Welcome to the limousine business. You will be serving people of all types with many different transportation needs. From weddings and prom nights to anniversaries, corporate events, conferences, and airport pickups and drops, you have a lot of ways to make customers happy, at ease and most of all, safe wherever they need to go and whenever they need to travel.
One of the single most important purchases that you will make when you start your company is buying insurance for your vehicles and your business. Buying the vehicles will be crucial, too, but in addition to making sure that the party buses or the limo stretches have DVDs, HDTV, stereos, plush seating and bars you also have to make sure that they are all adequately insured.
You will be buying commercial insurance rather than private insurance. There is a big difference between the coverage you will be purchasing for your limos than the coverage you buy for your personal car. This article from Procom Insurance Company covers five things to be aware of when you purchase it.
1 – Be Aware of the Cost
Buying coverage for limousines is a must not an option. Your local taxi or livery association will determine what the minimum amount of coverage is. The cost of commercial insurance is expensive. Before you even decide to go into the limo business you should review this aspect of the business carefully.
The cost of insuring a single luxury sedan every month can be upwards of a few hundred dollars. That does not include the down payment that many insurers require to bind the policy when you buy it. If you have several cars, sedans, limos, SUVs, and buses in your fleet, you will need to make a substantial investment insuring every vehicle. However, it is the law, and you must have coverage so that you and your passengers and drivers will all be able to ride safely on the road.
Knowing that there are not many financial shortcuts that you can take to buying a policy should make it easier to understand that buying this insurance will be an investment in your business. It is the cost of doing business and must be planned for ahead of time.
2 – Get Essential Coverage
Talk with a few commercial carriers to get quotes for coverage for your fleet. They will often lower the price if you have a larger fleet than if you only have a few cars but don’t worry, you can opt to get the minimum coverage allowed by law to save money on insurance premiums if you want to.
3 – Work with A Trained Agent
After comparing quotes find a local commercial insurance agent that you enjoy working with directly. These individuals can work behind the scenes for you to get better rates than you can get yourself. They may also be able to help you down the road with things like submitting paperwork to various local airport authorities. This can hold up a new business so if you have an agent that can work on your behalf doing tasks like this it is highly beneficial.
Also, when your policy comes up for renewal, they will be more likely to be able to help you shop for coverage and meet or beat competitor rates. Their services come with the insurance you buy so work with someone experienced and helpful to get additional help as you need it.
4 – Don’t Buy the First Policy You Come Across
While commercial policies do not have the variation in price that personal policies do, you still need to shop around. That extra $25 you might be able to save can really add up when you have several vehicles to insure. Find the best combination of personal injury coverage, underinsured and uninsured coverage. You need a policy that will protect your business as well as any individuals riding in your limos.
Bodily injury is often an optional form of coverage. If you can afford it, do not skimp on buying it. This level of coverage will take care of any legal fees your company is billed in the event someone sues you. While you are sure you will never have to face such a situation, it is much better to have the coverage just in case. If the lawsuit were to be frivolous or you were not found at fault, it could save your business thousands of dollars and the potential risk to your business’s reputation that a lawsuit could engender.
5 – Hire Experienced Drivers
Always background check anyone you hire. Make sure to hire safe, experienced and professional drivers so you can keep costs down as well. The more conscientious your drivers are, the more likely they will be to keep from having accidents. This keeps your insurance rate lower and it also helps you improve your reputation with customers all throughout your area.
Accidents with large vehicles like buses can become tragedies. Never hire anyone that you cannot prove has the proper licensing to drive an oversized vehicle or one that carries 15 or more passengers. In most areas, the insurance regulations and laws pertaining to licensing for these large vehicles, like buses, are strict.
As long as you follow the rules and laws, you should be able to hire excellent drivers who want to make a great reflection on your business and the service you provide. Be certain to have your own vehicle inspection report system in place so all vehicles are checked for safety daily.
Another way to keep your limo insurance rates low is to maintain a good credit score for your business as well as for yourself. With the above five tips, you can get started in the limo business and make a great name for yourself and your company. Showing customers that you care by always having the most adequate insurance policies in effect will keep them calling on your service. You will become a name that is trusted in the local limo business.