While fuel costs and the state of the overall U.S. economy are today's hot button issues, the cyclical nature of insurance pricing will eventually move it back to or near the top of the list sometime down the road.
That said, it's always a prudent strategy for limousine operators to get better pricing by establishing a plan today that will allow more flexibility when securing liability and physical damage insurance coverage tomorrow.
Interestingly, whenever operators have an opportunity to describe their companies, the points they make are striking. Specifically, they go to great lengths detailing how their company is decidedly different (and better) than their competitors for a variety of reasons. Whether it is: their unique marketing niche, the excellent safety records of their drivers, the special features of their equipment, or the receipt of industry or community awards, most company owners are justifiably proud to let everyone know what makes their operations special and distinct.
Unfortunately, when it comes to applying for an insurance quote, painfully little of that positive message reaches those who need to know it most - the insurance underwriters. Don't allow that to happen. Look upon the insurance application process as a marketing opportunity to sell your unique and compelling attributes to agents and underwriters. Underwriters live for information, so attach marketing brochures, customer testimonials, flattering local media stories, and your company website address to the application so that underwriters can acknowledge your uniqueness with an appropriate (i.e. lower) premium.
- Put together a "sales" piece similar to what you would use to sell a top client.
- Include any awards your company gets from customers, civic groups, industry magazines, or other pertinent sources.
- Just like you always answer the question "Why should I hire you?" when putting together sales pieces, answer the question "Why should I give your company better rates?" when preparing for your insurance renewals.
- Include differentiators such as chauffeur safety training, sensitivity training, CPR, on the road, classroom, etc. That will show how your company is not just another cookie cutter company.
- Include industry involvement. People who are involved in industry associations (both nationally and locally) take operating to the letter of the law very seriously. If you participate on the board of the association or in some other capacity, let us know.
- If clients are raving fans and have sent testimonials, put them in the package.
- Include information about your packages and what makes your company unique.
- Tell us who is using your service. Be a name dropper. If Microsoft uses you exclusively, that is something that will help the underwriter understand more about your company.
- Remember that although your agent knows you and your company, he may not be conveying all of the great attributes that will make a difference to your underwriter.
- Keep a file that you update as things occur throughout the year. When your renewals come up, you will have all of the information in one place ready to go.
- Every company is unique in its own way. Be compelling when you put your story together. Keeping your insurance company apprised about your greatness could net you lower premiums.