Near our hometown in North Florida, we occasionally see a Chicken Limo pass by. This oversized party-on-wheels has a giant chicken head on the roof. Our law firm’s staff has been begging for an office outing in it. One of these days, we might just surprise them!
Limousines aren’t just in big cities anymore. They also aren’t just for the snooty elite. With over 100,000 chauffeured vehicles in the US, limo companies create once-in-a-lifetime opportunities for bachelorette parties, weddings, proms and other special events. In fact, imagination runs wild with many creative companies. A quick Google search reveals swimming pool and hot tub limos, a Boeing 727 limo, stretch Hummers, and plenty of sports car limos, just to name a few.
Costs of Operation
Owning a limousine company is not all fun and games though. It’s tough to make a living with all the big- ticket items like payroll, leases, fuel and insurance. Transportation businesses work hard to keep costs down in order to make a profit.
As to insurance, company owners and safety managers know the downside of filing insurance claims. Too many claims can drastically increase premiums and persuade an insurance carrier to drop an insured completely. Pursuing at-fault drivers for damaging company vehicles rather than filing claims is sometimes advisable.
Pursue Limo Repairs, Diminished Value, Out of Pocket Expenses, and Loss of Use
If a limo is hit, sitting in the repair shop, and unable to perform the contracts it has in place, consider asking the other driver’s insurance company for all losses. While the costs of repair might be the biggest expense, this is not always the case. After an accident, there can be many out-of-pocket costs and other losses. Just because a limo business doesn’t have all types of coverage on their own insurance policy doesn’t mean these costs can’t be pursued against the at-fault driver.
After an accident, is your vehicle worth what it was before the accident? If not, demand the difference. It’s best to have a written valuation prepared by an expert. That expert may have to go toe-to-toe with the other insurance company’s expert, so make sure your expert is highly qualified.
Loss of Use
In the insurance world, loss of use occurs when a victim is deprived of the use of his or her assets. For example, if a car crashes into a clothing store and shuts the store down for three weeks, that store has a loss of use claim against that bad driver and their insurance company.
A limo is also a business, just on wheels. Therefore, if the limo is damaged by a bad driver, the limo company should file a loss of use claim against that driver as well.
These days, the lost income is often more than the repairs themselves. This is often the case because of the serious nationwide shortage and backorder on car and truck parts.
Mitigation – Finding a New Limo
Mitigation is a term used frequently by insurance companies. It is the act of lessening the loss from an accident. In some cases, this may be done through renting another vehicle. However, a business owner who owns one limousine is probably going to have a tougher time finding a replacement limo than a business owner with 100 limos in their fleet. It is important to record all proof of rental attempts, even if not successful. This will help strengthen a loss of use claim.
Past Claims = Found Money?
Not all insurance claims are pursued. Many claims are filed away by businesses to be either dealt with later or forgotten. Be aware that every state in the US has its own timetable as to how long a claim can be pursued. Take a moment to think about whether your business has fully pursued all potential claims. By taking a second look, could you find money that’s rightfully yours?
The Eckert Solution
If your business has insurance claims that need addressing, give our firm a call. We at Eckert & Associates, PA are knowledgeable in transportation and insurance claims. Our lawyers offer free consultations. Our team also offers a review of both old and new files.
We would love to speak with you and welcome your call! You can also fill out our “Do I Have a Case?” form to request a complimentary review of your situation.