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Thread: New Business trying to start in Boston... having issues with insurance

  1. #1

    Default New Business trying to start in Boston... having issues with insurance

    Hey all, so over the last couple months I have been jumping through hoops(it seems like) to get my business off the ground. I have my first vehicle(Yukon Denali XL), my website(Bostoncoachandlimo.com), my uniform, my livery plates, and my insurance.

    I've done my research(with recomended reading of certain books), taken friends and family out for service(most of them heavy car service users), put my marketing strategy together for the first year and am awaiting my approval for my Mass Port permits. The common review is, "the best service we have experienced, doing all the little things that most car services dont in this area" I have a few deals pending on my massport permits with exotic car dealers in the metrowest area of Boston, and some corporations.

    This business is in its infancy but having a pretty extensive network(from another business I own) and my level of attention to detail and service, no doubt about it being succesful. I have had an impossible time finding anyone to insure me, and the one agent who has insured me has doubled my rates today after giving me some story about rates in Boston being regulated. I have gone from being told $7-10k a year to $15-$20k a year. I am a new business, with no formal experience, but am at the point where I have already invested a lot of money out of pocket, and am on the verge of giving up on this thing as I dont see how I will be able to make a worth while income on this for the risk. Anyone out there have some words of wisdom? Maybe another agent?

  2. #2
    Senior Member junehhan's Avatar
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    Have you tried contacting Phil Brun(Limo Insurance King) via this forum? He is one of the most respected insurance brokers on this site and might be able to give you a hand in locating insurance assuming he can find an underwriter for your region. He is currently looking up underwriters for me at this time as well.

    As I am finding out myself, the inexperience of your company will mean that you have to pay rates that are higher than others who have been around a while. Insurance rates are also currently on an upward trend as well at this time. I am surprised to see rates that high in your region as those are 3-4x what is the average for the Cincinnati region.

    Quote Originally Posted by 55fanatic View Post
    Hey all, so over the last couple months I have been jumping through hoops(it seems like) to get my business off the ground. I have my first vehicle(Yukon Denali XL), my website(Bostoncoachandlimo.com), my uniform, my livery plates, and my insurance.

    I've done my research(with recomended reading of certain books), taken friends and family out for service(most of them heavy car service users), put my marketing strategy together for the first year and am awaiting my approval for my Mass Port permits. The common review is, "the best service we have experienced, doing all the little things that most car services dont in this area" I have a few deals pending on my massport permits with exotic car dealers in the metrowest area of Boston, and some corporations.

    This business is in its infancy but having a pretty extensive network(from another business I own) and my level of attention to detail and service, no doubt about it being succesful. I have had an impossible time finding anyone to insure me, and the one agent who has insured me has doubled my rates today after giving me some story about rates in Boston being regulated. I have gone from being told $7-10k a year to $15-$20k a year. I am a new business, with no formal experience, but am at the point where I have already invested a lot of money out of pocket, and am on the verge of giving up on this thing as I dont see how I will be able to make a worth while income on this for the risk. Anyone out there have some words of wisdom? Maybe another agent?
    Mobile Personal Banker
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    Homer, Alaska bound! Precision Executive Transportation Services LLCwww.precisiontransportationservices.comEmail: junehhan(at)precisiontransportationservices(dot)co mFind us on Facebook right now!

  3. #3
    Senior Member Cedar Mill Limousine's Avatar
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    I would recommend calling Phil Brun from Keily Hines in Louisville, KY. He is on this forum. We have used him since 2008 and have been very pleased.

    Phil T. Brun
    Kiely, Hines & Associates Insurance
    800-295-1897 Ext. 2756
    502-569-2756 Direct
    pbrun@kielyhines.com
    Rich Rottier
    219.808.0976 | richrottier@gmail.com

  4. #4
    Senior Member Cedar Mill Limousine's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by junehhan View Post
    Have you tried contacting Phil Brun(Limo Insurance King) via this forum? He is one of the most respected insurance brokers on this site and might be able to give you a hand in locating insurance assuming he can find an underwriter for your region. He is currently looking up underwriters for me at this time as well.

    As I am finding out myself, the inexperience of your company will mean that you have to pay rates that are higher than others who have been around a while. Insurance rates are also currently on an upward trend as well at this time. I am surprised to see rates that high in your region as those are 3-4x what is the average for the Cincinnati region.
    Beat me to it, June!
    Rich Rottier
    219.808.0976 | richrottier@gmail.com

  5. #5

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    I spoke to Phil very early on... sent him an email and when I hadn't heard back via email I called and spoke wth him. Gave me some great insight in the industry. Was awaiting a call back with a quote and never heard back from him. After so many positive reviews on here, he was the first person I called

  6. #6
    Senior Member Elegant Limousines of Palm Coast's Avatar
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    We have been with T.I.B. brokers since day one. They have always found great deals for us. Nice to see someone from Bean Town. My wife and I are from Mass. Good luck !!

  7. #7

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    oh really? Where abouts? I really wish there was a manual for starting a livery business out here... seems like one thing after another has come up while begining this

    And if you have any more info on TIB that would be great. I

  8. #8

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    Those insurance premiums seem awfully high. How much liability are you required to have? Is that for just one car? Is it a city or state requirement? Rates like that would put me out of biz.

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by LGAL View Post
    Those insurance premiums seem awfully high. How much liability are you required to have? Is that for just one car? Is it a city or state requirement? Rates like that would put me out of biz.
    Well I will tell you, rates like that are going to keep me from going in to Biz. I am a new business, and business owner with no formal experience. I was budgeting 7-10k per car. But now my agent is telling me that because of some City of Boston regulations I am looking at 15k a year.

    On a related note, I found myself getting turned away from a number of agencies and companies as they either do not offer Livery insurance, or I don't have enough vehicles, or they werent willing to insure an in experienced livery business. Of maybe a dozen companies I spoke to, he was the only one that got back to me on a timely manner and at the end of the day, was the only one to offer me any coverage.

    When I finally get my airport permitting, I will be looking at north of $15k. I mean maybe I am not crunching my numbers correctly but that to me is going to set myself up for failure?

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by LGAL View Post
    Those insurance premiums seem awfully high. How much liability are you required to have? Is that for just one car? Is it a city or state requirement? Rates like that would put me out of biz.
    Insurance rates vary widely across the country and for many of us, it isn't a local or state requirement but a federal requirement for us to carry $1.5 million or more since we cross state lines. I know the northeast has high rates compared to what I pay.
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  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by 55fanatic View Post
    Hey all, so over the last couple months I have been jumping through hoops(it seems like) to get my business off the ground. I have my first vehicle(Yukon Denali XL), my website(Bostoncoachandlimo.com), my uniform, my livery plates, and my insurance.

    I've done my research(with recomended reading of certain books), taken friends and family out for service(most of them heavy car service users), put my marketing strategy together for the first year and am awaiting my approval for my Mass Port permits. The common review is, "the best service we have experienced, doing all the little things that most car services dont in this area" I have a few deals pending on my massport permits with exotic car dealers in the metrowest area of Boston, and some corporations.

    This business is in its infancy but having a pretty extensive network(from another business I own) and my level of attention to detail and service, no doubt about it being succesful. I have had an impossible time finding anyone to insure me, and the one agent who has insured me has doubled my rates today after giving me some story about rates in Boston being regulated. I have gone from being told $7-10k a year to $15-$20k a year. I am a new business, with no formal experience, but am at the point where I have already invested a lot of money out of pocket, and am on the verge of giving up on this thing as I dont see how I will be able to make a worth while income on this for the risk. Anyone out there have some words of wisdom? Maybe another agent?
    I have to be honest with you. Before you start branding your company, Boston Coach and Limo, you probably need to change your name and for a couple of different reasons. First, BostonCoach is a large company owned by Fidelity Investments and they may file a lawsuit against you because your name is too close to theirs and that you are trying to build a company using their reputation and ride on their coattails. They may not win, but I can guarantee you they have a legal team on their side that will easily eat any savings you have set aside for lawyers. What your doing is along the lines of opening a soft drink company called Coca-Cola and Soda. Second, people looking for your company may stop at Boston Coach and find BostonCoach meaning that you could lose customers to BostonCoach.

    Just a bit of free advice. I have seen something like this happen before when Maurice Brewster started his company and called it Rollz Royce and then got served papers from Rolls Royce.

    Fix that, then move on to insurance. And honestly, insurance is cheap when you break it down on a per run basis. You will likely end up spending more on fuel and a lot more than you think on things like bottled water and ice.
    Tim Wiegman, Jr.
    Boulevard Limousine
    Travel Confidently!
    Serving Kansas City, Lawrence, Topeka
    http://www.BoulevardLimoKC.com - Kansas City Limos
    KC Airport Car Service

  12. #12
    Senior Member Elegant Limousines of Palm Coast's Avatar
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    We learned the hard way how to get started. I would never want to drive in Boston. My wife is from New Redford and I grew up in the Brockton Area. I always hated driving into the city. Any way here is a link to TIB. http://www.tibinsurance.com/ They do take forever to get quotes but we started with one 120 and 1 mill liabilaty and I think in 2006 we were paying about $3k per limo and $6k per sedan. Hope this helps.
    Quote Originally Posted by 55fanatic View Post
    oh really? Where abouts? I really wish there was a manual for starting a livery business out here... seems like one thing after another has come up while beginning this

    And if you have any more info on TIB that would be great. I

  13. #13

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    I understand the risk with my name but I am ok with it. I did my research it appears there are a lot of similar named smaller companies in and around Boston(and not owned by fidelity) and my primary reason for doing so was the URL bostoncoachandlimo.com. I understand it is a risk, and if it happens I am ready to change the name. For the record the full legal name of the company is Boston Coach and Limo Company, LLC not Boston Coach and Limo

    Quote Originally Posted by BLVD Limo View Post
    I have to be honest with you. Before you start branding your company, Boston Coach and Limo, you probably need to change your name and for a couple of different reasons. First, BostonCoach is a large company owned by Fidelity Investments and they may file a lawsuit against you because your name is too close to theirs and that you are trying to build a company using their reputation and ride on their coattails. They may not win, but I can guarantee you they have a legal team on their side that will easily eat any savings you have set aside for lawyers. What your doing is along the lines of opening a soft drink company called Coca-Cola and Soda. Second, people looking for your company may stop at Boston Coach and find BostonCoach meaning that you could lose customers to BostonCoach.

    Just a bit of free advice. I have seen something like this happen before when Maurice Brewster started his company and called it Rollz Royce and then got served papers from Rolls Royce.

    Fix that, then move on to insurance. And honestly, insurance is cheap when you break it down on a per run basis. You will likely end up spending more on fuel and a lot more than you think on things like bottled water and ice.
    isnt every cost cheap when you break it down to per run basis(with the exception of Fuel)? Still $15-20k per vehicle I am being told now seems obscenely high. I am new to this business but I bet I spend less than $20k on bottled water a year per vehicle.

  14. #14

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    Hmm just re read my post and hope it doesnt come off as arrogant. As a follow up to the name, I actually checked with the Secretary of State in MA, and they saw no problems with the name when compared to Boston Coach... And once we saw the amount of similarly named companies in the State, my lawyer felt pretty confident that there would be no legal consequences down the road which is ultimately why I picked the name to match the URL

  15. #15
    Senior Member junehhan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Elegant Limousines of Palm Coast View Post
    We learned the hard way how to get started. I would never want to drive in Boston. My wife is from New Redford and I grew up in the Brockton Area. I always hated driving into the city. Any way here is a link to TIB. http://www.tibinsurance.com/ They do take forever to get quotes but we started with one 120 and 1 mill liabilaty and I think in 2006 we were paying about $3k per limo and $6k per sedan. Hope this helps.
    Out of curiosity, is there a reason why a sedan costs more to insure than a stretch limo? I would have figured that it would be the opposite since altered vehicles are altered from factory specs and usually don't have all of the safety stuff that a traditional black car would have.
    Mobile Personal Banker
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    Homer, Alaska bound! Precision Executive Transportation Services LLCwww.precisiontransportationservices.comEmail: junehhan(at)precisiontransportationservices(dot)co mFind us on Facebook right now!

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