Stay Competitive with Concierge Services

One way to set yourself apart from other auto rental agencies is to offer concierge services. Here are a few ideas of how you can use concierge services as the “carrot” to entice customers:

  • Partner with local places and offer coupons or incentives
  • Facilitate restaurant reservations for ”must-try” local establishments or those with regional food specialties.
  • Assist with reservations for shows, movies, local attractions and other area highlights.
  • Offer door-to-door service: Arrange to deliver the car to the renter at the hotel and pick up the car. That way, renters don’t have to cut into their valuable vacation time.
  • Offer “accessories”: umbrellas, beach chairs, bikes, etc.
  • Include a welcome package: weather forecast, local coupons, emergency locations (hospital, urgent care, pharmacy, etc.), places of worship and more.
  • Calendar of local celebrations – best times to visit based on what’s going on in their “town/city.” Most cities have a calendar of events, so link to it.
  • Go into more detail with a mini-newsletter, complete with enticing photos: parades, competitions, shows, expos, etc.
  • Local travel: what roads to avoid due to construction or congestion (rush hour)
  • Insider tips: Share information so that renters can experience the area like a local.

And if you really want to go the extra mile (pun intended), consider these types of concierge services:

  • Invest in a mobile app that includes some of the items listed above
  • For areas with tolls, offer a free responder
  • Partner with a towing company for roadside assistance (although we hope your renters will never need it!)

You can offer such services to all renters, or use them as an incentive for repeat business. Start a loyalty club, and reward your best customers with these perks.

Put yourself in the shoes (or driver seat) of those renting your vehicles. They’re looking for value-added services. Your partners get extra exposure. You’re looking to one-up the competition. It’s a win-win-win.

Hurricane Season Begins Today. Are You Ready?

Whether you’re leasing one car or a fleet of vehicles, you — and your customers — must be prepared for the unexpected. In the summertime (and beyond), particularly in coastal areas, that means you need to take into account hurricane season and its associated risks.

The Atlantic hurricane season runs June 1 – Nov. 30, and scientists at Colorado State University are predicting this year’s storms to be slightly above average. They forecast 14 named storms, half of which they predict will become hurricanes, and three reaching strength of Category 3 or higher.

Just as the meteorologists keep tabs on hurricanes, you’ll want to put them on your personal radar. In short, you should keep your eye on the eye of the storm, especially while your renters are on vacation. Make sure your know the destination of your renters and contact them if there are hurricane warnings. In terms of auto insurance, for adequate protection you should recommend coverage that includes “acts of God.”

Have a plan of action ready PRIOR to the threat of a hurricane or severe weather. Here’s what you should do to protect your assets:

  • Start putting your Emergency Preparedness Plan into effect as soon as you become aware that the storm is headed your way. Today’s prediction abilities usually give several days advance notice of the most likely areas to be hit.
  • If you are in a flood-prone area, make sure your plan includes getting your vehicles to higher ground.
  • With heavy rains, make sure the placement of your vehicles is on solid ground so they don’t get mired down in mud.
  • If you are in a hail-prone area, is there a covered area to place your vehicles?  Or can you cover the vehicle in a way to minimize damage? Example: cover windshields or areas that are vulnerable to breakage.
  • Hurricanes produce high winds. Get the vehicles out of harm’s way of potential flying debris, trees or unstable objects that may become a damaging projectile. If your vehicle is an RV (motorized or towable) make sure all slide outs and awnings are pulled in and all stabilizer jacks are down to help avoid overturning.
  • Take steps to make sure none of your active rentals or reservations for that time period is headed for the hurricane zone.
  • Make sure you have additional drivers / tow vehicles available to help you enact your protection plan.

Remember, you need to protect your assets, but this should be done well in advance. Then you have time to take care of your personal wellbeing.

Why Do You Need RV Rental Insurance?

As an RV owner, I often think that it’s a shame my unit doesn’t get used more than it really does. This is probably one of the reasons why you want to rent your RV, aside from the fact that it helps offset the costs of owning an RV.

There are a number of factors and legalities to understand in the rental industry. First, RV rental is governed in all states by the same rules and regulations that the auto rental industry has to adhere to.  Among these rules and regulations, insurance becomes an integral part of protecting yourself and your valuable property.

Let’s look at some of these factors:

  1. Your personal insurance on your RV specifically EXCLUDES coverage in a rental situation. Therefore, if a claim arises out of a rental, your personal insurance will not take any part in assisting you in the fixing of your unit, nor will they assist in helping you recover your loss from any third party.
  2. Certificates of Insurance obtained by the renter on their personal insurance does NOT guarantee that their insurance carrier will cover your loss.
  3. Unlike auto rental, credit cards and travel insurance plans will not offer the same coverage protections for an RV rental.
  4. In some states, YOUR insurance is primary, which means that if you don’t have proper protection on your unit, YOU may be responsible.

Where does this leave you?

Obtaining Commercial Auto insurance for the rental concerns of your RV can be intimidating. Understanding what you need and why will help you navigate the path to protection and ultimately give you peace of mind.

RV Rental Insurance is a very specialized coverage. Triad Insurance Management  & Services Agency has one of the few RV Rental programs in the U.S. and I am the underwriter for this program.  I am also an avid RVer, so I understand both worlds.

Online reservation systems would not always be the party that purchases or provides insurance for you. Depending upon the reservation system, they may provide some coverage to your unit for your protection, with many selling products to the renter to cover them only during the rental period.  What happens if you rent your RV outside of the reservation system?  Is it covered?

Triad’s program can only provide insurance to businesses.  Why businesses only?  Because running your rental as a business will protect your personal assets.  From an underwriting perspective, a business will provide structure to your rental process by having a proper rental agreement, walk through procedures, and proper documentation in the event of a claim.  Your unit will be insured regardless of it’s rental status and yes, you can still use your RV (just as your own customer).

Let’s talk costs. RV Rental insurance will be more expensive than your personal insurance policy.  This is because there are known drivers being rated on your personal policy, whereas, you and we do not know anything about the driving habits of the person(s) you are renting to.  Insurance for a travel trailer is usually much less than a motorized unit.  Why?  With towables, the liability portion of your coverage is mostly provided by the tow vehicle.  Therefore, while liability is afforded to your towable, it is far less likely to be a claim issue.  Towable values are generally lower in value which drives this pricing as well and it is also dependent  upon the area you’re in.  Motorized units generate more premium because the liability risk is greater.

How do you pay for RV Rental Insurance? Like any business, you incorporate your overhead costs into your rental fee structure.  It is illegal to charge your customer for your insurance as a separate, itemized fee, but you can build it into your daily rate.  Triad’s program does not require you to sell any counter products to your customer.

For more information on how to get a quote, contact us.