Luxury Coach & Transportation

January 2014

Magazine for the professional limousine, charter and tour industry.

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Page 38 of 75

how many people actually read their policies the frst time they set up their insurance, I would wager that it is only about half of those reading this article. At renewal, the number probably will cut down even further. We are all busy in our businesses. When we sat with our agent to write our policy, we checked off the box for replacement value b t th t l but the declaration page was in confict with the small print of the policy. The policy writer said, stated value or book value, with the lesser of the two being paid. The two being in confict causes problems for us. Do you know which you have? The demise of the Lincoln Town Car made replacing our vehicle with a comparable vehicle very diffcult. The price of used Lincoln Town Cars has gone up substantially (that is if you can even fnd them). If your policy is a book value policy, it won't take into account the extra you may have on your car extras such as chrome wheels. ALLOW YOURSELF TIME. Dealing with an acciYO ta tak dent takes a lot of time. You must stay on top of ev every aspect of the accident. If you do it from the start, you will have the photograph tographs from the scene and your own accident report. Make sure your chauffeurs know what to do in the event of an accident. Review all of the documents for accuracy. Most importantly, review the police reports. These will be used as key references in any disputes or possible litigation. Be prepared to make follow-up call after follow-up call. You are the only one who has an urgency to get the situation resolved. The insurance agent and company will work on it but they also have other claims pending. You need to be your own advocate after the accident. DON DON'T SIGN OR SPEAK TO ANYONE UNTIL YOU KNOW WHAT IT IS THEY ARE ASKING FOR. We OW ot call after call from the other guy's got c insur insurance company asking us to sign a r release for t vehicle the s they did so n not have to pay for th the storag age. When we spoke to ou agent, he our sai not to said do anything unt we got until app approval from our insurance com company. The other company was relentless in cal calling us to get ou release. our I In f fact, they called so often that our staff became frustrated with them. UNDERST UNDERSTAND THE EXTRAS OF YOUR POLICY. Our licy policy included a rental car of $75 per day r for 30 days. Although this sounds great, ur regulatory authority would not alour r ow us low u to use this vehicle. Additionally, I alled called three rental car companies to see if hey they had black Lincoln Town Cars availb able for rent and none were available. The vehicle had been out of service for two months so a one-month rental, if it is allowed, still would not solve the problem. The claims manager told us that we e could have our chrome rims back if we m went to the salvage yard and took them off while replacing them with other rims. We just had to fnd out where they took the vehicle for salvage. By the time we could hire a mechanic to go get the rims and replace them we could buy four new ones ones. DO YOU HAVE TO PAY THE DEDUCTIBLE IF YOU O Y YO ARE NOT AT FAULT? We have a $1,000 de- d ductible on our policy. Although the accident was no fault of ours, we had to fght the insurance company of the person who hit us to get the $1,000 deductible back. Our company did not do that for us. SUBROGA SUBROGATION. OGAT We've lost a vehicle for two months a and a chauffeur indefnitely. We all know that training a chauffeur to be of senior quality does not happen overnight. Th cost of the loss as a result of The h the accident greatly exceeded the cost of the vehicle. Our insurance company would not subrogate for us. Therefore we needed to hire our own attorney to go after the lost revenue for the vehicle. Some insurance companies will do this for you (especially those who write regularly in our industry). If you ask these questions up front, you could avoid the costs of fghting to get this money back. WHO OWNS YOUR VEHICLE? The joke is that WNS one no one owns a anything anymore — the ban owns everything. When a fnance ba ve bank own eve com any i owe company is owed money on the vehicle, holds title it holds the title. You will not get your t payoff until they get theirs, and they send the title to the insurance company. Make sure you follow the process within their organization after the accident. In our case, the insurance company sent a check to the fnance company at the end of May. The check got routed incorrectly within the fnance company and never got applied. The title then was never sent to the insurance company. The insurance company puts a 10-day hold after they receive the check. Those are business days, so we are looking at two more weeks. DON'T TAKE THE MONEY AND RUN. When you TA E chec fnally get the check, make sure that it s ything yo is for everything you expect. Don't run o nd to the bank an ca it if it is only for a and cash partia unt. By partial amount. B cashing the check, it nstrue could be construed that you have agreed p to the amount paid as the fnal settleI ment. If you and the insurance company his differ over this, get it resolved before you take the money. Homework Counts The short lesson in all of this is to do your homework. Do it yourself and know what you are signing. Our industry has good insurance companies that have been working in the industry for many years. If a new company pops up with great prices, go back and talk to your existing company. They may be able to give you insights on why the prices are different. Also, consider asking for references from customers in the limousine industry who they have insured that have had accidents. Call those references and ask them the hard questions about how their claims were handled. Doing your homework upfront will save you grief in the long run. LIMOUSINE, CHARTER & TOUR JANUARY 2014 37

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