Most recently a large Los Angeles area livery service informed us that their liability insurance was increased from $4200 per vehicle to $9200. Horror stories abound when it comes to today’s insurance dilemma. On a positive note, let us look at a few of the suggested options which are being proposed to combat runaway Insurance costs.
Many reforms of the civil justice system are being considered. Some of the suggested changes include basing damages on the share of negligence; limiting periods of liability for products; ending punitive damages; fining those whose cases are judged to be frivolous; limiting a lawyer’s contingency fee; restricting “shared liability”; and replacing the hodge-podge of state product liability laws with a federal statute or uniform state laws.
High on the list of suggested considerations regarding insurance company practices are: Changing the policy of settling claims of questionable merit; having a mandatory sixty day cancellation notice, and having much closer Insurance rate regulation by state authorities.
Of course, management must have some options and a partial list might include shopping aggressively for affordable coverage; increasing your deductibles; passing increased costs on to the consumer; making employees and managers aware of lawsuit avoidance practices; having customers sign waivers; and discontinuing high-risk services.
There is no simple solution to the complex insurance problem. The final answer will probably involve a combination of efforts from every sector. However, the National Limousine Association and regional limousine associations across the country are attempting to find workable solutions: You can lend them your support and, if you are not a joiner, it would be worth making your concerns about Insurance known to your Congressman. One Congressman the industry should support is Ron Wyden of Oregon who has introduced a bill (H.R. 4301) to allow groups like the NLA to form risk pool insurance companies on a national basis. Even a fourteen cent postcard to your Congressman would help send a message.