NYC TRIP: Should Officers Be Able to Search a Passenger in a Livery Vehicle?

As a livery operator, whether you drive a taxi or limousine, you know that safety comes first. As a result, you always have the passenger’s best interest in mind and make sure you are properly covered with livery insurance. However, there just may be cases where safety is taken too far. Are you aware of the NYC TRIP case and ruling?

As you know, the TRIP program is in place in order to help and protect livery cab drivers. With issues like robbery and even murder, it is crucial to have such a procedure in place. However, recent incidents have lead to the question of whether or not officers are taking this policy too far.

By having the TRIP decal on the window of a taxi cab, police officers claim to have the right to stop the vehicle and inspect at any time. While the plaintiffs involved in the case are okay with this regulation, they are not too keen on the passenger treatment after the stop. The two passengers involved, Mr. Battle and Mr. Pujara, have stated that the officers have taken their job too far by searching them without any reason to believe that either had committed a criminal act. The cop continued with the search and explained that any passenger in a vehicle marked with a TRIP decal can and will be searched, because it is routine.

While both men were freed to go without any charges or offenses, they were not happy about being searched. Both men have filed a complaint against the officers claiming abuse of authority.

As a livery operator, what do you think about this? Do you believe that taxi or limousine passengers should be treated this way? While the safety of all drivers is important. this is more of a question of liberty and rights.

At Wolpert Insurance, we believe in the protection of everyone involved. Both livery drivers and the passengers should always be protected from harm, accidents, and liabilities. This is exactly why we offer our specialized livery insurance policy. This specific policy can provide coverage such as: workers compensation, employment liability, general liability, occupational accident insurance, automobile insurance and much more. Be sure to grab a free quote today!


Driving Safety Part 2: Are You at Fault?

Last week, we went over 10 different accidents in which you would be
over 50% at fault. While we wish there were only 10 ways, there is still
another round of faults to go through. At Wolpert Insurance, we believe
it is important to go through these scenarios, especially if you are
the owner of a livery vehicle or company in Massachusetts. If you can
avoid being at fault, you may be able to avoid a costly lawsuit or bill.
For those times that you are at fault, a well thought out and
strategically designed livery insurance program should kick in to cover

#1: Leaving or exiting from a parked position, parking lot, alley or driveway

#2: Opened or opening vehicle doors

#3: Single vehicle collision

#4: Failure to obey the rules and regulations for driving

#5: Unattended vehicle collision: If a car rolls down a hill and causes a collision with another vehicle, the unattended driver will be more than 50% at fault.

#6: Collision while merging onto a highway or into a rotary

#7: Non-contract operator causing collision: Those who are not involved in an accident but have CAUSED an accident with other vehicles will be held liable.

#8: Failure to yield the right of way to emergency vehicles when required by law

#9: Collision at a “T” intersection

Now that you are well aware of these faulty maneuvers, it is time to spread the word to your drivers. As a livery company owner, it is your responsibility to make sure each driver is educated and careful while on the road, with or without passengers.

If you are concerned about your coverage, have no fear. Our experts at Wolpert Insurance will be sure to assess your risks and keep you properly covered from the worst case scenario.

Driving Safety Part 1: Are You at Fault?

As a livery operator, you understand the risks you face on a daily basis. The road is a dangerous place and if you or your drivers are not careful, you may find yourself facing an unexpected accident, or worse, a lawsuit. It is crucial that you look into reliable livery insurance for your company in order to protect all the vehicles in your fleet. It is just as important to understand when you may or may not be at fault if you are involved in an accident.

In Massachusetts there are a handful of possible scenarios in which your fault is presumed to be more than 50%. Let’s start with the top ten:

#1: Collision with a lawfully or unlawfully parked vehicle.

#2: Rear end collision.

#3: Out of lane collision. Whether you are passing another vehicle or changing lanes, you will be held at fault if you are partially or completely out of the proper lane.

#4: Failure to signal. It is crucial to encourage your drivers to use their signals when changing lanes or getting off an exit. Failure to do so may result in an accident and your driver will be more than 50% at fault.

#5: Failure to proceed with due caution from a traffic control signal or sign.

#6: Collision on wrong side of road.

#7: Operating in the wrong direction.

#8: Collision at an uncontrolled intersection. There are three possible scenarios for this collision. First you will be at fault if your vehicle enters a main road from a secondary road. Second, you will be at fault if you enter an intersection from the left at the same time with another vehicle but you fail to allow the vehicle on the right to proceed. Lastly, if you enter the intersection at a point in time later than the other vehicle and continue to collide, you will be at fault.

#9: Collision while in the process of backing up.

#10: Collision while making a left turn or u-turn across the travel path of a vehicle traveling in the same or opposite direction. It is important to always look around and make sure you are clear before pulling a u-turn. Turning left at a light can be dangerous especially when crossing two lanes of traffic. Be sure both oncoming lanes stop before turning left.

If you find yourself or one of your drivers in any of these situations, you will more than likely be at fault. It’s important that your livery company is ready to tackle the worst case scenario. With livery insurance, you can look into automobile insurance, general liability, property insurance and much more. Having the proper policy in place will ensure you a smooth ride, even after an accident. Be sure to visit us at Wolpert Insurance for a free quote and come back next week for Part 2!

Starting a Limousine Business: What You Need to Know, Now!

Are you looking to start a limousine business? In such a tough economy, it may seem logical to choose a career in the passenger ground transportation industry. This industry does not only fare better than most during tough times, but is always in demand. So, where do you start? Well, let’s start with livery insurance.

Before all else, it is important to make sure you are properly covered with a specific policy. Livery insurance is designed for those who drive limousines, taxicabs, etc.

What other factors should you be concerned with? Allow us to tell you:

#1: Parking facility. It is important to keep your vehicles indoors and safe from harsh weather conditions and other factors. This way, your vehicles will be in excellent shape and condition at all times.

#2: High-quality vehicles. If you are aiming for an upscale clientele, it is important to have a quality fleet. This is your chance to impress your clients!

#3: Flexible attitude. It is important to give the client exactly what they want, even if you may not always agree. A flexible personality is best.

#4: Knowledge. Different vehicles will fall under different classifications. It is important that you are aware of local, state and federal regulations.

#5: Safety. Taking good care of yourself, your clients and your employees is an important part of this business. Make sure each vehicle has reliable safety features and take advantage of them.

Once you have a good handle on these aspects, you should be ready to get started. If you are concerned about having the proper coverage in place, look no further. At Wolpert Insurance, we offer reliable livery insurance that will keep your business safe from any accidents, faults or lawsuits. Be sure to speak with us soon to cover your new limousine business!


Livery Insurance, Distracted Drivers and Your Liability Risks

Being a respected part of the livery market, you and your drivers are certainly well aware of the rules of the road. With that in mind, you are mindful that safety is a must, and should always remain a top priority.

Your livery operators are responsible for the passenger’s well being in addition to ensuring that they are operating appropriately, promoting safe driving habits, and always conscious of those on the road around them. With a great deal of responsibility and liability resting on your shoulders, it’s important that your drivers stay abreast of evolving laws and regulations – for example the affect of cell phone use behind the wheel and the commercial vehicle regulation effective January 3, 2012 banning cell phone use for hand held devices in all commercial vehicles nationwide.

As technology changes and devices progress – think Blackberrys and iPhones – personal cell phones have infiltrated much of our life. With immediate access to email, the Internet and constant, real-time text messaging, cell phones have a significant effect on job safety. Let’s consider some recent events, such as the Boston trolley driver who, while distracted and sending text messages, slammed into another car, injuring multiple passengers. Or the Los Angeles commuter train operator who, while looking down at a text conversation hit another train, resulting in a crash which took the lives of 20 people. Texting alone has been a major cause in the increase of vehicle-induced fatalities.

The Harvard Center of Risk Analysis, estimates that cell phone activity contributes to 636,000 motor vehicle crashes, 333,000 injuries and 2,6000 fatalities, each year. Although it is difficult to determine exactly how many of these incidents are work-related, such as truck drivers, delivery drivers, salespeople, etc. it’s safe to say that you need to be aware of your employees and their potential cell phone use while on the job. And it’s not just cell phones that cause problems – iPods and other personal tech devices can cause the same level of distraction, if not more.

As a livery operator and business owner, it’s crucial that you recognize that you are putting yourself at risk, should one of your drivers be involved in an accident. Additionally, adding insult to injury is the fact that it is very likely there may be a worker’s comp claim involved. As the owner and operator of a livery business, it’s necessary that you consider all of your coverage options – beginning with a comprehensive livery insurance program.

As specialists in the limo insurance sector, we can configure an inclusive, competitive insurance program, tailored to your business’ unique needs. Interested in learning more about the inclusive commercial insurance options we can provide your operation? Contact Wolpert Insurance today to learn more about our specialized livery insurance program.

A Livery Operator’s Checklist

Being part of the livery market, you are well aware of the fact that safety is a must. Your livery operators are responsible for the client’s wellbeing in addition to ensuring the safety of the vehicle in which they are operating. With a great deal of responsibility and liability on your plate, it’s important to establish safety rules and regulations.

The following are a few precautionary tips your livery operators can employ, that will ensure both your drivers and clientele enjoy a safe, efficient ride:

Driver Safety

Each livery operator should be responsible for inspecting their vehicle prior to driving, in addition to keeping service logs.
Seatbelts should be worn at all times; the steering wheel, mirrors and seats should be adjusted before driving.
All livery vehicles in your fleet should be equipped with fire extinguishers, flares and first aid kits.
Cell phones must not be used while operating the vehicle.
A clear and visible dispatch system should be installed to allow for immediate communication between the driver and the operation base in the event of an emergency.
By following this livery operator’s checklist, you can rest assured that your operators are prepared for their next service call. It’s important to keep in mind that no matter how cautious one may be, accidents can happen at any moment – making it necessary for livery operations to secure comprehensive livery insurance.

As specialists in the limo insurance sector, we can configure an exceptionally competitive insurance program. Interested in learning more about the inclusive commercial insurance options we can provide your operation? Contact Wolpert Insurance today to learn more about our specialized livery insurance program.