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.

Avoiding Deer Collisions in the Dark Winter Months

During the winter, limo drivers have to always be looking out for icy and slippery roads, but what about deer? If your company drivers don’t have the training required to steer clear of deer while driving during these dark cold months, you may want to educate them on the best practices to avoid such an issue. Hitting a deer can cause irreversible damage to a vehicle, so if you’d like to avoid any limo insurance claims in your future, here is what you should know.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that more than 1.5 million deer/vehicle collisions occur every year. In order to avoid falling into this statistic, here are some ways to avoid deer collisions this season:

1. Continually scan the road for deer. If you see one near the edge of the road, slow down immediately so you will be able to react to their behavior.
2. Use high beams when it’s safe to do so and you’re not around any other vehicles. When you’re in a wooded area, high beams will greatly increase your visibility in this situation and may help reflect deer eyes in the distance.
3. Honking your horn and flashing your headlights can help scare an animal out of the middle of the road if you see one in the distance.
4. When you do see a deer in the road, try to avoid swerving because you could find yourself turning into oncoming traffic or off the side of the road into a ditch. This situation may cause more injuries than actually hitting the deer would.
5. If you do happen to strike a deer or other animal, do not try to move it or else it could injure you. Instead , contact the authorities and stay at the scene until the proper assistance arrives.

At Wolpert Insurance & Risk Management, we want to make sure limo drivers in Massachusetts are being as safe as possible on the roads this winter. For more information, contact our livery insurance agency today.

The Basics of Limousine Customer Service

As a customer-based business, a lot of your company’s success relies on customer satisfaction. If a customer has a great experience riding in one of your limos, they may be inclined to recommend your services to a friend. On the other hand, if they have an unpleasant experience, they’ll also tell people they know and may give your company a bad reputation. In order to maintain an excellent level of customer service, it’s necessary that your drivers know how to treat customers in a respectful and pleasant manner. Our limo insurance agency has the information you’re looking for.

All limo companies have varying approaches when it comes to customer service, but in the end it usually boils down to a few common areas. Here are some ways you can teach your drivers to be more respectable when chauffeuring customers:

• Be polite: Using simple courtesy with a client is easy and should always be done. Always address a customer formally unless they request otherwise and always open and close the car door for them. Before leaving the initial departure point, confirm the arrival address and any departure times with the client to avoid any mix-ups. It’s a good idea to carry business cards with you that include a phone number/email address where you can be reached in case your client needs you.
• Accepting tips: As a courtesy and thank you for a job well done, many of your clients will offer you a tip. It’s necessary to remember that tipping is customary to some companies, but not all. Remember that if a client does not tip you, it doesn’t mean they were dissatisfied with the service. They may just be accustomed to tipping or simply forgot. Never, under any circumstances, ask for a tip.
• Privacy: Regardless of how long a client has been using your services, a main component of limousine driver etiquette is maintaining a degree of silence concerning their actions or conversations while in the limo. Obviously, if your client does anything illegal then you should take the necessary action, however any personal details or actions of your client should always remain private. Keeping the confidence of customers will help your company down the road.

At Wolpert Insurance and Risk Management, it’s our job to help livery companies protect themselves while improving their business overall. For more information, contact our livery insurance agency today.

Items to Include in Your Limo’s Emergency Kit

What is in your limo’s emergency kit this winter? Having an emergency kit stored in the trunk is a necessary item because you never know what can happen on the dangerous winter roads of Massachusetts. Whether you’re driving solo or have passengers in the car, the risk involved with driving increases when it is dark and cold and the roads are covered in snow and ice. Our livery insurance agency has the information you’re looking for when it comes to being safe this winter, so here are some common and crucial items you need in your limo’s emergency kit:

• Jumper cables: This is a no brainer. Any vehicle—personal or commercial—should always have a set of jumper cables in the trunk. You never know when you’re battery is going to suddenly fail on you or when you accidentally leave a light on and your battery drains. During the winter, the cold weather makes vehicles more likely to need an extra jump in order to start, so having cables is a must.
• Bungee cord: If you’re ever rear ended or back into something and you cannot get your trunk to close, a bungee cord will help. It can also help with a passenger or driver side door if neither will close. Bungee cords are compact and easy to transport so you may want to have a set containing different sizes and resistance.
• Two-in-one screwdriver: Instead of carrying a regular screwdriver, a two-in-one will come with a Phillips head and a flat head. If you suddenly need to perform maintenance under the hood such as changing a headlight or tail light, you may need a screw driver.
• Duct tape: What can’t duct tape do? Duct tape can come in handy in vehicles for a variety of reasons such as when a power window will not shut all the way or you have a tear in your interior.
• Spare tire and jack: All vehicles should have a spare tire somewhere in the trunk along with a car jack. A flat or busted tire can happen at any time and changing a tire is easy if you have the right tools available.
• Shovel: In case you’re away from your limo for a lengthy amount of time and you come back to find it covered in snow, a shovel will come in handy. Shovels allow drivers to remove snow away from the tires to make it easier for limos to get out of spots.
• Blankets: When your limo breaks down in cold weather, you suddenly appreciate the value of the car’s heater much more than before. Winter blankets to keep you and your passengers warm until help or a replacement limo arrives is always a good idea.
• Cones and Reflectors: Being pulled over by the side of a roadway is extremely dangerous. Having three reflectors that you can place 100 yards, 60 yards and 30 yards behind your vehicle may just save you from something horrific.

At Wolpert Insurance & Risk Management, we take the time to make sure our clients are getting information and limo insurance coverage options they need in order to be safe and successful out there on the road. For more information, make sure you contact us today and we’ll help you with any questions you have.

Components of Limo Vehicle Maintenance

When you own a limo company you have a commitment and responsibility to make sure your vehicles are running smoothly. As a client based company, customer satisfaction is paramount to your success and since you transport many customers in your limousines, performing proper maintenance checks is necessary for safety. No limo service ever wants to go through the hassle of filing a claim on their livery insurance, right?

Limos are just like any other vehicle in that they require regular checkups under the hood. If you are trying to make sure your drivers are keeping customers and themselves safe, make sure they know what to check for when going over their limo’s maintenance issues. Here are some common things to look out for:

• Engine: It may be time to take your limo in for repairs if you or one of your drivers sense any issues occurring with the engine. Common engine issues you can expect to notice are difficulty starting the engine, rough idling, poor acceleration or when you see the “check engine” light on the dashboard.
• Steering problems: If you find yourself having difficulty controlling the steering wheel and keeping the vehicle straight, this may be attributed to worn steering components such as the idler arm or ball joints. Sometimes, the inability to affectively steer the vehicle may also be caused by deflated tires.
• Suspension: Shock absorbers that are too worn may cause a hindrance in your vehicles suspension which will subsequently affect your limo’s handling. The purpose of shock absorbers is to maintain contact between the wheels and the road, and when shocks get old or worn out, the risk of getting into an accident increases.
• Brakes: Brakes are perhaps the most fundamental aspect of vehicle safety. The status of your limo’s brakes should be routinely checked any time you take your car in for inspection or a tune up. If you’re ever driving one of your limos and you feel awkward tension when applying pressure to the brakes or hear scraping or grinding, it may be time to get them checked out.
• Lights: It is unacceptable to drive a commercial vehicle that has any light out, whether it’s a headlight or tail light. If you operate a limo when a light is out, you are more than likely to be pulled over. Your vehicle’s lights can be changed on your own or a professional can take care of it for you, no problem.

Properly dealing with the physical maintenance of your company’s limos is necessary in order to avoid any costly accidents and limo insurance claims down the road. If you have any more questions at all, feel free to consult with Wolpert Insurance & Risk Management and we’ll get you the answers you need.

Staying safe while transporting customers during the holidays

The holidays are a very busy time for limo services because there are so many drivers traveling to and from airports and train stations. Plenty of people are visiting friends and relatives during Thanksgiving and Christmas. The holidays are right around the corner and many limo companies like yours are gearing up for the sudden spike in customer traffic, but drivers beware: the holidays occur during a hazardous driving season and limo safety is the key to customer satisfaction and avoiding claims on your limo insurance.

In the winter is a dangerous time for all motorists, especially in Massachusetts and New England where the weather is unpredictable. Your drivers should have a keen sense of the difference between driving in late autumn and winter as oppose to other seasons, and if not they may end up being involved in an easily avoidable accident. Since your business is focused on customer safety and satisfaction, staying safe on the roads during the holidays should be the number one priority. Here are some tips and instances to look out for while serving customers during the holidays:

• On icy roads, always decrease speed and leave as much room as possible to stop. On normal roads, motorists must follow the “two second rule,” meaning you need to be staying two seconds behind the car in front of you. When the roads are icy, drivers should double that number to four seconds to ensure that they do not rear end the car in front of them.
• Drivers should always keep their lights on, even during the day time. New England winters include a lot of overcast skies and it also begins getting dark at around 4pm, so lights should be on no matter what.
• Clean windshields are necessary in order to maximize visibility if a sudden rain or snowfall occurs. Many times, motorists will get lazy and only clean the part of the windshield directly in front of them, However, in order to see all the way around, every single window needs to be cleaned of fog and ice.
• Keep your washer fluid full and even carry a spare gallon held securely in the truck. Often times winter salt will spray up from roadways causing reduced visibility. It is important to have correctly functioning wiper blades and washer fluid to keep your eyes focused on the road and not on windshield or wiper problems.

Your limo business is absolutely going to benefit by the holiday rush this season, but you don’t want it to end short by being involved in an avoidable accident or collision. It’s no secret that Massachusetts has some crazy weather from November to March, so make sure your drivers are prepared. For more

What to do in the Event of a Limo Accident

No matter how much trust you put into your drivers and regardless of how safe and responsible they are behind the wheel, sometimes accidents and collisions can happen anyway. Sometimes things suddenly spring up on the road without any warning and leave a reliable driver searching for answers. Because accidents can happen at any time, it’s important your drivers know what to do in the aftermath.

If one of your drivers were to commit an error after an accident that jeopardized the safety of a passenger, you could be looking at a liability claim on your limo insurance. Limousine accidents are serious matters regardless of the nature of the accident because the fact that passengers may be involved makes it all the more dangerous. While your company’s limo drivers are obviously trained and equipped to avoid collisions, anything can happen on the road no matter how experienced the driver is. If one of your drivers is ever involved in accident with passengers, here is what they should do immediately following the collision:

• The first thing a limo driver should is make sure to check the status of all the occupants of the vehicle, including the driver themselves. After making sure that you, the driver, are injury free immediately assess each and every passenger.

• If anyone in the limo is injured, call 911 immediately and also contact the police to alert them of your accident or collision. All limo drivers should have a cell phone on hand.

• Assess the damage of your vehicle and other one involved and see which spots were damaged. Take photos of the vehicle you hit so you can refer to them later one in addition to the license plates. Finally, take pictures of the accident scene from various angles to support your written report.

• If you were involved in a collision with one or more vehicles, exchange insurance information with each of the drivers of the vehicles. For each vehicle involved be sure to get the driver and owner’s name, phone number, address, license plate number, insurance company and policy information. You will also need the names of all the occupants of each vehicle.

• Following the accident the driver of the limo should fill out and file an accident report with details of the accident. The state, insurance provider and the limo company will keep this for their records. Be sure to immediately report any accident where serious injuries were sustained to your insurance company via their 800 Claim number service.

• If the accident occurs in an area away highly populated area, it’s always a good idea to keep an emergency kit stored in the trunk of your limo. A typical emergency kit will have jumper cables, a flashlight, batteries and road flares.

This checklist of information and procedures should be kept in the car and each driver should be aware of its location.

Accidents can happen at any time, even if you limo driver isn’t at fault. However, it’s important for your employees to have the knowledge of what to do after an accident. If you have any more questions, feel free to contact our agency and talk to us about livery insurance in Massachusetts.


Safety Best Practices for Limo Drivers

Being confident in the ability of your drivers is an important aspect of owning a limo service, but are your employees aware of the best practices for keeping everyone safe while they are behind the wheel? Your business is a client based service, but you’re also in charge of their safety and well-being, and if you fail in either of these areas you could be subject to liability claims on your limo insurance policy. Here are some tips for limo driver safety you can share with your employees:

• Staying alert: When driving any vehicle it’s important to concentrate and notice all of your surroundings. However, since you have customers you need to pay extra attention to what’s going on around you. Additionally, no driver should get behind the wheel if they feel tired or fatigued.
• Intersection Etiquette: Many vehicle accidents occur at intersections whether it’s two-way, three-way or four-way. Your drivers should understand the right of way rules at intersections to avoid any costly and damaging collisions.
• Obeying the speed limit: This should be a no-brainer, but it’s imperative you drill this into your driver’s brains. If you any of your employees are involved in an accident as the result of speeding our potential liability is significantly increased which could lead to larger settlements and significantly higher premiums.
• Distracted driving: No professional driver should ever be distracted while on the road. Whether it’s using a cell phone, eating or drinking, driving is meant to be done with two hands, not one. Drivers who use handheld devices while driving are four more times likely to be involved in accident!
• Following too closely: Since limos have increased stopping distances when compared to a regular vehicle, rear end collisions are quite common. Always follow at a safe distance and extend that distance as your speeds increase.
• Sideswiping: Because of the awkward turn radius of the extended limousines, sideswiping is an accident that is all too commonplace.. Be sure to properly train your drivers by using cones and simulations so that they understand the mechanics and the feel of how limos move.

As one of the leading livery insurance agencies, we understand the risk limo companies face on a daily basis which is why we specialize in helping businesses like yours continue to operate safely. Feel free to give us a call today and request a quote!


Deciding Between a New or Used Vehicle for Your Business

Is your livery service looking for a new vehicle? Depending on the type of service you offer, it may be a tough decision choosing between a new and used vehicle to add to your fleet. Since customer satisfaction is one of your primary goals, it’s tough to settle for anything less than the best. Here is a breakdown of new and used vehicles:

• New: A brand new vehicle obviously comes in mint condition with the freshest amenities. Not only will you be getting the latest model, but you’ll also be getting a vehicle in the best shape that isn’t likely to breakdown anytime soon. Cost is obviously always a concern with a new vehicle and it’s likely you will have to make monthly payments as oppose to paying for it all at once.

• Used: You will always find a used vehicle for a great price, but is it actually worth it? If your business is struggling and adding another vehicle is of utmost important, than going used may not be a bad idea. But keep in mind that a used vehicle comes with some wear and tear—internally and externally—that may turn some customers off. However, many used vehicles are in great shape and look just as new regardless.

The decision between buying a new or used vehicle for your livery business is obviously difficult, which is why weighing the pros and cons is necessary. Whatever your decision, you’ll want to be sure you get the proper livery insurance that will respond in the event that the vehicle is damaged. Our limo insurance agency recommends doing what is best for your business, so contact us today if you have any additional questions!


Obtaining a Livery Plate for Your Limousine

Are you looking to get your business going and get your limousine out on the road? Before you can do either, you must obtain a livery plate from the Massachusetts DMV.

As a livery operator in Massachusetts, you must acquire a special license plate (known as a livery plate.) A livery plate is designed for vehicles that are considered “limousines.” The term “limousine” typically means it is a luxury sedan, of either standard or extended length, with a seating capacity of no more than nine passengers, including the driver.

Once you have obtained your livery plate, you will want to get your vehicle out on the road. Before this can happen, you must obtain the right livery insurance. By having this coverage in place, you will be conveying proof of financial responsibility. The end result: a liability insurance certificate, an expiration date of your insurance policy and your vehicle identification number (VIN). Once you are all set, you will be good to go!

At Wolpert Insurance, we are experts in the livery department. Our agents are ready to work with you in order to secure your vehicle and get it out on the road as soon as possible. For more information, give us a call at 508-459-4700. We would be more than happy to provide your livery business with a free quote!