Federal Limo Regulations

When you own a limousine service, it’s important to maintain the federal standards in order to avoid any fees, penalties and legal issues. But what exactly are the federal regulations for limousine service providers? Whether you specialize in transportation to Logan Airport or to various events like parties and casinos, all limo services are subject to the same regulations. In order to avoid any claims on your livery insurance, here the regulations set by the U.S. Department of Transportation that you should be aware of:

• For vehicles carrying up to eight passengers, including the driver:
o Your limo service must be registered with the Federal Motor Carrier Administration (FMCSA) and have a Motor Carrier Identification Report valid with the USDOT within the past two years.
o Each vehicle must be insured up to a regulated-minimum level of financial responsibility in the event of an accident or liability issue.

• For vehicles carrying 9 to 15 passengers, including the driver:
o Driver may not drive more than the maximum number of consecutive hours.
o Driver must perform a vehicle safety inspection and sign a maintenance log before each trip.
o Driver must have a valid driver’s license and a driving record of any personal violations they have committed.
o Your company must have an updated accident register.

At Wolpert Insurance & Risk Management, it’s our job to help limousine services protect themselves while offering a solid product to customers. It’s important to remember regulations when conducting your operation, so if you have any more questions contact us today and we’ll happily speak with you.


What Are the Three Most Costly Limo Insurance Claims?

No company likes to deal with costly limo insurance claims, but sometimes things happen that may necessitate them. If you and your drivers are trying to avoid any substantial fees and costs from your insurance after an accident or collision, it may be wise to educate yourself on what types of incidents cost the most. Thankfully, our agency has the information you need on the three most costly limo insurance claims:

Left-hand turns: Accidents that occur when a left-hand turn is made into oncoming traffic can be either head-on or T-bone accidents. When these occur, serious injuries to the passengers can happen to all vehicles involved. In order to avoid these types of incidents, make sure your drivers know that it often takes longer to make these left-hand turns into oncoming traffic than normal sized vehicles.

Intersection crashes: Accidents at intersections are normally costly because they usually involve multiple vehicles. Passenger injuries can occur as well. In order to minimize the risk of being involved in an intersection collision, try not to speed through a yellow light in hopes of making it before it turns red.

Pedestrian hits: Hitting a pedestrian, whether they’re walking or riding a bicycle, is perhaps the worst thing that could happen to a limo company. Pedestrian collisions can happen at any time, even when your driver is paying attention. Sometimes, pedestrians jay-walk, cross between parked cars, or even exit cars without looking and can distract themselves enough that they don’t notice other cars moving towards them. Make sure your drivers are staying alert and are trained to look out for these types of situations.

At Wolpert Insurance & Risk Management,we help limo services get the information and livery insurance they need. If you have any more questions about how accidents affect your premiums, give us a call today and we’ll help you.

Can An Independent Contractor Collect from Your Auto Policy?

In the ground transportation industry, including limo services, determining the difference between an employee and an independent contractor can be confusing. Sometimes, instead of hiring an employee full-time, you will enlist the services of an independent contractor to work for you as an alternative. However, when dealing with independent contractors, many questions abound, including whether or not they are included on your livery insurance policy.

Many companies simply designate chauffeurs as independent contractors, believing that so long as they don’t deduct taxes from the chauffeur’s earnings, they are protected from the liabilities that typically come with a standard employment relationship. The reason limo services use independent contractors is so they can avoid federal and state taxes, disability coverage, and Social Security and Medicare taxes. By failing to properly identify an independent contractor or a full-time employee, you risk government sanctions and fines being applied to your business. There are two critical factors the IRS takes into account in deciding what the difference is between an independent contractor and an employee:

1. Significant investment: According to the IRS, when the driver has title, physical possession, and equity in the vehicle, the driver is found to have an investment in the vehicle and is typically considered an independent contractor. In order for the investment to be considered legitimate, the driver must have purchased or leased the vehicle in some form.

2. Risk of profit and loss: When an employee is paid for services on a time basis and does not have an opportunity for profit or loss within the company, they are considered to be full-time workers under your business. According to IRS guidelines, when there is a chance that a profit or loss could be incurred, the employee is considered to be an independent contractor. Factors that can lead to profit and loss include insurance, maintenance, repairs, and fuel.

So are independent contractors covered by your company’s insurance? The answer: No. The IRS identifies independent contractors as self-employed individuals, meaning that it is up to them to obtain their own insurance policies apart from your company’s.

At Wolpert Insurance & Risk Management we want limo companies to understand the importance of designating independent contractors from employees so they can avoid any legal issues. For more information on this topic or on your limo insurance, contact our Massachusetts agency today.

Avoiding Distracted Driving When Operating a Limo

Your company limo drivers have a lot on their plates and as a result need to work hard in order to deliver the customer a product they appreciate and will come back for more. The product your company offers customers is great service and a lot of this has to do with the drivers. However, in order to accomplish this your drivers must be sharp at all times and cannot afford to commit costly errors such as allowing themselves to become distracted while driving. Distracted driving may lead to a collision which result in a claim on your livery insurance and will undoubtedly leave customers unhappy.

Distracted driving can come in many forms, and here are the most common to take notice of:

1. Cognitive distraction: Cognitive distractions involve things such as daydreaming or spacing out behind the wheel. Sometimes when we drive, we allow ourselves to get stuck in a trance and being lost in thought is like mentally checking out. In order to be a safe and responsible driver, it’s important to keep your mind sharp on the task at hand.
2. Visual distraction: Whether it’s changing the radio station, adjusting mirrors or digging through the glove compartment it’s important to always keep your eyes on the road at all times. By taking distracting yourself and moving your eyes away from the road, you’re not keeping the customer’s best interest in mind.
3. Auditory distraction: Noises and sounds inside the cab can be a distraction. When your cell phone rings or you’re concentrating too much on the radio, you may lose focus on the road.
4. Biomechanical distractions: In this instance, biomechanical distractions refer to you and the mechanics in your vehicle. Whether you need to turn a knob, press a button or pull a lever, this may distract you while driving. Things such as adjusting the mirrors, adjusting the seat and bringing down the steering wheel should not be done while operating the limo. Do these before you turn the ignition on.

At Wolpert Insurance & Risk Management we make it our goal to help limo companies like yours get the advice they need in order to stay safe on the roads and avoid any limo insurance claims. For more information, contact us today and we’ll be happy to serve you.