online portal for you, to make your life easier when it comes to insurance.

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

 

Keeping up with the competition

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

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

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

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

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

Day to day in the taxi business

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

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

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

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

How much insurance do I need?

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

 

 

 

Insurance Coverage For Your Rental Car Fleet in California

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Rental Car Fleet Insurance Coverage in California

Do you own or operate a rental car service? Are you looking to partner with a transportation network company in California? Nowadays there are multiple ways to get into this ever-growing transportation industry. The rise of ridesharing apps and on-demand delivery apps utilizing rental car fleets in recent years, has more and more entrepreneurs looking to start their own transportation companies. The proper fleet insurance is essential in getting your business off the ground.

With the ever-changing market comes the requirement of insurance policies that can accommodate the unique needs of each business. There is no one insurance policy that fits all that’s why American Business Insurance Services, Inc. is able to find you the right insurance policy for your rental car fleet based off your individual needs. Skip the hassle of comparing multiple insurance quotes based off daunting numbers and endless calls with salespersons and representatives. As an independent agency, American Business Insurance Services, Inc. has direct relationships with all insurance companies currently writing specialized policies for transportation companies such as rental car fleets.

Different Types of Rental Car Fleets

As mentioned earlier, the barriers to enter the rental car industry is getting lower in recent years due to the growth of ridesharing apps and on-demand delivery services. More and more people are choosing to travel in vehicles not their own, as well as relying on on-demand drivers to deliver special goods. Especially in places like Los Angeles and San Francisco where traffic is really bad. The new trend of people relying on services of rental car fleets or other on-demand transportation services continues to rise. On top of that, California is by far the biggest automotive market in the United States.

In California people are more dependent on cars than public transit making California a great location to start a rental car fleet company. Whether you own a car rental company servicing travelers and businessmen, or a car dealership providing rental cars to customers, or you are simply an entrepreneur renting your own cars to other people, you will need fleet insurance to cover your company. Luckily at American Business Insurance Services, Inc. we have the connections and expertise to help you find the best insurance coverage for your rental car fleet.

Fleet Insurance – What does It Cover?

Whether your rental car fleet is working with a Transportation Network Company or on its own, the most important coverages to have for your rental car fleet are liability and physical damage. The transportation industry is a high-risk industry and it is important to have coverage for liability and physical damage. Living in California, you’ve probably seen a fair share of accidents on a daily basis on the highways. Accidents do happen, and the cold truth is the more miles your rental car fleet operates, the higher the chance that one of your drivers is involved in an incident.

In case of an incident, proper coverage for liability and collision will give you peace of mind as a business owner by knowing that your rental car fleet is protected on the road. Liability coverage is a must for rental car businesses, because it protects your fleet from potential negligence and mechanical failures.

There are coverage options that will cover all of the cars in your rental fleet, and also coverages that apply to drivers. There are policies for short-term car rentals or ones that operate on a pay-by-mile basis. That all depends on what kind of business you own and operate!

As your business grows, so does your need for more coverage. American Business Insurance Services, Inc. will help you adjust your limits accordingly to make sure you have proper coverage. Our friendly representatives will work with you and your company to fully understand your needs.

Additional Coverages For Rental Car Fleet Insurance

The number of fleet trucks, vans and SUVs on the roads in the U.S. is over 11.7 million. In Los Angeles alone, there are over 6 million vehicles in urbanized areas. The transportation sector is an ever-growing industry. As your company fleet grows, you may want to consider additional coverages such as inland marine coverage to protect any cargo or goods you are transporting.  You may also want to consider raising your liability coverage limits when you have more drivers, because the truth is the bigger your business is the more you have to lose!

Most insurance policies will cover the State’s mandated minimum insurance coverage that include liability and collision coverage. Additional coverages to consider would be roadside assistance, uninsured motorist coverage, and other coverages such as theft and vandalism. Consider the scope of your business, where you operate out of, and any special needs that you require.

Fleet Insurance – How Much Will It Cost

While there is no one single answer to this question, there are some indicators that will help you determine the costs of your fleet insurance plan. Typically, the more drivers and vehicles you have on your fleet, the more expensive the policy is. For example, consider the value of your vehicles – do you own a fleet of luxury European import cars? That is going to cost relatively more to maintain and fix, than say a fleet of economy cars. However, if the cars in your fleet are more likely to break down you run the risk of an increased premium. Another thing to consider is the intended use of your rental car vehicles. Are you using the fleet to transport people? That is going to cost more than  if you own a fleet of service vehicles (plumbers, electricians, etc) that are intended for special uses.

There is no single answer to how much it’s going to cost to insure your rental car fleet, but American Business Insurance Services, Inc will be able to cater to your needs and provide you with a quote in a short amount of time. Get Quote Now

How To Save Money on Rental Car Fleet Insurance

Typically to save money in a competitive insurance marketplace, you’d need to compare the different price offerings from different companies. American Business Insurance Services, Inc. differs from its competitors by its ability to work with different insurance companies writing specialized policies to provide you with a comprehensive coverage package. Located in the Los Angeles metropolitan area, American Business Insurance Services, Inc. has connections not only in California but with insurance providers nationwide. Tell us about your business, and we will do the research and get back to you with a policy that best fits your rental car fleet company.

Other ways to save on your premium is to reduce your coverage, but sometimes this wouldn’t be viable because of your business needs. While this certainly is an option for personal auto coverages, we wouldn’t recommend this for businesses like a rental car fleet. Another way to save on insurance premium is to raise your deductible amount. While this can seem like a cost-saving option in the short term, be sure that your business can pay the deductible when an incident arises.

Look into the regulations and mandated minimums in the State of California. Have an idea of what the minimum cost is going to be and know what your business is looking for. The easiest and best ways to save on an insurance policy is to combine multiple policies under the same provider and maintain a good driving record!

Get an Insurance Quote for Your Rental Car Fleet

In conclusion, you should look into fleet insurance policies if you have multiple vehicles in your transportation network company. Fleet Insurance makes managing your business and expenses easier, because no matter how many cars are in your fleet, one policy covers all! Whether you own a rental car company in California, or you’re just starting a business and looking to purchase a fleet of your own, you should purchase comprehensive insurance coverage. Tell us about your fleet company and we will help you find the best customizable insurance policy!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

transportation network companies

Minimum Premiums For Transportation Network Companies

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

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

American Business Insurance Services, Inc.

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

transportation network companies

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

Build the App:

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

1. Knowing When A Trip Starts and Stops

2. How Many Miles For Each Trip

3. How Many Minutes/Hours For Each Trip

Business Plan & Projections:

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

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

2. How will you monitor safety/loss control?

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

 Safety and Training:

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

Bios on Key Officers/Investors:

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

 Terms of Service & Privacy Conditions:

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

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

2. How Should Complaints Be Filed?

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

transportation network companies

Financial Balance Sheet:

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

Guidance From American Business Insurance Services, INC

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

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

Exclusive Contracts

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

1) Company Website

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

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

commercial fleet insurance

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

2) Creating a Business Name

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

3) Loss Control is Everything

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

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

4) The Driver Pool

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

5) Contact an Experienced, Transportation Insurance Broker

commercial fleet insurance

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

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

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Public Auto Insurance

American Business Insurance Public Auto Insurance

We get it, dealing with public auto insurance companies can definitely be a little more than inconvenient, but we want to make life a lot more simple if you’re looking for public auto insurance. Our experience within the livery industry allows us to optimize our services for you and streamline any process involved. We have worked for over 30 years to ensure that our version of public auto is different, and done the right way. 

American Business Insurance has been an industry leader in public auto insurance for over 30 years. We not only care deeply about our clients, but have a deep understanding of the intricacies within the public transportation field. Some of the amazing breakthroughs we have made within the industry that make our process simpler are:

Extensive shopping of the entire coverage spectrum:

We want to make it simpler and easier for you. It really can’t get any better; we take the time to browse the entire spectrum of coverage within the market, to get you the best price possible.

Fast, helpful service

A plethora of public auto insurance services are completed within our very own company. If you do business with us, you can be sure that you won’t deal with a million different brokers or agents. We can handle anything all in house, from insurance claims to billing, and everything in between. ABI will help in every area that we can. We want to make public transportation insurance a great experience for you.

We write custom policies

When it comes to insurance policies, things can get really messy and complicated really fast. We understand that you don’t want to have to deal with all the details that you may or may not have a ton of experience in. We get it, per day insurance and per mile insurance can get really tricky and intricate, but we’re here to make it simple and write a custom policy that works for you and your wheels, whether it be an entire fleet, or just a few sets. No other company will take the effort to custom tailor to your needs, and no one else can match our timeliness.

Easy, real-time tracking

In the unfortunate case of an accident, insurance companies often need a lot of information regarding specific details like the time, place, date, speeds, and more regarding the nature of the accident. Being able to provide as many details as possible puts you in the best position possible to make the process easier, and to have a more successful case. Fortunately, we offer tracking devices that provide us with every detail we need in the case of any accident, and we offer simple, easy installation.

Easy-to-use online portal

Online portals are rarely found within larger, b2b insurance companies. They are the typical standard for personal insurance, and are able to simplify the relationship between client and provider. That is why we’ve broken the mold and provided an online portal for you, to make your life easier when it comes to insurance.

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

 

Keeping up with the competition

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

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

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

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

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

Day to day in the taxi business

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

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

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

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

How much insurance do I need?

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

 

 

 

Insurance Coverage For Your Rental Car Fleet in California

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Rental Car Fleet Insurance Coverage in California

Do you own or operate a rental car service? Are you looking to partner with a transportation network company in California? Nowadays there are multiple ways to get into this ever-growing transportation industry. The rise of ridesharing apps and on-demand delivery apps utilizing rental car fleets in recent years, has more and more entrepreneurs looking to start their own transportation companies. The proper fleet insurance is essential in getting your business off the ground.

With the ever-changing market comes the requirement of insurance policies that can accommodate the unique needs of each business. There is no one insurance policy that fits all that’s why American Business Insurance Services, Inc. is able to find you the right insurance policy for your rental car fleet based off your individual needs. Skip the hassle of comparing multiple insurance quotes based off daunting numbers and endless calls with salespersons and representatives. As an independent agency, American Business Insurance Services, Inc. has direct relationships with all insurance companies currently writing specialized policies for transportation companies such as rental car fleets.

Different Types of Rental Car Fleets

As mentioned earlier, the barriers to enter the rental car industry is getting lower in recent years due to the growth of ridesharing apps and on-demand delivery services. More and more people are choosing to travel in vehicles not their own, as well as relying on on-demand drivers to deliver special goods. Especially in places like Los Angeles and San Francisco where traffic is really bad. The new trend of people relying on services of rental car fleets or other on-demand transportation services continues to rise. On top of that, California is by far the biggest automotive market in the United States.

In California people are more dependent on cars than public transit making California a great location to start a rental car fleet company. Whether you own a car rental company servicing travelers and businessmen, or a car dealership providing rental cars to customers, or you are simply an entrepreneur renting your own cars to other people, you will need fleet insurance to cover your company. Luckily at American Business Insurance Services, Inc. we have the connections and expertise to help you find the best insurance coverage for your rental car fleet.

Fleet Insurance – What does It Cover?

Whether your rental car fleet is working with a Transportation Network Company or on its own, the most important coverages to have for your rental car fleet are liability and physical damage. The transportation industry is a high-risk industry and it is important to have coverage for liability and physical damage. Living in California, you’ve probably seen a fair share of accidents on a daily basis on the highways. Accidents do happen, and the cold truth is the more miles your rental car fleet operates, the higher the chance that one of your drivers is involved in an incident.

In case of an incident, proper coverage for liability and collision will give you peace of mind as a business owner by knowing that your rental car fleet is protected on the road. Liability coverage is a must for rental car businesses, because it protects your fleet from potential negligence and mechanical failures.

There are coverage options that will cover all of the cars in your rental fleet, and also coverages that apply to drivers. There are policies for short-term car rentals or ones that operate on a pay-by-mile basis. That all depends on what kind of business you own and operate!

As your business grows, so does your need for more coverage. American Business Insurance Services, Inc. will help you adjust your limits accordingly to make sure you have proper coverage. Our friendly representatives will work with you and your company to fully understand your needs.

Additional Coverages For Rental Car Fleet Insurance

The number of fleet trucks, vans and SUVs on the roads in the U.S. is over 11.7 million. In Los Angeles alone, there are over 6 million vehicles in urbanized areas. The transportation sector is an ever-growing industry. As your company fleet grows, you may want to consider additional coverages such as inland marine coverage to protect any cargo or goods you are transporting.  You may also want to consider raising your liability coverage limits when you have more drivers, because the truth is the bigger your business is the more you have to lose!

Most insurance policies will cover the State’s mandated minimum insurance coverage that include liability and collision coverage. Additional coverages to consider would be roadside assistance, uninsured motorist coverage, and other coverages such as theft and vandalism. Consider the scope of your business, where you operate out of, and any special needs that you require.

Fleet Insurance – How Much Will It Cost

While there is no one single answer to this question, there are some indicators that will help you determine the costs of your fleet insurance plan. Typically, the more drivers and vehicles you have on your fleet, the more expensive the policy is. For example, consider the value of your vehicles – do you own a fleet of luxury European import cars? That is going to cost relatively more to maintain and fix, than say a fleet of economy cars. However, if the cars in your fleet are more likely to break down you run the risk of an increased premium. Another thing to consider is the intended use of your rental car vehicles. Are you using the fleet to transport people? That is going to cost more than  if you own a fleet of service vehicles (plumbers, electricians, etc) that are intended for special uses.

There is no single answer to how much it’s going to cost to insure your rental car fleet, but American Business Insurance Services, Inc will be able to cater to your needs and provide you with a quote in a short amount of time. Get Quote Now

How To Save Money on Rental Car Fleet Insurance

Typically to save money in a competitive insurance marketplace, you’d need to compare the different price offerings from different companies. American Business Insurance Services, Inc. differs from its competitors by its ability to work with different insurance companies writing specialized policies to provide you with a comprehensive coverage package. Located in the Los Angeles metropolitan area, American Business Insurance Services, Inc. has connections not only in California but with insurance providers nationwide. Tell us about your business, and we will do the research and get back to you with a policy that best fits your rental car fleet company.

Other ways to save on your premium is to reduce your coverage, but sometimes this wouldn’t be viable because of your business needs. While this certainly is an option for personal auto coverages, we wouldn’t recommend this for businesses like a rental car fleet. Another way to save on insurance premium is to raise your deductible amount. While this can seem like a cost-saving option in the short term, be sure that your business can pay the deductible when an incident arises.

Look into the regulations and mandated minimums in the State of California. Have an idea of what the minimum cost is going to be and know what your business is looking for. The easiest and best ways to save on an insurance policy is to combine multiple policies under the same provider and maintain a good driving record!

Get an Insurance Quote for Your Rental Car Fleet

In conclusion, you should look into fleet insurance policies if you have multiple vehicles in your transportation network company. Fleet Insurance makes managing your business and expenses easier, because no matter how many cars are in your fleet, one policy covers all! Whether you own a rental car company in California, or you’re just starting a business and looking to purchase a fleet of your own, you should purchase comprehensive insurance coverage. Tell us about your fleet company and we will help you find the best customizable insurance policy!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

transportation network companies

Minimum Premiums For Transportation Network Companies

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

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

American Business Insurance Services, Inc.

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

transportation network companies

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

Build the App:

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

1. Knowing When A Trip Starts and Stops

2. How Many Miles For Each Trip

3. How Many Minutes/Hours For Each Trip

Business Plan & Projections:

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

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

2. How will you monitor safety/loss control?

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

 Safety and Training:

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

Bios on Key Officers/Investors:

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

 Terms of Service & Privacy Conditions:

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

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

2. How Should Complaints Be Filed?

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

transportation network companies

Financial Balance Sheet:

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

Guidance From American Business Insurance Services, INC

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

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

Exclusive Contracts

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

1) Company Website

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

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

commercial fleet insurance

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

2) Creating a Business Name

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

3) Loss Control is Everything

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

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

4) The Driver Pool

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

5) Contact an Experienced, Transportation Insurance Broker

commercial fleet insurance

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

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

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Public Auto Insurance

American Business Insurance Public Auto Insurance

We get it, dealing with public auto insurance companies can definitely be a little more than inconvenient, but we want to make life a lot more simple if you’re looking for public auto insurance. Our experience within the livery industry allows us to optimize our services for you and streamline any process involved. We have worked for over 30 years to ensure that our version of public auto is different, and done the right way. 

American Business Insurance has been an industry leader in public auto insurance for over 30 years. We not only care deeply about our clients, but have a deep understanding of the intricacies within the public transportation field. Some of the amazing breakthroughs we have made within the industry that make our process simpler are:

Extensive shopping of the entire coverage spectrum:

We want to make it simpler and easier for you. It really can’t get any better; we take the time to browse the entire spectrum of coverage within the market, to get you the best price possible.

Fast, helpful service

A plethora of public auto insurance services are completed within our very own company. If you do business with us, you can be sure that you won’t deal with a million different brokers or agents. We can handle anything all in house, from insurance claims to billing, and everything in between. ABI will help in every area that we can. We want to make public transportation insurance a great experience for you.

We write custom policies

When it comes to insurance policies, things can get really messy and complicated really fast. We understand that you don’t want to have to deal with all the details that you may or may not have a ton of experience in. We get it, per day insurance and per mile insurance can get really tricky and intricate, but we’re here to make it simple and write a custom policy that works for you and your wheels, whether it be an entire fleet, or just a few sets. No other company will take the effort to custom tailor to your needs, and no one else can match our timeliness.

Easy, real-time tracking

In the unfortunate case of an accident, insurance companies often need a lot of information regarding specific details like the time, place, date, speeds, and more regarding the nature of the accident. Being able to provide as many details as possible puts you in the best position possible to make the process easier, and to have a more successful case. Fortunately, we offer tracking devices that provide us with every detail we need in the case of any accident, and we offer simple, easy installation.

Easy-to-use online portal

Online portals are rarely found within larger, b2b insurance companies. They are the typical standard for personal insurance, and are able to simplify the relationship between client and provider. That is why we’ve broken the mold and provided an online portal for you, to make your life easier when it comes to insurance.

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

 

Keeping up with the competition

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

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

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

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

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

Day to day in the taxi business

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

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

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

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

How much insurance do I need?

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

 

 

 

Insurance Coverage For Your Rental Car Fleet in California

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Rental Car Fleet Insurance Coverage in California

Do you own or operate a rental car service? Are you looking to partner with a transportation network company in California? Nowadays there are multiple ways to get into this ever-growing transportation industry. The rise of ridesharing apps and on-demand delivery apps utilizing rental car fleets in recent years, has more and more entrepreneurs looking to start their own transportation companies. The proper fleet insurance is essential in getting your business off the ground.

With the ever-changing market comes the requirement of insurance policies that can accommodate the unique needs of each business. There is no one insurance policy that fits all that’s why American Business Insurance Services, Inc. is able to find you the right insurance policy for your rental car fleet based off your individual needs. Skip the hassle of comparing multiple insurance quotes based off daunting numbers and endless calls with salespersons and representatives. As an independent agency, American Business Insurance Services, Inc. has direct relationships with all insurance companies currently writing specialized policies for transportation companies such as rental car fleets.

Different Types of Rental Car Fleets

As mentioned earlier, the barriers to enter the rental car industry is getting lower in recent years due to the growth of ridesharing apps and on-demand delivery services. More and more people are choosing to travel in vehicles not their own, as well as relying on on-demand drivers to deliver special goods. Especially in places like Los Angeles and San Francisco where traffic is really bad. The new trend of people relying on services of rental car fleets or other on-demand transportation services continues to rise. On top of that, California is by far the biggest automotive market in the United States.

In California people are more dependent on cars than public transit making California a great location to start a rental car fleet company. Whether you own a car rental company servicing travelers and businessmen, or a car dealership providing rental cars to customers, or you are simply an entrepreneur renting your own cars to other people, you will need fleet insurance to cover your company. Luckily at American Business Insurance Services, Inc. we have the connections and expertise to help you find the best insurance coverage for your rental car fleet.

Fleet Insurance – What does It Cover?

Whether your rental car fleet is working with a Transportation Network Company or on its own, the most important coverages to have for your rental car fleet are liability and physical damage. The transportation industry is a high-risk industry and it is important to have coverage for liability and physical damage. Living in California, you’ve probably seen a fair share of accidents on a daily basis on the highways. Accidents do happen, and the cold truth is the more miles your rental car fleet operates, the higher the chance that one of your drivers is involved in an incident.

In case of an incident, proper coverage for liability and collision will give you peace of mind as a business owner by knowing that your rental car fleet is protected on the road. Liability coverage is a must for rental car businesses, because it protects your fleet from potential negligence and mechanical failures.

There are coverage options that will cover all of the cars in your rental fleet, and also coverages that apply to drivers. There are policies for short-term car rentals or ones that operate on a pay-by-mile basis. That all depends on what kind of business you own and operate!

As your business grows, so does your need for more coverage. American Business Insurance Services, Inc. will help you adjust your limits accordingly to make sure you have proper coverage. Our friendly representatives will work with you and your company to fully understand your needs.

Additional Coverages For Rental Car Fleet Insurance

The number of fleet trucks, vans and SUVs on the roads in the U.S. is over 11.7 million. In Los Angeles alone, there are over 6 million vehicles in urbanized areas. The transportation sector is an ever-growing industry. As your company fleet grows, you may want to consider additional coverages such as inland marine coverage to protect any cargo or goods you are transporting.  You may also want to consider raising your liability coverage limits when you have more drivers, because the truth is the bigger your business is the more you have to lose!

Most insurance policies will cover the State’s mandated minimum insurance coverage that include liability and collision coverage. Additional coverages to consider would be roadside assistance, uninsured motorist coverage, and other coverages such as theft and vandalism. Consider the scope of your business, where you operate out of, and any special needs that you require.

Fleet Insurance – How Much Will It Cost

While there is no one single answer to this question, there are some indicators that will help you determine the costs of your fleet insurance plan. Typically, the more drivers and vehicles you have on your fleet, the more expensive the policy is. For example, consider the value of your vehicles – do you own a fleet of luxury European import cars? That is going to cost relatively more to maintain and fix, than say a fleet of economy cars. However, if the cars in your fleet are more likely to break down you run the risk of an increased premium. Another thing to consider is the intended use of your rental car vehicles. Are you using the fleet to transport people? That is going to cost more than  if you own a fleet of service vehicles (plumbers, electricians, etc) that are intended for special uses.

There is no single answer to how much it’s going to cost to insure your rental car fleet, but American Business Insurance Services, Inc will be able to cater to your needs and provide you with a quote in a short amount of time. Get Quote Now

How To Save Money on Rental Car Fleet Insurance

Typically to save money in a competitive insurance marketplace, you’d need to compare the different price offerings from different companies. American Business Insurance Services, Inc. differs from its competitors by its ability to work with different insurance companies writing specialized policies to provide you with a comprehensive coverage package. Located in the Los Angeles metropolitan area, American Business Insurance Services, Inc. has connections not only in California but with insurance providers nationwide. Tell us about your business, and we will do the research and get back to you with a policy that best fits your rental car fleet company.

Other ways to save on your premium is to reduce your coverage, but sometimes this wouldn’t be viable because of your business needs. While this certainly is an option for personal auto coverages, we wouldn’t recommend this for businesses like a rental car fleet. Another way to save on insurance premium is to raise your deductible amount. While this can seem like a cost-saving option in the short term, be sure that your business can pay the deductible when an incident arises.

Look into the regulations and mandated minimums in the State of California. Have an idea of what the minimum cost is going to be and know what your business is looking for. The easiest and best ways to save on an insurance policy is to combine multiple policies under the same provider and maintain a good driving record!

Get an Insurance Quote for Your Rental Car Fleet

In conclusion, you should look into fleet insurance policies if you have multiple vehicles in your transportation network company. Fleet Insurance makes managing your business and expenses easier, because no matter how many cars are in your fleet, one policy covers all! Whether you own a rental car company in California, or you’re just starting a business and looking to purchase a fleet of your own, you should purchase comprehensive insurance coverage. Tell us about your fleet company and we will help you find the best customizable insurance policy!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

transportation network companies

Minimum Premiums For Transportation Network Companies

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

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

American Business Insurance Services, Inc.

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

transportation network companies

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

Build the App:

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

1. Knowing When A Trip Starts and Stops

2. How Many Miles For Each Trip

3. How Many Minutes/Hours For Each Trip

Business Plan & Projections:

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

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

2. How will you monitor safety/loss control?

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

 Safety and Training:

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

Bios on Key Officers/Investors:

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

 Terms of Service & Privacy Conditions:

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

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

2. How Should Complaints Be Filed?

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

transportation network companies

Financial Balance Sheet:

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

Guidance From American Business Insurance Services, INC

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

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

Exclusive Contracts

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

1) Company Website

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

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

commercial fleet insurance

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

2) Creating a Business Name

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

3) Loss Control is Everything

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

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

4) The Driver Pool

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

5) Contact an Experienced, Transportation Insurance Broker

commercial fleet insurance

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

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

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Public Auto Insurance

American Business Insurance Public Auto Insurance

We get it, dealing with public auto insurance companies can definitely be a little more than inconvenient, but we want to make life a lot more simple if you’re looking for public auto insurance. Our experience within the livery industry allows us to optimize our services for you and streamline any process involved. We have worked for over 30 years to ensure that our version of public auto is different, and done the right way. 

American Business Insurance has been an industry leader in public auto insurance for over 30 years. We not only care deeply about our clients, but have a deep understanding of the intricacies within the public transportation field. Some of the amazing breakthroughs we have made within the industry that make our process simpler are:

Extensive shopping of the entire coverage spectrum:

We want to make it simpler and easier for you. It really can’t get any better; we take the time to browse the entire spectrum of coverage within the market, to get you the best price possible.

Fast, helpful service

A plethora of public auto insurance services are completed within our very own company. If you do business with us, you can be sure that you won’t deal with a million different brokers or agents. We can handle anything all in house, from insurance claims to billing, and everything in between. ABI will help in every area that we can. We want to make public transportation insurance a great experience for you.

We write custom policies

When it comes to insurance policies, things can get really messy and complicated really fast. We understand that you don’t want to have to deal with all the details that you may or may not have a ton of experience in. We get it, per day insurance and per mile insurance can get really tricky and intricate, but we’re here to make it simple and write a custom policy that works for you and your wheels, whether it be an entire fleet, or just a few sets. No other company will take the effort to custom tailor to your needs, and no one else can match our timeliness.

Easy, real-time tracking

In the unfortunate case of an accident, insurance companies often need a lot of information regarding specific details like the time, place, date, speeds, and more regarding the nature of the accident. Being able to provide as many details as possible puts you in the best position possible to make the process easier, and to have a more successful case. Fortunately, we offer tracking devices that provide us with every detail we need in the case of any accident, and we offer simple, easy installation.

Easy-to-use online portal

Online portals are rarely found within larger, b2b insurance companies. They are the typical standard for personal insurance, and are able to simplify the relationship between client and provider. That is why we’ve broken the mold and provided an online portal for you, to make your life easier when it comes to insurance.

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

 

Keeping up with the competition

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

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

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

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

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

Day to day in the taxi business

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

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

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

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

How much insurance do I need?

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

 

 

 

Insurance Coverage For Your Rental Car Fleet in California

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Rental Car Fleet Insurance Coverage in California

Do you own or operate a rental car service? Are you looking to partner with a transportation network company in California? Nowadays there are multiple ways to get into this ever-growing transportation industry. The rise of ridesharing apps and on-demand delivery apps utilizing rental car fleets in recent years, has more and more entrepreneurs looking to start their own transportation companies. The proper fleet insurance is essential in getting your business off the ground.

With the ever-changing market comes the requirement of insurance policies that can accommodate the unique needs of each business. There is no one insurance policy that fits all that’s why American Business Insurance Services, Inc. is able to find you the right insurance policy for your rental car fleet based off your individual needs. Skip the hassle of comparing multiple insurance quotes based off daunting numbers and endless calls with salespersons and representatives. As an independent agency, American Business Insurance Services, Inc. has direct relationships with all insurance companies currently writing specialized policies for transportation companies such as rental car fleets.

Different Types of Rental Car Fleets

As mentioned earlier, the barriers to enter the rental car industry is getting lower in recent years due to the growth of ridesharing apps and on-demand delivery services. More and more people are choosing to travel in vehicles not their own, as well as relying on on-demand drivers to deliver special goods. Especially in places like Los Angeles and San Francisco where traffic is really bad. The new trend of people relying on services of rental car fleets or other on-demand transportation services continues to rise. On top of that, California is by far the biggest automotive market in the United States.

In California people are more dependent on cars than public transit making California a great location to start a rental car fleet company. Whether you own a car rental company servicing travelers and businessmen, or a car dealership providing rental cars to customers, or you are simply an entrepreneur renting your own cars to other people, you will need fleet insurance to cover your company. Luckily at American Business Insurance Services, Inc. we have the connections and expertise to help you find the best insurance coverage for your rental car fleet.

Fleet Insurance – What does It Cover?

Whether your rental car fleet is working with a Transportation Network Company or on its own, the most important coverages to have for your rental car fleet are liability and physical damage. The transportation industry is a high-risk industry and it is important to have coverage for liability and physical damage. Living in California, you’ve probably seen a fair share of accidents on a daily basis on the highways. Accidents do happen, and the cold truth is the more miles your rental car fleet operates, the higher the chance that one of your drivers is involved in an incident.

In case of an incident, proper coverage for liability and collision will give you peace of mind as a business owner by knowing that your rental car fleet is protected on the road. Liability coverage is a must for rental car businesses, because it protects your fleet from potential negligence and mechanical failures.

There are coverage options that will cover all of the cars in your rental fleet, and also coverages that apply to drivers. There are policies for short-term car rentals or ones that operate on a pay-by-mile basis. That all depends on what kind of business you own and operate!

As your business grows, so does your need for more coverage. American Business Insurance Services, Inc. will help you adjust your limits accordingly to make sure you have proper coverage. Our friendly representatives will work with you and your company to fully understand your needs.

Additional Coverages For Rental Car Fleet Insurance

The number of fleet trucks, vans and SUVs on the roads in the U.S. is over 11.7 million. In Los Angeles alone, there are over 6 million vehicles in urbanized areas. The transportation sector is an ever-growing industry. As your company fleet grows, you may want to consider additional coverages such as inland marine coverage to protect any cargo or goods you are transporting.  You may also want to consider raising your liability coverage limits when you have more drivers, because the truth is the bigger your business is the more you have to lose!

Most insurance policies will cover the State’s mandated minimum insurance coverage that include liability and collision coverage. Additional coverages to consider would be roadside assistance, uninsured motorist coverage, and other coverages such as theft and vandalism. Consider the scope of your business, where you operate out of, and any special needs that you require.

Fleet Insurance – How Much Will It Cost

While there is no one single answer to this question, there are some indicators that will help you determine the costs of your fleet insurance plan. Typically, the more drivers and vehicles you have on your fleet, the more expensive the policy is. For example, consider the value of your vehicles – do you own a fleet of luxury European import cars? That is going to cost relatively more to maintain and fix, than say a fleet of economy cars. However, if the cars in your fleet are more likely to break down you run the risk of an increased premium. Another thing to consider is the intended use of your rental car vehicles. Are you using the fleet to transport people? That is going to cost more than  if you own a fleet of service vehicles (plumbers, electricians, etc) that are intended for special uses.

There is no single answer to how much it’s going to cost to insure your rental car fleet, but American Business Insurance Services, Inc will be able to cater to your needs and provide you with a quote in a short amount of time. Get Quote Now

How To Save Money on Rental Car Fleet Insurance

Typically to save money in a competitive insurance marketplace, you’d need to compare the different price offerings from different companies. American Business Insurance Services, Inc. differs from its competitors by its ability to work with different insurance companies writing specialized policies to provide you with a comprehensive coverage package. Located in the Los Angeles metropolitan area, American Business Insurance Services, Inc. has connections not only in California but with insurance providers nationwide. Tell us about your business, and we will do the research and get back to you with a policy that best fits your rental car fleet company.

Other ways to save on your premium is to reduce your coverage, but sometimes this wouldn’t be viable because of your business needs. While this certainly is an option for personal auto coverages, we wouldn’t recommend this for businesses like a rental car fleet. Another way to save on insurance premium is to raise your deductible amount. While this can seem like a cost-saving option in the short term, be sure that your business can pay the deductible when an incident arises.

Look into the regulations and mandated minimums in the State of California. Have an idea of what the minimum cost is going to be and know what your business is looking for. The easiest and best ways to save on an insurance policy is to combine multiple policies under the same provider and maintain a good driving record!

Get an Insurance Quote for Your Rental Car Fleet

In conclusion, you should look into fleet insurance policies if you have multiple vehicles in your transportation network company. Fleet Insurance makes managing your business and expenses easier, because no matter how many cars are in your fleet, one policy covers all! Whether you own a rental car company in California, or you’re just starting a business and looking to purchase a fleet of your own, you should purchase comprehensive insurance coverage. Tell us about your fleet company and we will help you find the best customizable insurance policy!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

transportation network companies

Minimum Premiums For Transportation Network Companies

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

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

American Business Insurance Services, Inc.

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

transportation network companies

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

Build the App:

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

1. Knowing When A Trip Starts and Stops

2. How Many Miles For Each Trip

3. How Many Minutes/Hours For Each Trip

Business Plan & Projections:

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

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

2. How will you monitor safety/loss control?

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

 Safety and Training:

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

Bios on Key Officers/Investors:

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

 Terms of Service & Privacy Conditions:

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

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

2. How Should Complaints Be Filed?

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

transportation network companies

Financial Balance Sheet:

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

Guidance From American Business Insurance Services, INC

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

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

Exclusive Contracts

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

1) Company Website

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

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

commercial fleet insurance

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

2) Creating a Business Name

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

3) Loss Control is Everything

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

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

4) The Driver Pool

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

5) Contact an Experienced, Transportation Insurance Broker

commercial fleet insurance

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

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

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Public Auto Insurance

American Business Insurance Public Auto Insurance

We get it, dealing with public auto insurance companies can definitely be a little more than inconvenient, but we want to make life a lot more simple if you’re looking for public auto insurance. Our experience within the livery industry allows us to optimize our services for you and streamline any process involved. We have worked for over 30 years to ensure that our version of public auto is different, and done the right way. 

American Business Insurance has been an industry leader in public auto insurance for over 30 years. We not only care deeply about our clients, but have a deep understanding of the intricacies within the public transportation field. Some of the amazing breakthroughs we have made within the industry that make our process simpler are:

Extensive shopping of the entire coverage spectrum:

We want to make it simpler and easier for you. It really can’t get any better; we take the time to browse the entire spectrum of coverage within the market, to get you the best price possible.

Fast, helpful service

A plethora of public auto insurance services are completed within our very own company. If you do business with us, you can be sure that you won’t deal with a million different brokers or agents. We can handle anything all in house, from insurance claims to billing, and everything in between. ABI will help in every area that we can. We want to make public transportation insurance a great experience for you.

We write custom policies

When it comes to insurance policies, things can get really messy and complicated really fast. We understand that you don’t want to have to deal with all the details that you may or may not have a ton of experience in. We get it, per day insurance and per mile insurance can get really tricky and intricate, but we’re here to make it simple and write a custom policy that works for you and your wheels, whether it be an entire fleet, or just a few sets. No other company will take the effort to custom tailor to your needs, and no one else can match our timeliness.

Easy, real-time tracking

In the unfortunate case of an accident, insurance companies often need a lot of information regarding specific details like the time, place, date, speeds, and more regarding the nature of the accident. Being able to provide as many details as possible puts you in the best position possible to make the process easier, and to have a more successful case. Fortunately, we offer tracking devices that provide us with every detail we need in the case of any accident, and we offer simple, easy installation.

Easy-to-use online portal

Online portals are rarely found within larger, b2b insurance companies. They are the typical standard for personal insurance, and are able to simplify the relationship between client and provider. That is why we’ve broken the mold and provided an online portal for you, to make your life easier when it comes to insurance.

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

 

Keeping up with the competition

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

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

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

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

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

Day to day in the taxi business

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

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

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

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

How much insurance do I need?

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

 

 

 

Insurance Coverage For Your Rental Car Fleet in California

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Rental Car Fleet Insurance Coverage in California

Do you own or operate a rental car service? Are you looking to partner with a transportation network company in California? Nowadays there are multiple ways to get into this ever-growing transportation industry. The rise of ridesharing apps and on-demand delivery apps utilizing rental car fleets in recent years, has more and more entrepreneurs looking to start their own transportation companies. The proper fleet insurance is essential in getting your business off the ground.

With the ever-changing market comes the requirement of insurance policies that can accommodate the unique needs of each business. There is no one insurance policy that fits all that’s why American Business Insurance Services, Inc. is able to find you the right insurance policy for your rental car fleet based off your individual needs. Skip the hassle of comparing multiple insurance quotes based off daunting numbers and endless calls with salespersons and representatives. As an independent agency, American Business Insurance Services, Inc. has direct relationships with all insurance companies currently writing specialized policies for transportation companies such as rental car fleets.

Different Types of Rental Car Fleets

As mentioned earlier, the barriers to enter the rental car industry is getting lower in recent years due to the growth of ridesharing apps and on-demand delivery services. More and more people are choosing to travel in vehicles not their own, as well as relying on on-demand drivers to deliver special goods. Especially in places like Los Angeles and San Francisco where traffic is really bad. The new trend of people relying on services of rental car fleets or other on-demand transportation services continues to rise. On top of that, California is by far the biggest automotive market in the United States.

In California people are more dependent on cars than public transit making California a great location to start a rental car fleet company. Whether you own a car rental company servicing travelers and businessmen, or a car dealership providing rental cars to customers, or you are simply an entrepreneur renting your own cars to other people, you will need fleet insurance to cover your company. Luckily at American Business Insurance Services, Inc. we have the connections and expertise to help you find the best insurance coverage for your rental car fleet.

Fleet Insurance – What does It Cover?

Whether your rental car fleet is working with a Transportation Network Company or on its own, the most important coverages to have for your rental car fleet are liability and physical damage. The transportation industry is a high-risk industry and it is important to have coverage for liability and physical damage. Living in California, you’ve probably seen a fair share of accidents on a daily basis on the highways. Accidents do happen, and the cold truth is the more miles your rental car fleet operates, the higher the chance that one of your drivers is involved in an incident.

In case of an incident, proper coverage for liability and collision will give you peace of mind as a business owner by knowing that your rental car fleet is protected on the road. Liability coverage is a must for rental car businesses, because it protects your fleet from potential negligence and mechanical failures.

There are coverage options that will cover all of the cars in your rental fleet, and also coverages that apply to drivers. There are policies for short-term car rentals or ones that operate on a pay-by-mile basis. That all depends on what kind of business you own and operate!

As your business grows, so does your need for more coverage. American Business Insurance Services, Inc. will help you adjust your limits accordingly to make sure you have proper coverage. Our friendly representatives will work with you and your company to fully understand your needs.

Additional Coverages For Rental Car Fleet Insurance

The number of fleet trucks, vans and SUVs on the roads in the U.S. is over 11.7 million. In Los Angeles alone, there are over 6 million vehicles in urbanized areas. The transportation sector is an ever-growing industry. As your company fleet grows, you may want to consider additional coverages such as inland marine coverage to protect any cargo or goods you are transporting.  You may also want to consider raising your liability coverage limits when you have more drivers, because the truth is the bigger your business is the more you have to lose!

Most insurance policies will cover the State’s mandated minimum insurance coverage that include liability and collision coverage. Additional coverages to consider would be roadside assistance, uninsured motorist coverage, and other coverages such as theft and vandalism. Consider the scope of your business, where you operate out of, and any special needs that you require.

Fleet Insurance – How Much Will It Cost

While there is no one single answer to this question, there are some indicators that will help you determine the costs of your fleet insurance plan. Typically, the more drivers and vehicles you have on your fleet, the more expensive the policy is. For example, consider the value of your vehicles – do you own a fleet of luxury European import cars? That is going to cost relatively more to maintain and fix, than say a fleet of economy cars. However, if the cars in your fleet are more likely to break down you run the risk of an increased premium. Another thing to consider is the intended use of your rental car vehicles. Are you using the fleet to transport people? That is going to cost more than  if you own a fleet of service vehicles (plumbers, electricians, etc) that are intended for special uses.

There is no single answer to how much it’s going to cost to insure your rental car fleet, but American Business Insurance Services, Inc will be able to cater to your needs and provide you with a quote in a short amount of time. Get Quote Now

How To Save Money on Rental Car Fleet Insurance

Typically to save money in a competitive insurance marketplace, you’d need to compare the different price offerings from different companies. American Business Insurance Services, Inc. differs from its competitors by its ability to work with different insurance companies writing specialized policies to provide you with a comprehensive coverage package. Located in the Los Angeles metropolitan area, American Business Insurance Services, Inc. has connections not only in California but with insurance providers nationwide. Tell us about your business, and we will do the research and get back to you with a policy that best fits your rental car fleet company.

Other ways to save on your premium is to reduce your coverage, but sometimes this wouldn’t be viable because of your business needs. While this certainly is an option for personal auto coverages, we wouldn’t recommend this for businesses like a rental car fleet. Another way to save on insurance premium is to raise your deductible amount. While this can seem like a cost-saving option in the short term, be sure that your business can pay the deductible when an incident arises.

Look into the regulations and mandated minimums in the State of California. Have an idea of what the minimum cost is going to be and know what your business is looking for. The easiest and best ways to save on an insurance policy is to combine multiple policies under the same provider and maintain a good driving record!

Get an Insurance Quote for Your Rental Car Fleet

In conclusion, you should look into fleet insurance policies if you have multiple vehicles in your transportation network company. Fleet Insurance makes managing your business and expenses easier, because no matter how many cars are in your fleet, one policy covers all! Whether you own a rental car company in California, or you’re just starting a business and looking to purchase a fleet of your own, you should purchase comprehensive insurance coverage. Tell us about your fleet company and we will help you find the best customizable insurance policy!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

transportation network companies

Minimum Premiums For Transportation Network Companies

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

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

American Business Insurance Services, Inc.

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

transportation network companies

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

Build the App:

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

1. Knowing When A Trip Starts and Stops

2. How Many Miles For Each Trip

3. How Many Minutes/Hours For Each Trip

Business Plan & Projections:

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

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

2. How will you monitor safety/loss control?

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

 Safety and Training:

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

Bios on Key Officers/Investors:

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

 Terms of Service & Privacy Conditions:

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

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

2. How Should Complaints Be Filed?

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

transportation network companies

Financial Balance Sheet:

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

Guidance From American Business Insurance Services, INC

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

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

Exclusive Contracts

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

1) Company Website

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

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

commercial fleet insurance

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

2) Creating a Business Name

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

3) Loss Control is Everything

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

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

4) The Driver Pool

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

5) Contact an Experienced, Transportation Insurance Broker

commercial fleet insurance

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

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

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Public Auto Insurance

American Business Insurance Public Auto Insurance

We get it, dealing with public auto insurance companies can definitely be a little more than inconvenient, but we want to make life a lot more simple if you’re looking for public auto insurance. Our experience within the livery industry allows us to optimize our services for you and streamline any process involved. We have worked for over 30 years to ensure that our version of public auto is different, and done the right way. 

American Business Insurance has been an industry leader in public auto insurance for over 30 years. We not only care deeply about our clients, but have a deep understanding of the intricacies within the public transportation field. Some of the amazing breakthroughs we have made within the industry that make our process simpler are:

Extensive shopping of the entire coverage spectrum:

We want to make it simpler and easier for you. It really can’t get any better; we take the time to browse the entire spectrum of coverage within the market, to get you the best price possible.

Fast, helpful service

A plethora of public auto insurance services are completed within our very own company. If you do business with us, you can be sure that you won’t deal with a million different brokers or agents. We can handle anything all in house, from insurance claims to billing, and everything in between. ABI will help in every area that we can. We want to make public transportation insurance a great experience for you.

We write custom policies

When it comes to insurance policies, things can get really messy and complicated really fast. We understand that you don’t want to have to deal with all the details that you may or may not have a ton of experience in. We get it, per day insurance and per mile insurance can get really tricky and intricate, but we’re here to make it simple and write a custom policy that works for you and your wheels, whether it be an entire fleet, or just a few sets. No other company will take the effort to custom tailor to your needs, and no one else can match our timeliness.

Easy, real-time tracking

In the unfortunate case of an accident, insurance companies often need a lot of information regarding specific details like the time, place, date, speeds, and more regarding the nature of the accident. Being able to provide as many details as possible puts you in the best position possible to make the process easier, and to have a more successful case. Fortunately, we offer tracking devices that provide us with every detail we need in the case of any accident, and we offer simple, easy installation.

Easy-to-use online portal

Online portals are rarely found within larger, b2b insurance companies. They are the typical standard for personal insurance, and are able to simplify the relationship between client and provider. That is why we’ve broken the mold and provided an online portal for you, to make your life easier when it comes to insurance.

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

 

Keeping up with the competition

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

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

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

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

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

Day to day in the taxi business

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

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

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

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

How much insurance do I need?

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

 

 

 

Insurance Coverage For Your Rental Car Fleet in California

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Rental Car Fleet Insurance Coverage in California

Do you own or operate a rental car service? Are you looking to partner with a transportation network company in California? Nowadays there are multiple ways to get into this ever-growing transportation industry. The rise of ridesharing apps and on-demand delivery apps utilizing rental car fleets in recent years, has more and more entrepreneurs looking to start their own transportation companies. The proper fleet insurance is essential in getting your business off the ground.

With the ever-changing market comes the requirement of insurance policies that can accommodate the unique needs of each business. There is no one insurance policy that fits all that’s why American Business Insurance Services, Inc. is able to find you the right insurance policy for your rental car fleet based off your individual needs. Skip the hassle of comparing multiple insurance quotes based off daunting numbers and endless calls with salespersons and representatives. As an independent agency, American Business Insurance Services, Inc. has direct relationships with all insurance companies currently writing specialized policies for transportation companies such as rental car fleets.

Different Types of Rental Car Fleets

As mentioned earlier, the barriers to enter the rental car industry is getting lower in recent years due to the growth of ridesharing apps and on-demand delivery services. More and more people are choosing to travel in vehicles not their own, as well as relying on on-demand drivers to deliver special goods. Especially in places like Los Angeles and San Francisco where traffic is really bad. The new trend of people relying on services of rental car fleets or other on-demand transportation services continues to rise. On top of that, California is by far the biggest automotive market in the United States.

In California people are more dependent on cars than public transit making California a great location to start a rental car fleet company. Whether you own a car rental company servicing travelers and businessmen, or a car dealership providing rental cars to customers, or you are simply an entrepreneur renting your own cars to other people, you will need fleet insurance to cover your company. Luckily at American Business Insurance Services, Inc. we have the connections and expertise to help you find the best insurance coverage for your rental car fleet.

Fleet Insurance – What does It Cover?

Whether your rental car fleet is working with a Transportation Network Company or on its own, the most important coverages to have for your rental car fleet are liability and physical damage. The transportation industry is a high-risk industry and it is important to have coverage for liability and physical damage. Living in California, you’ve probably seen a fair share of accidents on a daily basis on the highways. Accidents do happen, and the cold truth is the more miles your rental car fleet operates, the higher the chance that one of your drivers is involved in an incident.

In case of an incident, proper coverage for liability and collision will give you peace of mind as a business owner by knowing that your rental car fleet is protected on the road. Liability coverage is a must for rental car businesses, because it protects your fleet from potential negligence and mechanical failures.

There are coverage options that will cover all of the cars in your rental fleet, and also coverages that apply to drivers. There are policies for short-term car rentals or ones that operate on a pay-by-mile basis. That all depends on what kind of business you own and operate!

As your business grows, so does your need for more coverage. American Business Insurance Services, Inc. will help you adjust your limits accordingly to make sure you have proper coverage. Our friendly representatives will work with you and your company to fully understand your needs.

Additional Coverages For Rental Car Fleet Insurance

The number of fleet trucks, vans and SUVs on the roads in the U.S. is over 11.7 million. In Los Angeles alone, there are over 6 million vehicles in urbanized areas. The transportation sector is an ever-growing industry. As your company fleet grows, you may want to consider additional coverages such as inland marine coverage to protect any cargo or goods you are transporting.  You may also want to consider raising your liability coverage limits when you have more drivers, because the truth is the bigger your business is the more you have to lose!

Most insurance policies will cover the State’s mandated minimum insurance coverage that include liability and collision coverage. Additional coverages to consider would be roadside assistance, uninsured motorist coverage, and other coverages such as theft and vandalism. Consider the scope of your business, where you operate out of, and any special needs that you require.

Fleet Insurance – How Much Will It Cost

While there is no one single answer to this question, there are some indicators that will help you determine the costs of your fleet insurance plan. Typically, the more drivers and vehicles you have on your fleet, the more expensive the policy is. For example, consider the value of your vehicles – do you own a fleet of luxury European import cars? That is going to cost relatively more to maintain and fix, than say a fleet of economy cars. However, if the cars in your fleet are more likely to break down you run the risk of an increased premium. Another thing to consider is the intended use of your rental car vehicles. Are you using the fleet to transport people? That is going to cost more than  if you own a fleet of service vehicles (plumbers, electricians, etc) that are intended for special uses.

There is no single answer to how much it’s going to cost to insure your rental car fleet, but American Business Insurance Services, Inc will be able to cater to your needs and provide you with a quote in a short amount of time. Get Quote Now

How To Save Money on Rental Car Fleet Insurance

Typically to save money in a competitive insurance marketplace, you’d need to compare the different price offerings from different companies. American Business Insurance Services, Inc. differs from its competitors by its ability to work with different insurance companies writing specialized policies to provide you with a comprehensive coverage package. Located in the Los Angeles metropolitan area, American Business Insurance Services, Inc. has connections not only in California but with insurance providers nationwide. Tell us about your business, and we will do the research and get back to you with a policy that best fits your rental car fleet company.

Other ways to save on your premium is to reduce your coverage, but sometimes this wouldn’t be viable because of your business needs. While this certainly is an option for personal auto coverages, we wouldn’t recommend this for businesses like a rental car fleet. Another way to save on insurance premium is to raise your deductible amount. While this can seem like a cost-saving option in the short term, be sure that your business can pay the deductible when an incident arises.

Look into the regulations and mandated minimums in the State of California. Have an idea of what the minimum cost is going to be and know what your business is looking for. The easiest and best ways to save on an insurance policy is to combine multiple policies under the same provider and maintain a good driving record!

Get an Insurance Quote for Your Rental Car Fleet

In conclusion, you should look into fleet insurance policies if you have multiple vehicles in your transportation network company. Fleet Insurance makes managing your business and expenses easier, because no matter how many cars are in your fleet, one policy covers all! Whether you own a rental car company in California, or you’re just starting a business and looking to purchase a fleet of your own, you should purchase comprehensive insurance coverage. Tell us about your fleet company and we will help you find the best customizable insurance policy!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

transportation network companies

Minimum Premiums For Transportation Network Companies

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

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

American Business Insurance Services, Inc.

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

transportation network companies

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

Build the App:

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

1. Knowing When A Trip Starts and Stops

2. How Many Miles For Each Trip

3. How Many Minutes/Hours For Each Trip

Business Plan & Projections:

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

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

2. How will you monitor safety/loss control?

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

 Safety and Training:

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

Bios on Key Officers/Investors:

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

 Terms of Service & Privacy Conditions:

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

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

2. How Should Complaints Be Filed?

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

transportation network companies

Financial Balance Sheet:

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

Guidance From American Business Insurance Services, INC

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

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

Exclusive Contracts

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

1) Company Website

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

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

commercial fleet insurance

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

2) Creating a Business Name

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

3) Loss Control is Everything

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

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

4) The Driver Pool

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

5) Contact an Experienced, Transportation Insurance Broker

commercial fleet insurance

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

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

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Public Auto Insurance

American Business Insurance Public Auto Insurance

We get it, dealing with public auto insurance companies can definitely be a little more than inconvenient, but we want to make life a lot more simple if you’re looking for public auto insurance. Our experience within the livery industry allows us to optimize our services for you and streamline any process involved. We have worked for over 30 years to ensure that our version of public auto is different, and done the right way. 

American Business Insurance has been an industry leader in public auto insurance for over 30 years. We not only care deeply about our clients, but have a deep understanding of the intricacies within the public transportation field. Some of the amazing breakthroughs we have made within the industry that make our process simpler are:

Extensive shopping of the entire coverage spectrum:

We want to make it simpler and easier for you. It really can’t get any better; we take the time to browse the entire spectrum of coverage within the market, to get you the best price possible.

Fast, helpful service

A plethora of public auto insurance services are completed within our very own company. If you do business with us, you can be sure that you won’t deal with a million different brokers or agents. We can handle anything all in house, from insurance claims to billing, and everything in between. ABI will help in every area that we can. We want to make public transportation insurance a great experience for you.

We write custom policies

When it comes to insurance policies, things can get really messy and complicated really fast. We understand that you don’t want to have to deal with all the details that you may or may not have a ton of experience in. We get it, per day insurance and per mile insurance can get really tricky and intricate, but we’re here to make it simple and write a custom policy that works for you and your wheels, whether it be an entire fleet, or just a few sets. No other company will take the effort to custom tailor to your needs, and no one else can match our timeliness.

Easy, real-time tracking

In the unfortunate case of an accident, insurance companies often need a lot of information regarding specific details like the time, place, date, speeds, and more regarding the nature of the accident. Being able to provide as many details as possible puts you in the best position possible to make the process easier, and to have a more successful case. Fortunately, we offer tracking devices that provide us with every detail we need in the case of any accident, and we offer simple, easy installation.

Easy-to-use online portal

Online portals are rarely found within larger, b2b insurance companies. They are the typical standard for personal insurance, and are able to simplify the relationship between client and provider. That is why we’ve broken the mold and provided an online portal for you, to make your life easier when it comes to insurance.

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

 

Keeping up with the competition

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

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

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

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

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

Day to day in the taxi business

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

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

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

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

How much insurance do I need?

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

 

 

 

Insurance Coverage For Your Rental Car Fleet in California

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Rental Car Fleet Insurance Coverage in California

Do you own or operate a rental car service? Are you looking to partner with a transportation network company in California? Nowadays there are multiple ways to get into this ever-growing transportation industry. The rise of ridesharing apps and on-demand delivery apps utilizing rental car fleets in recent years, has more and more entrepreneurs looking to start their own transportation companies. The proper fleet insurance is essential in getting your business off the ground.

With the ever-changing market comes the requirement of insurance policies that can accommodate the unique needs of each business. There is no one insurance policy that fits all that’s why American Business Insurance Services, Inc. is able to find you the right insurance policy for your rental car fleet based off your individual needs. Skip the hassle of comparing multiple insurance quotes based off daunting numbers and endless calls with salespersons and representatives. As an independent agency, American Business Insurance Services, Inc. has direct relationships with all insurance companies currently writing specialized policies for transportation companies such as rental car fleets.

Different Types of Rental Car Fleets

As mentioned earlier, the barriers to enter the rental car industry is getting lower in recent years due to the growth of ridesharing apps and on-demand delivery services. More and more people are choosing to travel in vehicles not their own, as well as relying on on-demand drivers to deliver special goods. Especially in places like Los Angeles and San Francisco where traffic is really bad. The new trend of people relying on services of rental car fleets or other on-demand transportation services continues to rise. On top of that, California is by far the biggest automotive market in the United States.

In California people are more dependent on cars than public transit making California a great location to start a rental car fleet company. Whether you own a car rental company servicing travelers and businessmen, or a car dealership providing rental cars to customers, or you are simply an entrepreneur renting your own cars to other people, you will need fleet insurance to cover your company. Luckily at American Business Insurance Services, Inc. we have the connections and expertise to help you find the best insurance coverage for your rental car fleet.

Fleet Insurance – What does It Cover?

Whether your rental car fleet is working with a Transportation Network Company or on its own, the most important coverages to have for your rental car fleet are liability and physical damage. The transportation industry is a high-risk industry and it is important to have coverage for liability and physical damage. Living in California, you’ve probably seen a fair share of accidents on a daily basis on the highways. Accidents do happen, and the cold truth is the more miles your rental car fleet operates, the higher the chance that one of your drivers is involved in an incident.

In case of an incident, proper coverage for liability and collision will give you peace of mind as a business owner by knowing that your rental car fleet is protected on the road. Liability coverage is a must for rental car businesses, because it protects your fleet from potential negligence and mechanical failures.

There are coverage options that will cover all of the cars in your rental fleet, and also coverages that apply to drivers. There are policies for short-term car rentals or ones that operate on a pay-by-mile basis. That all depends on what kind of business you own and operate!

As your business grows, so does your need for more coverage. American Business Insurance Services, Inc. will help you adjust your limits accordingly to make sure you have proper coverage. Our friendly representatives will work with you and your company to fully understand your needs.

Additional Coverages For Rental Car Fleet Insurance

The number of fleet trucks, vans and SUVs on the roads in the U.S. is over 11.7 million. In Los Angeles alone, there are over 6 million vehicles in urbanized areas. The transportation sector is an ever-growing industry. As your company fleet grows, you may want to consider additional coverages such as inland marine coverage to protect any cargo or goods you are transporting.  You may also want to consider raising your liability coverage limits when you have more drivers, because the truth is the bigger your business is the more you have to lose!

Most insurance policies will cover the State’s mandated minimum insurance coverage that include liability and collision coverage. Additional coverages to consider would be roadside assistance, uninsured motorist coverage, and other coverages such as theft and vandalism. Consider the scope of your business, where you operate out of, and any special needs that you require.

Fleet Insurance – How Much Will It Cost

While there is no one single answer to this question, there are some indicators that will help you determine the costs of your fleet insurance plan. Typically, the more drivers and vehicles you have on your fleet, the more expensive the policy is. For example, consider the value of your vehicles – do you own a fleet of luxury European import cars? That is going to cost relatively more to maintain and fix, than say a fleet of economy cars. However, if the cars in your fleet are more likely to break down you run the risk of an increased premium. Another thing to consider is the intended use of your rental car vehicles. Are you using the fleet to transport people? That is going to cost more than  if you own a fleet of service vehicles (plumbers, electricians, etc) that are intended for special uses.

There is no single answer to how much it’s going to cost to insure your rental car fleet, but American Business Insurance Services, Inc will be able to cater to your needs and provide you with a quote in a short amount of time. Get Quote Now

How To Save Money on Rental Car Fleet Insurance

Typically to save money in a competitive insurance marketplace, you’d need to compare the different price offerings from different companies. American Business Insurance Services, Inc. differs from its competitors by its ability to work with different insurance companies writing specialized policies to provide you with a comprehensive coverage package. Located in the Los Angeles metropolitan area, American Business Insurance Services, Inc. has connections not only in California but with insurance providers nationwide. Tell us about your business, and we will do the research and get back to you with a policy that best fits your rental car fleet company.

Other ways to save on your premium is to reduce your coverage, but sometimes this wouldn’t be viable because of your business needs. While this certainly is an option for personal auto coverages, we wouldn’t recommend this for businesses like a rental car fleet. Another way to save on insurance premium is to raise your deductible amount. While this can seem like a cost-saving option in the short term, be sure that your business can pay the deductible when an incident arises.

Look into the regulations and mandated minimums in the State of California. Have an idea of what the minimum cost is going to be and know what your business is looking for. The easiest and best ways to save on an insurance policy is to combine multiple policies under the same provider and maintain a good driving record!

Get an Insurance Quote for Your Rental Car Fleet

In conclusion, you should look into fleet insurance policies if you have multiple vehicles in your transportation network company. Fleet Insurance makes managing your business and expenses easier, because no matter how many cars are in your fleet, one policy covers all! Whether you own a rental car company in California, or you’re just starting a business and looking to purchase a fleet of your own, you should purchase comprehensive insurance coverage. Tell us about your fleet company and we will help you find the best customizable insurance policy!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

transportation network companies

Minimum Premiums For Transportation Network Companies

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

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

American Business Insurance Services, Inc.

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

transportation network companies

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

Build the App:

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

1. Knowing When A Trip Starts and Stops

2. How Many Miles For Each Trip

3. How Many Minutes/Hours For Each Trip

Business Plan & Projections:

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

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

2. How will you monitor safety/loss control?

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

 Safety and Training:

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

Bios on Key Officers/Investors:

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

 Terms of Service & Privacy Conditions:

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

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

2. How Should Complaints Be Filed?

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

transportation network companies

Financial Balance Sheet:

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

Guidance From American Business Insurance Services, INC

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

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

Exclusive Contracts

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

1) Company Website

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

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

commercial fleet insurance

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

2) Creating a Business Name

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

3) Loss Control is Everything

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

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

4) The Driver Pool

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

5) Contact an Experienced, Transportation Insurance Broker

commercial fleet insurance

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

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

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Public Auto Insurance

American Business Insurance Public Auto Insurance

We get it, dealing with public auto insurance companies can definitely be a little more than inconvenient, but we want to make life a lot more simple if you’re looking for public auto insurance. Our experience within the livery industry allows us to optimize our services for you and streamline any process involved. We have worked for over 30 years to ensure that our version of public auto is different, and done the right way. 

American Business Insurance has been an industry leader in public auto insurance for over 30 years. We not only care deeply about our clients, but have a deep understanding of the intricacies within the public transportation field. Some of the amazing breakthroughs we have made within the industry that make our process simpler are:

Extensive shopping of the entire coverage spectrum:

We want to make it simpler and easier for you. It really can’t get any better; we take the time to browse the entire spectrum of coverage within the market, to get you the best price possible.

Fast, helpful service

A plethora of public auto insurance services are completed within our very own company. If you do business with us, you can be sure that you won’t deal with a million different brokers or agents. We can handle anything all in house, from insurance claims to billing, and everything in between. ABI will help in every area that we can. We want to make public transportation insurance a great experience for you.

We write custom policies

When it comes to insurance policies, things can get really messy and complicated really fast. We understand that you don’t want to have to deal with all the details that you may or may not have a ton of experience in. We get it, per day insurance and per mile insurance can get really tricky and intricate, but we’re here to make it simple and write a custom policy that works for you and your wheels, whether it be an entire fleet, or just a few sets. No other company will take the effort to custom tailor to your needs, and no one else can match our timeliness.

Easy, real-time tracking

In the unfortunate case of an accident, insurance companies often need a lot of information regarding specific details like the time, place, date, speeds, and more regarding the nature of the accident. Being able to provide as many details as possible puts you in the best position possible to make the process easier, and to have a more successful case. Fortunately, we offer tracking devices that provide us with every detail we need in the case of any accident, and we offer simple, easy installation.

Easy-to-use online portal

Online portals are rarely found within larger, b2b insurance companies. They are the typical standard for personal insurance, and are able to simplify the relationship between client and provider. That is why we’ve broken the mold and provided an online portal for you, to make your life easier when it comes to insurance.

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

 

Keeping up with the competition

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

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

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

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

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

Day to day in the taxi business

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

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

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

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

How much insurance do I need?

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

 

 

 

Insurance Coverage For Your Rental Car Fleet in California

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Rental Car Fleet Insurance Coverage in California

Do you own or operate a rental car service? Are you looking to partner with a transportation network company in California? Nowadays there are multiple ways to get into this ever-growing transportation industry. The rise of ridesharing apps and on-demand delivery apps utilizing rental car fleets in recent years, has more and more entrepreneurs looking to start their own transportation companies. The proper fleet insurance is essential in getting your business off the ground.

With the ever-changing market comes the requirement of insurance policies that can accommodate the unique needs of each business. There is no one insurance policy that fits all that’s why American Business Insurance Services, Inc. is able to find you the right insurance policy for your rental car fleet based off your individual needs. Skip the hassle of comparing multiple insurance quotes based off daunting numbers and endless calls with salespersons and representatives. As an independent agency, American Business Insurance Services, Inc. has direct relationships with all insurance companies currently writing specialized policies for transportation companies such as rental car fleets.

Different Types of Rental Car Fleets

As mentioned earlier, the barriers to enter the rental car industry is getting lower in recent years due to the growth of ridesharing apps and on-demand delivery services. More and more people are choosing to travel in vehicles not their own, as well as relying on on-demand drivers to deliver special goods. Especially in places like Los Angeles and San Francisco where traffic is really bad. The new trend of people relying on services of rental car fleets or other on-demand transportation services continues to rise. On top of that, California is by far the biggest automotive market in the United States.

In California people are more dependent on cars than public transit making California a great location to start a rental car fleet company. Whether you own a car rental company servicing travelers and businessmen, or a car dealership providing rental cars to customers, or you are simply an entrepreneur renting your own cars to other people, you will need fleet insurance to cover your company. Luckily at American Business Insurance Services, Inc. we have the connections and expertise to help you find the best insurance coverage for your rental car fleet.

Fleet Insurance – What does It Cover?

Whether your rental car fleet is working with a Transportation Network Company or on its own, the most important coverages to have for your rental car fleet are liability and physical damage. The transportation industry is a high-risk industry and it is important to have coverage for liability and physical damage. Living in California, you’ve probably seen a fair share of accidents on a daily basis on the highways. Accidents do happen, and the cold truth is the more miles your rental car fleet operates, the higher the chance that one of your drivers is involved in an incident.

In case of an incident, proper coverage for liability and collision will give you peace of mind as a business owner by knowing that your rental car fleet is protected on the road. Liability coverage is a must for rental car businesses, because it protects your fleet from potential negligence and mechanical failures.

There are coverage options that will cover all of the cars in your rental fleet, and also coverages that apply to drivers. There are policies for short-term car rentals or ones that operate on a pay-by-mile basis. That all depends on what kind of business you own and operate!

As your business grows, so does your need for more coverage. American Business Insurance Services, Inc. will help you adjust your limits accordingly to make sure you have proper coverage. Our friendly representatives will work with you and your company to fully understand your needs.

Additional Coverages For Rental Car Fleet Insurance

The number of fleet trucks, vans and SUVs on the roads in the U.S. is over 11.7 million. In Los Angeles alone, there are over 6 million vehicles in urbanized areas. The transportation sector is an ever-growing industry. As your company fleet grows, you may want to consider additional coverages such as inland marine coverage to protect any cargo or goods you are transporting.  You may also want to consider raising your liability coverage limits when you have more drivers, because the truth is the bigger your business is the more you have to lose!

Most insurance policies will cover the State’s mandated minimum insurance coverage that include liability and collision coverage. Additional coverages to consider would be roadside assistance, uninsured motorist coverage, and other coverages such as theft and vandalism. Consider the scope of your business, where you operate out of, and any special needs that you require.

Fleet Insurance – How Much Will It Cost

While there is no one single answer to this question, there are some indicators that will help you determine the costs of your fleet insurance plan. Typically, the more drivers and vehicles you have on your fleet, the more expensive the policy is. For example, consider the value of your vehicles – do you own a fleet of luxury European import cars? That is going to cost relatively more to maintain and fix, than say a fleet of economy cars. However, if the cars in your fleet are more likely to break down you run the risk of an increased premium. Another thing to consider is the intended use of your rental car vehicles. Are you using the fleet to transport people? That is going to cost more than  if you own a fleet of service vehicles (plumbers, electricians, etc) that are intended for special uses.

There is no single answer to how much it’s going to cost to insure your rental car fleet, but American Business Insurance Services, Inc will be able to cater to your needs and provide you with a quote in a short amount of time. Get Quote Now

How To Save Money on Rental Car Fleet Insurance

Typically to save money in a competitive insurance marketplace, you’d need to compare the different price offerings from different companies. American Business Insurance Services, Inc. differs from its competitors by its ability to work with different insurance companies writing specialized policies to provide you with a comprehensive coverage package. Located in the Los Angeles metropolitan area, American Business Insurance Services, Inc. has connections not only in California but with insurance providers nationwide. Tell us about your business, and we will do the research and get back to you with a policy that best fits your rental car fleet company.

Other ways to save on your premium is to reduce your coverage, but sometimes this wouldn’t be viable because of your business needs. While this certainly is an option for personal auto coverages, we wouldn’t recommend this for businesses like a rental car fleet. Another way to save on insurance premium is to raise your deductible amount. While this can seem like a cost-saving option in the short term, be sure that your business can pay the deductible when an incident arises.

Look into the regulations and mandated minimums in the State of California. Have an idea of what the minimum cost is going to be and know what your business is looking for. The easiest and best ways to save on an insurance policy is to combine multiple policies under the same provider and maintain a good driving record!

Get an Insurance Quote for Your Rental Car Fleet

In conclusion, you should look into fleet insurance policies if you have multiple vehicles in your transportation network company. Fleet Insurance makes managing your business and expenses easier, because no matter how many cars are in your fleet, one policy covers all! Whether you own a rental car company in California, or you’re just starting a business and looking to purchase a fleet of your own, you should purchase comprehensive insurance coverage. Tell us about your fleet company and we will help you find the best customizable insurance policy!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

transportation network companies

Minimum Premiums For Transportation Network Companies

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

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

American Business Insurance Services, Inc.

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

transportation network companies

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

Build the App:

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

1. Knowing When A Trip Starts and Stops

2. How Many Miles For Each Trip

3. How Many Minutes/Hours For Each Trip

Business Plan & Projections:

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

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

2. How will you monitor safety/loss control?

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

 Safety and Training:

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

Bios on Key Officers/Investors:

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

 Terms of Service & Privacy Conditions:

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

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

2. How Should Complaints Be Filed?

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

transportation network companies

Financial Balance Sheet:

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

Guidance From American Business Insurance Services, INC

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

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

Exclusive Contracts

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

1) Company Website

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

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

commercial fleet insurance

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

2) Creating a Business Name

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

3) Loss Control is Everything

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

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

4) The Driver Pool

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

5) Contact an Experienced, Transportation Insurance Broker

commercial fleet insurance

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

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

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Public Auto Insurance

American Business Insurance Public Auto Insurance

We get it, dealing with public auto insurance companies can definitely be a little more than inconvenient, but we want to make life a lot more simple if you’re looking for public auto insurance. Our experience within the livery industry allows us to optimize our services for you and streamline any process involved. We have worked for over 30 years to ensure that our version of public auto is different, and done the right way. 

American Business Insurance has been an industry leader in public auto insurance for over 30 years. We not only care deeply about our clients, but have a deep understanding of the intricacies within the public transportation field. Some of the amazing breakthroughs we have made within the industry that make our process simpler are:

Extensive shopping of the entire coverage spectrum:

We want to make it simpler and easier for you. It really can’t get any better; we take the time to browse the entire spectrum of coverage within the market, to get you the best price possible.

Fast, helpful service

A plethora of public auto insurance services are completed within our very own company. If you do business with us, you can be sure that you won’t deal with a million different brokers or agents. We can handle anything all in house, from insurance claims to billing, and everything in between. ABI will help in every area that we can. We want to make public transportation insurance a great experience for you.

We write custom policies

When it comes to insurance policies, things can get really messy and complicated really fast. We understand that you don’t want to have to deal with all the details that you may or may not have a ton of experience in. We get it, per day insurance and per mile insurance can get really tricky and intricate, but we’re here to make it simple and write a custom policy that works for you and your wheels, whether it be an entire fleet, or just a few sets. No other company will take the effort to custom tailor to your needs, and no one else can match our timeliness.

Easy, real-time tracking

In the unfortunate case of an accident, insurance companies often need a lot of information regarding specific details like the time, place, date, speeds, and more regarding the nature of the accident. Being able to provide as many details as possible puts you in the best position possible to make the process easier, and to have a more successful case. Fortunately, we offer tracking devices that provide us with every detail we need in the case of any accident, and we offer simple, easy installation.

Easy-to-use online portal

Online portals are rarely found within larger, b2b insurance companies. They are the typical standard for personal insurance, and are able to simplify the relationship between client and provider. That is why we’ve broken the mold and provided an online portal for you, to make your life easier when it comes to insurance.

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

 

Keeping up with the competition

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

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

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

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

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

Day to day in the taxi business

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

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

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

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

How much insurance do I need?

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

 

 

 

Insurance Coverage For Your Rental Car Fleet in California

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Rental Car Fleet Insurance Coverage in California

Do you own or operate a rental car service? Are you looking to partner with a transportation network company in California? Nowadays there are multiple ways to get into this ever-growing transportation industry. The rise of ridesharing apps and on-demand delivery apps utilizing rental car fleets in recent years, has more and more entrepreneurs looking to start their own transportation companies. The proper fleet insurance is essential in getting your business off the ground.

With the ever-changing market comes the requirement of insurance policies that can accommodate the unique needs of each business. There is no one insurance policy that fits all that’s why American Business Insurance Services, Inc. is able to find you the right insurance policy for your rental car fleet based off your individual needs. Skip the hassle of comparing multiple insurance quotes based off daunting numbers and endless calls with salespersons and representatives. As an independent agency, American Business Insurance Services, Inc. has direct relationships with all insurance companies currently writing specialized policies for transportation companies such as rental car fleets.

Different Types of Rental Car Fleets

As mentioned earlier, the barriers to enter the rental car industry is getting lower in recent years due to the growth of ridesharing apps and on-demand delivery services. More and more people are choosing to travel in vehicles not their own, as well as relying on on-demand drivers to deliver special goods. Especially in places like Los Angeles and San Francisco where traffic is really bad. The new trend of people relying on services of rental car fleets or other on-demand transportation services continues to rise. On top of that, California is by far the biggest automotive market in the United States.

In California people are more dependent on cars than public transit making California a great location to start a rental car fleet company. Whether you own a car rental company servicing travelers and businessmen, or a car dealership providing rental cars to customers, or you are simply an entrepreneur renting your own cars to other people, you will need fleet insurance to cover your company. Luckily at American Business Insurance Services, Inc. we have the connections and expertise to help you find the best insurance coverage for your rental car fleet.

Fleet Insurance – What does It Cover?

Whether your rental car fleet is working with a Transportation Network Company or on its own, the most important coverages to have for your rental car fleet are liability and physical damage. The transportation industry is a high-risk industry and it is important to have coverage for liability and physical damage. Living in California, you’ve probably seen a fair share of accidents on a daily basis on the highways. Accidents do happen, and the cold truth is the more miles your rental car fleet operates, the higher the chance that one of your drivers is involved in an incident.

In case of an incident, proper coverage for liability and collision will give you peace of mind as a business owner by knowing that your rental car fleet is protected on the road. Liability coverage is a must for rental car businesses, because it protects your fleet from potential negligence and mechanical failures.

There are coverage options that will cover all of the cars in your rental fleet, and also coverages that apply to drivers. There are policies for short-term car rentals or ones that operate on a pay-by-mile basis. That all depends on what kind of business you own and operate!

As your business grows, so does your need for more coverage. American Business Insurance Services, Inc. will help you adjust your limits accordingly to make sure you have proper coverage. Our friendly representatives will work with you and your company to fully understand your needs.

Additional Coverages For Rental Car Fleet Insurance

The number of fleet trucks, vans and SUVs on the roads in the U.S. is over 11.7 million. In Los Angeles alone, there are over 6 million vehicles in urbanized areas. The transportation sector is an ever-growing industry. As your company fleet grows, you may want to consider additional coverages such as inland marine coverage to protect any cargo or goods you are transporting.  You may also want to consider raising your liability coverage limits when you have more drivers, because the truth is the bigger your business is the more you have to lose!

Most insurance policies will cover the State’s mandated minimum insurance coverage that include liability and collision coverage. Additional coverages to consider would be roadside assistance, uninsured motorist coverage, and other coverages such as theft and vandalism. Consider the scope of your business, where you operate out of, and any special needs that you require.

Fleet Insurance – How Much Will It Cost

While there is no one single answer to this question, there are some indicators that will help you determine the costs of your fleet insurance plan. Typically, the more drivers and vehicles you have on your fleet, the more expensive the policy is. For example, consider the value of your vehicles – do you own a fleet of luxury European import cars? That is going to cost relatively more to maintain and fix, than say a fleet of economy cars. However, if the cars in your fleet are more likely to break down you run the risk of an increased premium. Another thing to consider is the intended use of your rental car vehicles. Are you using the fleet to transport people? That is going to cost more than  if you own a fleet of service vehicles (plumbers, electricians, etc) that are intended for special uses.

There is no single answer to how much it’s going to cost to insure your rental car fleet, but American Business Insurance Services, Inc will be able to cater to your needs and provide you with a quote in a short amount of time. Get Quote Now

How To Save Money on Rental Car Fleet Insurance

Typically to save money in a competitive insurance marketplace, you’d need to compare the different price offerings from different companies. American Business Insurance Services, Inc. differs from its competitors by its ability to work with different insurance companies writing specialized policies to provide you with a comprehensive coverage package. Located in the Los Angeles metropolitan area, American Business Insurance Services, Inc. has connections not only in California but with insurance providers nationwide. Tell us about your business, and we will do the research and get back to you with a policy that best fits your rental car fleet company.

Other ways to save on your premium is to reduce your coverage, but sometimes this wouldn’t be viable because of your business needs. While this certainly is an option for personal auto coverages, we wouldn’t recommend this for businesses like a rental car fleet. Another way to save on insurance premium is to raise your deductible amount. While this can seem like a cost-saving option in the short term, be sure that your business can pay the deductible when an incident arises.

Look into the regulations and mandated minimums in the State of California. Have an idea of what the minimum cost is going to be and know what your business is looking for. The easiest and best ways to save on an insurance policy is to combine multiple policies under the same provider and maintain a good driving record!

Get an Insurance Quote for Your Rental Car Fleet

In conclusion, you should look into fleet insurance policies if you have multiple vehicles in your transportation network company. Fleet Insurance makes managing your business and expenses easier, because no matter how many cars are in your fleet, one policy covers all! Whether you own a rental car company in California, or you’re just starting a business and looking to purchase a fleet of your own, you should purchase comprehensive insurance coverage. Tell us about your fleet company and we will help you find the best customizable insurance policy!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

transportation network companies

Minimum Premiums For Transportation Network Companies

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

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

American Business Insurance Services, Inc.

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

transportation network companies

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

Build the App:

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

1. Knowing When A Trip Starts and Stops

2. How Many Miles For Each Trip

3. How Many Minutes/Hours For Each Trip

Business Plan & Projections:

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

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

2. How will you monitor safety/loss control?

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

 Safety and Training:

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

Bios on Key Officers/Investors:

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

 Terms of Service & Privacy Conditions:

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

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

2. How Should Complaints Be Filed?

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

transportation network companies

Financial Balance Sheet:

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

Guidance From American Business Insurance Services, INC

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

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

Exclusive Contracts

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

1) Company Website

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

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

commercial fleet insurance

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

2) Creating a Business Name

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

3) Loss Control is Everything

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

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

4) The Driver Pool

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

5) Contact an Experienced, Transportation Insurance Broker

commercial fleet insurance

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

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

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Public Auto Insurance

American Business Insurance Public Auto Insurance

We get it, dealing with public auto insurance companies can definitely be a little more than inconvenient, but we want to make life a lot more simple if you’re looking for public auto insurance. Our experience within the livery industry allows us to optimize our services for you and streamline any process involved. We have worked for over 30 years to ensure that our version of public auto is different, and done the right way. 

American Business Insurance has been an industry leader in public auto insurance for over 30 years. We not only care deeply about our clients, but have a deep understanding of the intricacies within the public transportation field. Some of the amazing breakthroughs we have made within the industry that make our process simpler are:

Extensive shopping of the entire coverage spectrum:

We want to make it simpler and easier for you. It really can’t get any better; we take the time to browse the entire spectrum of coverage within the market, to get you the best price possible.

Fast, helpful service

A plethora of public auto insurance services are completed within our very own company. If you do business with us, you can be sure that you won’t deal with a million different brokers or agents. We can handle anything all in house, from insurance claims to billing, and everything in between. ABI will help in every area that we can. We want to make public transportation insurance a great experience for you.

We write custom policies

When it comes to insurance policies, things can get really messy and complicated really fast. We understand that you don’t want to have to deal with all the details that you may or may not have a ton of experience in. We get it, per day insurance and per mile insurance can get really tricky and intricate, but we’re here to make it simple and write a custom policy that works for you and your wheels, whether it be an entire fleet, or just a few sets. No other company will take the effort to custom tailor to your needs, and no one else can match our timeliness.

Easy, real-time tracking

In the unfortunate case of an accident, insurance companies often need a lot of information regarding specific details like the time, place, date, speeds, and more regarding the nature of the accident. Being able to provide as many details as possible puts you in the best position possible to make the process easier, and to have a more successful case. Fortunately, we offer tracking devices that provide us with every detail we need in the case of any accident, and we offer simple, easy installation.

Easy-to-use online portal

Online portals are rarely found within larger, b2b insurance companies. They are the typical standard for personal insurance, and are able to simplify the relationship between client and provider. That is why we’ve broken the mold and provided an online portal for you, to make your life easier when it comes to insurance.

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

 

Keeping up with the competition

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

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

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

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

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

Day to day in the taxi business

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

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

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

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

How much insurance do I need?

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

 

 

 

Insurance Coverage For Your Rental Car Fleet in California

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Rental Car Fleet Insurance Coverage in California

Do you own or operate a rental car service? Are you looking to partner with a transportation network company in California? Nowadays there are multiple ways to get into this ever-growing transportation industry. The rise of ridesharing apps and on-demand delivery apps utilizing rental car fleets in recent years, has more and more entrepreneurs looking to start their own transportation companies. The proper fleet insurance is essential in getting your business off the ground.

With the ever-changing market comes the requirement of insurance policies that can accommodate the unique needs of each business. There is no one insurance policy that fits all that’s why American Business Insurance Services, Inc. is able to find you the right insurance policy for your rental car fleet based off your individual needs. Skip the hassle of comparing multiple insurance quotes based off daunting numbers and endless calls with salespersons and representatives. As an independent agency, American Business Insurance Services, Inc. has direct relationships with all insurance companies currently writing specialized policies for transportation companies such as rental car fleets.

Different Types of Rental Car Fleets

As mentioned earlier, the barriers to enter the rental car industry is getting lower in recent years due to the growth of ridesharing apps and on-demand delivery services. More and more people are choosing to travel in vehicles not their own, as well as relying on on-demand drivers to deliver special goods. Especially in places like Los Angeles and San Francisco where traffic is really bad. The new trend of people relying on services of rental car fleets or other on-demand transportation services continues to rise. On top of that, California is by far the biggest automotive market in the United States.

In California people are more dependent on cars than public transit making California a great location to start a rental car fleet company. Whether you own a car rental company servicing travelers and businessmen, or a car dealership providing rental cars to customers, or you are simply an entrepreneur renting your own cars to other people, you will need fleet insurance to cover your company. Luckily at American Business Insurance Services, Inc. we have the connections and expertise to help you find the best insurance coverage for your rental car fleet.

Fleet Insurance – What does It Cover?

Whether your rental car fleet is working with a Transportation Network Company or on its own, the most important coverages to have for your rental car fleet are liability and physical damage. The transportation industry is a high-risk industry and it is important to have coverage for liability and physical damage. Living in California, you’ve probably seen a fair share of accidents on a daily basis on the highways. Accidents do happen, and the cold truth is the more miles your rental car fleet operates, the higher the chance that one of your drivers is involved in an incident.

In case of an incident, proper coverage for liability and collision will give you peace of mind as a business owner by knowing that your rental car fleet is protected on the road. Liability coverage is a must for rental car businesses, because it protects your fleet from potential negligence and mechanical failures.

There are coverage options that will cover all of the cars in your rental fleet, and also coverages that apply to drivers. There are policies for short-term car rentals or ones that operate on a pay-by-mile basis. That all depends on what kind of business you own and operate!

As your business grows, so does your need for more coverage. American Business Insurance Services, Inc. will help you adjust your limits accordingly to make sure you have proper coverage. Our friendly representatives will work with you and your company to fully understand your needs.

Additional Coverages For Rental Car Fleet Insurance

The number of fleet trucks, vans and SUVs on the roads in the U.S. is over 11.7 million. In Los Angeles alone, there are over 6 million vehicles in urbanized areas. The transportation sector is an ever-growing industry. As your company fleet grows, you may want to consider additional coverages such as inland marine coverage to protect any cargo or goods you are transporting.  You may also want to consider raising your liability coverage limits when you have more drivers, because the truth is the bigger your business is the more you have to lose!

Most insurance policies will cover the State’s mandated minimum insurance coverage that include liability and collision coverage. Additional coverages to consider would be roadside assistance, uninsured motorist coverage, and other coverages such as theft and vandalism. Consider the scope of your business, where you operate out of, and any special needs that you require.

Fleet Insurance – How Much Will It Cost

While there is no one single answer to this question, there are some indicators that will help you determine the costs of your fleet insurance plan. Typically, the more drivers and vehicles you have on your fleet, the more expensive the policy is. For example, consider the value of your vehicles – do you own a fleet of luxury European import cars? That is going to cost relatively more to maintain and fix, than say a fleet of economy cars. However, if the cars in your fleet are more likely to break down you run the risk of an increased premium. Another thing to consider is the intended use of your rental car vehicles. Are you using the fleet to transport people? That is going to cost more than  if you own a fleet of service vehicles (plumbers, electricians, etc) that are intended for special uses.

There is no single answer to how much it’s going to cost to insure your rental car fleet, but American Business Insurance Services, Inc will be able to cater to your needs and provide you with a quote in a short amount of time. Get Quote Now

How To Save Money on Rental Car Fleet Insurance

Typically to save money in a competitive insurance marketplace, you’d need to compare the different price offerings from different companies. American Business Insurance Services, Inc. differs from its competitors by its ability to work with different insurance companies writing specialized policies to provide you with a comprehensive coverage package. Located in the Los Angeles metropolitan area, American Business Insurance Services, Inc. has connections not only in California but with insurance providers nationwide. Tell us about your business, and we will do the research and get back to you with a policy that best fits your rental car fleet company.

Other ways to save on your premium is to reduce your coverage, but sometimes this wouldn’t be viable because of your business needs. While this certainly is an option for personal auto coverages, we wouldn’t recommend this for businesses like a rental car fleet. Another way to save on insurance premium is to raise your deductible amount. While this can seem like a cost-saving option in the short term, be sure that your business can pay the deductible when an incident arises.

Look into the regulations and mandated minimums in the State of California. Have an idea of what the minimum cost is going to be and know what your business is looking for. The easiest and best ways to save on an insurance policy is to combine multiple policies under the same provider and maintain a good driving record!

Get an Insurance Quote for Your Rental Car Fleet

In conclusion, you should look into fleet insurance policies if you have multiple vehicles in your transportation network company. Fleet Insurance makes managing your business and expenses easier, because no matter how many cars are in your fleet, one policy covers all! Whether you own a rental car company in California, or you’re just starting a business and looking to purchase a fleet of your own, you should purchase comprehensive insurance coverage. Tell us about your fleet company and we will help you find the best customizable insurance policy!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

transportation network companies

Minimum Premiums For Transportation Network Companies

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

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

American Business Insurance Services, Inc.

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

transportation network companies

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

Build the App:

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

1. Knowing When A Trip Starts and Stops

2. How Many Miles For Each Trip

3. How Many Minutes/Hours For Each Trip

Business Plan & Projections:

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

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

2. How will you monitor safety/loss control?

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

 Safety and Training:

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

Bios on Key Officers/Investors:

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

 Terms of Service & Privacy Conditions:

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

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

2. How Should Complaints Be Filed?

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

transportation network companies

Financial Balance Sheet:

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

Guidance From American Business Insurance Services, INC

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

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

Exclusive Contracts

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

1) Company Website

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

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

commercial fleet insurance

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

2) Creating a Business Name

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

3) Loss Control is Everything

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

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

4) The Driver Pool

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

5) Contact an Experienced, Transportation Insurance Broker

commercial fleet insurance

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

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

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Public Auto Insurance

American Business Insurance Public Auto Insurance

We get it, dealing with public auto insurance companies can definitely be a little more than inconvenient, but we want to make life a lot more simple if you’re looking for public auto insurance. Our experience within the livery industry allows us to optimize our services for you and streamline any process involved. We have worked for over 30 years to ensure that our version of public auto is different, and done the right way. 

American Business Insurance has been an industry leader in public auto insurance for over 30 years. We not only care deeply about our clients, but have a deep understanding of the intricacies within the public transportation field. Some of the amazing breakthroughs we have made within the industry that make our process simpler are:

Extensive shopping of the entire coverage spectrum:

We want to make it simpler and easier for you. It really can’t get any better; we take the time to browse the entire spectrum of coverage within the market, to get you the best price possible.

Fast, helpful service

A plethora of public auto insurance services are completed within our very own company. If you do business with us, you can be sure that you won’t deal with a million different brokers or agents. We can handle anything all in house, from insurance claims to billing, and everything in between. ABI will help in every area that we can. We want to make public transportation insurance a great experience for you.

We write custom policies

When it comes to insurance policies, things can get really messy and complicated really fast. We understand that you don’t want to have to deal with all the details that you may or may not have a ton of experience in. We get it, per day insurance and per mile insurance can get really tricky and intricate, but we’re here to make it simple and write a custom policy that works for you and your wheels, whether it be an entire fleet, or just a few sets. No other company will take the effort to custom tailor to your needs, and no one else can match our timeliness.

Easy, real-time tracking

In the unfortunate case of an accident, insurance companies often need a lot of information regarding specific details like the time, place, date, speeds, and more regarding the nature of the accident. Being able to provide as many details as possible puts you in the best position possible to make the process easier, and to have a more successful case. Fortunately, we offer tracking devices that provide us with every detail we need in the case of any accident, and we offer simple, easy installation.

Easy-to-use online portal

Online portals are rarely found within larger, b2b insurance companies. They are the typical standard for personal insurance, and are able to simplify the relationship between client and provider. That is why we’ve broken the mold and provided an online portal for you, to make your life easier when it comes to insurance.

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

 

Keeping up with the competition

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

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

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

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

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

Day to day in the taxi business

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

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

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

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

How much insurance do I need?

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

 

 

 

Insurance Coverage For Your Rental Car Fleet in California

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Rental Car Fleet Insurance Coverage in California

Do you own or operate a rental car service? Are you looking to partner with a transportation network company in California? Nowadays there are multiple ways to get into this ever-growing transportation industry. The rise of ridesharing apps and on-demand delivery apps utilizing rental car fleets in recent years, has more and more entrepreneurs looking to start their own transportation companies. The proper fleet insurance is essential in getting your business off the ground.

With the ever-changing market comes the requirement of insurance policies that can accommodate the unique needs of each business. There is no one insurance policy that fits all that’s why American Business Insurance Services, Inc. is able to find you the right insurance policy for your rental car fleet based off your individual needs. Skip the hassle of comparing multiple insurance quotes based off daunting numbers and endless calls with salespersons and representatives. As an independent agency, American Business Insurance Services, Inc. has direct relationships with all insurance companies currently writing specialized policies for transportation companies such as rental car fleets.

Different Types of Rental Car Fleets

As mentioned earlier, the barriers to enter the rental car industry is getting lower in recent years due to the growth of ridesharing apps and on-demand delivery services. More and more people are choosing to travel in vehicles not their own, as well as relying on on-demand drivers to deliver special goods. Especially in places like Los Angeles and San Francisco where traffic is really bad. The new trend of people relying on services of rental car fleets or other on-demand transportation services continues to rise. On top of that, California is by far the biggest automotive market in the United States.

In California people are more dependent on cars than public transit making California a great location to start a rental car fleet company. Whether you own a car rental company servicing travelers and businessmen, or a car dealership providing rental cars to customers, or you are simply an entrepreneur renting your own cars to other people, you will need fleet insurance to cover your company. Luckily at American Business Insurance Services, Inc. we have the connections and expertise to help you find the best insurance coverage for your rental car fleet.

Fleet Insurance – What does It Cover?

Whether your rental car fleet is working with a Transportation Network Company or on its own, the most important coverages to have for your rental car fleet are liability and physical damage. The transportation industry is a high-risk industry and it is important to have coverage for liability and physical damage. Living in California, you’ve probably seen a fair share of accidents on a daily basis on the highways. Accidents do happen, and the cold truth is the more miles your rental car fleet operates, the higher the chance that one of your drivers is involved in an incident.

In case of an incident, proper coverage for liability and collision will give you peace of mind as a business owner by knowing that your rental car fleet is protected on the road. Liability coverage is a must for rental car businesses, because it protects your fleet from potential negligence and mechanical failures.

There are coverage options that will cover all of the cars in your rental fleet, and also coverages that apply to drivers. There are policies for short-term car rentals or ones that operate on a pay-by-mile basis. That all depends on what kind of business you own and operate!

As your business grows, so does your need for more coverage. American Business Insurance Services, Inc. will help you adjust your limits accordingly to make sure you have proper coverage. Our friendly representatives will work with you and your company to fully understand your needs.

Additional Coverages For Rental Car Fleet Insurance

The number of fleet trucks, vans and SUVs on the roads in the U.S. is over 11.7 million. In Los Angeles alone, there are over 6 million vehicles in urbanized areas. The transportation sector is an ever-growing industry. As your company fleet grows, you may want to consider additional coverages such as inland marine coverage to protect any cargo or goods you are transporting.  You may also want to consider raising your liability coverage limits when you have more drivers, because the truth is the bigger your business is the more you have to lose!

Most insurance policies will cover the State’s mandated minimum insurance coverage that include liability and collision coverage. Additional coverages to consider would be roadside assistance, uninsured motorist coverage, and other coverages such as theft and vandalism. Consider the scope of your business, where you operate out of, and any special needs that you require.

Fleet Insurance – How Much Will It Cost

While there is no one single answer to this question, there are some indicators that will help you determine the costs of your fleet insurance plan. Typically, the more drivers and vehicles you have on your fleet, the more expensive the policy is. For example, consider the value of your vehicles – do you own a fleet of luxury European import cars? That is going to cost relatively more to maintain and fix, than say a fleet of economy cars. However, if the cars in your fleet are more likely to break down you run the risk of an increased premium. Another thing to consider is the intended use of your rental car vehicles. Are you using the fleet to transport people? That is going to cost more than  if you own a fleet of service vehicles (plumbers, electricians, etc) that are intended for special uses.

There is no single answer to how much it’s going to cost to insure your rental car fleet, but American Business Insurance Services, Inc will be able to cater to your needs and provide you with a quote in a short amount of time. Get Quote Now

How To Save Money on Rental Car Fleet Insurance

Typically to save money in a competitive insurance marketplace, you’d need to compare the different price offerings from different companies. American Business Insurance Services, Inc. differs from its competitors by its ability to work with different insurance companies writing specialized policies to provide you with a comprehensive coverage package. Located in the Los Angeles metropolitan area, American Business Insurance Services, Inc. has connections not only in California but with insurance providers nationwide. Tell us about your business, and we will do the research and get back to you with a policy that best fits your rental car fleet company.

Other ways to save on your premium is to reduce your coverage, but sometimes this wouldn’t be viable because of your business needs. While this certainly is an option for personal auto coverages, we wouldn’t recommend this for businesses like a rental car fleet. Another way to save on insurance premium is to raise your deductible amount. While this can seem like a cost-saving option in the short term, be sure that your business can pay the deductible when an incident arises.

Look into the regulations and mandated minimums in the State of California. Have an idea of what the minimum cost is going to be and know what your business is looking for. The easiest and best ways to save on an insurance policy is to combine multiple policies under the same provider and maintain a good driving record!

Get an Insurance Quote for Your Rental Car Fleet

In conclusion, you should look into fleet insurance policies if you have multiple vehicles in your transportation network company. Fleet Insurance makes managing your business and expenses easier, because no matter how many cars are in your fleet, one policy covers all! Whether you own a rental car company in California, or you’re just starting a business and looking to purchase a fleet of your own, you should purchase comprehensive insurance coverage. Tell us about your fleet company and we will help you find the best customizable insurance policy!

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

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

Written by Laura Loftus on Monday, May 6th, 2019

Whether you are looking to start your own Transportation Network Company, On-Demand Delivery App or other Shared Economy business, one of the most important factors to consider is insurance! Sounds boring, I know. But as the world around us changes, insurance markets for transportation network companies are creating new structures and products. As an independent agency, American Business Insurance has direct relationships with all insurance companies currently writing specialized policies for transportation network companies.

Finding insurance for transportation network companies or other app-based businesses is no easy feat. As you may have already come to realize, most of your local brokers who specialize in personal lines don’t have relationships with insurance companies in this space. Many local brokers don’t understand what information to collect from business owners to present your transportation network company in the most insurable light.

Finding An Insurance Broker To Write Policies For Your Transportation Network Company

Most of the common insurance companies you may have already heard of are not writing policies because of the high-risk nature for transportation network companies. Insurance companies who are writing policies for transportation network companies are Surplus Lines carriers whose focus is in this specialized, technology driven market place.

Some people think that it is easy to join the long list of people who are trying to start transportation network companies to compete with those already dominating the world – Uber and Lyft. But in reality, the people who have created these transportation network companies worked for many years prior to actually launching.

To some, that might seem like a really long time but when an experienced insurance broker who is familiar with writing policies for transportation network companies asks you to assemble a list of items, it’s best to know exactly what you are getting yourself into. Don’t be fooled, there is a lot of prep, time and money that is required to build transportation network companies like Uber or Lyft.

transportation network companies

Minimum Premiums For Transportation Network Companies

As you might have anticipated, buying an insurance policy for transportation network companies is not cheap since most insurers in this space have minimum premiums of $75,000-100,000. We know, that is a lot of dough! The good news is, most of the carriers will accept a portion of that up-front and some even offer premium eroding endorsements. This means if your business doesn’t generate premium up to that amount within the year, they will carry over the credit to the following year.

Obtaining a quote requires you to find a broker who specializes in writing insurance for transportation network companies. Working with the right broker will not only save you time and money, but prevent you from buying coverages you don’t need and making sure that you have the ones you do. An experienced broker who is familiar with writing insurance for transportation network companies will know exactly what information to collect from you. They will also know how to present it best to the insurance markets who are writing policies for transportation network companies.

American Business Insurance Services, Inc.

Lucky for you, you found us! As an agency, we have been around long before ordering a ride from your smart-phone was an option. We specialize in public auto which means we understand more than anyone how transportation network companies operate.

transportation network companies

Items Transportation Network Companies Should Have Ready Before Calling Your Broker For A Quote:

Build the App:

  • One of the first questions I ask customers looking for insurance for transportation network companies is if the app is complete. Insurance company underwriters will want to download your app and make sure it’s working. Also, some companies have technology-based policies, meaning they integrate with your app to capture data on the drivers. Some even offer lower insurance rates based on favorable data collected (less speeding, hard stops, etcetera). Most policies for transportation network companies are usage based, so they have to be able to download your app and make sure it’s compatible with their insurance structure. Insurance companies often want to be able to pull reports from your app which include and are not limited to:

1. Knowing When A Trip Starts and Stops

2. How Many Miles For Each Trip

3. How Many Minutes/Hours For Each Trip

Business Plan & Projections:

  • There is a checklist of items the insurance company will want to see attached to the submission your broker sends. Your broker should be narrating to the insurance company all the hard work and thought you’ve put into creating these transportation network companies. Insurers will want to see a “pitch deck” which is something you might already have created to obtain investors. This document will present and explain your business model, why it is different from what is alreadyout there and how it will work long term. Some of the questions this document should answer are:

transportation network companies1. What are the company’s growth plans?

2. How will you monitor safety/loss control?

3. How is pricing structured so that the company is profitable?

 Safety and Training:

  • Safety and training is a big deal for insurers who are writing policies for transportation network companies. They will want to know what restrictions, checks and balances and training you will provide to drivers. They want to know how often you will check driving records and how often people have to pass background checks. The younger in age the drivers are that you allow to join your transportation network companies, the more expensive you can expect your insurance prices to be. Insurance companies want to know how you are going to prevent accidents from happening so that you build a positive reputation within the industry along side other transportation network companies like Uber and Lyft.

Bios on Key Officers/Investors:

  • Insurance companies want to know about the people behind the transportation network companies! If you want to join the group of dominating transportation network companies, they are going to want to know what experience you have, not only in transportation but also in being an entrepreneur. Take the time to write detailed bios for yourself and all other key members, officers and investors behind your transportation network company. Make sure to detail the knowledge and life experience you are bringing to the table in starting transportation network companies like Uber and Lyft. A well written, detailed bio will separate your company from all the rest and will give you a better advantage to better pricing on insurance for transportation network companies.

 Terms of Service & Privacy Conditions:

  • Although this may seem like a small piece of the puzzle to getting insurance for transportation network companies, most insurers want to see the liability of the app in regards to what they are promising to both their drivers and users. If you are a peer to peer platform, they want to see how the transaction will take place. Some of the questions that should be answered here are:

1. What Security Measures Are In Place To Protect The User?

2. How Should Complaints Be Filed?

3. What Terms and Conditions Does Your Company Adhere To? 

transportation network companies

Financial Balance Sheet:

  • Basically, a lot of what it takes to insure transportation network companies is having money, and a lot of it. Due to the hefty size of the minimum premiums for transportation network companies, generally ranging from $75,00-100,000, insurers want to make sure you not only have money to pay for the policy, but to also keep your business afloat and operating before you start turning a profit. It’s no secret that most transportation network companies do not profit until after the first year. Insurers want to see that you have raised money, not just for the cost of insurance but also for operating expenses, advertising and promotions.
  • When I review the balance sheet for transportation network companies, I know that most insurers want to see that you’ve raised at minimum $250,000-$1,000,000 in capital. Sometimes more. The reason for them wanting transportation network companies to raise this much money is because they know what it takes to gain traction in this unique space. They want to make sure the work they are putting in to quote and bind your policy will create a lasting relationship with you.

Guidance From American Business Insurance Services, INC

Starting any business takes time, research and money. We get phone calls from people daily thinking they are going to be the next Uber and Lyft. And believe me, we want you to make it big and compete against the monopoly that currently exists for transportation network companies. But in reality, we know that few of the phone calls we receive have actually taken the above steps which are required to make transportation network companies insurable.

If you have questions or need guidance, please give us a call and we will be happy to discuss over the phone! While some of the larger, corporate run agencies have the same relationships as us, few will offer the personal touch and value we have with every client.

Exclusive Contracts

Additionally, we have exclusive contracts with some companies that allow us to write at a lower minimum premium than others. We are an independent, family-run business with 75+ years of combined experience in the business insurance industry. We have invested in other transportation network companies, peer to peer and shared economy types of businesses. Most of us utilize transportation network companies and peer-to-peer apps regularly.

We literally have boots on the ground in this space and if you want the best pricing with the smoothest transaction – we are here for you!

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How to Save the MOST Money on Your Commercial Fleet Insurance Rates

ABI Transportation Experts Speak: How to Save the MOST Money on Your Commercial Fleet Insurance Rates

Written by Laura Loftus on Thursday, February 28th, 2019

 

When speaking with clients about their commercial fleet insurance, the most common concern is how to get the lowest insurance rates. About 100% of the customers I speak to daily all have the same goal – they want the lowest insurance rates available and will do whatever it takes to get it. Whether you own a Taxi, Limo, Paratransit or Shared Economy company (peer to peer platform app), it’s a given that you want your commercial fleet insurance coverage at the lowest insurance rates available. What many companies don’t realize, especially start-ups, is that commercial fleet insurance underwriters do quite a bit of digging on your company through a variety of platforms to “check you out” prior to releasing a quote. They read Yelp reviews, they look at your website, they do Better Business Bureau checks – all of it.

There are common mistakes that transportation service companies are repeatedly making that will create doubt in a commercial fleet insurance company. These mistakes actually prevent your broker from being able to find the lowest insurance rates for your company. Most of these companies think they are making business decisions that will guide them toward the lowest insurance rates, and are unaware that their current website or driver pool is actually hurting their chances of achieving the lowest possible commercial fleet insurance rate.

Five common flubs transportation service companies are making that prevent your commercial fleet insurance broker from obtaining the lowest insurance rates possible:

1) Company Website

The first and most common mistake we see from commercial auto risks who are in the “wheels” business as us underwriters call it – is that you over the amount of experience or size of your transportation service company.  It is common for commercial fleet insurance underwriters to google your company to pick apart your website. Here are some items you may think are helping your chances at obtaining the lowest insurance rates but are actually red flags to commercial fleet insurance companies:

  •  Words like “Fast Pick-up” or ‘Delivery in Minutes” – no commercial fleet insurance underwriter wants to see that you are promising rushed services. Rushing = equals unsafe driving behavior.

commercial fleet insurance

  • Advertising vehicles that are not actually part of your fleet. For example, just yesterday I was helping a 35-car fleet in Portland with obtaining commercial fleet insurance quotes. The list of vehicles they provided were all private passenger type vehicles (meaning seating capacity of 8 or less) – good! But when I searched the company online, they advertised a large shuttle bus and a higher seating capacity van. When I asked the client about this, they those vehicles had been sold and they had no plans to replace them. Keeping your website up to date and only advertising only what you can actually deliver will keep unwanted questions from creeping into the commercial fleet insurance underwriters’ mind. Creating uncertainty is the last thing you want to do with a commercial fleet insurance underwriter when trying to obtain the lowest insurance rates.
  •  Age of vehicles is important to commercial fleet insurance companies. Publishing a picture of a 30-year-old vehicle is no bueno. Keep your fleet serviced regularly (we recommend every three to four thousand miles and cycle out old units. Newer, cleaner & well-maintained vehicles are not only more desired by clientele (when trying to compete with Uber/Lyft) but also preferred by commercial fleet insurance companies trying to avoid claims due to mechanical defect.
  • If you boast 20 years of experience but your LLC was filed three years ago, it creates uncertainty with insurance companies. It’s better to accurately reflect your business as it is now, and not what you want it to be five years from now. Just as there are items to avoid putting on your website, there are points that you should include on your website. It is always a good idea to brag about highly trained drivers and safety training you provide (more on this later). Be sure to note the maintenance you keep up with for your fleet, the background checks the city you operate in mandates and the highest level of driving records required for your drivers. Commercial fleet insurance underwriters like stable fleets with safe drivers. Bottom line, safer risks translates to commercial fleet insurance underwriters offering the lowest insurance rates.

2) Creating a Business Name

This may seem simple enough but for transportation business owners looking to for the lowest insurance rates, people often think that commercial fleet insurance companies give the lowest insurance rates to Limo’s and Non-Emergency Medical risks over a taxi or airport shuttle. While this might be true, cornering yourself into a specific type of transportation in your business name narrows the list of commercial fleet insurance carriers you are eligible for. Many markets write only taxis or only limos. So, if you file your business name with the Secretary of State as Laura’s Taxi & Limo Service, LLC. – it could possibly make you ineligible for a limo commercial fleet insurance program because they don’t insure taxis and vice versa – even if your unit type meets their requirements. When talking with clients, I always say it’s best to be general about the transportation type within the name of their business, especially as market conditions change. You may be heavy in taxi trips one year but then obtain a paratransit contract and do more of that the following year. The more years of favorable loss history (loss runs) you can provide, the better chance you have at obtaining the lowest insurance rates. Choosing a business name that is general such as Laura’s Transportation Service, LLC. allows you flexibility to transform and evolve your business as the industry demands change.

3) Loss Control is Everything

Underwriters give commercial fleet insurance at the lowest insurance rates to companies with low levels of paid claims. Even in a hard insurance market, with rates rising for the good guys too, you can expect to pay more for commercial fleet insurance if you’re prior insurance companies have paid a lot in claims. Here are some suggestions in tightening loss control for your transportation service company:

  •  Hire a full-time loss control or driver manager who will enforce a safety culture. Doing this, will lower the frequency and severity of claim payouts and put your transportation service company in a better position to obtain the lowest insurance rates. This person should be in charge of overseeing the overall safety of your company. Managing and coaching your drivers is the key to a successful transportation service company. You are only as good as your worst driver.
  • commercial fleet insurance Invest in cameras that capture not only accidents but also driver analytics. This type of camera system will allow you to review driver behavior and correct bad habits before they cause an accident. We like to say this method is similar to that of a professional athlete. How do they improve? They watch their game film and correct bad habits. Driving professionally is the same. The more you do it, the more comfortable you get and having drivers watch themselves reduces risky behavior dramatically. Additionally, it’s a known fact that many commercial fleet insurance claims are paid because of he said/she said situations. Having accidents on camera is the best way to know who exactly was at fault and exonerate innocent drivers.
  •  Hold weekly safety huddles and or monthly meetings. Review the data and claims that have occurred recently and talk to your drivers about how they could have been prevented.
  •  Commit to investing in annual defensive driving training for your drivers. This annual reminder to drivers will ensure that bad habits are addressed and give each driver a time to reflect on their own performance.
  • Implement a reward program for safe drivers. Giving an incentive, even if it’s small monetary gift cards – keeps your drivers focused and motivated on safe driving habits.

4) The Driver Pool

The Driver Pool is so important when trying to achieve the lowest insurance rates from commercial fleet insurance providers for your transportation company. How you chose to manage drivers and who you hire is crucial. Create formal guidelines that clearly outline what is acceptable for employment. We recommend only hiring drivers with zero accidents within the past three years and minimal moving violations. Clean MVRs are best but we know that professional drivers with experience usually do not have clean MVRs and this is ok. Professional drivers are on the road up to 3x more than someone commuting to/from work so it’s a given that they will most likely have more violations on their records. Repeat offenders can impact the cost of your commercial fleet insurance and should be let go. No one is perfect, but you should train your drivers with the goal to be as safe as possible. Excessive violations on a driving record can cause surcharges and prevent you from obtaining the lower insurance rates. Additionally, younger drivers sometimes generate higher premiums for commercial fleet insurance as well as newly licensed individuals.

5) Contact an Experienced, Transportation Insurance Broker

commercial fleet insurance

Working with a transportation specialist versus a local agency makes a huge difference as commercial fleet insurance brokers have access to many more transportation focused insurance companies. Also, an experienced broker will review your company data prior to submitting to commercial fleet insurance companies. If they see something a commercial fleet insurance company won’t like, they can address it with you and provide you with an opportunity to make changes before submitting to each carrier. The more information you can provide to a commercial fleet insurance underwriter, the better chances you have at achieving the lowest insurance rates. Because the for-hire, livery insurance market is so thin, carriers often get multiple submissions from duplicate brokers. Try to work with one broker at a time. You may think contacting multiple agencies well help you, but if they are all going to the same markets for commercial fleet insurance – it’s duplicating not only your own work, but the insurance companies as well. The livery market is a tough class of business and finding an experienced broker will absolutely give you a leg up on finding the lowest insurance rates over a generalist broker.

American Business Insurance Services, Inc. has been working with transportation companies across the nation for 35+ years. We have direct relationships with the most competitive commercial fleet insurance companies. We know what it takes to submit a complete application and present your company in the best light possible – which will no doubt translate to finding commercial fleet insurance at the lowest insurance rate.

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Public Auto Insurance

American Business Insurance Public Auto Insurance

We get it, dealing with public auto insurance companies can definitely be a little more than inconvenient, but we want to make life a lot more simple if you’re looking for public auto insurance. Our experience within the livery industry allows us to optimize our services for you and streamline any process involved. We have worked for over 30 years to ensure that our version of public auto is different, and done the right way. 

American Business Insurance has been an industry leader in public auto insurance for over 30 years. We not only care deeply about our clients, but have a deep understanding of the intricacies within the public transportation field. Some of the amazing breakthroughs we have made within the industry that make our process simpler are:

Extensive shopping of the entire coverage spectrum:

We want to make it simpler and easier for you. It really can’t get any better; we take the time to browse the entire spectrum of coverage within the market, to get you the best price possible.

Fast, helpful service

A plethora of public auto insurance services are completed within our very own company. If you do business with us, you can be sure that you won’t deal with a million different brokers or agents. We can handle anything all in house, from insurance claims to billing, and everything in between. ABI will help in every area that we can. We want to make public transportation insurance a great experience for you.

We write custom policies

When it comes to insurance policies, things can get really messy and complicated really fast. We understand that you don’t want to have to deal with all the details that you may or may not have a ton of experience in. We get it, per day insurance and per mile insurance can get really tricky and intricate, but we’re here to make it simple and write a custom policy that works for you and your wheels, whether it be an entire fleet, or just a few sets. No other company will take the effort to custom tailor to your needs, and no one else can match our timeliness.

Easy, real-time tracking

In the unfortunate case of an accident, insurance companies often need a lot of information regarding specific details like the time, place, date, speeds, and more regarding the nature of the accident. Being able to provide as many details as possible puts you in the best position possible to make the process easier, and to have a more successful case. Fortunately, we offer tracking devices that provide us with every detail we need in the case of any accident, and we offer simple, easy installation.

Easy-to-use online portal

Online portals are rarely found within larger, b2b insurance companies. They are the typical standard for personal insurance, and are able to simplify the relationship between client and provider. That is why we’ve broken the mold and provided an online portal for you, to make your life easier when it comes to insurance.

Wisconsin Taxi Insurance: It’s Not What You Know, It’s Who You Know

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Wisconsin Taxi Insurance: It’s Not What You Know, It’s Who You Know

Written by Laura Loftus on Monday, June 24th, 2019

 

Northwoods Cab, LLC began working with American Business Insurance in 2015. At the time, he had 2 cars insured. Now, he services 6,000 trips per month and maintains about 15 taxis on the road at all times.

Finding the right broker to handle your Wisconsin Taxi Insurance is vital. Besides the fact that we’ve been one of the leading providers for those who need Wisconsin Taxi Insurance, we give you more than just an insurance policy.

Currently, we insure over 100 vehicles that require Wisconsin Taxi Insurance and because we have been working with both fleets and individual owner/operators for over 35 years, we have created an easy to use online portal for our customers to service their policies 24/7.

We also provide you with a live, customer service rep dedicated to servicing your policy and answering coverage questions during regular business hours. Choosing us as your broker means choosing a well-educated partner who truly understands your business.

 

Our goal is to keep your vehicles on the road, and your Wisconsin Taxi Insurance active

Aaron Schloemer from Northwoods Cab, LLC in Wasuau, WI has a fleet of about 15 taxi’s on the road. He has been a client of ours since 2015 and says that our online portal helps him to run his business.  Some brokers will require you to send changes to them via email or fax in writing. Then you’ll have to wait days for an approval or ID card. But our portal allows you to make these changes in an instant. Transportation companies often need replacement ID Cards in the middle of the night, need to change out a vehicle at a moment’s notice and switch drivers on their policies with little time to spare.

“We use the online portal and it work’s like a charm. It really helps us. When a cab breaks down, we can go on the portal and easily take it off and put it back on. It doesn’t matter what time of the day or night. Another great thing is being able to add drivers 24 hours per day. It’s easy to use and we use it as a point of reference many times. Say we want to make sure a cab is on, we can log into the portal and make sure it’s there. It makes it a lot easier to run the company having a 24/7 portal.”

Schloemer started Northwoods Cab, LLC about 4 1/2 years ago. He started out in the taxi industry the way many others do, by working for another local cab company in town. After gaining experience and traction, he originally started the business further north in Tomahawk, WI. Soon after, he transferred the business into the Wausau area where they currently service about 6,000 calls/trips per month.

 

Keeping up with the competition

Although Uber has a presence in his area, he says they haven’t affected his business too much because he is able to keep his prices low enough, where riding with him is cheaper than in an Uber. One way he has been able to keep prices down is by hiring his drivers as independent contractors. He pays them 70% of the sales per day, and charges a weekly lease fee.

Northwoods Cab owner Aaron Schloemer with his son at Disney World, in front of the “Cab Garage.” We’ve been servicing his Wisconsin Taxi Insurance policy for the past fours years.

“A lot of taxi cab companies that have contractors pay 50%, and that isn’t enough to have the drivers stay, pay their bills and make a good income,” Schloemer said.

Some people get into the business to become their own boss and they think it will be easy to run once the basics are set up – obtaining Wisconsin taxi insurance, hiring and training drivers as well as holding monthly safety meetings. But, it isn’t always as easy as it seems.

“Don’t do it if you don’t love people and hard work. Don’t do it if you don’t know how to make decisions and handle problems. Because you are going to have problems every day,” Schloemer shared.

Day to day in the taxi business

While operating a taxi company may seem easy enough, there are daily challenges Schloemer faces that he says others should be aware of before starting out in the industry.

“The hardest thing is maintaining the fleet. The vehicles do get beat up pretty quick. It’s essential to our business that we have at least 10 cars on standby, ready to go, in case one should break down.”

Many people would not think of owning and operating at taxi company as a public service. But Schloemer considers it just that.

“Taking care of people and helping people do tasks they might not otherwise be able to get done,” is one of the benefits Schloemer says he enjoys about owning a taxi company. “Without us, they might not be able to get to their job on time or make it to their dialysis appointment,” he said.

How much insurance do I need?

How much insurance you need to purchase will depend on the type of transportation business you have, and where you are operating. Most limousines, black car or private car service business are overseen by the WI DOT and depending on their seating capacities, determine the limit of insurance that is needed.

Insurance limit requirements for limo and black cars with seating capacities (including driver) listed below:

  • 8 or less require $300,000
  • 15 or less require $1,500,000
  • 16 or more require $5,000,000

While Limo and black car limits are more straightforward, Wisconsin Taxi Insurance limits vary by municipality. Below are some of the requirements for Wisconsin taxi insurance by city:

  • Madison, WI – $1,000,000
  • Manitowoc, WI
  • Menomonie, WI – $1,000,000
  • Milwaukee, WI – $50,000/100,000/10,000
  • Sheboygan, WI – $100,000/300,000/100,000
  • Superior, WI – $500,000

 

Above are just some of the state specific requirements. Don’t see what you are looking for? Contact us as we are the Wisconsin taxi insurance experts and know exactly where to find this information so you don’t have to!

We would love to bring down the cost of your current  policy! Request a quote online by clicking here: https://abiweb.com/services/taxicab-insurance/

You can also call us at (800) 980-1950 ext. 4

 

 

 

Insurance Coverage For Your Rental Car Fleet in California

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Rental Car Fleet Insurance Coverage in California

Do you own or operate a rental car service? Are you looking to partner with a transportation network company in California? Nowadays there are multiple ways to get into this ever-growing transportation industry. The rise of ridesharing apps and on-demand delivery apps utilizing rental car fleets in recent years, has more and more entrepreneurs looking to start their own transportation companies. The proper fleet insurance is essential in getting your business off the ground.

With the ever-changing market comes the requirement of insurance policies that can accommodate the unique needs of each business. There is no one insurance policy that fits all that’s why American Business Insurance Services, Inc. is able to find you the right insurance policy for your rental car fleet based off your individual needs. Skip the hassle of comparing multiple insurance quotes based off daunting numbers and endless calls with salespersons and representatives. As an independent agency, American Business Insurance Services, Inc. has direct relationships with all insurance companies currently writing specialized policies for transportation companies such as rental car fleets.

Different Types of Rental Car Fleets

As mentioned earlier, the barriers to enter the rental car industry is getting lower in recent years due to the growth of ridesharing apps and on-demand delivery services. More and more people are choosing to travel in vehicles not their own, as well as relying on on-demand drivers to deliver special goods. Especially in places like Los Angeles and San Francisco where traffic is really bad. The new trend of people relying on services of rental car fleets or other on-demand transportation services continues to rise. On top of that, California is by far the biggest automotive market in the United States.

In California people are more dependent on cars than public transit making California a great location to start a rental car fleet company. Whether you own a car rental company servicing travelers and businessmen, or a car dealership providing rental cars to customers, or you are simply an entrepreneur renting your own cars to other people, you will need fleet insurance to cover your company. Luckily at American Business Insurance Services, Inc. we have the connections and expertise to help you find the best insurance coverage for your rental car fleet.

Fleet Insurance – What does It Cover?

Whether your rental car fleet is working with a Transportation Network Company or on its own, the most important coverages to have for your rental car fleet are liability and physical damage. The transportation industry is a high-risk industry and it is important to have coverage for liability and physical damage. Living in California, you’ve probably seen a fair share of accidents on a daily basis on the highways. Accidents do happen, and the cold truth is the more miles your rental car fleet operates, the higher the chance that one of your drivers is involved in an incident.

In case of an incident, proper coverage for liability and collision will give you peace of mind as a business owner by knowing that your rental car fleet is protected on the road. Liability coverage is a must for rental car businesses, because it protects your fleet from potential negligence and mechanical failures.

There are coverage options that will cover all of the cars in your rental fleet, and also coverages that apply to drivers. There are policies for short-term car rentals or ones that operate on a pay-by-mile basis. That all depends on what kind of business you own and operate!

As your business grows, so does your need for more coverage. American Business Insurance Services, Inc. will help you adjust your limits accordingly to make sure you have proper coverage. Our friendly representatives will work with you and your company to fully understand your needs.

Additional Coverages For Rental Car Fleet Insurance

The number of fleet trucks, vans and SUVs on the roads in the U.S. is over 11.7 million. In Los Angeles alone, there are over 6 million vehicles in urbanized areas. The transportation sector is an ever-growing industry. As your company fleet grows, you may want to consider additional coverages such as inland marine coverage to protect any cargo or goods you are transporting.  You may also want to consider raising your liability coverage limits when you have more drivers, because the truth is the bigger your business is the more you have to lose!

Most insurance policies will cover the State’s mandated minimum insurance coverage that include liability and collision coverage. Additional coverages to consider would be roadside assistance, uninsured motorist coverage, and other coverages such as theft and vandalism. Consider the scope of your business, where you operate out of, and any special needs that you require.

Fleet Insurance – How Much Will It Cost

While there is no one single answer to this question, there are some indicators that will help you determine the costs of your fleet insurance plan. Typically, the more drivers and vehicles you have on your fleet, the more expensive the policy is. For example, consider the value of your vehicles – do you own a fleet of luxury European import cars? That is going to cost relatively more to maintain and fix, than say a fleet of economy cars. However, if the cars in your fleet are more likely to break down you run the risk of an increased premium. Another thing to consider is the intended use of your rental car vehicles. Are you using the fleet to transport people? That is going to cost more than  if you own a fleet of service vehicles (plumbers, electricians, etc) that are intended for special uses.

There is no single answer to how much it’s going to cost to insure your rental car fleet, but American Business Insurance Services, Inc will be able to cater to your needs and provide you with a quote in a short amount of time. Get Quote Now

How To Save Money on Rental Car Fleet Insurance

Typically to save money in a competitive insurance marketplace, you’d need to compare the different price offerings from different companies. American Business Insurance Services, Inc. differs from its competitors by its ability to work with different insurance companies writing specialized policies to provide you with a comprehensive coverage package. Located in the Los Angeles metropolitan area, American Business Insurance Services, Inc. has connections not only in California but with insurance providers nationwide. Tell us about your business, and we will do the research and get back to you with a policy that best fits your rental car fleet company.

Other ways to save on your premium is to reduce your coverage, but sometimes this wouldn’t be viable because of your business needs. While this certainly is an option for personal auto coverages, we wouldn’t recommend this for businesses like a rental car fleet. Another way to save on insurance premium is to raise your deductible amount. While this can seem like a cost-saving option in the short term, be sure that your business can pay the deductible when an incident arises.

Look into the regulations and mandated minimums in the State of California. Have an idea of what the minimum cost is going to be and know what your business is looking for. The easiest and best ways to save on an insurance policy is to combine multiple policies under the same provider and maintain a good driving record!

Get an Insurance Quote for Your Rental Car Fleet

In conclusion, you should look into fleet insurance policies if you have multiple vehicles in your transportation network company. Fleet Insurance makes managing your business and expenses easier, because no matter how many cars are in your fleet, one policy covers all! Whether you own a rental car company in California, or you’re just starting a business and looking to purchase a fleet of your own, you should purchase comprehensive insurance coverage. Tell us about your fleet company and we will help you find the best customizable insurance policy!

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How to Insure Transportation Network Companies: A Detailed Guide to Getting your TNC off the Ground

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How to Insure Transportation Network Companies: A Detailed Guide to Getting your TNC off the Ground

Written by Laura Loftus on Monday, May 6th, 2019

Whether you are looking to start your own Transportation Network Company, On-Demand Delivery App or other Shared Economy business, one of the most important factors to consider is insurance! Sounds boring, I know. But as the world around us changes, insurance markets for transportation network companies are creating new structures and products. As an independent agency, American Business Insurance has direct relationships with all insurance companies currently writing specialized policies for transportation network companies.

Finding insurance for transportation network companies or other app-based businesses is no easy feat. As you may have already come to realize, most of your local brokers who specialize in personal lines don’t have relationships with insurance companies in this space. Many local brokers don’t understand what information to collect from business owners to present your transportation network company in the most insurable light.

Finding An Insurance Broker To Write Policies For Your Transportation Network Company

Most of the common insurance companies you may have already heard of are not writing policies because of the high-risk nature for transportation network companies. Insurance companies who are writing policies for transportation network companies are Surplus Lines carriers whose focus is in this specialized, technology driven market place.

Some people think that it is easy to join the long list of people who are trying to start transportation network companies to compete with those already dominating the world – Uber and Lyft. But in reality, the people who have created these transportation network companies worked for many years prior to actually launching.

To some, that might seem like a really long time but when an experienced insurance broker who is familiar with writing policies for transportation network companies asks you to assemble a list of items, it’s best to know exactly what you are getting yourself into. Don’t be fooled, there is a lot of prep, time and money that is required to build transportation network companies like Uber or Lyft.

transportation network companies

Minimum Premiums For Transportation Network Companies

As you might have anticipated, buying an insurance policy for transportation network companies is not cheap since most insurers in this space have minimum premiums of $75,000-100,000. We know, that is a lot of dough! The good news is, most of the carriers will accept a portion of that up-front and some even offer premium eroding endorsements. This means if your business doesn’t generate premium up to that amount within the year, they will carry over the credit to the following year.

Obtaining a quote requires you to find a broker who specializes in writing insurance for transportation network companies. Working with the right broker will not only save you time and money, but prevent you from buying coverages you don’t need and making sure that you have the ones you do. An experienced broker who is familiar with writing insurance for transportation network companies will know exactly what information to collect from you. They will also know how to present it best to the insurance markets who are writing policies for transportation network companies.

American Business Insurance Services, Inc.

Lucky for you, you found us! As an agency, we have been around long before ordering a ride from your smart-phone was an option. We specialize in public auto which means we understand more than anyone how transportation network companies operate.

transportation network companies

Items Transportation Network Companies Should Have Ready Before Calling Your Broker For A Quote:

Build the App:

  • One of the first questions I ask customers looking for insurance for transportation network companies is if the app is complete. Insurance company underwriters will want to download your app and make sure it’s working. Also, some companies have technology-based policies, meaning they integrate with your app to capture data on the drivers. Some even offer lower insurance rates based on favorable data collected (less speeding, hard stops, etcetera). Most policies for transportation network companies are usage based, so they have to be able to download your app and make sure it’s compatible with their insurance structure. Insurance companies often want to be able to pull reports from your app which include and are not limited to:

1. Knowing When A Trip Starts and Stops

2. How Many Miles For Each Trip

3. How Many Minutes/Hours For Each Trip

Business Plan & Projections:

  • There is a checklist of items the insurance company will want to see attached to the submission your broker sends. Your broker should be narrating to the insurance company all the hard work and thought you’ve put into creating these transportation network companies. Insurers will want to see a “pitch deck” which is something you might already have created to obtain investors. This document will present and explain your business model, why it is different from what is alreadyout there and how it will work long term. Some of the questions this document should answer are:

transportation network companies1. What are the company’s growth plans?

2. How will you monitor safety/loss control?

3. How is pricing structured so that the company is profitable?

 Safety and Training:

  • Safety and training is a big deal for insurers who are writing policies for transportation network companies. They will want to know what restrictions, checks and balances and training you will provide to drivers. They want to know how often you will check driving records and how often people have to pass background checks. The younger in age the drivers are that you allow to join your transportation network companies, the more expensive you can expect your insurance prices to be. Insurance companies want to know how you are going to prevent accidents from happening so that you build a positive reputation within the industry along side other transportation network companies like Uber and Lyft.

Bios on Key Officers/Investors:

  • Insurance companies want to know about the people behind the transportation network companies! If you want to join the group of dominating transportation network companies, they are going to want to know what experience you have, not only in transportation but also in being an entrepreneur. Take the time to write detailed bios for yourself and all other key members, officers and investors behind your transportation network company. Make sure to detail the knowledge and life experience you are bringing to the table in starting transportation network companies like Uber and Lyft. A well written, detailed bio will separate your company from all the rest and will give you a better advantage to better pricing on insurance for transportation network companies.

 Terms of Service & Privacy Conditions:

  • Although this may seem like a small piece of the puzzle to getting insurance for transportation network companies, most insurers want to see the liability of the app in regards to what they are promising to both their drivers and users. If you are a peer to peer platform, they want to see how the transaction will take place. Some of the questions that should be answered here are:

1. What Security Measures Are In Place To Protect The User?

2. How Should Complaints Be Filed?

3. What Terms and Conditions Does Your Company Adhere To? 

transportation network companies

Financial Balance Sheet:

  • Basically, a lot of what it takes to insure transportation network companies is having money, and a lot of it. Due to the hefty size of the minimum premiums for transportation network companies, generally ranging from $75,00-100,000, insurers want to make sure you not only have money to pay for the policy, but to also keep your business afloat and operating before you start turning a profit. It’s no secret that most transportation network companies do not profit until after the first year. Insurers want to see that you have raised money, not just for the cost of insurance but also for operating expenses, advertising and promotions.
  • When I review the balance sheet for transportation network companies, I know that most insurers want to see that you’ve raised at minimum $250,000-$1,000,000 in capital. Sometimes more. The reason for them wanting transportation network companies to raise this much money is because they know what it takes to gain traction in this unique space. They want to make sure the work they are putting in to quote and bind your policy will create a lasting relationship with you.

Guidance From American Business Insurance Services, INC

Starting any business takes time, research and money. We get phone calls from people daily thinking they are going to be the next Uber and Lyft. And believe me, we want you to make it big and compete against the monopoly that currently exists for transportation network companies. But in reality, we know that few of the phone calls we receive have actually taken the above steps which are required to make transportation network companies insurable.

If you have questions or need guidance, please give us a call and we will be happy to discuss over the phone! While some of the larger, corporate run agencies have the same relationships as us, few will offer the personal touch and value we have with every client.

Exclusive Contracts

Additionally, we have exclusive contracts with some companies that allow us to write at a lower minimum premium than others. We are an independent, family-run business with 75+ years of combined experience in the business insurance industry. We have invested in other transportation network companies, peer to peer and shared economy types of businesses. Most of us utilize transportation network companies and peer-to-peer apps regularly.

We literally have boots on the ground in this space and if you want the best pricing with the smoothest transaction – we are here for you!

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How to Save the MOST Money on Your Commercial Fleet Insurance Rates

ABI Transportation Experts Speak: How to Save the MOST Money on Your Commercial Fleet Insurance Rates

Written by Laura Loftus on Thursday, February 28th, 2019

 

When speaking with clients about their commercial fleet insurance, the most common concern is how to get the lowest insurance rates. About 100% of the customers I speak to daily all have the same goal – they want the lowest insurance rates available and will do whatever it takes to get it. Whether you own a Taxi, Limo, Paratransit or Shared Economy company (peer to peer platform app), it’s a given that you want your commercial fleet insurance coverage at the lowest insurance rates available. What many companies don’t realize, especially start-ups, is that commercial fleet insurance underwriters do quite a bit of digging on your company through a variety of platforms to “check you out” prior to releasing a quote. They read Yelp reviews, they look at your website, they do Better Business Bureau checks – all of it.

There are common mistakes that transportation service companies are repeatedly making that will create doubt in a commercial fleet insurance company. These mistakes actually prevent your broker from being able to find the lowest insurance rates for your company. Most of these companies think they are making business decisions that will guide them toward the lowest insurance rates, and are unaware that their current website or driver pool is actually hurting their chances of achieving the lowest possible commercial fleet insurance rate.

Five common flubs transportation service companies are making that prevent your commercial fleet insurance broker from obtaining the lowest insurance rates possible:

1) Company Website

The first and most common mistake we see from commercial auto risks who are in the “wheels” business as us underwriters call it – is that you over the amount of experience or size of your transportation service company.  It is common for commercial fleet insurance underwriters to google your company to pick apart your website. Here are some items you may think are helping your chances at obtaining the lowest insurance rates but are actually red flags to commercial fleet insurance companies:

  •  Words like “Fast Pick-up” or ‘Delivery in Minutes” – no commercial fleet insurance underwriter wants to see that you are promising rushed services. Rushing = equals unsafe driving behavior.

commercial fleet insurance

  • Advertising vehicles that are not actually part of your fleet. For example, just yesterday I was helping a 35-car fleet in Portland with obtaining commercial fleet insurance quotes. The list of vehicles they provided were all private passenger type vehicles (meaning seating capacity of 8 or less) – good! But when I searched the company online, they advertised a large shuttle bus and a higher seating capacity van. When I asked the client about this, they those vehicles had been sold and they had no plans to replace them. Keeping your website up to date and only advertising only what you can actually deliver will keep unwanted questions from creeping into the commercial fleet insurance underwriters’ mind. Creating uncertainty is the last thing you want to do with a commercial fleet insurance underwriter when trying to obtain the lowest insurance rates.
  •  Age of vehicles is important to commercial fleet insurance companies. Publishing a picture of a 30-year-old vehicle is no bueno. Keep your fleet serviced regularly (we recommend every three to four thousand miles and cycle out old units. Newer, cleaner & well-maintained vehicles are not only more desired by clientele (when trying to compete with Uber/Lyft) but also preferred by commercial fleet insurance companies trying to avoid claims due to mechanical defect.
  • If you boast 20 years of experience but your LLC was filed three years ago, it creates uncertainty with insurance companies. It’s better to accurately reflect your business as it is now, and not what you want it to be five years from now. Just as there are items to avoid putting on your website, there are points that you should include on your website. It is always a good idea to brag about highly trained drivers and safety training you provide (more on this later). Be sure to note the maintenance you keep up with for your fleet, the background checks the city you operate in mandates and the highest level of driving records required for your drivers. Commercial fleet insurance underwriters like stable fleets with safe drivers. Bottom line, safer risks translates to commercial fleet insurance underwriters offering the lowest insurance rates.

2) Creating a Business Name

This may seem simple enough but for transportation business owners looking to for the lowest insurance rates, people often think that commercial fleet insurance companies give the lowest insurance rates to Limo’s and Non-Emergency Medical risks over a taxi or airport shuttle. While this might be true, cornering yourself into a specific type of transportation in your business name narrows the list of commercial fleet insurance carriers you are eligible for. Many markets write only taxis or only limos. So, if you file your business name with the Secretary of State as Laura’s Taxi & Limo Service, LLC. – it could possibly make you ineligible for a limo commercial fleet insurance program because they don’t insure taxis and vice versa – even if your unit type meets their requirements. When talking with clients, I always say it’s best to be general about the transportation type within the name of their business, especially as market conditions change. You may be heavy in taxi trips one year but then obtain a paratransit contract and do more of that the following year. The more years of favorable loss history (loss runs) you can provide, the better chance you have at obtaining the lowest insurance rates. Choosing a business name that is general such as Laura’s Transportation Service, LLC. allows you flexibility to transform and evolve your business as the industry demands change.

3) Loss Control is Everything

Underwriters give commercial fleet insurance at the lowest insurance rates to companies with low levels of paid claims. Even in a hard insurance market, with rates rising for the good guys too, you can expect to pay more for commercial fleet insurance if you’re prior insurance companies have paid a lot in claims. Here are some suggestions in tightening loss control for your transportation service company:

  •  Hire a full-time loss control or driver manager who will enforce a safety culture. Doing this, will lower the frequency and severity of claim payouts and put your transportation service company in a better position to obtain the lowest insurance rates. This person should be in charge of overseeing the overall safety of your company. Managing and coaching your drivers is the key to a successful transportation service company. You are only as good as your worst driver.
  • commercial fleet insurance Invest in cameras that capture not only accidents but also driver analytics. This type of camera system will allow you to review driver behavior and correct bad habits before they cause an accident. We like to say this method is similar to that of a professional athlete. How do they improve? They watch their game film and correct bad habits. Driving professionally is the same. The more you do it, the more comfortable you get and having drivers watch themselves reduces risky behavior dramatically. Additionally, it’s a known fact that many commercial fleet insurance claims are paid because of he said/she said situations. Having accidents on camera is the best way to know who exactly was at fault and exonerate innocent drivers.
  •  Hold weekly safety huddles and or monthly meetings. Review the data and claims that have occurred recently and talk to your drivers about how they could have been prevented.
  •  Commit to investing in annual defensive driving training for your drivers. This annual reminder to drivers will ensure that bad habits are addressed and give each driver a time to reflect on their own performance.
  • Implement a reward program for safe drivers. Giving an incentive, even if it’s small monetary gift cards – keeps your drivers focused and motivated on safe driving habits.

4) The Driver Pool

The Driver Pool is so important when trying to achieve the lowest insurance rates from commercial fleet insurance providers for your transportation company. How you chose to manage drivers and who you hire is crucial. Create formal guidelines that clearly outline what is acceptable for employment. We recommend only hiring drivers with zero accidents within the past three years and minimal moving violations. Clean MVRs are best but we know that professional drivers with experience usually do not have clean MVRs and this is ok. Professional drivers are on the road up to 3x more than someone commuting to/from work so it’s a given that they will most likely have more violations on their records. Repeat offenders can impact the cost of your commercial fleet insurance and should be let go. No one is perfect, but you should train your drivers with the goal to be as safe as possible. Excessive violations on a driving record can cause surcharges and prevent you from obtaining the lower insurance rates. Additionally, younger drivers sometimes generate higher premiums for commercial fleet insurance as well as newly licensed individuals.

5) Contact an Experienced, Transportation Insurance Broker

commercial fleet insurance

Working with a transportation specialist versus a local agency makes a huge difference as commercial fleet insurance brokers have access to many more transportation focused insurance companies. Also, an experienced broker will review your company data prior to submitting to commercial fleet insurance companies. If they see something a commercial fleet insurance company won’t like, they can address it with you and provide you with an opportunity to make changes before submitting to each carrier. The more information you can provide to a commercial fleet insurance underwriter, the better chances you have at achieving the lowest insurance rates. Because the for-hire, livery insurance market is so thin, carriers often get multiple submissions from duplicate brokers. Try to work with one broker at a time. You may think contacting multiple agencies well help you, but if they are all going to the same markets for commercial fleet insurance – it’s duplicating not only your own work, but the insurance companies as well. The livery market is a tough class of business and finding an experienced broker will absolutely give you a leg up on finding the lowest insurance rates over a generalist broker.

American Business Insurance Services, Inc. has been working with transportation companies across the nation for 35+ years. We have direct relationships with the most competitive commercial fleet insurance companies. We know what it takes to submit a complete application and present your company in the best light possible – which will no doubt translate to finding commercial fleet insurance at the lowest insurance rate.

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Public Auto Insurance

American Business Insurance Public Auto Insurance

We get it, dealing with public auto insurance companies can definitely be a little more than inconvenient, but we want to make life a lot more simple if you’re looking for public auto insurance. Our experience within the livery industry allows us to optimize our services for you and streamline any process involved. We have worked for over 30 years to ensure that our version of public auto is different, and done the right way. 

American Business Insurance has been an industry leader in public auto insurance for over 30 years. We not only care deeply about our clients, but have a deep understanding of the intricacies within the public transportation field. Some of the amazing breakthroughs we have made within the industry that make our process simpler are:

Extensive shopping of the entire coverage spectrum:

We want to make it simpler and easier for you. It really can’t get any better; we take the time to browse the entire spectrum of coverage within the market, to get you the best price possible.

Fast, helpful service

A plethora of public auto insurance services are completed within our very own company. If you do business with us, you can be sure that you won’t deal with a million different brokers or agents. We can handle anything all in house, from insurance claims to billing, and everything in between. ABI will help in every area that we can. We want to make public transportation insurance a great experience for you.

We write custom policies

When it comes to insurance policies, things can get really messy and complicated really fast. We understand that you don’t want to have to deal with all the details that you may or may not have a ton of experience in. We get it, per day insurance and per mile insurance can get really tricky and intricate, but we’re here to make it simple and write a custom policy that works for you and your wheels, whether it be an entire fleet, or just a few sets. No other company will take the effort to custom tailor to your needs, and no one else can match our timeliness.

Easy, real-time tracking

In the unfortunate case of an accident, insurance companies often need a lot of information regarding specific details like the time, place, date, speeds, and more regarding the nature of the accident. Being able to provide as many details as possible puts you in the best position possible to make the process easier, and to have a more successful case. Fortunately, we offer tracking devices that provide us with every detail we need in the case of any accident, and we offer simple, easy installation.

Easy-to-use online portal

Online portals are rarely found within larger, b2b insurance companies. They are the typical standard for personal insurance, and are able to simplify the relationship between client and provider. That is why we’ve broken the mold and provided an online portal for you, to make your life easier when it comes to insurance.

Wisconsin Taxi Insurance: It’s Not What You Know, It’s Who You Know

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Wisconsin Taxi Insurance: It’s Not What You Know, It’s Who You Know

Written by Laura Loftus on Monday, June 24th, 2019

 

Northwoods Cab, LLC began working with American Business Insurance in 2015. At the time, he had 2 cars insured. Now, he services 6,000 trips per month and maintains about 15 taxis on the road at all times.

Finding the right broker to handle your Wisconsin Taxi Insurance is vital. Besides the fact that we’ve been one of the leading providers for those who need Wisconsin Taxi Insurance, we give you more than just an insurance policy.

Currently, we insure over 100 vehicles that require Wisconsin Taxi Insurance and because we have been working with both fleets and individual owner/operators for over 35 years, we have created an easy to use online portal for our customers to service their policies 24/7.

We also provide you with a live, customer service rep dedicated to servicing your policy and answering coverage questions during regular business hours. Choosing us as your broker means choosing a well-educated partner who truly understands your business.

 

Our goal is to keep your vehicles on the road, and your Wisconsin Taxi Insurance active

Aaron Schloemer from Northwoods Cab, LLC in Wasuau, WI has a fleet of about 15 taxi’s on the road. He has been a client of ours since 2015 and says that our online portal helps him to run his business.  Some brokers will require you to send changes to them via email or fax in writing. Then you’ll have to wait days for an approval or ID card. But our portal allows you to make these changes in an instant. Transportation companies often need replacement ID Cards in the middle of the night, need to change out a vehicle at a moment’s notice and switch drivers on their policies with little time to spare.

“We use the online portal and it work’s like a charm. It really helps us. When a cab breaks down, we can go on the portal and easily take it off and put it back on. It doesn’t matter what time of the day or night. Another great thing is being able to add drivers 24 hours per day. It’s easy to use and we use it as a point of reference many times. Say we want to make sure a cab is on, we can log into the portal and make sure it’s there. It makes it a lot easier to run the company having a 24/7 portal.”

Schloemer started Northwoods Cab, LLC about 4 1/2 years ago. He started out in the taxi industry the way many others do, by working for another local cab company in town. After gaining experience and traction, he originally started the business further north in Tomahawk, WI. Soon after, he transferred the business into the Wausau area where they currently service about 6,000 calls/trips per month.

 

Keeping up with the competition

Although Uber has a presence in his area, he says they haven’t affected his business too much because he is able to keep his prices low enough, where riding with him is cheaper than in an Uber. One way he has been able to keep prices down is by hiring his drivers as independent contractors. He pays them 70% of the sales per day, and charges a weekly lease fee.

Northwoods Cab owner Aaron Schloemer with his son at Disney World, in front of the “Cab Garage.” We’ve been servicing his Wisconsin Taxi Insurance policy for the past fours years.

“A lot of taxi cab companies that have contractors pay 50%, and that isn’t enough to have the drivers stay, pay their bills and make a good income,” Schloemer said.

Some people get into the business to become their own boss and they think it will be easy to run once the basics are set up – obtaining Wisconsin taxi insurance, hiring and training drivers as well as holding monthly safety meetings. But, it isn’t always as easy as it seems.

“Don’t do it if you don’t love people and hard work. Don’t do it if you don’t know how to make decisions and handle problems. Because you are going to have problems every day,” Schloemer shared.

Day to day in the taxi business

While operating a taxi company may seem easy enough, there are daily challenges Schloemer faces that he says others should be aware of before starting out in the industry.

“The hardest thing is maintaining the fleet. The vehicles do get beat up pretty quick. It’s essential to our business that we have at least 10 cars on standby, ready to go, in case one should break down.”

Many people would not think of owning and operating at taxi company as a public service. But Schloemer considers it just that.

“Taking care of people and helping people do tasks they might not otherwise be able to get done,” is one of the benefits Schloemer says he enjoys about owning a taxi company. “Without us, they might not be able to get to their job on time or make it to their dialysis appointment,” he said.

How much insurance do I need?

How much insurance you need to purchase will depend on the type of transportation business you have, and where you are operating. Most limousines, black car or private car service business are overseen by the WI DOT and depending on their seating capacities, determine the limit of insurance that is needed.

Insurance limit requirements for limo and black cars with seating capacities (including driver) listed below:

  • 8 or less require $300,000
  • 15 or less require $1,500,000
  • 16 or more require $5,000,000

While Limo and black car limits are more straightforward, Wisconsin Taxi Insurance limits vary by municipality. Below are some of the requirements for Wisconsin taxi insurance by city:

  • Madison, WI – $1,000,000
  • Manitowoc, WI
  • Menomonie, WI – $1,000,000
  • Milwaukee, WI – $50,000/100,000/10,000
  • Sheboygan, WI – $100,000/300,000/100,000
  • Superior, WI – $500,000

 

Above are just some of the state specific requirements. Don’t see what you are looking for? Contact us as we are the Wisconsin taxi insurance experts and know exactly where to find this information so you don’t have to!

We would love to bring down the cost of your current  policy! Request a quote online by clicking here: https://abiweb.com/services/taxicab-insurance/

You can also call us at (800) 980-1950 ext. 4

 

 

 

Insurance Coverage For Your Rental Car Fleet in California

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Rental Car Fleet Insurance Coverage in California

Do you own or operate a rental car service? Are you looking to partner with a transportation network company in California? Nowadays there are multiple ways to get into this ever-growing transportation industry. The rise of ridesharing apps and on-demand delivery apps utilizing rental car fleets in recent years, has more and more entrepreneurs looking to start their own transportation companies. The proper fleet insurance is essential in getting your business off the ground.

With the ever-changing market comes the requirement of insurance policies that can accommodate the unique needs of each business. There is no one insurance policy that fits all that’s why American Business Insurance Services, Inc. is able to find you the right insurance policy for your rental car fleet based off your individual needs. Skip the hassle of comparing multiple insurance quotes based off daunting numbers and endless calls with salespersons and representatives. As an independent agency, American Business Insurance Services, Inc. has direct relationships with all insurance companies currently writing specialized policies for transportation companies such as rental car fleets.

Different Types of Rental Car Fleets

As mentioned earlier, the barriers to enter the rental car industry is getting lower in recent years due to the growth of ridesharing apps and on-demand delivery services. More and more people are choosing to travel in vehicles not their own, as well as relying on on-demand drivers to deliver special goods. Especially in places like Los Angeles and San Francisco where traffic is really bad. The new trend of people relying on services of rental car fleets or other on-demand transportation services continues to rise. On top of that, California is by far the biggest automotive market in the United States.

In California people are more dependent on cars than public transit making California a great location to start a rental car fleet company. Whether you own a car rental company servicing travelers and businessmen, or a car dealership providing rental cars to customers, or you are simply an entrepreneur renting your own cars to other people, you will need fleet insurance to cover your company. Luckily at American Business Insurance Services, Inc. we have the connections and expertise to help you find the best insurance coverage for your rental car fleet.

Fleet Insurance – What does It Cover?

Whether your rental car fleet is working with a Transportation Network Company or on its own, the most important coverages to have for your rental car fleet are liability and physical damage. The transportation industry is a high-risk industry and it is important to have coverage for liability and physical damage. Living in California, you’ve probably seen a fair share of accidents on a daily basis on the highways. Accidents do happen, and the cold truth is the more miles your rental car fleet operates, the higher the chance that one of your drivers is involved in an incident.

In case of an incident, proper coverage for liability and collision will give you peace of mind as a business owner by knowing that your rental car fleet is protected on the road. Liability coverage is a must for rental car businesses, because it protects your fleet from potential negligence and mechanical failures.

There are coverage options that will cover all of the cars in your rental fleet, and also coverages that apply to drivers. There are policies for short-term car rentals or ones that operate on a pay-by-mile basis. That all depends on what kind of business you own and operate!

As your business grows, so does your need for more coverage. American Business Insurance Services, Inc. will help you adjust your limits accordingly to make sure you have proper coverage. Our friendly representatives will work with you and your company to fully understand your needs.

Additional Coverages For Rental Car Fleet Insurance

The number of fleet trucks, vans and SUVs on the roads in the U.S. is over 11.7 million. In Los Angeles alone, there are over 6 million vehicles in urbanized areas. The transportation sector is an ever-growing industry. As your company fleet grows, you may want to consider additional coverages such as inland marine coverage to protect any cargo or goods you are transporting.  You may also want to consider raising your liability coverage limits when you have more drivers, because the truth is the bigger your business is the more you have to lose!

Most insurance policies will cover the State’s mandated minimum insurance coverage that include liability and collision coverage. Additional coverages to consider would be roadside assistance, uninsured motorist coverage, and other coverages such as theft and vandalism. Consider the scope of your business, where you operate out of, and any special needs that you require.

Fleet Insurance – How Much Will It Cost

While there is no one single answer to this question, there are some indicators that will help you determine the costs of your fleet insurance plan. Typically, the more drivers and vehicles you have on your fleet, the more expensive the policy is. For example, consider the value of your vehicles – do you own a fleet of luxury European import cars? That is going to cost relatively more to maintain and fix, than say a fleet of economy cars. However, if the cars in your fleet are more likely to break down you run the risk of an increased premium. Another thing to consider is the intended use of your rental car vehicles. Are you using the fleet to transport people? That is going to cost more than  if you own a fleet of service vehicles (plumbers, electricians, etc) that are intended for special uses.

There is no single answer to how much it’s going to cost to insure your rental car fleet, but American Business Insurance Services, Inc will be able to cater to your needs and provide you with a quote in a short amount of time. Get Quote Now

How To Save Money on Rental Car Fleet Insurance

Typically to save money in a competitive insurance marketplace, you’d need to compare the different price offerings from different companies. American Business Insurance Services, Inc. differs from its competitors by its ability to work with different insurance companies writing specialized policies to provide you with a comprehensive coverage package. Located in the Los Angeles metropolitan area, American Business Insurance Services, Inc. has connections not only in California but with insurance providers nationwide. Tell us about your business, and we will do the research and get back to you with a policy that best fits your rental car fleet company.

Other ways to save on your premium is to reduce your coverage, but sometimes this wouldn’t be viable because of your business needs. While this certainly is an option for personal auto coverages, we wouldn’t recommend this for businesses like a rental car fleet. Another way to save on insurance premium is to raise your deductible amount. While this can seem like a cost-saving option in the short term, be sure that your business can pay the deductible when an incident arises.

Look into the regulations and mandated minimums in the State of California. Have an idea of what the minimum cost is going to be and know what your business is looking for. The easiest and best ways to save on an insurance policy is to combine multiple policies under the same provider and maintain a good driving record!

Get an Insurance Quote for Your Rental Car Fleet

In conclusion, you should look into fleet insurance policies if you have multiple vehicles in your transportation network company. Fleet Insurance makes managing your business and expenses easier, because no matter how many cars are in your fleet, one policy covers all! Whether you own a rental car company in California, or you’re just starting a business and looking to purchase a fleet of your own, you should purchase comprehensive insurance coverage. Tell us about your fleet company and we will help you find the best customizable insurance policy!

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How to Insure Transportation Network Companies: A Detailed Guide to Getting your TNC off the Ground

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How to Insure Transportation Network Companies: A Detailed Guide to Getting your TNC off the Ground

Written by Laura Loftus on Monday, May 6th, 2019

Whether you are looking to start your own Transportation Network Company, On-Demand Delivery App or other Shared Economy business, one of the most important factors to consider is insurance! Sounds boring, I know. But as the world around us changes, insurance markets for transportation network companies are creating new structures and products. As an independent agency, American Business Insurance has direct relationships with all insurance companies currently writing specialized policies for transportation network companies.

Finding insurance for transportation network companies or other app-based businesses is no easy feat. As you may have already come to realize, most of your local brokers who specialize in personal lines don’t have relationships with insurance companies in this space. Many local brokers don’t understand what information to collect from business owners to present your transportation network company in the most insurable light.

Finding An Insurance Broker To Write Policies For Your Transportation Network Company

Most of the common insurance companies you may have already heard of are not writing policies because of the high-risk nature for transportation network companies. Insurance companies who are writing policies for transportation network companies are Surplus Lines carriers whose focus is in this specialized, technology driven market place.

Some people think that it is easy to join the long list of people who are trying to start transportation network companies to compete with those already dominating the world – Uber and Lyft. But in reality, the people who have created these transportation network companies worked for many years prior to actually launching.

To some, that might seem like a really long time but when an experienced insurance broker who is familiar with writing policies for transportation network companies asks you to assemble a list of items, it’s best to know exactly what you are getting yourself into. Don’t be fooled, there is a lot of prep, time and money that is required to build transportation network companies like Uber or Lyft.

transportation network companies

Minimum Premiums For Transportation Network Companies

As you might have anticipated, buying an insurance policy for transportation network companies is not cheap since most insurers in this space have minimum premiums of $75,000-100,000. We know, that is a lot of dough! The good news is, most of the carriers will accept a portion of that up-front and some even offer premium eroding endorsements. This means if your business doesn’t generate premium up to that amount within the year, they will carry over the credit to the following year.

Obtaining a quote requires you to find a broker who specializes in writing insurance for transportation network companies. Working with the right broker will not only save you time and money, but prevent you from buying coverages you don’t need and making sure that you have the ones you do. An experienced broker who is familiar with writing insurance for transportation network companies will know exactly what information to collect from you. They will also know how to present it best to the insurance markets who are writing policies for transportation network companies.

American Business Insurance Services, Inc.

Lucky for you, you found us! As an agency, we have been around long before ordering a ride from your smart-phone was an option. We specialize in public auto which means we understand more than anyone how transportation network companies operate.

transportation network companies

Items Transportation Network Companies Should Have Ready Before Calling Your Broker For A Quote:

Build the App:

  • One of the first questions I ask customers looking for insurance for transportation network companies is if the app is complete. Insurance company underwriters will want to download your app and make sure it’s working. Also, some companies have technology-based policies, meaning they integrate with your app to capture data on the drivers. Some even offer lower insurance rates based on favorable data collected (less speeding, hard stops, etcetera). Most policies for transportation network companies are usage based, so they have to be able to download your app and make sure it’s compatible with their insurance structure. Insurance companies often want to be able to pull reports from your app which include and are not limited to:

1. Knowing When A Trip Starts and Stops

2. How Many Miles For Each Trip

3. How Many Minutes/Hours For Each Trip

Business Plan & Projections:

  • There is a checklist of items the insurance company will want to see attached to the submission your broker sends. Your broker should be narrating to the insurance company all the hard work and thought you’ve put into creating these transportation network companies. Insurers will want to see a “pitch deck” which is something you might already have created to obtain investors. This document will present and explain your business model, why it is different from what is alreadyout there and how it will work long term. Some of the questions this document should answer are:

transportation network companies1. What are the company’s growth plans?

2. How will you monitor safety/loss control?

3. How is pricing structured so that the company is profitable?

 Safety and Training:

  • Safety and training is a big deal for insurers who are writing policies for transportation network companies. They will want to know what restrictions, checks and balances and training you will provide to drivers. They want to know how often you will check driving records and how often people have to pass background checks. The younger in age the drivers are that you allow to join your transportation network companies, the more expensive you can expect your insurance prices to be. Insurance companies want to know how you are going to prevent accidents from happening so that you build a positive reputation within the industry along side other transportation network companies like Uber and Lyft.

Bios on Key Officers/Investors:

  • Insurance companies want to know about the people behind the transportation network companies! If you want to join the group of dominating transportation network companies, they are going to want to know what experience you have, not only in transportation but also in being an entrepreneur. Take the time to write detailed bios for yourself and all other key members, officers and investors behind your transportation network company. Make sure to detail the knowledge and life experience you are bringing to the table in starting transportation network companies like Uber and Lyft. A well written, detailed bio will separate your company from all the rest and will give you a better advantage to better pricing on insurance for transportation network companies.

 Terms of Service & Privacy Conditions:

  • Although this may seem like a small piece of the puzzle to getting insurance for transportation network companies, most insurers want to see the liability of the app in regards to what they are promising to both their drivers and users. If you are a peer to peer platform, they want to see how the transaction will take place. Some of the questions that should be answered here are:

1. What Security Measures Are In Place To Protect The User?

2. How Should Complaints Be Filed?

3. What Terms and Conditions Does Your Company Adhere To? 

transportation network companies

Financial Balance Sheet:

  • Basically, a lot of what it takes to insure transportation network companies is having money, and a lot of it. Due to the hefty size of the minimum premiums for transportation network companies, generally ranging from $75,00-100,000, insurers want to make sure you not only have money to pay for the policy, but to also keep your business afloat and operating before you start turning a profit. It’s no secret that most transportation network companies do not profit until after the first year. Insurers want to see that you have raised money, not just for the cost of insurance but also for operating expenses, advertising and promotions.
  • When I review the balance sheet for transportation network companies, I know that most insurers want to see that you’ve raised at minimum $250,000-$1,000,000 in capital. Sometimes more. The reason for them wanting transportation network companies to raise this much money is because they know what it takes to gain traction in this unique space. They want to make sure the work they are putting in to quote and bind your policy will create a lasting relationship with you.

Guidance From American Business Insurance Services, INC

Starting any business takes time, research and money. We get phone calls from people daily thinking they are going to be the next Uber and Lyft. And believe me, we want you to make it big and compete against the monopoly that currently exists for transportation network companies. But in reality, we know that few of the phone calls we receive have actually taken the above steps which are required to make transportation network companies insurable.

If you have questions or need guidance, please give us a call and we will be happy to discuss over the phone! While some of the larger, corporate run agencies have the same relationships as us, few will offer the personal touch and value we have with every client.

Exclusive Contracts

Additionally, we have exclusive contracts with some companies that allow us to write at a lower minimum premium than others. We are an independent, family-run business with 75+ years of combined experience in the business insurance industry. We have invested in other transportation network companies, peer to peer and shared economy types of businesses. Most of us utilize transportation network companies and peer-to-peer apps regularly.

We literally have boots on the ground in this space and if you want the best pricing with the smoothest transaction – we are here for you!

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How to Save the MOST Money on Your Commercial Fleet Insurance Rates

ABI Transportation Experts Speak: How to Save the MOST Money on Your Commercial Fleet Insurance Rates

Written by Laura Loftus on Thursday, February 28th, 2019

 

When speaking with clients about their commercial fleet insurance, the most common concern is how to get the lowest insurance rates. About 100% of the customers I speak to daily all have the same goal – they want the lowest insurance rates available and will do whatever it takes to get it. Whether you own a Taxi, Limo, Paratransit or Shared Economy company (peer to peer platform app), it’s a given that you want your commercial fleet insurance coverage at the lowest insurance rates available. What many companies don’t realize, especially start-ups, is that commercial fleet insurance underwriters do quite a bit of digging on your company through a variety of platforms to “check you out” prior to releasing a quote. They read Yelp reviews, they look at your website, they do Better Business Bureau checks – all of it.

There are common mistakes that transportation service companies are repeatedly making that will create doubt in a commercial fleet insurance company. These mistakes actually prevent your broker from being able to find the lowest insurance rates for your company. Most of these companies think they are making business decisions that will guide them toward the lowest insurance rates, and are unaware that their current website or driver pool is actually hurting their chances of achieving the lowest possible commercial fleet insurance rate.

Five common flubs transportation service companies are making that prevent your commercial fleet insurance broker from obtaining the lowest insurance rates possible:

1) Company Website

The first and most common mistake we see from commercial auto risks who are in the “wheels” business as us underwriters call it – is that you over the amount of experience or size of your transportation service company.  It is common for commercial fleet insurance underwriters to google your company to pick apart your website. Here are some items you may think are helping your chances at obtaining the lowest insurance rates but are actually red flags to commercial fleet insurance companies:

  •  Words like “Fast Pick-up” or ‘Delivery in Minutes” – no commercial fleet insurance underwriter wants to see that you are promising rushed services. Rushing = equals unsafe driving behavior.

commercial fleet insurance

  • Advertising vehicles that are not actually part of your fleet. For example, just yesterday I was helping a 35-car fleet in Portland with obtaining commercial fleet insurance quotes. The list of vehicles they provided were all private passenger type vehicles (meaning seating capacity of 8 or less) – good! But when I searched the company online, they advertised a large shuttle bus and a higher seating capacity van. When I asked the client about this, they those vehicles had been sold and they had no plans to replace them. Keeping your website up to date and only advertising only what you can actually deliver will keep unwanted questions from creeping into the commercial fleet insurance underwriters’ mind. Creating uncertainty is the last thing you want to do with a commercial fleet insurance underwriter when trying to obtain the lowest insurance rates.
  •  Age of vehicles is important to commercial fleet insurance companies. Publishing a picture of a 30-year-old vehicle is no bueno. Keep your fleet serviced regularly (we recommend every three to four thousand miles and cycle out old units. Newer, cleaner & well-maintained vehicles are not only more desired by clientele (when trying to compete with Uber/Lyft) but also preferred by commercial fleet insurance companies trying to avoid claims due to mechanical defect.
  • If you boast 20 years of experience but your LLC was filed three years ago, it creates uncertainty with insurance companies. It’s better to accurately reflect your business as it is now, and not what you want it to be five years from now. Just as there are items to avoid putting on your website, there are points that you should include on your website. It is always a good idea to brag about highly trained drivers and safety training you provide (more on this later). Be sure to note the maintenance you keep up with for your fleet, the background checks the city you operate in mandates and the highest level of driving records required for your drivers. Commercial fleet insurance underwriters like stable fleets with safe drivers. Bottom line, safer risks translates to commercial fleet insurance underwriters offering the lowest insurance rates.

2) Creating a Business Name

This may seem simple enough but for transportation business owners looking to for the lowest insurance rates, people often think that commercial fleet insurance companies give the lowest insurance rates to Limo’s and Non-Emergency Medical risks over a taxi or airport shuttle. While this might be true, cornering yourself into a specific type of transportation in your business name narrows the list of commercial fleet insurance carriers you are eligible for. Many markets write only taxis or only limos. So, if you file your business name with the Secretary of State as Laura’s Taxi & Limo Service, LLC. – it could possibly make you ineligible for a limo commercial fleet insurance program because they don’t insure taxis and vice versa – even if your unit type meets their requirements. When talking with clients, I always say it’s best to be general about the transportation type within the name of their business, especially as market conditions change. You may be heavy in taxi trips one year but then obtain a paratransit contract and do more of that the following year. The more years of favorable loss history (loss runs) you can provide, the better chance you have at obtaining the lowest insurance rates. Choosing a business name that is general such as Laura’s Transportation Service, LLC. allows you flexibility to transform and evolve your business as the industry demands change.

3) Loss Control is Everything

Underwriters give commercial fleet insurance at the lowest insurance rates to companies with low levels of paid claims. Even in a hard insurance market, with rates rising for the good guys too, you can expect to pay more for commercial fleet insurance if you’re prior insurance companies have paid a lot in claims. Here are some suggestions in tightening loss control for your transportation service company:

  •  Hire a full-time loss control or driver manager who will enforce a safety culture. Doing this, will lower the frequency and severity of claim payouts and put your transportation service company in a better position to obtain the lowest insurance rates. This person should be in charge of overseeing the overall safety of your company. Managing and coaching your drivers is the key to a successful transportation service company. You are only as good as your worst driver.
  • commercial fleet insurance Invest in cameras that capture not only accidents but also driver analytics. This type of camera system will allow you to review driver behavior and correct bad habits before they cause an accident. We like to say this method is similar to that of a professional athlete. How do they improve? They watch their game film and correct bad habits. Driving professionally is the same. The more you do it, the more comfortable you get and having drivers watch themselves reduces risky behavior dramatically. Additionally, it’s a known fact that many commercial fleet insurance claims are paid because of he said/she said situations. Having accidents on camera is the best way to know who exactly was at fault and exonerate innocent drivers.
  •  Hold weekly safety huddles and or monthly meetings. Review the data and claims that have occurred recently and talk to your drivers about how they could have been prevented.
  •  Commit to investing in annual defensive driving training for your drivers. This annual reminder to drivers will ensure that bad habits are addressed and give each driver a time to reflect on their own performance.
  • Implement a reward program for safe drivers. Giving an incentive, even if it’s small monetary gift cards – keeps your drivers focused and motivated on safe driving habits.

4) The Driver Pool

The Driver Pool is so important when trying to achieve the lowest insurance rates from commercial fleet insurance providers for your transportation company. How you chose to manage drivers and who you hire is crucial. Create formal guidelines that clearly outline what is acceptable for employment. We recommend only hiring drivers with zero accidents within the past three years and minimal moving violations. Clean MVRs are best but we know that professional drivers with experience usually do not have clean MVRs and this is ok. Professional drivers are on the road up to 3x more than someone commuting to/from work so it’s a given that they will most likely have more violations on their records. Repeat offenders can impact the cost of your commercial fleet insurance and should be let go. No one is perfect, but you should train your drivers with the goal to be as safe as possible. Excessive violations on a driving record can cause surcharges and prevent you from obtaining the lower insurance rates. Additionally, younger drivers sometimes generate higher premiums for commercial fleet insurance as well as newly licensed individuals.

5) Contact an Experienced, Transportation Insurance Broker

commercial fleet insurance

Working with a transportation specialist versus a local agency makes a huge difference as commercial fleet insurance brokers have access to many more transportation focused insurance companies. Also, an experienced broker will review your company data prior to submitting to commercial fleet insurance companies. If they see something a commercial fleet insurance company won’t like, they can address it with you and provide you with an opportunity to make changes before submitting to each carrier. The more information you can provide to a commercial fleet insurance underwriter, the better chances you have at achieving the lowest insurance rates. Because the for-hire, livery insurance market is so thin, carriers often get multiple submissions from duplicate brokers. Try to work with one broker at a time. You may think contacting multiple agencies well help you, but if they are all going to the same markets for commercial fleet insurance – it’s duplicating not only your own work, but the insurance companies as well. The livery market is a tough class of business and finding an experienced broker will absolutely give you a leg up on finding the lowest insurance rates over a generalist broker.

American Business Insurance Services, Inc. has been working with transportation companies across the nation for 35+ years. We have direct relationships with the most competitive commercial fleet insurance companies. We know what it takes to submit a complete application and present your company in the best light possible – which will no doubt translate to finding commercial fleet insurance at the lowest insurance rate.

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Public Auto Insurance

American Business Insurance Public Auto Insurance

We get it, dealing with public auto insurance companies can definitely be a little more than inconvenient, but we want to make life a lot more simple if you’re looking for public auto insurance. Our experience within the livery industry allows us to optimize our services for you and streamline any process involved. We have worked for over 30 years to ensure that our version of public auto is different, and done the right way. 

American Business Insurance has been an industry leader in public auto insurance for over 30 years. We not only care deeply about our clients, but have a deep understanding of the intricacies within the public transportation field. Some of the amazing breakthroughs we have made within the industry that make our process simpler are:

Extensive shopping of the entire coverage spectrum:

We want to make it simpler and easier for you. It really can’t get any better; we take the time to browse the entire spectrum of coverage within the market, to get you the best price possible.

Fast, helpful service

A plethora of public auto insurance services are completed within our very own company. If you do business with us, you can be sure that you won’t deal with a million different brokers or agents. We can handle anything all in house, from insurance claims to billing, and everything in between. ABI will help in every area that we can. We want to make public transportation insurance a great experience for you.

We write custom policies

When it comes to insurance policies, things can get really messy and complicated really fast. We understand that you don’t want to have to deal with all the details that you may or may not have a ton of experience in. We get it, per day insurance and per mile insurance can get really tricky and intricate, but we’re here to make it simple and write a custom policy that works for you and your wheels, whether it be an entire fleet, or just a few sets. No other company will take the effort to custom tailor to your needs, and no one else can match our timeliness.

Easy, real-time tracking

In the unfortunate case of an accident, insurance companies often need a lot of information regarding specific details like the time, place, date, speeds, and more regarding the nature of the accident. Being able to provide as many details as possible puts you in the best position possible to make the process easier, and to have a more successful case. Fortunately, we offer tracking devices that provide us with every detail we need in the case of any accident, and we offer simple, easy installation.

Easy-to-use online portal

Online portals are rarely found within larger, b2b insurance companies. They are the typical standard for personal insurance, and are able to simplify the relationship between client and provider. That is why we’ve broken the mold and provided an online portal for you, to make your life easier when it comes to insurance.

Wisconsin Taxi Insurance: It’s Not What You Know, It’s Who You Know

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Wisconsin Taxi Insurance: It’s Not What You Know, It’s Who You Know

Written by Laura Loftus on Monday, June 24th, 2019

 

Northwoods Cab, LLC began working with American Business Insurance in 2015. At the time, he had 2 cars insured. Now, he services 6,000 trips per month and maintains about 15 taxis on the road at all times.

Finding the right broker to handle your Wisconsin Taxi Insurance is vital. Besides the fact that we’ve been one of the leading providers for those who need Wisconsin Taxi Insurance, we give you more than just an insurance policy.

Currently, we insure over 100 vehicles that require Wisconsin Taxi Insurance and because we have been working with both fleets and individual owner/operators for over 35 years, we have created an easy to use online portal for our customers to service their policies 24/7.

We also provide you with a live, customer service rep dedicated to servicing your policy and answering coverage questions during regular business hours. Choosing us as your broker means choosing a well-educated partner who truly understands your business.

 

Our goal is to keep your vehicles on the road, and your Wisconsin Taxi Insurance active

Aaron Schloemer from