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

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

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

 

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

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

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

1) Company Website

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

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

commercial fleet insurance

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

2) Creating a Business Name

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

3) Loss Control is Everything

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

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

4) The Driver Pool

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

5) Contact an Experienced, Transportation Insurance Broker

commercial fleet insurance

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

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

Looking for a quote? Click here

  Top 5 Issues When Choosing Lyft or Uber vs Taxi

Top 5 Issues When Choosing Lyft or Uber vs Taxi

Written by Laura Loftus on Wednesday, December 5th, 2018

lyft or uber vs taxi ridesharing cost and safety

With travel increasing as we approach the holidays, many of us default to using a Lyft or Uber vs Taxi because we are under the impression that it’s faster, cheaper and all around more convenient than taking a taxi. However, I have a different perspective. As a west-coast based insurance broker who has clients all over the country, I tend travel about once every two months or so.

Most recently, I’ve visited San Francisco, New York City, Denver and Las Vegas for work meetings. I have to tell you, there were times where hopping into a cab was not only easier but also less money than their TNC counterparts.

Nowadays, people seem to think taxis are antiquated. But in reality, taxis are the same thing as an Uber or Lyft app, and I honestly feel safer in a cab. Here’s why.

1) Safety

Safety is my top concern when entering into a Lyft or Uber vs Taxi. For one, Uber and Lyft do not limit how long someone must have been licensed to drive for them. Someone could’ve moved to the US a few weeks ago, obtain a Driver’s License and as long as they have access to a qualifying car and pass a MINIMAL background check – they are approved. Nobody trains them, monitors them, or ensures that they are familiar with the area in which they drive.

The city highly regulates taxi drivers. They require taxi drivers to go through numerous EXTENSIVE background checks. Only then does the city in which they operate in allow them to start transporting people. Many cities require taxi and limo drivers to obtain a Hack License or Chauffeurs license. That means they have endured many hours of classroom-style and behind-the-wheel training.

Besides safety concerns regarding the driver, there are concerns around the vehicle. All taxi companies start their days by inspecting vehicles. They are required to get a vehicle inspection yearly to keep their operating permit. Lyft or Uber vs Taxi vehicles are not regulated at all. Once the driver is approved, there isn’t much regulation unless the ride share vehicle is in an accident.

With ride sharing, you are taking a risk as to who you are getting into a vehicle with. You could end up getting into a vehicle of someone with a criminal background who is dangerous. Even more concerning, I have heard of people leasing or renting out their Uber or Lyft accounts. So, for someone who doesn’t qualify themselves, they will find someone who does qualify. They’ll have to go through the approval process and use someone else’s account to work. That freaks me out, a lot.  When comparing Lyft or Uber vs Taxi, this type of situation would not happen. That’s because fleet owners know exactly who they are leasing the cab out too.

2) Insurance

Insurance issues are a huge concern when riding in a Lyft or Uber vs Taxi vehicle (and I’ll admit, I do use ride sharing apps regularly). Despite being an insurance broker who specializes in Public Auto

lyft or uber vs taxi ridesharing cost and safety

Transportation risks (specifically for-hire, livery businesses such as Taxi’s, Limo’s, Non-Emergency Medical Transportation, shuttles, etc), I often hop into a Lyft or Uber vs Taxi because, let’s face it, it’s super easy.  Hop on an app, order a car, and it will arrive in 4-5 minutes. This is especially the case when you’re in a residential or suburban area where cabs aren’t just lined in the street waiting for their next fare. I often think about what would happen if the car I am in was involved in an accident.

I am extremely knowledgeable on the coverages that Uber and Lyft’s insurance policy include and it’s spotty at best. For one, the driver and passenger are only covered if the app is on and the driver is logged in. What if there is a technical issue and the driver is logged out? If their phone dies, what now? What if they’re in an area with poor reception and the driver is disconnected from the app? A passenger could be held responsible for injuries incurred. Additionally, the majority of ride share drivers do not have commercial insurance. Plus, Uber and Lyft require drivers to turn the claim into their personal auto carrier before they’ll accept liability.

Commercial auto insurance is expensive, about 2 – 5 times higher than personal auto and most ride share drivers do not buy it because their profit margin on operating is thin. They pay for the vehicle itself, maintenance of the vehicle, gas and almost every TNC driver who calls for a quote on commercial auto insurance so that they can be properly insured does not buy it because no one is making them. This means the only coverage they have for their vehicle and the passengers is through Uber or Lyft, which all hinges on the driver being logged into the app.

3) Accessibility

lyft or uber vs taxi ridesharing cost and safetyAccessibility and ease of getting a ride from an airport, in my opinion is far greater for a taxi than a ride sharing unit. When deciding on an Lyft or Uber vs Taxi, typically, I exit a plane and walk straight to a taxi to my destination. I don’t have to rely on my signal being strong enough for the app to work. I don’t have to wait for the car to come through traffic or walk to somewhere off the premises to get a ride. In some airports, they don’t allow ride share units to pick up. If they do, you often have to go up a level to the departure area or walk to a far end of the airport. When I get off a plane, I personally prefer to get straight into a car and quickly be on my way.

On my last trip to San Francisco, I saw a sign that said Ride Share pick up and I could see a side walk with several waiting areas. According to my app, Ride Share would be about 75% of the cost of a cab. I looked at the taxi line and it was empty and there was car waiting. For experimental purposes, I sacrificed my usual cab ride for a Lyft ride to see if it was actually faster and cheaper. I logged into my Lyft app and requested a vehicle. Because the airport was busy, it took 5 minutes for a driver to accept my ride plus 15 minutes for them to actually pull up to the curb. The whole time I kept my eye on the taxi line. I watched person after person get into a cab and drive away.

I wanted to cancel my ride as I had a meeting to get to, but I wanted to complete the experiment. When my driver arrived, the car was new and clean. No complaints. But by the time we sat in traffic and crossed the Bay Bridge from Oakland into San Francisco, the price was literally the same as a taxi. And it delayed my arrival by 30 minutes.

4) Pricing

lyft or uber vs taxi ridesharing cost and safety

Pricing for a ride share trip isn’t consistent. Taxi’s are transparent on how much they charge and most have the pricing displayed on the vehicle. During my last trip to Las Vegas, I spoke with a conference attendee. She complained the surge pricing was triple that of a taxi when she wanted dinner on the strip. And the taxi was ready to go right there. I also found this to be true during my last trip to Denver.

I’ve gone two years in a row for three days of Phish. The band is best known for their musical improvisation, extended jams largely influenced by Grateful Dead, Led Zeppelin, and their dedicated fanbase. The first year we went, we tried to order a Lyft. The price was about $150 to literally go 11 miles!

At 7 am in Times Square, I left my hotel.  My return flight home awaited. It was 30 degrees outside with some expected snow. Out of habit, I opened by Lyft app to find a driver 4 minutes away. As I exited the warm hotel lobby to the frigid air of the NYC streets, I saw a cab waiting right there. I waited a few minutes staring at my phone as the Lyft driver slowly creeped through traffic up the block. I asked the driver if he was available to take me to the airport, and he was. So, I cancelled that Lyft ride and walked straight into a fully insured, inspected vehicle with a professional trained driver. It was a flat fee of $55 which was the same price my Lyft app was quoting had I waited for it.

5) Supporting a local business

lyft or uber vs taxi ridesharing cost and safety

Supporting a local business rather than the corporate monopoly is another reason to consider when deciding between a Lyft or Uber vs Taxi. In a world where Google and Amazon dominate, it’s gratifying to support the local population directly. Most cab companies are the result of families passing down their businesses from generation to generation. In today’s world, it feels as if many businesses are struggling because of the monopoly of corporations that are taking over in so many industries.

It’s hard for me to be ok with living in a world where everything is giant corporation. What does that mean for the rest of us? As the world changes and modes of transportation evolve, many feel taxi cabs will one day be extinct. But many taxi companies are revitalizing and evolving their business models to withstand the test of time. They are upping their standards when it comes to the quality of vehicles they buy. Moreover, they are investing in technology to create booking apps so that they can appeal to the smart-phone dependent generation.

 

Although Uber and Lyft may seem like the cheaper and more convenient option, I strongly urge you to think about all of the above issues around big box ride sharing companies. Is it really worth risking your time, your wallet and most importantly your life – all because it feels easier?

 

More about us: American Business Insurance for taxi companies: https://abiweb.com/services/taxicab-insurance/

Flywheel Partners with Monster® Products

Flywheel & Monster® Products Partner to Provide 2nd Revenue Stream for Struggling Taxi Drivers & Fleet Owners

Flywheel Taxi consists of approximately 230 units in San Francisco and a client of American Business Insurance since 2017. The company includes a full-solution package for taxi fleets, a peer-to-peer booking app for passengers and utilized preeminent.
Flywheel Taxi consists of approximately 230 units in San Francisco and a client of American Business Insurance since 2017. The company includes a full-solution package for taxi fleets, a peer-to-peer booking app for passengers and utilized preeminent.

At first glance, one would not think that Flywheel would partner with Monster®. However, at this year’s 100th Annual Taxi, Limo and Paratransit Association (TLPA) convention, that is exactly what happened. American Business Insurance was at this event on Sunday, November 28th in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Hidden under a plain black sheet, donned with the white Flywheel logo and revealed with a splash by actor and Instagram-based internet influencer M2thaK was Monster, Inc. owner Noel Lee’s one-of-a-kind “Monsterized” Bentley Bentayga.
Hidden under a plain black sheet, donned with the white Flywheel logo and revealed with a splash by actor and Instagram-based internet influencer M2thaK was Monster, Inc. owner Noel Lee’s one-of-a-kind “Monsterized” Bentley Bentayga.

Flywheel Taxi consists of approximately 230 units in San Francisco and a client of American Business Insurance since 2017. The company includes a full-solution package for taxi fleets, a peer-to-peer booking app for passengers and utilized preeminent. Contrarily, Monster® is the company that revolutionized audio and cable company products. Despite the differences, the partnership of these two companies could greatly increase revenue for taxi drivers and fleet owners. Flywheel plans to “Monsterize” its entire fleet and encourage partner fleets to do so as well. That venture could provide up $35,000 in additional revenue for drivers simply by allowing riders to experience and purchase Monster’s unique products.

TLPA Convention Surprise

For over 30+ years, American Business Insurance has been a sponsor and exhibitor at the annual TLPA conventions. We cannot deny that, over the past 10 years, attendance has declined and the usual buzz of excitement has been missing.

In the past, taxi operators have traveled from various states, Canada, and The United Kingdom. They have continued to attend the annual conference in order to check out the latest industry trends such as the newest dispatch system s or gas efficient vehicles. They come from near and far to attend breakout sessions and board meetings to collaborate with their colleagues on how to move their FleetForward, the new TLPA motto adopted a few years back.

Hidden under a plain black sheet, donned with the white Flywheel logo and revealed with a splash by actor and Instagram-based internet influencer M2thaK was Monster, Inc. owner Noel Lee’s one-of-a-kind “Monsterized” Bentley Bentayga. The Bentley proved an effective method of showcasing amenities Flywheel and Monster offer fleet owners, which can affordably be incorporated into their own vehicle fleets.

Uber and Lyft Competition

Flywheel plans to “Monsterize” its entire fleet and encourage partner fleets to do so as well.
Flywheel plans to “Monsterize” its entire fleet and encourage partner fleets to do so as well.

It is no secret that taxi companies are struggling while trying to compete with large corporate run companies such as Uber and Lyft. But if they can look at themselves and consider a business model that provides multiple streams of revenue, they can morph into a transportation business that not only upkeeps the safety standards of old-time taxi companies but also provides a unique riding experience to a captive audience. Flywheel and Monster are here to help increase revenue for taxi drivers and fleet owners despite this fierce competition.

“Why do people continue to come to these conferences? They’ve already seen every vehicle out there. They already know about the dispatches and insurance companies. They are looking for hope and some kind of change in the market place that they can continue to do this,” said Izzy Aala, CEO of Flywheel.

Aala, who has been a fixture in the industry for many years acquired Flywheel’s mobile app in April of 2017. He knew something had to change within the industry in order for cab companies nationwide to survive. Flywheel began further developing a full taxi solution and outfitting premier Flywheel Taxi in San Francisco to showcase what is possible when the industry comes together to provide riders with the best experience possible.

Flywheel revealed a “Monsterized” version of one of their fleet’s Ford Escapes outside of the main ballroom and around the Caesars Palace property to further expose to fleet owners what is possible with Flywheel and Monster.

Taxi Industry Evolution & Revitalization

Flywheel realizes giant corporations like Uber and Lyft continuously affect the bottom line of cab companies. Many are small, family owned businesses passed down generationally. Flywheel is looking toward evolving and revitalizing the industry, so they and their drivers can thrive. Enhancing the rider and driver experience to once again make taxis the preferred choice is what Aala aims to accomplish.

Founded by Noel Lee in 1979, Monster® Products is a company that sells performance-based goods. For example, they sell high performance audio cables. It is difficult to sell without first experiencing it. And this is why the partnership between Flywheel and Monster Products was made.
Founded by Noel Lee in 1979, Monster® Products is a company that sells performance-based goods. For example, they sell high performance audio cables. It is difficult to sell without first experiencing it. And this is why the partnership between Flywheel and Monster Products was made.

“I wanted to do something different to evolve and revitalize the taxi industry in a way where everyone wins,” Aala said.

This is where Aala’s vision comes in. Earlier this year, Aala attended the International Association of Transportation Regulators conference in Philadelphia, PA. There he noticed a booth next to his – Monster® Products. Aala was confused why this audio product company would be at such a meeting. But the answer is simple. Retail isn’t dead; it’s boring.

“Fleets and drivers require additional sources of revenue. This is part of evolving and revitalizing the industry. Let’s say a businessman hops straight from a plane into a Flywheel taxi and needs to make a conference call. The driver can simply say, “here, sir, go ahead and use Monster’s crystal-clear mobile speakers.” Millennials also go out for a night on the town. Drivers can say to them, “play your own tunes through our Monsterized equipment.” Flywheel’s Office and Finance Manager, Andy Stice, explained that “this enhances the rider’s experience.” Moreover, Stice explained it “allows them a convenient purchase point, while generating profits for the driver and fleet. And Monster Products are only the beginning.”

Not the Scary Kind of Monster

Founded by Noel Lee in 1979, Monster® Products is a company that sells performance-based goods. For example, they sell high performance audio cables. It is difficult to sell without first experiencing it. And this is why the partnership between Flywheel and Monster Products was made.

“Monster® is focusing on selling products where you live, work and play. Amazon is taking the bulk of retail business, but not all. So, the balance has to go somewhere. “Our partnership with Flywheel is bringing profitable income to fleet drivers and owners across the country, while doing something they were already doing anyway,” said Lucas Gomes of Monster® Products.

With the understanding that drivers do not want to be sales people, the partnership between Monster™ Products & Flywheel is fluid. Monster® Products are best tested tangibly, so you can hear and see the difference. Where can you gain exposure to a captive audience? Vehicle where people are already listening to music, watching videos and making calls. It becomes a shared experience for both the passenger and the driver.

“Izzy isn’t trying to take the taxi industry back to where it once was; he knows that’s futile,” Stice continued. She explained that “his goal is to develop viable options for fleets and their drivers to progress and reinvent themselves.”  Flywheel strives to balance providing “the best full solution for fleets and drivers” with “pursuing a wide variety of partnership opportunities.” Those partnerships “generate revenue for the fleets and drivers and enhance rider experiences,” she stated.

Determined to Survive

As an insurance broker who specializes in taxi cab insurance, I hear multiple times per day from my clients how Uber and Lyft are negatively affecting their business. My clients are frustrated that their profit margins are being undercut by Uber and Lyft drivers who are not required to comply with the same regulations regarding background checks, driving experience and maintaining state financial responsibility requirements with commercial insurance. And commercial insurance is not cheap.

“People say they take Uber and Lyft because it’s cheaper. But that isn’t necessarily the case, especially during surge pricing.” Stice shared, “My friends and I were in Vegas just a month ago for a fun. Surge pricing was 3x the amount of the fare of a traditional taxi going from one side of the strip to the other. And the trip from the airport to the hotel was slightly cheaper and certainly more convenient by taxi,” Stice observed.

Flywheel understands that drivers do not necessarily want to be salespeople. Furthermore, the setup allows drivers to let riders experience the products first. Drivers can then offer riders an opportunity to buy if they like it. Flywheel hopes this no-pressure sales experience will take off. With that success, Flywheel and their drivers could overcome the odds are stacked against them.

By Laura M. Loftus on November 6th, 2018

Learn More

More information about American Business Insurance

Learn more a Flywheel 

See the Monster Products

Learn about TLPA

Insure my Cab: Taxi Cab Insurance

Insure my Cab: Taxi Cab Insurance

You’re here because you’re looking for taxi cab insurance. Well, you came to the right place. Perhaps you’re wondering, “there are so many taxi cab insurance agencies out there, how can I insure my cab with the best policy?”

How Can I Insure my Cab?

It’s no secret that obtaining a taxi license is no walk in the park. Before you can insure your cab, you must first meet the minimum age requirement. Most states in the USA require taxi drivers to be at least 21 years of age.

Next, you must submit a clean driving record to the DMV. Taxi drivers cannot have been in trouble when it comes to driving or other wise. You must be a good driver before you can drive around others for a living.

What else do I need before I insure my cab?

Then, you must submit a clean background check proving that you are not a criminal in any way. Taxi cab drivers have a lot of interaction with the public, and the DMV needs to insure their safety.

Some states require you to pass a chauffeurs licensing exam. This is usually a written test (sometimes driving) and can include a drug test.

Next you need to show proof of your U.S. citizenship or residency.

At last, you just need to pay the required fees (which can be pricey) and you will have your taxi license!

So after all that hard work, you want to be insured.

Why should I Insure my cab with ABI?

After working so hard and jumping through the loops to get your taxi license, you definitely want to be insured in case anything happens.

ABI is the best choice when it comes to taxi cab insurance.

Founded in 1984, ABI Insurance services offer the experience and expertise needed in the insurance realm. With new policies and insurance guidelines coming out regularly, it is important to stay in the know about any new changes. Staying up to date in policy lingo isn’t the easiest (or most amusing) pastime – so leave it to the professionals at ABI. We are also current and up to date with the newest policies when it comes to taxi cab insurance.

ABI is also one of largest commercial transportation insurance agencies. Additionally approximately 40,000 vehicles are currently covered by ABI. You can rest assured knowing that thousands of other taxi cab owners have trusted with with insuring their vehicle or fleet. For over 35+ years we have offered top of the line customer service and knowledgable insight into taxi cab insurance.

Furthermore, at ABI we value our client’s business and take pride in the partnerships we have curated for the past 35 years. At ABI we have designed mobile apps so you can monitor your taxi cab insurance policies anytime, anywhere. Drive confidently knowing that everything you need is at your fingertips.

Insure my cab with ABI: The Benefits

  • Customizable to your policy needs
  • Certificate issuance available in minutes
  • Mobile apps with your policy details
  • Over 35+ years of expience
  • 40,000 vehicles insured
  • Competitive pricing

Why should I insure my cab?

  • Peace of mind
  • Legal protection
  • Safety net
  • Protects from personal liability
  • Professional help and security

Taxi Cab Insurance: The Best Coverage for the Best Price

Taxi Cab Insurance

Taxis are the go-to transportation mode for people all over the country. There are many tales about heroic cabbies coming to save the day or night. Some dub the driver’s seat of taxi cab the world’s best free theater. It is important to have great taxi cab insurance!

As many heart-warming and glorious stories out there about taxi cabs, there a few less-than desirable stories as well. That’s when taxi cab insurance by ABI comes to the rescue! We have your back no matter what.

Why Taxi Cab Insurance with ABI?

Founded in 1984, ABI Insurance services offer the experience and expertise needed in the insurance realm. With new policies and insurance guidelines coming out regularly, it is important to stay in the know about any new changes. Staying up to date in policy lingo isn’t the easiest (or most amusing) pastime – so leave it to the professionals at ABI. We are also current and up to date with the newest policies when it comes to taxi cab insurance.

ABI is also one of largest commercial transportation insurance agencies. Additionally approximately 40,000 vehicles are currently covered by ABI. You can rest assured knowing that thousands of other taxi cab owners have trusted with with insuring their vehicle or fleet. For over 35+ years we have offered top of the line customer service and knowledgeable insight into taxi cab insurance.

Furthermore, at ABI we value our client’s business and take pride in the partnerships we have curated for the past 35 years. At ABI we have designed mobile apps so you can monitor your taxi cab insurance policies anytime, anywhere. Drive confidently knowing that everything you need is at your fingertips.

Benefits of Taxi Cab Insurance from ABI:

  • Customizable to your policy needs
  • Certificate issuance available in minutes
  • Mobile apps with your policy details
  • Over 35+ years of experience
  • 40,000 vehicles insured
  • Competitive pricing

Customizable Taxi Cab Insurance

We have the experience necessary to know the field. We then pair this knowledge with top of the line technology – and we do not outsource. Our in-house programmers will work directly with you to design a custom plan to meet your individual taxi cab insurance needs. We will design a policy that covers the needs of all parties involved.

We understand the time-sensitive nature and regulatory requirements involved in operating a passenger transportation company. With a specific department dedicated to certificate issuance, we are able to have our client’s vehicles on the road within minutes of a request.

We pride ourselves on providing prompt, reliable, experienced, innovative, and competitive services and solutions to our loyal customers.

Taxi Cabs: A Brief History

The first electric taxi cab came in a fleet of 600 cars to NYC. These taxis were dubbed “hummingbirds” due to the electronic humming noise they made. The word taxicab was originally used as one work after “taximeter” the device used to keep track of distance and fare. In the 1980s computer assisted taxi cabs were dispatched to those who were in need of a cab. Nowadays passengers can order a taxi cab straight from their phone to be picked up in minutes.

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

1) Company Website

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

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

commercial fleet insurance

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

2) Creating a Business Name

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

3) Loss Control is Everything

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

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

4) The Driver Pool

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

5) Contact an Experienced, Transportation Insurance Broker

commercial fleet insurance

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

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

Looking for a quote? Click here

  Top 5 Issues When Choosing Lyft or Uber vs Taxi

Top 5 Issues When Choosing Lyft or Uber vs Taxi

Written by Laura Loftus on Wednesday, December 5th, 2018

lyft or uber vs taxi ridesharing cost and safety

With travel increasing as we approach the holidays, many of us default to using a Lyft or Uber vs Taxi because we are under the impression that it’s faster, cheaper and all around more convenient than taking a taxi. However, I have a different perspective. As a west-coast based insurance broker who has clients all over the country, I tend travel about once every two months or so.

Most recently, I’ve visited San Francisco, New York City, Denver and Las Vegas for work meetings. I have to tell you, there were times where hopping into a cab was not only easier but also less money than their TNC counterparts.

Nowadays, people seem to think taxis are antiquated. But in reality, taxis are the same thing as an Uber or Lyft app, and I honestly feel safer in a cab. Here’s why.

1) Safety

Safety is my top concern when entering into a Lyft or Uber vs Taxi. For one, Uber and Lyft do not limit how long someone must have been licensed to drive for them. Someone could’ve moved to the US a few weeks ago, obtain a Driver’s License and as long as they have access to a qualifying car and pass a MINIMAL background check – they are approved. Nobody trains them, monitors them, or ensures that they are familiar with the area in which they drive.

The city highly regulates taxi drivers. They require taxi drivers to go through numerous EXTENSIVE background checks. Only then does the city in which they operate in allow them to start transporting people. Many cities require taxi and limo drivers to obtain a Hack License or Chauffeurs license. That means they have endured many hours of classroom-style and behind-the-wheel training.

Besides safety concerns regarding the driver, there are concerns around the vehicle. All taxi companies start their days by inspecting vehicles. They are required to get a vehicle inspection yearly to keep their operating permit. Lyft or Uber vs Taxi vehicles are not regulated at all. Once the driver is approved, there isn’t much regulation unless the ride share vehicle is in an accident.

With ride sharing, you are taking a risk as to who you are getting into a vehicle with. You could end up getting into a vehicle of someone with a criminal background who is dangerous. Even more concerning, I have heard of people leasing or renting out their Uber or Lyft accounts. So, for someone who doesn’t qualify themselves, they will find someone who does qualify. They’ll have to go through the approval process and use someone else’s account to work. That freaks me out, a lot.  When comparing Lyft or Uber vs Taxi, this type of situation would not happen. That’s because fleet owners know exactly who they are leasing the cab out too.

2) Insurance

Insurance issues are a huge concern when riding in a Lyft or Uber vs Taxi vehicle (and I’ll admit, I do use ride sharing apps regularly). Despite being an insurance broker who specializes in Public Auto

lyft or uber vs taxi ridesharing cost and safety

Transportation risks (specifically for-hire, livery businesses such as Taxi’s, Limo’s, Non-Emergency Medical Transportation, shuttles, etc), I often hop into a Lyft or Uber vs Taxi because, let’s face it, it’s super easy.  Hop on an app, order a car, and it will arrive in 4-5 minutes. This is especially the case when you’re in a residential or suburban area where cabs aren’t just lined in the street waiting for their next fare. I often think about what would happen if the car I am in was involved in an accident.

I am extremely knowledgeable on the coverages that Uber and Lyft’s insurance policy include and it’s spotty at best. For one, the driver and passenger are only covered if the app is on and the driver is logged in. What if there is a technical issue and the driver is logged out? If their phone dies, what now? What if they’re in an area with poor reception and the driver is disconnected from the app? A passenger could be held responsible for injuries incurred. Additionally, the majority of ride share drivers do not have commercial insurance. Plus, Uber and Lyft require drivers to turn the claim into their personal auto carrier before they’ll accept liability.

Commercial auto insurance is expensive, about 2 – 5 times higher than personal auto and most ride share drivers do not buy it because their profit margin on operating is thin. They pay for the vehicle itself, maintenance of the vehicle, gas and almost every TNC driver who calls for a quote on commercial auto insurance so that they can be properly insured does not buy it because no one is making them. This means the only coverage they have for their vehicle and the passengers is through Uber or Lyft, which all hinges on the driver being logged into the app.

3) Accessibility

lyft or uber vs taxi ridesharing cost and safetyAccessibility and ease of getting a ride from an airport, in my opinion is far greater for a taxi than a ride sharing unit. When deciding on an Lyft or Uber vs Taxi, typically, I exit a plane and walk straight to a taxi to my destination. I don’t have to rely on my signal being strong enough for the app to work. I don’t have to wait for the car to come through traffic or walk to somewhere off the premises to get a ride. In some airports, they don’t allow ride share units to pick up. If they do, you often have to go up a level to the departure area or walk to a far end of the airport. When I get off a plane, I personally prefer to get straight into a car and quickly be on my way.

On my last trip to San Francisco, I saw a sign that said Ride Share pick up and I could see a side walk with several waiting areas. According to my app, Ride Share would be about 75% of the cost of a cab. I looked at the taxi line and it was empty and there was car waiting. For experimental purposes, I sacrificed my usual cab ride for a Lyft ride to see if it was actually faster and cheaper. I logged into my Lyft app and requested a vehicle. Because the airport was busy, it took 5 minutes for a driver to accept my ride plus 15 minutes for them to actually pull up to the curb. The whole time I kept my eye on the taxi line. I watched person after person get into a cab and drive away.

I wanted to cancel my ride as I had a meeting to get to, but I wanted to complete the experiment. When my driver arrived, the car was new and clean. No complaints. But by the time we sat in traffic and crossed the Bay Bridge from Oakland into San Francisco, the price was literally the same as a taxi. And it delayed my arrival by 30 minutes.

4) Pricing

lyft or uber vs taxi ridesharing cost and safety

Pricing for a ride share trip isn’t consistent. Taxi’s are transparent on how much they charge and most have the pricing displayed on the vehicle. During my last trip to Las Vegas, I spoke with a conference attendee. She complained the surge pricing was triple that of a taxi when she wanted dinner on the strip. And the taxi was ready to go right there. I also found this to be true during my last trip to Denver.

I’ve gone two years in a row for three days of Phish. The band is best known for their musical improvisation, extended jams largely influenced by Grateful Dead, Led Zeppelin, and their dedicated fanbase. The first year we went, we tried to order a Lyft. The price was about $150 to literally go 11 miles!

At 7 am in Times Square, I left my hotel.  My return flight home awaited. It was 30 degrees outside with some expected snow. Out of habit, I opened by Lyft app to find a driver 4 minutes away. As I exited the warm hotel lobby to the frigid air of the NYC streets, I saw a cab waiting right there. I waited a few minutes staring at my phone as the Lyft driver slowly creeped through traffic up the block. I asked the driver if he was available to take me to the airport, and he was. So, I cancelled that Lyft ride and walked straight into a fully insured, inspected vehicle with a professional trained driver. It was a flat fee of $55 which was the same price my Lyft app was quoting had I waited for it.

5) Supporting a local business

lyft or uber vs taxi ridesharing cost and safety

Supporting a local business rather than the corporate monopoly is another reason to consider when deciding between a Lyft or Uber vs Taxi. In a world where Google and Amazon dominate, it’s gratifying to support the local population directly. Most cab companies are the result of families passing down their businesses from generation to generation. In today’s world, it feels as if many businesses are struggling because of the monopoly of corporations that are taking over in so many industries.

It’s hard for me to be ok with living in a world where everything is giant corporation. What does that mean for the rest of us? As the world changes and modes of transportation evolve, many feel taxi cabs will one day be extinct. But many taxi companies are revitalizing and evolving their business models to withstand the test of time. They are upping their standards when it comes to the quality of vehicles they buy. Moreover, they are investing in technology to create booking apps so that they can appeal to the smart-phone dependent generation.

 

Although Uber and Lyft may seem like the cheaper and more convenient option, I strongly urge you to think about all of the above issues around big box ride sharing companies. Is it really worth risking your time, your wallet and most importantly your life – all because it feels easier?

 

More about us: American Business Insurance for taxi companies: https://abiweb.com/services/taxicab-insurance/

Flywheel Partners with Monster® Products

Flywheel & Monster® Products Partner to Provide 2nd Revenue Stream for Struggling Taxi Drivers & Fleet Owners

Flywheel Taxi consists of approximately 230 units in San Francisco and a client of American Business Insurance since 2017. The company includes a full-solution package for taxi fleets, a peer-to-peer booking app for passengers and utilized preeminent.
Flywheel Taxi consists of approximately 230 units in San Francisco and a client of American Business Insurance since 2017. The company includes a full-solution package for taxi fleets, a peer-to-peer booking app for passengers and utilized preeminent.

At first glance, one would not think that Flywheel would partner with Monster®. However, at this year’s 100th Annual Taxi, Limo and Paratransit Association (TLPA) convention, that is exactly what happened. American Business Insurance was at this event on Sunday, November 28th in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Hidden under a plain black sheet, donned with the white Flywheel logo and revealed with a splash by actor and Instagram-based internet influencer M2thaK was Monster, Inc. owner Noel Lee’s one-of-a-kind “Monsterized” Bentley Bentayga.
Hidden under a plain black sheet, donned with the white Flywheel logo and revealed with a splash by actor and Instagram-based internet influencer M2thaK was Monster, Inc. owner Noel Lee’s one-of-a-kind “Monsterized” Bentley Bentayga.

Flywheel Taxi consists of approximately 230 units in San Francisco and a client of American Business Insurance since 2017. The company includes a full-solution package for taxi fleets, a peer-to-peer booking app for passengers and utilized preeminent. Contrarily, Monster® is the company that revolutionized audio and cable company products. Despite the differences, the partnership of these two companies could greatly increase revenue for taxi drivers and fleet owners. Flywheel plans to “Monsterize” its entire fleet and encourage partner fleets to do so as well. That venture could provide up $35,000 in additional revenue for drivers simply by allowing riders to experience and purchase Monster’s unique products.

TLPA Convention Surprise

For over 30+ years, American Business Insurance has been a sponsor and exhibitor at the annual TLPA conventions. We cannot deny that, over the past 10 years, attendance has declined and the usual buzz of excitement has been missing.

In the past, taxi operators have traveled from various states, Canada, and The United Kingdom. They have continued to attend the annual conference in order to check out the latest industry trends such as the newest dispatch system s or gas efficient vehicles. They come from near and far to attend breakout sessions and board meetings to collaborate with their colleagues on how to move their FleetForward, the new TLPA motto adopted a few years back.

Hidden under a plain black sheet, donned with the white Flywheel logo and revealed with a splash by actor and Instagram-based internet influencer M2thaK was Monster, Inc. owner Noel Lee’s one-of-a-kind “Monsterized” Bentley Bentayga. The Bentley proved an effective method of showcasing amenities Flywheel and Monster offer fleet owners, which can affordably be incorporated into their own vehicle fleets.

Uber and Lyft Competition

Flywheel plans to “Monsterize” its entire fleet and encourage partner fleets to do so as well.
Flywheel plans to “Monsterize” its entire fleet and encourage partner fleets to do so as well.

It is no secret that taxi companies are struggling while trying to compete with large corporate run companies such as Uber and Lyft. But if they can look at themselves and consider a business model that provides multiple streams of revenue, they can morph into a transportation business that not only upkeeps the safety standards of old-time taxi companies but also provides a unique riding experience to a captive audience. Flywheel and Monster are here to help increase revenue for taxi drivers and fleet owners despite this fierce competition.

“Why do people continue to come to these conferences? They’ve already seen every vehicle out there. They already know about the dispatches and insurance companies. They are looking for hope and some kind of change in the market place that they can continue to do this,” said Izzy Aala, CEO of Flywheel.

Aala, who has been a fixture in the industry for many years acquired Flywheel’s mobile app in April of 2017. He knew something had to change within the industry in order for cab companies nationwide to survive. Flywheel began further developing a full taxi solution and outfitting premier Flywheel Taxi in San Francisco to showcase what is possible when the industry comes together to provide riders with the best experience possible.

Flywheel revealed a “Monsterized” version of one of their fleet’s Ford Escapes outside of the main ballroom and around the Caesars Palace property to further expose to fleet owners what is possible with Flywheel and Monster.

Taxi Industry Evolution & Revitalization

Flywheel realizes giant corporations like Uber and Lyft continuously affect the bottom line of cab companies. Many are small, family owned businesses passed down generationally. Flywheel is looking toward evolving and revitalizing the industry, so they and their drivers can thrive. Enhancing the rider and driver experience to once again make taxis the preferred choice is what Aala aims to accomplish.

Founded by Noel Lee in 1979, Monster® Products is a company that sells performance-based goods. For example, they sell high performance audio cables. It is difficult to sell without first experiencing it. And this is why the partnership between Flywheel and Monster Products was made.
Founded by Noel Lee in 1979, Monster® Products is a company that sells performance-based goods. For example, they sell high performance audio cables. It is difficult to sell without first experiencing it. And this is why the partnership between Flywheel and Monster Products was made.

“I wanted to do something different to evolve and revitalize the taxi industry in a way where everyone wins,” Aala said.

This is where Aala’s vision comes in. Earlier this year, Aala attended the International Association of Transportation Regulators conference in Philadelphia, PA. There he noticed a booth next to his – Monster® Products. Aala was confused why this audio product company would be at such a meeting. But the answer is simple. Retail isn’t dead; it’s boring.

“Fleets and drivers require additional sources of revenue. This is part of evolving and revitalizing the industry. Let’s say a businessman hops straight from a plane into a Flywheel taxi and needs to make a conference call. The driver can simply say, “here, sir, go ahead and use Monster’s crystal-clear mobile speakers.” Millennials also go out for a night on the town. Drivers can say to them, “play your own tunes through our Monsterized equipment.” Flywheel’s Office and Finance Manager, Andy Stice, explained that “this enhances the rider’s experience.” Moreover, Stice explained it “allows them a convenient purchase point, while generating profits for the driver and fleet. And Monster Products are only the beginning.”

Not the Scary Kind of Monster

Founded by Noel Lee in 1979, Monster® Products is a company that sells performance-based goods. For example, they sell high performance audio cables. It is difficult to sell without first experiencing it. And this is why the partnership between Flywheel and Monster Products was made.

“Monster® is focusing on selling products where you live, work and play. Amazon is taking the bulk of retail business, but not all. So, the balance has to go somewhere. “Our partnership with Flywheel is bringing profitable income to fleet drivers and owners across the country, while doing something they were already doing anyway,” said Lucas Gomes of Monster® Products.

With the understanding that drivers do not want to be sales people, the partnership between Monster™ Products & Flywheel is fluid. Monster® Products are best tested tangibly, so you can hear and see the difference. Where can you gain exposure to a captive audience? Vehicle where people are already listening to music, watching videos and making calls. It becomes a shared experience for both the passenger and the driver.

“Izzy isn’t trying to take the taxi industry back to where it once was; he knows that’s futile,” Stice continued. She explained that “his goal is to develop viable options for fleets and their drivers to progress and reinvent themselves.”  Flywheel strives to balance providing “the best full solution for fleets and drivers” with “pursuing a wide variety of partnership opportunities.” Those partnerships “generate revenue for the fleets and drivers and enhance rider experiences,” she stated.

Determined to Survive

As an insurance broker who specializes in taxi cab insurance, I hear multiple times per day from my clients how Uber and Lyft are negatively affecting their business. My clients are frustrated that their profit margins are being undercut by Uber and Lyft drivers who are not required to comply with the same regulations regarding background checks, driving experience and maintaining state financial responsibility requirements with commercial insurance. And commercial insurance is not cheap.

“People say they take Uber and Lyft because it’s cheaper. But that isn’t necessarily the case, especially during surge pricing.” Stice shared, “My friends and I were in Vegas just a month ago for a fun. Surge pricing was 3x the amount of the fare of a traditional taxi going from one side of the strip to the other. And the trip from the airport to the hotel was slightly cheaper and certainly more convenient by taxi,” Stice observed.

Flywheel understands that drivers do not necessarily want to be salespeople. Furthermore, the setup allows drivers to let riders experience the products first. Drivers can then offer riders an opportunity to buy if they like it. Flywheel hopes this no-pressure sales experience will take off. With that success, Flywheel and their drivers could overcome the odds are stacked against them.

By Laura M. Loftus on November 6th, 2018

Learn More

More information about American Business Insurance

Learn more a Flywheel 

See the Monster Products

Learn about TLPA

Insure my Cab: Taxi Cab Insurance

Insure my Cab: Taxi Cab Insurance

You’re here because you’re looking for taxi cab insurance. Well, you came to the right place. Perhaps you’re wondering, “there are so many taxi cab insurance agencies out there, how can I insure my cab with the best policy?”

How Can I Insure my Cab?

It’s no secret that obtaining a taxi license is no walk in the park. Before you can insure your cab, you must first meet the minimum age requirement. Most states in the USA require taxi drivers to be at least 21 years of age.

Next, you must submit a clean driving record to the DMV. Taxi drivers cannot have been in trouble when it comes to driving or other wise. You must be a good driver before you can drive around others for a living.

What else do I need before I insure my cab?

Then, you must submit a clean background check proving that you are not a criminal in any way. Taxi cab drivers have a lot of interaction with the public, and the DMV needs to insure their safety.

Some states require you to pass a chauffeurs licensing exam. This is usually a written test (sometimes driving) and can include a drug test.

Next you need to show proof of your U.S. citizenship or residency.

At last, you just need to pay the required fees (which can be pricey) and you will have your taxi license!

So after all that hard work, you want to be insured.

Why should I Insure my cab with ABI?

After working so hard and jumping through the loops to get your taxi license, you definitely want to be insured in case anything happens.

ABI is the best choice when it comes to taxi cab insurance.

Founded in 1984, ABI Insurance services offer the experience and expertise needed in the insurance realm. With new policies and insurance guidelines coming out regularly, it is important to stay in the know about any new changes. Staying up to date in policy lingo isn’t the easiest (or most amusing) pastime – so leave it to the professionals at ABI. We are also current and up to date with the newest policies when it comes to taxi cab insurance.

ABI is also one of largest commercial transportation insurance agencies. Additionally approximately 40,000 vehicles are currently covered by ABI. You can rest assured knowing that thousands of other taxi cab owners have trusted with with insuring their vehicle or fleet. For over 35+ years we have offered top of the line customer service and knowledgable insight into taxi cab insurance.

Furthermore, at ABI we value our client’s business and take pride in the partnerships we have curated for the past 35 years. At ABI we have designed mobile apps so you can monitor your taxi cab insurance policies anytime, anywhere. Drive confidently knowing that everything you need is at your fingertips.

Insure my cab with ABI: The Benefits

  • Customizable to your policy needs
  • Certificate issuance available in minutes
  • Mobile apps with your policy details
  • Over 35+ years of expience
  • 40,000 vehicles insured
  • Competitive pricing

Why should I insure my cab?

  • Peace of mind
  • Legal protection
  • Safety net
  • Protects from personal liability
  • Professional help and security

Taxi Cab Insurance: The Best Coverage for the Best Price

Taxi Cab Insurance

Taxis are the go-to transportation mode for people all over the country. There are many tales about heroic cabbies coming to save the day or night. Some dub the driver’s seat of taxi cab the world’s best free theater. It is important to have great taxi cab insurance!

As many heart-warming and glorious stories out there about taxi cabs, there a few less-than desirable stories as well. That’s when taxi cab insurance by ABI comes to the rescue! We have your back no matter what.

Why Taxi Cab Insurance with ABI?

Founded in 1984, ABI Insurance services offer the experience and expertise needed in the insurance realm. With new policies and insurance guidelines coming out regularly, it is important to stay in the know about any new changes. Staying up to date in policy lingo isn’t the easiest (or most amusing) pastime – so leave it to the professionals at ABI. We are also current and up to date with the newest policies when it comes to taxi cab insurance.

ABI is also one of largest commercial transportation insurance agencies. Additionally approximately 40,000 vehicles are currently covered by ABI. You can rest assured knowing that thousands of other taxi cab owners have trusted with with insuring their vehicle or fleet. For over 35+ years we have offered top of the line customer service and knowledgeable insight into taxi cab insurance.

Furthermore, at ABI we value our client’s business and take pride in the partnerships we have curated for the past 35 years. At ABI we have designed mobile apps so you can monitor your taxi cab insurance policies anytime, anywhere. Drive confidently knowing that everything you need is at your fingertips.

Benefits of Taxi Cab Insurance from ABI:

  • Customizable to your policy needs
  • Certificate issuance available in minutes
  • Mobile apps with your policy details
  • Over 35+ years of experience
  • 40,000 vehicles insured
  • Competitive pricing

Customizable Taxi Cab Insurance

We have the experience necessary to know the field. We then pair this knowledge with top of the line technology – and we do not outsource. Our in-house programmers will work directly with you to design a custom plan to meet your individual taxi cab insurance needs. We will design a policy that covers the needs of all parties involved.

We understand the time-sensitive nature and regulatory requirements involved in operating a passenger transportation company. With a specific department dedicated to certificate issuance, we are able to have our client’s vehicles on the road within minutes of a request.

We pride ourselves on providing prompt, reliable, experienced, innovative, and competitive services and solutions to our loyal customers.

Taxi Cabs: A Brief History

The first electric taxi cab came in a fleet of 600 cars to NYC. These taxis were dubbed “hummingbirds” due to the electronic humming noise they made. The word taxicab was originally used as one work after “taximeter” the device used to keep track of distance and fare. In the 1980s computer assisted taxi cabs were dispatched to those who were in need of a cab. Nowadays passengers can order a taxi cab straight from their phone to be picked up in minutes.

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

1) Company Website

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

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

commercial fleet insurance

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

2) Creating a Business Name

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

3) Loss Control is Everything

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

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

4) The Driver Pool

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

5) Contact an Experienced, Transportation Insurance Broker

commercial fleet insurance

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

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

Looking for a quote? Click here

  Top 5 Issues When Choosing Lyft or Uber vs Taxi

Top 5 Issues When Choosing Lyft or Uber vs Taxi

Written by Laura Loftus on Wednesday, December 5th, 2018

lyft or uber vs taxi ridesharing cost and safety

With travel increasing as we approach the holidays, many of us default to using a Lyft or Uber vs Taxi because we are under the impression that it’s faster, cheaper and all around more convenient than taking a taxi. However, I have a different perspective. As a west-coast based insurance broker who has clients all over the country, I tend travel about once every two months or so.

Most recently, I’ve visited San Francisco, New York City, Denver and Las Vegas for work meetings. I have to tell you, there were times where hopping into a cab was not only easier but also less money than their TNC counterparts.

Nowadays, people seem to think taxis are antiquated. But in reality, taxis are the same thing as an Uber or Lyft app, and I honestly feel safer in a cab. Here’s why.

1) Safety

Safety is my top concern when entering into a Lyft or Uber vs Taxi. For one, Uber and Lyft do not limit how long someone must have been licensed to drive for them. Someone could’ve moved to the US a few weeks ago, obtain a Driver’s License and as long as they have access to a qualifying car and pass a MINIMAL background check – they are approved. Nobody trains them, monitors them, or ensures that they are familiar with the area in which they drive.

The city highly regulates taxi drivers. They require taxi drivers to go through numerous EXTENSIVE background checks. Only then does the city in which they operate in allow them to start transporting people. Many cities require taxi and limo drivers to obtain a Hack License or Chauffeurs license. That means they have endured many hours of classroom-style and behind-the-wheel training.

Besides safety concerns regarding the driver, there are concerns around the vehicle. All taxi companies start their days by inspecting vehicles. They are required to get a vehicle inspection yearly to keep their operating permit. Lyft or Uber vs Taxi vehicles are not regulated at all. Once the driver is approved, there isn’t much regulation unless the ride share vehicle is in an accident.

With ride sharing, you are taking a risk as to who you are getting into a vehicle with. You could end up getting into a vehicle of someone with a criminal background who is dangerous. Even more concerning, I have heard of people leasing or renting out their Uber or Lyft accounts. So, for someone who doesn’t qualify themselves, they will find someone who does qualify. They’ll have to go through the approval process and use someone else’s account to work. That freaks me out, a lot.  When comparing Lyft or Uber vs Taxi, this type of situation would not happen. That’s because fleet owners know exactly who they are leasing the cab out too.

2) Insurance

Insurance issues are a huge concern when riding in a Lyft or Uber vs Taxi vehicle (and I’ll admit, I do use ride sharing apps regularly). Despite being an insurance broker who specializes in Public Auto

lyft or uber vs taxi ridesharing cost and safety

Transportation risks (specifically for-hire, livery businesses such as Taxi’s, Limo’s, Non-Emergency Medical Transportation, shuttles, etc), I often hop into a Lyft or Uber vs Taxi because, let’s face it, it’s super easy.  Hop on an app, order a car, and it will arrive in 4-5 minutes. This is especially the case when you’re in a residential or suburban area where cabs aren’t just lined in the street waiting for their next fare. I often think about what would happen if the car I am in was involved in an accident.

I am extremely knowledgeable on the coverages that Uber and Lyft’s insurance policy include and it’s spotty at best. For one, the driver and passenger are only covered if the app is on and the driver is logged in. What if there is a technical issue and the driver is logged out? If their phone dies, what now? What if they’re in an area with poor reception and the driver is disconnected from the app? A passenger could be held responsible for injuries incurred. Additionally, the majority of ride share drivers do not have commercial insurance. Plus, Uber and Lyft require drivers to turn the claim into their personal auto carrier before they’ll accept liability.

Commercial auto insurance is expensive, about 2 – 5 times higher than personal auto and most ride share drivers do not buy it because their profit margin on operating is thin. They pay for the vehicle itself, maintenance of the vehicle, gas and almost every TNC driver who calls for a quote on commercial auto insurance so that they can be properly insured does not buy it because no one is making them. This means the only coverage they have for their vehicle and the passengers is through Uber or Lyft, which all hinges on the driver being logged into the app.

3) Accessibility

lyft or uber vs taxi ridesharing cost and safetyAccessibility and ease of getting a ride from an airport, in my opinion is far greater for a taxi than a ride sharing unit. When deciding on an Lyft or Uber vs Taxi, typically, I exit a plane and walk straight to a taxi to my destination. I don’t have to rely on my signal being strong enough for the app to work. I don’t have to wait for the car to come through traffic or walk to somewhere off the premises to get a ride. In some airports, they don’t allow ride share units to pick up. If they do, you often have to go up a level to the departure area or walk to a far end of the airport. When I get off a plane, I personally prefer to get straight into a car and quickly be on my way.

On my last trip to San Francisco, I saw a sign that said Ride Share pick up and I could see a side walk with several waiting areas. According to my app, Ride Share would be about 75% of the cost of a cab. I looked at the taxi line and it was empty and there was car waiting. For experimental purposes, I sacrificed my usual cab ride for a Lyft ride to see if it was actually faster and cheaper. I logged into my Lyft app and requested a vehicle. Because the airport was busy, it took 5 minutes for a driver to accept my ride plus 15 minutes for them to actually pull up to the curb. The whole time I kept my eye on the taxi line. I watched person after person get into a cab and drive away.

I wanted to cancel my ride as I had a meeting to get to, but I wanted to complete the experiment. When my driver arrived, the car was new and clean. No complaints. But by the time we sat in traffic and crossed the Bay Bridge from Oakland into San Francisco, the price was literally the same as a taxi. And it delayed my arrival by 30 minutes.

4) Pricing

lyft or uber vs taxi ridesharing cost and safety

Pricing for a ride share trip isn’t consistent. Taxi’s are transparent on how much they charge and most have the pricing displayed on the vehicle. During my last trip to Las Vegas, I spoke with a conference attendee. She complained the surge pricing was triple that of a taxi when she wanted dinner on the strip. And the taxi was ready to go right there. I also found this to be true during my last trip to Denver.

I’ve gone two years in a row for three days of Phish. The band is best known for their musical improvisation, extended jams largely influenced by Grateful Dead, Led Zeppelin, and their dedicated fanbase. The first year we went, we tried to order a Lyft. The price was about $150 to literally go 11 miles!

At 7 am in Times Square, I left my hotel.  My return flight home awaited. It was 30 degrees outside with some expected snow. Out of habit, I opened by Lyft app to find a driver 4 minutes away. As I exited the warm hotel lobby to the frigid air of the NYC streets, I saw a cab waiting right there. I waited a few minutes staring at my phone as the Lyft driver slowly creeped through traffic up the block. I asked the driver if he was available to take me to the airport, and he was. So, I cancelled that Lyft ride and walked straight into a fully insured, inspected vehicle with a professional trained driver. It was a flat fee of $55 which was the same price my Lyft app was quoting had I waited for it.

5) Supporting a local business

lyft or uber vs taxi ridesharing cost and safety

Supporting a local business rather than the corporate monopoly is another reason to consider when deciding between a Lyft or Uber vs Taxi. In a world where Google and Amazon dominate, it’s gratifying to support the local population directly. Most cab companies are the result of families passing down their businesses from generation to generation. In today’s world, it feels as if many businesses are struggling because of the monopoly of corporations that are taking over in so many industries.

It’s hard for me to be ok with living in a world where everything is giant corporation. What does that mean for the rest of us? As the world changes and modes of transportation evolve, many feel taxi cabs will one day be extinct. But many taxi companies are revitalizing and evolving their business models to withstand the test of time. They are upping their standards when it comes to the quality of vehicles they buy. Moreover, they are investing in technology to create booking apps so that they can appeal to the smart-phone dependent generation.

 

Although Uber and Lyft may seem like the cheaper and more convenient option, I strongly urge you to think about all of the above issues around big box ride sharing companies. Is it really worth risking your time, your wallet and most importantly your life – all because it feels easier?

 

More about us: American Business Insurance for taxi companies: https://abiweb.com/services/taxicab-insurance/

Flywheel Partners with Monster® Products

Flywheel & Monster® Products Partner to Provide 2nd Revenue Stream for Struggling Taxi Drivers & Fleet Owners

Flywheel Taxi consists of approximately 230 units in San Francisco and a client of American Business Insurance since 2017. The company includes a full-solution package for taxi fleets, a peer-to-peer booking app for passengers and utilized preeminent.
Flywheel Taxi consists of approximately 230 units in San Francisco and a client of American Business Insurance since 2017. The company includes a full-solution package for taxi fleets, a peer-to-peer booking app for passengers and utilized preeminent.

At first glance, one would not think that Flywheel would partner with Monster®. However, at this year’s 100th Annual Taxi, Limo and Paratransit Association (TLPA) convention, that is exactly what happened. American Business Insurance was at this event on Sunday, November 28th in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Hidden under a plain black sheet, donned with the white Flywheel logo and revealed with a splash by actor and Instagram-based internet influencer M2thaK was Monster, Inc. owner Noel Lee’s one-of-a-kind “Monsterized” Bentley Bentayga.
Hidden under a plain black sheet, donned with the white Flywheel logo and revealed with a splash by actor and Instagram-based internet influencer M2thaK was Monster, Inc. owner Noel Lee’s one-of-a-kind “Monsterized” Bentley Bentayga.

Flywheel Taxi consists of approximately 230 units in San Francisco and a client of American Business Insurance since 2017. The company includes a full-solution package for taxi fleets, a peer-to-peer booking app for passengers and utilized preeminent. Contrarily, Monster® is the company that revolutionized audio and cable company products. Despite the differences, the partnership of these two companies could greatly increase revenue for taxi drivers and fleet owners. Flywheel plans to “Monsterize” its entire fleet and encourage partner fleets to do so as well. That venture could provide up $35,000 in additional revenue for drivers simply by allowing riders to experience and purchase Monster’s unique products.

TLPA Convention Surprise

For over 30+ years, American Business Insurance has been a sponsor and exhibitor at the annual TLPA conventions. We cannot deny that, over the past 10 years, attendance has declined and the usual buzz of excitement has been missing.

In the past, taxi operators have traveled from various states, Canada, and The United Kingdom. They have continued to attend the annual conference in order to check out the latest industry trends such as the newest dispatch system s or gas efficient vehicles. They come from near and far to attend breakout sessions and board meetings to collaborate with their colleagues on how to move their FleetForward, the new TLPA motto adopted a few years back.

Hidden under a plain black sheet, donned with the white Flywheel logo and revealed with a splash by actor and Instagram-based internet influencer M2thaK was Monster, Inc. owner Noel Lee’s one-of-a-kind “Monsterized” Bentley Bentayga. The Bentley proved an effective method of showcasing amenities Flywheel and Monster offer fleet owners, which can affordably be incorporated into their own vehicle fleets.

Uber and Lyft Competition

Flywheel plans to “Monsterize” its entire fleet and encourage partner fleets to do so as well.
Flywheel plans to “Monsterize” its entire fleet and encourage partner fleets to do so as well.

It is no secret that taxi companies are struggling while trying to compete with large corporate run companies such as Uber and Lyft. But if they can look at themselves and consider a business model that provides multiple streams of revenue, they can morph into a transportation business that not only upkeeps the safety standards of old-time taxi companies but also provides a unique riding experience to a captive audience. Flywheel and Monster are here to help increase revenue for taxi drivers and fleet owners despite this fierce competition.

“Why do people continue to come to these conferences? They’ve already seen every vehicle out there. They already know about the dispatches and insurance companies. They are looking for hope and some kind of change in the market place that they can continue to do this,” said Izzy Aala, CEO of Flywheel.

Aala, who has been a fixture in the industry for many years acquired Flywheel’s mobile app in April of 2017. He knew something had to change within the industry in order for cab companies nationwide to survive. Flywheel began further developing a full taxi solution and outfitting premier Flywheel Taxi in San Francisco to showcase what is possible when the industry comes together to provide riders with the best experience possible.

Flywheel revealed a “Monsterized” version of one of their fleet’s Ford Escapes outside of the main ballroom and around the Caesars Palace property to further expose to fleet owners what is possible with Flywheel and Monster.

Taxi Industry Evolution & Revitalization

Flywheel realizes giant corporations like Uber and Lyft continuously affect the bottom line of cab companies. Many are small, family owned businesses passed down generationally. Flywheel is looking toward evolving and revitalizing the industry, so they and their drivers can thrive. Enhancing the rider and driver experience to once again make taxis the preferred choice is what Aala aims to accomplish.

Founded by Noel Lee in 1979, Monster® Products is a company that sells performance-based goods. For example, they sell high performance audio cables. It is difficult to sell without first experiencing it. And this is why the partnership between Flywheel and Monster Products was made.
Founded by Noel Lee in 1979, Monster® Products is a company that sells performance-based goods. For example, they sell high performance audio cables. It is difficult to sell without first experiencing it. And this is why the partnership between Flywheel and Monster Products was made.

“I wanted to do something different to evolve and revitalize the taxi industry in a way where everyone wins,” Aala said.

This is where Aala’s vision comes in. Earlier this year, Aala attended the International Association of Transportation Regulators conference in Philadelphia, PA. There he noticed a booth next to his – Monster® Products. Aala was confused why this audio product company would be at such a meeting. But the answer is simple. Retail isn’t dead; it’s boring.

“Fleets and drivers require additional sources of revenue. This is part of evolving and revitalizing the industry. Let’s say a businessman hops straight from a plane into a Flywheel taxi and needs to make a conference call. The driver can simply say, “here, sir, go ahead and use Monster’s crystal-clear mobile speakers.” Millennials also go out for a night on the town. Drivers can say to them, “play your own tunes through our Monsterized equipment.” Flywheel’s Office and Finance Manager, Andy Stice, explained that “this enhances the rider’s experience.” Moreover, Stice explained it “allows them a convenient purchase point, while generating profits for the driver and fleet. And Monster Products are only the beginning.”

Not the Scary Kind of Monster

Founded by Noel Lee in 1979, Monster® Products is a company that sells performance-based goods. For example, they sell high performance audio cables. It is difficult to sell without first experiencing it. And this is why the partnership between Flywheel and Monster Products was made.

“Monster® is focusing on selling products where you live, work and play. Amazon is taking the bulk of retail business, but not all. So, the balance has to go somewhere. “Our partnership with Flywheel is bringing profitable income to fleet drivers and owners across the country, while doing something they were already doing anyway,” said Lucas Gomes of Monster® Products.

With the understanding that drivers do not want to be sales people, the partnership between Monster™ Products & Flywheel is fluid. Monster® Products are best tested tangibly, so you can hear and see the difference. Where can you gain exposure to a captive audience? Vehicle where people are already listening to music, watching videos and making calls. It becomes a shared experience for both the passenger and the driver.

“Izzy isn’t trying to take the taxi industry back to where it once was; he knows that’s futile,” Stice continued. She explained that “his goal is to develop viable options for fleets and their drivers to progress and reinvent themselves.”  Flywheel strives to balance providing “the best full solution for fleets and drivers” with “pursuing a wide variety of partnership opportunities.” Those partnerships “generate revenue for the fleets and drivers and enhance rider experiences,” she stated.

Determined to Survive

As an insurance broker who specializes in taxi cab insurance, I hear multiple times per day from my clients how Uber and Lyft are negatively affecting their business. My clients are frustrated that their profit margins are being undercut by Uber and Lyft drivers who are not required to comply with the same regulations regarding background checks, driving experience and maintaining state financial responsibility requirements with commercial insurance. And commercial insurance is not cheap.

“People say they take Uber and Lyft because it’s cheaper. But that isn’t necessarily the case, especially during surge pricing.” Stice shared, “My friends and I were in Vegas just a month ago for a fun. Surge pricing was 3x the amount of the fare of a traditional taxi going from one side of the strip to the other. And the trip from the airport to the hotel was slightly cheaper and certainly more convenient by taxi,” Stice observed.

Flywheel understands that drivers do not necessarily want to be salespeople. Furthermore, the setup allows drivers to let riders experience the products first. Drivers can then offer riders an opportunity to buy if they like it. Flywheel hopes this no-pressure sales experience will take off. With that success, Flywheel and their drivers could overcome the odds are stacked against them.

By Laura M. Loftus on November 6th, 2018

Learn More

More information about American Business Insurance

Learn more a Flywheel 

See the Monster Products

Learn about TLPA

Insure my Cab: Taxi Cab Insurance

Insure my Cab: Taxi Cab Insurance

You’re here because you’re looking for taxi cab insurance. Well, you came to the right place. Perhaps you’re wondering, “there are so many taxi cab insurance agencies out there, how can I insure my cab with the best policy?”

How Can I Insure my Cab?

It’s no secret that obtaining a taxi license is no walk in the park. Before you can insure your cab, you must first meet the minimum age requirement. Most states in the USA require taxi drivers to be at least 21 years of age.

Next, you must submit a clean driving record to the DMV. Taxi drivers cannot have been in trouble when it comes to driving or other wise. You must be a good driver before you can drive around others for a living.

What else do I need before I insure my cab?

Then, you must submit a clean background check proving that you are not a criminal in any way. Taxi cab drivers have a lot of interaction with the public, and the DMV needs to insure their safety.

Some states require you to pass a chauffeurs licensing exam. This is usually a written test (sometimes driving) and can include a drug test.

Next you need to show proof of your U.S. citizenship or residency.

At last, you just need to pay the required fees (which can be pricey) and you will have your taxi license!

So after all that hard work, you want to be insured.

Why should I Insure my cab with ABI?

After working so hard and jumping through the loops to get your taxi license, you definitely want to be insured in case anything happens.

ABI is the best choice when it comes to taxi cab insurance.

Founded in 1984, ABI Insurance services offer the experience and expertise needed in the insurance realm. With new policies and insurance guidelines coming out regularly, it is important to stay in the know about any new changes. Staying up to date in policy lingo isn’t the easiest (or most amusing) pastime – so leave it to the professionals at ABI. We are also current and up to date with the newest policies when it comes to taxi cab insurance.

ABI is also one of largest commercial transportation insurance agencies. Additionally approximately 40,000 vehicles are currently covered by ABI. You can rest assured knowing that thousands of other taxi cab owners have trusted with with insuring their vehicle or fleet. For over 35+ years we have offered top of the line customer service and knowledgable insight into taxi cab insurance.

Furthermore, at ABI we value our client’s business and take pride in the partnerships we have curated for the past 35 years. At ABI we have designed mobile apps so you can monitor your taxi cab insurance policies anytime, anywhere. Drive confidently knowing that everything you need is at your fingertips.

Insure my cab with ABI: The Benefits

  • Customizable to your policy needs
  • Certificate issuance available in minutes
  • Mobile apps with your policy details
  • Over 35+ years of expience
  • 40,000 vehicles insured
  • Competitive pricing

Why should I insure my cab?

  • Peace of mind
  • Legal protection
  • Safety net
  • Protects from personal liability
  • Professional help and security

Taxi Cab Insurance: The Best Coverage for the Best Price

Taxi Cab Insurance

Taxis are the go-to transportation mode for people all over the country. There are many tales about heroic cabbies coming to save the day or night. Some dub the driver’s seat of taxi cab the world’s best free theater. It is important to have great taxi cab insurance!

As many heart-warming and glorious stories out there about taxi cabs, there a few less-than desirable stories as well. That’s when taxi cab insurance by ABI comes to the rescue! We have your back no matter what.

Why Taxi Cab Insurance with ABI?

Founded in 1984, ABI Insurance services offer the experience and expertise needed in the insurance realm. With new policies and insurance guidelines coming out regularly, it is important to stay in the know about any new changes. Staying up to date in policy lingo isn’t the easiest (or most amusing) pastime – so leave it to the professionals at ABI. We are also current and up to date with the newest policies when it comes to taxi cab insurance.

ABI is also one of largest commercial transportation insurance agencies. Additionally approximately 40,000 vehicles are currently covered by ABI. You can rest assured knowing that thousands of other taxi cab owners have trusted with with insuring their vehicle or fleet. For over 35+ years we have offered top of the line customer service and knowledgeable insight into taxi cab insurance.

Furthermore, at ABI we value our client’s business and take pride in the partnerships we have curated for the past 35 years. At ABI we have designed mobile apps so you can monitor your taxi cab insurance policies anytime, anywhere. Drive confidently knowing that everything you need is at your fingertips.

Benefits of Taxi Cab Insurance from ABI:

  • Customizable to your policy needs
  • Certificate issuance available in minutes
  • Mobile apps with your policy details
  • Over 35+ years of experience
  • 40,000 vehicles insured
  • Competitive pricing

Customizable Taxi Cab Insurance

We have the experience necessary to know the field. We then pair this knowledge with top of the line technology – and we do not outsource. Our in-house programmers will work directly with you to design a custom plan to meet your individual taxi cab insurance needs. We will design a policy that covers the needs of all parties involved.

We understand the time-sensitive nature and regulatory requirements involved in operating a passenger transportation company. With a specific department dedicated to certificate issuance, we are able to have our client’s vehicles on the road within minutes of a request.

We pride ourselves on providing prompt, reliable, experienced, innovative, and competitive services and solutions to our loyal customers.

Taxi Cabs: A Brief History

The first electric taxi cab came in a fleet of 600 cars to NYC. These taxis were dubbed “hummingbirds” due to the electronic humming noise they made. The word taxicab was originally used as one work after “taximeter” the device used to keep track of distance and fare. In the 1980s computer assisted taxi cabs were dispatched to those who were in need of a cab. Nowadays passengers can order a taxi cab straight from their phone to be picked up in minutes.

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

1) Company Website

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

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

commercial fleet insurance

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

2) Creating a Business Name

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

3) Loss Control is Everything

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

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

4) The Driver Pool

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

5) Contact an Experienced, Transportation Insurance Broker

commercial fleet insurance

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

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

Looking for a quote? Click here

  Top 5 Issues When Choosing Lyft or Uber vs Taxi

Top 5 Issues When Choosing Lyft or Uber vs Taxi

Written by Laura Loftus on Wednesday, December 5th, 2018

lyft or uber vs taxi ridesharing cost and safety

With travel increasing as we approach the holidays, many of us default to using a Lyft or Uber vs Taxi because we are under the impression that it’s faster, cheaper and all around more convenient than taking a taxi. However, I have a different perspective. As a west-coast based insurance broker who has clients all over the country, I tend travel about once every two months or so.

Most recently, I’ve visited San Francisco, New York City, Denver and Las Vegas for work meetings. I have to tell you, there were times where hopping into a cab was not only easier but also less money than their TNC counterparts.

Nowadays, people seem to think taxis are antiquated. But in reality, taxis are the same thing as an Uber or Lyft app, and I honestly feel safer in a cab. Here’s why.

1) Safety

Safety is my top concern when entering into a Lyft or Uber vs Taxi. For one, Uber and Lyft do not limit how long someone must have been licensed to drive for them. Someone could’ve moved to the US a few weeks ago, obtain a Driver’s License and as long as they have access to a qualifying car and pass a MINIMAL background check – they are approved. Nobody trains them, monitors them, or ensures that they are familiar with the area in which they drive.

The city highly regulates taxi drivers. They require taxi drivers to go through numerous EXTENSIVE background checks. Only then does the city in which they operate in allow them to start transporting people. Many cities require taxi and limo drivers to obtain a Hack License or Chauffeurs license. That means they have endured many hours of classroom-style and behind-the-wheel training.

Besides safety concerns regarding the driver, there are concerns around the vehicle. All taxi companies start their days by inspecting vehicles. They are required to get a vehicle inspection yearly to keep their operating permit. Lyft or Uber vs Taxi vehicles are not regulated at all. Once the driver is approved, there isn’t much regulation unless the ride share vehicle is in an accident.

With ride sharing, you are taking a risk as to who you are getting into a vehicle with. You could end up getting into a vehicle of someone with a criminal background who is dangerous. Even more concerning, I have heard of people leasing or renting out their Uber or Lyft accounts. So, for someone who doesn’t qualify themselves, they will find someone who does qualify. They’ll have to go through the approval process and use someone else’s account to work. That freaks me out, a lot.  When comparing Lyft or Uber vs Taxi, this type of situation would not happen. That’s because fleet owners know exactly who they are leasing the cab out too.

2) Insurance

Insurance issues are a huge concern when riding in a Lyft or Uber vs Taxi vehicle (and I’ll admit, I do use ride sharing apps regularly). Despite being an insurance broker who specializes in Public Auto

lyft or uber vs taxi ridesharing cost and safety

Transportation risks (specifically for-hire, livery businesses such as Taxi’s, Limo’s, Non-Emergency Medical Transportation, shuttles, etc), I often hop into a Lyft or Uber vs Taxi because, let’s face it, it’s super easy.  Hop on an app, order a car, and it will arrive in 4-5 minutes. This is especially the case when you’re in a residential or suburban area where cabs aren’t just lined in the street waiting for their next fare. I often think about what would happen if the car I am in was involved in an accident.

I am extremely knowledgeable on the coverages that Uber and Lyft’s insurance policy include and it’s spotty at best. For one, the driver and passenger are only covered if the app is on and the driver is logged in. What if there is a technical issue and the driver is logged out? If their phone dies, what now? What if they’re in an area with poor reception and the driver is disconnected from the app? A passenger could be held responsible for injuries incurred. Additionally, the majority of ride share drivers do not have commercial insurance. Plus, Uber and Lyft require drivers to turn the claim into their personal auto carrier before they’ll accept liability.

Commercial auto insurance is expensive, about 2 – 5 times higher than personal auto and most ride share drivers do not buy it because their profit margin on operating is thin. They pay for the vehicle itself, maintenance of the vehicle, gas and almost every TNC driver who calls for a quote on commercial auto insurance so that they can be properly insured does not buy it because no one is making them. This means the only coverage they have for their vehicle and the passengers is through Uber or Lyft, which all hinges on the driver being logged into the app.

3) Accessibility

lyft or uber vs taxi ridesharing cost and safetyAccessibility and ease of getting a ride from an airport, in my opinion is far greater for a taxi than a ride sharing unit. When deciding on an Lyft or Uber vs Taxi, typically, I exit a plane and walk straight to a taxi to my destination. I don’t have to rely on my signal being strong enough for the app to work. I don’t have to wait for the car to come through traffic or walk to somewhere off the premises to get a ride. In some airports, they don’t allow ride share units to pick up. If they do, you often have to go up a level to the departure area or walk to a far end of the airport. When I get off a plane, I personally prefer to get straight into a car and quickly be on my way.

On my last trip to San Francisco, I saw a sign that said Ride Share pick up and I could see a side walk with several waiting areas. According to my app, Ride Share would be about 75% of the cost of a cab. I looked at the taxi line and it was empty and there was car waiting. For experimental purposes, I sacrificed my usual cab ride for a Lyft ride to see if it was actually faster and cheaper. I logged into my Lyft app and requested a vehicle. Because the airport was busy, it took 5 minutes for a driver to accept my ride plus 15 minutes for them to actually pull up to the curb. The whole time I kept my eye on the taxi line. I watched person after person get into a cab and drive away.

I wanted to cancel my ride as I had a meeting to get to, but I wanted to complete the experiment. When my driver arrived, the car was new and clean. No complaints. But by the time we sat in traffic and crossed the Bay Bridge from Oakland into San Francisco, the price was literally the same as a taxi. And it delayed my arrival by 30 minutes.

4) Pricing

lyft or uber vs taxi ridesharing cost and safety

Pricing for a ride share trip isn’t consistent. Taxi’s are transparent on how much they charge and most have the pricing displayed on the vehicle. During my last trip to Las Vegas, I spoke with a conference attendee. She complained the surge pricing was triple that of a taxi when she wanted dinner on the strip. And the taxi was ready to go right there. I also found this to be true during my last trip to Denver.

I’ve gone two years in a row for three days of Phish. The band is best known for their musical improvisation, extended jams largely influenced by Grateful Dead, Led Zeppelin, and their dedicated fanbase. The first year we went, we tried to order a Lyft. The price was about $150 to literally go 11 miles!

At 7 am in Times Square, I left my hotel.  My return flight home awaited. It was 30 degrees outside with some expected snow. Out of habit, I opened by Lyft app to find a driver 4 minutes away. As I exited the warm hotel lobby to the frigid air of the NYC streets, I saw a cab waiting right there. I waited a few minutes staring at my phone as the Lyft driver slowly creeped through traffic up the block. I asked the driver if he was available to take me to the airport, and he was. So, I cancelled that Lyft ride and walked straight into a fully insured, inspected vehicle with a professional trained driver. It was a flat fee of $55 which was the same price my Lyft app was quoting had I waited for it.

5) Supporting a local business

lyft or uber vs taxi ridesharing cost and safety

Supporting a local business rather than the corporate monopoly is another reason to consider when deciding between a Lyft or Uber vs Taxi. In a world where Google and Amazon dominate, it’s gratifying to support the local population directly. Most cab companies are the result of families passing down their businesses from generation to generation. In today’s world, it feels as if many businesses are struggling because of the monopoly of corporations that are taking over in so many industries.

It’s hard for me to be ok with living in a world where everything is giant corporation. What does that mean for the rest of us? As the world changes and modes of transportation evolve, many feel taxi cabs will one day be extinct. But many taxi companies are revitalizing and evolving their business models to withstand the test of time. They are upping their standards when it comes to the quality of vehicles they buy. Moreover, they are investing in technology to create booking apps so that they can appeal to the smart-phone dependent generation.

 

Although Uber and Lyft may seem like the cheaper and more convenient option, I strongly urge you to think about all of the above issues around big box ride sharing companies. Is it really worth risking your time, your wallet and most importantly your life – all because it feels easier?

 

More about us: American Business Insurance for taxi companies: https://abiweb.com/services/taxicab-insurance/

Flywheel Partners with Monster® Products

Flywheel & Monster® Products Partner to Provide 2nd Revenue Stream for Struggling Taxi Drivers & Fleet Owners

Flywheel Taxi consists of approximately 230 units in San Francisco and a client of American Business Insurance since 2017. The company includes a full-solution package for taxi fleets, a peer-to-peer booking app for passengers and utilized preeminent.
Flywheel Taxi consists of approximately 230 units in San Francisco and a client of American Business Insurance since 2017. The company includes a full-solution package for taxi fleets, a peer-to-peer booking app for passengers and utilized preeminent.

At first glance, one would not think that Flywheel would partner with Monster®. However, at this year’s 100th Annual Taxi, Limo and Paratransit Association (TLPA) convention, that is exactly what happened. American Business Insurance was at this event on Sunday, November 28th in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Hidden under a plain black sheet, donned with the white Flywheel logo and revealed with a splash by actor and Instagram-based internet influencer M2thaK was Monster, Inc. owner Noel Lee’s one-of-a-kind “Monsterized” Bentley Bentayga.
Hidden under a plain black sheet, donned with the white Flywheel logo and revealed with a splash by actor and Instagram-based internet influencer M2thaK was Monster, Inc. owner Noel Lee’s one-of-a-kind “Monsterized” Bentley Bentayga.

Flywheel Taxi consists of approximately 230 units in San Francisco and a client of American Business Insurance since 2017. The company includes a full-solution package for taxi fleets, a peer-to-peer booking app for passengers and utilized preeminent. Contrarily, Monster® is the company that revolutionized audio and cable company products. Despite the differences, the partnership of these two companies could greatly increase revenue for taxi drivers and fleet owners. Flywheel plans to “Monsterize” its entire fleet and encourage partner fleets to do so as well. That venture could provide up $35,000 in additional revenue for drivers simply by allowing riders to experience and purchase Monster’s unique products.

TLPA Convention Surprise

For over 30+ years, American Business Insurance has been a sponsor and exhibitor at the annual TLPA conventions. We cannot deny that, over the past 10 years, attendance has declined and the usual buzz of excitement has been missing.

In the past, taxi operators have traveled from various states, Canada, and The United Kingdom. They have continued to attend the annual conference in order to check out the latest industry trends such as the newest dispatch system s or gas efficient vehicles. They come from near and far to attend breakout sessions and board meetings to collaborate with their colleagues on how to move their FleetForward, the new TLPA motto adopted a few years back.

Hidden under a plain black sheet, donned with the white Flywheel logo and revealed with a splash by actor and Instagram-based internet influencer M2thaK was Monster, Inc. owner Noel Lee’s one-of-a-kind “Monsterized” Bentley Bentayga. The Bentley proved an effective method of showcasing amenities Flywheel and Monster offer fleet owners, which can affordably be incorporated into their own vehicle fleets.

Uber and Lyft Competition

Flywheel plans to “Monsterize” its entire fleet and encourage partner fleets to do so as well.
Flywheel plans to “Monsterize” its entire fleet and encourage partner fleets to do so as well.

It is no secret that taxi companies are struggling while trying to compete with large corporate run companies such as Uber and Lyft. But if they can look at themselves and consider a business model that provides multiple streams of revenue, they can morph into a transportation business that not only upkeeps the safety standards of old-time taxi companies but also provides a unique riding experience to a captive audience. Flywheel and Monster are here to help increase revenue for taxi drivers and fleet owners despite this fierce competition.

“Why do people continue to come to these conferences? They’ve already seen every vehicle out there. They already know about the dispatches and insurance companies. They are looking for hope and some kind of change in the market place that they can continue to do this,” said Izzy Aala, CEO of Flywheel.

Aala, who has been a fixture in the industry for many years acquired Flywheel’s mobile app in April of 2017. He knew something had to change within the industry in order for cab companies nationwide to survive. Flywheel began further developing a full taxi solution and outfitting premier Flywheel Taxi in San Francisco to showcase what is possible when the industry comes together to provide riders with the best experience possible.

Flywheel revealed a “Monsterized” version of one of their fleet’s Ford Escapes outside of the main ballroom and around the Caesars Palace property to further expose to fleet owners what is possible with Flywheel and Monster.

Taxi Industry Evolution & Revitalization

Flywheel realizes giant corporations like Uber and Lyft continuously affect the bottom line of cab companies. Many are small, family owned businesses passed down generationally. Flywheel is looking toward evolving and revitalizing the industry, so they and their drivers can thrive. Enhancing the rider and driver experience to once again make taxis the preferred choice is what Aala aims to accomplish.

Founded by Noel Lee in 1979, Monster® Products is a company that sells performance-based goods. For example, they sell high performance audio cables. It is difficult to sell without first experiencing it. And this is why the partnership between Flywheel and Monster Products was made.
Founded by Noel Lee in 1979, Monster® Products is a company that sells performance-based goods. For example, they sell high performance audio cables. It is difficult to sell without first experiencing it. And this is why the partnership between Flywheel and Monster Products was made.

“I wanted to do something different to evolve and revitalize the taxi industry in a way where everyone wins,” Aala said.

This is where Aala’s vision comes in. Earlier this year, Aala attended the International Association of Transportation Regulators conference in Philadelphia, PA. There he noticed a booth next to his – Monster® Products. Aala was confused why this audio product company would be at such a meeting. But the answer is simple. Retail isn’t dead; it’s boring.

“Fleets and drivers require additional sources of revenue. This is part of evolving and revitalizing the industry. Let’s say a businessman hops straight from a plane into a Flywheel taxi and needs to make a conference call. The driver can simply say, “here, sir, go ahead and use Monster’s crystal-clear mobile speakers.” Millennials also go out for a night on the town. Drivers can say to them, “play your own tunes through our Monsterized equipment.” Flywheel’s Office and Finance Manager, Andy Stice, explained that “this enhances the rider’s experience.” Moreover, Stice explained it “allows them a convenient purchase point, while generating profits for the driver and fleet. And Monster Products are only the beginning.”

Not the Scary Kind of Monster

Founded by Noel Lee in 1979, Monster® Products is a company that sells performance-based goods. For example, they sell high performance audio cables. It is difficult to sell without first experiencing it. And this is why the partnership between Flywheel and Monster Products was made.

“Monster® is focusing on selling products where you live, work and play. Amazon is taking the bulk of retail business, but not all. So, the balance has to go somewhere. “Our partnership with Flywheel is bringing profitable income to fleet drivers and owners across the country, while doing something they were already doing anyway,” said Lucas Gomes of Monster® Products.

With the understanding that drivers do not want to be sales people, the partnership between Monster™ Products & Flywheel is fluid. Monster® Products are best tested tangibly, so you can hear and see the difference. Where can you gain exposure to a captive audience? Vehicle where people are already listening to music, watching videos and making calls. It becomes a shared experience for both the passenger and the driver.

“Izzy isn’t trying to take the taxi industry back to where it once was; he knows that’s futile,” Stice continued. She explained that “his goal is to develop viable options for fleets and their drivers to progress and reinvent themselves.”  Flywheel strives to balance providing “the best full solution for fleets and drivers” with “pursuing a wide variety of partnership opportunities.” Those partnerships “generate revenue for the fleets and drivers and enhance rider experiences,” she stated.

Determined to Survive

As an insurance broker who specializes in taxi cab insurance, I hear multiple times per day from my clients how Uber and Lyft are negatively affecting their business. My clients are frustrated that their profit margins are being undercut by Uber and Lyft drivers who are not required to comply with the same regulations regarding background checks, driving experience and maintaining state financial responsibility requirements with commercial insurance. And commercial insurance is not cheap.

“People say they take Uber and Lyft because it’s cheaper. But that isn’t necessarily the case, especially during surge pricing.” Stice shared, “My friends and I were in Vegas just a month ago for a fun. Surge pricing was 3x the amount of the fare of a traditional taxi going from one side of the strip to the other. And the trip from the airport to the hotel was slightly cheaper and certainly more convenient by taxi,” Stice observed.

Flywheel understands that drivers do not necessarily want to be salespeople. Furthermore, the setup allows drivers to let riders experience the products first. Drivers can then offer riders an opportunity to buy if they like it. Flywheel hopes this no-pressure sales experience will take off. With that success, Flywheel and their drivers could overcome the odds are stacked against them.

By Laura M. Loftus on November 6th, 2018

Learn More

More information about American Business Insurance

Learn more a Flywheel 

See the Monster Products

Learn about TLPA

Insure my Cab: Taxi Cab Insurance

Insure my Cab: Taxi Cab Insurance

You’re here because you’re looking for taxi cab insurance. Well, you came to the right place. Perhaps you’re wondering, “there are so many taxi cab insurance agencies out there, how can I insure my cab with the best policy?”

How Can I Insure my Cab?

It’s no secret that obtaining a taxi license is no walk in the park. Before you can insure your cab, you must first meet the minimum age requirement. Most states in the USA require taxi drivers to be at least 21 years of age.

Next, you must submit a clean driving record to the DMV. Taxi drivers cannot have been in trouble when it comes to driving or other wise. You must be a good driver before you can drive around others for a living.

What else do I need before I insure my cab?

Then, you must submit a clean background check proving that you are not a criminal in any way. Taxi cab drivers have a lot of interaction with the public, and the DMV needs to insure their safety.

Some states require you to pass a chauffeurs licensing exam. This is usually a written test (sometimes driving) and can include a drug test.

Next you need to show proof of your U.S. citizenship or residency.

At last, you just need to pay the required fees (which can be pricey) and you will have your taxi license!

So after all that hard work, you want to be insured.

Why should I Insure my cab with ABI?

After working so hard and jumping through the loops to get your taxi license, you definitely want to be insured in case anything happens.

ABI is the best choice when it comes to taxi cab insurance.

Founded in 1984, ABI Insurance services offer the experience and expertise needed in the insurance realm. With new policies and insurance guidelines coming out regularly, it is important to stay in the know about any new changes. Staying up to date in policy lingo isn’t the easiest (or most amusing) pastime – so leave it to the professionals at ABI. We are also current and up to date with the newest policies when it comes to taxi cab insurance.

ABI is also one of largest commercial transportation insurance agencies. Additionally approximately 40,000 vehicles are currently covered by ABI. You can rest assured knowing that thousands of other taxi cab owners have trusted with with insuring their vehicle or fleet. For over 35+ years we have offered top of the line customer service and knowledgable insight into taxi cab insurance.

Furthermore, at ABI we value our client’s business and take pride in the partnerships we have curated for the past 35 years. At ABI we have designed mobile apps so you can monitor your taxi cab insurance policies anytime, anywhere. Drive confidently knowing that everything you need is at your fingertips.

Insure my cab with ABI: The Benefits

  • Customizable to your policy needs
  • Certificate issuance available in minutes
  • Mobile apps with your policy details
  • Over 35+ years of expience
  • 40,000 vehicles insured
  • Competitive pricing

Why should I insure my cab?

  • Peace of mind
  • Legal protection
  • Safety net
  • Protects from personal liability
  • Professional help and security

Taxi Cab Insurance: The Best Coverage for the Best Price

Taxi Cab Insurance

Taxis are the go-to transportation mode for people all over the country. There are many tales about heroic cabbies coming to save the day or night. Some dub the driver’s seat of taxi cab the world’s best free theater. It is important to have great taxi cab insurance!

As many heart-warming and glorious stories out there about taxi cabs, there a few less-than desirable stories as well. That’s when taxi cab insurance by ABI comes to the rescue! We have your back no matter what.

Why Taxi Cab Insurance with ABI?

Founded in 1984, ABI Insurance services offer the experience and expertise needed in the insurance realm. With new policies and insurance guidelines coming out regularly, it is important to stay in the know about any new changes. Staying up to date in policy lingo isn’t the easiest (or most amusing) pastime – so leave it to the professionals at ABI. We are also current and up to date with the newest policies when it comes to taxi cab insurance.

ABI is also one of largest commercial transportation insurance agencies. Additionally approximately 40,000 vehicles are currently covered by ABI. You can rest assured knowing that thousands of other taxi cab owners have trusted with with insuring their vehicle or fleet. For over 35+ years we have offered top of the line customer service and knowledgeable insight into taxi cab insurance.

Furthermore, at ABI we value our client’s business and take pride in the partnerships we have curated for the past 35 years. At ABI we have designed mobile apps so you can monitor your taxi cab insurance policies anytime, anywhere. Drive confidently knowing that everything you need is at your fingertips.

Benefits of Taxi Cab Insurance from ABI:

  • Customizable to your policy needs
  • Certificate issuance available in minutes
  • Mobile apps with your policy details
  • Over 35+ years of experience
  • 40,000 vehicles insured
  • Competitive pricing

Customizable Taxi Cab Insurance

We have the experience necessary to know the field. We then pair this knowledge with top of the line technology – and we do not outsource. Our in-house programmers will work directly with you to design a custom plan to meet your individual taxi cab insurance needs. We will design a policy that covers the needs of all parties involved.

We understand the time-sensitive nature and regulatory requirements involved in operating a passenger transportation company. With a specific department dedicated to certificate issuance, we are able to have our client’s vehicles on the road within minutes of a request.

We pride ourselves on providing prompt, reliable, experienced, innovative, and competitive services and solutions to our loyal customers.

Taxi Cabs: A Brief History

The first electric taxi cab came in a fleet of 600 cars to NYC. These taxis were dubbed “hummingbirds” due to the electronic humming noise they made. The word taxicab was originally used as one work after “taximeter” the device used to keep track of distance and fare. In the 1980s computer assisted taxi cabs were dispatched to those who were in need of a cab. Nowadays passengers can order a taxi cab straight from their phone to be picked up in minutes.

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

1) Company Website

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

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

commercial fleet insurance

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

2) Creating a Business Name

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

3) Loss Control is Everything

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

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

4) The Driver Pool

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

5) Contact an Experienced, Transportation Insurance Broker

commercial fleet insurance

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

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

Looking for a quote? Click here

  Top 5 Issues When Choosing Lyft or Uber vs Taxi

Top 5 Issues When Choosing Lyft or Uber vs Taxi

Written by Laura Loftus on Wednesday, December 5th, 2018

lyft or uber vs taxi ridesharing cost and safety

With travel increasing as we approach the holidays, many of us default to using a Lyft or Uber vs Taxi because we are under the impression that it’s faster, cheaper and all around more convenient than taking a taxi. However, I have a different perspective. As a west-coast based insurance broker who has clients all over the country, I tend travel about once every two months or so.

Most recently, I’ve visited San Francisco, New York City, Denver and Las Vegas for work meetings. I have to tell you, there were times where hopping into a cab was not only easier but also less money than their TNC counterparts.

Nowadays, people seem to think taxis are antiquated. But in reality, taxis are the same thing as an Uber or Lyft app, and I honestly feel safer in a cab. Here’s why.

1) Safety

Safety is my top concern when entering into a Lyft or Uber vs Taxi. For one, Uber and Lyft do not limit how long someone must have been licensed to drive for them. Someone could’ve moved to the US a few weeks ago, obtain a Driver’s License and as long as they have access to a qualifying car and pass a MINIMAL background check – they are approved. Nobody trains them, monitors them, or ensures that they are familiar with the area in which they drive.

The city highly regulates taxi drivers. They require taxi drivers to go through numerous EXTENSIVE background checks. Only then does the city in which they operate in allow them to start transporting people. Many cities require taxi and limo drivers to obtain a Hack License or Chauffeurs license. That means they have endured many hours of classroom-style and behind-the-wheel training.

Besides safety concerns regarding the driver, there are concerns around the vehicle. All taxi companies start their days by inspecting vehicles. They are required to get a vehicle inspection yearly to keep their operating permit. Lyft or Uber vs Taxi vehicles are not regulated at all. Once the driver is approved, there isn’t much regulation unless the ride share vehicle is in an accident.

With ride sharing, you are taking a risk as to who you are getting into a vehicle with. You could end up getting into a vehicle of someone with a criminal background who is dangerous. Even more concerning, I have heard of people leasing or renting out their Uber or Lyft accounts. So, for someone who doesn’t qualify themselves, they will find someone who does qualify. They’ll have to go through the approval process and use someone else’s account to work. That freaks me out, a lot.  When comparing Lyft or Uber vs Taxi, this type of situation would not happen. That’s because fleet owners know exactly who they are leasing the cab out too.

2) Insurance

Insurance issues are a huge concern when riding in a Lyft or Uber vs Taxi vehicle (and I’ll admit, I do use ride sharing apps regularly). Despite being an insurance broker who specializes in Public Auto

lyft or uber vs taxi ridesharing cost and safety

Transportation risks (specifically for-hire, livery businesses such as Taxi’s, Limo’s, Non-Emergency Medical Transportation, shuttles, etc), I often hop into a Lyft or Uber vs Taxi because, let’s face it, it’s super easy.  Hop on an app, order a car, and it will arrive in 4-5 minutes. This is especially the case when you’re in a residential or suburban area where cabs aren’t just lined in the street waiting for their next fare. I often think about what would happen if the car I am in was involved in an accident.

I am extremely knowledgeable on the coverages that Uber and Lyft’s insurance policy include and it’s spotty at best. For one, the driver and passenger are only covered if the app is on and the driver is logged in. What if there is a technical issue and the driver is logged out? If their phone dies, what now? What if they’re in an area with poor reception and the driver is disconnected from the app? A passenger could be held responsible for injuries incurred. Additionally, the majority of ride share drivers do not have commercial insurance. Plus, Uber and Lyft require drivers to turn the claim into their personal auto carrier before they’ll accept liability.

Commercial auto insurance is expensive, about 2 – 5 times higher than personal auto and most ride share drivers do not buy it because their profit margin on operating is thin. They pay for the vehicle itself, maintenance of the vehicle, gas and almost every TNC driver who calls for a quote on commercial auto insurance so that they can be properly insured does not buy it because no one is making them. This means the only coverage they have for their vehicle and the passengers is through Uber or Lyft, which all hinges on the driver being logged into the app.

3) Accessibility

lyft or uber vs taxi ridesharing cost and safetyAccessibility and ease of getting a ride from an airport, in my opinion is far greater for a taxi than a ride sharing unit. When deciding on an Lyft or Uber vs Taxi, typically, I exit a plane and walk straight to a taxi to my destination. I don’t have to rely on my signal being strong enough for the app to work. I don’t have to wait for the car to come through traffic or walk to somewhere off the premises to get a ride. In some airports, they don’t allow ride share units to pick up. If they do, you often have to go up a level to the departure area or walk to a far end of the airport. When I get off a plane, I personally prefer to get straight into a car and quickly be on my way.

On my last trip to San Francisco, I saw a sign that said Ride Share pick up and I could see a side walk with several waiting areas. According to my app, Ride Share would be about 75% of the cost of a cab. I looked at the taxi line and it was empty and there was car waiting. For experimental purposes, I sacrificed my usual cab ride for a Lyft ride to see if it was actually faster and cheaper. I logged into my Lyft app and requested a vehicle. Because the airport was busy, it took 5 minutes for a driver to accept my ride plus 15 minutes for them to actually pull up to the curb. The whole time I kept my eye on the taxi line. I watched person after person get into a cab and drive away.

I wanted to cancel my ride as I had a meeting to get to, but I wanted to complete the experiment. When my driver arrived, the car was new and clean. No complaints. But by the time we sat in traffic and crossed the Bay Bridge from Oakland into San Francisco, the price was literally the same as a taxi. And it delayed my arrival by 30 minutes.

4) Pricing

lyft or uber vs taxi ridesharing cost and safety

Pricing for a ride share trip isn’t consistent. Taxi’s are transparent on how much they charge and most have the pricing displayed on the vehicle. During my last trip to Las Vegas, I spoke with a conference attendee. She complained the surge pricing was triple that of a taxi when she wanted dinner on the strip. And the taxi was ready to go right there. I also found this to be true during my last trip to Denver.

I’ve gone two years in a row for three days of Phish. The band is best known for their musical improvisation, extended jams largely influenced by Grateful Dead, Led Zeppelin, and their dedicated fanbase. The first year we went, we tried to order a Lyft. The price was about $150 to literally go 11 miles!

At 7 am in Times Square, I left my hotel.  My return flight home awaited. It was 30 degrees outside with some expected snow. Out of habit, I opened by Lyft app to find a driver 4 minutes away. As I exited the warm hotel lobby to the frigid air of the NYC streets, I saw a cab waiting right there. I waited a few minutes staring at my phone as the Lyft driver slowly creeped through traffic up the block. I asked the driver if he was available to take me to the airport, and he was. So, I cancelled that Lyft ride and walked straight into a fully insured, inspected vehicle with a professional trained driver. It was a flat fee of $55 which was the same price my Lyft app was quoting had I waited for it.

5) Supporting a local business

lyft or uber vs taxi ridesharing cost and safety

Supporting a local business rather than the corporate monopoly is another reason to consider when deciding between a Lyft or Uber vs Taxi. In a world where Google and Amazon dominate, it’s gratifying to support the local population directly. Most cab companies are the result of families passing down their businesses from generation to generation. In today’s world, it feels as if many businesses are struggling because of the monopoly of corporations that are taking over in so many industries.

It’s hard for me to be ok with living in a world where everything is giant corporation. What does that mean for the rest of us? As the world changes and modes of transportation evolve, many feel taxi cabs will one day be extinct. But many taxi companies are revitalizing and evolving their business models to withstand the test of time. They are upping their standards when it comes to the quality of vehicles they buy. Moreover, they are investing in technology to create booking apps so that they can appeal to the smart-phone dependent generation.

 

Although Uber and Lyft may seem like the cheaper and more convenient option, I strongly urge you to think about all of the above issues around big box ride sharing companies. Is it really worth risking your time, your wallet and most importantly your life – all because it feels easier?

 

More about us: American Business Insurance for taxi companies: https://abiweb.com/services/taxicab-insurance/

Flywheel Partners with Monster® Products

Flywheel & Monster® Products Partner to Provide 2nd Revenue Stream for Struggling Taxi Drivers & Fleet Owners

Flywheel Taxi consists of approximately 230 units in San Francisco and a client of American Business Insurance since 2017. The company includes a full-solution package for taxi fleets, a peer-to-peer booking app for passengers and utilized preeminent.
Flywheel Taxi consists of approximately 230 units in San Francisco and a client of American Business Insurance since 2017. The company includes a full-solution package for taxi fleets, a peer-to-peer booking app for passengers and utilized preeminent.

At first glance, one would not think that Flywheel would partner with Monster®. However, at this year’s 100th Annual Taxi, Limo and Paratransit Association (TLPA) convention, that is exactly what happened. American Business Insurance was at this event on Sunday, November 28th in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Hidden under a plain black sheet, donned with the white Flywheel logo and revealed with a splash by actor and Instagram-based internet influencer M2thaK was Monster, Inc. owner Noel Lee’s one-of-a-kind “Monsterized” Bentley Bentayga.
Hidden under a plain black sheet, donned with the white Flywheel logo and revealed with a splash by actor and Instagram-based internet influencer M2thaK was Monster, Inc. owner Noel Lee’s one-of-a-kind “Monsterized” Bentley Bentayga.

Flywheel Taxi consists of approximately 230 units in San Francisco and a client of American Business Insurance since 2017. The company includes a full-solution package for taxi fleets, a peer-to-peer booking app for passengers and utilized preeminent. Contrarily, Monster® is the company that revolutionized audio and cable company products. Despite the differences, the partnership of these two companies could greatly increase revenue for taxi drivers and fleet owners. Flywheel plans to “Monsterize” its entire fleet and encourage partner fleets to do so as well. That venture could provide up $35,000 in additional revenue for drivers simply by allowing riders to experience and purchase Monster’s unique products.

TLPA Convention Surprise

For over 30+ years, American Business Insurance has been a sponsor and exhibitor at the annual TLPA conventions. We cannot deny that, over the past 10 years, attendance has declined and the usual buzz of excitement has been missing.

In the past, taxi operators have traveled from various states, Canada, and The United Kingdom. They have continued to attend the annual conference in order to check out the latest industry trends such as the newest dispatch system s or gas efficient vehicles. They come from near and far to attend breakout sessions and board meetings to collaborate with their colleagues on how to move their FleetForward, the new TLPA motto adopted a few years back.

Hidden under a plain black sheet, donned with the white Flywheel logo and revealed with a splash by actor and Instagram-based internet influencer M2thaK was Monster, Inc. owner Noel Lee’s one-of-a-kind “Monsterized” Bentley Bentayga. The Bentley proved an effective method of showcasing amenities Flywheel and Monster offer fleet owners, which can affordably be incorporated into their own vehicle fleets.

Uber and Lyft Competition

Flywheel plans to “Monsterize” its entire fleet and encourage partner fleets to do so as well.
Flywheel plans to “Monsterize” its entire fleet and encourage partner fleets to do so as well.

It is no secret that taxi companies are struggling while trying to compete with large corporate run companies such as Uber and Lyft. But if they can look at themselves and consider a business model that provides multiple streams of revenue, they can morph into a transportation business that not only upkeeps the safety standards of old-time taxi companies but also provides a unique riding experience to a captive audience. Flywheel and Monster are here to help increase revenue for taxi drivers and fleet owners despite this fierce competition.

“Why do people continue to come to these conferences? They’ve already seen every vehicle out there. They already know about the dispatches and insurance companies. They are looking for hope and some kind of change in the market place that they can continue to do this,” said Izzy Aala, CEO of Flywheel.

Aala, who has been a fixture in the industry for many years acquired Flywheel’s mobile app in April of 2017. He knew something had to change within the industry in order for cab companies nationwide to survive. Flywheel began further developing a full taxi solution and outfitting premier Flywheel Taxi in San Francisco to showcase what is possible when the industry comes together to provide riders with the best experience possible.

Flywheel revealed a “Monsterized” version of one of their fleet’s Ford Escapes outside of the main ballroom and around the Caesars Palace property to further expose to fleet owners what is possible with Flywheel and Monster.

Taxi Industry Evolution & Revitalization

Flywheel realizes giant corporations like Uber and Lyft continuously affect the bottom line of cab companies. Many are small, family owned businesses passed down generationally. Flywheel is looking toward evolving and revitalizing the industry, so they and their drivers can thrive. Enhancing the rider and driver experience to once again make taxis the preferred choice is what Aala aims to accomplish.

Founded by Noel Lee in 1979, Monster® Products is a company that sells performance-based goods. For example, they sell high performance audio cables. It is difficult to sell without first experiencing it. And this is why the partnership between Flywheel and Monster Products was made.
Founded by Noel Lee in 1979, Monster® Products is a company that sells performance-based goods. For example, they sell high performance audio cables. It is difficult to sell without first experiencing it. And this is why the partnership between Flywheel and Monster Products was made.

“I wanted to do something different to evolve and revitalize the taxi industry in a way where everyone wins,” Aala said.

This is where Aala’s vision comes in. Earlier this year, Aala attended the International Association of Transportation Regulators conference in Philadelphia, PA. There he noticed a booth next to his – Monster® Products. Aala was confused why this audio product company would be at such a meeting. But the answer is simple. Retail isn’t dead; it’s boring.

“Fleets and drivers require additional sources of revenue. This is part of evolving and revitalizing the industry. Let’s say a businessman hops straight from a plane into a Flywheel taxi and needs to make a conference call. The driver can simply say, “here, sir, go ahead and use Monster’s crystal-clear mobile speakers.” Millennials also go out for a night on the town. Drivers can say to them, “play your own tunes through our Monsterized equipment.” Flywheel’s Office and Finance Manager, Andy Stice, explained that “this enhances the rider’s experience.” Moreover, Stice explained it “allows them a convenient purchase point, while generating profits for the driver and fleet. And Monster Products are only the beginning.”

Not the Scary Kind of Monster

Founded by Noel Lee in 1979, Monster® Products is a company that sells performance-based goods. For example, they sell high performance audio cables. It is difficult to sell without first experiencing it. And this is why the partnership between Flywheel and Monster Products was made.

“Monster® is focusing on selling products where you live, work and play. Amazon is taking the bulk of retail business, but not all. So, the balance has to go somewhere. “Our partnership with Flywheel is bringing profitable income to fleet drivers and owners across the country, while doing something they were already doing anyway,” said Lucas Gomes of Monster® Products.

With the understanding that drivers do not want to be sales people, the partnership between Monster™ Products & Flywheel is fluid. Monster® Products are best tested tangibly, so you can hear and see the difference. Where can you gain exposure to a captive audience? Vehicle where people are already listening to music, watching videos and making calls. It becomes a shared experience for both the passenger and the driver.

“Izzy isn’t trying to take the taxi industry back to where it once was; he knows that’s futile,” Stice continued. She explained that “his goal is to develop viable options for fleets and their drivers to progress and reinvent themselves.”  Flywheel strives to balance providing “the best full solution for fleets and drivers” with “pursuing a wide variety of partnership opportunities.” Those partnerships “generate revenue for the fleets and drivers and enhance rider experiences,” she stated.

Determined to Survive

As an insurance broker who specializes in taxi cab insurance, I hear multiple times per day from my clients how Uber and Lyft are negatively affecting their business. My clients are frustrated that their profit margins are being undercut by Uber and Lyft drivers who are not required to comply with the same regulations regarding background checks, driving experience and maintaining state financial responsibility requirements with commercial insurance. And commercial insurance is not cheap.

“People say they take Uber and Lyft because it’s cheaper. But that isn’t necessarily the case, especially during surge pricing.” Stice shared, “My friends and I were in Vegas just a month ago for a fun. Surge pricing was 3x the amount of the fare of a traditional taxi going from one side of the strip to the other. And the trip from the airport to the hotel was slightly cheaper and certainly more convenient by taxi,” Stice observed.

Flywheel understands that drivers do not necessarily want to be salespeople. Furthermore, the setup allows drivers to let riders experience the products first. Drivers can then offer riders an opportunity to buy if they like it. Flywheel hopes this no-pressure sales experience will take off. With that success, Flywheel and their drivers could overcome the odds are stacked against them.

By Laura M. Loftus on November 6th, 2018

Learn More

More information about American Business Insurance

Learn more a Flywheel 

See the Monster Products

Learn about TLPA

Insure my Cab: Taxi Cab Insurance

Insure my Cab: Taxi Cab Insurance

You’re here because you’re looking for taxi cab insurance. Well, you came to the right place. Perhaps you’re wondering, “there are so many taxi cab insurance agencies out there, how can I insure my cab with the best policy?”

How Can I Insure my Cab?

It’s no secret that obtaining a taxi license is no walk in the park. Before you can insure your cab, you must first meet the minimum age requirement. Most states in the USA require taxi drivers to be at least 21 years of age.

Next, you must submit a clean driving record to the DMV. Taxi drivers cannot have been in trouble when it comes to driving or other wise. You must be a good driver before you can drive around others for a living.

What else do I need before I insure my cab?

Then, you must submit a clean background check proving that you are not a criminal in any way. Taxi cab drivers have a lot of interaction with the public, and the DMV needs to insure their safety.

Some states require you to pass a chauffeurs licensing exam. This is usually a written test (sometimes driving) and can include a drug test.

Next you need to show proof of your U.S. citizenship or residency.

At last, you just need to pay the required fees (which can be pricey) and you will have your taxi license!

So after all that hard work, you want to be insured.

Why should I Insure my cab with ABI?

After working so hard and jumping through the loops to get your taxi license, you definitely want to be insured in case anything happens.

ABI is the best choice when it comes to taxi cab insurance.

Founded in 1984, ABI Insurance services offer the experience and expertise needed in the insurance realm. With new policies and insurance guidelines coming out regularly, it is important to stay in the know about any new changes. Staying up to date in policy lingo isn’t the easiest (or most amusing) pastime – so leave it to the professionals at ABI. We are also current and up to date with the newest policies when it comes to taxi cab insurance.

ABI is also one of largest commercial transportation insurance agencies. Additionally approximately 40,000 vehicles are currently covered by ABI. You can rest assured knowing that thousands of other taxi cab owners have trusted with with insuring their vehicle or fleet. For over 35+ years we have offered top of the line customer service and knowledgable insight into taxi cab insurance.

Furthermore, at ABI we value our client’s business and take pride in the partnerships we have curated for the past 35 years. At ABI we have designed mobile apps so you can monitor your taxi cab insurance policies anytime, anywhere. Drive confidently knowing that everything you need is at your fingertips.

Insure my cab with ABI: The Benefits

  • Customizable to your policy needs
  • Certificate issuance available in minutes
  • Mobile apps with your policy details
  • Over 35+ years of expience
  • 40,000 vehicles insured
  • Competitive pricing

Why should I insure my cab?

  • Peace of mind
  • Legal protection
  • Safety net
  • Protects from personal liability
  • Professional help and security

Taxi Cab Insurance: The Best Coverage for the Best Price

Taxi Cab Insurance

Taxis are the go-to transportation mode for people all over the country. There are many tales about heroic cabbies coming to save the day or night. Some dub the driver’s seat of taxi cab the world’s best free theater. It is important to have great taxi cab insurance!

As many heart-warming and glorious stories out there about taxi cabs, there a few less-than desirable stories as well. That’s when taxi cab insurance by ABI comes to the rescue! We have your back no matter what.

Why Taxi Cab Insurance with ABI?

Founded in 1984, ABI Insurance services offer the experience and expertise needed in the insurance realm. With new policies and insurance guidelines coming out regularly, it is important to stay in the know about any new changes. Staying up to date in policy lingo isn’t the easiest (or most amusing) pastime – so leave it to the professionals at ABI. We are also current and up to date with the newest policies when it comes to taxi cab insurance.

ABI is also one of largest commercial transportation insurance agencies. Additionally approximately 40,000 vehicles are currently covered by ABI. You can rest assured knowing that thousands of other taxi cab owners have trusted with with insuring their vehicle or fleet. For over 35+ years we have offered top of the line customer service and knowledgeable insight into taxi cab insurance.

Furthermore, at ABI we value our client’s business and take pride in the partnerships we have curated for the past 35 years. At ABI we have designed mobile apps so you can monitor your taxi cab insurance policies anytime, anywhere. Drive confidently knowing that everything you need is at your fingertips.

Benefits of Taxi Cab Insurance from ABI:

  • Customizable to your policy needs
  • Certificate issuance available in minutes
  • Mobile apps with your policy details
  • Over 35+ years of experience
  • 40,000 vehicles insured
  • Competitive pricing

Customizable Taxi Cab Insurance

We have the experience necessary to know the field. We then pair this knowledge with top of the line technology – and we do not outsource. Our in-house programmers will work directly with you to design a custom plan to meet your individual taxi cab insurance needs. We will design a policy that covers the needs of all parties involved.

We understand the time-sensitive nature and regulatory requirements involved in operating a passenger transportation company. With a specific department dedicated to certificate issuance, we are able to have our client’s vehicles on the road within minutes of a request.

We pride ourselves on providing prompt, reliable, experienced, innovative, and competitive services and solutions to our loyal customers.

Taxi Cabs: A Brief History

The first electric taxi cab came in a fleet of 600 cars to NYC. These taxis were dubbed “hummingbirds” due to the electronic humming noise they made. The word taxicab was originally used as one work after “taximeter” the device used to keep track of distance and fare. In the 1980s computer assisted taxi cabs were dispatched to those who were in need of a cab. Nowadays passengers can order a taxi cab straight from their phone to be picked up in minutes.

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

1) Company Website

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

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

commercial fleet insurance

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

2) Creating a Business Name

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

3) Loss Control is Everything

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

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

4) The Driver Pool

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

5) Contact an Experienced, Transportation Insurance Broker

commercial fleet insurance

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

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

Looking for a quote? Click here

  Top 5 Issues When Choosing Lyft or Uber vs Taxi

Top 5 Issues When Choosing Lyft or Uber vs Taxi

Written by Laura Loftus on Wednesday, December 5th, 2018

lyft or uber vs taxi ridesharing cost and safety

With travel increasing as we approach the holidays, many of us default to using a Lyft or Uber vs Taxi because we are under the impression that it’s faster, cheaper and all around more convenient than taking a taxi. However, I have a different perspective. As a west-coast based insurance broker who has clients all over the country, I tend travel about once every two months or so.

Most recently, I’ve visited San Francisco, New York City, Denver and Las Vegas for work meetings. I have to tell you, there were times where hopping into a cab was not only easier but also less money than their TNC counterparts.

Nowadays, people seem to think taxis are antiquated. But in reality, taxis are the same thing as an Uber or Lyft app, and I honestly feel safer in a cab. Here’s why.

1) Safety

Safety is my top concern when entering into a Lyft or Uber vs Taxi. For one, Uber and Lyft do not limit how long someone must have been licensed to drive for them. Someone could’ve moved to the US a few weeks ago, obtain a Driver’s License and as long as they have access to a qualifying car and pass a MINIMAL background check – they are approved. Nobody trains them, monitors them, or ensures that they are familiar with the area in which they drive.

The city highly regulates taxi drivers. They require taxi drivers to go through numerous EXTENSIVE background checks. Only then does the city in which they operate in allow them to start transporting people. Many cities require taxi and limo drivers to obtain a Hack License or Chauffeurs license. That means they have endured many hours of classroom-style and behind-the-wheel training.

Besides safety concerns regarding the driver, there are concerns around the vehicle. All taxi companies start their days by inspecting vehicles. They are required to get a vehicle inspection yearly to keep their operating permit. Lyft or Uber vs Taxi vehicles are not regulated at all. Once the driver is approved, there isn’t much regulation unless the ride share vehicle is in an accident.

With ride sharing, you are taking a risk as to who you are getting into a vehicle with. You could end up getting into a vehicle of someone with a criminal background who is dangerous. Even more concerning, I have heard of people leasing or renting out their Uber or Lyft accounts. So, for someone who doesn’t qualify themselves, they will find someone who does qualify. They’ll have to go through the approval process and use someone else’s account to work. That freaks me out, a lot.  When comparing Lyft or Uber vs Taxi, this type of situation would not happen. That’s because fleet owners know exactly who they are leasing the cab out too.

2) Insurance

Insurance issues are a huge concern when riding in a Lyft or Uber vs Taxi vehicle (and I’ll admit, I do use ride sharing apps regularly). Despite being an insurance broker who specializes in Public Auto

lyft or uber vs taxi ridesharing cost and safety

Transportation risks (specifically for-hire, livery businesses such as Taxi’s, Limo’s, Non-Emergency Medical Transportation, shuttles, etc), I often hop into a Lyft or Uber vs Taxi because, let’s face it, it’s super easy.  Hop on an app, order a car, and it will arrive in 4-5 minutes. This is especially the case when you’re in a residential or suburban area where cabs aren’t just lined in the street waiting for their next fare. I often think about what would happen if the car I am in was involved in an accident.

I am extremely knowledgeable on the coverages that Uber and Lyft’s insurance policy include and it’s spotty at best. For one, the driver and passenger are only covered if the app is on and the driver is logged in. What if there is a technical issue and the driver is logged out? If their phone dies, what now? What if they’re in an area with poor reception and the driver is disconnected from the app? A passenger could be held responsible for injuries incurred. Additionally, the majority of ride share drivers do not have commercial insurance. Plus, Uber and Lyft require drivers to turn the claim into their personal auto carrier before they’ll accept liability.

Commercial auto insurance is expensive, about 2 – 5 times higher than personal auto and most ride share drivers do not buy it because their profit margin on operating is thin. They pay for the vehicle itself, maintenance of the vehicle, gas and almost every TNC driver who calls for a quote on commercial auto insurance so that they can be properly insured does not buy it because no one is making them. This means the only coverage they have for their vehicle and the passengers is through Uber or Lyft, which all hinges on the driver being logged into the app.

3) Accessibility

lyft or uber vs taxi ridesharing cost and safetyAccessibility and ease of getting a ride from an airport, in my opinion is far greater for a taxi than a ride sharing unit. When deciding on an Lyft or Uber vs Taxi, typically, I exit a plane and walk straight to a taxi to my destination. I don’t have to rely on my signal being strong enough for the app to work. I don’t have to wait for the car to come through traffic or walk to somewhere off the premises to get a ride. In some airports, they don’t allow ride share units to pick up. If they do, you often have to go up a level to the departure area or walk to a far end of the airport. When I get off a plane, I personally prefer to get straight into a car and quickly be on my way.

On my last trip to San Francisco, I saw a sign that said Ride Share pick up and I could see a side walk with several waiting areas. According to my app, Ride Share would be about 75% of the cost of a cab. I looked at the taxi line and it was empty and there was car waiting. For experimental purposes, I sacrificed my usual cab ride for a Lyft ride to see if it was actually faster and cheaper. I logged into my Lyft app and requested a vehicle. Because the airport was busy, it took 5 minutes for a driver to accept my ride plus 15 minutes for them to actually pull up to the curb. The whole time I kept my eye on the taxi line. I watched person after person get into a cab and drive away.

I wanted to cancel my ride as I had a meeting to get to, but I wanted to complete the experiment. When my driver arrived, the car was new and clean. No complaints. But by the time we sat in traffic and crossed the Bay Bridge from Oakland into San Francisco, the price was literally the same as a taxi. And it delayed my arrival by 30 minutes.

4) Pricing

lyft or uber vs taxi ridesharing cost and safety

Pricing for a ride share trip isn’t consistent. Taxi’s are transparent on how much they charge and most have the pricing displayed on the vehicle. During my last trip to Las Vegas, I spoke with a conference attendee. She complained the surge pricing was triple that of a taxi when she wanted dinner on the strip. And the taxi was ready to go right there. I also found this to be true during my last trip to Denver.

I’ve gone two years in a row for three days of Phish. The band is best known for their musical improvisation, extended jams largely influenced by Grateful Dead, Led Zeppelin, and their dedicated fanbase. The first year we went, we tried to order a Lyft. The price was about $150 to literally go 11 miles!

At 7 am in Times Square, I left my hotel.  My return flight home awaited. It was 30 degrees outside with some expected snow. Out of habit, I opened by Lyft app to find a driver 4 minutes away. As I exited the warm hotel lobby to the frigid air of the NYC streets, I saw a cab waiting right there. I waited a few minutes staring at my phone as the Lyft driver slowly creeped through traffic up the block. I asked the driver if he was available to take me to the airport, and he was. So, I cancelled that Lyft ride and walked straight into a fully insured, inspected vehicle with a professional trained driver. It was a flat fee of $55 which was the same price my Lyft app was quoting had I waited for it.

5) Supporting a local business

lyft or uber vs taxi ridesharing cost and safety

Supporting a local business rather than the corporate monopoly is another reason to consider when deciding between a Lyft or Uber vs Taxi. In a world where Google and Amazon dominate, it’s gratifying to support the local population directly. Most cab companies are the result of families passing down their businesses from generation to generation. In today’s world, it feels as if many businesses are struggling because of the monopoly of corporations that are taking over in so many industries.

It’s hard for me to be ok with living in a world where everything is giant corporation. What does that mean for the rest of us? As the world changes and modes of transportation evolve, many feel taxi cabs will one day be extinct. But many taxi companies are revitalizing and evolving their business models to withstand the test of time. They are upping their standards when it comes to the quality of vehicles they buy. Moreover, they are investing in technology to create booking apps so that they can appeal to the smart-phone dependent generation.

 

Although Uber and Lyft may seem like the cheaper and more convenient option, I strongly urge you to think about all of the above issues around big box ride sharing companies. Is it really worth risking your time, your wallet and most importantly your life – all because it feels easier?

 

More about us: American Business Insurance for taxi companies: https://abiweb.com/services/taxicab-insurance/

Flywheel Partners with Monster® Products

Flywheel & Monster® Products Partner to Provide 2nd Revenue Stream for Struggling Taxi Drivers & Fleet Owners

Flywheel Taxi consists of approximately 230 units in San Francisco and a client of American Business Insurance since 2017. The company includes a full-solution package for taxi fleets, a peer-to-peer booking app for passengers and utilized preeminent.
Flywheel Taxi consists of approximately 230 units in San Francisco and a client of American Business Insurance since 2017. The company includes a full-solution package for taxi fleets, a peer-to-peer booking app for passengers and utilized preeminent.

At first glance, one would not think that Flywheel would partner with Monster®. However, at this year’s 100th Annual Taxi, Limo and Paratransit Association (TLPA) convention, that is exactly what happened. American Business Insurance was at this event on Sunday, November 28th in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Hidden under a plain black sheet, donned with the white Flywheel logo and revealed with a splash by actor and Instagram-based internet influencer M2thaK was Monster, Inc. owner Noel Lee’s one-of-a-kind “Monsterized” Bentley Bentayga.
Hidden under a plain black sheet, donned with the white Flywheel logo and revealed with a splash by actor and Instagram-based internet influencer M2thaK was Monster, Inc. owner Noel Lee’s one-of-a-kind “Monsterized” Bentley Bentayga.

Flywheel Taxi consists of approximately 230 units in San Francisco and a client of American Business Insurance since 2017. The company includes a full-solution package for taxi fleets, a peer-to-peer booking app for passengers and utilized preeminent. Contrarily, Monster® is the company that revolutionized audio and cable company products. Despite the differences, the partnership of these two companies could greatly increase revenue for taxi drivers and fleet owners. Flywheel plans to “Monsterize” its entire fleet and encourage partner fleets to do so as well. That venture could provide up $35,000 in additional revenue for drivers simply by allowing riders to experience and purchase Monster’s unique products.

TLPA Convention Surprise

For over 30+ years, American Business Insurance has been a sponsor and exhibitor at the annual TLPA conventions. We cannot deny that, over the past 10 years, attendance has declined and the usual buzz of excitement has been missing.

In the past, taxi operators have traveled from various states, Canada, and The United Kingdom. They have continued to attend the annual conference in order to check out the latest industry trends such as the newest dispatch system s or gas efficient vehicles. They come from near and far to attend breakout sessions and board meetings to collaborate with their colleagues on how to move their FleetForward, the new TLPA motto adopted a few years back.

Hidden under a plain black sheet, donned with the white Flywheel logo and revealed with a splash by actor and Instagram-based internet influencer M2thaK was Monster, Inc. owner Noel Lee’s one-of-a-kind “Monsterized” Bentley Bentayga. The Bentley proved an effective method of showcasing amenities Flywheel and Monster offer fleet owners, which can affordably be incorporated into their own vehicle fleets.

Uber and Lyft Competition

Flywheel plans to “Monsterize” its entire fleet and encourage partner fleets to do so as well.
Flywheel plans to “Monsterize” its entire fleet and encourage partner fleets to do so as well.

It is no secret that taxi companies are struggling while trying to compete with large corporate run companies such as Uber and Lyft. But if they can look at themselves and consider a business model that provides multiple streams of revenue, they can morph into a transportation business that not only upkeeps the safety standards of old-time taxi companies but also provides a unique riding experience to a captive audience. Flywheel and Monster are here to help increase revenue for taxi drivers and fleet owners despite this fierce competition.

“Why do people continue to come to these conferences? They’ve already seen every vehicle out there. They already know about the dispatches and insurance companies. They are looking for hope and some kind of change in the market place that they can continue to do this,” said Izzy Aala, CEO of Flywheel.

Aala, who has been a fixture in the industry for many years acquired Flywheel’s mobile app in April of 2017. He knew something had to change within the industry in order for cab companies nationwide to survive. Flywheel began further developing a full taxi solution and outfitting premier Flywheel Taxi in San Francisco to showcase what is possible when the industry comes together to provide riders with the best experience possible.

Flywheel revealed a “Monsterized” version of one of their fleet’s Ford Escapes outside of the main ballroom and around the Caesars Palace property to further expose to fleet owners what is possible with Flywheel and Monster.

Taxi Industry Evolution & Revitalization

Flywheel realizes giant corporations like Uber and Lyft continuously affect the bottom line of cab companies. Many are small, family owned businesses passed down generationally. Flywheel is looking toward evolving and revitalizing the industry, so they and their drivers can thrive. Enhancing the rider and driver experience to once again make taxis the preferred choice is what Aala aims to accomplish.

Founded by Noel Lee in 1979, Monster® Products is a company that sells performance-based goods. For example, they sell high performance audio cables. It is difficult to sell without first experiencing it. And this is why the partnership between Flywheel and Monster Products was made.
Founded by Noel Lee in 1979, Monster® Products is a company that sells performance-based goods. For example, they sell high performance audio cables. It is difficult to sell without first experiencing it. And this is why the partnership between Flywheel and Monster Products was made.

“I wanted to do something different to evolve and revitalize the taxi industry in a way where everyone wins,” Aala said.

This is where Aala’s vision comes in. Earlier this year, Aala attended the International Association of Transportation Regulators conference in Philadelphia, PA. There he noticed a booth next to his – Monster® Products. Aala was confused why this audio product company would be at such a meeting. But the answer is simple. Retail isn’t dead; it’s boring.

“Fleets and drivers require additional sources of revenue. This is part of evolving and revitalizing the industry. Let’s say a businessman hops straight from a plane into a Flywheel taxi and needs to make a conference call. The driver can simply say, “here, sir, go ahead and use Monster’s crystal-clear mobile speakers.” Millennials also go out for a night on the town. Drivers can say to them, “play your own tunes through our Monsterized equipment.” Flywheel’s Office and Finance Manager, Andy Stice, explained that “this enhances the rider’s experience.” Moreover, Stice explained it “allows them a convenient purchase point, while generating profits for the driver and fleet. And Monster Products are only the beginning.”

Not the Scary Kind of Monster

Founded by Noel Lee in 1979, Monster® Products is a company that sells performance-based goods. For example, they sell high performance audio cables. It is difficult to sell without first experiencing it. And this is why the partnership between Flywheel and Monster Products was made.

“Monster® is focusing on selling products where you live, work and play. Amazon is taking the bulk of retail business, but not all. So, the balance has to go somewhere. “Our partnership with Flywheel is bringing profitable income to fleet drivers and owners across the country, while doing something they were already doing anyway,” said Lucas Gomes of Monster® Products.

With the understanding that drivers do not want to be sales people, the partnership between Monster™ Products & Flywheel is fluid. Monster® Products are best tested tangibly, so you can hear and see the difference. Where can you gain exposure to a captive audience? Vehicle where people are already listening to music, watching videos and making calls. It becomes a shared experience for both the passenger and the driver.

“Izzy isn’t trying to take the taxi industry back to where it once was; he knows that’s futile,” Stice continued. She explained that “his goal is to develop viable options for fleets and their drivers to progress and reinvent themselves.”  Flywheel strives to balance providing “the best full solution for fleets and drivers” with “pursuing a wide variety of partnership opportunities.” Those partnerships “generate revenue for the fleets and drivers and enhance rider experiences,” she stated.

Determined to Survive

As an insurance broker who specializes in taxi cab insurance, I hear multiple times per day from my clients how Uber and Lyft are negatively affecting their business. My clients are frustrated that their profit margins are being undercut by Uber and Lyft drivers who are not required to comply with the same regulations regarding background checks, driving experience and maintaining state financial responsibility requirements with commercial insurance. And commercial insurance is not cheap.

“People say they take Uber and Lyft because it’s cheaper. But that isn’t necessarily the case, especially during surge pricing.” Stice shared, “My friends and I were in Vegas just a month ago for a fun. Surge pricing was 3x the amount of the fare of a traditional taxi going from one side of the strip to the other. And the trip from the airport to the hotel was slightly cheaper and certainly more convenient by taxi,” Stice observed.

Flywheel understands that drivers do not necessarily want to be salespeople. Furthermore, the setup allows drivers to let riders experience the products first. Drivers can then offer riders an opportunity to buy if they like it. Flywheel hopes this no-pressure sales experience will take off. With that success, Flywheel and their drivers could overcome the odds are stacked against them.

By Laura M. Loftus on November 6th, 2018

Learn More

More information about American Business Insurance

Learn more a Flywheel 

See the Monster Products

Learn about TLPA

Insure my Cab: Taxi Cab Insurance

Insure my Cab: Taxi Cab Insurance

You’re here because you’re looking for taxi cab insurance. Well, you came to the right place. Perhaps you’re wondering, “there are so many taxi cab insurance agencies out there, how can I insure my cab with the best policy?”

How Can I Insure my Cab?

It’s no secret that obtaining a taxi license is no walk in the park. Before you can insure your cab, you must first meet the minimum age requirement. Most states in the USA require taxi drivers to be at least 21 years of age.

Next, you must submit a clean driving record to the DMV. Taxi drivers cannot have been in trouble when it comes to driving or other wise. You must be a good driver before you can drive around others for a living.

What else do I need before I insure my cab?

Then, you must submit a clean background check proving that you are not a criminal in any way. Taxi cab drivers have a lot of interaction with the public, and the DMV needs to insure their safety.

Some states require you to pass a chauffeurs licensing exam. This is usually a written test (sometimes driving) and can include a drug test.

Next you need to show proof of your U.S. citizenship or residency.

At last, you just need to pay the required fees (which can be pricey) and you will have your taxi license!

So after all that hard work, you want to be insured.

Why should I Insure my cab with ABI?

After working so hard and jumping through the loops to get your taxi license, you definitely want to be insured in case anything happens.

ABI is the best choice when it comes to taxi cab insurance.

Founded in 1984, ABI Insurance services offer the experience and expertise needed in the insurance realm. With new policies and insurance guidelines coming out regularly, it is important to stay in the know about any new changes. Staying up to date in policy lingo isn’t the easiest (or most amusing) pastime – so leave it to the professionals at ABI. We are also current and up to date with the newest policies when it comes to taxi cab insurance.

ABI is also one of largest commercial transportation insurance agencies. Additionally approximately 40,000 vehicles are currently covered by ABI. You can rest assured knowing that thousands of other taxi cab owners have trusted with with insuring their vehicle or fleet. For over 35+ years we have offered top of the line customer service and knowledgable insight into taxi cab insurance.

Furthermore, at ABI we value our client’s business and take pride in the partnerships we have curated for the past 35 years. At ABI we have designed mobile apps so you can monitor your taxi cab insurance policies anytime, anywhere. Drive confidently knowing that everything you need is at your fingertips.

Insure my cab with ABI: The Benefits

  • Customizable to your policy needs
  • Certificate issuance available in minutes
  • Mobile apps with your policy details
  • Over 35+ years of expience
  • 40,000 vehicles insured
  • Competitive pricing

Why should I insure my cab?

  • Peace of mind
  • Legal protection
  • Safety net
  • Protects from personal liability
  • Professional help and security

Taxi Cab Insurance: The Best Coverage for the Best Price

Taxi Cab Insurance

Taxis are the go-to transportation mode for people all over the country. There are many tales about heroic cabbies coming to save the day or night. Some dub the driver’s seat of taxi cab the world’s best free theater. It is important to have great taxi cab insurance!

As many heart-warming and glorious stories out there about taxi cabs, there a few less-than desirable stories as well. That’s when taxi cab insurance by ABI comes to the rescue! We have your back no matter what.

Why Taxi Cab Insurance with ABI?

Founded in 1984, ABI Insurance services offer the experience and expertise needed in the insurance realm. With new policies and insurance guidelines coming out regularly, it is important to stay in the know about any new changes. Staying up to date in policy lingo isn’t the easiest (or most amusing) pastime – so leave it to the professionals at ABI. We are also current and up to date with the newest policies when it comes to taxi cab insurance.

ABI is also one of largest commercial transportation insurance agencies. Additionally approximately 40,000 vehicles are currently covered by ABI. You can rest assured knowing that thousands of other taxi cab owners have trusted with with insuring their vehicle or fleet. For over 35+ years we have offered top of the line customer service and knowledgeable insight into taxi cab insurance.

Furthermore, at ABI we value our client’s business and take pride in the partnerships we have curated for the past 35 years. At ABI we have designed mobile apps so you can monitor your taxi cab insurance policies anytime, anywhere. Drive confidently knowing that everything you need is at your fingertips.

Benefits of Taxi Cab Insurance from ABI:

  • Customizable to your policy needs
  • Certificate issuance available in minutes
  • Mobile apps with your policy details
  • Over 35+ years of experience
  • 40,000 vehicles insured
  • Competitive pricing

Customizable Taxi Cab Insurance

We have the experience necessary to know the field. We then pair this knowledge with top of the line technology – and we do not outsource. Our in-house programmers will work directly with you to design a custom plan to meet your individual taxi cab insurance needs. We will design a policy that covers the needs of all parties involved.

We understand the time-sensitive nature and regulatory requirements involved in operating a passenger transportation company. With a specific department dedicated to certificate issuance, we are able to have our client’s vehicles on the road within minutes of a request.

We pride ourselves on providing prompt, reliable, experienced, innovative, and competitive services and solutions to our loyal customers.

Taxi Cabs: A Brief History

The first electric taxi cab came in a fleet of 600 cars to NYC. These taxis were dubbed “hummingbirds” due to the electronic humming noise they made. The word taxicab was originally used as one work after “taximeter” the device used to keep track of distance and fare. In the 1980s computer assisted taxi cabs were dispatched to those who were in need of a cab. Nowadays passengers can order a taxi cab straight from their phone to be picked up in minutes.

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

1) Company Website

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

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

commercial fleet insurance

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

2) Creating a Business Name

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

3) Loss Control is Everything

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

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

4) The Driver Pool

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

5) Contact an Experienced, Transportation Insurance Broker

commercial fleet insurance

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

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

Looking for a quote? Click here

  Top 5 Issues When Choosing Lyft or Uber vs Taxi

Top 5 Issues When Choosing Lyft or Uber vs Taxi

Written by Laura Loftus on Wednesday, December 5th, 2018

lyft or uber vs taxi ridesharing cost and safety

With travel increasing as we approach the holidays, many of us default to using a Lyft or Uber vs Taxi because we are under the impression that it’s faster, cheaper and all around more convenient than taking a taxi. However, I have a different perspective. As a west-coast based insurance broker who has clients all over the country, I tend travel about once every two months or so.

Most recently, I’ve visited San Francisco, New York City, Denver and Las Vegas for work meetings. I have to tell you, there were times where hopping into a cab was not only easier but also less money than their TNC counterparts.

Nowadays, people seem to think taxis are antiquated. But in reality, taxis are the same thing as an Uber or Lyft app, and I honestly feel safer in a cab. Here’s why.

1) Safety

Safety is my top concern when entering into a Lyft or Uber vs Taxi. For one, Uber and Lyft do not limit how long someone must have been licensed to drive for them. Someone could’ve moved to the US a few weeks ago, obtain a Driver’s License and as long as they have access to a qualifying car and pass a MINIMAL background check – they are approved. Nobody trains them, monitors them, or ensures that they are familiar with the area in which they drive.

The city highly regulates taxi drivers. They require taxi drivers to go through numerous EXTENSIVE background checks. Only then does the city in which they operate in allow them to start transporting people. Many cities require taxi and limo drivers to obtain a Hack License or Chauffeurs license. That means they have endured many hours of classroom-style and behind-the-wheel training.

Besides safety concerns regarding the driver, there are concerns around the vehicle. All taxi companies start their days by inspecting vehicles. They are required to get a vehicle inspection yearly to keep their operating permit. Lyft or Uber vs Taxi vehicles are not regulated at all. Once the driver is approved, there isn’t much regulation unless the ride share vehicle is in an accident.

With ride sharing, you are taking a risk as to who you are getting into a vehicle with. You could end up getting into a vehicle of someone with a criminal background who is dangerous. Even more concerning, I have heard of people leasing or renting out their Uber or Lyft accounts. So, for someone who doesn’t qualify themselves, they will find someone who does qualify. They’ll have to go through the approval process and use someone else’s account to work. That freaks me out, a lot.  When comparing Lyft or Uber vs Taxi, this type of situation would not happen. That’s because fleet owners know exactly who they are leasing the cab out too.

2) Insurance

Insurance issues are a huge concern when riding in a Lyft or Uber vs Taxi vehicle (and I’ll admit, I do use ride sharing apps regularly). Despite being an insurance broker who specializes in Public Auto

lyft or uber vs taxi ridesharing cost and safety

Transportation risks (specifically for-hire, livery businesses such as Taxi’s, Limo’s, Non-Emergency Medical Transportation, shuttles, etc), I often hop into a Lyft or Uber vs Taxi because, let’s face it, it’s super easy.  Hop on an app, order a car, and it will arrive in 4-5 minutes. This is especially the case when you’re in a residential or suburban area where cabs aren’t just lined in the street waiting for their next fare. I often think about what would happen if the car I am in was involved in an accident.

I am extremely knowledgeable on the coverages that Uber and Lyft’s insurance policy include and it’s spotty at best. For one, the driver and passenger are only covered if the app is on and the driver is logged in. What if there is a technical issue and the driver is logged out? If their phone dies, what now? What if they’re in an area with poor reception and the driver is disconnected from the app? A passenger could be held responsible for injuries incurred. Additionally, the majority of ride share drivers do not have commercial insurance. Plus, Uber and Lyft require drivers to turn the claim into their personal auto carrier before they’ll accept liability.

Commercial auto insurance is expensive, about 2 – 5 times higher than personal auto and most ride share drivers do not buy it because their profit margin on operating is thin. They pay for the vehicle itself, maintenance of the vehicle, gas and almost every TNC driver who calls for a quote on commercial auto insurance so that they can be properly insured does not buy it because no one is making them. This means the only coverage they have for their vehicle and the passengers is through Uber or Lyft, which all hinges on the driver being logged into the app.

3) Accessibility

lyft or uber vs taxi ridesharing cost and safetyAccessibility and ease of getting a ride from an airport, in my opinion is far greater for a taxi than a ride sharing unit. When deciding on an Lyft or Uber vs Taxi, typically, I exit a plane and walk straight to a taxi to my destination. I don’t have to rely on my signal being strong enough for the app to work. I don’t have to wait for the car to come through traffic or walk to somewhere off the premises to get a ride. In some airports, they don’t allow ride share units to pick up. If they do, you often have to go up a level to the departure area or walk to a far end of the airport. When I get off a plane, I personally prefer to get straight into a car and quickly be on my way.

On my last trip to San Francisco, I saw a sign that said Ride Share pick up and I could see a side walk with several waiting areas. According to my app, Ride Share would be about 75% of the cost of a cab. I looked at the taxi line and it was empty and there was car waiting. For experimental purposes, I sacrificed my usual cab ride for a Lyft ride to see if it was actually faster and cheaper. I logged into my Lyft app and requested a vehicle. Because the airport was busy, it took 5 minutes for a driver to accept my ride plus 15 minutes for them to actually pull up to the curb. The whole time I kept my eye on the taxi line. I watched person after person get into a cab and drive away.

I wanted to cancel my ride as I had a meeting to get to, but I wanted to complete the experiment. When my driver arrived, the car was new and clean. No complaints. But by the time we sat in traffic and crossed the Bay Bridge from Oakland into San Francisco, the price was literally the same as a taxi. And it delayed my arrival by 30 minutes.

4) Pricing

lyft or uber vs taxi ridesharing cost and safety

Pricing for a ride share trip isn’t consistent. Taxi’s are transparent on how much they charge and most have the pricing displayed on the vehicle. During my last trip to Las Vegas, I spoke with a conference attendee. She complained the surge pricing was triple that of a taxi when she wanted dinner on the strip. And the taxi was ready to go right there. I also found this to be true during my last trip to Denver.

I’ve gone two years in a row for three days of Phish. The band is best known for their musical improvisation, extended jams largely influenced by Grateful Dead, Led Zeppelin, and their dedicated fanbase. The first year we went, we tried to order a Lyft. The price was about $150 to literally go 11 miles!

At 7 am in Times Square, I left my hotel.  My return flight home awaited. It was 30 degrees outside with some expected snow. Out of habit, I opened by Lyft app to find a driver 4 minutes away. As I exited the warm hotel lobby to the frigid air of the NYC streets, I saw a cab waiting right there. I waited a few minutes staring at my phone as the Lyft driver slowly creeped through traffic up the block. I asked the driver if he was available to take me to the airport, and he was. So, I cancelled that Lyft ride and walked straight into a fully insured, inspected vehicle with a professional trained driver. It was a flat fee of $55 which was the same price my Lyft app was quoting had I waited for it.

5) Supporting a local business

lyft or uber vs taxi ridesharing cost and safety

Supporting a local business rather than the corporate monopoly is another reason to consider when deciding between a Lyft or Uber vs Taxi. In a world where Google and Amazon dominate, it’s gratifying to support the local population directly. Most cab companies are the result of families passing down their businesses from generation to generation. In today’s world, it feels as if many businesses are struggling because of the monopoly of corporations that are taking over in so many industries.

It’s hard for me to be ok with living in a world where everything is giant corporation. What does that mean for the rest of us? As the world changes and modes of transportation evolve, many feel taxi cabs will one day be extinct. But many taxi companies are revitalizing and evolving their business models to withstand the test of time. They are upping their standards when it comes to the quality of vehicles they buy. Moreover, they are investing in technology to create booking apps so that they can appeal to the smart-phone dependent generation.

 

Although Uber and Lyft may seem like the cheaper and more convenient option, I strongly urge you to think about all of the above issues around big box ride sharing companies. Is it really worth risking your time, your wallet and most importantly your life – all because it feels easier?

 

More about us: American Business Insurance for taxi companies: https://abiweb.com/services/taxicab-insurance/

Flywheel Partners with Monster® Products

Flywheel & Monster® Products Partner to Provide 2nd Revenue Stream for Struggling Taxi Drivers & Fleet Owners

Flywheel Taxi consists of approximately 230 units in San Francisco and a client of American Business Insurance since 2017. The company includes a full-solution package for taxi fleets, a peer-to-peer booking app for passengers and utilized preeminent.
Flywheel Taxi consists of approximately 230 units in San Francisco and a client of American Business Insurance since 2017. The company includes a full-solution package for taxi fleets, a peer-to-peer booking app for passengers and utilized preeminent.

At first glance, one would not think that Flywheel would partner with Monster®. However, at this year’s 100th Annual Taxi, Limo and Paratransit Association (TLPA) convention, that is exactly what happened. American Business Insurance was at this event on Sunday, November 28th in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Hidden under a plain black sheet, donned with the white Flywheel logo and revealed with a splash by actor and Instagram-based internet influencer M2thaK was Monster, Inc. owner Noel Lee’s one-of-a-kind “Monsterized” Bentley Bentayga.
Hidden under a plain black sheet, donned with the white Flywheel logo and revealed with a splash by actor and Instagram-based internet influencer M2thaK was Monster, Inc. owner Noel Lee’s one-of-a-kind “Monsterized” Bentley Bentayga.

Flywheel Taxi consists of approximately 230 units in San Francisco and a client of American Business Insurance since 2017. The company includes a full-solution package for taxi fleets, a peer-to-peer booking app for passengers and utilized preeminent. Contrarily, Monster® is the company that revolutionized audio and cable company products. Despite the differences, the partnership of these two companies could greatly increase revenue for taxi drivers and fleet owners. Flywheel plans to “Monsterize” its entire fleet and encourage partner fleets to do so as well. That venture could provide up $35,000 in additional revenue for drivers simply by allowing riders to experience and purchase Monster’s unique products.

TLPA Convention Surprise

For over 30+ years, American Business Insurance has been a sponsor and exhibitor at the annual TLPA conventions. We cannot deny that, over the past 10 years, attendance has declined and the usual buzz of excitement has been missing.

In the past, taxi operators have traveled from various states, Canada, and The United Kingdom. They have continued to attend the annual conference in order to check out the latest industry trends such as the newest dispatch system s or gas efficient vehicles. They come from near and far to attend breakout sessions and board meetings to collaborate with their colleagues on how to move their FleetForward, the new TLPA motto adopted a few years back.

Hidden under a plain black sheet, donned with the white Flywheel logo and revealed with a splash by actor and Instagram-based internet influencer M2thaK was Monster, Inc. owner Noel Lee’s one-of-a-kind “Monsterized” Bentley Bentayga. The Bentley proved an effective method of showcasing amenities Flywheel and Monster offer fleet owners, which can affordably be incorporated into their own vehicle fleets.

Uber and Lyft Competition

Flywheel plans to “Monsterize” its entire fleet and encourage partner fleets to do so as well.
Flywheel plans to “Monsterize” its entire fleet and encourage partner fleets to do so as well.

It is no secret that taxi companies are struggling while trying to compete with large corporate run companies such as Uber and Lyft. But if they can look at themselves and consider a business model that provides multiple streams of revenue, they can morph into a transportation business that not only upkeeps the safety standards of old-time taxi companies but also provides a unique riding experience to a captive audience. Flywheel and Monster are here to help increase revenue for taxi drivers and fleet owners despite this fierce competition.

“Why do people continue to come to these conferences? They’ve already seen every vehicle out there. They already know about the dispatches and insurance companies. They are looking for hope and some kind of change in the market place that they can continue to do this,” said Izzy Aala, CEO of Flywheel.

Aala, who has been a fixture in the industry for many years acquired Flywheel’s mobile app in April of 2017. He knew something had to change within the industry in order for cab companies nationwide to survive. Flywheel began further developing a full taxi solution and outfitting premier Flywheel Taxi in San Francisco to showcase what is possible when the industry comes together to provide riders with the best experience possible.

Flywheel revealed a “Monsterized” version of one of their fleet’s Ford Escapes outside of the main ballroom and around the Caesars Palace property to further expose to fleet owners what is possible with Flywheel and Monster.

Taxi Industry Evolution & Revitalization

Flywheel realizes giant corporations like Uber and Lyft continuously affect the bottom line of cab companies. Many are small, family owned businesses passed down generationally. Flywheel is looking toward evolving and revitalizing the industry, so they and their drivers can thrive. Enhancing the rider and driver experience to once again make taxis the preferred choice is what Aala aims to accomplish.

Founded by Noel Lee in 1979, Monster® Products is a company that sells performance-based goods. For example, they sell high performance audio cables. It is difficult to sell without first experiencing it. And this is why the partnership between Flywheel and Monster Products was made.
Founded by Noel Lee in 1979, Monster® Products is a company that sells performance-based goods. For example, they sell high performance audio cables. It is difficult to sell without first experiencing it. And this is why the partnership between Flywheel and Monster Products was made.

“I wanted to do something different to evolve and revitalize the taxi industry in a way where everyone wins,” Aala said.

This is where Aala’s vision comes in. Earlier this year, Aala attended the International Association of Transportation Regulators conference in Philadelphia, PA. There he noticed a booth next to his – Monster® Products. Aala was confused why this audio product company would be at such a meeting. But the answer is simple. Retail isn’t dead; it’s boring.

“Fleets and drivers require additional sources of revenue. This is part of evolving and revitalizing the industry. Let’s say a businessman hops straight from a plane into a Flywheel taxi and needs to make a conference call. The driver can simply say, “here, sir, go ahead and use Monster’s crystal-clear mobile speakers.” Millennials also go out for a night on the town. Drivers can say to them, “play your own tunes through our Monsterized equipment.” Flywheel’s Office and Finance Manager, Andy Stice, explained that “this enhances the rider’s experience.” Moreover, Stice explained it “allows them a convenient purchase point, while generating profits for the driver and fleet. And Monster Products are only the beginning.”

Not the Scary Kind of Monster

Founded by Noel Lee in 1979, Monster® Products is a company that sells performance-based goods. For example, they sell high performance audio cables. It is difficult to sell without first experiencing it. And this is why the partnership between Flywheel and Monster Products was made.

“Monster® is focusing on selling products where you live, work and play. Amazon is taking the bulk of retail business, but not all. So, the balance has to go somewhere. “Our partnership with Flywheel is bringing profitable income to fleet drivers and owners across the country, while doing something they were already doing anyway,” said Lucas Gomes of Monster® Products.

With the understanding that drivers do not want to be sales people, the partnership between Monster™ Products & Flywheel is fluid. Monster® Products are best tested tangibly, so you can hear and see the difference. Where can you gain exposure to a captive audience? Vehicle where people are already listening to music, watching videos and making calls. It becomes a shared experience for both the passenger and the driver.

“Izzy isn’t trying to take the taxi industry back to where it once was; he knows that’s futile,” Stice continued. She explained that “his goal is to develop viable options for fleets and their drivers to progress and reinvent themselves.”  Flywheel strives to balance providing “the best full solution for fleets and drivers” with “pursuing a wide variety of partnership opportunities.” Those partnerships “generate revenue for the fleets and drivers and enhance rider experiences,” she stated.

Determined to Survive

As an insurance broker who specializes in taxi cab insurance, I hear multiple times per day from my clients how Uber and Lyft are negatively affecting their business. My clients are frustrated that their profit margins are being undercut by Uber and Lyft drivers who are not required to comply with the same regulations regarding background checks, driving experience and maintaining state financial responsibility requirements with commercial insurance. And commercial insurance is not cheap.

“People say they take Uber and Lyft because it’s cheaper. But that isn’t necessarily the case, especially during surge pricing.” Stice shared, “My friends and I were in Vegas just a month ago for a fun. Surge pricing was 3x the amount of the fare of a traditional taxi going from one side of the strip to the other. And the trip from the airport to the hotel was slightly cheaper and certainly more convenient by taxi,” Stice observed.

Flywheel understands that drivers do not necessarily want to be salespeople. Furthermore, the setup allows drivers to let riders experience the products first. Drivers can then offer riders an opportunity to buy if they like it. Flywheel hopes this no-pressure sales experience will take off. With that success, Flywheel and their drivers could overcome the odds are stacked against them.

By Laura M. Loftus on November 6th, 2018

Learn More

More information about American Business Insurance

Learn more a Flywheel 

See the Monster Products

Learn about TLPA

Insure my Cab: Taxi Cab Insurance

Insure my Cab: Taxi Cab Insurance

You’re here because you’re looking for taxi cab insurance. Well, you came to the right place. Perhaps you’re wondering, “there are so many taxi cab insurance agencies out there, how can I insure my cab with the best policy?”

How Can I Insure my Cab?

It’s no secret that obtaining a taxi license is no walk in the park. Before you can insure your cab, you must first meet the minimum age requirement. Most states in the USA require taxi drivers to be at least 21 years of age.

Next, you must submit a clean driving record to the DMV. Taxi drivers cannot have been in trouble when it comes to driving or other wise. You must be a good driver before you can drive around others for a living.

What else do I need before I insure my cab?

Then, you must submit a clean background check proving that you are not a criminal in any way. Taxi cab drivers have a lot of interaction with the public, and the DMV needs to insure their safety.

Some states require you to pass a chauffeurs licensing exam. This is usually a written test (sometimes driving) and can include a drug test.

Next you need to show proof of your U.S. citizenship or residency.

At last, you just need to pay the required fees (which can be pricey) and you will have your taxi license!

So after all that hard work, you want to be insured.

Why should I Insure my cab with ABI?

After working so hard and jumping through the loops to get your taxi license, you definitely want to be insured in case anything happens.

ABI is the best choice when it comes to taxi cab insurance.

Founded in 1984, ABI Insurance services offer the experience and expertise needed in the insurance realm. With new policies and insurance guidelines coming out regularly, it is important to stay in the know about any new changes. Staying up to date in policy lingo isn’t the easiest (or most amusing) pastime – so leave it to the professionals at ABI. We are also current and up to date with the newest policies when it comes to taxi cab insurance.

ABI is also one of largest commercial transportation insurance agencies. Additionally approximately 40,000 vehicles are currently covered by ABI. You can rest assured knowing that thousands of other taxi cab owners have trusted with with insuring their vehicle or fleet. For over 35+ years we have offered top of the line customer service and knowledgable insight into taxi cab insurance.

Furthermore, at ABI we value our client’s business and take pride in the partnerships we have curated for the past 35 years. At ABI we have designed mobile apps so you can monitor your taxi cab insurance policies anytime, anywhere. Drive confidently knowing that everything you need is at your fingertips.

Insure my cab with ABI: The Benefits

  • Customizable to your policy needs
  • Certificate issuance available in minutes
  • Mobile apps with your policy details
  • Over 35+ years of expience
  • 40,000 vehicles insured
  • Competitive pricing

Why should I insure my cab?

  • Peace of mind
  • Legal protection
  • Safety net
  • Protects from personal liability
  • Professional help and security

Taxi Cab Insurance: The Best Coverage for the Best Price

Taxi Cab Insurance

Taxis are the go-to transportation mode for people all over the country. There are many tales about heroic cabbies coming to save the day or night. Some dub the driver’s seat of taxi cab the world’s best free theater. It is important to have great taxi cab insurance!

As many heart-warming and glorious stories out there about taxi cabs, there a few less-than desirable stories as well. That’s when taxi cab insurance by ABI comes to the rescue! We have your back no matter what.

Why Taxi Cab Insurance with ABI?

Founded in 1984, ABI Insurance services offer the experience and expertise needed in the insurance realm. With new policies and insurance guidelines coming out regularly, it is important to stay in the know about any new changes. Staying up to date in policy lingo isn’t the easiest (or most amusing) pastime – so leave it to the professionals at ABI. We are also current and up to date with the newest policies when it comes to taxi cab insurance.

ABI is also one of largest commercial transportation insurance agencies. Additionally approximately 40,000 vehicles are currently covered by ABI. You can rest assured knowing that thousands of other taxi cab owners have trusted with with insuring their vehicle or fleet. For over 35+ years we have offered top of the line customer service and knowledgeable insight into taxi cab insurance.

Furthermore, at ABI we value our client’s business and take pride in the partnerships we have curated for the past 35 years. At ABI we have designed mobile apps so you can monitor your taxi cab insurance policies anytime, anywhere. Drive confidently knowing that everything you need is at your fingertips.

Benefits of Taxi Cab Insurance from ABI:

  • Customizable to your policy needs
  • Certificate issuance available in minutes
  • Mobile apps with your policy details
  • Over 35+ years of experience
  • 40,000 vehicles insured
  • Competitive pricing

Customizable Taxi Cab Insurance

We have the experience necessary to know the field. We then pair this knowledge with top of the line technology – and we do not outsource. Our in-house programmers will work directly with you to design a custom plan to meet your individual taxi cab insurance needs. We will design a policy that covers the needs of all parties involved.

We understand the time-sensitive nature and regulatory requirements involved in operating a passenger transportation company. With a specific department dedicated to certificate issuance, we are able to have our client’s vehicles on the road within minutes of a request.

We pride ourselves on providing prompt, reliable, experienced, innovative, and competitive services and solutions to our loyal customers.

Taxi Cabs: A Brief History

The first electric taxi cab came in a fleet of 600 cars to NYC. These taxis were dubbed “hummingbirds” due to the electronic humming noise they made. The word taxicab was originally used as one work after “taximeter” the device used to keep track of distance and fare. In the 1980s computer assisted taxi cabs were dispatched to those who were in need of a cab. Nowadays passengers can order a taxi cab straight from their phone to be picked up in minutes.

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

1) Company Website

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

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

commercial fleet insurance

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

2) Creating a Business Name

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

3) Loss Control is Everything

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

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

4) The Driver Pool

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

5) Contact an Experienced, Transportation Insurance Broker

commercial fleet insurance

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

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

Looking for a quote? Click here

  Top 5 Issues When Choosing Lyft or Uber vs Taxi

Top 5 Issues When Choosing Lyft or Uber vs Taxi

Written by Laura Loftus on Wednesday, December 5th, 2018

lyft or uber vs taxi ridesharing cost and safety

With travel increasing as we approach the holidays, many of us default to using a Lyft or Uber vs Taxi because we are under the impression that it’s faster, cheaper and all around more convenient than taking a taxi. However, I have a different perspective. As a west-coast based insurance broker who has clients all over the country, I tend travel about once every two months or so.

Most recently, I’ve visited San Francisco, New York City, Denver and Las Vegas for work meetings. I have to tell you, there were times where hopping into a cab was not only easier but also less money than their TNC counterparts.

Nowadays, people seem to think taxis are antiquated. But in reality, taxis are the same thing as an Uber or Lyft app, and I honestly feel safer in a cab. Here’s why.

1) Safety

Safety is my top concern when entering into a Lyft or Uber vs Taxi. For one, Uber and Lyft do not limit how long someone must have been licensed to drive for them. Someone could’ve moved to the US a few weeks ago, obtain a Driver’s License and as long as they have access to a qualifying car and pass a MINIMAL background check – they are approved. Nobody trains them, monitors them, or ensures that they are familiar with the area in which they drive.

The city highly regulates taxi drivers. They require taxi drivers to go through numerous EXTENSIVE background checks. Only then does the city in which they operate in allow them to start transporting people. Many cities require taxi and limo drivers to obtain a Hack License or Chauffeurs license. That means they have endured many hours of classroom-style and behind-the-wheel training.

Besides safety concerns regarding the driver, there are concerns around the vehicle. All taxi companies start their days by inspecting vehicles. They are required to get a vehicle inspection yearly to keep their operating permit. Lyft or Uber vs Taxi vehicles are not regulated at all. Once the driver is approved, there isn’t much regulation unless the ride share vehicle is in an accident.

With ride sharing, you are taking a risk as to who you are getting into a vehicle with. You could end up getting into a vehicle of someone with a criminal background who is dangerous. Even more concerning, I have heard of people leasing or renting out their Uber or Lyft accounts. So, for someone who doesn’t qualify themselves, they will find someone who does qualify. They’ll have to go through the approval process and use someone else’s account to work. That freaks me out, a lot.  When comparing Lyft or Uber vs Taxi, this type of situation would not happen. That’s because fleet owners know exactly who they are leasing the cab out too.

2) Insurance

Insurance issues are a huge concern when riding in a Lyft or Uber vs Taxi vehicle (and I’ll admit, I do use ride sharing apps regularly). Despite being an insurance broker who specializes in Public Auto

lyft or uber vs taxi ridesharing cost and safety

Transportation risks (specifically for-hire, livery businesses such as Taxi’s, Limo’s, Non-Emergency Medical Transportation, shuttles, etc), I often hop into a Lyft or Uber vs Taxi because, let’s face it, it’s super easy.  Hop on an app, order a car, and it will arrive in 4-5 minutes. This is especially the case when you’re in a residential or suburban area where cabs aren’t just lined in the street waiting for their next fare. I often think about what would happen if the car I am in was involved in an accident.

I am extremely knowledgeable on the coverages that Uber and Lyft’s insurance policy include and it’s spotty at best. For one, the driver and passenger are only covered if the app is on and the driver is logged in. What if there is a technical issue and the driver is logged out? If their phone dies, what now? What if they’re in an area with poor reception and the driver is disconnected from the app? A passenger could be held responsible for injuries incurred. Additionally, the majority of ride share drivers do not have commercial insurance. Plus, Uber and Lyft require drivers to turn the claim into their personal auto carrier before they’ll accept liability.

Commercial auto insurance is expensive, about 2 – 5 times higher than personal auto and most ride share drivers do not buy it because their profit margin on operating is thin. They pay for the vehicle itself, maintenance of the vehicle, gas and almost every TNC driver who calls for a quote on commercial auto insurance so that they can be properly insured does not buy it because no one is making them. This means the only coverage they have for their vehicle and the passengers is through Uber or Lyft, which all hinges on the driver being logged into the app.

3) Accessibility

lyft or uber vs taxi ridesharing cost and safetyAccessibility and ease of getting a ride from an airport, in my opinion is far greater for a taxi than a ride sharing unit. When deciding on an Lyft or Uber vs Taxi, typically, I exit a plane and walk straight to a taxi to my destination. I don’t have to rely on my signal being strong enough for the app to work. I don’t have to wait for the car to come through traffic or walk to somewhere off the premises to get a ride. In some airports, they don’t allow ride share units to pick up. If they do, you often have to go up a level to the departure area or walk to a far end of the airport. When I get off a plane, I personally prefer to get straight into a car and quickly be on my way.

On my last trip to San Francisco, I saw a sign that said Ride Share pick up and I could see a side walk with several waiting areas. According to my app, Ride Share would be about 75% of the cost of a cab. I looked at the taxi line and it was empty and there was car waiting. For experimental purposes, I sacrificed my usual cab ride for a Lyft ride to see if it was actually faster and cheaper. I logged into my Lyft app and requested a vehicle. Because the airport was busy, it took 5 minutes for a driver to accept my ride plus 15 minutes for them to actually pull up to the curb. The whole time I kept my eye on the taxi line. I watched person after person get into a cab and drive away.

I wanted to cancel my ride as I had a meeting to get to, but I wanted to complete the experiment. When my driver arrived, the car was new and clean. No complaints. But by the time we sat in traffic and crossed the Bay Bridge from Oakland into San Francisco, the price was literally the same as a taxi. And it delayed my arrival by 30 minutes.

4) Pricing

lyft or uber vs taxi ridesharing cost and safety

Pricing for a ride share trip isn’t consistent. Taxi’s are transparent on how much they charge and most have the pricing displayed on the vehicle. During my last trip to Las Vegas, I spoke with a conference attendee. She complained the surge pricing was triple that of a taxi when she wanted dinner on the strip. And the taxi was ready to go right there. I also found this to be true during my last trip to Denver.

I’ve gone two years in a row for three days of Phish. The band is best known for their musical improvisation, extended jams largely influenced by Grateful Dead, Led Zeppelin, and their dedicated fanbase. The first year we went, we tried to order a Lyft. The price was about $150 to literally go 11 miles!

At 7 am in Times Square, I left my hotel.  My return flight home awaited. It was 30 degrees outside with some expected snow. Out of habit, I opened by Lyft app to find a driver 4 minutes away. As I exited the warm hotel lobby to the frigid air of the NYC streets, I saw a cab waiting right there. I waited a few minutes staring at my phone as the Lyft driver slowly creeped through traffic up the block. I asked the driver if he was available to take me to the airport, and he was. So, I cancelled that Lyft ride and walked straight into a fully insured, inspected vehicle with a professional trained driver. It was a flat fee of $55 which was the same price my Lyft app was quoting had I waited for it.

5) Supporting a local business

lyft or uber vs taxi ridesharing cost and safety

Supporting a local business rather than the corporate monopoly is another reason to consider when deciding between a Lyft or Uber vs Taxi. In a world where Google and Amazon dominate, it’s gratifying to support the local population directly. Most cab companies are the result of families passing down their businesses from generation to generation. In today’s world, it feels as if many businesses are struggling because of the monopoly of corporations that are taking over in so many industries.

It’s hard for me to be ok with living in a world where everything is giant corporation. What does that mean for the rest of us? As the world changes and modes of transportation evolve, many feel taxi cabs will one day be extinct. But many taxi companies are revitalizing and evolving their business models to withstand the test of time. They are upping their standards when it comes to the quality of vehicles they buy. Moreover, they are investing in technology to create booking apps so that they can appeal to the smart-phone dependent generation.

 

Although Uber and Lyft may seem like the cheaper and more convenient option, I strongly urge you to think about all of the above issues around big box ride sharing companies. Is it really worth risking your time, your wallet and most importantly your life – all because it feels easier?

 

More about us: American Business Insurance for taxi companies: https://abiweb.com/services/taxicab-insurance/

Flywheel Partners with Monster® Products

Flywheel & Monster® Products Partner to Provide 2nd Revenue Stream for Struggling Taxi Drivers & Fleet Owners

Flywheel Taxi consists of approximately 230 units in San Francisco and a client of American Business Insurance since 2017. The company includes a full-solution package for taxi fleets, a peer-to-peer booking app for passengers and utilized preeminent.
Flywheel Taxi consists of approximately 230 units in San Francisco and a client of American Business Insurance since 2017. The company includes a full-solution package for taxi fleets, a peer-to-peer booking app for passengers and utilized preeminent.

At first glance, one would not think that Flywheel would partner with Monster®. However, at this year’s 100th Annual Taxi, Limo and Paratransit Association (TLPA) convention, that is exactly what happened. American Business Insurance was at this event on Sunday, November 28th in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Hidden under a plain black sheet, donned with the white Flywheel logo and revealed with a splash by actor and Instagram-based internet influencer M2thaK was Monster, Inc. owner Noel Lee’s one-of-a-kind “Monsterized” Bentley Bentayga.
Hidden under a plain black sheet, donned with the white Flywheel logo and revealed with a splash by actor and Instagram-based internet influencer M2thaK was Monster, Inc. owner Noel Lee’s one-of-a-kind “Monsterized” Bentley Bentayga.

Flywheel Taxi consists of approximately 230 units in San Francisco and a client of American Business Insurance since 2017. The company includes a full-solution package for taxi fleets, a peer-to-peer booking app for passengers and utilized preeminent. Contrarily, Monster® is the company that revolutionized audio and cable company products. Despite the differences, the partnership of these two companies could greatly increase revenue for taxi drivers and fleet owners. Flywheel plans to “Monsterize” its entire fleet and encourage partner fleets to do so as well. That venture could provide up $35,000 in additional revenue for drivers simply by allowing riders to experience and purchase Monster’s unique products.

TLPA Convention Surprise

For over 30+ years, American Business Insurance has been a sponsor and exhibitor at the annual TLPA conventions. We cannot deny that, over the past 10 years, attendance has declined and the usual buzz of excitement has been missing.

In the past, taxi operators have traveled from various states, Canada, and The United Kingdom. They have continued to attend the annual conference in order to check out the latest industry trends such as the newest dispatch system s or gas efficient vehicles. They come from near and far to attend breakout sessions and board meetings to collaborate with their colleagues on how to move their FleetForward, the new TLPA motto adopted a few years back.

Hidden under a plain black sheet, donned with the white Flywheel logo and revealed with a splash by actor and Instagram-based internet influencer M2thaK was Monster, Inc. owner Noel Lee’s one-of-a-kind “Monsterized” Bentley Bentayga. The Bentley proved an effective method of showcasing amenities Flywheel and Monster offer fleet owners, which can affordably be incorporated into their own vehicle fleets.

Uber and Lyft Competition

Flywheel plans to “Monsterize” its entire fleet and encourage partner fleets to do so as well.
Flywheel plans to “Monsterize” its entire fleet and encourage partner fleets to do so as well.

It is no secret that taxi companies are struggling while trying to compete with large corporate run companies such as Uber and Lyft. But if they can look at themselves and consider a business model that provides multiple streams of revenue, they can morph into a transportation business that not only upkeeps the safety standards of old-time taxi companies but also provides a unique riding experience to a captive audience. Flywheel and Monster are here to help increase revenue for taxi drivers and fleet owners despite this fierce competition.

“Why do people continue to come to these conferences? They’ve already seen every vehicle out there. They already know about the dispatches and insurance companies. They are looking for hope and some kind of change in the market place that they can continue to do this,” said Izzy Aala, CEO of Flywheel.

Aala, who has been a fixture in the industry for many years acquired Flywheel’s mobile app in April of 2017. He knew something had to change within the industry in order for cab companies nationwide to survive. Flywheel began further developing a full taxi solution and outfitting premier Flywheel Taxi in San Francisco to showcase what is possible when the industry comes together to provide riders with the best experience possible.

Flywheel revealed a “Monsterized” version of one of their fleet’s Ford Escapes outside of the main ballroom and around the Caesars Palace property to further expose to fleet owners what is possible with Flywheel and Monster.

Taxi Industry Evolution & Revitalization

Flywheel realizes giant corporations like Uber and Lyft continuously affect the bottom line of cab companies. Many are small, family owned businesses passed down generationally. Flywheel is looking toward evolving and revitalizing the industry, so they and their drivers can thrive. Enhancing the rider and driver experience to once again make taxis the preferred choice is what Aala aims to accomplish.

Founded by Noel Lee in 1979, Monster® Products is a company that sells performance-based goods. For example, they sell high performance audio cables. It is difficult to sell without first experiencing it. And this is why the partnership between Flywheel and Monster Products was made.
Founded by Noel Lee in 1979, Monster® Products is a company that sells performance-based goods. For example, they sell high performance audio cables. It is difficult to sell without first experiencing it. And this is why the partnership between Flywheel and Monster Products was made.

“I wanted to do something different to evolve and revitalize the taxi industry in a way where everyone wins,” Aala said.

This is where Aala’s vision comes in. Earlier this year, Aala attended the International Association of Transportation Regulators conference in Philadelphia, PA. There he noticed a booth next to his – Monster® Products. Aala was confused why this audio product company would be at such a meeting. But the answer is simple. Retail isn’t dead; it’s boring.

“Fleets and drivers require additional sources of revenue. This is part of evolving and revitalizing the industry. Let’s say a businessman hops straight from a plane into a Flywheel taxi and needs to make a conference call. The driver can simply say, “here, sir, go ahead and use Monster’s crystal-clear mobile speakers.” Millennials also go out for a night on the town. Drivers can say to them, “play your own tunes through our Monsterized equipment.” Flywheel’s Office and Finance Manager, Andy Stice, explained that “this enhances the rider’s experience.” Moreover, Stice explained it “allows them a convenient purchase point, while generating profits for the driver and fleet. And Monster Products are only the beginning.”

Not the Scary Kind of Monster

Founded by Noel Lee in 1979, Monster® Products is a company that sells performance-based goods. For example, they sell high performance audio cables. It is difficult to sell without first experiencing it. And this is why the partnership between Flywheel and Monster Products was made.

“Monster® is focusing on selling products where you live, work and play. Amazon is taking the bulk of retail business, but not all. So, the balance has to go somewhere. “Our partnership with Flywheel is bringing profitable income to fleet drivers and owners across the country, while doing something they were already doing anyway,” said Lucas Gomes of Monster® Products.

With the understanding that drivers do not want to be sales people, the partnership between Monster™ Products & Flywheel is fluid. Monster® Products are best tested tangibly, so you can hear and see the difference. Where can you gain exposure to a captive audience? Vehicle where people are already listening to music, watching videos and making calls. It becomes a shared experience for both the passenger and the driver.

“Izzy isn’t trying to take the taxi industry back to where it once was; he knows that’s futile,” Stice continued. She explained that “his goal is to develop viable options for fleets and their drivers to progress and reinvent themselves.”  Flywheel strives to balance providing “the best full solution for fleets and drivers” with “pursuing a wide variety of partnership opportunities.” Those partnerships “generate revenue for the fleets and drivers and enhance rider experiences,” she stated.

Determined to Survive

As an insurance broker who specializes in taxi cab insurance, I hear multiple times per day from my clients how Uber and Lyft are negatively affecting their business. My clients are frustrated that their profit margins are being undercut by Uber and Lyft drivers who are not required to comply with the same regulations regarding background checks, driving experience and maintaining state financial responsibility requirements with commercial insurance. And commercial insurance is not cheap.

“People say they take Uber and Lyft because it’s cheaper. But that isn’t necessarily the case, especially during surge pricing.” Stice shared, “My friends and I were in Vegas just a month ago for a fun. Surge pricing was 3x the amount of the fare of a traditional taxi going from one side of the strip to the other. And the trip from the airport to the hotel was slightly cheaper and certainly more convenient by taxi,” Stice observed.

Flywheel understands that drivers do not necessarily want to be salespeople. Furthermore, the setup allows drivers to let riders experience the products first. Drivers can then offer riders an opportunity to buy if they like it. Flywheel hopes this no-pressure sales experience will take off. With that success, Flywheel and their drivers could overcome the odds are stacked against them.

By Laura M. Loftus on November 6th, 2018

Learn More

More information about American Business Insurance

Learn more a Flywheel 

See the Monster Products

Learn about TLPA

Insure my Cab: Taxi Cab Insurance

Insure my Cab: Taxi Cab Insurance

You’re here because you’re looking for taxi cab insurance. Well, you came to the right place. Perhaps you’re wondering, “there are so many taxi cab insurance agencies out there, how can I insure my cab with the best policy?”

How Can I Insure my Cab?

It’s no secret that obtaining a taxi license is no walk in the park. Before you can insure your cab, you must first meet the minimum age requirement. Most states in the USA require taxi drivers to be at least 21 years of age.

Next, you must submit a clean driving record to the DMV. Taxi drivers cannot have been in trouble when it comes to driving or other wise. You must be a good driver before you can drive around others for a living.

What else do I need before I insure my cab?

Then, you must submit a clean background check proving that you are not a criminal in any way. Taxi cab drivers have a lot of interaction with the public, and the DMV needs to insure their safety.

Some states require you to pass a chauffeurs licensing exam. This is usually a written test (sometimes driving) and can include a drug test.

Next you need to show proof of your U.S. citizenship or residency.

At last, you just need to pay the required fees (which can be pricey) and you will have your taxi license!

So after all that hard work, you want to be insured.

Why should I Insure my cab with ABI?

After working so hard and jumping through the loops to get your taxi license, you definitely want to be insured in case anything happens.

ABI is the best choice when it comes to taxi cab insurance.

Founded in 1984, ABI Insurance services offer the experience and expertise needed in the insurance realm. With new policies and insurance guidelines coming out regularly, it is important to stay in the know about any new changes. Staying up to date in policy lingo isn’t the easiest (or most amusing) pastime – so leave it to the professionals at ABI. We are also current and up to date with the newest policies when it comes to taxi cab insurance.

ABI is also one of largest commercial transportation insurance agencies. Additionally approximately 40,000 vehicles are currently covered by ABI. You can rest assured knowing that thousands of other taxi cab owners have trusted with with insuring their vehicle or fleet. For over 35+ years we have offered top of the line customer service and knowledgable insight into taxi cab insurance.

Furthermore, at ABI we value our client’s business and take pride in the partnerships we have curated for the past 35 years. At ABI we have designed mobile apps so you can monitor your taxi cab insurance policies anytime, anywhere. Drive confidently knowing that everything you need is at your fingertips.

Insure my cab with ABI: The Benefits

  • Customizable to your policy needs
  • Certificate issuance available in minutes
  • Mobile apps with your policy details
  • Over 35+ years of expience
  • 40,000 vehicles insured
  • Competitive pricing

Why should I insure my cab?

  • Peace of mind
  • Legal protection
  • Safety net
  • Protects from personal liability
  • Professional help and security

Taxi Cab Insurance: The Best Coverage for the Best Price

Taxi Cab Insurance

Taxis are the go-to transportation mode for people all over the country. There are many tales about heroic cabbies coming to save the day or night. Some dub the driver’s seat of taxi cab the world’s best free theater. It is important to have great taxi cab insurance!

As many heart-warming and glorious stories out there about taxi cabs, there a few less-than desirable stories as well. That’s when taxi cab insurance by ABI comes to the rescue! We have your back no matter what.

Why Taxi Cab Insurance with ABI?

Founded in 1984, ABI Insurance services offer the experience and expertise needed in the insurance realm. With new policies and insurance guidelines coming out regularly, it is important to stay in the know about any new changes. Staying up to date in policy lingo isn’t the easiest (or most amusing) pastime – so leave it to the professionals at ABI. We are also current and up to date with the newest policies when it comes to taxi cab insurance.

ABI is also one of largest commercial transportation insurance agencies. Additionally approximately 40,000 vehicles are currently covered by ABI. You can rest assured knowing that thousands of other taxi cab owners have trusted with with insuring their vehicle or fleet. For over 35+ years we have offered top of the line customer service and knowledgeable insight into taxi cab insurance.

Furthermore, at ABI we value our client’s business and take pride in the partnerships we have curated for the past 35 years. At ABI we have designed mobile apps so you can monitor your taxi cab insurance policies anytime, anywhere. Drive confidently knowing that everything you need is at your fingertips.

Benefits of Taxi Cab Insurance from ABI:

  • Customizable to your policy needs
  • Certificate issuance available in minutes
  • Mobile apps with your policy details
  • Over 35+ years of experience
  • 40,000 vehicles insured
  • Competitive pricing

Customizable Taxi Cab Insurance

We have the experience necessary to know the field. We then pair this knowledge with top of the line technology – and we do not outsource. Our in-house programmers will work directly with you to design a custom plan to meet your individual taxi cab insurance needs. We will design a policy that covers the needs of all parties involved.

We understand the time-sensitive nature and regulatory requirements involved in operating a passenger transportation company. With a specific department dedicated to certificate issuance, we are able to have our client’s vehicles on the road within minutes of a request.

We pride ourselves on providing prompt, reliable, experienced, innovative, and competitive services and solutions to our loyal customers.

Taxi Cabs: A Brief History

The first electric taxi cab came in a fleet of 600 cars to NYC. These taxis were dubbed “hummingbirds” due to the electronic humming noise they made. The word taxicab was originally used as one work after “taximeter” the device used to keep track of distance and fare. In the 1980s computer assisted taxi cabs were dispatched to those who were in need of a cab. Nowadays passengers can order a taxi cab straight from their phone to be picked up in minutes.

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

1) Company Website

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

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

commercial fleet insurance

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

2) Creating a Business Name

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

3) Loss Control is Everything

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

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

4) The Driver Pool

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

5) Contact an Experienced, Transportation Insurance Broker

commercial fleet insurance

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

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

Looking for a quote? Click here

  Top 5 Issues When Choosing Lyft or Uber vs Taxi

Top 5 Issues When Choosing Lyft or Uber vs Taxi

Written by Laura Loftus on Wednesday, December 5th, 2018

lyft or uber vs taxi ridesharing cost and safety

With travel increasing as we approach the holidays, many of us default to using a Lyft or Uber vs Taxi because we are under the impression that it’s faster, cheaper and all around more convenient than taking a taxi. However, I have a different perspective. As a west-coast based insurance broker who has clients all over the country, I tend travel about once every two months or so.

Most recently, I’ve visited San Francisco, New York City, Denver and Las Vegas for work meetings. I have to tell you, there were times where hopping into a cab was not only easier but also less money than their TNC counterparts.

Nowadays, people seem to think taxis are antiquated. But in reality, taxis are the same thing as an Uber or Lyft app, and I honestly feel safer in a cab. Here’s why.

1) Safety

Safety is my top concern when entering into a Lyft or Uber vs Taxi. For one, Uber and Lyft do not limit how long someone must have been licensed to drive for them. Someone could’ve moved to the US a few weeks ago, obtain a Driver’s License and as long as they have access to a qualifying car and pass a MINIMAL background check – they are approved. Nobody trains them, monitors them, or ensures that they are familiar with the area in which they drive.

The city highly regulates taxi drivers. They require taxi drivers to go through numerous EXTENSIVE background checks. Only then does the city in which they operate in allow them to start transporting people. Many cities require taxi and limo drivers to obtain a Hack License or Chauffeurs license. That means they have endured many hours of classroom-style and behind-the-wheel training.

Besides safety concerns regarding the driver, there are concerns around the vehicle. All taxi companies start their days by inspecting vehicles. They are required to get a vehicle inspection yearly to keep their operating permit. Lyft or Uber vs Taxi vehicles are not regulated at all. Once the driver is approved, there isn’t much regulation unless the ride share vehicle is in an accident.

With ride sharing, you are taking a risk as to who you are getting into a vehicle with. You could end up getting into a vehicle of someone with a criminal background who is dangerous. Even more concerning, I have heard of people leasing or renting out their Uber or Lyft accounts. So, for someone who doesn’t qualify themselves, they will find someone who does qualify. They’ll have to go through the approval process and use someone else’s account to work. That freaks me out, a lot.  When comparing Lyft or Uber vs Taxi, this type of situation would not happen. That’s because fleet owners know exactly who they are leasing the cab out too.

2) Insurance

Insurance issues are a huge concern when riding in a Lyft or Uber vs Taxi vehicle (and I’ll admit, I do use ride sharing apps regularly). Despite being an insurance broker who specializes in Public Auto

lyft or uber vs taxi ridesharing cost and safety

Transportation risks (specifically for-hire, livery businesses such as Taxi’s, Limo’s, Non-Emergency Medical Transportation, shuttles, etc), I often hop into a Lyft or Uber vs Taxi because, let’s face it, it’s super easy.  Hop on an app, order a car, and it will arrive in 4-5 minutes. This is especially the case when you’re in a residential or suburban area where cabs aren’t just lined in the street waiting for their next fare. I often think about what would happen if the car I am in was involved in an accident.

I am extremely knowledgeable on the coverages that Uber and Lyft’s insurance policy include and it’s spotty at best. For one, the driver and passenger are only covered if the app is on and the driver is logged in. What if there is a technical issue and the driver is logged out? If their phone dies, what now? What if they’re in an area with poor reception and the driver is disconnected from the app? A passenger could be held responsible for injuries incurred. Additionally, the majority of ride share drivers do not have commercial insurance. Plus, Uber and Lyft require drivers to turn the claim into their personal auto carrier before they’ll accept liability.

Commercial auto insurance is expensive, about 2 – 5 times higher than personal auto and most ride share drivers do not buy it because their profit margin on operating is thin. They pay for the vehicle itself, maintenance of the vehicle, gas and almost every TNC driver who calls for a quote on commercial auto insurance so that they can be properly insured does not buy it because no one is making them. This means the only coverage they have for their vehicle and the passengers is through Uber or Lyft, which all hinges on the driver being logged into the app.

3) Accessibility

lyft or uber vs taxi ridesharing cost and safetyAccessibility and ease of getting a ride from an airport, in my opinion is far greater for a taxi than a ride sharing unit. When deciding on an Lyft or Uber vs Taxi, typically, I exit a plane and walk straight to a taxi to my destination. I don’t have to rely on my signal being strong enough for the app to work. I don’t have to wait for the car to come through traffic or walk to somewhere off the premises to get a ride. In some airports, they don’t allow ride share units to pick up. If they do, you often have to go up a level to the departure area or walk to a far end of the airport. When I get off a plane, I personally prefer to get straight into a car and quickly be on my way.

On my last trip to San Francisco, I saw a sign that said Ride Share pick up and I could see a side walk with several waiting areas. According to my app, Ride Share would be about 75% of the cost of a cab. I looked at the taxi line and it was empty and there was car waiting. For experimental purposes, I sacrificed my usual cab ride for a Lyft ride to see if it was actually faster and cheaper. I logged into my Lyft app and requested a vehicle. Because the airport was busy, it took 5 minutes for a driver to accept my ride plus 15 minutes for them to actually pull up to the curb. The whole time I kept my eye on the taxi line. I watched person after person get into a cab and drive away.

I wanted to cancel my ride as I had a meeting to get to, but I wanted to complete the experiment. When my driver arrived, the car was new and clean. No complaints. But by the time we sat in traffic and crossed the Bay Bridge from Oakland into San Francisco, the price was literally the same as a taxi. And it delayed my arrival by 30 minutes.

4) Pricing

lyft or uber vs taxi ridesharing cost and safety

Pricing for a ride share trip isn’t consistent. Taxi’s are transparent on how much they charge and most have the pricing displayed on the vehicle. During my last trip to Las Vegas, I spoke with a conference attendee. She complained the surge pricing was triple that of a taxi when she wanted dinner on the strip. And the taxi was ready to go right there. I also found this to be true during my last trip to Denver.

I’ve gone two years in a row for three days of Phish. The band is best known for their musical improvisation, extended jams largely influenced by Grateful Dead, Led Zeppelin, and their dedicated fanbase. The first year we went, we tried to order a Lyft. The price was about $150 to literally go 11 miles!

At 7 am in Times Square, I left my hotel.  My return flight home awaited. It was 30 degrees outside with some expected snow. Out of habit, I opened by Lyft app to find a driver 4 minutes away. As I exited the warm hotel lobby to the frigid air of the NYC streets, I saw a cab waiting right there. I waited a few minutes staring at my phone as the Lyft driver slowly creeped through traffic up the block. I asked the driver if he was available to take me to the airport, and he was. So, I cancelled that Lyft ride and walked straight into a fully insured, inspected vehicle with a professional trained driver. It was a flat fee of $55 which was the same price my Lyft app was quoting had I waited for it.

5) Supporting a local business

lyft or uber vs taxi ridesharing cost and safety

Supporting a local business rather than the corporate monopoly is another reason to consider when deciding between a Lyft or Uber vs Taxi. In a world where Google and Amazon dominate, it’s gratifying to support the local population directly. Most cab companies are the result of families passing down their businesses from generation to generation. In today’s world, it feels as if many businesses are struggling because of the monopoly of corporations that are taking over in so many industries.

It’s hard for me to be ok with living in a world where everything is giant corporation. What does that mean for the rest of us? As the world changes and modes of transportation evolve, many feel taxi cabs will one day be extinct. But many taxi companies are revitalizing and evolving their business models to withstand the test of time. They are upping their standards when it comes to the quality of vehicles they buy. Moreover, they are investing in technology to create booking apps so that they can appeal to the smart-phone dependent generation.

 

Although Uber and Lyft may seem like the cheaper and more convenient option, I strongly urge you to think about all of the above issues around big box ride sharing companies. Is it really worth risking your time, your wallet and most importantly your life – all because it feels easier?

 

More about us: American Business Insurance for taxi companies: https://abiweb.com/services/taxicab-insurance/

Flywheel Partners with Monster® Products

Flywheel & Monster® Products Partner to Provide 2nd Revenue Stream for Struggling Taxi Drivers & Fleet Owners

Flywheel Taxi consists of approximately 230 units in San Francisco and a client of American Business Insurance since 2017. The company includes a full-solution package for taxi fleets, a peer-to-peer booking app for passengers and utilized preeminent.
Flywheel Taxi consists of approximately 230 units in San Francisco and a client of American Business Insurance since 2017. The company includes a full-solution package for taxi fleets, a peer-to-peer booking app for passengers and utilized preeminent.

At first glance, one would not think that Flywheel would partner with Monster®. However, at this year’s 100th Annual Taxi, Limo and Paratransit Association (TLPA) convention, that is exactly what happened. American Business Insurance was at this event on Sunday, November 28th in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Hidden under a plain black sheet, donned with the white Flywheel logo and revealed with a splash by actor and Instagram-based internet influencer M2thaK was Monster, Inc. owner Noel Lee’s one-of-a-kind “Monsterized” Bentley Bentayga.
Hidden under a plain black sheet, donned with the white Flywheel logo and revealed with a splash by actor and Instagram-based internet influencer M2thaK was Monster, Inc. owner Noel Lee’s one-of-a-kind “Monsterized” Bentley Bentayga.

Flywheel Taxi consists of approximately 230 units in San Francisco and a client of American Business Insurance since 2017. The company includes a full-solution package for taxi fleets, a peer-to-peer booking app for passengers and utilized preeminent. Contrarily, Monster® is the company that revolutionized audio and cable company products. Despite the differences, the partnership of these two companies could greatly increase revenue for taxi drivers and fleet owners. Flywheel plans to “Monsterize” its entire fleet and encourage partner fleets to do so as well. That venture could provide up $35,000 in additional revenue for drivers simply by allowing riders to experience and purchase Monster’s unique products.

TLPA Convention Surprise

For over 30+ years, American Business Insurance has been a sponsor and exhibitor at the annual TLPA conventions. We cannot deny that, over the past 10 years, attendance has declined and the usual buzz of excitement has been missing.

In the past, taxi operators have traveled from various states, Canada, and The United Kingdom. They have continued to attend the annual conference in order to check out the latest industry trends such as the newest dispatch system s or gas efficient vehicles. They come from near and far to attend breakout sessions and board meetings to collaborate with their colleagues on how to move their FleetForward, the new TLPA motto adopted a few years back.

Hidden under a plain black sheet, donned with the white Flywheel logo and revealed with a splash by actor and Instagram-based internet influencer M2thaK was Monster, Inc. owner Noel Lee’s one-of-a-kind “Monsterized” Bentley Bentayga. The Bentley proved an effective method of showcasing amenities Flywheel and Monster offer fleet owners, which can affordably be incorporated into their own vehicle fleets.

Uber and Lyft Competition

Flywheel plans to “Monsterize” its entire fleet and encourage partner fleets to do so as well.
Flywheel plans to “Monsterize” its entire fleet and encourage partner fleets to do so as well.

It is no secret that taxi companies are struggling while trying to compete with large corporate run companies such as Uber and Lyft. But if they can look at themselves and consider a business model that provides multiple streams of revenue, they can morph into a transportation business that not only upkeeps the safety standards of old-time taxi companies but also provides a unique riding experience to a captive audience. Flywheel and Monster are here to help increase revenue for taxi drivers and fleet owners despite this fierce competition.

“Why do people continue to come to these conferences? They’ve already seen every vehicle out there. They already know about the dispatches and insurance companies. They are looking for hope and some kind of change in the market place that they can continue to do this,” said Izzy Aala, CEO of Flywheel.

Aala, who has been a fixture in the industry for many years acquired Flywheel’s mobile app in April of 2017. He knew something had to change within the industry in order for cab companies nationwide to survive. Flywheel began further developing a full taxi solution and outfitting premier Flywheel Taxi in San Francisco to showcase what is possible when the industry comes together to provide riders with the best experience possible.

Flywheel revealed a “Monsterized” version of one of their fleet’s Ford Escapes outside of the main ballroom and around the Caesars Palace property to further expose to fleet owners what is possible with Flywheel and Monster.

Taxi Industry Evolution & Revitalization

Flywheel realizes giant corporations like Uber and Lyft continuously affect the bottom line of cab companies. Many are small, family owned businesses passed down generationally. Flywheel is looking toward evolving and revitalizing the industry, so they and their drivers can thrive. Enhancing the rider and driver experience to once again make taxis the preferred choice is what Aala aims to accomplish.

Founded by Noel Lee in 1979, Monster® Products is a company that sells performance-based goods. For example, they sell high performance audio cables. It is difficult to sell without first experiencing it. And this is why the partnership between Flywheel and Monster Products was made.
Founded by Noel Lee in 1979, Monster® Products is a company that sells performance-based goods. For example, they sell high performance audio cables. It is difficult to sell without first experiencing it. And this is why the partnership between Flywheel and Monster Products was made.

“I wanted to do something different to evolve and revitalize the taxi industry in a way where everyone wins,” Aala said.

This is where Aala’s vision comes in. Earlier this year, Aala attended the International Association of Transportation Regulators conference in Philadelphia, PA. There he noticed a booth next to his – Monster® Products. Aala was confused why this audio product company would be at such a meeting. But the answer is simple. Retail isn’t dead; it’s boring.

“Fleets and drivers require additional sources of revenue. This is part of evolving and revitalizing the industry. Let’s say a businessman hops straight from a plane into a Flywheel taxi and needs to make a conference call. The driver can simply say, “here, sir, go ahead and use Monster’s crystal-clear mobile speakers.” Millennials also go out for a night on the town. Drivers can say to them, “play your own tunes through our Monsterized equipment.” Flywheel’s Office and Finance Manager, Andy Stice, explained that “this enhances the rider’s experience.” Moreover, Stice explained it “allows them a convenient purchase point, while generating profits for the driver and fleet. And Monster Products are only the beginning.”

Not the Scary Kind of Monster

Founded by Noel Lee in 1979, Monster® Products is a company that sells performance-based goods. For example, they sell high performance audio cables. It is difficult to sell without first experiencing it. And this is why the partnership between Flywheel and Monster Products was made.

“Monster® is focusing on selling products where you live, work and play. Amazon is taking the bulk of retail business, but not all. So, the balance has to go somewhere. “Our partnership with Flywheel is bringing profitable income to fleet drivers and owners across the country, while doing something they were already doing anyway,” said Lucas Gomes of Monster® Products.

With the understanding that drivers do not want to be sales people, the partnership between Monster™ Products & Flywheel is fluid. Monster® Products are best tested tangibly, so you can hear and see the difference. Where can you gain exposure to a captive audience? Vehicle where people are already listening to music, watching videos and making calls. It becomes a shared experience for both the passenger and the driver.

“Izzy isn’t trying to take the taxi industry back to where it once was; he knows that’s futile,” Stice continued. She explained that “his goal is to develop viable options for fleets and their drivers to progress and reinvent themselves.”  Flywheel strives to balance providing “the best full solution for fleets and drivers” with “pursuing a wide variety of partnership opportunities.” Those partnerships “generate revenue for the fleets and drivers and enhance rider experiences,” she stated.

Determined to Survive

As an insurance broker who specializes in taxi cab insurance, I hear multiple times per day from my clients how Uber and Lyft are negatively affecting their business. My clients are frustrated that their profit margins are being undercut by Uber and Lyft drivers who are not required to comply with the same regulations regarding background checks, driving experience and maintaining state financial responsibility requirements with commercial insurance. And commercial insurance is not cheap.

“People say they take Uber and Lyft because it’s cheaper. But that isn’t necessarily the case, especially during surge pricing.” Stice shared, “My friends and I were in Vegas just a month ago for a fun. Surge pricing was 3x the amount of the fare of a traditional taxi going from one side of the strip to the other. And the trip from the airport to the hotel was slightly cheaper and certainly more convenient by taxi,” Stice observed.

Flywheel understands that drivers do not necessarily want to be salespeople. Furthermore, the setup allows drivers to let riders experience the products first. Drivers can then offer riders an opportunity to buy if they like it. Flywheel hopes this no-pressure sales experience will take off. With that success, Flywheel and their drivers could overcome the odds are stacked against them.

By Laura M. Loftus on November 6th, 2018

Learn More

More information about American Business Insurance

Learn more a Flywheel 

See the Monster Products

Learn about TLPA

Insure my Cab: Taxi Cab Insurance

Insure my Cab: Taxi Cab Insurance

You’re here because you’re looking for taxi cab insurance. Well, you came to the right place. Perhaps you’re wondering, “there are so many taxi cab insurance agencies out there, how can I insure my cab with the best policy?”

How Can I Insure my Cab?

It’s no secret that obtaining a taxi license is no walk in the park. Before you can insure your cab, you must first meet the minimum age requirement. Most states in the USA require taxi drivers to be at least 21 years of age.

Next, you must submit a clean driving record to the DMV. Taxi drivers cannot have been in trouble when it comes to driving or other wise. You must be a good driver before you can drive around others for a living.

What else do I need before I insure my cab?

Then, you must submit a clean background check proving that you are not a criminal in any way. Taxi cab drivers have a lot of interaction with the public, and the DMV needs to insure their safety.

Some states require you to pass a chauffeurs licensing exam. This is usually a written test (sometimes driving) and can include a drug test.

Next you need to show proof of your U.S. citizenship or residency.

At last, you just need to pay the required fees (which can be pricey) and you will have your taxi license!

So after all that hard work, you want to be insured.

Why should I Insure my cab with ABI?

After working so hard and jumping through the loops to get your taxi license, you definitely want to be insured in case anything happens.

ABI is the best choice when it comes to taxi cab insurance.

Founded in 1984, ABI Insurance services offer the experience and expertise needed in the insurance realm. With new policies and insurance guidelines coming out regularly, it is important to stay in the know about any new changes. Staying up to date in policy lingo isn’t the easiest (or most amusing) pastime – so leave it to the professionals at ABI. We are also current and up to date with the newest policies when it comes to taxi cab insurance.

ABI is also one of largest commercial transportation insurance agencies. Additionally approximately 40,000 vehicles are currently covered by ABI. You can rest assured knowing that thousands of other taxi cab owners have trusted with with insuring their vehicle or fleet. For over 35+ years we have offered top of the line customer service and knowledgable insight into taxi cab insurance.

Furthermore, at ABI we value our client’s business and take pride in the partnerships we have curated for the past 35 years. At ABI we have designed mobile apps so you can monitor your taxi cab insurance policies anytime, anywhere. Drive confidently knowing that everything you need is at your fingertips.

Insure my cab with ABI: The Benefits

  • Customizable to your policy needs
  • Certificate issuance available in minutes
  • Mobile apps with your policy details
  • Over 35+ years of expience
  • 40,000 vehicles insured
  • Competitive pricing

Why should I insure my cab?

  • Peace of mind
  • Legal protection
  • Safety net
  • Protects from personal liability
  • Professional help and security

Taxi Cab Insurance: The Best Coverage for the Best Price

Taxi Cab Insurance

Taxis are the go-to transportation mode for people all over the country. There are many tales about heroic cabbies coming to save the day or night. Some dub the driver’s seat of taxi cab the world’s best free theater. It is important to have great taxi cab insurance!

As many heart-warming and glorious stories out there about taxi cabs, there a few less-than desirable stories as well. That’s when taxi cab insurance by ABI comes to the rescue! We have your back no matter what.

Why Taxi Cab Insurance with ABI?

Founded in 1984, ABI Insurance services offer the experience and expertise needed in the insurance realm. With new policies and insurance guidelines coming out regularly, it is important to stay in the know about any new changes. Staying up to date in policy lingo isn’t the easiest (or most amusing) pastime – so leave it to the professionals at ABI. We are also current and up to date with the newest policies when it comes to taxi cab insurance.

ABI is also one of largest commercial transportation insurance agencies. Additionally approximately 40,000 vehicles are currently covered by ABI. You can rest assured knowing that thousands of other taxi cab owners have trusted with with insuring their vehicle or fleet. For over 35+ years we have offered top of the line customer service and knowledgeable insight into taxi cab insurance.

Furthermore, at ABI we value our client’s business and take pride in the partnerships we have curated for the past 35 years. At ABI we have designed mobile apps so you can monitor your taxi cab insurance policies anytime, anywhere. Drive confidently knowing that everything you need is at your fingertips.

Benefits of Taxi Cab Insurance from ABI:

  • Customizable to your policy needs
  • Certificate issuance available in minutes
  • Mobile apps with your policy details
  • Over 35+ years of experience
  • 40,000 vehicles insured
  • Competitive pricing

Customizable Taxi Cab Insurance

We have the experience necessary to know the field. We then pair this knowledge with top of the line technology – and we do not outsource. Our in-house programmers will work directly with you to design a custom plan to meet your individual taxi cab insurance needs. We will design a policy that covers the needs of all parties involved.

We understand the time-sensitive nature and regulatory requirements involved in operating a passenger transportation company. With a specific department dedicated to certificate issuance, we are able to have our client’s vehicles on the road within minutes of a request.

We pride ourselves on providing prompt, reliable, experienced, innovative, and competitive services and solutions to our loyal customers.

Taxi Cabs: A Brief History

The first electric taxi cab came in a fleet of 600 cars to NYC. These taxis were dubbed “hummingbirds” due to the electronic humming noise they made. The word taxicab was originally used as one work after “taximeter” the device used to keep track of distance and fare. In the 1980s computer assisted taxi cabs were dispatched to those who were in need of a cab. Nowadays passengers can order a taxi cab straight from their phone to be picked up in minutes.

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

1) Company Website

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

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

commercial fleet insurance

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

2) Creating a Business Name

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

3) Loss Control is Everything

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

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

4) The Driver Pool

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

5) Contact an Experienced, Transportation Insurance Broker

commercial fleet insurance

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

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

Looking for a quote? Click here

  Top 5 Issues When Choosing Lyft or Uber vs Taxi

Top 5 Issues When Choosing Lyft or Uber vs Taxi

Written by Laura Loftus on Wednesday, December 5th, 2018

lyft or uber vs taxi ridesharing cost and safety

With travel increasing as we approach the holidays, many of us default to using a Lyft or Uber vs Taxi because we are under the impression that it’s faster, cheaper and all around more convenient than taking a taxi. However, I have a different perspective. As a west-coast based insurance broker who has clients all over the country, I tend travel about once every two months or so.

Most recently, I’ve visited San Francisco, New York City, Denver and Las Vegas for work meetings. I have to tell you, there were times where hopping into a cab was not only easier but also less money than their TNC counterparts.

Nowadays, people seem to think taxis are antiquated. But in reality, taxis are the same thing as an Uber or Lyft app, and I honestly feel safer in a cab. Here’s why.

1) Safety

Safety is my top concern when entering into a Lyft or Uber vs Taxi. For one, Uber and Lyft do not limit how long someone must have been licensed to drive for them. Someone could’ve moved to the US a few weeks ago, obtain a Driver’s License and as long as they have access to a qualifying car and pass a MINIMAL background check – they are approved. Nobody trains them, monitors them, or ensures that they are familiar with the area in which they drive.

The city highly regulates taxi drivers. They require taxi drivers to go through numerous EXTENSIVE background checks. Only then does the city in which they operate in allow them to start transporting people. Many cities require taxi and limo drivers to obtain a Hack License or Chauffeurs license. That means they have endured many hours of classroom-style and behind-the-wheel training.

Besides safety concerns regarding the driver, there are concerns around the vehicle. All taxi companies start their days by inspecting vehicles. They are required to get a vehicle inspection yearly to keep their operating permit. Lyft or Uber vs Taxi vehicles are not regulated at all. Once the driver is approved, there isn’t much regulation unless the ride share vehicle is in an accident.

With ride sharing, you are taking a risk as to who you are getting into a vehicle with. You could end up getting into a vehicle of someone with a criminal background who is dangerous. Even more concerning, I have heard of people leasing or renting out their Uber or Lyft accounts. So, for someone who doesn’t qualify themselves, they will find someone who does qualify. They’ll have to go through the approval process and use someone else’s account to work. That freaks me out, a lot.  When comparing Lyft or Uber vs Taxi, this type of situation would not happen. That’s because fleet owners know exactly who they are leasing the cab out too.

2) Insurance

Insurance issues are a huge concern when riding in a Lyft or Uber vs Taxi vehicle (and I’ll admit, I do use ride sharing apps regularly). Despite being an insurance broker who specializes in Public Auto

lyft or uber vs taxi ridesharing cost and safety

Transportation risks (specifically for-hire, livery businesses such as Taxi’s, Limo’s, Non-Emergency Medical Transportation, shuttles, etc), I often hop into a Lyft or Uber vs Taxi because, let’s face it, it’s super easy.  Hop on an app, order a car, and it will arrive in 4-5 minutes. This is especially the case when you’re in a residential or suburban area where cabs aren’t just lined in the street waiting for their next fare. I often think about what would happen if the car I am in was involved in an accident.

I am extremely knowledgeable on the coverages that Uber and Lyft’s insurance policy include and it’s spotty at best. For one, the driver and passenger are only covered if the app is on and the driver is logged in. What if there is a technical issue and the driver is logged out? If their phone dies, what now? What if they’re in an area with poor reception and the driver is disconnected from the app? A passenger could be held responsible for injuries incurred. Additionally, the majority of ride share drivers do not have commercial insurance. Plus, Uber and Lyft require drivers to turn the claim into their personal auto carrier before they’ll accept liability.

Commercial auto insurance is expensive, about 2 – 5 times higher than personal auto and most ride share drivers do not buy it because their profit margin on operating is thin. They pay for the vehicle itself, maintenance of the vehicle, gas and almost every TNC driver who calls for a quote on commercial auto insurance so that they can be properly insured does not buy it because no one is making them. This means the only coverage they have for their vehicle and the passengers is through Uber or Lyft, which all hinges on the driver being logged into the app.

3) Accessibility

lyft or uber vs taxi ridesharing cost and safetyAccessibility and ease of getting a ride from an airport, in my opinion is far greater for a taxi than a ride sharing unit. When deciding on an Lyft or Uber vs Taxi, typically, I exit a plane and walk straight to a taxi to my destination. I don’t have to rely on my signal being strong enough for the app to work. I don’t have to wait for the car to come through traffic or walk to somewhere off the premises to get a ride. In some airports, they don’t allow ride share units to pick up. If they do, you often have to go up a level to the departure area or walk to a far end of the airport. When I get off a plane, I personally prefer to get straight into a car and quickly be on my way.

On my last trip to San Francisco, I saw a sign that said Ride Share pick up and I could see a side walk with several waiting areas. According to my app, Ride Share would be about 75% of the cost of a cab. I looked at the taxi line and it was empty and there was car waiting. For experimental purposes, I sacrificed my usual cab ride for a Lyft ride to see if it was actually faster and cheaper. I logged into my Lyft app and requested a vehicle. Because the airport was busy, it took 5 minutes for a driver to accept my ride plus 15 minutes for them to actually pull up to the curb. The whole time I kept my eye on the taxi line. I watched person after person get into a cab and drive away.

I wanted to cancel my ride as I had a meeting to get to, but I wanted to complete the experiment. When my driver arrived, the car was new and clean. No complaints. But by the time we sat in traffic and crossed the Bay Bridge from Oakland into San Francisco, the price was literally the same as a taxi. And it delayed my arrival by 30 minutes.

4) Pricing

lyft or uber vs taxi ridesharing cost and safety

Pricing for a ride share trip isn’t consistent. Taxi’s are transparent on how much they charge and most have the pricing displayed on the vehicle. During my last trip to Las Vegas, I spoke with a conference attendee. She complained the surge pricing was triple that of a taxi when she wanted dinner on the strip. And the taxi was ready to go right there. I also found this to be true during my last trip to Denver.

I’ve gone two years in a row for three days of Phish. The band is best known for their musical improvisation, extended jams largely influenced by Grateful Dead, Led Zeppelin, and their dedicated fanbase. The first year we went, we tried to order a Lyft. The price was about $150 to literally go 11 miles!

At 7 am in Times Square, I left my hotel.  My return flight home awaited. It was 30 degrees outside with some expected snow. Out of habit, I opened by Lyft app to find a driver 4 minutes away. As I exited the warm hotel lobby to the frigid air of the NYC streets, I saw a cab waiting right there. I waited a few minutes staring at my phone as the Lyft driver slowly creeped through traffic up the block. I asked the driver if he was available to take me to the airport, and he was. So, I cancelled that Lyft ride and walked straight into a fully insured, inspected vehicle with a professional trained driver. It was a flat fee of $55 which was the same price my Lyft app was quoting had I waited for it.

5) Supporting a local business

lyft or uber vs taxi ridesharing cost and safety

Supporting a local business rather than the corporate monopoly is another reason to consider when deciding between a Lyft or Uber vs Taxi. In a world where Google and Amazon dominate, it’s gratifying to support the local population directly. Most cab companies are the result of families passing down their businesses from generation to generation. In today’s world, it feels as if many businesses are struggling because of the monopoly of corporations that are taking over in so many industries.

It’s hard for me to be ok with living in a world where everything is giant corporation. What does that mean for the rest of us? As the world changes and modes of transportation evolve, many feel taxi cabs will one day be extinct. But many taxi companies are revitalizing and evolving their business models to withstand the test of time. They are upping their standards when it comes to the quality of vehicles they buy. Moreover, they are investing in technology to create booking apps so that they can appeal to the smart-phone dependent generation.

 

Although Uber and Lyft may seem like the cheaper and more convenient option, I strongly urge you to think about all of the above issues around big box ride sharing companies. Is it really worth risking your time, your wallet and most importantly your life – all because it feels easier?

 

More about us: American Business Insurance for taxi companies: https://abiweb.com/services/taxicab-insurance/

Flywheel Partners with Monster® Products

Flywheel & Monster® Products Partner to Provide 2nd Revenue Stream for Struggling Taxi Drivers & Fleet Owners

Flywheel Taxi consists of approximately 230 units in San Francisco and a client of American Business Insurance since 2017. The company includes a full-solution package for taxi fleets, a peer-to-peer booking app for passengers and utilized preeminent.
Flywheel Taxi consists of approximately 230 units in San Francisco and a client of American Business Insurance since 2017. The company includes a full-solution package for taxi fleets, a peer-to-peer booking app for passengers and utilized preeminent.

At first glance, one would not think that Flywheel would partner with Monster®. However, at this year’s 100th Annual Taxi, Limo and Paratransit Association (TLPA) convention, that is exactly what happened. American Business Insurance was at this event on Sunday, November 28th in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Hidden under a plain black sheet, donned with the white Flywheel logo and revealed with a splash by actor and Instagram-based internet influencer M2thaK was Monster, Inc. owner Noel Lee’s one-of-a-kind “Monsterized” Bentley Bentayga.
Hidden under a plain black sheet, donned with the white Flywheel logo and revealed with a splash by actor and Instagram-based internet influencer M2thaK was Monster, Inc. owner Noel Lee’s one-of-a-kind “Monsterized” Bentley Bentayga.

Flywheel Taxi consists of approximately 230 units in San Francisco and a client of American Business Insurance since 2017. The company includes a full-solution package for taxi fleets, a peer-to-peer booking app for passengers and utilized preeminent. Contrarily, Monster® is the company that revolutionized audio and cable company products. Despite the differences, the partnership of these two companies could greatly increase revenue for taxi drivers and fleet owners. Flywheel plans to “Monsterize” its entire fleet and encourage partner fleets to do so as well. That venture could provide up $35,000 in additional revenue for drivers simply by allowing riders to experience and purchase Monster’s unique products.

TLPA Convention Surprise

For over 30+ years, American Business Insurance has been a sponsor and exhibitor at the annual TLPA conventions. We cannot deny that, over the past 10 years, attendance has declined and the usual buzz of excitement has been missing.

In the past, taxi operators have traveled from various states, Canada, and The United Kingdom. They have continued to attend the annual conference in order to check out the latest industry trends such as the newest dispatch system s or gas efficient vehicles. They come from near and far to attend breakout sessions and board meetings to collaborate with their colleagues on how to move their FleetForward, the new TLPA motto adopted a few years back.

Hidden under a plain black sheet, donned with the white Flywheel logo and revealed with a splash by actor and Instagram-based internet influencer M2thaK was Monster, Inc. owner Noel Lee’s one-of-a-kind “Monsterized” Bentley Bentayga. The Bentley proved an effective method of showcasing amenities Flywheel and Monster offer fleet owners, which can affordably be incorporated into their own vehicle fleets.

Uber and Lyft Competition

Flywheel plans to “Monsterize” its entire fleet and encourage partner fleets to do so as well.
Flywheel plans to “Monsterize” its entire fleet and encourage partner fleets to do so as well.

It is no secret that taxi companies are struggling while trying to compete with large corporate run companies such as Uber and Lyft. But if they can look at themselves and consider a business model that provides multiple streams of revenue, they can morph into a transportation business that not only upkeeps the safety standards of old-time taxi companies but also provides a unique riding experience to a captive audience. Flywheel and Monster are here to help increase revenue for taxi drivers and fleet owners despite this fierce competition.

“Why do people continue to come to these conferences? They’ve already seen every vehicle out there. They already know about the dispatches and insurance companies. They are looking for hope and some kind of change in the market place that they can continue to do this,” said Izzy Aala, CEO of Flywheel.

Aala, who has been a fixture in the industry for many years acquired Flywheel’s mobile app in April of 2017. He knew something had to change within the industry in order for cab companies nationwide to survive. Flywheel began further developing a full taxi solution and outfitting premier Flywheel Taxi in San Francisco to showcase what is possible when the industry comes together to provide riders with the best experience possible.

Flywheel revealed a “Monsterized” version of one of their fleet’s Ford Escapes outside of the main ballroom and around the Caesars Palace property to further expose to fleet owners what is possible with Flywheel and Monster.

Taxi Industry Evolution & Revitalization

Flywheel realizes giant corporations like Uber and Lyft continuously affect the bottom line of cab companies. Many are small, family owned businesses passed down generationally. Flywheel is looking toward evolving and revitalizing the industry, so they and their drivers can thrive. Enhancing the rider and driver experience to once again make taxis the preferred choice is what Aala aims to accomplish.

Founded by Noel Lee in 1979, Monster® Products is a company that sells performance-based goods. For example, they sell high performance audio cables. It is difficult to sell without first experiencing it. And this is why the partnership between Flywheel and Monster Products was made.
Founded by Noel Lee in 1979, Monster® Products is a company that sells performance-based goods. For example, they sell high performance audio cables. It is difficult to sell without first experiencing it. And this is why the partnership between Flywheel and Monster Products was made.

“I wanted to do something different to evolve and revitalize the taxi industry in a way where everyone wins,” Aala said.

This is where Aala’s vision comes in. Earlier this year, Aala attended the International Association of Transportation Regulators conference in Philadelphia, PA. There he noticed a booth next to his – Monster® Products. Aala was confused why this audio product company would be at such a meeting. But the answer is simple. Retail isn’t dead; it’s boring.

“Fleets and drivers require additional sources of revenue. This is part of evolving and revitalizing the industry. Let’s say a businessman hops straight from a plane into a Flywheel taxi and needs to make a conference call. The driver can simply say, “here, sir, go ahead and use Monster’s crystal-clear mobile speakers.” Millennials also go out for a night on the town. Drivers can say to them, “play your own tunes through our Monsterized equipment.” Flywheel’s Office and Finance Manager, Andy Stice, explained that “this enhances the rider’s experience.” Moreover, Stice explained it “allows them a convenient purchase point, while generating profits for the driver and fleet. And Monster Products are only the beginning.”

Not the Scary Kind of Monster

Founded by Noel Lee in 1979, Monster® Products is a company that sells performance-based goods. For example, they sell high performance audio cables. It is difficult to sell without first experiencing it. And this is why the partnership between Flywheel and Monster Products was made.

“Monster® is focusing on selling products where you live, work and play. Amazon is taking the bulk of retail business, but not all. So, the balance has to go somewhere. “Our partnership with Flywheel is bringing profitable income to fleet drivers and owners across the country, while doing something they were already doing anyway,” said Lucas Gomes of Monster® Products.

With the understanding that drivers do not want to be sales people, the partnership between Monster™ Products & Flywheel is fluid. Monster® Products are best tested tangibly, so you can hear and see the difference. Where can you gain exposure to a captive audience? Vehicle where people are already listening to music, watching videos and making calls. It becomes a shared experience for both the passenger and the driver.

“Izzy isn’t trying to take the taxi industry back to where it once was; he knows that’s futile,” Stice continued. She explained that “his goal is to develop viable options for fleets and their drivers to progress and reinvent themselves.”  Flywheel strives to balance providing “the best full solution for fleets and drivers” with “pursuing a wide variety of partnership opportunities.” Those partnerships “generate revenue for the fleets and drivers and enhance rider experiences,” she stated.

Determined to Survive

As an insurance broker who specializes in taxi cab insurance, I hear multiple times per day from my clients how Uber and Lyft are negatively affecting their business. My clients are frustrated that their profit margins are being undercut by Uber and Lyft drivers who are not required to comply with the same regulations regarding background checks, driving experience and maintaining state financial responsibility requirements with commercial insurance. And commercial insurance is not cheap.

“People say they take Uber and Lyft because it’s cheaper. But that isn’t necessarily the case, especially during surge pricing.” Stice shared, “My friends and I were in Vegas just a month ago for a fun. Surge pricing was 3x the amount of the fare of a traditional taxi going from one side of the strip to the other. And the trip from the airport to the hotel was slightly cheaper and certainly more convenient by taxi,” Stice observed.

Flywheel understands that drivers do not necessarily want to be salespeople. Furthermore, the setup allows drivers to let riders experience the products first. Drivers can then offer riders an opportunity to buy if they like it. Flywheel hopes this no-pressure sales experience will take off. With that success, Flywheel and their drivers could overcome the odds are stacked against them.

By Laura M. Loftus on November 6th, 2018

Learn More

More information about American Business Insurance

Learn more a Flywheel 

See the Monster Products

Learn about TLPA

Insure my Cab: Taxi Cab Insurance

Insure my Cab: Taxi Cab Insurance

You’re here because you’re looking for taxi cab insurance. Well, you came to the right place. Perhaps you’re wondering, “there are so many taxi cab insurance agencies out there, how can I insure my cab with the best policy?”

How Can I Insure my Cab?

It’s no secret that obtaining a taxi license is no walk in the park. Before you can insure your cab, you must first meet the minimum age requirement. Most states in the USA require taxi drivers to be at least 21 years of age.

Next, you must submit a clean driving record to the DMV. Taxi drivers cannot have been in trouble when it comes to driving or other wise. You must be a good driver before you can drive around others for a living.

What else do I need before I insure my cab?

Then, you must submit a clean background check proving that you are not a criminal in any way. Taxi cab drivers have a lot of interaction with the public, and the DMV needs to insure their safety.

Some states require you to pass a chauffeurs licensing exam. This is usually a written test (sometimes driving) and can include a drug test.

Next you need to show proof of your U.S. citizenship or residency.

At last, you just need to pay the required fees (which can be pricey) and you will have your taxi license!

So after all that hard work, you want to be insured.

Why should I Insure my cab with ABI?

After working so hard and jumping through the loops to get your taxi license, you definitely want to be insured in case anything happens.

ABI is the best choice when it comes to taxi cab insurance.

Founded in 1984, ABI Insurance services offer the experience and expertise needed in the insurance realm. With new policies and insurance guidelines coming out regularly, it is important to stay in the know about any new changes. Staying up to date in policy lingo isn’t the easiest (or most amusing) pastime – so leave it to the professionals at ABI. We are also current and up to date with the newest policies when it comes to taxi cab insurance.

ABI is also one of largest commercial transportation insurance agencies. Additionally approximately 40,000 vehicles are currently covered by ABI. You can rest assured knowing that thousands of other taxi cab owners have trusted with with insuring their vehicle or fleet. For over 35+ years we have offered top of the line customer service and knowledgable insight into taxi cab insurance.

Furthermore, at ABI we value our client’s business and take pride in the partnerships we have curated for the past 35 years. At ABI we have designed mobile apps so you can monitor your taxi cab insurance policies anytime, anywhere. Drive confidently knowing that everything you need is at your fingertips.

Insure my cab with ABI: The Benefits

  • Customizable to your policy needs
  • Certificate issuance available in minutes
  • Mobile apps with your policy details
  • Over 35+ years of expience
  • 40,000 vehicles insured
  • Competitive pricing

Why should I insure my cab?

  • Peace of mind
  • Legal protection
  • Safety net
  • Protects from personal liability
  • Professional help and security

Taxi Cab Insurance: The Best Coverage for the Best Price

Taxi Cab Insurance

Taxis are the go-to transportation mode for people all over the country. There are many tales about heroic cabbies coming to save the day or night. Some dub the driver’s seat of taxi cab the world’s best free theater. It is important to have great taxi cab insurance!

As many heart-warming and glorious stories out there about taxi cabs, there a few less-than desirable stories as well. That’s when taxi cab insurance by ABI comes to the rescue! We have your back no matter what.

Why Taxi Cab Insurance with ABI?

Founded in 1984, ABI Insurance services offer the experience and expertise needed in the insurance realm. With new policies and insurance guidelines coming out regularly, it is important to stay in the know about any new changes. Staying up to date in policy lingo isn’t the easiest (or most amusing) pastime – so leave it to the professionals at ABI. We are also current and up to date with the newest policies when it comes to taxi cab insurance.

ABI is also one of largest commercial transportation insurance agencies. Additionally approximately 40,000 vehicles are currently covered by ABI. You can rest assured knowing that thousands of other taxi cab owners have trusted with with insuring their vehicle or fleet. For over 35+ years we have offered top of the line customer service and knowledgeable insight into taxi cab insurance.

Furthermore, at ABI we value our client’s business and take pride in the partnerships we have curated for the past 35 years. At ABI we have designed mobile apps so you can monitor your taxi cab insurance policies anytime, anywhere. Drive confidently knowing that everything you need is at your fingertips.

Benefits of Taxi Cab Insurance from ABI:

  • Customizable to your policy needs
  • Certificate issuance available in minutes
  • Mobile apps with your policy details
  • Over 35+ years of experience
  • 40,000 vehicles insured
  • Competitive pricing

Customizable Taxi Cab Insurance

We have the experience necessary to know the field. We then pair this knowledge with top of the line technology – and we do not outsource. Our in-house programmers will work directly with you to design a custom plan to meet your individual taxi cab insurance needs. We will design a policy that covers the needs of all parties involved.

We understand the time-sensitive nature and regulatory requirements involved in operating a passenger transportation company. With a specific department dedicated to certificate issuance, we are able to have our client’s vehicles on the road within minutes of a request.

We pride ourselves on providing prompt, reliable, experienced, innovative, and competitive services and solutions to our loyal customers.

Taxi Cabs: A Brief History

The first electric taxi cab came in a fleet of 600 cars to NYC. These taxis were dubbed “hummingbirds” due to the electronic humming noise they made. The word taxicab was originally used as one work after “taximeter” the device used to keep track of distance and fare. In the 1980s computer assisted taxi cabs were dispatched to those who were in need of a cab. Nowadays passengers can order a taxi cab straight from their phone to be picked up in minutes.

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

1) Company Website

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

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

commercial fleet insurance

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

2) Creating a Business Name

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

3) Loss Control is Everything

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

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

4) The Driver Pool

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

5) Contact an Experienced, Transportation Insurance Broker

commercial fleet insurance

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

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

Looking for a quote? Click here

  Top 5 Issues When Choosing Lyft or Uber vs Taxi

Top 5 Issues When Choosing Lyft or Uber vs Taxi

Written by Laura Loftus on Wednesday, December 5th, 2018

lyft or uber vs taxi ridesharing cost and safety

With travel increasing as we approach the holidays, many of us default to using a Lyft or Uber vs Taxi because we are under the impression that it’s faster, cheaper and all around more convenient than taking a taxi. However, I have a different perspective. As a west-coast based insurance broker who has clients all over the country, I tend travel about once every two months or so.

Most recently, I’ve visited San Francisco, New York City, Denver and Las Vegas for work meetings. I have to tell you, there were times where hopping into a cab was not only easier but also less money than their TNC counterparts.

Nowadays, people seem to think taxis are antiquated. But in reality, taxis are the same thing as an Uber or Lyft app, and I honestly feel safer in a cab. Here’s why.

1) Safety

Safety is my top concern when entering into a Lyft or Uber vs Taxi. For one, Uber and Lyft do not limit how long someone must have been licensed to drive for them. Someone could’ve moved to the US a few weeks ago, obtain a Driver’s License and as long as they have access to a qualifying car and pass a MINIMAL background check – they are approved. Nobody trains them, monitors them, or ensures that they are familiar with the area in which they drive.

The city highly regulates taxi drivers. They require taxi drivers to go through numerous EXTENSIVE background checks. Only then does the city in which they operate in allow them to start transporting people. Many cities require taxi and limo drivers to obtain a Hack License or Chauffeurs license. That means they have endured many hours of classroom-style and behind-the-wheel training.

Besides safety concerns regarding the driver, there are concerns around the vehicle. All taxi companies start their days by inspecting vehicles. They are required to get a vehicle inspection yearly to keep their operating permit. Lyft or Uber vs Taxi vehicles are not regulated at all. Once the driver is approved, there isn’t much regulation unless the ride share vehicle is in an accident.

With ride sharing, you are taking a risk as to who you are getting into a vehicle with. You could end up getting into a vehicle of someone with a criminal background who is dangerous. Even more concerning, I have heard of people leasing or renting out their Uber or Lyft accounts. So, for someone who doesn’t qualify themselves, they will find someone who does qualify. They’ll have to go through the approval process and use someone else’s account to work. That freaks me out, a lot.  When comparing Lyft or Uber vs Taxi, this type of situation would not happen. That’s because fleet owners know exactly who they are leasing the cab out too.

2) Insurance

Insurance issues are a huge concern when riding in a Lyft or Uber vs Taxi vehicle (and I’ll admit, I do use ride sharing apps regularly). Despite being an insurance broker who specializes in Public Auto

lyft or uber vs taxi ridesharing cost and safety

Transportation risks (specifically for-hire, livery businesses such as Taxi’s, Limo’s, Non-Emergency Medical Transportation, shuttles, etc), I often hop into a Lyft or Uber vs Taxi because, let’s face it, it’s super easy.  Hop on an app, order a car, and it will arrive in 4-5 minutes. This is especially the case when you’re in a residential or suburban area where cabs aren’t just lined in the street waiting for their next fare. I often think about what would happen if the car I am in was involved in an accident.

I am extremely knowledgeable on the coverages that Uber and Lyft’s insurance policy include and it’s spotty at best. For one, the driver and passenger are only covered if the app is on and the driver is logged in. What if there is a technical issue and the driver is logged out? If their phone dies, what now? What if they’re in an area with poor reception and the driver is disconnected from the app? A passenger could be held responsible for injuries incurred. Additionally, the majority of ride share drivers do not have commercial insurance. Plus, Uber and Lyft require drivers to turn the claim into their personal auto carrier before they’ll accept liability.

Commercial auto insurance is expensive, about 2 – 5 times higher than personal auto and most ride share drivers do not buy it because their profit margin on operating is thin. They pay for the vehicle itself, maintenance of the vehicle, gas and almost every TNC driver who calls for a quote on commercial auto insurance so that they can be properly insured does not buy it because no one is making them. This means the only coverage they have for their vehicle and the passengers is through Uber or Lyft, which all hinges on the driver being logged into the app.

3) Accessibility

lyft or uber vs taxi ridesharing cost and safetyAccessibility and ease of getting a ride from an airport, in my opinion is far greater for a taxi than a ride sharing unit. When deciding on an Lyft or Uber vs Taxi, typically, I exit a plane and walk straight to a taxi to my destination. I don’t have to rely on my signal being strong enough for the app to work. I don’t have to wait for the car to come through traffic or walk to somewhere off the premises to get a ride. In some airports, they don’t allow ride share units to pick up. If they do, you often have to go up a level to the departure area or walk to a far end of the airport. When I get off a plane, I personally prefer to get straight into a car and quickly be on my way.

On my last trip to San Francisco, I saw a sign that said Ride Share pick up and I could see a side walk with several waiting areas. According to my app, Ride Share would be about 75% of the cost of a cab. I looked at the taxi line and it was empty and there was car waiting. For experimental purposes, I sacrificed my usual cab ride for a Lyft ride to see if it was actually faster and cheaper. I logged into my Lyft app and requested a vehicle. Because the airport was busy, it took 5 minutes for a driver to accept my ride plus 15 minutes for them to actually pull up to the curb. The whole time I kept my eye on the taxi line. I watched person after person get into a cab and drive away.

I wanted to cancel my ride as I had a meeting to get to, but I wanted to complete the experiment. When my driver arrived, the car was new and clean. No complaints. But by the time we sat in traffic and crossed the Bay Bridge from Oakland into San Francisco, the price was literally the same as a taxi. And it delayed my arrival by 30 minutes.

4) Pricing

lyft or uber vs taxi ridesharing cost and safety

Pricing for a ride share trip isn’t consistent. Taxi’s are transparent on how much they charge and most have the pricing displayed on the vehicle. During my last trip to Las Vegas, I spoke with a conference attendee. She complained the surge pricing was triple that of a taxi when she wanted dinner on the strip. And the taxi was ready to go right there. I also found this to be true during my last trip to Denver.

I’ve gone two years in a row for three days of Phish. The band is best known for their musical improvisation, extended jams largely influenced by Grateful Dead, Led Zeppelin, and their dedicated fanbase. The first year we went, we tried to order a Lyft. The price was about $150 to literally go 11 miles!

At 7 am in Times Square, I left my hotel.  My return flight home awaited. It was 30 degrees outside with some expected snow. Out of habit, I opened by Lyft app to find a driver 4 minutes away. As I exited the warm hotel lobby to the frigid air of the NYC streets, I saw a cab waiting right there. I waited a few minutes staring at my phone as the Lyft driver slowly creeped through traffic up the block. I asked the driver if he was available to take me to the airport, and he was. So, I cancelled that Lyft ride and walked straight into a fully insured, inspected vehicle with a professional trained driver. It was a flat fee of $55 which was the same price my Lyft app was quoting had I waited for it.

5) Supporting a local business

lyft or uber vs taxi ridesharing cost and safety

Supporting a local business rather than the corporate monopoly is another reason to consider when deciding between a Lyft or Uber vs Taxi. In a world where Google and Amazon dominate, it’s gratifying to support the local population directly. Most cab companies are the result of families passing down their businesses from generation to generation. In today’s world, it feels as if many businesses are struggling because of the monopoly of corporations that are taking over in so many industries.

It’s hard for me to be ok with living in a world where everything is giant corporation. What does that mean for the rest of us? As the world changes and modes of transportation evolve, many feel taxi cabs will one day be extinct. But many taxi companies are revitalizing and evolving their business models to withstand the test of time. They are upping their standards when it comes to the quality of vehicles they buy. Moreover, they are investing in technology to create booking apps so that they can appeal to the smart-phone dependent generation.

 

Although Uber and Lyft may seem like the cheaper and more convenient option, I strongly urge you to think about all of the above issues around big box ride sharing companies. Is it really worth risking your time, your wallet and most importantly your life – all because it feels easier?

 

More about us: American Business Insurance for taxi companies: https://abiweb.com/services/taxicab-insurance/

Flywheel Partners with Monster® Products

Flywheel & Monster® Products Partner to Provide 2nd Revenue Stream for Struggling Taxi Drivers & Fleet Owners

Flywheel Taxi consists of approximately 230 units in San Francisco and a client of American Business Insurance since 2017. The company includes a full-solution package for taxi fleets, a peer-to-peer booking app for passengers and utilized preeminent.
Flywheel Taxi consists of approximately 230 units in San Francisco and a client of American Business Insurance since 2017. The company includes a full-solution package for taxi fleets, a peer-to-peer booking app for passengers and utilized preeminent.

At first glance, one would not think that Flywheel would partner with Monster®. However, at this year’s 100th Annual Taxi, Limo and Paratransit Association (TLPA) convention, that is exactly what happened. American Business Insurance was at this event on Sunday, November 28th in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Hidden under a plain black sheet, donned with the white Flywheel logo and revealed with a splash by actor and Instagram-based internet influencer M2thaK was Monster, Inc. owner Noel Lee’s one-of-a-kind “Monsterized” Bentley Bentayga.
Hidden under a plain black sheet, donned with the white Flywheel logo and revealed with a splash by actor and Instagram-based internet influencer M2thaK was Monster, Inc. owner Noel Lee’s one-of-a-kind “Monsterized” Bentley Bentayga.

Flywheel Taxi consists of approximately 230 units in San Francisco and a client of American Business Insurance since 2017. The company includes a full-solution package for taxi fleets, a peer-to-peer booking app for passengers and utilized preeminent. Contrarily, Monster® is the company that revolutionized audio and cable company products. Despite the differences, the partnership of these two companies could greatly increase revenue for taxi drivers and fleet owners. Flywheel plans to “Monsterize” its entire fleet and encourage partner fleets to do so as well. That venture could provide up $35,000 in additional revenue for drivers simply by allowing riders to experience and purchase Monster’s unique products.

TLPA Convention Surprise

For over 30+ years, American Business Insurance has been a sponsor and exhibitor at the annual TLPA conventions. We cannot deny that, over the past 10 years, attendance has declined and the usual buzz of excitement has been missing.

In the past, taxi operators have traveled from various states, Canada, and The United Kingdom. They have continued to attend the annual conference in order to check out the latest industry trends such as the newest dispatch system s or gas efficient vehicles. They come from near and far to attend breakout sessions and board meetings to collaborate with their colleagues on how to move their FleetForward, the new TLPA motto adopted a few years back.

Hidden under a plain black sheet, donned with the white Flywheel logo and revealed with a splash by actor and Instagram-based internet influencer M2thaK was Monster, Inc. owner Noel Lee’s one-of-a-kind “Monsterized” Bentley Bentayga. The Bentley proved an effective method of showcasing amenities Flywheel and Monster offer fleet owners, which can affordably be incorporated into their own vehicle fleets.

Uber and Lyft Competition

Flywheel plans to “Monsterize” its entire fleet and encourage partner fleets to do so as well.
Flywheel plans to “Monsterize” its entire fleet and encourage partner fleets to do so as well.

It is no secret that taxi companies are struggling while trying to compete with large corporate run companies such as Uber and Lyft. But if they can look at themselves and consider a business model that provides multiple streams of revenue, they can morph into a transportation business that not only upkeeps the safety standards of old-time taxi companies but also provides a unique riding experience to a captive audience. Flywheel and Monster are here to help increase revenue for taxi drivers and fleet owners despite this fierce competition.

“Why do people continue to come to these conferences? They’ve already seen every vehicle out there. They already know about the dispatches and insurance companies. They are looking for hope and some kind of change in the market place that they can continue to do this,” said Izzy Aala, CEO of Flywheel.

Aala, who has been a fixture in the industry for many years acquired Flywheel’s mobile app in April of 2017. He knew something had to change within the industry in order for cab companies nationwide to survive. Flywheel began further developing a full taxi solution and outfitting premier Flywheel Taxi in San Francisco to showcase what is possible when the industry comes together to provide riders with the best experience possible.

Flywheel revealed a “Monsterized” version of one of their fleet’s Ford Escapes outside of the main ballroom and around the Caesars Palace property to further expose to fleet owners what is possible with Flywheel and Monster.

Taxi Industry Evolution & Revitalization

Flywheel realizes giant corporations like Uber and Lyft continuously affect the bottom line of cab companies. Many are small, family owned businesses passed down generationally. Flywheel is looking toward evolving and revitalizing the industry, so they and their drivers can thrive. Enhancing the rider and driver experience to once again make taxis the preferred choice is what Aala aims to accomplish.

Founded by Noel Lee in 1979, Monster® Products is a company that sells performance-based goods. For example, they sell high performance audio cables. It is difficult to sell without first experiencing it. And this is why the partnership between Flywheel and Monster Products was made.
Founded by Noel Lee in 1979, Monster® Products is a company that sells performance-based goods. For example, they sell high performance audio cables. It is difficult to sell without first experiencing it. And this is why the partnership between Flywheel and Monster Products was made.

“I wanted to do something different to evolve and revitalize the taxi industry in a way where everyone wins,” Aala said.

This is where Aala’s vision comes in. Earlier this year, Aala attended the International Association of Transportation Regulators conference in Philadelphia, PA. There he noticed a booth next to his – Monster® Products. Aala was confused why this audio product company would be at such a meeting. But the answer is simple. Retail isn’t dead; it’s boring.

“Fleets and drivers require additional sources of revenue. This is part of evolving and revitalizing the industry. Let’s say a businessman hops straight from a plane into a Flywheel taxi and needs to make a conference call. The driver can simply say, “here, sir, go ahead and use Monster’s crystal-clear mobile speakers.” Millennials also go out for a night on the town. Drivers can say to them, “play your own tunes through our Monsterized equipment.” Flywheel’s Office and Finance Manager, Andy Stice, explained that “this enhances the rider’s experience.” Moreover, Stice explained it “allows them a convenient purchase point, while generating profits for the driver and fleet. And Monster Products are only the beginning.”

Not the Scary Kind of Monster

Founded by Noel Lee in 1979, Monster® Products is a company that sells performance-based goods. For example, they sell high performance audio cables. It is difficult to sell without first experiencing it. And this is why the partnership between Flywheel and Monster Products was made.

“Monster® is focusing on selling products where you live, work and play. Amazon is taking the bulk of retail business, but not all. So, the balance has to go somewhere. “Our partnership with Flywheel is bringing profitable income to fleet drivers and owners across the country, while doing something they were already doing anyway,” said Lucas Gomes of Monster® Products.

With the understanding that drivers do not want to be sales people, the partnership between Monster™ Products & Flywheel is fluid. Monster® Products are best tested tangibly, so you can hear and see the difference. Where can you gain exposure to a captive audience? Vehicle where people are already listening to music, watching videos and making calls. It becomes a shared experience for both the passenger and the driver.

“Izzy isn’t trying to take the taxi industry back to where it once was; he knows that’s futile,” Stice continued. She explained that “his goal is to develop viable options for fleets and their drivers to progress and reinvent themselves.”  Flywheel strives to balance providing “the best full solution for fleets and drivers” with “pursuing a wide variety of partnership opportunities.” Those partnerships “generate revenue for the fleets and drivers and enhance rider experiences,” she stated.

Determined to Survive

As an insurance broker who specializes in taxi cab insurance, I hear multiple times per day from my clients how Uber and Lyft are negatively affecting their business. My clients are frustrated that their profit margins are being undercut by Uber and Lyft drivers who are not required to comply with the same regulations regarding background checks, driving experience and maintaining state financial responsibility requirements with commercial insurance. And commercial insurance is not cheap.

“People say they take Uber and Lyft because it’s cheaper. But that isn’t necessarily the case, especially during surge pricing.” Stice shared, “My friends and I were in Vegas just a month ago for a fun. Surge pricing was 3x the amount of the fare of a traditional taxi going from one side of the strip to the other. And the trip from the airport to the hotel was slightly cheaper and certainly more convenient by taxi,” Stice observed.

Flywheel understands that drivers do not necessarily want to be salespeople. Furthermore, the setup allows drivers to let riders experience the products first. Drivers can then offer riders an opportunity to buy if they like it. Flywheel hopes this no-pressure sales experience will take off. With that success, Flywheel and their drivers could overcome the odds are stacked against them.

By Laura M. Loftus on November 6th, 2018

Learn More

More information about American Business Insurance

Learn more a Flywheel 

See the Monster Products

Learn about TLPA

Insure my Cab: Taxi Cab Insurance

Insure my Cab: Taxi Cab Insurance

You’re here because you’re looking for taxi cab insurance. Well, you came to the right place. Perhaps you’re wondering, “there are so many taxi cab insurance agencies out there, how can I insure my cab with the best policy?”

How Can I Insure my Cab?

It’s no secret that obtaining a taxi license is no walk in the park. Before you can insure your cab, you must first meet the minimum age requirement. Most states in the USA require taxi drivers to be at least 21 years of age.

Next, you must submit a clean driving record to the DMV. Taxi drivers cannot have been in trouble when it comes to driving or other wise. You must be a good driver before you can drive around others for a living.

What else do I need before I insure my cab?

Then, you must submit a clean background check proving that you are not a criminal in any way. Taxi cab drivers have a lot of interaction with the public, and the DMV needs to insure their safety.

Some states require you to pass a chauffeurs licensing exam. This is usually a written test (sometimes driving) and can include a drug test.

Next you need to show proof of your U.S. citizenship or residency.

At last, you just need to pay the required fees (which can be pricey) and you will have your taxi license!

So after all that hard work, you want to be insured.

Why should I Insure my cab with ABI?

After working so hard and jumping through the loops to get your taxi license, you definitely want to be insured in case anything happens.

ABI is the best choice when it comes to taxi cab insurance.

Founded in 1984, ABI Insurance services offer the experience and expertise needed in the insurance realm. With new policies and insurance guidelines coming out regularly, it is important to stay in the know about any new changes. Staying up to date in policy lingo isn’t the easiest (or most amusing) pastime – so leave it to the professionals at ABI. We are also current and up to date with the newest policies when it comes to taxi cab insurance.

ABI is also one of largest commercial transportation insurance agencies. Additionally approximately 40,000 vehicles are currently covered by ABI. You can rest assured knowing that thousands of other taxi cab owners have trusted with with insuring their vehicle or fleet. For over 35+ years we have offered top of the line customer service and knowledgable insight into taxi cab insurance.

Furthermore, at ABI we value our client’s business and take pride in the partnerships we have curated for the past 35 years. At ABI we have designed mobile apps so you can monitor your taxi cab insurance policies anytime, anywhere. Drive confidently knowing that everything you need is at your fingertips.

Insure my cab with ABI: The Benefits

  • Customizable to your policy needs
  • Certificate issuance available in minutes
  • Mobile apps with your policy details
  • Over 35+ years of expience
  • 40,000 vehicles insured
  • Competitive pricing

Why should I insure my cab?

  • Peace of mind
  • Legal protection
  • Safety net
  • Protects from personal liability
  • Professional help and security

Taxi Cab Insurance: The Best Coverage for the Best Price

Taxi Cab Insurance

Taxis are the go-to transportation mode for people all over the country. There are many tales about heroic cabbies coming to save the day or night. Some dub the driver’s seat of taxi cab the world’s best free theater. It is important to have great taxi cab insurance!

As many heart-warming and glorious stories out there about taxi cabs, there a few less-than desirable stories as well. That’s when taxi cab insurance by ABI comes to the rescue! We have your back no matter what.

Why Taxi Cab Insurance with ABI?

Founded in 1984, ABI Insurance services offer the experience and expertise needed in the insurance realm. With new policies and insurance guidelines coming out regularly, it is important to stay in the know about any new changes. Staying up to date in policy lingo isn’t the easiest (or most amusing) pastime – so leave it to the professionals at ABI. We are also current and up to date with the newest policies when it comes to taxi cab insurance.

ABI is also one of largest commercial transportation insurance agencies. Additionally approximately 40,000 vehicles are currently covered by ABI. You can rest assured knowing that thousands of other taxi cab owners have trusted with with insuring their vehicle or fleet. For over 35+ years we have offered top of the line customer service and knowledgeable insight into taxi cab insurance.

Furthermore, at ABI we value our client’s business and take pride in the partnerships we have curated for the past 35 years. At ABI we have designed mobile apps so you can monitor your taxi cab insurance policies anytime, anywhere. Drive confidently knowing that everything you need is at your fingertips.

Benefits of Taxi Cab Insurance from ABI:

  • Customizable to your policy needs
  • Certificate issuance available in minutes
  • Mobile apps with your policy details
  • Over 35+ years of experience
  • 40,000 vehicles insured
  • Competitive pricing

Customizable Taxi Cab Insurance

We have the experience necessary to know the field. We then pair this knowledge with top of the line technology – and we do not outsource. Our in-house programmers will work directly with you to design a custom plan to meet your individual taxi cab insurance needs. We will design a policy that covers the needs of all parties involved.

We understand the time-sensitive nature and regulatory requirements involved in operating a passenger transportation company. With a specific department dedicated to certificate issuance, we are able to have our client’s vehicles on the road within minutes of a request.

We pride ourselves on providing prompt, reliable, experienced, innovative, and competitive services and solutions to our loyal customers.

Taxi Cabs: A Brief History

The first electric taxi cab came in a fleet of 600 cars to NYC. These taxis were dubbed “hummingbirds” due to the electronic humming noise they made. The word taxicab was originally used as one work after “taximeter” the device used to keep track of distance and fare. In the 1980s computer assisted taxi cabs were dispatched to those who were in need of a cab. Nowadays passengers can order a taxi cab straight from their phone to be picked up in minutes.

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

1) Company Website

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

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

commercial fleet insurance

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

2) Creating a Business Name

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

3) Loss Control is Everything

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

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

4) The Driver Pool

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

5) Contact an Experienced, Transportation Insurance Broker

commercial fleet insurance

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

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

Looking for a quote? Click here

  Top 5 Issues When Choosing Lyft or Uber vs Taxi

Top 5 Issues When Choosing Lyft or Uber vs Taxi

Written by Laura Loftus on Wednesday, December 5th, 2018

lyft or uber vs taxi ridesharing cost and safety

With travel increasing as we approach the holidays, many of us default to using a Lyft or Uber vs Taxi because we are under the impression that it’s faster, cheaper and all around more convenient than taking a taxi. However, I have a different perspective. As a west-coast based insurance broker who has clients all over the country, I tend travel about once every two months or so.

Most recently, I’ve visited San Francisco, New York City, Denver and Las Vegas for work meetings. I have to tell you, there were times where hopping into a cab was not only easier but also less money than their TNC counterparts.

Nowadays, people seem to think taxis are antiquated. But in reality, taxis are the same thing as an Uber or Lyft app, and I honestly feel safer in a cab. Here’s why.

1) Safety

Safety is my top concern when entering into a Lyft or Uber vs Taxi. For one, Uber and Lyft do not limit how long someone must have been licensed to drive for them. Someone could’ve moved to the US a few weeks ago, obtain a Driver’s License and as long as they have access to a qualifying car and pass a MINIMAL background check – they are approved. Nobody trains them, monitors them, or ensures that they are familiar with the area in which they drive.

The city highly regulates taxi drivers. They require taxi drivers to go through numerous EXTENSIVE background checks. Only then does the city in which they operate in allow them to start transporting people. Many cities require taxi and limo drivers to obtain a Hack License or Chauffeurs license. That means they have endured many hours of classroom-style and behind-the-wheel training.

Besides safety concerns regarding the driver, there are concerns around the vehicle. All taxi companies start their days by inspecting vehicles. They are required to get a vehicle inspection yearly to keep their operating permit. Lyft or Uber vs Taxi vehicles are not regulated at all. Once the driver is approved, there isn’t much regulation unless the ride share vehicle is in an accident.

With ride sharing, you are taking a risk as to who you are getting into a vehicle with. You could end up getting into a vehicle of someone with a criminal background who is dangerous. Even more concerning, I have heard of people leasing or renting out their Uber or Lyft accounts. So, for someone who doesn’t qualify themselves, they will find someone who does qualify. They’ll have to go through the approval process and use someone else’s account to work. That freaks me out, a lot.  When comparing Lyft or Uber vs Taxi, this type of situation would not happen. That’s because fleet owners know exactly who they are leasing the cab out too.

2) Insurance

Insurance issues are a huge concern when riding in a Lyft or Uber vs Taxi vehicle (and I’ll admit, I do use ride sharing apps regularly). Despite being an insurance broker who specializes in Public Auto

lyft or uber vs taxi ridesharing cost and safety

Transportation risks (specifically for-hire, livery businesses such as Taxi’s, Limo’s, Non-Emergency Medical Transportation, shuttles, etc), I often hop into a Lyft or Uber vs Taxi because, let’s face it, it’s super easy.  Hop on an app, order a car, and it will arrive in 4-5 minutes. This is especially the case when you’re in a residential or suburban area where cabs aren’t just lined in the street waiting for their next fare. I often think about what would happen if the car I am in was involved in an accident.

I am extremely knowledgeable on the coverages that Uber and Lyft’s insurance policy include and it’s spotty at best. For one, the driver and passenger are only covered if the app is on and the driver is logged in. What if there is a technical issue and the driver is logged out? If their phone dies, what now? What if they’re in an area with poor reception and the driver is disconnected from the app? A passenger could be held responsible for injuries incurred. Additionally, the majority of ride share drivers do not have commercial insurance. Plus, Uber and Lyft require drivers to turn the claim into their personal auto carrier before they’ll accept liability.

Commercial auto insurance is expensive, about 2 – 5 times higher than personal auto and most ride share drivers do not buy it because their profit margin on operating is thin. They pay for the vehicle itself, maintenance of the vehicle, gas and almost every TNC driver who calls for a quote on commercial auto insurance so that they can be properly insured does not buy it because no one is making them. This means the only coverage they have for their vehicle and the passengers is through Uber or Lyft, which all hinges on the driver being logged into the app.

3) Accessibility

lyft or uber vs taxi ridesharing cost and safetyAccessibility and ease of getting a ride from an airport, in my opinion is far greater for a taxi than a ride sharing unit. When deciding on an Lyft or Uber vs Taxi, typically, I exit a plane and walk straight to a taxi to my destination. I don’t have to rely on my signal being strong enough for the app to work. I don’t have to wait for the car to come through traffic or walk to somewhere off the premises to get a ride. In some airports, they don’t allow ride share units to pick up. If they do, you often have to go up a level to the departure area or walk to a far end of the airport. When I get off a plane, I personally prefer to get straight into a car and quickly be on my way.

On my last trip to San Francisco, I saw a sign that said Ride Share pick up and I could see a side walk with several waiting areas. According to my app, Ride Share would be about 75% of the cost of a cab. I looked at the taxi line and it was empty and there was car waiting. For experimental purposes, I sacrificed my usual cab ride for a Lyft ride to see if it was actually faster and cheaper. I logged into my Lyft app and requested a vehicle. Because the airport was busy, it took 5 minutes for a driver to accept my ride plus 15 minutes for them to actually pull up to the curb. The whole time I kept my eye on the taxi line. I watched person after person get into a cab and drive away.

I wanted to cancel my ride as I had a meeting to get to, but I wanted to complete the experiment. When my driver arrived, the car was new and clean. No complaints. But by the time we sat in traffic and crossed the Bay Bridge from Oakland into San Francisco, the price was literally the same as a taxi. And it delayed my arrival by 30 minutes.

4) Pricing

lyft or uber vs taxi ridesharing cost and safety

Pricing for a ride share trip isn’t consistent. Taxi’s are transparent on how much they charge and most have the pricing displayed on the vehicle. During my last trip to Las Vegas, I spoke with a conference attendee. She complained the surge pricing was triple that of a taxi when she wanted dinner on the strip. And the taxi was ready to go right there. I also found this to be true during my last trip to Denver.

I’ve gone two years in a row for three days of Phish. The band is best known for their musical improvisation, extended jams largely influenced by Grateful Dead, Led Zeppelin, and their dedicated fanbase. The first year we went, we tried to order a Lyft. The price was about $150 to literally go 11 miles!

At 7 am in Times Square, I left my hotel.  My return flight home awaited. It was 30 degrees outside with some expected snow. Out of habit, I opened by Lyft app to find a driver 4 minutes away. As I exited the warm hotel lobby to the frigid air of the NYC streets, I saw a cab waiting right there. I waited a few minutes staring at my phone as the Lyft driver slowly creeped through traffic up the block. I asked the driver if he was available to take me to the airport, and he was. So, I cancelled that Lyft ride and walked straight into a fully insured, inspected vehicle with a professional trained driver. It was a flat fee of $55 which was the same price my Lyft app was quoting had I waited for it.

5) Supporting a local business

lyft or uber vs taxi ridesharing cost and safety

Supporting a local business rather than the corporate monopoly is another reason to consider when deciding between a Lyft or Uber vs Taxi. In a world where Google and Amazon dominate, it’s gratifying to support the local population directly. Most cab companies are the result of families passing down their businesses from generation to generation. In today’s world, it feels as if many businesses are struggling because of the monopoly of corporations that are taking over in so many industries.

It’s hard for me to be ok with living in a world where everything is giant corporation. What does that mean for the rest of us? As the world changes and modes of transportation evolve, many feel taxi cabs will one day be extinct. But many taxi companies are revitalizing and evolving their business models to withstand the test of time. They are upping their standards when it comes to the quality of vehicles they buy. Moreover, they are investing in technology to create booking apps so that they can appeal to the smart-phone dependent generation.

 

Although Uber and Lyft may seem like the cheaper and more convenient option, I strongly urge you to think about all of the above issues around big box ride sharing companies. Is it really worth risking your time, your wallet and most importantly your life – all because it feels easier?

 

More about us: American Business Insurance for taxi companies: https://abiweb.com/services/taxicab-insurance/

Flywheel Partners with Monster® Products

Flywheel & Monster® Products Partner to Provide 2nd Revenue Stream for Struggling Taxi Drivers & Fleet Owners

Flywheel Taxi consists of approximately 230 units in San Francisco and a client of American Business Insurance since 2017. The company includes a full-solution package for taxi fleets, a peer-to-peer booking app for passengers and utilized preeminent.
Flywheel Taxi consists of approximately 230 units in San Francisco and a client of American Business Insurance since 2017. The company includes a full-solution package for taxi fleets, a peer-to-peer booking app for passengers and utilized preeminent.

At first glance, one would not think that Flywheel would partner with Monster®. However, at this year’s 100th Annual Taxi, Limo and Paratransit Association (TLPA) convention, that is exactly what happened. American Business Insurance was at this event on Sunday, November 28th in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Hidden under a plain black sheet, donned with the white Flywheel logo and revealed with a splash by actor and Instagram-based internet influencer M2thaK was Monster, Inc. owner Noel Lee’s one-of-a-kind “Monsterized” Bentley Bentayga.
Hidden under a plain black sheet, donned with the white Flywheel logo and revealed with a splash by actor and Instagram-based internet influencer M2thaK was Monster, Inc. owner Noel Lee’s one-of-a-kind “Monsterized” Bentley Bentayga.

Flywheel Taxi consists of approximately 230 units in San Francisco and a client of American Business Insurance since 2017. The company includes a full-solution package for taxi fleets, a peer-to-peer booking app for passengers and utilized preeminent. Contrarily, Monster® is the company that revolutionized audio and cable company products. Despite the differences, the partnership of these two companies could greatly increase revenue for taxi drivers and fleet owners. Flywheel plans to “Monsterize” its entire fleet and encourage partner fleets to do so as well. That venture could provide up $35,000 in additional revenue for drivers simply by allowing riders to experience and purchase Monster’s unique products.

TLPA Convention Surprise

For over 30+ years, American Business Insurance has been a sponsor and exhibitor at the annual TLPA conventions. We cannot deny that, over the past 10 years, attendance has declined and the usual buzz of excitement has been missing.

In the past, taxi operators have traveled from various states, Canada, and The United Kingdom. They have continued to attend the annual conference in order to check out the latest industry trends such as the newest dispatch system s or gas efficient vehicles. They come from near and far to attend breakout sessions and board meetings to collaborate with their colleagues on how to move their FleetForward, the new TLPA motto adopted a few years back.

Hidden under a plain black sheet, donned with the white Flywheel logo and revealed with a splash by actor and Instagram-based internet influencer M2thaK was Monster, Inc. owner Noel Lee’s one-of-a-kind “Monsterized” Bentley Bentayga. The Bentley proved an effective method of showcasing amenities Flywheel and Monster offer fleet owners, which can affordably be incorporated into their own vehicle fleets.

Uber and Lyft Competition

Flywheel plans to “Monsterize” its entire fleet and encourage partner fleets to do so as well.
Flywheel plans to “Monsterize” its entire fleet and encourage partner fleets to do so as well.

It is no secret that taxi companies are struggling while trying to compete with large corporate run companies such as Uber and Lyft. But if they can look at themselves and consider a business model that provides multiple streams of revenue, they can morph into a transportation business that not only upkeeps the safety standards of old-time taxi companies but also provides a unique riding experience to a captive audience. Flywheel and Monster are here to help increase revenue for taxi drivers and fleet owners despite this fierce competition.

“Why do people continue to come to these conferences? They’ve already seen every vehicle out there. They already know about the dispatches and insurance companies. They are looking for hope and some kind of change in the market place that they can continue to do this,” said Izzy Aala, CEO of Flywheel.

Aala, who has been a fixture in the industry for many years acquired Flywheel’s mobile app in April of 2017. He knew something had to change within the industry in order for cab companies nationwide to survive. Flywheel began further developing a full taxi solution and outfitting premier Flywheel Taxi in San Francisco to showcase what is possible when the industry comes together to provide riders with the best experience possible.

Flywheel revealed a “Monsterized” version of one of their fleet’s Ford Escapes outside of the main ballroom and around the Caesars Palace property to further expose to fleet owners what is possible with Flywheel and Monster.

Taxi Industry Evolution & Revitalization

Flywheel realizes giant corporations like Uber and Lyft continuously affect the bottom line of cab companies. Many are small, family owned businesses passed down generationally. Flywheel is looking toward evolving and revitalizing the industry, so they and their drivers can thrive. Enhancing the rider and driver experience to once again make taxis the preferred choice is what Aala aims to accomplish.

Founded by Noel Lee in 1979, Monster® Products is a company that sells performance-based goods. For example, they sell high performance audio cables. It is difficult to sell without first experiencing it. And this is why the partnership between Flywheel and Monster Products was made.
Founded by Noel Lee in 1979, Monster® Products is a company that sells performance-based goods. For example, they sell high performance audio cables. It is difficult to sell without first experiencing it. And this is why the partnership between Flywheel and Monster Products was made.

“I wanted to do something different to evolve and revitalize the taxi industry in a way where everyone wins,” Aala said.

This is where Aala’s vision comes in. Earlier this year, Aala attended the International Association of Transportation Regulators conference in Philadelphia, PA. There he noticed a booth next to his – Monster® Products. Aala was confused why this audio product company would be at such a meeting. But the answer is simple. Retail isn’t dead; it’s boring.

“Fleets and drivers require additional sources of revenue. This is part of evolving and revitalizing the industry. Let’s say a businessman hops straight from a plane into a Flywheel taxi and needs to make a conference call. The driver can simply say, “here, sir, go ahead and use Monster’s crystal-clear mobile speakers.” Millennials also go out for a night on the town. Drivers can say to them, “play your own tunes through our Monsterized equipment.” Flywheel’s Office and Finance Manager, Andy Stice, explained that “this enhances the rider’s experience.” Moreover, Stice explained it “allows them a convenient purchase point, while generating profits for the driver and fleet. And Monster Products are only the beginning.”

Not the Scary Kind of Monster

Founded by Noel Lee in 1979, Monster® Products is a company that sells performance-based goods. For example, they sell high performance audio cables. It is difficult to sell without first experiencing it. And this is why the partnership between Flywheel and Monster Products was made.

“Monster® is focusing on selling products where you live, work and play. Amazon is taking the bulk of retail business, but not all. So, the balance has to go somewhere. “Our partnership with Flywheel is bringing profitable income to fleet drivers and owners across the country, while doing something they were already doing anyway,” said Lucas Gomes of Monster® Products.

With the understanding that drivers do not want to be sales people, the partnership between Monster™ Products & Flywheel is fluid. Monster® Products are best tested tangibly, so you can hear and see the difference. Where can you gain exposure to a captive audience? Vehicle where people are already listening to music, watching videos and making calls. It becomes a shared experience for both the passenger and the driver.

“Izzy isn’t trying to take the taxi industry back to where it once was; he knows that’s futile,” Stice continued. She explained that “his goal is to develop viable options for fleets and their drivers to progress and reinvent themselves.”  Flywheel strives to balance providing “the best full solution for fleets and drivers” with “pursuing a wide variety of partnership opportunities.” Those partnerships “generate revenue for the fleets and drivers and enhance rider experiences,” she stated.

Determined to Survive

As an insurance broker who specializes in taxi cab insurance, I hear multiple times per day from my clients how Uber and Lyft are negatively affecting their business. My clients are frustrated that their profit margins are being undercut by Uber and Lyft drivers who are not required to comply with the same regulations regarding background checks, driving experience and maintaining state financial responsibility requirements with commercial insurance. And commercial insurance is not cheap.

“People say they take Uber and Lyft because it’s cheaper. But that isn’t necessarily the case, especially during surge pricing.” Stice shared, “My friends and I were in Vegas just a month ago for a fun. Surge pricing was 3x the amount of the fare of a traditional taxi going from one side of the strip to the other. And the trip from the airport to the hotel was slightly cheaper and certainly more convenient by taxi,” Stice observed.

Flywheel understands that drivers do not necessarily want to be salespeople. Furthermore, the setup allows drivers to let riders experience the products first. Drivers can then offer riders an opportunity to buy if they like it. Flywheel hopes this no-pressure sales experience will take off. With that success, Flywheel and their drivers could overcome the odds are stacked against them.

By Laura M. Loftus on November 6th, 2018

Learn More

More information about American Business Insurance

Learn more a Flywheel 

See the Monster Products

Learn about TLPA

Insure my Cab: Taxi Cab Insurance

Insure my Cab: Taxi Cab Insurance

You’re here because you’re looking for taxi cab insurance. Well, you came to the right place. Perhaps you’re wondering, “there are so many taxi cab insurance agencies out there, how can I insure my cab with the best policy?”

How Can I Insure my Cab?

It’s no secret that obtaining a taxi license is no walk in the park. Before you can insure your cab, you must first meet the minimum age requirement. Most states in the USA require taxi drivers to be at least 21 years of age.

Next, you must submit a clean driving record to the DMV. Taxi drivers cannot have been in trouble when it comes to driving or other wise. You must be a good driver before you can drive around others for a living.

What else do I need before I insure my cab?

Then, you must submit a clean background check proving that you are not a criminal in any way. Taxi cab drivers have a lot of interaction with the public, and the DMV needs to insure their safety.

Some states require you to pass a chauffeurs licensing exam. This is usually a written test (sometimes driving) and can include a drug test.

Next you need to show proof of your U.S. citizenship or residency.

At last, you just need to pay the required fees (which can be pricey) and you will have your taxi license!

So after all that hard work, you want to be insured.

Why should I Insure my cab with ABI?

After working so hard and jumping through the loops to get your taxi license, you definitely want to be insured in case anything happens.

ABI is the best choice when it comes to taxi cab insurance.

Founded in 1984, ABI Insurance services offer the experience and expertise needed in the insurance realm. With new policies and insurance guidelines coming out regularly, it is important to stay in the know about any new changes. Staying up to date in policy lingo isn’t the easiest (or most amusing) pastime – so leave it to the professionals at ABI. We are also current and up to date with the newest policies when it comes to taxi cab insurance.

ABI is also one of largest commercial transportation insurance agencies. Additionally approximately 40,000 vehicles are currently covered by ABI. You can rest assured knowing that thousands of other taxi cab owners have trusted with with insuring their vehicle or fleet. For over 35+ years we have offered top of the line customer service and knowledgable insight into taxi cab insurance.

Furthermore, at ABI we value our client’s business and take pride in the partnerships we have curated for the past 35 years. At ABI we have designed mobile apps so you can monitor your taxi cab insurance policies anytime, anywhere. Drive confidently knowing that everything you need is at your fingertips.

Insure my cab with ABI: The Benefits

  • Customizable to your policy needs
  • Certificate issuance available in minutes
  • Mobile apps with your policy details
  • Over 35+ years of expience
  • 40,000 vehicles insured
  • Competitive pricing

Why should I insure my cab?

  • Peace of mind
  • Legal protection
  • Safety net
  • Protects from personal liability
  • Professional help and security

Taxi Cab Insurance: The Best Coverage for the Best Price

Taxi Cab Insurance

Taxis are the go-to transportation mode for people all over the country. There are many tales about heroic cabbies coming to save the day or night. Some dub the driver’s seat of taxi cab the world’s best free theater. It is important to have great taxi cab insurance!

As many heart-warming and glorious stories out there about taxi cabs, there a few less-than desirable stories as well. That’s when taxi cab insurance by ABI comes to the rescue! We have your back no matter what.

Why Taxi Cab Insurance with ABI?

Founded in 1984, ABI Insurance services offer the experience and expertise needed in the insurance realm. With new policies and insurance guidelines coming out regularly, it is important to stay in the know about any new changes. Staying up to date in policy lingo isn’t the easiest (or most amusing) pastime – so leave it to the professionals at ABI. We are also current and up to date with the newest policies when it comes to taxi cab insurance.

ABI is also one of largest commercial transportation insurance agencies. Additionally approximately 40,000 vehicles are currently covered by ABI. You can rest assured knowing that thousands of other taxi cab owners have trusted with with insuring their vehicle or fleet. For over 35+ years we have offered top of the line customer service and knowledgeable insight into taxi cab insurance.

Furthermore, at ABI we value our client’s business and take pride in the partnerships we have curated for the past 35 years. At ABI we have designed mobile apps so you can monitor your taxi cab insurance policies anytime, anywhere. Drive confidently knowing that everything you need is at your fingertips.

Benefits of Taxi Cab Insurance from ABI:

  • Customizable to your policy needs
  • Certificate issuance available in minutes
  • Mobile apps with your policy details
  • Over 35+ years of experience
  • 40,000 vehicles insured
  • Competitive pricing

Customizable Taxi Cab Insurance

We have the experience necessary to know the field. We then pair this knowledge with top of the line technology – and we do not outsource. Our in-house programmers will work directly with you to design a custom plan to meet your individual taxi cab insurance needs. We will design a policy that covers the needs of all parties involved.

We understand the time-sensitive nature and regulatory requirements involved in operating a passenger transportation company. With a specific department dedicated to certificate issuance, we are able to have our client’s vehicles on the road within minutes of a request.

We pride ourselves on providing prompt, reliable, experienced, innovative, and competitive services and solutions to our loyal customers.

Taxi Cabs: A Brief History

The first electric taxi cab came in a fleet of 600 cars to NYC. These taxis were dubbed “hummingbirds” due to the electronic humming noise they made. The word taxicab was originally used as one work after “taximeter” the device used to keep track of distance and fare. In the 1980s computer assisted taxi cabs were dispatched to those who were in need of a cab. Nowadays passengers can order a taxi cab straight from their phone to be picked up in minutes.

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

1) Company Website

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

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

commercial fleet insurance

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

2) Creating a Business Name

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

3) Loss Control is Everything

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

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

4) The Driver Pool

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

5) Contact an Experienced, Transportation Insurance Broker

commercial fleet insurance

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

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

Looking for a quote? Click here

  Top 5 Issues When Choosing Lyft or Uber vs Taxi

Top 5 Issues When Choosing Lyft or Uber vs Taxi

Written by Laura Loftus on Wednesday, December 5th, 2018

lyft or uber vs taxi ridesharing cost and safety

With travel increasing as we approach the holidays, many of us default to using a Lyft or Uber vs Taxi because we are under the impression that it’s faster, cheaper and all around more convenient than taking a taxi. However, I have a different perspective. As a west-coast based insurance broker who has clients all over the country, I tend travel about once every two months or so.

Most recently, I’ve visited San Francisco, New York City, Denver and Las Vegas for work meetings. I have to tell you, there were times where hopping into a cab was not only easier but also less money than their TNC counterparts.

Nowadays, people seem to think taxis are antiquated. But in reality, taxis are the same thing as an Uber or Lyft app, and I honestly feel safer in a cab. Here’s why.

1) Safety

Safety is my top concern when entering into a Lyft or Uber vs Taxi. For one, Uber and Lyft do not limit how long someone must have been licensed to drive for them. Someone could’ve moved to the US a few weeks ago, obtain a Driver’s License and as long as they have access to a qualifying car and pass a MINIMAL background check – they are approved. Nobody trains them, monitors them, or ensures that they are familiar with the area in which they drive.

The city highly regulates taxi drivers. They require taxi drivers to go through numerous EXTENSIVE background checks. Only then does the city in which they operate in allow them to start transporting people. Many cities require taxi and limo drivers to obtain a Hack License or Chauffeurs license. That means they have endured many hours of classroom-style and behind-the-wheel training.

Besides safety concerns regarding the driver, there are concerns around the vehicle. All taxi companies start their days by inspecting vehicles. They are required to get a vehicle inspection yearly to keep their operating permit. Lyft or Uber vs Taxi vehicles are not regulated at all. Once the driver is approved, there isn’t much regulation unless the ride share vehicle is in an accident.

With ride sharing, you are taking a risk as to who you are getting into a vehicle with. You could end up getting into a vehicle of someone with a criminal background who is dangerous. Even more concerning, I have heard of people leasing or renting out their Uber or Lyft accounts. So, for someone who doesn’t qualify themselves, they will find someone who does qualify. They’ll have to go through the approval process and use someone else’s account to work. That freaks me out, a lot.  When comparing Lyft or Uber vs Taxi, this type of situation would not happen. That’s because fleet owners know exactly who they are leasing the cab out too.

2) Insurance

Insurance issues are a huge concern when riding in a Lyft or Uber vs Taxi vehicle (and I’ll admit, I do use ride sharing apps regularly). Despite being an insurance broker who specializes in Public Auto

lyft or uber vs taxi ridesharing cost and safety

Transportation risks (specifically for-hire, livery businesses such as Taxi’s, Limo’s, Non-Emergency Medical Transportation, shuttles, etc), I often hop into a Lyft or Uber vs Taxi because, let’s face it, it’s super easy.  Hop on an app, order a car, and it will arrive in 4-5 minutes. This is especially the case when you’re in a residential or suburban area where cabs aren’t just lined in the street waiting for their next fare. I often think about what would happen if the car I am in was involved in an accident.

I am extremely knowledgeable on the coverages that Uber and Lyft’s insurance policy include and it’s spotty at best. For one, the driver and passenger are only covered if the app is on and the driver is logged in. What if there is a technical issue and the driver is logged out? If their phone dies, what now? What if they’re in an area with poor reception and the driver is disconnected from the app? A passenger could be held responsible for injuries incurred. Additionally, the majority of ride share drivers do not have commercial insurance. Plus, Uber and Lyft require drivers to turn the claim into their personal auto carrier before they’ll accept liability.

Commercial auto insurance is expensive, about 2 – 5 times higher than personal auto and most ride share drivers do not buy it because their profit margin on operating is thin. They pay for the vehicle itself, maintenance of the vehicle, gas and almost every TNC driver who calls for a quote on commercial auto insurance so that they can be properly insured does not buy it because no one is making them. This means the only coverage they have for their vehicle and the passengers is through Uber or Lyft, which all hinges on the driver being logged into the app.

3) Accessibility

lyft or uber vs taxi ridesharing cost and safetyAccessibility and ease of getting a ride from an airport, in my opinion is far greater for a taxi than a ride sharing unit. When deciding on an Lyft or Uber vs Taxi, typically, I exit a plane and walk straight to a taxi to my destination. I don’t have to rely on my signal being strong enough for the app to work. I don’t have to wait for the car to come through traffic or walk to somewhere off the premises to get a ride. In some airports, they don’t allow ride share units to pick up. If they do, you often have to go up a level to the departure area or walk to a far end of the airport. When I get off a plane, I personally prefer to get straight into a car and quickly be on my way.

On my last trip to San Francisco, I saw a sign that said Ride Share pick up and I could see a side walk with several waiting areas. According to my app, Ride Share would be about 75% of the cost of a cab. I looked at the taxi line and it was empty and there was car waiting. For experimental purposes, I sacrificed my usual cab ride for a Lyft ride to see if it was actually faster and cheaper. I logged into my Lyft app and requested a vehicle. Because the airport was busy, it took 5 minutes for a driver to accept my ride plus 15 minutes for them to actually pull up to the curb. The whole time I kept my eye on the taxi line. I watched person after person get into a cab and drive away.

I wanted to cancel my ride as I had a meeting to get to, but I wanted to complete the experiment. When my driver arrived, the car was new and clean. No complaints. But by the time we sat in traffic and crossed the Bay Bridge from Oakland into San Francisco, the price was literally the same as a taxi. And it delayed my arrival by 30 minutes.

4) Pricing

lyft or uber vs taxi ridesharing cost and safety

Pricing for a ride share trip isn’t consistent. Taxi’s are transparent on how much they charge and most have the pricing displayed on the vehicle. During my last trip to Las Vegas, I spoke with a conference attendee. She complained the surge pricing was triple that of a taxi when she wanted dinner on the strip. And the taxi was ready to go right there. I also found this to be true during my last trip to Denver.

I’ve gone two years in a row for three days of Phish. The band is best known for their musical improvisation, extended jams largely influenced by Grateful Dead, Led Zeppelin, and their dedicated fanbase. The first year we went, we tried to order a Lyft. The price was about $150 to literally go 11 miles!

At 7 am in Times Square, I left my hotel.  My return flight home awaited. It was 30 degrees outside with some expected snow. Out of habit, I opened by Lyft app to find a driver 4 minutes away. As I exited the warm hotel lobby to the frigid air of the NYC streets, I saw a cab waiting right there. I waited a few minutes staring at my phone as the Lyft driver slowly creeped through traffic up the block. I asked the driver if he was available to take me to the airport, and he was. So, I cancelled that Lyft ride and walked straight into a fully insured, inspected vehicle with a professional trained driver. It was a flat fee of $55 which was the same price my Lyft app was quoting had I waited for it.

5) Supporting a local business

lyft or uber vs taxi ridesharing cost and safety

Supporting a local business rather than the corporate monopoly is another reason to consider when deciding between a Lyft or Uber vs Taxi. In a world where Google and Amazon dominate, it’s gratifying to support the local population directly. Most cab companies are the result of families passing down their businesses from generation to generation. In today’s world, it feels as if many businesses are struggling because of the monopoly of corporations that are taking over in so many industries.

It’s hard for me to be ok with living in a world where everything is giant corporation. What does that mean for the rest of us? As the world changes and modes of transportation evolve, many feel taxi cabs will one day be extinct. But many taxi companies are revitalizing and evolving their business models to withstand the test of time. They are upping their standards when it comes to the quality of vehicles they buy. Moreover, they are investing in technology to create booking apps so that they can appeal to the smart-phone dependent generation.

 

Although Uber and Lyft may seem like the cheaper and more convenient option, I strongly urge you to think about all of the above issues around big box ride sharing companies. Is it really worth risking your time, your wallet and most importantly your life – all because it feels easier?

 

More about us: American Business Insurance for taxi companies: https://abiweb.com/services/taxicab-insurance/

Flywheel Partners with Monster® Products

Flywheel & Monster® Products Partner to Provide 2nd Revenue Stream for Struggling Taxi Drivers & Fleet Owners

Flywheel Taxi consists of approximately 230 units in San Francisco and a client of American Business Insurance since 2017. The company includes a full-solution package for taxi fleets, a peer-to-peer booking app for passengers and utilized preeminent.
Flywheel Taxi consists of approximately 230 units in San Francisco and a client of American Business Insurance since 2017. The company includes a full-solution package for taxi fleets, a peer-to-peer booking app for passengers and utilized preeminent.

At first glance, one would not think that Flywheel would partner with Monster®. However, at this year’s 100th Annual Taxi, Limo and Paratransit Association (TLPA) convention, that is exactly what happened. American Business Insurance was at this event on Sunday, November 28th in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Hidden under a plain black sheet, donned with the white Flywheel logo and revealed with a splash by actor and Instagram-based internet influencer M2thaK was Monster, Inc. owner Noel Lee’s one-of-a-kind “Monsterized” Bentley Bentayga.
Hidden under a plain black sheet, donned with the white Flywheel logo and revealed with a splash by actor and Instagram-based internet influencer M2thaK was Monster, Inc. owner Noel Lee’s one-of-a-kind “Monsterized” Bentley Bentayga.

Flywheel Taxi consists of approximately 230 units in San Francisco and a client of American Business Insurance since 2017. The company includes a full-solution package for taxi fleets, a peer-to-peer booking app for passengers and utilized preeminent. Contrarily, Monster® is the company that revolutionized audio and cable company products. Despite the differences, the partnership of these two companies could greatly increase revenue for taxi drivers and fleet owners. Flywheel plans to “Monsterize” its entire fleet and encourage partner fleets to do so as well. That venture could provide up $35,000 in additional revenue for drivers simply by allowing riders to experience and purchase Monster’s unique products.

TLPA Convention Surprise

For over 30+ years, American Business Insurance has been a sponsor and exhibitor at the annual TLPA conventions. We cannot deny that, over the past 10 years, attendance has declined and the usual buzz of excitement has been missing.

In the past, taxi operators have traveled from various states, Canada, and The United Kingdom. They have continued to attend the annual conference in order to check out the latest industry trends such as the newest dispatch system s or gas efficient vehicles. They come from near and far to attend breakout sessions and board meetings to collaborate with their colleagues on how to move their FleetForward, the new TLPA motto adopted a few years back.

Hidden under a plain black sheet, donned with the white Flywheel logo and revealed with a splash by actor and Instagram-based internet influencer M2thaK was Monster, Inc. owner Noel Lee’s one-of-a-kind “Monsterized” Bentley Bentayga. The Bentley proved an effective method of showcasing amenities Flywheel and Monster offer fleet owners, which can affordably be incorporated into their own vehicle fleets.

Uber and Lyft Competition

Flywheel plans to “Monsterize” its entire fleet and encourage partner fleets to do so as well.
Flywheel plans to “Monsterize” its entire fleet and encourage partner fleets to do so as well.

It is no secret that taxi companies are struggling while trying to compete with large corporate run companies such as Uber and Lyft. But if they can look at themselves and consider a business model that provides multiple streams of revenue, they can morph into a transportation business that not only upkeeps the safety standards of old-time taxi companies but also provides a unique riding experience to a captive audience. Flywheel and Monster are here to help increase revenue for taxi drivers and fleet owners despite this fierce competition.

“Why do people continue to come to these conferences? They’ve already seen every vehicle out there. They already know about the dispatches and insurance companies. They are looking for hope and some kind of change in the market place that they can continue to do this,” said Izzy Aala, CEO of Flywheel.

Aala, who has been a fixture in the industry for many years acquired Flywheel’s mobile app in April of 2017. He knew something had to change within the industry in order for cab companies nationwide to survive. Flywheel began further developing a full taxi solution and outfitting premier Flywheel Taxi in San Francisco to showcase what is possible when the industry comes together to provide riders with the best experience possible.

Flywheel revealed a “Monsterized” version of one of their fleet’s Ford Escapes outside of the main ballroom and around the Caesars Palace property to further expose to fleet owners what is possible with Flywheel and Monster.

Taxi Industry Evolution & Revitalization

Flywheel realizes giant corporations like Uber and Lyft continuously affect the bottom line of cab companies. Many are small, family owned businesses passed down generationally. Flywheel is looking toward evolving and revitalizing the industry, so they and their drivers can thrive. Enhancing the rider and driver experience to once again make taxis the preferred choice is what Aala aims to accomplish.

Founded by Noel Lee in 1979, Monster® Products is a company that sells performance-based goods. For example, they sell high performance audio cables. It is difficult to sell without first experiencing it. And this is why the partnership between Flywheel and Monster Products was made.
Founded by Noel Lee in 1979, Monster® Products is a company that sells performance-based goods. For example, they sell high performance audio cables. It is difficult to sell without first experiencing it. And this is why the partnership between Flywheel and Monster Products was made.

“I wanted to do something different to evolve and revitalize the taxi industry in a way where everyone wins,” Aala said.

This is where Aala’s vision comes in. Earlier this year, Aala attended the International Association of Transportation Regulators conference in Philadelphia, PA. There he noticed a booth next to his – Monster® Products. Aala was confused why this audio product company would be at such a meeting. But the answer is simple. Retail isn’t dead; it’s boring.

“Fleets and drivers require additional sources of revenue. This is part of evolving and revitalizing the industry. Let’s say a businessman hops straight from a plane into a Flywheel taxi and needs to make a conference call. The driver can simply say, “here, sir, go ahead and use Monster’s crystal-clear mobile speakers.” Millennials also go out for a night on the town. Drivers can say to them, “play your own tunes through our Monsterized equipment.” Flywheel’s Office and Finance Manager, Andy Stice, explained that “this enhances the rider’s experience.” Moreover, Stice explained it “allows them a convenient purchase point, while generating profits for the driver and fleet. And Monster Products are only the beginning.”

Not the Scary Kind of Monster

Founded by Noel Lee in 1979, Monster® Products is a company that sells performance-based goods. For example, they sell high performance audio cables. It is difficult to sell without first experiencing it. And this is why the partnership between Flywheel and Monster Products was made.

“Monster® is focusing on selling products where you live, work and play. Amazon is taking the bulk of retail business, but not all. So, the balance has to go somewhere. “Our partnership with Flywheel is bringing profitable income to fleet drivers and owners across the country, while doing something they were already doing anyway,” said Lucas Gomes of Monster® Products.

With the understanding that drivers do not want to be sales people, the partnership between Monster™ Products & Flywheel is fluid. Monster® Products are best tested tangibly, so you can hear and see the difference. Where can you gain exposure to a captive audience? Vehicle where people are already listening to music, watching videos and making calls. It becomes a shared experience for both the passenger and the driver.

“Izzy isn’t trying to take the taxi industry back to where it once was; he knows that’s futile,” Stice continued. She explained that “his goal is to develop viable options for fleets and their drivers to progress and reinvent themselves.”  Flywheel strives to balance providing “the best full solution for fleets and drivers” with “pursuing a wide variety of partnership opportunities.” Those partnerships “generate revenue for the fleets and drivers and enhance rider experiences,” she stated.

Determined to Survive

As an insurance broker who specializes in taxi cab insurance, I hear multiple times per day from my clients how Uber and Lyft are negatively affecting their business. My clients are frustrated that their profit margins are being undercut by Uber and Lyft drivers who are not required to comply with the same regulations regarding background checks, driving experience and maintaining state financial responsibility requirements with commercial insurance. And commercial insurance is not cheap.

“People say they take Uber and Lyft because it’s cheaper. But that isn’t necessarily the case, especially during surge pricing.” Stice shared, “My friends and I were in Vegas just a month ago for a fun. Surge pricing was 3x the amount of the fare of a traditional taxi going from one side of the strip to the other. And the trip from the airport to the hotel was slightly cheaper and certainly more convenient by taxi,” Stice observed.

Flywheel understands that drivers do not necessarily want to be salespeople. Furthermore, the setup allows drivers to let riders experience the products first. Drivers can then offer riders an opportunity to buy if they like it. Flywheel hopes this no-pressure sales experience will take off. With that success, Flywheel and their drivers could overcome the odds are stacked against them.

By Laura M. Loftus on November 6th, 2018

Learn More

More information about American Business Insurance

Learn more a Flywheel 

See the Monster Products

Learn about TLPA

Insure my Cab: Taxi Cab Insurance

Insure my Cab: Taxi Cab Insurance

You’re here because you’re looking for taxi cab insurance. Well, you came to the right place. Perhaps you’re wondering, “there are so many taxi cab insurance agencies out there, how can I insure my cab with the best policy?”

How Can I Insure my Cab?

It’s no secret that obtaining a taxi license is no walk in the park. Before you can insure your cab, you must first meet the minimum age requirement. Most states in the USA require taxi drivers to be at least 21 years of age.

Next, you must submit a clean driving record to the DMV. Taxi drivers cannot have been in trouble when it comes to driving or other wise. You must be a good driver before you can drive around others for a living.

What else do I need before I insure my cab?

Then, you must submit a clean background check proving that you are not a criminal in any way. Taxi cab drivers have a lot of interaction with the public, and the DMV needs to insure their safety.

Some states require you to pass a chauffeurs licensing exam. This is usually a written test (sometimes driving) and can include a drug test.

Next you need to show proof of your U.S. citizenship or residency.

At last, you just need to pay the required fees (which can be pricey) and you will have your taxi license!

So after all that hard work, you want to be insured.

Why should I Insure my cab with ABI?

After working so hard and jumping through the loops to get your taxi license, you definitely want to be insured in case anything happens.

ABI is the best choice when it comes to taxi cab insurance.

Founded in 1984, ABI Insurance services offer the experience and expertise needed in the insurance realm. With new policies and insurance guidelines coming out regularly, it is important to stay in the know about any new changes. Staying up to date in policy lingo isn’t the easiest (or most amusing) pastime – so leave it to the professionals at ABI. We are also current and up to date with the newest policies when it comes to taxi cab insurance.

ABI is also one of largest commercial transportation insurance agencies. Additionally approximately 40,000 vehicles are currently covered by ABI. You can rest assured knowing that thousands of other taxi cab owners have trusted with with insuring their vehicle or fleet. For over 35+ years we have offered top of the line customer service and knowledgable insight into taxi cab insurance.

Furthermore, at ABI we value our client’s business and take pride in the partnerships we have curated for the past 35 years. At ABI we have designed mobile apps so you can monitor your taxi cab insurance policies anytime, anywhere. Drive confidently knowing that everything you need is at your fingertips.

Insure my cab with ABI: The Benefits

  • Customizable to your policy needs
  • Certificate issuance available in minutes
  • Mobile apps with your policy details
  • Over 35+ years of expience
  • 40,000 vehicles insured
  • Competitive pricing

Why should I insure my cab?

  • Peace of mind
  • Legal protection
  • Safety net
  • Protects from personal liability
  • Professional help and security

Taxi Cab Insurance: The Best Coverage for the Best Price

Taxi Cab Insurance

Taxis are the go-to transportation mode for people all over the country. There are many tales about heroic cabbies coming to save the day or night. Some dub the driver’s seat of taxi cab the world’s best free theater. It is important to have great taxi cab insurance!

As many heart-warming and glorious stories out there about taxi cabs, there a few less-than desirable stories as well. That’s when taxi cab insurance by ABI comes to the rescue! We have your back no matter what.

Why Taxi Cab Insurance with ABI?

Founded in 1984, ABI Insurance services offer the experience and expertise needed in the insurance realm. With new policies and insurance guidelines coming out regularly, it is important to stay in the know about any new changes. Staying up to date in policy lingo isn’t the easiest (or most amusing) pastime – so leave it to the professionals at ABI. We are also current and up to date with the newest policies when it comes to taxi cab insurance.

ABI is also one of largest commercial transportation insurance agencies. Additionally approximately 40,000 vehicles are currently covered by ABI. You can rest assured knowing that thousands of other taxi cab owners have trusted with with insuring their vehicle or fleet. For over 35+ years we have offered top of the line customer service and knowledgeable insight into taxi cab insurance.

Furthermore, at ABI we value our client’s business and take pride in the partnerships we have curated for the past 35 years. At ABI we have designed mobile apps so you can monitor your taxi cab insurance policies anytime, anywhere. Drive confidently knowing that everything you need is at your fingertips.

Benefits of Taxi Cab Insurance from ABI:

  • Customizable to your policy needs
  • Certificate issuance available in minutes
  • Mobile apps with your policy details
  • Over 35+ years of experience
  • 40,000 vehicles insured
  • Competitive pricing

Customizable Taxi Cab Insurance

We have the experience necessary to know the field. We then pair this knowledge with top of the line technology – and we do not outsource. Our in-house programmers will work directly with you to design a custom plan to meet your individual taxi cab insurance needs. We will design a policy that covers the needs of all parties involved.

We understand the time-sensitive nature and regulatory requirements involved in operating a passenger transportation company. With a specific department dedicated to certificate issuance, we are able to have our client’s vehicles on the road within minutes of a request.

We pride ourselves on providing prompt, reliable, experienced, innovative, and competitive services and solutions to our loyal customers.

Taxi Cabs: A Brief History

The first electric taxi cab came in a fleet of 600 cars to NYC. These taxis were dubbed “hummingbirds” due to the electronic humming noise they made. The word taxicab was originally used as one work after “taximeter” the device used to keep track of distance and fare. In the 1980s computer assisted taxi cabs were dispatched to those who were in need of a cab. Nowadays passengers can order a taxi cab straight from their phone to be picked up in minutes.

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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  Top 5 Issues When Choosing Lyft or Uber vs Taxi

Top 5 Issues When Choosing Lyft or Uber vs Taxi

Written by Laura Loftus on Wednesday, December 5th, 2018

lyft or uber vs taxi ridesharing cost and safety

With travel increasing as we approach the holidays, many of us default to using a Lyft or Uber vs Taxi because we are under the impression that it’s faster, cheaper and all around more convenient than taking a taxi. However, I have a different perspective. As a west-coast based insurance broker who has clients all over the country, I tend travel about once every two months or so.

Most recently, I’ve visited San Francisco, New York City, Denver and Las Vegas for work meetings. I have to tell you, there were times where hopping into a cab was not only easier but also less money than their TNC counterparts.

Nowadays, people seem to think taxis are antiquated. But in reality, taxis are the same thing as an Uber or Lyft app, and I honestly feel safer in a cab. Here’s why.

1) Safety

Safety is my top concern when entering into a Lyft or Uber vs Taxi. For one, Uber and Lyft do not limit how long someone must have been licensed to drive for them. Someone could’ve moved to the US a few weeks ago, obtain a Driver’s License and as long as they have access to a qualifying car and pass a MINIMAL background check – they are approved. Nobody trains them, monitors them, or ensures that they are familiar with the area in which they drive.

The city highly regulates taxi drivers. They require taxi drivers to go through numerous EXTENSIVE background checks. Only then does the city in which they operate in allow them to start transporting people. Many cities require taxi and limo drivers to obtain a Hack License or Chauffeurs license. That means they have endured many hours of classroom-style and behind-the-wheel training.

Besides safety concerns regarding the driver, there are concerns around the vehicle. All taxi companies start their days by inspecting vehicles. They are required to get a vehicle inspection yearly to keep their operating permit. Lyft or Uber vs Taxi vehicles are not regulated at all. Once the driver is approved, there isn’t much regulation unless the ride share vehicle is in an accident.

With ride sharing, you are taking a risk as to who you are getting into a vehicle with. You could end up getting into a vehicle of someone with a criminal background who is dangerous. Even more concerning, I have heard of people leasing or renting out their Uber or Lyft accounts. So, for someone who doesn’t qualify themselves, they will find someone who does qualify. They’ll have to go through the approval process and use someone else’s account to work. That freaks me out, a lot.  When comparing Lyft or Uber vs Taxi, this type of situation would not happen. That’s because fleet owners know exactly who they are leasing the cab out too.

2) Insurance

Insurance issues are a huge concern when riding in a Lyft or Uber vs Taxi vehicle (and I’ll admit, I do use ride sharing apps regularly). Despite being an insurance broker who specializes in Public Auto

lyft or uber vs taxi ridesharing cost and safety

Transportation risks (specifically for-hire, livery businesses such as Taxi’s, Limo’s, Non-Emergency Medical Transportation, shuttles, etc), I often hop into a Lyft or Uber vs Taxi because, let’s face it, it’s super easy.  Hop on an app, order a car, and it will arrive in 4-5 minutes. This is especially the case when you’re in a residential or suburban area where cabs aren’t just lined in the street waiting for their next fare. I often think about what would happen if the car I am in was involved in an accident.

I am extremely knowledgeable on the coverages that Uber and Lyft’s insurance policy include and it’s spotty at best. For one, the driver and passenger are only covered if the app is on and the driver is logged in. What if there is a technical issue and the driver is logged out? If their phone dies, what now? What if they’re in an area with poor reception and the driver is disconnected from the app? A passenger could be held responsible for injuries incurred. Additionally, the majority of ride share drivers do not have commercial insurance. Plus, Uber and Lyft require drivers to turn the claim into their personal auto carrier before they’ll accept liability.

Commercial auto insurance is expensive, about 2 – 5 times higher than personal auto and most ride share drivers do not buy it because their profit margin on operating is thin. They pay for the vehicle itself, maintenance of the vehicle, gas and almost every TNC driver who calls for a quote on commercial auto insurance so that they can be properly insured does not buy it because no one is making them. This means the only coverage they have for their vehicle and the passengers is through Uber or Lyft, which all