Insurance Savings and News You Can Use
Join the Conversation!

Truck Drivers, Texting and Trucking Insurance

Posted by David Ross on Sun, Aug 06, 2017

Truck driver texting guidelines and impact on trucking insurance rates in PennsylvaniaIf you’re a CMV (Commercial Motor Vehicle) driver, you’ve probably heard of a little federal agency called the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA).

As part of the U.S. Department of Transportation, FMCSA regulates the trucking industry throughout the United States. Its primary mission is to reduce CMV crashes, injuries, and fatalities, all of which are great for keeping your truck insurance costs under control. 

While there are still many states that have not banned texting while driving or even addressed distracted driving in general, any driver engaged in interstate commerce is subject to FMCSA laws regardless of what state they’re starting from or driving into.

What Truckers Cannot Do Under FMCSA

The FMCSA has made their stance very clear: “No Call, No Text, No Ticket!” That means…

  • No Reaching
  • No Holding
  • No Dialing
  • No Texting
  • No Reading 

Penalties

  • Drivers can be fined up to $2,750.
  • The driver’s employer can be fined up to $11,000 if they knowingly allow or require drivers to use hand-held devices while driving.
  • Repeat offenses will result in a driver being put out-of-service for up to 120 days (60 days for two serious traffic violations in three years/120 days for three violations in three years).
  • Violations will negatively affect the employer’s Safety Measurement System ratings.
  • Drivers can be subject to severe civil fines.
  • The driver’s employer may also impose penalties, which often includes termination.

Harsh or Smart? 23 x More Likely to ...

Research commissioned by the FMCSA shows that CMV drivers who text while driving have a 23.2 times greater chance of “being involved in a safety-critical event (e.g., crash, near-crash, unintentional lane deviation).” The research shows that drivers who are texting take their eyes off the road for an average of 4.6 seconds. To put that into perspective: someone driving 55 mph will travel 371 feet (approximately the length of a football field) without looking at the road.

Distracted Driving Death Toll

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that distracted driving took the lives of 3,477 people in 2015 alone. The CDC has reported that every day, approximately nine people are killed and more than 1,000 injured in crashes in the U.S. due to a distracted driver. The CDC defines distracted driving as “driving while doing another activity that takes your attention away from driving” including texting and cell phone use. 

What every CMV driver needs to know about FMCSA’s rules regarding distracted driving

  • Texting and hand-held mobile phone use while operating a CMV is prohibited.
  • According to FMCSA, texting means “manually entering alphanumeric text into, or reading text from, an electronic device."
  • These rules do not apply to devices used as part of the company’s fleet management system for dispatching (except if they’re used for texting).
  • The use of hands-free options to make phone calls are usually acceptable.
  • Technically, even texting or using a hand-held device to make a call while stopped at a traffic light or traffic delay is prohibited. You should safely pull over to the side of the road
  • Any hands-free device (earpiece-speaker phone, hands-free dialing, or hands-free mode) needs to be located close to the driver. Hands-free means being able to safely activate a mobile device by touching a single button, while safely and properly seated and restrained.

Today, many trucking companies are using hands-free dispatching devices. Some of these devices only show a short message or simply beep until the driver stops and parks.

The FMCSA has made it quite clear: “No Calls, No Texting, No Tickets.” So, unless you want to face penalties, possible loss of your job, or even worse – death or injury to someone, do not text or use a hand-held mobile device while driving.

How to Save on Trucking Insurance

Contact us for trucking insurance in Philadelphia, Reading, Lancaster, Harrisburg, Pittsburgh, Allentown, Lehigh Valley, Erie and beyond.Give American Insuring Group a call at (800) 947-1270 or (610) 775-3848 or contact our trucking insurance specialists online to get the right trucking insurance at a great price.

We'll analyze your risks and then shop among many competing insurers to find the policy that's right for you. Our independence leads to your savings. Contact us today!

 

For additional information on FMCSA rules and guidelines: 

https://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/sites/fmcsa.dot.gov/files/docs/Mobile_Phone_Rule_Fact_Sheet.pdf

https://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/sites/fmcsa.dot.gov/files/docs/No_Texting_Rule_Fact_Sheet.pdf

Tags: truck insurance, Trucking Insurance, Texting

Physical Damage Truck Insurance - Do You Have Enough?

Posted by David Ross on Sun, Jul 16, 2017

As we’re sure you’re aware, buying or leasing a truck is a huge investment. Many truckers, use most or all of their savings to purchase their vehicle.

Tips on Physical Damage Truck Insurance in PennsylvaniaNow, what would happen if your truck was damaged, stolen, or totaled in an accident? Would you have enough money to cover the repairs or replace the truck? What would it mean to your livelihood?

Are you certain your truck insurance is adequate to keep you financially secure if the worst were to happen? 

These are all scary questions, but they’re also real possibilities.

Getting Proper Insurance for Your Truck

The good news is that you can protect yourself from most damages your truck may incur with physical damage truck insurance. If you have a loan on your truck or you lease your truck, physical damage insurance is probably required. But even if you own your truck outright, you’ll want to consider physical damage insurance to protect your investment (and your livelihood).

2 Types of Physical Damage Truck Insurance

There are two different parts to physical damage truck insurance: collision insurance and comprehensive insurance. Collision Insurance pays for damages incurred if your truck collides with another vehicle or object. In the event of a collision, collision insurance will pay to repair or replace your truck. Comprehension Insurance pays for other types of damage your truck may incur, such as vandalism, theft, collision with an animal, glass breaking, fire, and more.

Physical Damage Insurance Considerations

Here are some important things to consider when shopping for physical damage truck insurance:

  1. Stated Amount - You will need to provide the stated amount – your best estimate of the value of your truck – if you are adding comprehensive insurance. The stated amount should be based on the make and model of your truck, mileage, upgrades, and comparable sales data. The stated amount will have a big impact on how much you pay in premiums, so it’s a good idea to work with a good insurance agent to determine the proper value.

  2. Actual Cash Value - The amount you will receive on a physical damage truck insurance claim is based on the Actual Cash Value (ACV) of your truck, which means the market value of your truck. Unlike personal lines of insurance, replacement values are not available for commercial policies.

  3. Deductibles - One way to reduce your premiums is to increase your deductible. You should determine a dollar amount that you would be comfortable paying in the event of a claim.

  4. Endorsements – There are certain things that a basic trucking physical damage policy may not cover, that an endorsement will. Endorsements you may want to consider are a single deductible for your truck and trailer, personal belongings coverage, electronic equipment coverage and a rental truck while your vehicle is getting repaired or replaced.

 

Let's Talk About Your Truck Insurance

Contact us about Physical Damage Truck Insurance protection in PennsylvaniaProtect your truck and your livelihood with physical damage insurance by giving American Insuring Group a call at (800) 947-1270 or (610)775-3848 or contact us online to learn more about both collision and comprehensive insurance for your truck.

We specialize in PA Truck Insurance, so whether you are in Philadelphia, Reading, Allentown, Harrisburg, Pittsburgh, Erie or elsewhere, we'll find you the best deal on insurance. That's because our independent insurance agents are free to shop and compare lots of competing insurance quotes, so you can count on getting great coverage at a great price.  

Contact us today!

Tags: truck insurance, Trucking Insurance, Physical Damage Truck Insurance

Trucking Insurance and the Sanitary Food Transport Act

Posted by David Ross on Wed, Jun 28, 2017

The U.S. has one of the safest food supplies in the world, but foodborne illness still sickens 76 million people, causes 325,000 hospitalizations, and results in 5,000 deaths in the U.S. each year, according to the CDC.

Trucking insurance tips for food transporters in Philadelphia, Reading, Allentown, Lancaster, Harrisburg, Pittsburgh, PA and beyond.If you own a food transporatation business, then you need to understand government regulations that can affect your trucking insurance needs and that you acquire proper truck insurance to cover your unique needs.

In 2011, the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA), the most far-reaching reform of our food safety laws in seventy years, was signed into law. The goal of FSMA is to prevent contamination – as opposed to responding to contamination - and it gives the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) new authority to regulate the way food is grown, harvested, processed, and transported.

If you are a food transportation company with revenues over $500,000, the most important thing you need to understand about FSMA is the Sanitary Food Transport Act (SFTA), which took effect on March 31, 2017.

New Requirements for Trucking Company Vehicles

SFTA established requirements for trucking company vehicles, equipment, operations, records and training for shippers, loaders, motor and rail carriers, and receivers involved in transporting human and animal food. The focus is on the use of sanitary and temperature control practices.

 

SFTA defines requirements around the following:

  • Vehicles and Transportation Equipment – The vehicles used to transport food must be designed and maintained to ensure that they don’t cause the food to become contaminated. For example, vehicles must be kept in a sanitary condition, and handwashing facilities must be available at loading/unloading stations.

  • Transportation Operations – Every measure must be taken to ensure that food is not contaminated in transit. For example, storage compartments must be pre-cooled and have a temperature monitoring device when transporting refrigerated items and measures need to be made to ensure that ready-to-eat food doesn’t touch raw food and that non-food items (in the current or a previous load) don’t contaminate food.

  • Training – Carrier personnel need to be trained in sanitary transportation practices, and that training needs to be documented.

  • Records – A log of temperature conditions throughout the transportation must be kept for at least 12 months.

Liability Questions for Trucking Firms

FSMA and SFTA have raised many liability questions. For example, what happens if a receiver rejects all or part of a motor carrier’s food shipment because of an FSMA violation even if the product did not sustain damage? Who is responsible for the disposal of the shipment? Who is responsible for a mechanical breakdown that results in an FSMA violation?

 

Protect Your Trucking Business With The Right Insurance - Call Today 

Contact us for all your trucking insurance needs.FSMA is just one government-imposed regulation that can affect your business, so it’s important that you have the right type of trucking insurance to cover your unique needs.

For a review of your insurance policy and to get the best price on quality trucking insurance for your business, contact American Insuring Group online or call us at (800) 947-1270 or (610) 775-3848.

Tags: truck insurance, Trucking Insurance, Food Transportation Insurance

Truck Insurance in a Driverless Truck World

Posted by David Ross on Thu, May 25, 2017

Driverless truck insurance considerations. Serving Reading, Philadelphia, Lancaster, Harrisburg, York, Allentown, Pittsburgh and beyond with affordable trucking insurance.Do you ever wonder how trucking insurance rates may be affected by driverless cars and trucks? Will there be less accidents due to driver error, or more accidents due to compurter error?

Imagine driving along the highway and glancing into the cab of an 18-wheeler as you pass it; you see the “driver” sitting back, relaxing, and looking down at his iPad, drinking a cup of coffee, and completely ignoring the road and the cars around him. Don’t panic! Hopefully, you’ve just witnessed a driverless (Aka autonomous) truck. No, this is not a scene from the Jetsons. It is a very real possibility.

The First Licensed Self Driving Semi Truck

In 2015, Daimler introduced the world’s first licensed self-driving semi called the Freightliner Inspiration. “The Freightliner Inspiration is a limited take on autonomy. The system will kick in only once the truck’s on the highway and up to speed, and then it will maintain a safe distance from other vehicles and stay in its lane. It won’t change lanes to pass slower vehicles on its own. If the truck encounters a situation it can’t confidently handle, like heavy snow or faded lane lines, it will alert the human that it’s time for him to take over,” according to Wired. While it’s true that the world isn’t quite ready for an autonomous truck, it is not outside the realm of possibility within our lifetime.

Truck Driver Shortages

Nearly 70 percent of the country’s freight is moved by truck, according to the American Trucking Association (ATA), and that number is expected to increase by 24 percent by 2022. As the amount of freight being shipped by trucks increases, the number of drivers continues to decrease. Currently, there is a shortage of nearly 48,000 truck drivers, which experts say may increase to almost 240,000 by 2023. So you can see why trucking companies may be intrigued by the idea of driverless vehicles.

Trucking Insurance Company Concerns

Commercial trucking insurance companies are also keeping their eye on driverless trucks. In the US, 330,000 large trucks were involved in crashes that killed nearly 4,000 people (most were in passenger cars) in 2012. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 90% of accidents are caused by driver error. Eliminate risk factors like drunk driving, distracted driving, or falling asleep at the wheel, and claims payouts and premiums could go down drastically – at least in the short term.

In the long-term, there are still issues that vehicle manufacturers, fleet owners, and insurers need to  address. For example, a computer-operated driverless truck would be susceptible to hackers, which could include terrorists or others with malicious intent. What if an autonomous truck is involved in an accident? Whose fault is it? The truck owner or the vehicle manufacturer or the driver (if there is one in the truck)? Determining who is liable for an accident could become difficult, especially in the event of product recalls or faulty equipment.

When Will Driverless Trucks Become the Norm?

The truth is: the U.S. isn’t quite ready for a driverless truck. First, there’s a ten-year testing phase. Daimler has said, “It won’t be market-ready for a decade, and could never replace human drivers.”

But more importantly, U.S. infrastructure isn’t ready for it. According to the American Society of Civil Engineers, the US infrastructure grade for 2013 was a D+. Roads received a D. The government would need to invest millions of dollars to upgrade the infrastructure of three million miles of road to support driverless vehicles. According to Economic Analysis of Transportation US roads have poor markings and uneven signage, traffic lights that are aligned vertically, horizontally or “doghouse” style in two columns, and pavement markings with different degrees of reflectivity. These are issues that can make it difficult for driverless technology to adapt.

Economic Impact

There is also the issue of industries that rely on truckers’ business such as highway motels, gas stations, diners, and truck stops. Remove the drivers, and you remove their customers. The U.S. economy could be significantly affected by the replacement of drivers with machines. It will be interesting to watch how far and how quickly technology will change the trucking industry. In particular driverless trucks. 

Driverless or Not, We Have You Covered! Contact Us for the Best Truck Insurance Rates.


Contact us for all your trucking insurance needsRegardless of where the trucking industry goes in terms of driverless trucks, you can trust Amercican Insuring Group to provide smart insurance protection at a great price.

As independent agents we're free to shop among lots of competing insurance carriers. That means you'll get the best rate on quality insurance. To learn more about trucking insurance, contact us online or call us at (800) 947-1270 or (610) 775-3848.

Tags: truck insurance, Affordable Car Insurance, Trucking Insurance, Driverless Cars and Trucks

Truck Insurance 101:  Private Carrier Insurance

Posted by David Ross on Thu, Apr 20, 2017

Private carrier insurance tips and trucking insurance in Philadelphia, Reading, Allentown, Harrisburg, Lancaster, York, Lebanon, State College, PA and beyond.The United States economy depends on trucks to deliver nearly $671 billion worth of manufactured and retail goods in the U.S. alone. It’s estimated that 15.5 million trucks operate in the U.S. Two million of those are tractor trailers.

Whether they are common carriers or private carriers, these vehicles need to be adequately protected with trucking insurance known as private carrier insurance. And there are several different types of insurance coverage that are required.

Here is a look at the coverage a typical private carrier would need to purchase.

What is a private carrier?

If the company owns the vehicles that are used to transport its goods, it is a private carrier. Unlike a common carrier, a private carrier does not transport goods as its primary business, and it doesn’t have to carry the goods of other companies. A private carrier is not a for-hire carrier and does not tranport the products of other companies as its primary business. 

What kind of trucking insurance does a private carrier need?

Liability Insurance: If you’re at fault for an accident, liability insurance covers injuries or damage to other people or property. It also will pay for your legal defense expenses if you are sued as a result of your involvement in an accident.

There are two parts to the coverage:

  • Bodily Injury Coverage protects you if you cause an accident that injures or kills another person. It pays for any related expenses such as hospital and medical bills, long-term nursing care, lost earnings, and rehabilitation. It will pay funeral expenses in a fatal accident.

  • Property Damage protects you if you are at fault for an accident that damages another person's property. It will cover the costs to replace or repair the damaged items that could include vehicles, fences, and houses. 

Physical Damage Coverage: Physical Damage refers to two basic coverages that protect your truck. This insurance requires you to choose a deductible, which is the out-of-pocket amount that you agree to pay whenever you have a claim. These are the coverages:

  • Collision Insurance: Collision insurance provides protection for your vehicle if it is damaged in an accident. Collision insurance pays to repair or replace your vehicle if it collides with something or overturns.
  • Comprehensive Coverage: If your truck is damaged by something other than a collision with another vehicle or object, or if your truck is stolen, comprehensive insurance will cover it.

Medical Payments Insurance: This insurance is not available in all states. If you can get medical payments insurance, it will pay medical bills for you and any passengers in your truck in case they are hurt in an accident or auto-related injury.

Private truck insurance filings

If you are traveling across state lines, you may need federal or state insurance filings. Known as Financial Proof of Responsibilities, they are a guarantee to the government that you are carrying sufficient truck insurance protection.

You'll Get the Best Trucking Insurance Rates from American Insuring Group 

Contact us for help with your private carrier insurance questions or to buy trucking insurance.If you have questions about these filings or are looking for a great deal on any type of trucking insurance, contact American Insuring Group online or call us at (800) 947-1270 or (610) 775-3848 and sit down with one of our experts on Private Carrier Insurance. We can help you sort through it and get you back on the road quickly.

Best of all, you can rest assured that we will help you get the right insurance protection at the right price. Unlike our single-brand competitors, as independent agents we're free to shop among many competing insurance carriers to help you get the best deal on insurance. Contact us today to get started!

Tags: truck insurance, Trucking Insurance, Private Carrier 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

Reduce Commercial Vehicle Insurance Rates with Better Maintenance

Posted by David Ross on Wed, Aug 20, 2014

Commercial vehicle insurance can be affected by how well you maintain your vehicle fleetWhether your company owns one commercial vehicle or an entire fleet of vehicles, regular vehicle maintenance is one of the best things you can do to protect your employees, your property, and your business.

As a bonus, any time you reduce risk you reduce the chance of incurring an insurance claim, which ultimately can help lower your commercial vehicle insurance and other business insurance rates.

Here's How:

  • Regular maintenance can help prolong the life of your vehicle and allow it to operate more efficiently. 
     
  • Regular maintenance also helps ensure the safety of your employees and can help cut down on insurance claims.
     
  • Many state and U.S. regulations require a preventive vehicle maintenance program, including a structured record-keeping system.  Non-compliance of these regulations can lead to strict penalties, including hefty fines. 

 

Commercial Vehicle Compliance

Before initiating an internal vehicle maintenance plan, you should understand federal commercial vehicle requirements. Every year, the Commercial Safety Vehicle Alliance (CSVA) conducts approximately four million commercial motor vehicle inspections throughout North America.  These inspections focus on vehicle mechanical safety, traffic enforcement, cargo securement and regional rules and regulations.  Any vehicle with a gross vehicle weight rating of more than 10,000 pounds, including the weight of a trailer, may be subject to these random road checks. http://www.cvsa.org/programs/nas.php

Developing a Better Commercial Vehicle Preventive Maintenance Program

In addition to complying with federal regulations, it’s also a good idea to create a formal preventive maintenance program that includes a daily pre- and post-drive checklist.  This helps insure that drivers share some of the vehicle maintenance responsibility and that the day-to-day safety requirements are met. 

Where to Begin

A good place to start is the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) website.  http://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/ FMCSA’s “A Motor Carrier’s Guide to IMPROVING HIGHWAY SAFETY” is a great resource.  It includes lots of information and record-keeping forms. http://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/sites/fmcsa.dot.gov/files/docs/ETA-Final-508c-s.pdf.

With a preventive maintenance plan in place and knowledge of federal and state regulations, your one commercial vehicle or your entire fleet will be ready for the road. 

Reduce Risk & Save Money with the Right Commercial Vehicle Insurance

American Insuring Group’s independence and high standards allow us to provide the best commercial vehicle insurance rates and high-quality insurance protection for your commercially used car, van, truck, or fleet.  Contact us at (800) 947-1270 or (610) 775-3848 to learn more.

 

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

Personal vs. Commercial Vehicle Insurance

Posted by David Ross on Mon, Jun 02, 2014

You need commercial vehicle insurance if you have a business-related accident. In those cases personal vehicle insurance will not cover the accident. Call us to learn more about commercial car, truck, and fleet insurance for your business. Serving Reading, Philadelphia, Lancaster, Harrisburg, Erie, Altoona, York, Allentown, Pittsurgh, PA and beyond.Picture this: a pizza delivery guy, a shuttle driver (sole-proprietor of the business), and an independent landscaping contractor collide into each other at the intersection of First and Main.

As they all get out of their vehicles to examine the damage, the delivery man asks, “Do you guys have commercial vehicle insurance?”   Both drivers shake their heads no.  “Do you?” asks the shuttle driver.  The delivery man looks down at his feet, and says, “No, but I’ve been meaning to talk to my insurance agent about it.” 

Insurance Claim Denied

In this scenario, chances are that all three would hear the same answer from their insurance agent, “Sorry, but your personal vehicle insurance won’t cover this accident.”  

If you own a fleet of vehicles and hire many drivers, you probably know you need commercial vehicle insurance.  But what if you just use your personal vehicle for business occasionally, or it’s just you driving your truck from job to job?   Won’t personal car insurance cover you in the event of an accident?  It depends. 

Like personal vehicle insurance, commercial vehicle insurance covers things such as liability, collision, comprehensive, medical payments, and uninsured motorist coverage. However, there may be a difference in eligibility, definitions, coverage, exclusions, and limits. Certain business usage and vehicle types can be excluded from personal policies. Some businesses need coverage only found in commercial car and truck insurance. 

Commercial Vehicle Insurance Benefits

Commercial vehicle insurance generally includes higher liability coverage.  Sometimes commercial insurance also insures the items (such as work equipment) within your vehicle; it may include rental reimbursement to help cover the cost to temporarily replace a commercial vehicle; and it may offer single-deductible options, which allow you to extend coverage to trailers or other specialized equipment you haul. 

So, how do you know if you need commercial vehicle insurance or if personal vehicle insurance is enough? It depends on the nature of your business, how you use your vehicle, and your insurance company’s policies.  Here are a few questions you need to consider - if you answer yes to any of them, you may need commercial car insurance.

·       Is your vehicle used to transport goods or people for a fee?

·       Is your vehicle owned or leased by a partnership or corporation?

·       Is your vehicle registered or titled to a business, corporation, partnership, or DBA?

·       Do employees operate your vehicle?

·       Is your vehicle a pickup, van, or utility vehicle with a gross weight exceeding 10,000 pounds or does it have a rated load capacity over 2,000 pounds?

·       Is your vehicle equipped with snowplow equipment, cooking or catering equipment, bathrooms, altered suspensions, hydraulic lifts, or racing equipment?

·       Is your vehicle equipped with a ladder rack or permanent toolbox that is used for your business?

 

Don't Take Chances on Insurance for Your Commercial Vehicle - Contact Us Today

Contact us to make the right decision on your commercial or personal vehicle insurance needs and coverage.Personal vehicle insurance provides enough coverage for some businesses; however, there are times when commercial vehicle insurance is required.  If you don’t want to be like the pizza delivery driver, the shuttle driver, or the independent landscaping contractor in our story, contact us for advice in making the right insurance decision at (800) 947-1270 or (610)775-3848.  We'll help you obtain the right type and level of vehicle insurance for your business. 

Tags: Car Insurance Harrisburg PA, Car Insurance Lancaster PA, Commercial Vehicle Insurance, truck insurance, Car Insurance, Car Insurance Reading PA, Car Insurance Allentown PA, Car Insurance Philadelphia PA, commercial vehicle insuarance, Business Insurance