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What is Cargo Trucking Insurance and Do You Need It?

Posted by David Ross on Sun, Nov 26, 2017

Cargo Trucking Insurance Tips for Philadelphia, Reading, Pittsburgh, Erie, Allentown, Lancaster, PA and beyond.Nearly 70 percent of all freight transported within the U.S. is delivered by trucks every year, and the value of that cargo is about $671 billion in manufactured and retail goods. Also, there is about $295 billion in truck trade with Canada and $195.6 billion with Mexico. And those numbers continue to increase every year.

So, who is responsible for insuring all that freight? What if it gets damaged or lost? Does that responsibility fall on the business sending the cargo or on the carrier transporting it?

When it comes to cargo trucking insurance, typically the person or company transporting the cargo is liable for it until it is delivered and signed for. There are a few exceptions such as acts of God (hurricanes and tornadoes), public authority (authorities placing cargo under quarantine), or damage caused by the shipper (loading the truck improperly).

Do You Transport the Property of Others? Then You Need Cargo Trucking Insurance!

Most companies think about commercial auto insurance to protect against liability, damage, and injuries to their employees. In the transportation industry, protection for your cargo is often equally as important. If you are in the business of transporting the property of others, you need to consider Cargo Trucking Insurance.

What it Covers

Cargo Trucking Insurance covers your liability if the cargo you are transporting is lost or damaged due to fire, collision, or being hit or run over. It covers you while the cargo is under your care, custody, and control until it is delivered and signed for. Some policies even cover the cost of removing debris or pollutants that are accidentally dumped on the road.

Not Available Everywhere

Cargo Trucking Insurance isn’t available in all states, and there are some restrictions. On the other hand, some states and most carriers require it for owner operators or companies transporting their goods. And there are federal mandates that require Cargo Truck Insurance in certain circumstances. For example, when you’re carrying household goods across state lines.

Types of Trucks That Can be Covered

Cargo Trucking Insurance is only available for dump trucks, tractors, most trailers, box trucks, cement mixers, cargo vans, dually pick-ups, flatbeds, and car haulers. It is not available for garbage or ice cream trucks or passenger transportation such as limos, buses, and hearses.

Cargo Trucking Insurance Costs 

The cost of this insurance and the cargo limits can be different depending on the type of cargo being hauled and its origin and destination. To determine the value of the cargo, the owner of the goods should provide a bill of lading, which is required if filing a claim.

As the carrier, you can lower the cost of Cargo Trucking Insurance by increasing your deductible. However, it’s important that make sure you have enough money readily available to cover that deductible in the event of damage or loss.

Insurance Exclusions and Limitations

Cargo Trucking Insurance often includes exclusions for specified types of cargo such as live animals, art, jewelry, money, pharmaceuticals, tobacco, and alcohol. There may also be higher deductibles and sub-limits for certain types of cargo, and theft coverage may be capped at an amount lower than the cargo limit. If your vehicle is left unattended and there is damage or loss to the cargo, certain policies will not cover that loss.

 

We Can Help With All Your Cargo Trucking Insurance Needs

Cargo Trucking Insurance is complicated. There are many exclusions and limitations that insurance agents who do not specialize in trucking insurance may not understand. The independent agents at American Insuring Group are experts in all types of Truck Insurance including Cargo Trucking Insurance.

To learn more about this and other types of commercial insurance, call the friendly agents at American Insuring Group at (800) 947-1270 or (610) 775-3848 or contact us online. You'll save because as independent agents we're free to compare prices and coverage among lots of competing insurance providers.

American Insuring Group - we know trucking insurance!

Tags: Commercial Vehicle Insurance, truck insurance, Cargo Trucking Insurance

5 Truck Driver Safety Tips to Lower Truck Insurance Cost

Posted by David Ross on Sun, Oct 29, 2017

Lower your truck insurance costs with these safety tips. Serving Philadelphia, Reading, Pittsburgh, Erie, Allentown, Harrisburg, PA and beyond with affordable trucking insurance from reliable carriers.You have a great deal of power behind the wheel of a tractor-trailer. It's your responsibility to drive safely. As a bonus, if you do, then you'll also enjoy lower truck insurance costs.

Sobering Trucking Statistics

Truck engines have 300-400 more horses than a passenger vehicle and 900-1,800 more feet/pound of torque, and tractor trailers can weigh 20-30 times more than a passenger vehicle, according to the Truckersreport.com.

Plus, tractor trailers “are taller with greater ground clearance, which can result in smaller vehicles underriding trucks in crashes,” according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IHS). And tractor trailers have more blind spots and take 20-40 percent farther to come to a complete stop than passenger vehicles, according to IIHS.

With great power comes great responsibility. “About 98 percent of all semi accidents result in at least one fatality,” TruckAccidents.org reports. “Most deaths in large truck crashes are passenger vehicle occupants,” according to IIHS. In 2015, IIHS reported that 3,852 people died in large truck crashes – 16% were truck occupants, 29% were car occupants, and the rest were pedestrians, bicyclists, or motorcyclists.

Here are 5 Important Safety Tips for Truck Drivers:

  1. Be Alert – Give the road your full attention and be aware of what is going on around you. Know who is in front of, behind, and next to you at all times. Try to anticipate potential dangers and always leave enough space to allow for safe braking and unexpected actions. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) recommends, “If you are driving below 40 mph, you should leave at least one second for every 10 feet of vehicle length. For a typical tractor-trailer, this results in 4 seconds between you and the leading vehicle. For speeds over 40 mph, you should leave one additional second.”

Being well-rested is key to staying alert.  The hours-of-service regulations, which puts limits on when and how long you can drive, were put into place to help ensure that you remain awake and alert while driving. Don’t compromise safety; follow these regulations.

  1. Watch the Weather – Weather is one of the most significant factors that affect driving safety. Knowing what to expect can help you be better prepared. A wet road requires more room to stop, so slow down and keep an even safer driving distance between you and the car in front of you in bad weather. And pay attention to the temperature as rain can quickly turn to treacherous ice when the temperature drops.

If you don’t feel safe in the current driving conditions, stay parked. Know your limits and don’t be a hero. Nothing is worth risking your life for.

  1. Pick a Lane – The chance of an accident increases every time you change lanes, so pick a lane and stay in it whenever possible. If you do need to change lanes, do so carefully. Be aware of your blind spots and carefully check your mirrors.

  1. Plan Your Travel – If possible, avoid traveling in high-volume traffic at peak times. Allow time for regular breaks to stretch and recharge. Watch the weather to see if you can expect any dangerous conditions and make sure that your truck is equipped with supplies for all driving conditions. Check your rig and your load before starting.

  1. Maintain Control – Remember that your vehicle is bigger and more powerful than most of the vehicles around you and that it won’t stop or take a turn the way a smaller vehicle The best way to maintain control is to control your speed.

No matter how “hot” your load is, nothing is worth risking your life for. And an added benefit is that fewer accidents mean lower truck insurance premiums!

How to Save on Trucking Insurance

A Trusted Choice Independent Agency for PA Truck Insurance. Contact us to save.To learn more ways to save on truck insurance, give contact American Insuring Group online or call us at (800) 947-1270 or (610) 775-3848.

Our independent agents will save you money by comparing lots of competing trucking insurance carriers. Our independence gives us the freedom to shop. We shop, you save!  Call or click today.

Tags: Commercial Vehicle Insurance, truck insurance, Business Insurance

Food Truck Insurance and Risk Management

Posted by David Ross on Mon, Oct 02, 2017

Contact us to reduce risks for your food truck business with the right insurance. We serve Philadelphia, Reading, Lancaster, York, Harrisburg, Lebanon. Allentown, Pittsburgh, Erie, PA and beyond.More people are getting into the food truck business than ever before. Food trucks offer a more affordable and flexible option for first-time entrepreneurs. Plus, many restaurateurs are adding food trucks to increase brand awareness and to cash in on the current growth of the food truck industry.

Food Truck Business Quadrupled in 5 Years

Food Trucks are the fastest growing channel in today’s foodservice industry. The projected food truck revenue in 2017 is expected to be $2.7 billion – compared to $650 million just five years ago - according to Foodtruckoperator.com.

Food Truck Business Risks

Like any business, food trucks face potential risks. Here are 3 main risks to consider:

  1. Vehicle Risk – Food trucks are exposed to many of the same physical risks a restaurant faces such as fire, flood, and general wear and tear with the addition of automobile accidents.

  2. Operator Risk – The people operating the vehicle are subject to many of the same risks a restaurant faces such as falls, cuts, and burns.

  3. Liability Risks – Customers can suffer an injury such as slips or falls along with food-related illnesses. Plus, food trucks have the added liability that sometimes occurs with automobile accidents.

How to Protect Your Food Truck Business

It is your responsibility to protect your business, employees, and customers by managing these risks. There are steps you can take to prevent some them such as thoroughly screening anyone who will be driving your vehicle, following food safety guidelines, and being aware of any possible hazards both in and around your truck. Unfortunately, there will always be certain risks you don’t anticipate or can’t control. One lawsuit or one accident that you aren’t prepared for can mean the end of your business and all the hard work and financial resources you’ve put into it.

Gain Additional Protection with Food Truck Insurance

That’s where food truck insurance - which addresses risks related to most businesses and risks unique to food trucks – can help. Also, most landlords, event organizers, and venue owners will require you to have certain types of insurance. For example, most will require at least $1 million in general liability insurance. They don’t want to be held responsible for damage to your vehicle or injury to your customers. 

7 types of insurance you may want to consider for your food truck business:

  1. General liability helps cover legal expenses, fines, and penalties if someone sues you.

  2. Workers compensation (WC) insurance is required by many states. Within Pennsylvania, WC is mandatory for all employers with one or more employees (with a few exceptions). But with a food truck, you may find yourself traveling to other states. The National Federation of Independent Business offers a state-by-state comparison of workers’ compensation requirements.

  3. Property damage insurance protects your property from damage caused by collision, theft, fire, vandalism, and other damage while your vehicle is parked. Property is divided into two separate categories: your food truck with any attached equipment and the contents of your vehicle.

  4. Auto liability insurance covers you for injury or property damage to others if there is an accident while you are driving the vehicle.

  5. Food spoilage coverage protects you from the costs associated with the loss of food and beverages due to spoilage. Food can quickly spoil with a prolonged power outage or an equipment breakdown, and you certainly don’t want to serve your customers spoiled food.

  6. Food contamination coverage may help recover certain expenses if the health board shuts down your food truck after a food-borne illness outbreak. Contamination can be caused by mishandled or improperly stored food, employees may unknowingly transmit a virus or bacteria to the food, or the food may even be contaminated when you receive it.

  7. Umbrella insurance, which goes above and beyond your general liability and auto liability limits, may be required for large contracts.

 

Getting the Right Insurance for Your Food Truck Business

Contact American Insuring Group for help in obtaining the best food truck insurance at the right price for your needs.It may sound complicated and perhaps a bit overwhelming, but the independent agents at American Insuring Group can walk you through your options and help you determine the best food truck insurance for your operation. Contact us online or give us a call at (800) 947-1270 or (610) 775-3848.

We'll compare competing insurance providers to determine those that offer the best protection at the best price to meet your needs. Contact us today to get protected and to start saving on food truck insurance!

Tags: Commercial Vehicle Insurance, Restaurant Insurance, Business Insurance, Food Truck Insurance

Your For-Hire Trucking Firm Needs Motor Carrier Insurance!

Posted by David Ross on Fri, Feb 17, 2017

Use these tips to save on your motor carrier truck insurance costs in Philadelphia, Reading, Lancaster, Allentown, Harrisburgh, Pittsburgh, Erie, PA and beyond.You invested a lot of money to start your own for-hire trucking business. Now it’s beginning to pay off as your schedule fills and you are spending more time on the road.

Being busy is what you hoped for, but it’s vital that you remember that you are now responsible for the business end of this venture, and protecting it has to be your top priority.

Motor carrier insurance is a type of truck insurance designed specifically for your kind of operation, and choosing the right insurance coverage will protect your investment and your business.

Here are some tips for getting the maximum coverage for your stuation:

For motor carriers who use for-hire independent truckers

If you are permanently leased to a motor carrier, there’s a good chance they will provide Primary Liability insurance coverage for you. The terms will be contained in your lease agreement, and, if the carrier provides the insurance, it will cover injuries and damage to other people and property if you are at fault during an accident.

If your carrier covers the primary liability, you will still need to purchase other for-hire trucking insurance. These are important:


Non-trucking liability: If you are not hauling cargo—you’re getting your truck washed or taking it for repairs—this coverage provides you with limited liability insurance protection.

Physical damage coverage: This insurance covers your truck and trailer against collision, fire, theft, hail, windstorm, earthquake, flood, or vandalism. The lien holder of your vehicle will require this coverage.

Motor truck cargo insurance: If you are responsible for lost freight or damaged goods, you are protected with this policy. The premium will vary depending on the load you’re hauling.

If you work on your own authority:

If you work independently—officially called operating under your own authority—you’ll need to purchase your mandatory primary liability insurance coverage which, as noted earlier, pays for damages you cause to other people and their property.

Other essential coverages:


Physical damage: This insurance pays for repairs to your truck if it's damaged in an accident, whether it's caused by a collision with another vehicle or a falling tree branch.

Motor truck cargo insurance: Pays for damages to the load that you’re hauling in the case of fire, theft, or an accident.

Uninsured motorist coverage: Pays for injuries and damages to you, your passengers, and your vehicle, which was caused by drivers who either don't have insurance or don't have enough insurance to cover your injuries and damages.

Medical payments insurance: Mandatory in some states and unavailable in others, this coverage would pay medical bills for you and any passengers in your truck in case they are hurt in an accident or auto-related injury.

Trailer interchange insurance: If a load needs to be transferred to a different trucker, the motor carrier that has possession of the trailer is responsible for any damage to it, whether or not the trailer is attached to the tractor. Trailer interchange insurance covers physical damage caused to a non-owned trailer under a trucker’s care.

 

Get Help - Get the Right Trucking Insurance

Contact us for the best trucking insurance including motor carrier insuranceSigning on with a reputable motor carrier can mitigate some of those insurance expenses, but whether you drive under permanent lease or your own authority, you will need to sit down with an expert on for-hire trucking insurance to help you get the best coverage at a competitive price.

We can help, so contact the experts at American Insuring Group online or call us at (800) 947-1270 or (610) 775-3848.

Tags: Commercial Vehicle Insurance, truck insurance, Commercial Insurance, Business Insurance, Trucking Insurance, Motor Carrier Insurance

Avoid Drowsy Driving and Reduce Trucking Insurance Claims

Posted by David Ross on Fri, Jan 20, 2017

Tips for avoiding drowsy driving resulting in reduced PA trucking insurance claims in Philadelphia, Reading, Lancaster, Harrisburg, Allentown, York, PA and beyondObviously, falling asleep at the wheel is dangerous, but did you know that driving while you’re drowsy (even if you don’t fall asleep) can be just as dangerous.

Drowsiness makes drivers less able to pay attention to the road, slows reaction time, and affects a driver’s ability to make good decisions, which can all lead to accidents and resulting increases in your trucking insurance costs and claims. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that drowsy driving was responsible for 72,000 crashes, 44,000 injuries, and 800 deaths in 2013.

Because many truck drivers work long or odd hours and have deadlines to meet, they can be particularly susceptible to drowsy driving.If you employ drivers, it’s your responsibility to keep your employees (and those around them) as safe as possible. Plus, keeping your drivers from driving while drowsy - thereby avoiding accidents – can result in lower truck insurance premiums and protect your business from costly and time-consuming lawsuits.

Here are four tips to share wit
your drivers to avoid drowsy driving:

1. Create a healthy sleep environment

  • Park somewhere that is both safe and quiet.
  • Close curtains and truck shades or use an eye mask.
  • Use ear plugs or a “white noise” machine.
  • Keep your environment cool.
  • Use a comfortable mattress and pillow.

2. Prepare for better sleep

  • Try to get 7-9 hours of sleep each day.
  • Pay attention to your body’s natural rhythm and try to go to sleep about the same time every day.
  • Avoid spicy meals, liquids, caffeine, nicotine and other stimulants, and exposure to light from a television or electronic device, such as a tablet or computer (Studies show that light from these devices can disturb your sleep) 2-3 hours before bedtime.
  • Create a relaxing routine within an hour or more of bedtime (brushing your teeth, washing your face, reading, etc.) to signal your brain that it’s time for sleep.

3. Know the warning signs of drowsy driving, and if you experience any of these signs, pull over to take a 15-20 minute nap or change drivers

  • Yawning or frequent blinking
  • Difficulty remembering the past few miles driven
  • Missing your exit
  • Drifting from your lane
  • Hitting a rumble strip on the side of the road

4. According to the Department of Health and Human Services, most drowsy driving crashes or near misses occur from 4-6:00 am, midnight-2:00 am, and 2-4:00 pm, so advise your drivers to use extra caution when driving at these times

Good sleep is as important as proper nutrition and exercise. As you sleep, your body repairs itself and gets you ready for a new day. Driving a truck is a very demanding job, and a lack of sleep increases the risk of drowsy driving and accidents.

Protect your drivers and help avoid costly trucking insurance claims and possibly decrease your insurance premiums by educating your drivers on the importance of sleep and the dangers of drowsy driving.

Are You Paying Too Much for Trucking Insurance?
Contact Us and Save.

Contact us to save on PA Truck Insurance in Allentown, Philadelphia, Lancaster, Reading, Harrisburg, Pittsburgh, Erie, State College, PA and beyond.To learn more about trucking insurance and how you can save, contact American Insuring Group online or call us at (800) 947-1270 or (610) 775-3848.

Our independent agents will search among many competing insurance carriers to find the best trucking insurance at the best price to meet your needs. Call or click today to get started!

Tags: Commercial Vehicle Insurance, truck insurance, Trucking Insurance

Trucking Insurance Tips for Truck Owner-Operators

Posted by David Ross on Wed, Nov 30, 2016

Trucking insurance tips for owner-operators in Philadelphia, Reading, Lancaster, Harrisburg, Allentown, Pittsburgh, Erie, PA and beyond.Starting an independent trucking business is expensive. But, if you get a good return on your investment, it’s worth it. You can be your own boss and have a career that offers excellent earning potential. And, you have a choice to lease your trucks and services or to become an independent carrier.

Whether you're an owner-operator who is under permanent lease to a carrier or you drive under your own authority, you will need truck insurance to protect your business investment. Your insurance needs will be specific to the direction you choose to follow. 

Here are some trucking insurance tips to get you off on the right foot:

  1. If you are under permanent lease

With this arrangement, your insurance needs will be determined by your lease agreement with the carrier. Most will provide Primary Liability coverage, which covers injuries and damage to other people and property if you are at fault for an accident.

Even if your carrier covers this liability, you are still left to purchase other owner-operator insurance that includes:

  • Physical damage coverage: This insurance protects your truck and trailer against collision, fire, theft, hail, windstorm, earthquake, flood, or vandalism. This coverage is likely required by the lien holder of your vehicle.
  • Non-trucking liability: If you are not under dispatch—you’re getting your truck washed or taking it for repairs—this coverage provides you with limited liability protection.
  • Motor truck cargo insurance: This insurance is needed to protect the carrier in case of lost freight or damaged goods. There is a maximum load limit per vehicle with this policy. And the premium may vary depending on the cargo you’re hauling.

 

  1. If you are operating under your own authority

When you are under your own authority, it’s up to you to carry all of the important commercial trucking insurance coverages. Here are four you should consider first:

  • Primary liability: You pay this yourself now, and it protects you against property damages and bodily injuries to others.
  • Physical damage: Pays for repairs to your rig whether it's damaged by a collision or by golf ball-sized hail stones.
  • Motor truck cargo: Pays for damages to the cargo that you’re hauling in the case of fire, theft, or an accident.
  • Trailer interchange insurance: Sometimes a load needs to be transferred to a different trucker to complete the delivery to the final destination. Motor carriers frequently haul trailers that are owned by other motor carriers. This move is often made to facilitate scheduling through a "trade" of trailers that are in different locations.

A trailer interchange agreement makes the motor carrier that has possession of the trailer responsible for any damage to the trailer, whether or not the trailer is attached to the tractor. This is where Trailer Interchange Insurance plays a part. It covers physical damage caused to a non-owned trailer under a trucker’s care.

Get the Help You Need - Contact Us Today!

Signing on with a reputable trucking company can mitigate some of those insurance premiums, but whether you are driving under permanent lease or under your own authority, you will need to sit down with an expert on trucking insurance to help you get the best coverage at a competitive price. Contact American Insuring Group online or call us at (800) 947-1270 or (610) 775-3848 to learn more about how to protect your business investment.

Tags: Commercial Vehicle Insurance, truck insurance, Commercial Insurance, Business Insurance, Trucking Insurance

Distracted Driving & Workers Comp Insurance

Posted by David Ross on Tue, May 03, 2016

Distracted driving can drive up workers comp insurance costs and the cost of commercial vehicle insurance in Pennsylvania and elsewhere.A recent study on distracted driving from in-car data collection and analysis showed that drivers spend more than half their time focused on things other than driving.

There are a variety of activities that count as distractions, and it’s estimated that these distractions contribute to more than 5,000 traffic fatalities each year. 

Here are some of the most common driving distractions, any of which can result in higher workers compensation insurance rates if they occur while on the job:

  • Talking on a cell phone
  • Texting
  • Eating and drinking
  • Attending to child passengers
  • Grooming
  • Reading, including maps
  • Using a navigation system
  • Watching a video
  • Adjusting a radio, CD, MP3 or temperature controls

Your Business and Your Workers Comp Insurance Rates

When your workers are behind the wheel on your company’s behalf, their safety is your business. And since texting takes your drivers’ attention away from the road for almost five seconds (the equivalent of driving the length of a football field at 55 mph blindfolded), it is important that you prohibit them from texting in your commercial vehicles.

“It is well recognized that texting while driving dramatically increases the risk of a motor vehicle injury or fatality.” Explains David Michaels, Assistant Secretary at Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). “We are asking employers to send a clear message to workers and supervisors that your company neither requires nor condones texting while driving.”

Your Legal Responsibility to Safeguard Drivers at Work

As a business owner or manager, your legal responsibility under OSHA is to safeguard drivers at work. And it makes no difference whether they drive full-time or only occasionally to carry out their work, or whether they drive a company vehicle or their own. When OSHA receives a plausible complaint that an employer requires texting while driving or organizes work so that texting is a necessity, they will investigate and issue citations and penalties where necessary.

Your cooperation can minimize the danger to your business

Building a workplace culture of safety requires clear, explicit policies and sound practices. OSHA, which enforces worker safety laws, has joined with the Transportation Department, other agencies, key associations and organizations to enlist the help and cooperation of businesses of all sizes in a nationwide outreach, education, and enforcement effort to stop the dangerous practice of texting while driving.

Here are a few of the recommendations for employers to follow:

  • Prohibit texting while driving. OSHA encourages employers to declare their vehicles “text-free zones.” Also, emphasize that commitment to their workers, customers, and communities.
  • Establish work procedures and rules that do not make it necessary for workers to text while driving in order to carry out their duties.
  • Set up clear procedures, times, and places for drivers’ safe use of texting and other technologies for communicating with managers, customers, and others.
  • Incorporate safe communications practices into worker orientation and training.
  • Eliminate financial and other incentive systems that encourage workers to text while driving.

Millions of Americans drive on the job every day, and this deadly behavior, texting while driving, has put them at risk. And that risk continues to grow as texting becomes more widespread. OSHA believes that by improving our understanding of how mental and physical distractions impair your company drivers and by educating them about avoiding distractions, we can eliminate these needless deaths and make our businesses safer while lowering commercial vehicle insurance and workers compensation insurance costs.

For more information about safe driving, commercial vehicle insurance, and workers comp insurance, contact us online or call (800) 947-1270 or (610) 775-3848.

Tags: Workers Compensation Insurance, Commercial Vehicle Insurance, workers comp, workers comp insurance, PA Workers Compensation Insurance, workers comp costs

What is Commercial Auto Insurance?

Posted by David Ross on Tue, Sep 22, 2015

Commercial auto insurance and personal auto insurance are two completely different things – mainly because a commercial vehicle faces more risks and needs more protection than a personal vehicle.

PA Commercial Auto Insurance requirements defined. Serving the car insurance needs of Philadelphia, Reading, Allentown, Lancaster, Harrisburg, York, Lebanon, Erie, Pittsburgh, State College, PA and beyond.Commercial auto insurance is designed to protect you, your employees, your vehicle, your equipment, your business (in the event of a lawsuit), and other individuals. It has some of the same coverages as personal insurance, but usually includes higher liability coverage and additional add-ons not offered with personal auto insurance.

If you are conducting business in a vehicle that is only covered by personal auto insurance and that vehicle is involved in an accident, you risk having your claim denied.

State and Federal Insurance Requirements for Your Personal or Commercial Vehicle

Each state has different requirements, but nearly all of them require that any registered vehicle be covered by – at least – liability insurance, and some states require that you purchase uninsured motorist coverage and no-fault car insurance. Pennsylvania is one of those states, and these requirements – and often more - apply to your commercial vehicle.

If you transport hazardous materials or you transport goods or passengers from state to state, you are also subject to federal requirements for commercial auto insurance. For instance: a commercial vehicle carrying 16 or more passengers across state lines is required to have $5 million of insurance and a vehicle carrying less than 15 passengers across state lines is required to carry at least $1.5 million of insurance.

Often, you will find that insurance companies will only sell you policies that include coverage that is higher than the state’s minimum requirements for personal vehicles, because providing coverage for a commercial vehicle increases the risk. Plus, financial intuitions may require additional coverage.

Do you need commercial auto insurance?

If you own or lease a fleet of vehicles, you probably understand that you need commercial auto insurance, but even if you own just one of the following vehicles and use it for business purposes, you should have commercial vehicle insurance:

  • Trucks – dump trucks, refrigerator trucks, etc.
  • Vehicles outfitted with work equipment
  • Utility vans
  • Limousines
  • Taxicabs
  • Flatbeds

You might be surprised to learn that you should also have commercial insurance for a “regular” car, pick-up truck, or SUV if any of these circumstances apply:

  • You use a vehicle or vehicles for your profession or business (other than commuting to work)
  • The vehicle is owned or leased by a business, partnership, or other corporation
  • The vehicle is equipped with…
    • Snowplowing equipment.
    • Cooking or catering equipment.
    • Bathrooms.
    • Altered suspensions.
    • Hydraulic lifts.
    • Racing equipment.
  • The vehicle is consistently driven by you or your employees for both business and personal use.

Add-on insurance to consider for your commercial vehicle:

  • Collision: This covers your vehicle for damage incurred in a collision/accident.

  • Comprehensive Insurance: This covers you if your vehicle is damaged by something other than a collision, such as theft, fire, or vandalism.

  • PIP and medical payments coverages: Personal injury protection (PIP) and medical payments coverages help take care of expenses, such as the loss of wages, incurred when you and/or your passengers are injured in an accident.

  • Emergency roadside insurance: If you’re battery dies, you get a flat tire, need your car towed, run out of gas, or lock yourself out of the car, this insurance can come in handy.

  • Personal effects insurance:  This insurance covers your personal belongings in the event of a theft.

Contact Us for the Right Commercial Vehicle Insurance 

Contact us for all your commercial vehicle insurance needs in PA and beyond.If you want to protect your employees, your vehicle, your equipment, your business, and other individuals, give us a call at (800) 947-1270 or (610) 775-3848 or click here to contact us.

As independent insurance agents, we can help determine the right auto insurance at the right price for your vehicle by shopping among competing insurance carriers. Click or call today.

Tags: Car Insurance Harrisburg PA, Van Insurance, Car Insurance Lancaster PA, Commercial Vehicle Insurance, Car Insurance, Car Insurance Reading PA, Car Insurance Allentown PA, Car Insurance Philadelphia PA, Affordable Car Insurance, Commercial Insurance, Business Insurance

8 Auto Insurance Myths Debunked

Posted by David Ross on Tue, Sep 08, 2015

Car insurance myths. Learn more from American Insuring Group, providing auto insurance in Reading, Philadelphia, Allentown, Harrisburg, Lancaster, York, Lebanon, Pittsburgh, Erie, PA and beyond.Most drivers are aware that the rates they pay for auto insurance are a result of factors such as their driving record, the type of car, van, truck or RV they own, the distance of their commute, and various demographics like their age and gender.

But there are also lots of myths about vehicle insurance that, in some cases, could end up costing them substantially more than the premium.

Let's shine the light of truth and dispel all 8 myths right now!

 

Auto Insurance Myth #1:
A Red Car is the Most Expensive to Insure

Although this myth has persisted for many years, there is no basis for it. The sticker price of your car, its safety record, the cost to repair it, and the likelihood of theft are all considered in the premium. The color makes no difference. Simply put, the premium on a silver Mercedes 260E will be higher than on a red Honda Civic.

Auto Insurance Myth #2:
Older Drivers Pay More to Insure their Vehicles

The truth is that senior drivers (usually 55 and over) have the opportunity for discounts that may not be available to younger drivers. Both AAA and AARP offer defensive driving courses for mature drivers. These may be taken online and, upon successful completion, could result in as much as a 10% reduction in your vehicle insurance premium.

Auto Insurance Myth #3:
When it Comes to Car Insurance, Credit Score is not Important

Actually, it is very important. Almost every insurance company uses a credit-based insurance score to determine eligibility and premium rates, and it is based, in whole or in part, on the information found in your consumer credit report. For most people, a good credit score will translate into lower insurance rates and vice versa.

Auto Insurance Myth #4:
If Your Car is Stolen, Damaged, or Vandalized, You Will be Covered

Not necessarily. Comprehensive vehicle insurance, which covers theft, vandalism, and an array of non-collision damages to your car, is optional coverage. Many drivers choose not to carry this on an older car as a way of saving money. Keep in mind that if a car is to be fully protected, both collision and comprehensive coverage need to be in force.

Auto Insurance Myth #5:
The Minimum Amount of Auto Liability Insurance Required by Law is Sufficient

State minimum liability requirements don’t come close to covering the cost of a serious accident. The old idiom “penny wise and pound foolish” applies here. Saving a few dollars a year on inadequate coverage may end up costing thousands more. Actual liability coverage limits should be four to six times higher than the state minimum.

Auto Insurance Myth #6:
If Someone Else Drives Your Car, Their Insurance Will Cover Them in an Accident

In most states, car insurance travels with the vehicle. So remember, if you’re loaning out your car, you’re agreeing to take responsibility for that driver. Your rates may be at risk if the driver has an accident.

Auto Insurance Myth #7:
Members of the Military Pay More for Insurance

This is not the case. In fact, many insurance companies offer savings to active members and veterans of the armed forces and their families. This makes sense since, statistically, members of all branches of the armed services are responsible, law abiding and safe – all traits that make them a lower risk.

Auto Insurance Myth #8:
Personal Insurance Covers Both Personal and Commercial Use of Your Vehicle

Proceed with caution here. If you are self-employed and use your vehicle under a personal policy, you risk having a claim denied. The rules that determine what constitutes commercial vehicle insurance vs. personal insurance use are complex. Make sure you are covered under the proper policy for your situation.


Get the Facts - Get the Best Car Insurance to Meet Your Needs and Budget

Contact us for the right PA auto insurance at the right price.Now that we've dispelled some common myths of auto insurance, give us a call to learn more at (800) 947-1270 or (610) 775-3848, or click here to contact us. We'll help you obtain reasonable premiums without sacrificing vital coverage.

We're independent agents who offer car insurance policies from competing insurance companies. That means we can find you the best insurance at the best price. We've been serving the vehicle insurance needs of Reading, Philadelphia, Allentown, Harrisburg, Lancaster, Pittsburgh, Erie, PA and beyond for over 25 years. Call today. 

Tags: Car Insurance Harrisburg PA, Van Insurance, Car Insurance Lancaster PA, Commercial Vehicle Insurance, RV Insurance, Car Insurance, Car Insurance Reading PA, Car Insurance Allentown PA, Car Insurance Philadelphia PA, Affordable Car Insurance

I Don’t Need Commercial Vehicle Insurance. Or Do I?

Posted by David Ross on Wed, Mar 04, 2015

Who needs commercial vehicle insurance?

Tips for determining if you need commercial vehicle insuranceIf you own a fleet of vehicles that are used exclusively for your business or you own a freight truck or delivery truck, you probably understand that you need commercial vehicle insurance on those vehicles.  But what if you have one vehicle that you use to deliver pizzas?  What if you use your personal vehicle to drive to job sites or to meetings?

Any vehicle being used for business or commercial purposes is technically a commercial vehicle, which means it needs to be insured by a commercial vehicle insurance policy.  This includes any vehicle used for the pickup or delivery of goods and any vehicle used to transport people for business.

You may also need commercial vehicle insurance if your vehicle is…

  • Registered or titled to a:
    • Business
    • Corporation
    • Partnership
    • Rented or leased by others
    • Equipped with:
      • Snowplowing equipment
      • Cooking or catering equipment
      • Bathrooms
      • Altered suspensions
      • Hydraulic lifts
      • Racing equipment

Bottom line: If you own or use any type of vehicle for business purposes, you need a good commercial auto insurance policy to protect yourself, your employees, and your business!

Commercial vs. Personal Car Insurance

It is true that the premiums for commercial vehicle insurance are generally higher than premiums for personal vehicle insurance, but there’s a very good reason for that - the risk of covering any vehicle used for business purposes is higher than the risk of covering cars used for personal purposes. This is the main reason car insurance policies for commercial purposes differ from personal policies.

Types of commercial auto insurance include:

  • Business auto insurance
  • Truck insurance
  • Cargo insurance
  • Pickup truck insurance
  • Tow truck insurance
  • Van insurance
  • Dump truck insurance
  • Non-owned/hired liability insurance

Many of the common types of personal car insurance coverage also apply to commercial auto insurance, such as:

  • Bodily injury liability
  • Property damage
  • Comprehensive
  • Collision
  • Medical payments
  • Personal injury protection (PIP)
  • Uninsured/underinsured motorist

 But, commercial car insurance policies are better suited to cover:

  • Your business and its assets
  • Your employees or other drivers you hire to drive your company cars
  • The higher risk of operating certain commercial vehicles

 

DON'T RISK IT!

If you carry a personal car insurance policy, and you file a claim for an incident that occurred while driving for business purposes, you may find that your car insurance company will not pay on that claim. A good commercial auto insurance plan can save you from a financial disaster, regardless of whether you're an independent contractor or the CEO of a multi-million dollar company.

How is my commercial vehicle insurance rate determined?

Your commercial auto insurance rate depends on several factors. These factors include, but are not limited to:

  • Age and personal driving record of all drivers (driving history is one of the biggest factors in determining your rate)
  • License type of all drivers
  • Vehicle make and model including its safety rating, age, and history
  • Type of cargo the vehicle carries
  • Number of passengers the vehicle transports
  • Annual mileage

The nature of your business and how your vehicles are used will also affect your rate.  As with personal vehicle insurance, the lower your risk, the higher your savings will be. Other factors include:

  • The limits of your coverage
  • Any optional coverage you purchased
  • Your deductible
  • Your credit history

Contact us for help in obtaining the right commercial vehicle insurance protection. We serve Philadelphia, Lancaster, Reading, Harrisburg, York, Allentown, the LeHigh Valley, Pittsburgh, Erie, State College, Pennsylvania and beyond.The best way to determine if you need commercial vehicle insurance and what type of coverage is best for your business is to speak with an experienced independent insurance agent.  Call American Insuring Group at (800) 947-1270 or (610) 775-3848 or email us to learn more about commercial vehicle insurance.

Tags: Commercial Vehicle Insurance, Business Insurance Reading PA, Business Insurance Berks, Business Insurance Philadelphia Pa, Business Insurance Lancaster Pa, Business Insurance Harrisburg Pa, Business Insurance York Pa, Commercial Insurance, Business Insurance Allentown PA, Business Insurance