Magazine for the professional limousine, charter and tour industry.
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44 LIMOUSINE, CHARTER & TOUR JANUARY 2017 WWW.LCTMAG.COM LCT EAST: SAFETY & INSURANCE How To Keep Insurance Rates Under Control Many factors are causing rates to spike upward, but you can minimize the effects. By Tom Halligan, LCT East Coast editor A TLANTIC CITY, N.J. — Across the limousine industry, insurance rates have soared during the last few years. Operators have report- ed annual increases from 10% to 20% — or more. Some have been flat-out turned down for vehicle coverage. Still, operators can tap proven strategies and safety procedures to keep their rate hikes as low as possible. These issues were the key points from a panel of insurance industry experts during the "State of Insurance in the Ground Transportation Industry" session held Nov. 15, during the LCT-NLA Show East at Harrah's Resort in Atlantic City. Moderated by National Limousine As- sociation board director Doug Schwartz (Executive Limousine, Long Island, N.Y.), the panel explained fewer insurance com- panies serve the limousine market while the commercial auto insurance industry has lost money in the past five years. Other drivers of higher rates include: An uptick in auto injuries and fatalities; high- er medical and vehicle repair costs; and lawsuits by hack attorneys who target the ground transportation industry. Further, the panel agreed the addition of larger capacity buses and motorcoach- es throughout the limousine industry cre- ates more of a risk factor for insurers. Op- erators who run party buses are a red flag for underwriters. Party buses in particular incur rate increases because of higher li- ability from the potential of multiple pas- senger injuries and large medical claims. "Because some insurance companies have pulled out of this market, there is a smaller pool of insurers that can be more selective," Mushorn added. As the economy improved from the Great Re- cession, "ride frequency and mileage are up and there are not as many qualified chauffeurs, and the ambulance chasers are out there," he said. Regarding party buses, "it's a hot button because you have people standing in a vehicle when it is in motion." Wiltgen said, "In the insurance indus- try we look at trends to determine rates, A panel of expert insurance agents and carriers addressed rising insurance rates during a session at LCT-NLA Show East on Nov. 15. Panelists included, (L to R), Matt Mushorn, vice president and product manager, Lancer Insurance Limousine Division; Michelle Wiltgen, assistant vice president and national commercial marketing manager, National Interstate Insurance; Richard Ack- erman, senior sales executive, P.A. Post Agency; and Michael Marroccoli, regional vice president, Capacity Coverage Company