On Tuesday, May 23, 25 members, vendors, and guests attended the Maryland Limousine Association (MLA) luncheon meeting held at Jimmy’s Famous Seafood in Baltimore. Topics discussed at the meeting included fuel card services, insurance, vehicle shortages, and the recent Day on the Hill hosted by the National Limousine Association. CD Editor Rob Smentek was present for the event.
Following attendee introductions and a brief preview of the afternoon’s agenda, MLA President Len Joseph of On the Town Limousines introduced the first speaker, Alex Sussman from COAST fuel cards, who described his company’s services and what they can offer the luxury transportation industry. Next, Joseph provided some insight into his experience with the Day on the Hill. He and MLA member Willie Cook of DTS Worldwide described the “asks” the industry had for the governmental representatives and legislators, including preventing congestion taxes, fairness at the curb, ERTC processing, and restoring bonus depreciation. Joseph then discussed the possibility of teaming up with the Virginia Limousine Association to handle issues that affect both organizations.
Then, Joseph invited Holly McCulloh of Hilb Group Insurance to participate in a Q&A about the insurance industry and what operators are facing. Regarding insurance renewals, McCulloh informed the MLA membership that insurers are doing “deep dives” into operators’ backgrounds including checking their websites, Yelp reviews, and even Google maps to make sure they’re representing their fleets accurately. Simply put, she advised operators to “have your house in order” prior to seeking renewal. When asked by an operator in attendance why rates are going up even for folks with clean driving records, McCulloh explained that inflation and expensive claims have caused increases across the board. She advised operators to get telematics to help keep rates low.
The meeting’s final guest was Armik Megerdichian, the Lincoln Brand Manager from Sheehy Ford Lincoln in Gaithersburg, Md. The veteran retailer admitted that parts availability and vehicle inventory are still affected by the pandemic, and advised operators to continue to plan ahead when buying new vehicles. For example, if you think that you’ll need a vehicle in January, consider placing the order in August. Megerdichian also confirmed that the used car market is still hot, and that there is plenty of opportunity for operators to unload unwanted metal.
Before the meeting was concluded, Joseph urged the operators in attendance to keep their eyes open for illegal operators. He encouraged everyone to take photos of illegal cars and license plates and email them to the Public Service Commission.
Visit mdlimoassoc.org for more information.